Legislature(2009 - 2010)BELTZ 211
04/14/2009 01:00 PM Senate LABOR & COMMERCE
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SB 12-LIMIT OVERTIME FOR REGISTERED NURSES 1:14:30 PM CHAIR PASKVAN announced SB 12 to be up for consideration. SENATOR THOMAS moved to adopt CSSB 12, labeled 26-LS0075\E, as the working document. There were no objections and it was so ordered. TOM OBERMEYER, staff to Senator Davis, sponsor of SB 12, explained that the CS makes two changes, both exceptions to the overtime provisions of the bill. The first is on page 3, line 19 - page 4, line 3, that addresses the exception of the 16-hour shifts at psychiatric residential treatment hospitals, psychiatric treatment centers and secure residential psychiatric treatment centers. This accommodates the modified Baylor Plan that was described at the North Star Behavioral facilities. The second exception is on page 5, line 31 - page 6, line 4, that is new and includes provisions not applicable to nurses employed in federal or tribal facilities. In doing this, the drafter also deleted the word "federal" on page 6, lines 8 and 16, in the definition of "health care facility" because the drafter felt it would be better to have a separate provision exempting this particular group rather than including it under the long- enumerated exceptions on page 2. SENATOR BUNDE asked why he felt the need to explicitly exclude federal facilities. He thought federal law trumped state law in any case. MR. OBERMEYER answered that last year this question was brought up by Native facilities, and he got opposing determinations. One determined that federal law preempts state law and the other side determined that since these facilities are licensed by the state that the provisions would apply to these facilities. Rather than get into an argument about it again this year, they decided to exempt them. Many of these facilities in the rural areas are already adequately run. 1:19:51 PM SENATOR BUNDE asked if it wasn't because those nurses had different work schedules and had the nurses do less overtime. MR. OBERMEYER replied no. SENATOR MEYER asked him to explain the amendment pertaining to the Baylor Plan. Mr. OBERMEYER went to page 3, line 19, that states that a nurse who is employed at a psychiatric treatment hospital that treats only adolescents and children, at residential psychiatric treatment center under AS 18.07. and AS 47.12 and in a secure residential psychiatric treatment center, if they voluntarily work a 16-hour shift for the period between 5 on Friday and 8 on Monday that immediately follows and receives pay and benefits for that work or equal or greater than the pay or benefits that nurse would receive for working 20 hours in the same position and during that period does not work a 16-hour shift consecutive with another shift of 8 hours or more without an intervening break of 8 hours. This was originally a 12-hour weekend plan by Baylor University and was changed to 16-hour shifts. These seem like extremely long hours, but these facilities don't necessarily require the acute care that would occur in many other facilities that require surgery and that kind of thing. 1:21:54 PM He said the Nurses Association supported this provision. SENATOR MEYER asked why the exemption is limited to psychiatric institutions. His concern is that this would prohibit other non- psychiatric facilities like Providence from being able to have a Baylor Plan. MR. OBERMEYER replied that he didn't think this would prohibit them from having a Baylor Plan; they already work three 12- shifts that are not considered overtime as a 40-hour work week. He said this exemption was designed for the North Star facilities in Anchorage. SENATOR MEYER said he still thinks it would keep any other non- psychiatric hospitals from going to a 16-hour work day if they so desire. SENATOR DAVIS said this provision was in the bill before and was accepted by all concerned including Providence. 1:25:43 PM SENATOR THOMAS moved to report CSSB 12, version E, from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s). There were no objections and CSSB 12(L&C) moved from committee.