Legislature(1997 - 1998)

03/05/1998 01:52 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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        HB 135 - DENTISTS: LICENSING & EXTEND EXAMINING BD                     
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN LEMAN called the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee                  
meeting to order at 1:52 p.m. and announced HB 135 to be up for                
consideration.                                                                 
                                                                               
MR. DAN PITTS, Soldotna Dentist, supported HB 135.                             
                                                                               
SENATOR KELLY moved to adopt the CS to HB 135.  There were no                  
objections and it was so ordered.                                              
                                                                               
MS. CATHERINE REARDON, Director, Division of Occupational                      
Licensing, said she works with the Dental Board and expressed                  
strong support for HB 135.  They provide the expertise needed to               
make strong licensing decisions.  She gave them credit for adopting            
credentialling regulations which achieve a lot of what the audit               
pointed out the need for, specifically they say that an applicant              
who took an exam that has six out of eight of the same items on the            
Alaskan exam requires is equivalent enough to be licensed.  That               
greatly lessened the problem they had where people were taking                 
exams in California without the endodontic section and were                    
ineligible in Alaska.  She also noted the fiscal note indicated                
that the Division spent $163,200 in FY  97 on the licensing and                
regulation of dentists and intends to continue with roughly that               
amount of expenditure.                                                         
                                                                               
DR. TIM WOLLER, President, Alaska Dental Society, said that they               
are generally supportive of HB 135.                                            
                                                                               
DR. ART HANSEN, said he had been in Fairbanks for 30 years and had             
also been on the Board.  He said that they do need a Board, but                
something has to be done to change the Administrative Procedures               
Act so the Board can act autonomously and not act under the                    
jurisdiction of OCC licensing. Also, under the Attorney General's              
direction, he has seen investigators for OCC licensing bring in                
their opinions and state them as fact.  When he was on the Board,              
they took those opinions and used them as the information they                 
needed to take action.                                                         
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN LEMAN responded that the title was too restrictive to deal            
with his concerns, too.                                                        
                                                                               
MR. HANSEN said the Board is working under the guise of a figure-              
head and he didn't think that was the way it should work.                      
                                                                               
SENATOR KELLY said that he is getting a little weary of these                  
Boards that come into the legislature asking to be given a monopoly            
to practice a trade in the State and keep competitors out and                  
complain when the legislature tries to protect the public's                    
interest in this whole matter.                                                 
                                                                               
SENATOR MACKIE moved SCSHB 135(L&C) from Committee with individual             
recommendations and a $0 fiscal note.  There were no objections and            
it was so ordered.                                                             

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