Legislature(2009 - 2010)BARNES 124

04/07/2010 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 159 WORKERS' COMPENSATION FUNERAL EXPENSES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held, Assigned to Subcommittee
+ SB 247 EXTENDING BOARD OF PHARMACY TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ SB 248 EXTEND BD OF MARITAL & FAMILY THERAPY TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ SB 262 EXTEND BOARD OF SOCIAL WORK EXAMINERS TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ SB 263 EXTEND BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
          SB 248-EXTEND BD OF MARITAL & FAMILY THERAPY                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:54:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON announced that the next order of business would be                                                                  
CS  FOR  SENATE   BILL  NO.  248(L&C),  "An   Act  extending  the                                                               
termination date of the Board  of Marital and Family Therapy; and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:55:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TIM  BENINTENDI,   Staff,  Senator  Donny  Olson,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  explained that  SB 248  would extend  the Board  of                                                               
Marital and  Family Therapists until  June 30, 2014.   He further                                                               
explained that the committee substitute  corrects the sunset date                                                               
to reflect  the sunset date in  the audit.  He  related that this                                                               
board  is  a small  board  consisting  of three  therapists,  two                                                               
public members,  and 84 licensees.   The  pool of funds  is small                                                               
and the license fee is $775.   The audit did not find any adverse                                                               
impacts to  the public but  did find  that the cost  of operating                                                               
the board  is more  than the  revenues received.   In  short, the                                                               
Board of Marital  and Family Therapists is working  to reduce its                                                               
deficit, which  currently stands at $2,000.   Auditors discovered                                                               
the board  is working to reduce  its deficit rather than  to work                                                               
on regulation projects  it needs.  As with the  other boards, the                                                               
auditors  found the  DCCED needs  to provide  additional support.                                                               
Further, the  Office of  the Governor needs  to make  more timely                                                               
appointments  to the  board.   No other  problems were  found, he                                                               
stated.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:57:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAT  DAVIDSON,  Legislative   Auditor,  Division  of  Legislative                                                               
Audit, Alaska State Legislature, introduced herself.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLMES   asked  about  the   expensive  licensing                                                               
renewal fees and how the fees compare to other licensees.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  DAVIDSON explained  that the  occupational licensing  boards                                                               
pay licensing  fees every other  year.  The statutes  require the                                                               
boards to be  financially self supporting.  The  Board of Marital                                                               
and Family Therapists has a  declining membership.  She explained                                                               
that  counselors  cannot  call   themselves  marital  and  family                                                               
therapists  unless  they  are actually  professional  therapists.                                                               
However, there  is some  overlap of  practice between  this board                                                               
and the Board  of Professional Counselors.   Since the occupation                                                               
of marital and  family therapists is a specialty,  if a therapist                                                               
found  the fees  were  onerous,  he/she may  decide  to select  a                                                               
different  license.     While  the   license  may   require  some                                                               
additional training or study, generally  the auditors found a lot                                                               
of movement between the two boards.   She related that four years                                                               
ago the auditors reviewed the  mental health professional boards,                                                               
including  Social Workers,  Marital  and  Family Therapists,  and                                                               
Professional   Counselors,    Psychologists   and   Psychological                                                               
Associates.   The auditors researched  whether the  boards should                                                               
be combined  and found  a "lot of  pushback."   The professionals                                                               
did not  want to  combine their  professions and  the legislature                                                               
made  no effort  to do  so.   She applauded  the board  for being                                                               
fiscally   prudent,  but   pointed  out   it  is   important  for                                                               
professional  boards to  keep regulations  up to  date to  better                                                               
serve  Alaska's citizens.   Therefore,  the auditors  recommended                                                               
only  a  four-year  extension  to review  whether  the  board  is                                                               
viable.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  DAVIDSON, in  response to  Representative Holmes,  explained                                                               
that to  some degree the  board is caught  between a "rock  and a                                                               
hard place" and  whatever decision they make will  be a difficult                                                               
one.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:01:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH asked whether any  other boards are not self-                                                               
sustaining.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. DAVIDSON offered her belief  that other boards are either not                                                               
in a  deficit situation or  have raised  fees to the  extent that                                                               
they would be solvent in a two or possibly four year timeframe.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:02:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. DAVIDSON,  in response to Representative  Buch, answered that                                                               
she is not  certain of details but these  professionals have very                                                               
similar education and  experience.  She said she  could not speak                                                               
to  whether that  may be  the difference  of one  college course.                                                               
She  recalled  that some  costs  occur  at  startup or  during  a                                                               
regulations project.   Additionally,  when an  investigation goes                                                               
through the  complete process  it can  be costly  in terms  of an                                                               
investigator's time  and Department of  Law's costs.   This board                                                               
just went through one  of those items and it is  just a matter if                                                               
working through the cycle, she stated.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH inquired  as to whether the  Board of Marital                                                               
and Family Therapists can sustain itself.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  DAVIDSON explained  that in  reviewing the  five-year fiscal                                                               
analysis, auditors  found the board  has been working  itself out                                                               
of  its deficit.   She  reported that  in FY  06 the  deficit was                                                               
$42,000; in  FY 08,  it was  down to $29,000.   She  related that                                                               
there are  only 83  professionals on  this board,  although other                                                               
boards  are equally  as  small.   She stated  that  the Board  of                                                               
Direct Entry  Midwives also has  high fees.  She  further related                                                               
that the professionals generally agree to pay the higher fees.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CHENAULT  asked   why  the  auditors  recommended                                                               
extending the board only four  years instead of the typical eight                                                               
years.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  DAVIDSON explained  since the  Board of  Marital and  Family                                                               
Therapists delayed  its regulations  project the  auditors wanted                                                               
to see the board addressing the issues.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:07:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  OLSON,  after first  determining  no  one else  wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on SB 248.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:07:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CHENAULT moved to report  the CSSB 248(L&C) out of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal  notes.   There  being  no  objection, CSSB  248(L&C)  was                                                               
reported from the House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:08:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 4:08 p.m. to 4:10 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:10:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB159 ver R.pdf HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 159
Apr 7 Packet Info.pdf HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB159 Fiscal Note_DOL-WD-WC_03-26-09.pdf HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 159
SB159 Sponsor Statement ver R.pdf HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 159
SB159 Supporting Documents - Letter NFIB.pdf HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 159
SB159 Supporting Documents Commissioner Bishop Letter.pdf HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 159
SB159 Supporting Documents NCCI Analysis.pdf HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 159
CSSB247 (L&C) ver R.PDF HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 247
CSSB247(L&C) Audit.pdf HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 247
CSSB247 (L&C) Sponsor Statement ver R.pdf HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 247
CSSB247 Fiscal Note-2-1-032410-CED-Y.pdf HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 247
CSSB247(L&C) Audit Summary.pdf HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 247
CSSB248 (L&C) ver R.PDF HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 248
CSSB248 (L&C) Sponsor Statement ver R.pdf HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 248
CSSB248 (L&C) Fiscal Note-2-1-032410-CED-Y.pdf HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 248
CSSB248 (L&C) Audit Summary.PDF HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 248
CSSB248 (L&C) Audit.PDF HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 248
SB262 ver A.pdf HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 262
SB262 Sponsor Statement ver A.pdf HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 262
SB262 Fiscal Note-CED-CBPL-3-8-10 Fiscal Note.pdf HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 262
SB262 Audit-Board of Social Work Examiners.pdf HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 262
SB262 Audit Summary.pdf HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 262
SB63 ver A.pdf HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 263
SB263 Sponsor Statement ver A.pdf HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 263
SB263 Fiscal Note-CED-CBPL-3-8-10 Fiscal Note.pdf HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 263
SB263 Audit-Board of Professional Counselors.pdf HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 263
SB263 Audit Summary.pdf HL&C 4/7/2010 3:15:00 PM
SB 263