Legislature(1999 - 2000)

02/02/1999 01:05 PM TRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 2 - REGISTRATION PLATES FOR DISABLED                                                                                         
CHAIR MASEK announced the first order of business was House Bill                                                                
No. 2, "An Act relating to issuance of a motor vehicle registration                                                             
plate to or parking permit for a person who is disabled."                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES, Alaska State Legislature, came                                                                  
forward to testify as sponsor of HB 2.  She read the following                                                                  
sponsor statement into the record:                                                                                              
     House Bill 2 makes one simple change to Title 28, "Vehicle                                                                 
     Registration and Title," allowing licensed nurse practitioners                                                             
     to provide proof of disability for veterans to receive                                                                     
     specially designed license plates.                                                                                         
     Currently, only licensed physicians are authorized to provide                                                              
     proof of disability.  Alaska has many medical facilities in                                                                
     both rural and urban settings where a nurse practitioner is                                                                
     the only licensed medical person available, and this bill                                                                  
     would allow much-needed flexibility.                                                                                       
Number 0215                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN questioned how an advanced nurse                                                                         
practitioner (ANP) would know that an individual was 70 percent                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES pointed out that many individuals have already                                                             
had that evaluation done somewhere else.  She explained that the                                                                
particular person who asked her to file this piece of legislation                                                               
is a nurse practitioner who works with veterans, and their                                                                      
disability has often already been established.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON asked if this bill would apply to other                                                                   
disabled individuals besides veterans.                                                                                          
Number 0418                                                                                                                     
MIKE FORD, Attorney, Legislative Legal and Research Services,                                                                   
Legislative Affairs Agency, was introduced by Representative James                                                              
to respond to Representative Hudson's question.  He indicated that                                                              
HB 2 would apply to all kinds of disabled persons, not just                                                                     
CHAIR MASEK sought clarification as to what percentage of people                                                                
who qualify would be impacted by this bill.                                                                                     
MR. FORD did not have the specific number of Alaskans who qualify                                                               
for disability plates or permits; however, he emphasized that this                                                              
legislation would apply to 100 percent of those who qualify.  He                                                                
added that this bill would greatly benefit individuals in areas                                                                 
without a resident physician.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON commented that although this bill does not                                                                
have a fiscal note, it would create a positive financial benefit                                                                
for Alaskans.                                                                                                                   
Number 0537                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN inquired as to how disability is defined,                                                                
and wondered if all that is needed is a written statement to that                                                               
MR. FORD confirmed that a written statement is needed, and he                                                                   
referred the committee to the standard in the statute located on                                                                
lines 7 and 8 which describes a "disability that limits or impairs                                                              
the ability to walk as defined in 23 C.F.R. 1235.2."  It would                                                                  
become the responsibility of the physician and/or nurse                                                                         
practitioner to determine if these criteria are met.                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON began a motion to move HB 2 out of committee;                                                             
however, upon hearing that someone was waiting on teleconference to                                                             
testify, he withdrew his motion.                                                                                                
Number 0865                                                                                                                     
EDWARD L. KNOEBEL testified via teleconference from Glenallen.  He                                                              
suggested that the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) might save                                                                  
money by using the current veteran's purple heart plate and simply                                                              
adding a sticker to it.                                                                                                         
MR. FORD believed that the DMV has considered that; however, under                                                              
this section, the category "disabled" can apply to a number of                                                                  
individuals besides veterans.  He deferred further clarification to                                                             
the DMV, but felt they like to keep those categories separate.  He                                                              
added that the "70 percent level" is only for those that do not                                                                 
otherwise qualify under federal law; an individual's level of                                                                   
disability does not necessarily have to rise to 70 percent.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON explained that Mr. Knoebel's recommendation                                                               
does not apply to HB 2, which is to allow advanced nurse                                                                        
practitioners to authorize disability, as this bill does not                                                                    
concern itself with costs involved with plates.                                                                                 
Number 1164                                                                                                                     
ANNE M. LILLEY, Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP), Department of                                                                
Veteran Affairs, testified in support of HB 2 via teleconference                                                                
from Fairbanks.  She read the following written testimony into the                                                              
     I would like to thank you for sponsoring a bill to allow nurse                                                             
     practitioners to fill out the required forms for handicap                                                                  
     parking permits issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.                                                                
     As you may know, in Fairbanks the Veteran's Administration                                                                 
     sponsors some physician care in the community, but the clinic                                                              
     here has no physician on staff and I serve as the primary care                                                             
     provider for many veterans in Fairbanks.  Many of the veterans                                                             
     are ineligible for care in the community unless they have a                                                                
     medical condition that requires physician follow-up.  As a                                                                 
     result, if they need a handicap parking permit, they need to                                                               
     pay for a new patient visit at a local physician's office                                                                  
     solely for the purpose of having the form filled out.                                                                      
     Many of our patients, especially those with disabilities, are                                                              
     on limited fixed incomes and this represents a significant                                                                 
     financial burden, as well as inappropriate use of health care                                                              
     resources.  Because these patients are well known to me, it                                                                
     takes very little time for me to fill out the form.                                                                        
     Many people in Alaska, especially in rural areas, identify                                                                 
     nurse practitioners and physician assistants as their sole                                                                 
     health care providers.  We need to be able to provide health                                                               
     care information in an official capacity to the DMV, the                                                                   
     Division of Public Health, and other state agencies when our                                                               
     patients request our assistance in obtaining services from                                                                 
     these agencies.                                                                                                            
Number 1256                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON made a motion to move HB 2 from the committee                                                             
with individual recommendations and the attached zero fiscal                                                                    
note(s).  He asked unanimous consent.  There being no objection, HB
2 moved from the House Transportation Standing Committee.                                                                       

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