Legislature(2003 - 2004)

02/10/2003 03:15 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB  74-EXTEND BOARD OF NURSING                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1814                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON announced  that the final order  of business would                                                               
be  consideration of  HOUSE BILL  NO. 74,  "An Act  extending the                                                               
termination date of the Board of Nursing."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM, as  sponsor of  HB 74,  noted that  it                                                               
extends the termination  date of the Board of Nurses  to June 30,                                                               
2007.  She  described the membership of the board  and noted that                                                               
it   establishes   minimum    education   and   work   experience                                                               
requirements  for licensed  nurses and  certified nursing  aides.                                                               
The   board  also   investigates   complaints  against   licensed                                                               
professionals  and takes  disciplinary  action when  appropriate.                                                               
She said the board acts  efficiently, and she urged the committee                                                               
to pass the bill.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1753                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KIMBERLY HANGER, Staff to  Representative Nancy Dahlstrom, Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature, testified  that the  Division of  Legislative                                                               
Audit  reviewed  the  operations  of the  Board  of  Nursing  and                                                               
recommended the extension of the  board.  Each committee member's                                                               
packet  includes  a  letter  from  the  former  director  of  the                                                               
Division   of   Occupational    Licensing,   Catherine   Reardon,                                                               
recommending the extension of the board.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1712                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG  asked  whether the  sponsor  considered                                                               
adding   statutory   changes   to   the   bill   based   on   the                                                               
recommendations from  the auditors report [No.  08-20018-02].  He                                                               
pointed out  that the report  highlighted two issues:   notifying                                                               
the Board  of Pharmacy of  changes to the  prescriptive authority                                                               
of nurse  practitioners and nurse  anesthetists and  developing a                                                               
self-evaluation  monitoring checklist  for approved  nursing aide                                                               
training programs.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. HANGER  replied that  these are  regulatory matters  that the                                                               
board can deal with internally.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1630                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PAT  DAVIDSON, Legislative  Auditor, Legislative  Audit Division,                                                               
Alaska  State  Legislature,  replied to  Representative  Rokeberg                                                               
that the  two recommendations in  the audit are  operational, and                                                               
that the Board of Nursing responded  to both issues with plans of                                                               
action.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  asked Ms.  Davidson to explain  why this                                                               
audit also  recommends an  eight-year extension  on the  Board of                                                               
Nursing and to  explain to the committee the  scheduling and cost                                                               
of sunset audits.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1578                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. DAVIDSON  replied that  while the board  must cover  the full                                                               
cost of  its operations with  license fees,  it does not  pay the                                                               
cost  of legislative  hearings  or  audits.   An  audit can  cost                                                               
between  $8,000  and $20,000,  depending  on  the results.    For                                                               
example, the State Medical Board  and the Board of Nursing audits                                                               
are less  expensive because the  boards are well  established and                                                               
function  smoothly.   Some  of the  controversial  issues do  not                                                               
relate to the  board's operations.  The  Division of Occupational                                                               
Licensing  conducts   investigations,  and   its  work   must  be                                                               
prioritized because it serves the  boards across the occupations.                                                               
The  boards do  not have  control over  investigations, which  in                                                               
some cases are controversial and hit the newspapers.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 1387                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  DAVIDSON, in  response  to  Representative Rokeberg,  agreed                                                               
that the  legislature would  save one sunset  audit if  the board                                                               
were  extended  eight  years  instead  of four.    She  said  the                                                               
auditors would move  to the next priority on their  list and deal                                                               
with their  backlog sooner.   The length  of board  extensions is                                                               
completely up  to the  legislature.  When  the state  adopted the                                                               
sunset  law,  the  legislature  wanted to  keep  tabs  on  what's                                                               
happening  in  the  occupations,  helping ensure  that  they  are                                                               
operating  in  the  public's  best interest.    The  Division  of                                                               
Legislative   Audit  does   not   lightly  recommend   eight-year                                                               
extensions.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1268                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RICK  URION,   Director,  Division  of   Occupational  Licensing,                                                               
Department of  Community &  Economic Development,  testified that                                                               
his  division  favors  HB  74,  the extension  of  the  Board  of                                                               
Nursing.   He reminded the  committee that if  legislators extend                                                               
the  board  for eight  years,  they  always  have the  option  to                                                               
request an audit.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1109                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
NANCY SANDERS,  Chair, Board of  Nursing, spoke in support  of HB                                                               
74 and said she was available to answer questions.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG recounted how  he sponsored a budget bill                                                               
in 2000  which allowed  the Board of  Nursing licensees  to raise                                                               
their own  fees in order to  replace lost grant money.   He asked                                                               
about the outcome of that project.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. SANDERS  answered that she  was not  on the Board  of Nursing                                                               
when this event  took place and so she was  not familiar with the                                                               
project.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
[SANDY PERRY-PROVOST,  Lobbyist, Alaska Nurses  Association, said                                                               
she  did  not  know  the   answer  to  Representative  Rokeberg's                                                               
question.]                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0960                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN moved  to report HB 74 out  of committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations  and  the accompanying  fiscal  note.                                                               
There  being no  objections, HB  74 was  reported from  the House                                                               
Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                

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