Legislature(2003 - 2004)
02/27/2003 01:43 PM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE BILL NO. 74 An Act extending the termination date of the Board of Nursing. REPRESENTATIVE NANCY DAHLSTROM noted that AS 08.64.010 established the Board of Nurses, whose members are appointed by the Governor, consist of one licensed practical nurse currently involved in institutional nursing service, one registered nurse engaged in baccalaureate nursing, three registered nurses at large, and two persons with no director financial interests in the healthcare industry. HB 74, if enacted would extend the Board operation for another 4 years to June 30, 2007. She explained that the Board serves the public interest by establishing minimum education and work experience requirements that individuals must meet to become licensed nurses or certified nursing aides. The Board further services the public interest by investigating complaints against licensed professionals and taking disciplinary licensing action when appropriate. KIMBERLY HANGER, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE NANCY DAHLSTROM, stated that in accordance with the intent of Title 24 & Title 44 of the Alaska Statutes, the Division of Legislative Audit reviewed the activities of the Board. The conclusions resulting from that audit was a recommendation for an extension of the Board. She referenced a letter received from Catherine Reardon, previous Director of the Division of Occupational Licensing in the Department of Community and Economic Development, which endorses the findings and recommends the extension. Ms. Hanger pointed out Amendment #1. (Copy on File). The amendment would extend the Board through 2011. Representative Hawker noted that within the audit, there had been two recommendations: · One involving procedures for notification of the pharmacies; and · One on the self-evaluation checklist. He inquired what the Board had done regarding those recommendations. Ms. Hanger explained that regarding the first recommendation, the audit was correct and that they do not have a specific procedure for the Board of Pharmacies. The Board of Nursing met with Margaret Snowden, Chair, Board of Pharmacy. The Board met with her and devised a plan to communicate with that Board and currently, they are keeping better records. The second concern recommended that the Board of Nursing develop and implement a self evaluation checklist for the organization certified nursing aid training program. Ms. Hanger acknowledged that was an excellent recommendation. The Board has implemented a procedure for directing staff to develop a self-monitoring checklist. Representative Stoltze MOVED to ADOPT Amendment #1. There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted. Co-Chair Harris asked Ms. Davidson about changing the date and what savings that would provide the State. PAT DAVIDSON, DIRECTOR-LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR, DIVISION OF LEGISLATIVE AUDIT, advised that the cost of sunset audits can range anywhere between $8 to $20 thousand dollars depending upon the sort of issues that come up during the course of an audit. In terms of the Medical Board and the Nursing Board, the key concerns regard whether they are proactive with legislation and not relying upon the sunset process to bring concerns forward. She noted that it is important that they are acting financially appropriate when additional costs are incurred. Ms. Davidson noted that for both the boards, their prior extension was eight years and because those boards have always addressed their key concerns, the Audit Committee recommends the extension. Boards are required to cover some costs, however, they do not cover the costs of legislative or audit time. Co-Chair Harris inquired if during the audit reviews, there had been members that had complaints. Ms. Davidson responded that there were no significant complaints with regard to the boards and that membership of the boards have to bear the cost associated with investigations. Co-Chair Harris asked what the agreement was regarding the $192 contractual dollars. Ms. Davidson responded that typically those are legal costs for investigations and/or regulatory changes. NANCY SANDERS, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), CHAIR, BOARD OF NURSING, ANCHORAGE, spoke in support of HB 74 and urged passage of the legislation. She offered to answer questions of the Committee. MARY WEYMILLER, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), MEMBER, BOARD OF NURSING, ANCHORAGE, noted her support and urged passage of HB 74. RICK URION, DIRECTOR OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING, DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, testified in support of HB 74. He noted that Board provides a valuable service. He urged passage of the bill so that they can continue their 'good work'. Vice-Chair Meyer MOVED to report CS HB 74 (FIN) out of Committee with individual recommendations and with the accompanying fiscal note. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. CS HB 74 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with a new fiscal note by the Department of Community & Economic Development.