Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/02/2003 03:18 PM House L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB  43-EXTEND STATE MEDICAL BOARD                                                                                             
[Contains discussion of HB 73]                                                                                                  
CHAIR ANDERSON announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be  CS  FOR  SENATE  BILL  NO. 43(FIN),  "An  Act  extending  the                                                               
termination date of the State Medical  Board."  He noted that the                                                               
committee had considered and passed  out earlier this session the                                                               
identical HB 73, extending the State Medical Board.                                                                             
Number 0085                                                                                                                     
SENATOR DONNY OLSON, Alaska State  Legislature, sponsor of SB 42,                                                               
explained that  the State  Medical Board  sunsets in  2003, which                                                               
triggers   the  legislative   review   of   its  operations   and                                                               
activities.   He'd introduced SB  43 to extend the  board because                                                               
of its satisfactory performance in  the recent past, its positive                                                               
legislative audit, and his own  experience [as a former member of                                                               
the State  Medical Board].   He  said he  expects the  board will                                                               
increase its  licensing activities  in the  near future  to serve                                                               
the  medical  community's expansion  and  the  retirement of  its                                                               
senior professionals.                                                                                                           
SENATOR OLSON  noted several  changes in  the medical  board over                                                               
the last several years, including  the addition of a board member                                                               
who is  a physician assistant  (PA).   He urged the  committee to                                                               
pass CSSB 43(FIN) out of committee.                                                                                             
Number 0189                                                                                                                     
SENATOR OLSON, in  reply to a question from  Chair Anderson, said                                                               
the  only change  to  SB 43  [as amended  by  the Senate  Finance                                                               
Committee] was to  reduce the board's extension  from eight years                                                               
to four years.                                                                                                                  
CHAIR ANDERSON  recalled the committee's  discussion on HB  73 on                                                               
whether to  extend the board  beyond the typical  four-year term.                                                               
He stated  that legislators  can request  a legislative  audit at                                                               
any time,  and that an  approaching sunset gives  the legislature                                                               
the opportunity to observe and monitor the board's work.                                                                        
Number 0274                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  asked if the committee  wants to match                                                               
the [eight-year] termination date of HB 73.                                                                                     
SENATOR OLSON  explained why he prefers  the four-year extension.                                                               
With the  addition of  a physician assistant,  the board  now has                                                               
eight  members.    He  said   he  feels  that  the  new  position                                                               
represents the PA  licensees.  The PAs have  attended every board                                                               
meeting as members of the  audience, closely watching the board's                                                               
work.   With  that  kind of  change in  membership,  he said,  he                                                               
wanted to see how well the board is doing after four years.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG asked whether  having an even number of                                                               
members would be a problem [in the case of tie votes].                                                                          
SENATOR OLSON  replied that both  houses of the  legislature have                                                               
an even number  of members.  Tie  votes occur but are  rare.  The                                                               
eighth   seat  on   the  State   Medical   Board  gives   another                                                               
perspective.  He said in  rural Alaska many physicians especially                                                               
appreciate  the   mid-level  professionals,   who  are   such  an                                                               
important part of fighting disease.                                                                                             
Number 0502                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM moved  to  report CSSB  43(FIN) out  of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal  note.   There  being  no  objection,  CSSB 43  (FIN)  was                                                               
reported from the House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee                                                                   

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