Legislature(1997 - 1998)

04/15/1997 04:55 PM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                  SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE                               
                          April 15, 1997                                       
                             4:55 p.m.                                         
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Senator Lyda Green, Chairman                                                  
 Senator Jerry Ward, Vice-Chairman                                             
 Senator Jerry Mackie                                                          
                                                                               
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
                                                                               
 Senator Mike Miller                                                           
 Senator Jim Duncan                                                            
                                                                               
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
                                                                               
 CONFIRMATION HEARINGS ON GOVERNOR APPOINTEES TO BOARDS AND                    
 COMMISSIONS:   State Commission for Human Rights; Commission on               
 Judicial Conduct; Alaska Labor Relations Agency; Personnel Board;             
 Alaska Public Office Commission; Assessment Review Board; and                 
 Alaska Public Defender                                                        
                                                                               
 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 16                                                 
 Relating to a federal balanced budget amendment.                              
                                                                               
      - MOVED HJR 16 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                          
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 76                                                            
 "An Act relating to long-term plans of certain state agencies and             
 recommendations regarding elimination of duplication in state                 
 agency functions."                                                            
                                                                               
      - SCHEDULED BUT NOT TAKEN UP                                             
                                                                               
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 88                                                            
 "An Act relating to the Board of Public Accountancy; extending the            
 termination date of the Board of Public Accountancy; and providing            
 for an effective date."                                                       
                                                                               
      - MOVED SB 88 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                           
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 89                                                            
 "An Act relating to regulation of barbers and hairdressers;                   
 extending the termination date of the Board of Barbers and                    
 Hairdressers; and providing for an effective date."                           
                                                                               
      - MOVED SB 89 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                           
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 90                                                            
 "An Act relating to dental licensing; extending the termination               
 date of the Board of Dental Examiners; and providing for an                   
 effective date."                                                              
                                                                               
      - MOVED SB 90 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                           
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 91                                                            
 "An Act relating to the regulation of physical therapists and                 
 physical therapy assistants; extending the termination date of the            
 State Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Board; and                    
 providing for an effective date."                                             
                                                                               
      - MOVED CSSB 91(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                    
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 103                                                           
 "An Act relating to hearings before and authorizing fees for the              
 State Commission for Human Rights; and providing for an effective             
 date."                                                                        
                                                                               
      - MOVED CSSB 103(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                   
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 116                                                           
 "An Act relating to welfare to work tax credits under the Alaska              
 Net Income Tax Act; and providing for an effective date."                     
                                                                               
      - MOVED SB 116 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                          
                                                                               
 SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 9                                            
 Declaring June 1 - 7, 1997, to be Alaska Garden Week.                         
                                                                               
      - MOVED SCR 9 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                           
                                                                               
 PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                              
                                                                               
 HJR 16 - No previous action to record.                                        
                                                                               
 SB  76 - No previous action to record.                                        
                                                                               
 SB  88 - See Labor and Commerce Committee minutes dated 3/6/97.               
                                                                               
 SB  89 - See Labor and Commerce Committee minutes dated 3/25/97.              
                                                                               
 SB  90 - See Labor and Commerce Committee minutes dated 3/18/97 and           
          4/3/97.                                                              
                                                                               
 SB  91 - See Labor and Commerce Committee minutes dated 3/18/97.              
                                                                               
 SB 103 - No previous action to record.                                        
                                                                               
 SB 116 - See Senate State Affairs Committee minutes dated 3/25/97             
          and 3/27/97.                                                         
                                                                               
 SCR  9 - No previous action to record.                                        
                                                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
                                                                               
 Representative Al Vezey                                                       
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Prime Sponsor of HJR 16                                  
                                                                               
 Catherine Reardon, Director                                                   
 Division of Occupational Licensing                                            
 Department of Commerce & Economic Development                                 
 P.O. Box 110809                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99811-0809                                                         
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Offered information on SB 89 & SB 90                     
                                                                               
 Scott Crowther                                                                
 1726 Bellevue Loop                                                            
 Anchorage, AK 99515                                                           
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 90                            
                                                                               
 Dr. Dennis Anderson                                                           
 17638 Kahiltna Drive                                                          
 Eagle River, AK 99577                                                         
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 90                                       
                                                                               
 Annette Kreitzer, Staff to Senate Labor & Commerce Committee                  
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Suggested amendment to SB 91                             
                                                                               
 Paula Haley, Executive Director                                               
 Alaska State Commission for Human Rights                                      
 800 A St., Suite 204                                                          
 Anchorage, AK 99501                                                           
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 103                           
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 97-20, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN called the Senate State Affairs Committee to order             
 at 4:55 p.m. and stated the first order of business would be the              
 confirmation hearings on Governor Knowles' appointees to boards and           
 commissions.   There being no testimony or questions on the                   
 nominees, she requested a motion, adding that she had some                    
 questions on the appointment of Richard Heacock to the State                  
 Commission on Human Rights but that she would address that                    
 separately in a letter or a phone call.                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR WARD moved the names of the following appointees be                   
 forwarded to a joint session for consideration:                               
                                                                               
 State Commission for Human Rights:  Martha L. Gore, Kathy Wistof,             
 Richard Heacock                                                               
                                                                               
 Commission on Judicial Conduct:  Dianne I. Brown, Ethel Staton                
                                                                               
 Alaska Labor Relations Agency:  Robert A. Doyle, Blair Schad                  
                                                                               
 Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees: John Pugh             
                                                                               
 Personnel Board:  Katie T. Hurley                                             
                                                                               
 Alaska Public Offices commission:  Joyce Michaelson                           
                                                                               
 Assessment Review Board:  Rick Stovarsky                                      
                                                                               
 Alaska Public Defender:  Barbara Brink                                        
                                                                               
 Hearing no objection, CHAIRMAN GREEN stated the motion carried, and           
 clarified that the committee members' signatures on the report do             
 not necessarily indicate endorsement of the appointees.                       
                                                                               
 Number 030                                                                    
                                                                               
         HJR 16 SUPPORT FEDERAL BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT                      
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN brought HJR 16 before the committee as the next                
 order of business.                                                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY, prime sponsor of HJR 16, explained the               
 resolution encourages and commends Alaska's congressional                     
 delegation for supporting a balanced budget amendment to the United           
 States Constitution.                                                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR MACKIE moved HJR 16 be passed out of committee with                   
 individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so                  
 ordered.                                                                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
                 SB 88 BOARD OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTANCY                             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN brought SB 88 before the committee, and there being            
 no testimony on the legislation, she requested a motion to move SB
 88 out of committee.                                                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR MACKIE moved SB 88 be passed out of committee with                    
 individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so                  
 ordered.                                                                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
                  SB 89 BARBERS AND HAIRDRESSERS                               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN brought SB 89 before the committee as the next order           
 of business.                                                                  
                                                                               
 CATHERINE REARDON, Director, Division of Occupational Licensing,              
 Department of Commerce & Economic Development, voiced the Board of            
 Barbers and Hairdressers' support for the language change made in             
 the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee relating to cosmetologists.             
                                                                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR MACKIE pointed out that the Labor & Commerce Committee also           
 changed the sunset dates from "2003" to "2001" on all pieces of               
 legislation relating to boards that were before the committee.                
                                                                               
 There being no further testimony on SB 89, CHAIRMAN GREEN requested           
 a motion on the legislation.                                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR MACKIE moved SB 89 be passed out of committee with                    
 individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so                  
 ordered.                                                                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
          SB 90 DENTISTS: LICENSING & EXTEND EXAMINING BD                      
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN brought SB 90 before the committee as the next order           
 of business.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 080                                                                    
                                                                               
 CATHERINE REARDON, Director, Division of Occupational Licensing,              
 Department of Commerce & Economic Development, voiced the                     
 department's support for extending the sunset date of the Board of            
 Dentistry.  However, she said the board has concerns with Sections            
 4 and 5 relating to amalgam fillings and does not support those two           
 sections.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 097                                                                    
                                                                               
 SCOTT CROWTHER, testifying from Anchorage, stated he was testifying           
 on SB 90 because he is a dental amalgam victim.  He said the                  
 purpose of Sections 4 and 5 are to remove the dental amalgam issue            
 from the public arena into the professional area where he believes            
 it belongs.  He pointed out Colorado has recently adopted a similar           
 statute and several other states are working on the same issue.               
 European countries and Canada have taken steps to phase out and ban           
 the dental amalgam because of existing scientific documents on the            
 damage that it does to the human body.  Sections 4 and 5 will allow           
 the dentist to inform the patient of the toxic insult being                   
 received from the amalgam, and, if the patient desires, the dentist           
 can remove the amalgam and not have to be working with the threat             
 of board review as is the current situation.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 134                                                                    
                                                                               
 DR. DENNIS L. ANDERSON, an Eagle River dentist testifying from                
 Anchorage, stated he has been practicing dentistry in Alaska for              
 over 20 years.  He has served on the Board of Dental Examiners for            
 five years, part of which time he served as its chairman.  He said            
 he was trained in dental school to believe that the mercury in the            
 amalgam was retained in the filling and stayed there.  However, new           
 technology showed that the mercury vapor actually came out of the             
 amalgam fillings.  Animal studies documented that the mercury came            
 out of the fillings and went to the major organs in the body.                 
 After working around mercury for over 20 years he started having              
 neurological problems, which he found out were the result of                  
 working with mercury all those years.  He thinks dentists are in a            
 position where they can help people who may be experiencing                   
 problems because of mercury toxicity, which is in the best interest           
 of their patients.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 187                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN commented that SB 90 provides that the board may not           
 impose a disciplinary sanction on a dentist based solely on the               
 grounds that the dentist removed, replaced or recommended removal             
 or replacement of a professionally recognized restorative material,           
 etc., so the legislation is not related specifically to amalgam.              
                                                                               
 CATHERINE REARDON said the dental board's basic concern is not                
 about choosing to put in the composite plastic fillings or the                
 metal fillings into new or old cavities.   The concern appears to             
 be that some people who have metal fillings in their mouth that are           
 not broken or defective in any way might be told by a naturopath or           
 another health practitioner that they need to go and have them all            
 taken out and replaced with the composite plastic fillings.  The              
 board is concerned about exaggerated claims relating to health                
 benefits in having the metal filling removed.  The board is                   
 concerned that in some cases people could be lead into expensive              
 treatment that won't help them and that they may not need, and                
 they would not want to be prohibited from the possibility of                  
 disciplining a dentist who was taking out peoples' existing metal             
 fillings.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 245                                                                    
                                                                               
 There being no further testimony on SB 90, SENATOR MACKIE moved SB
 90 and the accompanying zero fiscal note be passed out of committee           
 with individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so             
 ordered.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 250                                                                    
                                                                               
          SB 91 PHYSICAL THERAPY AND OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY                      
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN brought SB 91 before the committee as the next order           
 of business.                                                                  
                                                                               
 ANNETTE KREITZER, staff to the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee,             
 stated that when CSSB 91(L&C) moved out of that committee, the                
 drafter did not catch a technical change that needed to be made to            
 a reference in AS 08.84.065.  She suggested amending the bill by              
 inserting a new Section 4 to correct the omission.                            
                                                                               
 SENATOR MACKIE moved the following amendment to CSSB 91(L&C):                 
                                                                               
 Page 3, line 28:  Insert a new Section 4 to read as follows:                  
                                                                               
      *Sec. 4.  AS 08.84.065(a) is amended to read:                            
                                                                               
           (a)  The board may issue a nonrenewable temporary permit            
 to an applicant for licensure by acceptance of credentials or by              
 examination who                                                               
                                                                               
                (1)  meets the requirements of                                 
                                                                               
                     (A)  AS 08.84.030(a)(1) or (b)(1); or                     
                                                                               
                     (B)  AS 08.84.032(a)(2) and (4) or (b)(2) and             
 (4) [(b)(2) AND (3)]; and                                                     
                                                                               
                (2)  pays the required fee.                                    
                                                                               
 Renumber following sections accordingly.                                      
                                                                               
 Hearing no objection, CHAIRMAN GREEN stated the amendment was                 
 adopted and would be incorporated in a State Affairs CS.                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR MACKIE moved CSSB 91(STA) be passed out of committee with             
 individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so                  
 ordered.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 280                                                                    
                                                                               
          SB 103 HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION FEES & HEARINGS                       
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN brought SB 103 before the committee as the next                
 order of business.                                                            
                                                                               
 PAULA HALEY, Executive Director, Alaska State Commission for Human            
 Rights, testifying from Anchorage on SB 103, stated the legislation           
 is part of their agency's response to the increased demand for                
 services for the public in the wake of diminishing resources.  She            
 pointed out that during the past 15 years complaints of                       
 discrimination filed with the commission have nearly tripled, while           
 during the same time frame, the agency lost 35 percent of its                 
 staff.  Due to the extraordinary increase in filings of complaints            
 their case inventory has increased to an all time high.  To better            
 face this increased workload, the commission has reviewed and                 
 revised procedures, amended its regulations, proposing further                
 amendments, as well as proposing this legislation.                            
                                                                               
 Ms. Haley explained SB 103 will allow for both cost-saving measures           
 and the authority to charge fees for certain services.  Any fees              
 generated and, most importantly, the money saved from the holding             
 the hearings at the commission's office and not transcribing each             
 hearing will be used towards the investigation and enforcement of             
 the human rights law.  The money will allow the agency to use                 
 temporary staff in the processing of investigations, pay for                  
 overtime and possibly will allow them to schedule more hearings so            
 there is not delay at that end of the process.                                
                                                                               
 In closing, Ms. Haley urged the committee's support for passage of            
 SB 103.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 309                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR MACKIE noted correspondence had been received from the                
 Alaska Native Brotherhood relating to their concern that there may            
 be individuals who do not have the resources to post a fee, and he            
 asked Ms. Haley if these individuals would be denied services if              
 they were unable to post the fee.  MS. HALEY responded that the               
 same concern was raised in the House in hearings on HB 155 so the             
 word "educational" was added in front of the words "services,                 
 information and materials".  She added that the genius of this                
 particular bill originated from the fact that one of the                      
 commission's roles is to eliminate discrimination, not only from              
 enforcement but through prevention education, so the commission is            
 not so much concerned about filing fees.                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR MACKIE moved the following amendment to SB 103:                       
                                                                               
 Amendment No. 1                                                               
                                                                               
 Page 1, line 12:  Between the words "for" and "services" insert               
                   "educational"                                               
                                                                               
 Hearing no objection to the amendment, CHAIRMAN GREEN stated the              
 amendment was adopted and would be incorporated into a State                  
 Affairs CS.                                                                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR MACKIE moved CSSB 103(STA) be passed out of committee with            
 individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so                  
 ordered.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 355                                                                    
                                                                               
                SB 116 WELFARE TO WORK TAX CREDITS                             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN brought SB 116 back before the committee.  There               
 being no additional testimony on the legislation, she asked for the           
 pleasure of the committee.                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR MACKIE moved SB 116 and the accompanying fiscal note be               
 passed out of committee with individual recommendations.  Hearing             
 no objection, it was so ordered.                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
                     SCR  9 ALASKA GARDEN WEEK                                 
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN brought SCR 9 before the committee as the final                
 order of business.                                                            
                                                                               
 SENATOR MACKIE moved SCR 9 be passed out of committee with                    
 individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so                  
 ordered.                                                                      
                                                                               
 There being no further business to come before the committee,                 
 CHAIRMAN GREEN adjourned the meeting at 5:20 p.m.                             
                                                                               

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