Legislature(1999 - 2000)

03/08/2000 03:21 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
HB 422-WORKERS' COMPENSATION:DRUGS & ALCOHOL                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG  announced the next  order of business  would be                                                              
HOUSE  BILL NO.  422, "An  Act relating  to workers'  compensation                                                              
benefits  for injuries  resulting from consumption  of alcohol  or                                                              
use of drugs; and providing for an effective date."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1924                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG  explained that  HB 422  is a housekeeping  bill                                                              
that tightens up definitions in an  existing statute pertaining to                                                              
the effects  of the  consumption of  alcohol or  the use  of drugs                                                              
with  respect  to  making  a  claim  under  workers'  compensation                                                              
benefits.      Under   AS   23.30.080(a),    the   definition   of                                                              
"intoxication"   has  been  replaced   with  "consumption   of  an                                                              
alcoholic beverage".   He referred to  Section 2 of HB  422, which                                                              
relates  to  an  injury  not  being   proximately  caused  by  the                                                              
consumption of  an alcoholic  beverage.  He  commented that  it is                                                              
difficult  to  prove intoxication  and,  therefore,  the  language                                                              
needed  to be changed.   In  addition,  in Sections  2 and 3,  the                                                              
language  "employee's  use"  replaces "employee  being  under  the                                                              
influence" of  drugs.   He said this  bill ratifies the  zero-drug                                                              
policy that has been discussed.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said:                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     I can see a situation where  you're going to be required                                                                   
     to show  up on  the job, maybe  not a construction  job,                                                                   
     any type of job, under, say,  the influence of Percodan,                                                                   
     and  you've   had  your  wisdom  teeth,   or  something,                                                                   
     pulled...                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG said  that type of situation is  not included in                                                              
the bill.   The  bill pertains  to controlled  substances and  not                                                              
those that are prescribed by a physician.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HALCRO pointed out  that page  2, line  23, states                                                              
"unless  the drugs  were  taken as  prescribed  by the  employee's                                                              
physician".                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2123                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PAUL  GROSSI,   Director,  Division   of  Workers'   Compensation,                                                              
Department  of Labor and  Workforce Development,  came forward  to                                                              
testify on  HB 422.   He said the  department does not  oppose the                                                              
bill because it cleans up the current language.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG said the issue  should not be whether or not the                                                              
person is  intoxicated.   The issue should  be whether or  not the                                                              
person  is drinking  or  using  drugs at  the  time  an injury  is                                                              
claimed.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HALCRO  made  a  motion  to move  HB  422  out  of                                                              
committee with  individual recommendation and the  attached fiscal                                                              
note.   There  being no  objection, HB  422 moved  from the  House                                                              
Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects