Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/06/2004 09:00 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE BILL NO. 349                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     An Act requiring licensure of midwifery birth centers;                                                                     
     and providing for an effective date.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MYRA PUSH, STAFF, SENATOR BETTYE  DAVIS, explained that there                                                                   
are  six birth  centers in  Alaska, five  registered and  one                                                                   
licensed.  The owners of the birth  centers admit the need to                                                                   
have one  licensed standard  for all  birthing centers.   The                                                                   
licensed birth  centers will have  one set of  regulations to                                                                   
follow, comply with annual inspections  and put safeguards in                                                                   
place to  guarantee the  birth center  is a safe  environment                                                                   
for families.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
She  noted  that  in March  2004,  the  birth  center  owners                                                                   
collaborated,  rewriting   regulations  for   licensed  birth                                                                   
centers,  which  had  not  been  changed  since  1983.    The                                                                   
recommendations  have been  submitted.   Through SB  349, the                                                                   
registered  birth centers  will  be considered  licensed  six                                                                   
months  after   the  effective   date  of  the   new  adopted                                                                   
regulations.   The Midwives Association of Alaska  has agreed                                                                   
there should  be one uniform  standard for birth  centers and                                                                   
recommends passage of the legislation.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Foster   MOVED  to  report  SB   349  out  of                                                                   
Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal  note.  There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SB  349  was reported  out  of  Committee  with a  "do  pass"                                                                   
recommendation and  with fiscal note #1 by  the Department of                                                                   
Health & Social Services.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                

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