HB 325: "An Act relating to the free exercise of religion; relating to professional and occupational licensing; and relating to appointment to public office or a position on a board, commission, or committee."
00 HOUSE BILL NO. 325 01 "An Act relating to the free exercise of religion; relating to professional and 02 occupational licensing; and relating to appointment to public office or a position on a 03 board, commission, or committee." 04 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 * Section 1. AS 08.01.075(a) is amended to read: 06 (a) Subject to AS 08.01.078(a), a [A] board may take the following 07 disciplinary actions, singly or in combination: 08 (1) permanently revoke a license; 09 (2) suspend a license for a specified period; 10 (3) censure or reprimand a licensee; 11 (4) impose limitations or conditions on the professional practice of a 12 licensee; 13 (5) require a licensee to submit to peer review; 14 (6) impose requirements for remedial professional education to correct
01 deficiencies in the education, training, and skill of the licensee; 02 (7) impose probation requiring a licensee to report regularly to the 03 board on matters related to the grounds for probation; 04 (8) impose a civil fine not to exceed $5,000. 05 * Sec. 2. AS 08.01 is amended by adding a new section to read: 06 Sec. 08.01.078. Free exercise of religion. (a) Notwithstanding the powers and 07 duties granted to or required of the commissioner, the department, and a board by this 08 chapter, the commissioner, the department, and a board may not deny, revoke, 09 suspend, or place a limitation on a person's professional or occupational license, 10 certificate, or registration, or issue an order directing a person to stop an act or a 11 practice, because the person 12 (1) declines to provide or participate in providing a service that 13 violates the person's sincerely held religious belief; 14 (2) refuses to affirm a statement or oath that is contrary to the person's 15 sincerely held religious belief; 16 (3) expresses the person's sincerely held religious belief in any context; 17 in this paragraph, "context" includes a professional context as long as the services 18 provided otherwise meet the current standard of care or practice for the profession; 19 (4) provides a service in accordance with the person's sincerely held 20 religious belief; 21 (5) acts in accordance with the person's sincerely held religious belief 22 with regard to 23 (A) a client, customer, or employee of a business the person 24 owns or manages; or 25 (B) a decision the person makes in a financial matter. 26 (b) Conduct protected under (a) of this section is not professional misconduct 27 or malpractice, and the commissioner, the department, or a board may not impose 28 disciplinary sanctions for that conduct. 29 (c) In a criminal prosecution by the state or a municipality, it is not a defense 30 that the defendant acted in accordance with (a) of this section. 31 (d) This section does not apply to a person who engages in conduct that
01 violates the Constitution of the State of Alaska, the United States Constitution, 42 02 U.S.C. 1395dd (Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act), or 42 U.S.C. 2000cc- 03 1 (Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000). 04 * Sec. 3. AS 08.01.087(b) is amended to read: 05 (b) If it appears to the commissioner that a person has engaged in or is about 06 to engage in an act or practice in violation of a provision of this chapter or a regulation 07 adopted under it, or a provision of AS 43.70, or a provision of this title or regulation 08 adopted under this title dealing with an occupation or board listed in AS 08.01.010, the 09 commissioner may, if the commissioner considers it in the public interest, and after 10 notification of a proposed order or action by telephone, telegraph, or facsimile to all 11 board members, if a board regulates the act or practice involved, unless a majority of 12 the members of the board object within 10 days, 13 (1) subject to AS 08.01.078(a), issue an order directing the person to 14 stop the act or practice; however, reasonable notice of and an opportunity for a hearing 15 must first be given to the person, except that the commissioner may issue a temporary 16 order before a hearing is held; a temporary order remains in effect until a final order 17 affirming, modifying, or reversing the temporary order is issued or until 15 days after 18 the person receives the notice and has not requested a hearing by that time; a 19 temporary order becomes final if the person to whom the notice is addressed does not 20 request a hearing within 15 days after receiving the notice; the office of administrative 21 hearings (AS 44.64.010) shall conduct the hearing and shall issue a proposed decision 22 within 10 days after the hearing; the commissioner shall issue a final order within five 23 days after the proposed decision is issued; 24 (2) subject to AS 08.01.078(a), bring an action in the superior court to 25 enjoin the acts or practices and to enforce compliance with this chapter, a regulation 26 adopted under it, an order issued under it, or with a provision of this title or regulation 27 adopted under this title dealing with business licenses or an occupation or board listed 28 in AS 08.01.010; 29 (3) examine or have examined the books and records of a person 30 whose business activities require a business license or licensure by a board listed in 31 AS 08.01.010, or whose occupation is listed in AS 08.01.010; the commissioner may
01 require the person to pay the reasonable costs of the examination; and 02 (4) issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses, and the production 03 of books, records, and other documents. 04 * Sec. 4. AS 18.80.255 is amended to read: 05 Sec. 18.80.255. Unlawful practices by the state or its political subdivisions. 06 It is unlawful for the state or any of its political subdivisions 07 (1) to refuse, withhold from, or deny to a person any local, state, or 08 federal funds, services, goods, facilities, advantages, or privileges because of race, 09 religion, sex, color, or national origin; 10 (2) to publish, circulate, issue, display, post, or mail a written or 11 printed communication, notice, or advertisement that states or implies that any local, 12 state, or federal funds, services, goods, facilities, advantages, or privileges of the 13 office or agency will be refused, withheld from, or denied to a physically or mentally 14 disabled person or a person of a certain race, religion, sex, color, or national origin or 15 that the patronage of a physically or mentally disabled person or a person belonging to 16 a particular race, creed, sex, color, or national origin is unwelcome, not desired, or 17 solicited; it is not unlawful to post notice that facilities to accommodate the physically 18 or mentally disabled are not available; 19 (3) to refuse or deny to a person any local, state, or federal funds, 20 services, goods, facilities, advantages, or privileges because of physical or mental 21 disability; 22 (4) to deny a person an appointment to public office or a position 23 on a board, commission, or committee based on the person's exercise of religion.