Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHB 85(JUD) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
            HB 85-PRESCRIBED MEDICATION FOR STUDENTS                                                                        
CHAIR DYSON announced HB 85 to be up for consideration.                                                                         
1:32:33 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KEVIN MEYER, sponsor, introduced HB 85 by saying:                                                                
     It  is estimated  that there  are  6.3 million  children                                                                   
     who  have asthma  in  the  United States.  Young  people                                                                   
     with asthma  miss over  14 million  days of school  each                                                                   
     year  because  of the  disease.  In  fact, in  a  recent                                                                   
     survey done  by the school  nurses, they indicated  that                                                                   
     asthma is  more disruptive  to school routines  than any                                                                   
     other  chronic condition.  But being  disruptive is  the                                                                   
     least  of our  concerns. Asthma  and allergic  reactions                                                                   
     can  be  fatal.  Several  children   have  died  in  our                                                                   
     schools  from  asthma  attacks   that  could  have  been                                                                   
     prevented if they had their self-medication with them.                                                                     
He showed the committee an example of an inhaler that is very                                                                   
easy to use in treating asthmatic attacks and continued:                                                                        
     Juries  have   held  schools  liable  for   millions  of                                                                   
     dollars  surrounding  some  of these  deaths  that  have                                                                   
     occurred  at schools  that  could have  been  prevented.                                                                   
     So,  to  address  this  problem,   Congress  passed  the                                                                   
     Asthmatic   School  Children's   Treatment  and   Health                                                                   
     Management  Act of 2004. The  federal law requires  that                                                                   
     the  secretary   of  HES   [United  States  Health   and                                                                   
     Education  Senate  Committee]  to give  preference  when                                                                   
     awarding grants  to various  states to those  states who                                                                   
     allow  their students to  have self-administered  asthma                                                                   
     House  Bill 85 brings  Alaska into  compliance with  the                                                                   
     provisions  of  the  federal   law  and  gives  schools,                                                                   
     parents,  and  most  importantly   children,  protection                                                                   
     from   potentially  life   threatening  conditions   and                                                                   
     consequences that can from these.                                                                                          
     HB  85 protects  schools, parents  and  children in  two                                                                   
     different   ways.  The   first   provision  allows   the                                                                   
     children,  with   the  parent,  guardian,   health  care                                                                   
     provider's     certification,     to     self-administer                                                                   
     medication  for asthma.  And so,  in order  for this  to                                                                   
     happen, a school  must allow self administration  of the                                                                   
     asthma   treatment    if   they   receive    a   written                                                                   
     authorization from  the parent or legal guardian  and if                                                                   
     the written  certification from the student  health care                                                                   
     provider  shows that  the student has  the condition  in                                                                   
     question,  has received  proper  instruction  on how  to                                                                   
     use  the  medication   and  is  capable  of   using  the                                                                   
     medication.  HB  85 puts  the  decision to  allow  self-                                                                   
     administration  of   the  medication  squarely   on  the                                                                   
     shoulders   of  the   parents   and   the  health   care                                                                   
     The second part  of this bill, then, is  it just removes                                                                   
     the  school  of  any  civil  liability  related  to  the                                                                   
     medication.  While  HB  85   helps  Alaska  qualify  for                                                                   
     federal  grants, the  real purpose behind  this bill  is                                                                   
     giving  parents,  doctors  and schools  the  ability  to                                                                   
     ensure  that our children  are safe  and hopefully  save                                                                   
     some lives....                                                                                                             
1:36:33 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR LYDA GREEN and SENATOR GARY WILKEN joined the committee.                                                                
SENATOR DONNY OLSON asked the bill applies to public schools and                                                                
private schools equally.                                                                                                        
MIKE PAWLOWSKI, staff for Representative Meyer, responded that                                                                  
Legislative Legal Services told him there was essentially no                                                                    
difference between  the way the law applies to  public and private                                                              
SENATOR  OLSON asked  if  private schools  had  testified on  this                                                              
MR.  PAWLOWSKI replied  that he  had  not heard  from any  private                                                              
SENATOR OLSON  asked whether other  medications would  be required                                                              
to  be on-site  for asthmatic  students  that go  into the  severe                                                              
form  of static  asthmaticus, which  is  the most  severe form  of                                                              
asthma  that cannot  be broken  by  inhalers and  is treated  with                                                              
MR. PAWLOWSKI replied  that epinephrine is allowed  under the bill                                                              
as well as inhalers.                                                                                                            
CHAIR DYSON said:                                                                                                               
     I  want  the  record to  clearly  reflect  that  Senator                                                                   
     Olson  asked   whether  or  not  private   schools  were                                                                   
     included under  what this bill does and  the affirmative                                                                   
     answer  was  private  schools  have the  same  right  or                                                                   
     provision   here  to  apply   this  same,  in   essence,                                                                   
     privilege, for  asthmatic children and the  sponsor says                                                                   
     that's right.                                                                                                              
1:39:17 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  ELTON  said  the  legal analysis  attached  to  the  bill                                                              
clearly  says  that  Section  1  requires  public  elementary  and                                                              
secondary schools  to allow  the provision.  He thought  the issue                                                              
needed to be addressed.                                                                                                         
CHAIR DYSON asked  Representative Meyer to get a  legal opinion on                                                              
that  question  before  the  bill goes  to  the  Senate  Judiciary                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE MEYER replied that he would do so.                                                                               
SENATOR OLSON  asked whether  school districts currently  prohibit                                                              
inhalers from being used on their premises.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  MEYER  replied  that  many schools  ask  that  all                                                              
medications be given to the school nurse.                                                                                       
SENATOR  OLSON asked  whether the  bill allows  students to  carry                                                              
and administer other medications for other medical conditions.                                                                  
1:43:03 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MEYER  replied that HB  85 applies to  allergy type                                                              
conditions such  as asthma, bee  stings, and anything that  can be                                                              
controlled  with  an  inhaler  or   an  epinephrine  pen.  He  has                                                              
considered  conditions  such as  diabetes,  but  that  is a  whole                                                              
different  area   and  the  physicians  testifying   on  the  bill                                                              
recommended that other conditions not be included.                                                                              
1:44:15 PM                                                                                                                    
MARGE  LARSON,  Alaska  Asthma Coalition,  supported  HB  85.  She                                                              
remarked  that   schools  have  a  great  liability   without  its                                                              
provisions  in place.  She  commented that  inhalers  are a  life-                                                              
saving, critical part of asthma management.                                                                                     
1:46:50 PM                                                                                                                    
PHIL  CALLUZZO,  Anchorage resident,  said  that  he suffers  from                                                              
asthma and supported HB 85.                                                                                                     
CHAIR  DYSON explained  that HB  85 would give  all schools,  both                                                              
private and  public, the  option of  doing this,  but it  does not                                                              
compel private schools, in particular, to do so.                                                                                
SENATOR  GREEN asked  if the  state  could tell  a private  school                                                              
what  to do  in this  case  and if  the  legislation benefits  the                                                              
school or the student.                                                                                                          
CHAIR  DYSON replied  that HB  85  gives both  public and  private                                                              
schools  the option  of doing this  and it  protects them  against                                                              
liability if  they do so if  they follow the  prescribed protocol.                                                              
But it is essentially for the good of the student.                                                                              
SENATOR  WILKEN  moved to  report  HB  85  out of  committee  with                                                              
individual recommendations  and attached  fiscal note.  There were                                                              
no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                            

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