Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/29/2004 09:05 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."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Wilken stated  that  this bill  would establish  a  single                                                            
licensing standard for  birthing centers in the State. He noted that                                                            
of the six  birthing centers in the  State, five are registered  and                                                            
one is licensed.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MYRA PUGH, Staff  to Senator Bettye Davis, the sponsor  of the bill,                                                            
stated  that the owners  of the  six birthing  centers in the  State                                                            
support the implementation  of a single State licensing standard for                                                            
birthing centers  as it would result in a single set  of regulations                                                            
and  annual  facility  inspections  are  in place.  She  noted  that                                                            
through  a collaborative  effort, birth center  owners reworked  the                                                            
State's existing  licensed birth center  regulations that  have been                                                            
in place  since  1983 and  submitted  their recommendations  to  the                                                            
rewriting  regulation  process.  Midwifes  of  Alaska  support  this                                                            
legislation and urge the Committee to do likewise.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
RICHARD  BENAVIDES,  Staff to  Senator  Bettye Davis,  referred  the                                                            
Committee to the  letter [copy on file] to Legislators,  dated March                                                            
12,  2004, from  Kay  Kanne, Director  of  the Juneau  Family  Birth                                                            
Center.   It  explains   the  legislative   history  pertaining   to                                                            
registered and licensed birth centers in the State.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DANA BROWN,  Certified  Direct Entry  Midwife  and Director,  Alaska                                                            
Family Health  & Birth Clinic, testified via teleconference  from an                                                            
offnet  site  in Fairbanks  in  support  of the  bill,  as it  would                                                            
establish a single standard  and licensing process for birth centers                                                            
in the State.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SHELBY LARSEN,  Administrator, Certification  & Licensing,  Division                                                            
of  Public  Health,  Department  of  Health   and Social   Services,                                                            
testified  via teleconference  from  Anchorage and  stated that  the                                                            
Department  supports the  bill as  the consensus  is that  licensing                                                            
standards for this industry should be established.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Green  moved  to  report  the  bill  from  Committee  with                                                            
individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
There being  no objection, SB 349  was REPORTED from Committee  with                                                            
$19,400  fiscal   note  #1,  dated  February  24,   2004,  from  the                                                            
Department of Health and Social Services.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                

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