Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/10/1995 01:04 PM House JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                              
                       February 10, 1995                                       
                           1:04 p.m.                                           
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
 Representative Brian Porter, Chairman                                         
 Representative Joe Green, Vice Chairman                                       
 Representative Con Bunde                                                      
 Representative Bettye Davis                                                   
 Representative Al Vezey                                                       
 Representative Cynthia Toohey                                                 
 Representative David Finkelstein                                              
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
 HB 39:"An Act relating to the authority of mobile intensive                  
 care paramedics, physician assistants, and emergency                          
 medical technicians to pronounce death under certain                          
 PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                     
 HB 4:"An Act relating to absences from the state for purposes                
 of determining residency under the permanent fund                             
 dividend program; and providing for an effective date."                       
 PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                     
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
 REPRESENTATIVE GENE THERRIAULT                                                
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 421                                                       
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-4797                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of CSHB 39                                       
 ANNE CARPENETI, Aide                                                          
 House Judiciary Committee                                                     
 State Capitol, Room 120                                                       
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-4990                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information on CSHB 39                          
 MARK JOHNSON, Chief                                                           
 Emergency Medical Services                                                    
 Department of Health and Social Services                                      
 P.O. Box 110616                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99811-0616                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-3027                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 39                               
 ROD MOURANT, Legislative Aide                                                 
 Representative Pete Kott                                                      
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 432                                                       
 Juneau, AK 99811-1182                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-3777                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented the sponsor statement for CSHB 4               
 JUDY ERICKSON                                                                 
 4465 Mountainside Drive                                                       
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
 Telephone:  (907)  780-4995                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of CSHB 4                             
 THOMAS C. WILLIAMS, Director                                                  
 Permanent Fund Dividend Division                                              
 Department of Revenue                                                         
 P.O. Box 110460                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99811-0460                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-2323                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of CSHB 4                             
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
 BILL:  HB  39                                                                
 SHORT TITLE: AUTHORITY TO PRONOUNCE DEATH                                     
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) THERRIAULT,B.Davis,Bunde,G.Davis                
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 01/06/95        30    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/16/95        30    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/16/95        31    (H)   HES, JUD                                          
 01/19/95        90    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): BUNDE                               
 01/26/95              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 01/26/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 01/27/95       154    (H)   HES RPT CS (HES) 7DP                              
 01/27/95       154    (H)   DP: ROKEBERG, G.DAVIS, BUNDE, TOOHEY              
 01/27/95       154    (H)   DP: VEZEY, ROBINSON, BRICE                        
 01/27/95       155    (H)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DHSS) 1/27/95                   
 01/27/95       161    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): G.DAVIS                             
 02/10/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 BILL:  HB   4                                                                
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KOTT                                            
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 01/06/95        21    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/16/95        21    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/16/95        21    (H)   STA, JUD, FIN                                     
 01/24/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 01/24/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 01/31/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/01/95       190    (H)   STA RPT   6DP  1NR                                
 02/01/95       190    (H)   DP: JAMES, PORTER, IVAN, ROBINSON                 
 02/01/95       190    (H)   DP: WILLIS, OGAN                                  
 02/01/95       190    (H)   NR: GREEN                                         
 02/01/95       190    (H)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (REV) 2/1/95                     
 02/10/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 95-10, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 The House Judiciary Standing Committee was called to order at 1:04            
 p.m. on Friday, February 10, 1995.  A quorum was present.  CHAIRMAN           
 BRIAN PORTER stated the following bills would be heard:  CSHB 39,             
 and CSHB 4.  He called Representative Therriault to come forward              
 and introduce the committee substitute for HB 39(HES).                        
 HJUD - 2/10/95                                                                
 HB 39 - AUTHORITY TO PRONOUNCE DEATH                                        
 Number 020                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE GENE THERRIAULT, bill sponsor, introduced CSHB 39.             
 He said the intent was in certain circumstances, to grant the power           
 to those who do not normally have that authority, to declare                  
 someone deceased.  In rural Alaska there are many instances where             
 there is no doctor, so an emergency medical technician (EMT) or               
 medical assistant has responded to an accident.  Once they start              
 cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), they have a legal obligation             
 to continue until somebody relieves them of that duty by either               
 taking over for them, taking the patient to the emergency room, or            
 by declaring death.  He worked closely with Emergency Medical                 
 Services (EMS) providers to craft language that is fairly tight, so           
 this power is only extended to EMTs and physician assistants in               
 certain circumstances.  Another consideration here in Alaska is               
 that there are bodies of water so cold that you have hypothermia              
 conditions, or cold water drowning.  Special care needs to be taken           
 in those instances.  Two proposed amendments were included in the             
 committee packets, which Representative Therriault supported.                 
 REPRESENTATIVE CYNTHIA TOOHEY made a motion to adopt the committee            
 substitute, version F for HB 39.                                              
 Number 095                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVID FINKELSTEIN wanted to know the difference                
 between the committee substitute and the original bill.                       
 ANNE CARPENETI, House Judiciary Committee Council, said the only              
 change she found was on page 3, line 13.  This version of the                 
 committee substitute removes the material that was in the original            
 bill, "by emergency medical technician."                                      
 Number 110                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT explained why that was done.  What he               
 wanted the committee to consider, also removes the same language              
 from section (b) on page 3, lines 15 - 21.  He said we are allowing           
 individuals to make a declaration of death, if they have properly             
 administered resuscitation efforts according to these two                     
 requirements.  That power would be extended to EMTs and to                    
 physician assistants.  The bill started out only providing this               
 authority to EMTs.  Now it includes physician assistants, along               
 with other people already allowed by law.  The intent of this                 
 language is to make the law consistent.  Amendment F.2 makes it               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY moved that F.2 dated 2/10/95, be adopted as             
 Amendment Number 1.  This amendment would delete "by an emergency             
 medical technician" on page 3, lines 16 - 17.  Hearing no                     
 objection, it was so ordered.                                                 
 Number 190                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY moved that F.1 be adopted as Amendment Number           
 2.  This amendment would delete "cardiac arrest accompanied by"               
 from two places:  Page 2, line 31, after "means"; and page 3, line            
 2.  There was discussion on the amendment.                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT explained there had been concern                    
 expressed by the Medical Association about the language on page 3,            
 where it talks about acceptable medical standards.  They were                 
 concerned over the presence of rigor mortis being enough, by itself           
 to determine the state of death.  The EMS providers say they would            
 never just look at the postmortem lividity, discoloration; but they           
 would also check for a pulse, so cardiac arrest would also be                 
 present.  Section (a) says that cardiac arrest is part of its                 
 determining factor.  We are trying to make cardiac arrest part of             
 (a), (b), (c), and (d).  So cardiac arrest and lividity would be              
 factors in determining death.  The EMS providers felt comfortable             
 with that.  He added that since the bill passed the Health,                   
 Education and Social Services (HESS) Committee, the Interior Fire             
 Chiefs Association informed Representative Therriault they support            
 this bill.                                                                    
 Number 290                                                                    
 MARK JOHNSON, Chief, Emergency Medical Services Section, Department           
 of Health and Social Services, testified in support of the bill.              
 He said as Representative Therriault explained, sometimes our EMS             
 providers around the state, especially in rural areas, are expected           
 to continue resuscitative efforts long past the time when there is            
 no hope whatsoever of resuscitating the patient.  The attempt here            
 is to give those workers a standard that will allow them to stop              
 efforts when the patient is dead.  There is no case where somebody            
 met only one of the criteria in this bill and actually lived, so              
 this is a very tight standard we would be applying.  The president            
 of the Alaska State Medical Society expressed concern that the                
 presence of postmortem lividity was not sufficient criteria by                
 itself.  After a conference with Dr. Peter Nakamura, Director of              
 Public Health for Alaska and Dr. Michael Probst, Medical Examiner             
 for Alaska, Mr. Johnson concluded that the safe language would be             
 to say that the patient needed to have cardiac arrest accompanied             
 by (a), or (b), or (c), or (d).  This would satisfy the criteria.             
 He felt a situation in which a patient could have lividity and not            
 be dead, was rare.  The Department of Health and Social Services              
 felt comfortable with the language in this bill, after those                  
 concerns were addressed.                                                      
 Number 335                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN asked if there was any potential for                 
 someone coming back against the state for deficient training in the           
 situation where someone, other than a doctor makes this judgement             
 MR. JOHNSON did not believe they could because they would have to             
 show that there was a chance the patient would have survived.  He             
 felt the state training standards were up to national standards.              
 Number 365                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY said, having been an EMT for 15 years on the            
 highway, they are very thoroughly trained in knowing death, seeing            
 death, and trying to prevent deaths.  You will not find a better,             
 more aggressive group of people to prevent it, when possible.  She            
 believed the language covered what was necessary, very well.                  
 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if there was any other discussion on                    
 Amendment Number 2, or objection.  Seeing none, the amendment was             
 Number 420                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY made a motion to move the bill, with                    
 individual recommendations and fiscal notes.  Hearing no objection,           
 it was so ordered.                                                            
 HJUD - 2/10/95                                                                
 Number 440                                                                    
 ROD MOURANT, Legislative Aide to Representative Pete Kott,                    
 presented the sponsor statement for CSHB 4(STA).  It reads as                 
 "This legislation would remedy a problem as a result of a                    
 recent court ruling.  That ruling declared spouses of a                       
 Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) recipient from being considered                 
 eligible to receive a dividend if they were accompanying an                   
 eligible spouse out of state on an allowable absence.                         
 "This legislation would allow individuals who accompany an                   
 eligible spouse out of state on an allowable absence to retain                
 their eligibility for a PFD if that was the only reason that                  
 they would have been disallowed.                                              
 "This correction applies retroactively to January 1, 1994, the               
 first time the Permanent Fund Dividend Division disallowed                    
 dividends for that reason.  It makes provision for those                      
 individuals to receive the previously denied dividend.                        
 "I encourage you to support this legislation."                               
 Number 530                                                                    
 JUDY ERICKSON, Juneau resident, described her ex-husband's                    
 experience with his permanent fund dividend.  He was denied his               
 dividend because of an unexpected absence outside of Alaska, due to           
 a medical emergency.  He has lived in Juneau for years, and                   
 maintains a home here.  He can only get his experimental treatment            
 for advanced kidney cancer in Seattle.  Because they have two                 
 children, it is very important for him to go through any kind of              
 treatment he can, to prolong his life.  His wife has been denied              
 her PFD also because her staying in Seattle with him was not an               
 allowable absence.  He is on pain medication 24 hours a day, should           
 not drive, needs constant care, and he needs her there to help.  He           
 already has tremendous medical expenses and it does not seem right            
 to withhold her dividend because of this.                                     
 Number 555                                                                    
 THOMAS WILLIAMS, Director, Permanent Fund Dividend Division,                  
 Department of Revenue, introduced Nancy Jones, who will be the new            
 director starting next Thursday.  He said the department strongly             
 supports the reinstatement of the "piggyback" allowable absence,              
 which had been available in the past, up until the inadvertent                
 conflict between statute and regulation;  which caused the                    
 regulation to fall, as ruled by the court a little over a year ago.           
 He said they have taken steps to append applications so they can be           
 easily identified, should corrective legislation be enacted.  Then            
 they can go ahead and pay folks who would have received their                 
 dividends had it not been for this regulation conflict.                       
 Number 650                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked Mr. Williams if it would be                  
 practical and manageable for the Permanent Fund Dividend Division             
 to hold people's dividends, and then gave them to the people when             
 they returned to the state.                                                   
 MR. WILLIAMS answered there was a mechanism by which that could               
 work.  We could administer a system that would hold the dividends             
 of anyone who was absent for 180 consecutive days during the                  
 qualifying year, until they returned and lived in the state for 90            
 days, basically qualifying for dividends during that time.                    
 Number 700                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY moved to adopt draft F of the committee                  
 substitute.  Hearing no objection, CSHB 4, version F was adopted.             
 Number 780                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE said he would like to see some future                
 exploration on the possibility of holding juveniles' dividend                 
 checks until they turn 18.                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY made a motion to pass the bill from committee           
 with individual recommendations and the zero fiscal note.  Seeing             
 no objection, it was so ordered.                                              
 There being no further business to come before the House Judiciary            
 Committee, Chairman Porter adjourned the meeting at 2:00 p.m.                 

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