Legislature(2015 - 2016)CAPITOL 106

03/28/2016 08:00 AM House EDUCATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Moved CSHB 305(EDC) Out of Committee
Scheduled but Not Heard
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
         HB 305-EDUCATIONAL EXEMPTION FOR YOGA TRAINING                                                                     
9:21:16 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KELLER announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO.  305, "An Act relating to  yoga training programs;                                                               
and   relating   to  an   exemption   from   the  regulation   of                                                               
postsecondary educational institutions."                                                                                        
9:21:49 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TALERICO moved  to adopt  the proposed  committee                                                               
substitute (CS) for  HB 305, Version 29-LS1401\H,  as the working                                                               
document.   There  being no  objection Version  H was  before the                                                               
9:22:16 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN GATTIS,  Alaska State Legislature, introduced                                                               
HB 305, as prime sponsor,  paraphrasing from a prepared statement                                                               
which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                          
     This bill  may seem  small or even  trivial, but  it is                                                                    
     indicative  of  a  larger issue.  As  we  work  through                                                                    
     significant budget cuts,  sometimes departments look to                                                                    
     offset  the  loss  of  those  funds  by  finding  other                                                                    
     sources  of   revenue.  This  is  oftentimes   done  by                                                                    
     charging more for services or  implementing fees on new                                                                    
     things. That's  what this bill prevents,  Mr. Chair. It                                                                    
     is ultimately about defending  our fellow Alaskans from                                                                    
     an  overreaching government.  With  this  bill, we  are                                                                    
     proposing sideboards  for the regulatory powers  of the                                                                    
     Alaska   Commission  on   Postsecondary  Education-also                                                                    
     known   as  ACPE.   We  need   to  prioritize   smaller                                                                    
     government and we  must do everything we  can to ensure                                                                    
     that the government is helping  Alaskans when they need                                                                    
     it, by getting  out of their way when  they don't. This                                                                    
     bill  simply   exempts  programs  done   primarily  for                                                                    
     enjoyment and not as a career.                                                                                             
9:23:41 AM                                                                                                                    
CHRYSTAL  RANDOLPH,  Staff,  Representative Lynn  Gattis,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature,  provided  the   sectional  analysis  of  the                                                               
proposed CS,  paraphrasing from a prepared  statement, which read                                                               
as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
     Section 1:                                                                                                                 
     AS 14.48.030 (a). Adds new lines.                                                                                          
     Exemptions   to   the  Regulations   of   Postsecondary                                                                    
     Exempts programs that are in a field that:                                                                                 
     A.  Does not  require  a  professional or  occupational                                                                    
     license under AS 08.                                                                                                       
     B.   Provides  training   primarily  for   recreational                                                                    
     purposes; and                                                                                                              
     C.  At the  advanced training  level, prepares  program                                                                    
     graduates to teach or instruct in that field.                                                                              
     Section 2:                                                                                                                 
     AS 14.48.030. Adds new subsection.                                                                                         
     Exemptions   to   the  Regulations   of   Postsecondary                                                                    
     Requires the educational  programs or institutions that                                                                    
     are  exempt  under  (a)(5)  to  provide  students  with                                                                    
     written notice, before enrollment,  that the program or                                                                    
     institution   is   exempt  from   state   authorization                                                                    
     Section 3:                                                                                                                 
     AS 14.48.030. Adds new paragraphs.                                                                                         
     Exemptions   to   the  Regulations   of   Postsecondary                                                                    
        Provides definitions to the terms "avocational,"                                                                        
     "recreational," and "vocational".                                                                                          
9:25:55 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  COLVER   noted  that  the  CS   appears  to  keep                                                               
government overreach in check.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS concurred.                                                                                                
9:26:27 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  noted  that massage  therapists  are  not                                                               
included, and  surmised that such  activity is governed  under an                                                               
occupational licenses bill.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS confirmed the members understanding.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  asked about  advanced training  levels for                                                               
teaching  and   whether  it  includes  activities   such  as  ski                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS deferred.                                                                                                 
MS. RANDOLPH responded that the  intent would not be inclusive of                                                               
enjoyment sports.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON  asked   whether   ski  instructors   are                                                               
regulated under a commission.                                                                                                   
MS. RANDOLPH responded no.                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON requested  information that clearly defines                                                               
the parameters of the bill.                                                                                                     
9:29:13 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS said  no activities are being  taken out of                                                               
regulation, and  the intent is  to protect other  activities from                                                               
being included in existing regulation.                                                                                          
9:30:12 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE COLVER  questioned whether  the bill  would result                                                               
in a cost savings to instructors who are seeking a license.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTIS  answered  that it  eliminates  any  costs                                                               
associated with receiving a license, if one is not required.                                                                    
9:31:33 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON   asked  whether  the  bill   removes  any                                                               
requirements relating  to current positions under  purview of the                                                               
commission, pertaining to instructor training courses.                                                                          
STEPHANIE   BUTLER,   Director   of   Operations,   Postsecondary                                                               
Education   Commission,  Department   of   Education  and   Early                                                               
Development (EED), answered that only  the yoga programs would be                                                               
impacted by this change.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON noted  that  the  commission is  currently                                                               
regulating the  yoga programs, and  asked for an analysis  of the                                                               
benefits/necessity for continuing the oversight.                                                                                
MS.  BUTLER  responded  that  the   commission  is  charged  with                                                               
education consumer  protection oversight  and the  staff analysis                                                               
indicates  that no  consumer protections  will be  jeopardized by                                                               
exempting the yoga programs via passage of the bill.                                                                            
9:33:25 AM                                                                                                                    
JODEE DIXON,  Owner, The  Yoga Path, stated  support for  HB 305,                                                               
paraphrasing  from a  prepared statement,  which read  as follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
     I have  been practicing the  art of yoga for  17 years.                                                                    
     Yoga is a lifestyle for the  people who practice it.  I                                                                    
     opened my  studio here in  Juneau one and a  half years                                                                    
     ago.   I've been  instructing yoga  for over  10 years.                                                                    
     Last year  I had 5  people enrolled in my  yoga teacher                                                                    
     training program, or  as we call it YTT.   This program                                                                    
     is advance  yoga for  people who  want to  expand their                                                                    
     yoga  experience and  possibly  instruct  yoga.   After                                                                    
     completion of  the program these  individuals sometimes                                                                    
     teach a couple  of yoga classes in  exchange for studio                                                                    
     time  or fill  in for  people like  myself when  I'm on                                                                    
     vacation or travelling for business.                                                                                       
     Last  year ACPE  contacted me  and informed  me that  I                                                                    
     needed  to register  with their  agency  because I  was                                                                    
     offering a  YTT that  exceeded a 15  days or  120 hours                                                                    
     and  upon   completion  I   issued  a   certificate  of                                                                    
     completion.  The  certificate I issue is  only good for                                                                    
     one  thing, to  build a  personal profile  on the  Yoga                                                                    
     Alliance  Registry.   ACPE  informed  me  that I  could                                                                    
     complete the  training for the  5 people I  had already                                                                    
     started,  but if  I  want to  continue  offering YTT  I                                                                    
     would  need to  complete  their application  and pay  a                                                                    
     $2,500  fee.    When   I  reviewed  the  application  I                                                                    
     realized that I would  have to purchase insurance above                                                                    
     the level that  my insurance broker and  I determined I                                                                    
     need.  I determined I would  need a minimum of 6 people                                                                    
     in  my   program  just  to   break  even,  so   I  have                                                                    
     discontinued offering my YTT program at this time.                                                                         
     The State of  Alaska does not regulate  yoga studios or                                                                    
     people  like me  that teach  yoga.   I do  not have  to                                                                    
     possess a  specialty license like massage  therapist or                                                                    
     barbers.   In  fact, any  one of  you can  open a  yoga                                                                    
     studio and teach yoga without  any formal training.  We                                                                    
     have  been told  it we  stopped calling  our program  a                                                                    
     yoga teacher training  and stopped issuing certificates                                                                    
     of  completion we  would not  be subjected  to register                                                                    
     and pay the $2,500 fee to ACPE.                                                                                            
     I  am  a member  of  the  Yoga Alliance,  a  non-profit                                                                    
     membership  trade  association   that  represents  yoga                                                                    
     teachers  and   yoga  studios.     Yoga   Alliance  has                                                                    
     established voluntary  yoga industry standards  for YTT                                                                    
     programs and  maintains a registry of  people who hav4e                                                                    
     completed YTT programs.                                                                                                    
     Please support the passage of HB 305.                                                                                      
9:36:01 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE COLVER asked what triggered the involvement of                                                                   
the commission to contact her about regulatory compliance.                                                                      
MA. DIXON responded that the statutory threshold of 120 hours                                                                   
was exceeded.  The standard yoga instructor certification                                                                       
training requires 200 hours.                                                                                                    
9:36:46 AM                                                                                                                    
BARBARA DOBBERTHIEN, Executive Director, Yoga Alliance, stated                                                                  
support for HB 305, paraphrasing from a prepared statement,                                                                     
which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                          
     Yoga   Alliance   is   an   international   association                                                                    
     representing   nearly  80,000   small  businesses   and                                                                    
     individuals in the  yoga industry; 232 of  those are in                                                                    
     As you know,  the effect of HB 305 would  be to clarify                                                                    
     that the  Alaska Commission on  Postsecondary Education                                                                    
     (ACPE)  institutional  authorization process  does  not                                                                    
     apply to  yoga teacher training programs  (YTTs).  This                                                                    
     clarification   is   important  because   institutional                                                                    
     authorization  by ACPE  is designed  for programs  that                                                                    
     provide "for  attainment of  educational, professional,                                                                    
     or  vocational objectives."    Alaska Stat.  14.48.210.                                                                    
     Since  participants in  YTT  programs primarily  attend                                                                    
     for  recreational and  avocational purposes,  exempting                                                                    
     these programs from ACPE  regulation is appropriate and                                                                    
     necessary  to  prevent  undue   burden  on  small  yoga                                                                    
9:38:03 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KELLER closed public testimony.                                                                                           
9:38:14 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE COLVER stated support for HB 305 and said it                                                                     
would remove unnecessary regulation and increase access to yoga.                                                                
9:38:30 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO  moved to report  the proposed CS  for HB
305,  Version 29-LS1401\H,  with  individual recommendations  and                                                               
the accompanying  fiscal notes.   There  being no  objection CSHB
305(EDC)  was   reported  from   the  House   Education  Standing                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CSHB305 Sponsor Statement.pdf HEDC 3/28/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 305
CSHB305 ver H.pdf HEDC 3/28/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 305
CSHB305 EDC Sectional Analysis.pdf HEDC 3/28/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 305
HB305 Sectional Analysis.pdf HEDC 3/28/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 305
CSHB305 EDC Summary of Changes.pdf HEDC 3/28/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 305
HB305 ver A.pdf HEDC 3/28/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 305
HB305 Supporting Documents.pdf HEDC 3/28/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 305
HB305 Opposing Documents.pdf HEDC 3/28/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 305
HB305 Alaska Statutes on Regulation of Postsecondary Institutions.pdf HEDC 3/28/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 305
HB305 ACPE Application for Initial Authorization.pdf HEDC 3/28/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 305
HB305 National Trends on State Regulation of YTTS as Occupational Schools.pdf HEDC 3/28/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 305
HB305 History of Yoga Alliance.pdf HEDC 3/28/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 305
HB357 ver. A.PDF HEDC 3/28/2016 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/1/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 357
HB357 Sponsors Statement.pdf HEDC 3/28/2016 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/1/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 357
CSHB298 ver W.pdf HEDC 3/28/2016 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/1/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 298