Legislature(1997 - 1998)

02/10/1998 03:37 PM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Number 410                                                                     
      CSHB 137(L&C) - BOARD OF VETERINARY EXAMINERS; LICENSE                   
CHAIRMAN GREEN brought CSHB 137(L&C) before the committee as the               
final order of business.  She directed attention to a draft SCS                
CSHB 137(STA).                                                                 
SENATOR WARD moved the adoption of SCS CSHB 137(STA), version "B."             
Hearing no objection, the Chairman stated the committee substitute             
was adopted as a working document.                                             
ANNETTE KREITZER, staff to the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee,              
explained that SB 92, which is the companion piece of legislation              
on the Senate side to HB 137, moved out of the Senate Labor &                  
Commerce Committee last session into the Senate State Affairs                  
Committee and the House bill moved over to the Senate State Affairs            
Committee as well.  During the interim, the Board of Veterinarians             
looked at the proposed language and came up with something that                
would work for all of them.  The State Affairs SCS encompasses the             
debate of the board, veterinarians not on the board and the                    
Department of Commerce & Economic Development.                                 
Ms. Kreitzer, addressing the differences between the new committee             
substitute and the bill passed by the House, directed attention to             
Section 2, subsection (a)(2), which was amended to ensure that a               
licensee before applying for a license has within the preceding                
five years passed the national exams approved by the board.  She               
explained that this doesn't mean that they are limited to one exam.            
The board, in its consultation with national experts, has been told            
that there is a move nationwide to consolidate the two tests that              
are given now into one test in future, so they wanted to just deal             
with it prospectively now.  Generally, graduates of  veterinary                
schools will pass the national exams concurrent with graduation,               
but the board wanted that five-year requirement language on page 1,            
lines 13 and 14.                                                               
Ms. Kreitzer said the change on page 2, lines 6 - 8 of the State               
Affairs SCS is a significant change from the House version.  It                
adds the requirement that the applicant is in good standing, as                
defined by the board in regulation, instead of the previous                    
requirement of passing a practical examination of skills if                    
required by the board.  A proposed regulation will encompass all of            
the items that are being deleted, and the bill, through the                    
effective date, gives the board 18 months to accomplish this                   
regulation. She added that nothing will change until the effective             
Section 3 sets out the requirements that a person seeking a                    
temporary license must meet.  It provides that the temporary                   
licensee must have graduated from an accredited veterinary school              
or successfully completed the foreign veterinary graduate                      
certification process, must be in good standing as defined in                  
regulation, and must have paid all required fees.                              
Section 4 amends the portions of AS 08.98.184 that deal with                   
licensure by credentials for veterinarians who already are licensed            
in another state, territory, or country                                        
On page 3, lines 5 and 6, the State Affairs SCS removes the                    
requirement that licensed veterinarians entering Alaska practice               
must past what is called the clinical competency test.  Ms.                    
Kreitzer said this was done after much discussion with national                
experts and much discussion among board members.  They felt it                 
wasn't necessary for veterinarians who were coming to Alaska as                
long as they passed the written Alaska exam.                                   
On page 3, lines 8 through 12 language is removed that speaks to               
what is good standing and puts it into regulation.                             
Section 5 sets out the requirements that a person seeking a                    
temporary permit must meet three of the same requirements as a                 
temporary licensee.  The person must have graduated from an                    
accredited veterinary school, must be in good standing as defined              
in regulation, and must have paid all required fees.                           
Sections 7 and 8 allow the board to begin work immediately on the              
regulations.   Ms. Kreitzer said there was some concern that they              
wanted to have the direction and that they could have the ability              
on these regulations.                                                          
Concluding her overview, Ms. Kreitzer said Section 9 provides that             
all changes to the testing and licensing of veterinarians take                 
effect January 1, 2000.                                                        
Number 488                                                                     
MS. KREITZER, speaking to a proposed amendment to SCS CSHB
137(STA), explained that earlier in the day is was discovered that             
AS 08.98.140 speaks to the content of the examination and it spells            
out the National Board Examination Committee which they are trying             
to get rid of.  To leave it in would directly conflict with what is            
in the committee substitute and the agreement with the board, the              
veterinarians and the department.                                              
Number 498                                                                     
SENATOR MILLER moved the adoption of the following amendment to SCS            
CSHB 137(STA).  Hearing no objection, CHAIRMAN GREEN stated the                
amendment was adopted and would be incorporated into the SCS.                  
Amendment No. 1                                                                
Page 3, line 11:  Insert AS 08.98.140 is repealed                              
Number 510                                                                     
MS. KREITZER commented that she has followed this issue through                
with the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee and has been in contact             
with all the veterinarians, the Senate State Affairs staff, the                
Board of Veterinarians and the department to ensure that everyone              
has come to a consensus.  She said although she cannot say that                
every veterinarian in the state will be happy, she has not talked              
to one who has opposed the legislation.                                        
Number 520                                                                     
SENATOR WARD moved SCS CSHB 137(STA), as amended, and the                      
accompanying zero fiscal note be passed out of committee with                  
individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so                   
Number 528                                                                     
DR. JON BASLER, testifying via teleconference from Anchorage,                  
informed the committee that he is the immediate past president of              
the Alaska Veterinary Medical Association, and when he testified on            
HB 137 bill last year, there was concern among the veterinarians               
for it.  However, he said the changes that have been proposed by               
the Board of Veterinarians Examiners are within the parameters of              
what has been discussed at their meetings and all of the major                 
concerns have been addressed.  As a current member of the executive            
board of the Alaska Veterinary Medical Association, he said the                
association backs the bill as it is currently written.                         

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