Legislature(2017 - 2018)SENATE FINANCE 532

05/10/2017 09:00 AM Senate FINANCE

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Moved CSHB 103(FIN) Out of Committee
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
<Pending Referral> <Bill Hearing Canceled>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                 SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       May 10, 2017                                                                                             
                         9:27 a.m.                                                                                              
9:27:12 AM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  called  the  Senate  Finance  Committee                                                                    
meeting to order at 9:27 a.m.                                                                                                   
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Lyman Hoffman, Co-Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Anna MacKinnon, Co-Chair                                                                                                
Senator Click Bishop, Vice-Chair                                                                                                
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Senator Natasha von Imhof                                                                                                       
Senator Shelley Hughes                                                                                                          
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Representative  Matt Claman,  Sponsor;  Sara Perman,  Staff,                                                                    
Representative  Matt Claman;  Representative Ivy  Spohnholz,                                                                    
Sponsor;   Bernice   Nisbett,  Staff,   Representative   Ivy                                                                    
Spohnholz; Griff  Steiner, Ophthalmologist,  Anchorage; Jill                                                                    
Geering Matheson,  Optometry, Juneau; Paul Barney,  Board of                                                                    
Optometry, Juneau; Senator Cathy Giessel;                                                                                       
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Ed  Lopez,   General  Manager,  Regal  Nail   Salon  &  Spa,                                                                    
Anchoage;  Philip Brower,  Self, North  Slope; Johna  Beech,                                                                    
Self,  Kenai;  Yen  Nguyen, Self,  Anchorage;  Lisa  Moreno,                                                                    
Self,  Anchorage;  Deborah   Lee  Harper,  Self,  Anchorage;                                                                    
Rosalyn  Wyche,  Hairdresser,   Anchorage;  Kevin  McKinley,                                                                    
Chair,  Board of  Barbers &  Hairdressers, Anchorage;  David                                                                    
Zumbro,  Ophthalmologist, Anchorage;  Jeff Gonnason,  Chair,                                                                    
Alaska  Optometry  Association,   Anchorage;  Andrew  Peter,                                                                    
Self,   Homer;  Carl   Rosen,  Ophthalmologist,   Anchorage;                                                                    
Rebekah  Sawers,   Self,  Hoonah;  Lucretia   Dennis,  Self,                                                                    
Anchorage; David  Karpik, Self, Kenai; David  Katzeek, Self,                                                                    
Juneau; Stanley Fuller MD, Self, Fairbanks; Mary Nanuwak,                                                                       
Self, Bethel;                                                                                                                   
HB 103    OPTOMETRY & OPTOMETRISTS                                                                                              
          CSHB 103(FIN) was REPORTED out of committee with                                                                      
          "no recommendation" and with one previously                                                                           
          published fiscal impact note: FN2(CED).                                                                               
HB 222    LICENSURE OF MANICURISTS/NAIL TECHS                                                                                   
          HB 222 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 222(L&C) am                                                                                             
     "An Act relating to the  licensure of nail technicians;                                                                    
     relating to  the practice of manicuring;  and providing                                                                    
     for an effective date."                                                                                                    
9:27:58 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon introduced HB 222.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE MATT CLAMAN, SPONSOR, offered a sponsor                                                                          
statement for the bill (copy on file):                                                                                          
     The  amended House  Labor &  Commerce version  of House                                                                    
     Bill  222  reverses  legislation  passed  by  the  2015                                                                    
     Alaska  State Legislature  that  updated the  licensing                                                                    
     requirements  for  Alaskan  manicurists.  The  enrolled                                                                    
     House  Bill 131,  which  became  effective on  December                                                                    
     31st,  2015  increased  the  training  requirements  to                                                                    
     become a licensed nail technician  from 12 theory hours                                                                    
     with no  examination to 250 practical  and theory hours                                                                    
     with a  state board  examination. Prior to  the passage                                                                    
     of  HB   131,  manicurists  could  take   12  hours  of                                                                    
     coursework and receive a  manicurist's license, or they                                                                    
     could   take  250   hours   and   become  an   advanced                                                                    
     manicurist.  The 2015  legislation  eliminated the  12-                                                                    
     hour  license and  instead  required  all licensees  to                                                                    
     take  250  classroom  hours.  The  updated  legislation                                                                    
     negatively   impacted   practicing   nail   technicians                                                                    
     seeking license  renewal who were now  required to take                                                                    
     250  hours off  work to  take redundant  coursework. It                                                                    
     also required all  manicurists, including those seeking                                                                    
     license  renewal,  to  take  an  exam  which  was  only                                                                    
     offered in  four languages, creating  equal opportunity                                                                    
     issues for  individuals who may have  difficulties with                                                                    
     language barriers.                                                                                                         
     House Bill 222 in its  original form sought to extend a                                                                    
     grandfather  clause  allowing  individuals who  held  a                                                                    
     manicurists' license  prior to December 2015  to forego                                                                    
     the 250 hours of  instruction in manicuring required of                                                                    
     new applicants.  They would still be  required to prove                                                                    
     250 hours of prior work  experience as a manicurist and                                                                    
     take an examination. The  original version also allowed                                                                    
     test  takers  to  use  foreign  language  interpreters.                                                                    
     However,  the House  Finance Committee  expressed their                                                                    
     concern  with the  arbitrary 250  hours required.  They                                                                    
     thought  this  was   restrictive  and  unnecessary  for                                                                    
     manicurists. The  bill was then  amended to  remove the                                                                    
     requirements  of 250  hours of  coursework and  an exam                                                                    
     and  reverse  the statutes  to  their  prior form.  The                                                                    
     amended version will once again  allow for two types of                                                                    
     licenses; the general  manicurists license requiring 12                                                                    
     hours of training, and  the advanced manicurist license                                                                    
     requiring 250 hours.                                                                                                       
     It  is  the  intention  of  HB 222  is  to  remove  the                                                                    
     unnecessary  burden of  redundant educational  training                                                                    
     hours for  experienced manicurists who  practiced prior                                                                    
     to December 31st, 2015 and  extend equal opportunity to                                                                    
     individuals  who  may  have  difficulty  with  language                                                                    
Representative Claman shared that  832 of the 944 practicing                                                                    
manicurists in  the state  could lose  their jobs  by August                                                                    
31,  2017  if they  could  not  pass  the written  test.  He                                                                    
lamented  that the  unintended job  losses would  negatively                                                                    
affect Alaskan families.                                                                                                        
9:31:35 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Claman  relayed that  there had  been concern                                                                    
as to  whether human trafficking  related in any way  to the                                                                    
licenses. He shared that it  had been discovered that in the                                                                    
last month someone had come  to the Department of Community,                                                                    
Commerce, and Economic Development  with 50 applications for                                                                    
the 12-hour license, and that  nearly all the applicants had                                                                    
not  physically  been  in  the   state;  the  licenses  were                                                                    
apparently  being  used  in relation  to  human  trafficking                                                                    
efforts  in  other states.  He  said  human trafficking  had                                                                    
never not  been discussed during  the vetting of HB  131. He                                                                    
asserted  that there  was not  much  that could  be done  in                                                                    
Alaska  to  prevent  human   trafficking  in  other  states,                                                                    
particularly at  the expense of  Alaskan jobs. He  felt that                                                                    
the focus  should be  on the job  interests of  Alaskans. He                                                                    
noted  that  the issue  of  hairdressers  with a  manicurist                                                                    
endorsement would be addressed  with an amendment that would                                                                    
assure  that hairdressers  that  were also  doing nail  work                                                                    
would have the manicurist endorsement.                                                                                          
9:33:49 AM                                                                                                                    
SARA PERMAN,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE MATT  CLAMAN, reiterated                                                                    
statements  from the  sponsor  regarding the  intent of  the                                                                    
legislation. She addressed the sectional analysis:                                                                              
     Section 1  - Amends  AS 08.13.040 [Meetings  and Exams]                                                                  
     The  Board may  not require  an exam  for an  applicant                                                                    
     seeking licensure  as a manicurist. However,  the Board                                                                    
     may require  an exam for a  licensed manicurist wishing                                                                    
     to  seek  an  additional optional  advanced  manicurist                                                                    
     Section 2  - Amends AS 08.13.080(a)  [Qualifications of                                                                  
     Applicants] Removes language  that all persons applying                                                                    
     to take  an exam for manicuring  must have successfully                                                                    
     completed  250 hours  of  instruction  from a  licensed                                                                    
     school  of  manicuring.  Adds  that  an  instructor  in                                                                    
     hairdressing may  also be  an instructor  in manicuring                                                                    
     for  health and  safety related  courses, and  that the                                                                    
     Board   may  establish   additional  requirements   for                                                                    
     manicuring instructors.                                                                                                    
     Section   3  -   Amends   AS  08.13.080   -  adds   new                                                                  
     subsections:  (e)  An   applicant  for  licensing  must                                                                    
     submit 1) proof of  certification in 12-hour health and                                                                    
     safety course from Board  approved and licensed school,                                                                    
     and  2) pay  required  fees. (f)  An  applicant for  an                                                                    
     advanced  manicurist endorsement  must 1)  already hold                                                                    
     or  be approved  for a  manicurist license,  2) request                                                                    
     the endorsement,  3) submit documentation  of 250-hours                                                                    
     of  required coursework  from  an  approved school,  4)                                                                    
     pass  the  Board approved  exam,  and  5) pay  required                                                                    
     Section  4  - AmendsASO8.13.100(a)  Removes  manicuring                                                                  
     from list of licenses that require exams.                                                                                  
     Section  5  -  Amends  AS  08.13.100(d)  Provides  that                                                                  
     manicurists licensed  in another state are  entitled to                                                                    
     licenses/endorsements    without   taking    additional                                                                    
     training or  exams, given that  they can  provide proof                                                                    
     of completed training that meets Alaska requirements.                                                                      
     Section 6 - Adds new  subsection to AS 08.13.110 d) The                                                                  
     Board  shall  license  a  school  that  offers  12-hour                                                                    
     safety course,  but may  not license  the school  if it                                                                    
     requires greater  than 12 hours  for the  safety course                                                                    
     e) Schools  may seek  approval from  the Board  for the                                                                    
     curriculum for  advanced endorsements. The  Board shall                                                                    
     establish curriculum requirements.                                                                                         
     Section  7  -  Amends  AS  08.13.160(d)  The  licensing                                                                  
     provisions  mentioned in  this chapter  don't apply  to                                                                    
    persons actively taking an approved 12-hour course.                                                                         
     Section 8  - Amends AS 08.13.1  75 Licensed manicurists                                                                  
     applying   for   the   250-hour   advanced   manicurist                                                                    
     endorsement are  entitled to a temporary  license while                                                                    
     applying for  the exam as  long as they  are supervised                                                                    
     by a licensed manicurist.                                                                                                  
     Section  9  -  Amends   AS  08.13.185(a)  Adds  initial                                                                  
     licensing   and  renewals   for  the   endorsement  for                                                                    
     advanced  manicurist  training  to  fees  that  may  be                                                                    
     collected by DCCED.                                                                                                        
     Section   10  -   Repeals   08.13.082(e)  Repeals   the                                                                  
     apprenticeship term periods set by the Board.                                                                              
     Section  11  - Repeals  Section  13,  Ch. 27  SLA  2015                                                                  
     Repeals  the   grandfather  clause   set  in   HB  131:                                                                    
     "allowing a person who holds  a valid license on Jan 1,                                                                    
     2016  to  continue  practicing manicuring  until  their                                                                    
     license normally expires. Subsection  (1) states that a                                                                    
     person is allowed to renew  their license before August                                                                    
     31, 2017, if the  person meets preexisting requirements                                                                    
     under  AS 08.13  as it  existed prior  to Jan  1, 2016.                                                                    
     Subsection  (2) states  that a  person may  renew their                                                                    
     license  for an  additional  period  before August  31,                                                                    
     2019  if the  person  submits (A)  proofof250 hours  of                                                                    
     satisfactory work experience and (B) has taken and                                                                         
    passed a written or oral exam under AS 08.13.090."                                                                          
     Section 12 - Sets the effective date. Effective                                                                          
9:37:35 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator von Imhof referred to  Section 6. She questioned why                                                                    
the  board  would  not  also  license  schools  for  courses                                                                    
exceeding 12 hours.                                                                                                             
Representative Claman felt that  the limit was a "curiosity"                                                                    
about the prior way that  the law had been written; however,                                                                    
that was  how the statute that  he was seeking to  reset had                                                                    
been written in 2015.                                                                                                           
Senator  von Imhof  understood that  the  sponsor wanted  to                                                                    
revert to the  exact language from the  2015 statute, rather                                                                    
than rewriting  the language to  expand the  limitations for                                                                    
Representative  Claman  responded  that the  bill  had  been                                                                    
initially  introduced  to  address  the  grandfather  clause                                                                    
issue, which had become convoluted,  but had been amended in                                                                    
the house  to reset  back to prior  statute. He  shared that                                                                    
the issue  raised by Representative  von Imhof had  not been                                                                    
discussed by the house.                                                                                                         
9:39:18 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Olson  queried whether the sponsor  would support an                                                                    
amendment  that  would allow  for  courses  the exceeded  12                                                                    
Representative Claman responded no.                                                                                             
Senator  Olson referred  to Section  11.  He questioned  the                                                                    
reasoning behind repealing the grandfather clause.                                                                              
Representative Claman  stated that the bill  would change an                                                                    
unintended consequence of  HB 131 by resetting  to the prior                                                                    
statute.  He  explained  that  the  bill  would  repeal  the                                                                    
grandfather clause  because the new training  requirement in                                                                    
HB 131 would no longer apply.                                                                                                   
9:40:27 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Micciche noted that the  current version of the bill                                                                    
had   changed  considerably   from  the   sponsors  original                                                                    
legislation.  He stated  that the  bill had  "morphed" after                                                                    
going  through the  legislative process  on the  house side,                                                                    
which had eliminated all qualification training.                                                                                
Representative  Claman said  that training  requirements had                                                                    
been  significantly  increased by  HB  131.  He shared  that                                                                    
constituents had testified to him  about the enormity of the                                                                    
testing requirements and language  barriers in the industry.                                                                    
He relayed that  through the process it  had become apparent                                                                    
that the consequences of HB 131 needed to be addressed.                                                                         
Senator  Micciche acknowledged  that the  purpose of  HB 131                                                                    
was to  address the  public safety  of Alaskans.  He thought                                                                    
that a  balance could  be struck between  the two  pieces of                                                                    
9:42:32 AM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Bishop commented  that he was happy  to hear that                                                                    
the sponsor was amiable to amending Section 6.                                                                                  
9:43:21 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon queried  the average  hours of  training                                                                    
for comparable licensing in other states.                                                                                       
Representative Claman  understood that there was  a range in                                                                    
hours and that Alaska was on  the lower end of the spectrum.                                                                    
He understood  that 250  hours training  was more  common in                                                                    
other states.                                                                                                                   
Ms.  Perman  stated that  Alaska  has  the lowest  licensing                                                                    
requirements,  12  hours,  and  that  the  next  lowest  was                                                                    
Colorado with 20  hours. She said that  nationwide there was                                                                    
an average bracket of 250 and 600 hours.                                                                                        
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  corrected  that  the  lowest  licensing                                                                    
requirement  was  in  Connecticut;  it was  zero,  and  that                                                                    
Colorado required 600 hours for licensing.                                                                                      
Representative  Claman  recalled  that when  he  trained  to                                                                    
become an  emergency medical technical  (EMT), 250  hours of                                                                    
training  was not  required  to  provide lifesaving  medical                                                                    
care.  He  believed  that  the  required  EMT  training  was                                                                    
approximately 100 hours in Alaska.  He felt that it would be                                                                    
strange to require more training  for a nail technician than                                                                    
for a person providing lifesaving medical care.                                                                                 
Co-Chair  MacKinnon reminded  the  committee  that the  bill                                                                    
pertained  to   manicurists  and   the  safety   of  Alaskan                                                                    
residents. She noted  that Alaska was second to  last on the                                                                    
list of  required training hours. She  expressed concern for                                                                    
the human trafficking issue being  raised in connection with                                                                    
the industry. She asserted that  the intention behind HB 131                                                                    
had  been  to  protect  Alaskans from  the  consequences  of                                                                    
improperly sanitized manicure  equipment, and she questioned                                                                    
the safety of lowering the  training requirements to only 12                                                                    
9:47:06 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Claman said  that  the  board supported  the                                                                    
legislation,  but   agreed  that   it  would   take  further                                                                    
discussions to  determine a more  effective way  to regulate                                                                    
the industry  for safety without putting  manicurists out of                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon   understood  that   HB  222   had  been                                                                    
introduced one month previous.                                                                                                  
Representative Claman replied in the affirmative.                                                                               
Co-Chair MacKinnon  asked whether the bill  had been changed                                                                    
in each committee of referral.                                                                                                  
Representative Claman did not believe so.                                                                                       
9:48:47 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  von  Imhof understood  that  there  was a  specific                                                                    
pending issue  that needed  to be  addressed by  August 2017                                                                    
that  had to  do with  licensing requirements.  She wondered                                                                    
whether there was a way  to address that specific issue, and                                                                    
then  find a  more appropriate  balance between  12 and  250                                                                    
hours during the interim.                                                                                                       
Representative  Claman thought  the  most  effective way  to                                                                    
address the issue and protect workers was to pass HB 222.                                                                       
9:51:35 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon OPENED public testimony.                                                                                     
ED LOPEZ, GENERAL MANAGER, REGAL  NAIL SALON & SPA, ANCHOAGE                                                                    
(via teleconference),  testified in support of  the bill. He                                                                    
relayed that  for the past  two months he had  learned about                                                                    
the  impact from  the passage  of HB  131. He  discussed the                                                                    
requirement  for  additional  training for  manicurists.  He                                                                    
opined  that the  exam required  by current  law was  poorly                                                                    
written, poorly  translated, and  did not follow  a specific                                                                    
course  of study,  which  meant  that there  was  no way  to                                                                    
prepare for the  exam. He said that most  of the specialists                                                                    
in the  industry were  Asian, and  English was  their second                                                                    
language,  which made  the  exam  discriminatory toward  the                                                                    
Asian  community in  Alaska.  He  discussed the  grandfather                                                                    
clause, which  had been missing  from the previous  bill. He                                                                    
noted that  there were  only three schools  in the  state at                                                                    
which   technicians  could   acquire   the  newly   required                                                                    
training. He  predicted that  if HB 222  did not  pass there                                                                    
would be adverse effects on businesses and families.                                                                            
9:56:14 AM                                                                                                                    
PHILIP  BROWER,  SELF,  NORTH  SLOPE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  in  opposition  to  the bill.  He  relayed  that  his                                                                    
partner had been  a practicing nail technician  for 8 years.                                                                    
He asserted  that she had determined  through her experience                                                                    
that 250  hours of  coursework should  be required.  He said                                                                    
that  her classes  had  educated her  about  labor laws  and                                                                    
proper sanitation.                                                                                                              
10:00:23 AM                                                                                                                   
JOHNA BEECH, SELF, KENAI  (via teleconference), testified in                                                                    
support of the bill.                                                                                                            
10:01:19 AM                                                                                                                   
YEN NGUYEN, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), testified                                                                    
in support of  her bill. She relayed that  her parents owned                                                                    
a nail salon. She discussed  the hardship her family endured                                                                    
after  immigrating to  America. She  discussed her  parent's                                                                    
business, and the difficulty that  would ensue if HB 222 did                                                                    
not pass.                                                                                                                       
10:04:19 AM                                                                                                                   
LISA MORENO, SELF, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
support of the  bill. She discussed her work  on a taskforce                                                                    
that  had focused  on human  trafficking in  the state.  She                                                                    
shared that in her research  she had never discovered a case                                                                    
of human trafficking in the state  that had been linked to a                                                                    
nail  salon.  She  noted that  human  trafficking  could  be                                                                    
linked  to many  industries across  the state.  She believed                                                                    
that  it  was  bad  policy   to  use  the  threat  of  human                                                                    
trafficking as the reason to  overregulate one industry. She                                                                    
asserted  that the  current law  would result  in a  loss of                                                                    
industry jobs.                                                                                                                  
10:08:30 AM                                                                                                                   
DEBORAH  LEE HARPER,  SELF, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),                                                                    
testified in support  of HB 222. She  discussed the negative                                                                    
impact  of  the  additional  training  requirements  imposed                                                                    
after  the  passage   of  HB  131.  She   expounded  on  the                                                                    
logistical  and  language  barriers that  manicurists  faced                                                                    
that had been exacerbated by  HB 131. She emphasized that HB
222  would  have  an  impact  on  approximately  a  thousand                                                                    
Alaskan business  owners and  their families.  She suggested                                                                    
that  nail  technicians should  take  part  in crafting  new                                                                    
legislation  would   speak  to  appropriate   education  and                                                                    
regulation for their industry.                                                                                                  
10:10:47 AM                                                                                                                   
ROSALYN WYCHE, HAIRDRESSER,  ANCHORAGE (via teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  in opposition  to HB  222  in its  current form.  She                                                                    
believed that HB 131 had  not received proper vetting before                                                                    
passage,  and  she feared  that  HB  222 was  being  equally                                                                    
rushed through  the process. She stressed  the importance of                                                                    
proper   sanitation  and   disinfection  practices   in  the                                                                    
industry.  She  believed  that  the  state  could  offer  an                                                                    
interpreter to help with the  language barrier faced by some                                                                    
manicurists  and nail  technicians. She  understood that  HB
131  had  a  deadline  for  licensing  of  2019,  with  work                                                                    
experience counting  toward the 250 required  training hours                                                                    
providing the test was passed.                                                                                                  
10:14:55 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair MacKinnon CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                     
Co-Chair MacKinnon invited Kevin  McKinley from the Board of                                                                    
Barbers and Hairdressers to offer closing thoughts.                                                                             
KEVIN  MCKINLEY, CHAIR,  BOARD  OF  BARBERS &  HAIRDRESSERS,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), relayed  that 300  hours of                                                                    
coursework  was the  national average  in  training for  the                                                                    
industry. He reiterated  that he state was at  the bottom of                                                                    
the national  average. He said  that the  average curriculum                                                                    
included:  nail   art  and  design,   manicures,  pedicures,                                                                    
acrylics,  gels, wraps,  and nail  extensions; additionally,                                                                    
the  history  of  nail care;  personal  hygiene  and  public                                                                    
health;  safety, sterilization,  and  sanitation; nail  care                                                                    
chemicals; uses and  technique applications; nailcare tools;                                                                    
manicure apparatus  uses; nail  design and  artistry; fabric                                                                    
and   sculpting   procedures,   light   cured   gels,   nail                                                                    
extensions, acrylic nail forms,  nail product knowledge, and                                                                    
bacteriology  disorders of  nails.  He  felt that  practical                                                                    
applications  of  education  were absent  from  the  current                                                                    
legislation.   He  said   that  changes   in  the   industry                                                                    
necessitated more than  12 course hours of  education in the                                                                    
field.  He offered  some possible  compromise language  that                                                                    
could be added to the  legislation. He stressed the need for                                                                    
substantial  education  course  hours. He  shared  that  the                                                                    
industry was  working at improving  testing on  the national                                                                    
level,  for  both the  issue  of  the language  barrier  and                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon asked whether  Mr. McKinley supported the                                                                    
Mr.  McKinley responded  that he  supported the  legislation                                                                    
only in  the sense  that it would  keep people  employed. He                                                                    
added that he  did not believe the  bill represented quality                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon interjected  that a  representative from                                                                    
her  office would  contact Mr.  McKinley offline  to discuss                                                                    
the issue further.                                                                                                              
HB  222  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
10:21:56 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
10:22:52 AM                                                                                                                   
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 103(FIN)                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to the practice of optometry; and                                                                         
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
10:22:52 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE IVY SPOHNHOLZ,  SPONSOR, introduced the bill.                                                                    
She relayed that HB 103, as  amended in the house, would not                                                                    
allow  optometrists to  perform  services  outside of  their                                                                    
scope  of   practice;  performing  invasive   surgery  would                                                                    
continue  to  be  illegal. She  said  that  if  optometrists                                                                    
wanted  to  perform  procedures beyond  what  was  currently                                                                    
allowed  in  statute  and regulation,  they  would  only  be                                                                    
allowed  to do  so if  the  licensee had  been educated  and                                                                    
trained in  the procedure at  one of the  accredited schools                                                                    
of  optometry. Additionally,  procedures  would  need to  be                                                                    
authorized by  regulations adopted by the  board. She stated                                                                    
that there should  be room for innovation  in the healthcare                                                                    
sector,   but  that   optometrists   should  only   practice                                                                    
procedures  that had  been taught  by a  credited school  of                                                                    
optometry. She noted that  the ophthalmologist definition of                                                                    
"surgery" was used in the  bill, which expressly stated that                                                                    
optometrists   would  not   practice  any   of  the   listed                                                                    
surgeries,  with narrow  exceptions.  She  relayed that  the                                                                    
definition  of "surgery"  was  broad and  that  some of  the                                                                    
things  that   optometrists  currently  practiced   met  the                                                                    
definition of  surgery. She  added that there  had to  be an                                                                    
allowance  for narrow  exceptions, which  would change  over                                                                    
time as  the skills and training  of optometrists continued.                                                                    
She offered  a personal anecdote pertaining  to the nebulous                                                                    
definition of  surgery under the current  law. She concluded                                                                    
that  the bill  would allow  for the  board of  optometry to                                                                    
regulate  itself in  an ongoing  and iterative  fashion that                                                                    
would allow for evolution in best practices.                                                                                    
10:27:29 AM                                                                                                                   
BERNICE  NISBETT,   STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE   IVY  SPOHNHOLZ,                                                                    
discussed the sectional analysis for HB 103:                                                                                    
     Notes differences between HB 103 v. U and SB 36 v. J                                                                     
     Section 1  - The Board  of Examiners of  Optometry will                                                                  
     regulate prescriptive  authority and  develop standards                                                                    
     for the practice of optometry. No difference.                                                                              
     Section 2  - The  board will publish  advisory opinions                                                                  
     regarding  standards  for  the practice  of  optometry.                                                                    
     Language  was changed  by the  House  Labor &  Commerce                                                                    
     committee:  expanded   to  state  that  the   Board  of                                                                    
     Examiners  of  Optometry  will be  allowed  to  publish                                                                    
     advisory opinions  to the public regarding  whether the                                                                    
     standards of practice of optometry  comply with what is                                                                    
     currently written in statute.                                                                                              
     Section  3 -  The licensee  must provide  evidence that                                                                  
     they  have completed  their continuing  education hours                                                                    
     during the preceding licensing period. No difference.                                                                      
     Section 4  - A  licensee can  prescribe pharmaceuticals                                                                  
     in a  manner that is consistent  with board regulations                                                                    
     and  complies  with  the   limitation  on  practice  in                                                                    
     section 5. No difference.                                                                                                  
     Section   5  -   Limits  an   individual  licensee   to                                                                  
     performing services  that are  within the scope  of the                                                                    
     licensee's  education,  training,  and  experience.  No                                                                    
     difference in  subsection (a). Subsections (b)  and (c)                                                                    
     were added  in the  House Finance committee:  (b) added                                                                    
     setting a  limitation on performing  ophthalmic surgery                                                                    
     unless a  licensee has received education  and training                                                                    
     from  an   accredited  school  of  optometry   and  the                                                                    
     procedure  is  authorized  in regulations  set  by  the                                                                    
     Board  of Examiners  of Optometry.  Subsection (c)  has                                                                    
     been added to define ophthalmic surgery.                                                                                   
     Section  6  -  The  definition of  optometry  has  been                                                                  
     updated. No difference.                                                                                                    
     Section 7  - Section 2  is effective July 17,  2017. No                                                                  
10:29:11 AM                                                                                                                   
Representative  Spohnholz stressed  the importance  that the                                                                    
board have the flexibility  to evolve, while also addressing                                                                    
the issue of access to  healthcare. She said that there were                                                                    
26 ophthalmologists, verses  160 optometrists, providing the                                                                    
majority  of  eye  healthcare   throughout  the  state.  She                                                                    
thought that allowing the board  to manage itself would help                                                                    
to increase access  to high quality eye  healthcare in rural                                                                    
10:30:40 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Hughes asked about Page  2, line 29. She asked about                                                                    
the  word  "experience"  and  wondered  how  it  applied  to                                                                    
someone  fresh out  of school.  She wondered  how experience                                                                    
would be measured.                                                                                                              
Representative   Spohnholz   explained   that   there   were                                                                    
optometrists practicing  in the state that  had been trained                                                                    
in  procedures that  they  had not  had  the opportunity  to                                                                    
provide  in 20  years. She  said that  before those  doctors                                                                    
could practice  those procedures  they would be  expected to                                                                    
be retrained in updated methods.                                                                                                
Senator Hughes  remained confused  about how  the experience                                                                    
levels would be measured.                                                                                                       
Representative Spohnholz referred the  question to the board                                                                    
of optometry.                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair MacKinnon OPENED public testimony.                                                                                     
10:33:41 AM                                                                                                                   
DAVID     ZUMBRO,     OPHTHALMOLOGIST,    ANCHORAGE     (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke in opposition to  HB 103. He spoke to                                                                    
the assertion that the statutes  pertaining to optometry had                                                                    
not been  updated in  40 years;  he countered  that multiple                                                                    
times in the  past 25 years legislation had  been passed and                                                                    
signed  into law  that expanded  the scope  of practice.  He                                                                    
contended that  optometry and ophthalmology  educations were                                                                    
not equivalent or similar. He  encouraged members to further                                                                    
study  the  accreditation  requirements  for  completing  an                                                                    
ophthalmology residency. He said  that his opposition to the                                                                    
bill had  nothing to  do with  economics. He  contended that                                                                    
the  reason behind  standards  and  board certification  was                                                                    
patient safety, and that the  only way to expand medical and                                                                    
surgical  scope of  practice was  proper  education and  not                                                                    
10:36:58 AM                                                                                                                   
JEFF   GONNASON,   CHAIR,  ALASKA   OPTOMETRY   ASSOCIATION,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),  spoke  in  support of  the                                                                    
bill. He believed  that the bill was innocuous  and would do                                                                    
very little  to the practice  of optometry in the  state. He                                                                    
noted that  he had sent a  letter to the committee  (copy on                                                                    
10:38:34 AM                                                                                                                   
GRIFF  STEINER,  OPHTHALMOLOGIST,  ANCHORAGE,  testified  in                                                                    
opposition to the bill. He  asserted that the bill pertained                                                                    
to  surgical procedures.  He stated  that optometrists  were                                                                    
not qualified to  perform surgery. He relayed  that the cost                                                                    
for care would increase under the legislation.                                                                                  
10:40:47 AM                                                                                                                   
ANDREW  PETER, SELF,  HOMER (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                    
support of  HB 103. He  believed that the bill  would create                                                                    
board autonomy, which would remove  the legislature from the                                                                    
position of  managing optometry. He noted  that optometrists                                                                    
catered to a  diverse section of the  state's population. He                                                                    
offered  some details  as to  how his  practice worked  on a                                                                    
day-to-day  basis.  He  contended that  emergency  cases  in                                                                    
rural  areas  of the  state  posed  the need  for  immediate                                                                    
attention,  which occasionally  called  for optometrists  to                                                                    
perform services like ophthalmologists.                                                                                         
10:44:07 AM                                                                                                                   
CARL     ROSEN,      OPHTHALMOLOGIST,     ANCHORAGE     (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified  in  strong  opposition  to  the                                                                    
bill.  He highlighted  that the  optometry board  should not                                                                    
have  the authority  to  decide  which surgical  procedures,                                                                    
laser procedures,  and injections  were possible.  He argued                                                                    
that  optometrists were  not qualified  to perform  the same                                                                    
medical procedures as ophthalmologists  because they did not                                                                    
have the  same rigorous  medical training. He  believed that                                                                    
the bill  would work if  the word "unless" was  removed from                                                                    
the language pertaining to surgery and optometry.                                                                               
10:46:43 AM                                                                                                                   
REBEKAH SAWERS, SELF, HOONAH  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
opposition to the bill.                                                                                                         
10:47:08 AM                                                                                                                   
LUCRETIA  DENNIS,  SELF,   ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in  opposition  to  the   bill.  She  provided  a                                                                    
comparison between armed and  unarmed security officers, and                                                                    
ophthalmologists versus optometrists.                                                                                           
10:50:13 AM                                                                                                                   
DAVID  KARPIK, SELF,  KENAI (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                    
support  of  HB 103.  He  testified  that optometrists  were                                                                    
sometimes  the only  eyecare providers  in rural  Alaska. He                                                                    
said  that as  an  optometrist he  supported practices  that                                                                    
provided  comprehensive  eyecare  services and  referred  to                                                                    
sub-special  services,  which   enhanced  patient  care  and                                                                    
lowered  costs by  allowing primary  eyecare to  be provided                                                                    
locally. He  referred to a  U.S News and World  report study                                                                    
published  in early  2017,  that ranked  Alaska  as last  in                                                                    
access  to  healthcare.  He  believed  that  the  delays  to                                                                    
healthcare   that  were   currently  written   into  statute                                                                    
hindered   access  to   eyecare.   He   believed  that   the                                                                    
legislation would create an optometry  statute that would be                                                                    
durable  and  would  allow  for  the  incorporation  of  new                                                                    
technology in the field.                                                                                                        
10:52:38 AM                                                                                                                   
DAVID KATZEEK,  SELF, JUNEAU (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
opposition to  HB 103. He  testified of the  delicate nature                                                                    
and  importance of  the  human eye.  He  asserted that  eyes                                                                    
"speak"   in   a   way  understood   by   optometrists   and                                                                    
ophthalmologists. He  worried that  the bill was  being used                                                                    
as a  political tool  at the  expense of  the eye  health of                                                                    
Alaskans.  He  warned that  the  legislation  passed by  the                                                                    
committee  should protect  the  eyes of  current and  future                                                                    
Alaskans.  He  stressed  the importance  of  teaching  young                                                                    
people  to  maintain a  health  whole  body, which  included                                                                    
their eyes.                                                                                                                     
10:57:28 AM                                                                                                                   
STANLEY  FULLER MD,  SELF,  FAIRBANKS (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in opposition  to  the bill.  He  noted that  the                                                                    
expansion of the  scope of practice for  optometrists was an                                                                    
issue that  was being discussed  on the national  level, and                                                                    
what more than  just a housekeeping issue.  He believed that                                                                    
the   legislation  would   allow  optometrists   to  perform                                                                    
surgery,  which   would  result  in  dangerous   and  unsafe                                                                    
practices.   He stressed that optometrists  were not trained                                                                    
in surgical  procedures, and that optometry  schools did not                                                                    
offer  training  in  surgical  procedures.  He  agreed  that                                                                    
access to  healthcare in Alaska  was a problem, but  he felt                                                                    
that access to providers  that were appropriately trained to                                                                    
safely  perform   procedures  should   be  germane   to  the                                                                    
11:00:35 AM                                                                                                                   
MARY NANUWAK,  SELF, BETHEL  (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
opposition to the bill. She  provided remarks in Yup'ik. She                                                                    
thanked  the  committee for  allowing  her  to testify.  She                                                                    
believed  that optometrists  should  not  be performing  eye                                                                    
11:03:22 AM                                                                                                                   
JILL GEERING  MATHESON, OPTOMETRY, JUNEAU, spoke  in support                                                                    
of  the   bill.  She  believed   that  the  intent   of  the                                                                    
legislation  was   to  allow  the  Alaska   State  Board  of                                                                    
Optometry  to  regulate  optometrists   in  the  state.  She                                                                    
asserted  that  the bill  would  not  expand the  privileges                                                                    
allowed to optometrists, but would  give the optometry board                                                                    
the  ability to  decide what  optometrists were  trained and                                                                    
qualified to  perform and then  provide for  regulation. She                                                                    
believed  that the  opposition  was  employing fear  tactics                                                                    
concerning surgery to  sway public opinion on  the bill. She                                                                    
argued that the board needed to  be able to act quickly, via                                                                    
the  regulatory  process,  to  make  changes  as  technology                                                                    
11:07:00 AM                                                                                                                   
PAUL  BARNEY,  BOARD  OF  OPTOMETRY,  JUNEAU,  testified  in                                                                    
support  of the  bill. He  discussed his  experience in  the                                                                    
field. He believed  that the bill would allow  for the board                                                                    
of  optometry to  regulate the  details of  the practice  of                                                                    
optometry,  and  would  allow optometrists  to  practice  to                                                                    
their  highest  education  level.  He  felt  that  the  bill                                                                    
clearly defined "surgery".                                                                                                      
11:10:31 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator  Olson  asked  what kind  of  complaints  the  board                                                                    
received from licensees.                                                                                                        
Dr. Barney  relayed that he  had been  on the board  for the                                                                    
past 6  years and in that  time the board had  received zero                                                                    
Senator  Olson asked  whether Dr.  Barney was  familiar with                                                                    
the Oklahoma study  that had been referenced  earlier in the                                                                    
Dr. Barney replied  that he was familiar with  the study. He                                                                    
said that  the study was regarding  a laser trabeculoplasty,                                                                    
which was a  surgery used to lower pressure  in glaucoma. He                                                                    
said that the study examined  billing codes. He spoke to the                                                                    
details  of  the  study  and   concluded  that  it  had  not                                                                    
accurately   examined   outcomes    of   different   surgery                                                                    
11:12:52 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator  von  Imhof  stated  that   she  had  researched  an                                                                    
optometry  school  in  Ohio. She  felt  that  an  accredited                                                                    
school  of  optometry  could license  a  person  to  perform                                                                    
ophthalmic surgery non-invasively.                                                                                              
Dr. Barney  stated that he  performed procedures  daily that                                                                    
were considered surgery. He added  that there were different                                                                    
levels to ophthalmic surgery.                                                                                                   
11:14:35 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair MacKinnon CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                     
11:14:57 AM                                                                                                                   
2:37:40 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon discussed housekeeping.                                                                                      
Senator Olson asked whether the  Alaska Native Tribal Health                                                                    
Consortium (ANTHC) supported the legislation.                                                                                   
Ms.  Nisbett  responded  that ANTHC  had  not  provided  any                                                                    
comments regarding HB 103.                                                                                                      
Senator  Olson understood  that the  Southcentral Foundation                                                                    
had provided an opinion on the legislation.                                                                                     
Ms. Nisbett relayed  that the bill carried with  it a letter                                                                    
of support from the  Southcentral Foundation, in addition to                                                                    
one from the Alaska Native Health Board.                                                                                        
Senator  Olson  commented   that  healthcare  was  primarily                                                                    
handled  by  tribal  health   corporations  in  Western  and                                                                    
Southern Alaska.  He asked whether  the sponsor had  been in                                                                    
contact with tribal health corporations regarding HB 103.                                                                       
Ms.  Nisbett  stated  that  the  sponsor's  office  had  not                                                                    
reached out to those organizations,  but would be willing to                                                                    
do so.                                                                                                                          
2:40:06 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Hughes  referred to her  earlier question  about how                                                                    
experience  would be  quantified for  new optometrists.  She                                                                    
wondered whether Dr. Barney could speak to the issue.                                                                           
Dr. Barney provided that as  part of their clinical training                                                                    
optometrists would experience any  procedures that needed to                                                                    
be  done,  which  would  provide  them  with  the  necessary                                                                    
experience upon graduation.                                                                                                     
Senator  Hughes  asked  what procedures  a  newly  graduated                                                                    
optometrist in  the state was  trained to do, but  could not                                                                    
currently execute due to current statutes.                                                                                      
Dr. Barney provided the example  of removal of minor eye lid                                                                    
lesions. He  said that optometrists would  receive education                                                                    
and training for the procedure  during optometry school, but                                                                    
that state statute currently did  not allow for optometrists                                                                    
to perform the procedure.                                                                                                       
Senator  Hughes  understood that  the  bill  would give  the                                                                    
board  the   authority  through  regulation  to   allow  for                                                                    
practices within  the scope of the  licensee's education and                                                                    
training from  an accredited school of  optometry. She asked                                                                    
how, as a  board member, Dr. Barney would  make decisions as                                                                    
to   whether  a   procedure  could   be   performed  by   an                                                                    
Dr. Barney explained that  the federal accreditation process                                                                    
for optometry schools  within the state was  overseen by the                                                                    
U.S. Department  of Education. He  said that there  would be                                                                    
federal oversight into  the curricula to assure  that it was                                                                    
complete and  thorough. He stated  that an  optometrist that                                                                    
had been  practicing for 20  years that wanted to  perform a                                                                    
board approved procedure  would be required by  the board to                                                                    
acquire the proper updated training.                                                                                            
2:44:48 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Bishop discussed FN2(CED) for the bill.                                                                              
2:46:15 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon noted that  Senator Giessel had sponsored                                                                    
the Senate companion bill for HB 103.                                                                                           
SENATOR  CATHY  GIESSEL,  remarked that  she  supported  the                                                                    
changes  that had  been made  in  the house  version of  the                                                                    
2:46:58 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Bishop  MOVED to  report  CSHB  103(FIN) out  of                                                                    
Committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal  note. There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                                                                    
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
CSHB  103(FIN)  was  REPORTED  out  of  committee  with  "no                                                                    
recommendation"  and with  one  previously published  fiscal                                                                    
impact note: FN2(CED).                                                                                                          
2:47:30 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
2:49:40 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon  discussed housekeeping for SB  79 and HB
111. She  stated that  each member's  office had  received a                                                                    
Senate Finance  Committee Resolution  that pertained  to the                                                                    
Real ID Act and the handling of Alaskan's private data.                                                                         
2:51:32 PM                                                                                                                    
The meeting was adjourned at 2:51 p.m.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 103 Opposition Letter Packet 1.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 103
HB103 Letters of Opposition 5.04.17.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 103
HB 103 Support Letter Packet 1.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 103
HB103 Letters of Support 5.04.17.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 103
HB103 Sectional-SB 36 ver J to HB 103 ver U 5.04.17.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 103
SB 36
HB103 Sponsor Statement 5.04.17.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 103
HB103 Support Document Accreditation Council on Optometric Education 5.04.17.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 103
HB103 Support Document Board of the Examiners in Optometry 5.04.17.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 103
HB103 Support Document Medical Liability Premiums Fact Sheet 5.04.17.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 103
HB103 Support Document Optometrist's Education 5.04.17.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 103
HB103 Support Document Optometrists Practicing in AK 5.04.17.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 103
HB103 Support Document Regulation Flow Chart 5.04.17.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 103
HB 222 Opposition Letter Packet 1.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 222
HB 222 Support Letter Packet 1.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 222
HB222 Additional Document - Enrolled HB 131 5.3.17.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 131
HB 222
HB222 Additional Document Ltr to J. Maiquis and C. Spencer 5.3.17.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 222
HB222 Additional Documents Letter to Manicurists 5.3.17.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 222
HB222 Sponsor Statement 5.3.17.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 222
HB222 Supporting Document Bev Harper 5.3.17.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 222
HB 222 Support Letter Packet 2.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 222
HB 222 Support Letter Packet 3.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 222
HB 103 Support Letter Packet 2.PDF SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 103
HB 103 Opposition Letter Packet 2.PDF SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 103
HB 103 Opposition Fuller.Stan 2017.05.10.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 103
HB 103 Opposition Letter Ford.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 103
HB 103 Support Letter Peterson.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 103
HB 103 Opposition Letter Zumbro.pdf SFIN 5/10/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 103