Legislature(2009 - 2010)

02/17/2010 03:27 PM House L&C

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03:27:56 PM Start
03:28:11 PM HB110
03:42:02 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
           HB 110-PSYCHOLOGISTS' LICENSING & PRACTICE                                                                       
3:28:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR OLSON  announced that the  only order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO.  110,  "An  Act relating  to  the  practice  and                                                               
licensing of psychologists."                                                                                                    
[Before the committee CSHB 110 (HSS).]                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  BOB HERRON,  Alaska State  Legislature, as  prime                                                               
sponsor  of HB  110,  explained  that this  bill  relates to  the                                                               
practice  and  licensing  of psychologists.    When  the  current                                                               
statute   was   written,   the   Board   of   Psychologists   and                                                               
Psychological  Associate Examiners  offered  the qualifying  exam                                                               
only  once every  six months.    The examination  is now  offered                                                               
every three months,  but the law requires applicants  to wait six                                                               
months  to  take  the  exam.    This  bill  will  align  the  two                                                               
timeframes and will  allow examinees who need to  take or re-take                                                               
the examination to do so in a timely manner.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON  explained that the bill  will also clarify                                                               
who is exempt  from the Board of  Psychologists and Psychological                                                               
Examiners.   The existing exemptions  will remain  for supervised                                                               
psychology  students,  interns,  residents in  a  board  approved                                                               
program  of  study, as  well  as  other professionals,  including                                                               
licensed  professional   counselors,  licensed   clinical  social                                                               
workers,  marital  and family  therapists.    Section 2  of  CSHB
110(HSS)  also  clarifies  that  school  psychologists  are  also                                                               
exempt since  they fall  under the purview  of the  Department of                                                               
Education.  Additionally, federal  officers and employees who are                                                               
performing  official duties  are  also exempt.    Thus, the  only                                                               
people subject  to this bill  are those who  represent themselves                                                               
to the public  as psychologists.  He stated that  passage of this                                                               
bill  will  not  limit  the  work  other  mental  health  service                                                               
providers who  practice a variety of  psychological services from                                                               
practicing in their  field so long as they do  not publicly claim                                                               
to be psychologists.  This bill  is supported by the Alaska Board                                                               
of  Psychologists  and  Psychological  Associate  Examiners,  the                                                               
Psychological Association and the Alaska Mental Health Board.                                                                   
3:31:07 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN  asked  whether  this  bill  would  affect                                                               
employees  of the  Department of  Corrections, the  Department of                                                               
Public Safety, or the Alaska Court System.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON answered no.                                                                                              
3:31:29 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN expressed  his concern,  in rural  Alaska,                                                               
when a  local officer arrests  someone and questions  arise about                                                               
their  psychological  stability,  that this  bill  might  require                                                               
someone to  fly a psychologist to  the rural community to  make a                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON  responded that  many technical  people are                                                               
available on-line and  he offered his belief that  this bill does                                                               
not affect that situation.                                                                                                      
3:32:32 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 3:32 p.m. to 3:34 p.m.                                                                       
3:34:38 PM                                                                                                                    
LORIN  BRADBURY,   PhD.,  Chair,   Board  of   Psychologists  and                                                               
Psychological  Examiners,   stated  that   Representative  Herron                                                               
previously articulated the  purpose of the bill.   In response to                                                               
Representative  Neuman, he  explained that  the statutes,  AS 47,                                                               
refer  to a  police officer  bringing  someone in  that may  have                                                               
psychological problems.   He stated  that passage of HB  110 will                                                               
not  require psychologists  to examine  the person  and will  not                                                               
prohibit the work.                                                                                                              
3:35:52 PM                                                                                                                    
JOAN  BOHMANN,  PhD,  Anchorage School  District;  Alaska  School                                                               
Psychologists Association,  stated that  she is supportive  of HB
110.  She  stated that although school  psychologists are exempt,                                                               
school psychologists are sometimes  working under the auspices of                                                               
the  Alaska  Department  of  Education   or  might  be  providing                                                               
services in  a facility that  is not a  school, such as  a mental                                                               
health  facility  or  in  the juvenile  justice  facility.    She                                                               
explained that  the organizations  want to  be certain  this will                                                               
not  be  a  problem  for school  psychologists  not  specifically                                                               
working in a school.                                                                                                            
3:37:16 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  BRADBURY answered  that  the language  in  the bill  clearly                                                               
shows  that   the  psychologist   would  be  working   under  the                                                               
supervision  of  the  school  district so  this  bill  would  not                                                               
prohibit their activities.                                                                                                      
DR. BOHMANN thanked Dr. Bradbury for the clarification.                                                                         
3:37:42 PM                                                                                                                    
ROBERT  LANE,  PhD.,  Member,  Alaska  Psychological  Association                                                               
(APA), stated that he would like to testify in favor of HB 110.                                                                 
3:38:20 PM                                                                                                                    
PHILIP  BAKER,  EdD,   Alaska  Psychological  Association  (APA),                                                               
stated that he  shares legislative activities with  Dr. Lane that                                                               
pertain to the  practice of psychology in Alaska.   He emphasized                                                               
that   the   Alaska   Psychological  Association   supports   the                                                               
amendments to their licensing statutes incorporated in HB 110.                                                                  
3:39:32 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLMES remarked  that  is bill  was heard  fairly                                                               
extensively before the House Health  and Social Services Standing                                                               
Committee.   While  the committee  is only  hearing the  CSHB 110                                                               
(HSS)  version of  the  bill, the  prior  committee held  several                                                               
meetings last year and this year  on this bill.  Three members on                                                               
this  committee  also  serve  on  the  House  Health  and  Social                                                               
Services Standing Committee, she added.                                                                                         
3:40:12 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  OLSON,  after first  determining  no  one else  wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on HB 110.                                                                                     
3:40:19 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN asked  to clarify that if  someone wants to                                                               
practice  psychology  in Alaska,  the  person  must meet  current                                                               
standards   set  forth   by  the   Board   of  Psychologist   and                                                               
Psychological Associates.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON answered if the  person does not fall under                                                               
one  of the  exemptions  provided  for in  the  statutes, that  a                                                               
person cannot  come to Alaska  and become a  psychologist without                                                               
board approval.                                                                                                                 
3:41:39 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN moved  to  report CSHB  110  (HSS) out  of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal  notes.   There  being  no  objection, CSHB  110(HSS)  was                                                               
reported from the House Labor and Commerce Standing committee.                                                                  

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