Legislature(2005 - 2006)

05/05/2006 09:53 AM FIN

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CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 169(JUD)                                                                                               
     An Act relating to release of information in individual                                                                    
     workers' compensation records; and providing for an                                                                        
     effective date.                                                                                                            
9:53:49 AM                                                                                                                    
HEATHER BRAKES,  STAFF, SENATOR  GENE THERRIAULT,  summarized                                                                   
the intent  of SB  169, which  stipulates that an  employee's                                                                   
name, address,  social security  number and telephone  number                                                                   
contained in their Medical or  Rehabilitation records on file                                                                   
with the  Division of Worker's  Compensation, are  not public                                                                   
records subject to public inspection.                                                                                           
The bill  allows an employee  to authorize the  disclosure of                                                                   
such personal information by signing  a declaration on a form                                                                   
provided by  the division.  It  would protect the  privacy of                                                                   
individuals  who  have  filed  a  claim  under  the  Workers'                                                                   
Compensation Act.                                                                                                               
Ms. Brakes noted  that the bill had been introduced  in 2005,                                                                   
to  prohibit  the  Division  of  Workers'  Compensation  from                                                                   
assembling  or providing information  relating to  individual                                                                   
records outside  the scope of the Workers'  Compensation Act.                                                                   
The section  was incorporated  into another bill  and enacted                                                                   
through Chapter  10, FSSLA 2005.   In a recent  case, Kuebler                                                                   
v. Lisankie,  the Alaska  Superior Court  found that  statute                                                                   
ambiguous.    It  was  found  that  public  right  to  access                                                                   
information  outweighed  an individual's  right  to  privacy,                                                                   
absent  was  a   solid  argument  from  the   State  in  that                                                                   
litigation.    The  Court  found   that  the  State  had  not                                                                   
submitted solid legislative intent  or history on the matter.                                                                   
Ms. Brakes  summarized that SB  169 is an attempt  to clarify                                                                   
the Legislature's intent.                                                                                                       
9:56:06 AM                                                                                                                    
PAUL LISANKIE,  DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF WORKERS'  COMPENSATION,                                                                   
offered to answer questions of the Committee.                                                                                   
Co-Chair Meyer MOVED  to ADOPT Amendment #1, Page  2, Line 6,                                                                   
following,  "address",  inserting "social  security  number".                                                                   
Vice Chair Stoltze OBJECTED.                                                                                                    
Ms.  Brakes  explained that  had  been  an oversight  in  the                                                                   
previous version  and the Department  of Law recommends  that                                                                   
language be included.                                                                                                           
Vice Chair  Stoltze WITHDREW his  OBJECTION.  There  being NO                                                                   
further OBJECTION, Amendment #1 was adopted.                                                                                    
9:57:42 AM                                                                                                                    
Vice Chair  Stoltze MOVED to REPORT  HCS CS SB 169  (FIN) out                                                                   
of Committee  with  individual recommendations  and with  the                                                                   
zero note.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                        
HCS CS SB 169 (FIN) was reported  out of Committee with a "do                                                                   
pass" recommendation and with  zero note #2 by the Department                                                                   
of Labor & Workforce Development.                                                                                               
9:58:37 AM                                                                                                                    

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