Legislature(2005 - 2006)

05/05/2005 04:55 PM Senate FIN

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
     CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 211(FIN)                                                                                             
     "An Act extending the termination date of the Board of Dental                                                              
     Examiners; and relating to dentists and dental hygienists."                                                                
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
HEATH  HILLIARD,  Staff to  Representative  Mike Kelly,  the  bill's                                                            
sponsor, explained that,  while this bill would "essentially" extend                                                            
the Board  of Dental  Examiners, it  would impose  a few changes  to                                                            
existing  Statutes   to  make  them   "more  relevant  to   existing                                                            
situations".  All involved  entities,  including  the Alaska  Dental                                                            
Society (ADS), the Alaska  State Dental Hygiene Association (ASDHA),                                                            
and the Division of Occupational  Licensing, Department of Commerce,                                                            
Community  and Economic  Development,  have agreed  to the  proposed                                                            
changes. The changes would  include the implementation of continuing                                                            
education   requirements  for  Dental   Hygienists,  modifying   the                                                            
inspection  period for  radiological  equipment  used in  dentistry,                                                            
clarifying  licensing  qualifications   regarding  impairments  that                                                            
might  impair an  applicant's  ability  to practice  dentistry,  and                                                            
clarifying  the statutes for specialty  licensure by requiring  that                                                            
the  applicant  meet certain  qualifications   for dentists  in  the                                                            
State. The  extension of the Board,  as well as some of the  changes                                                            
included  in  the  bill,  were  supported   in  the  findings  of  a                                                            
Legislative  Audit  report  for Audit  Control  Number 08-20031-04,                                                             
[copy on file] conducted in August 2004.                                                                                        
Co-Chair  Green  noted  that  the  Committee  had  recently  adopted                                                            
legislation  regarding  foreign  trained  medical doctors.  To  that                                                            
point, she asked whether that bill would affect dentists.                                                                       
Mr. Hilliard voiced  being unsure of the impact of  that legislation                                                            
on  the dental  profession.  However,  he noted  that  there such  a                                                            
concern in regards to the status of one dental practitioner.                                                                    
Co-Chair  Green voiced that  the impact of  that bill on the  dental                                                            
field should  be established,  as this could  be the opportunity  to                                                            
address  issues  that  might  be occurring  in  regards  to  foreign                                                            
trained dentists.                                                                                                               
6:04:50 PM                                                                                                                    
JIM TOWLE, Executive Director,  Alaska Dental Society, testified via                                                            
teleconference from an  offnet site and voiced being unfamiliar with                                                            
the  bill  pertaining   to  foreign  trained  medical   doctors.  He                                                            
understood  that currently a dentist  could not get licensed  in the                                                            
State  of Alaska  unless they  had graduated  from  a dental  school                                                            
accredited  by the Commission  of Dental  Accreditation, which  is a                                                            
quasi-governmental   operation  supported  by  the  American  Dental                                                            
In response  to a  question from  Co-Chair Green,  Mr. Towle  stated                                                            
that in order to be licensed  in the State of Alaska, a dentist must                                                            
be a  graduate of a  school in  either the United  States or  Canada                                                            
that is  accredited  by the Commission.  Therefore  a graduate  of a                                                            
foreign  dental  school would  be  ineligible to  be  licensed as  a                                                            
dentist in  Alaska unless they had  attended and graduated  from one                                                            
of the accredited schools.                                                                                                      
Co-Chair Green asked whether  Mr. Towle was aware of the legislation                                                            
that had recently been  passed regarding medical doctor licensure in                                                            
the State.                                                                                                                      
Mr. Towle communicated that he was unaware of that legislation.                                                                 
Co-Chair Green  stated therefore, that the question  is whether that                                                            
legislation would affect  the licensure of foreign trained dentists.                                                            
Senator  Olson  conveyed   that  that  bill  pertained   to  medical                                                            
Co-Chair  Green  asked  whether that  terminology  might  include  a                                                            
Doctor of Dentistry (DDS).                                                                                                      
Mr. Towle  responded  that some  dentists  "are duel  degreed"  as a                                                            
Senator  Olson,  who was  a medical  doctor,  affirmed  that only  a                                                            
DDS/MD  would be  affected  by the  legislation on  foreign  trained                                                            
medical doctors.                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green acknowledged.  She noted that were this an issue with                                                            
dentists, it could be addressed separately.                                                                                     
Co-Chair  Wilken  moved  to  report the  bill  from  Committee  with                                                            
individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                       
There  being  no  objections,  CS  HB  211(FIN)  was  REPORTED  from                                                            
Committee  with  fiscal  note   #1 dated   March  29,2005  from  the                                                            
Department  of Commerce,  Community and  Economic Development.  This                                                            
note depicts an expense of $124,100 in fiscal year FY 07.                                                                       

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