Legislature(2009 - 2010)

2010-07-09 House Journal

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2010-07-09                     House Journal                      Page 2639
HB 50                                                                                                                         
The following letter dated July 7, 2010, was received:                                                                          
"Dear Speaker Chenault:                                                                                                         
Under the authority vested in me by Art. II, Sec. 17, of the Alaska                                                             
Constitution, I am allowing the following bill to become law without                                                            
my signature:                                                                                                                   
    CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 50(FIN)                                                                                               
          "An Act relating to limitations on mandatory overtime for                                                            
       registered nurses and licensed practical nurses in health care                                                          
    facilities; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           

2010-07-09                     House Journal                      Page 2640
    Chapter No. 118, SLA 2010                                                                                                   
    [Effective Date:  See Chapter]                                                                                              
This bill sets limitations on mandatory overtime for registered nurses                                                          
and licensed practical nurses in certain health care facilities. We know                                                        
the important services that these professionals provide in delivering                                                           
quality patient care.                                                                                                           
Overtime limits such as those addressed in this legislation typically get                                                       
resolved through the collective bargaining process. I support Alaskans'                                                         
freedom to contract, whether through collective bargaining or other                                                             
means. In most circumstances I would not support limitations on that                                                            
Testimony taken during legislative hearings indicated that the safety of                                                        
Alaskans is at greater risk without the legislation. For example, I                                                             
understand that a few health care facilities impose mandatory overtime                                                          
on their nursing professionals potentially leaving patients at greater                                                          
risk. In the interest of public safety, similar restrictions currently exist                                                    
in areas such as mining, truck driving, and for flight crews.                                                                   
I am allowing this bill to become law without my signature for the                                                              
reasons cited above, and because I want to signal that carve-outs or                                                            
exceptions to the collective bargaining process receive close scrutiny.                                                         
In my view, most issues should be left to parties to freely negotiate.                                                          
The Legislature should continue to monitor the bill's implementation                                                            
to assure it has the desired outcomes in improving health care quality                                                          
for Alaskans, and to revisit the matter if unintended consequences                                                              
arise or the desired outcome does not materialize.                                                                              
Sean Parnell