Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124

03/22/2017 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 132 TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANIES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ HB 144 EXTEND BOARD OF VETERINARY EXAMINERS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ HB 86 STUDENT LOAN DEFAULT/OCC. LICENSE RENEWAL TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HJR 14 FCC: INCREASE RURAL HEALTH CARE BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Moved HJR 14 Out of Committee
+= HB 157 LIFE & HEALTH INSURANCE GUARANTY ASSN. TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 157 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+= HB 119 AIDEA:DIVIDEND TO STATE;INCOME;VALUATION TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 119 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+= HB 79 OMNIBUS WORKERS' COMPENSATION TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 79(L&C) Out of Committee
          HB 144-EXTEND BOARD OF VETERINARY EXAMINERS                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:35:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO  announced that  the next order  of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 144,  "An Act extending  the termination  date of                                                               
the  Board   of  Veterinary  Examiners;  and   providing  for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO  explained that HB  144 is  one of three  sunset bills                                                               
this year, and opined there will be 11 sunset bills next year.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:36:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRYSTAL KOENENMAN,  Staff, Representative Sam Kito,  III, Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature, advised  that  HB 144  extends  the Board  of                                                               
Veterinary  Examiners  until June  30,  2025.   The  Division  of                                                               
Legislative  Audit concurred  and  recommends  a full  eight-year                                                               
sunset and  believes the  board is operating  in the  best public                                                               
interest of the state, and  the health, safety, and well-being of                                                               
all  of  the  animals  and  livestock in  the  State  of  Alaska.                                                               
Concern was  expressed regarding  the board  and its  actions for                                                               
rural Alaska and  the animals in rural Alaska.   In 2010, private                                                               
citizens brought  these concerns  to the board,  and in  2012 and                                                               
2013,  the  board  took  appropriate   regulatory  action.    She                                                               
explained that it  increased the scope of  the "courtesy license"                                                               
allowing courtesy licensees  to apply to spay  and neuter clinics                                                               
in rural  Alaska.  The  regulations allow  veterinary technicians                                                               
to travel  to rural Alaska  and work remotely  with veterinarians                                                               
stationed  on the  road-system  in  an effort  to  help ease  the                                                               
burden in rural Alaska, and follow  the desires of pet owners and                                                               
prevent pets from procreating.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:38:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH asked whether  other states or jurisdictions                                                               
operate without some sort of oversight of veterinarians.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. KOENEMAN answered, "No."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:39:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KRIS CURTIS, Legislative Auditor,  Division of Legislative Audit,                                                               
Alaska  State Legislature,  advised  that  Legislative Audit  did                                                               
conduct a  sunset review  of the  Board of  Veterinary Examiners,                                                               
dated March of 2016.  She  explained that the purpose of a sunset                                                               
audit is  to determine  whether a board  is serving  the public's                                                               
interest  and whether  it should  be extended.   The  Division of                                                               
Legislative  Audit  did  find  that this  board  is  serving  the                                                               
public's  interest  by  appropriately  licensing  and  regulating                                                               
veterinarians  and veterinary  technicians,  she  remarked.   The                                                               
division recommends an eight-year  extension which is the maximum                                                               
allowed in statutory,  with the one recommendation  found on page                                                               
7  of the  audit.   The division  noted that  the board's  annual                                                               
reports submitted during the audit  period included the status of                                                               
prior  sunset  audit  findings of  the  dental  examiners  sunset                                                               
findings,  she offered.    Therefore, she  pointed  out that  the                                                               
division  recommended the  board chair  review the  annual report                                                               
before submission,  and described this as  a minimal housekeeping                                                               
type of  recommendation and it  did not  impact the sunset.   She                                                               
pointed  to page  5  of the  audit  report and  advised  it is  a                                                               
listing  of  the licenses  and  the  license  counts, and  as  of                                                               
February 2016,  there were 670  total licenses representing  a 57                                                               
percent  increase since  the  last  sunset audit  of  2008.   She                                                               
turned  to page  6 of  the audit  and said  it is  a schedule  of                                                               
revenues and  expenditure, at  the end  of FY13  the board  had a                                                               
surplus of  approximately $108,000  and the fees  were decreased.                                                               
At the  end of February 2016,  it was operating in  a deficit and                                                               
at that  point, the management  of the Division  of Corporations,                                                               
Business, and  Professional Licensing  did say it  would reassess                                                               
fees at the end of FY16.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:41:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO noted  that of the boards in committee,  there are two                                                               
running for a full eight-years,  with 10-11 boards coming up next                                                               
year.  He asked Ms. Curtis  how the Division of Legislative Audit                                                               
will try  to make  sure the  audits do  not all  hit in  a single                                                               
year,  or whether  there was  a  plan to  be sure  they would  be                                                               
spread out more equitably from year-to-year.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. CURTIS responded that the  Division of Legislative Audit will                                                               
conduct the  audits as it usually  does, and it will  look at the                                                               
findings.   In the event  the division is waffling  between five,                                                               
six, or  seven years, it will  look at its workload  to determine                                                               
how  it all  falls  out.   She  described  that  the Division  of                                                               
Legislative  Audit's recommendation  is simply  a recommendation.                                                               
She stated  that sometimes  the department  may recommend  a six-                                                               
year   extension,  and   someone  will   propose  a   three-years                                                               
extension,  or  a  controversial  issue   will  pop  up  and  the                                                               
organization will only have a  two-year extension.  She explained                                                               
that even though  the Division of Legislative Audit  may plan for                                                               
a smooth  workload over the  years, sometimes that just  does not                                                               
happen.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:42:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOCTOR   RACHAEL  BERNGARTT,   Veterinarian,   Alaska  Board   of                                                               
Veterinary Examiners, advised she has  been in Alaska since 2002,                                                               
and served on the board over one-year.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP  noted an  email petition  from a  number of                                                               
unhappy  constituents  who  were  not happy  with  the  Board  of                                                               
Veterinary Examiners.  He acknowledged  that he could barely read                                                               
the  email  and only  saw  "a  bunch  of signatures,"  and  asked                                                               
whether she was aware of the issue.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:44:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KOENEMAN responded  that the pushback she referred  to in her                                                               
opening statement was with regard  to those 318 signatures of the                                                               
petition.   The  concern  was about  veterinarian  care in  rural                                                               
Alaska and the spay and neuter  clinics, and she advised that the                                                               
board  did take  appropriate steps  in 2012  and 2013  addressing                                                               
those issues.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO opened public testimony on HB 144.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:45:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LEA  McKENZIE said  she was  testifying  on her  own behalf,  and                                                               
advised that the  people signing the 2010  petition believe there                                                               
has not been any improvement  in veterinary care in rural Alaska,                                                               
and asked  the committee to not  extend the board for  eight more                                                               
years  due to  the pet  care crisis  in rural  Alaska.   Prior to                                                               
2010, a veterinarian offered relief  to the people and animals in                                                               
the area  and, she  advised, veterinarians  are still  willing to                                                               
come  to  Alaska but  not  under  the conditions  that  currently                                                               
exist.   She  stated  that  "Alaska has  a  reputation for  being                                                               
unfriendly to,  and even  hostile, toward  those vets  that would                                                               
like come  and do their non-profit  work in rural Alaska."   This                                                               
service would  not impact the state's  budget as it is  footed by                                                               
non-profits existing outside  of Alaska.  Until  Alaska becomes a                                                               
friendlier environment for  these vets to help  rural Alaska, the                                                               
crisis affecting  animals and people  in these remote  areas will                                                               
continue.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:48:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOCTOR JIM HAGEE, Member, Board  of Veterinary Examiners, advised                                                               
that  he is  a practicing  veterinarian  in Chugach,  has been  a                                                               
resident of Alaska since 1998,  has practiced veterinary medicine                                                               
over 45-years, and  has been a member of the  Board of Veterinary                                                               
Examiners  for the  last 5-years.   He  explained that  the board                                                               
does deal with  rural Alaska, and for 6-years he  traveled to the                                                               
City of Dillingham practicing veterinary  care every other month.                                                               
Rural Alaska does  need veterinary care, he  acknowledged, yet on                                                               
the other hand it must  be remembered that veterinary medicine as                                                               
an  organized  discipline is  a  for-profit  entity.   Non-profit                                                               
groups  have  been instrumental  in  bringing  low-cost spay  and                                                               
neuters to the  villages; however, the continuity of  care is not                                                               
there.   In  order for  veterinarians, who  operate a  for-profit                                                               
business, to  go to villages  to provide continual care,  a great                                                               
economic  burden is  placed on  the veterinarian.   He  described                                                               
that going into  the village has to be almost  like a donation as                                                               
a  way  of  giving  back.    So far,  he  advised,  there  is  no                                                               
organization that  will provide  continued veterinary  care, only                                                               
sporadic spay and neuter care.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:50:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH thanked Dr. Hagee  for his service, years of                                                               
volunteering  in  the Dillingham  area,  and  he appreciates  Dr.                                                               
Hagee's service on the board.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES  commented  that living  in  rural  Alaska                                                               
where  there is  one veterinarian  clinic most  of the  time, she                                                               
said she fails to see  how this board's unfriendliness plays into                                                               
this subject, and that she was confused by the testimony.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KITO   advised  that   the  committee   may  be   able  to                                                               
independently look  at what is  going on with veterinary  care in                                                               
rural  Alaska,  and  determine whether  there  are  other  things                                                               
legislators may be able to help facilitate from "our role here."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES  related  that   as  the  owner  of  three                                                               
animals, that would be a beautiful thing.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO advised public testimony would remain open on HB 144.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
[HB 144 was held over.]                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CS HB132 ver R Work Draft 3.21.17.pdf HL&C 3/22/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
CS HB132 ver R Work Draft Sectional Analysis 3.21.17.pdf HL&C 3/22/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
CS HB132 ver R Work Draft Explanation of Changes 3.21.17.pdf HL&C 3/22/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
HJR014 Fiscal Note-HLAC 3.21.17.pdf HL&C 3/22/2017 3:15:00 PM
HJR 14
HB132 Supporting Documents - Letters of Opposition 3.21.17.pdf HL&C 3/22/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
HB132 Supporting Documents Index 3.21.17.pdf HL&C 3/22/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
HB132 Supporting Documents - Letters of Support 3.21.17.pdf HL&C 3/22/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
HB144 Legislative Audit 3.14.17.pdf HL&C 3/22/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 144
HB144 Sponsor Statement 3.14.17.pdf HL&C 3/22/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 144
HB144 Fiscal Note DCCED-DCBPL 3.17.17.pdf HL&C 3/22/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 144
HB086 Supporting Document - ACPE Loan Default Consequences 3.2.17.pdf HL&C 3/22/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 86
HB086 Supporting Document - NPR Article-States Review 3.2.17.pdf HL&C 3/22/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 86
HB086 Supporting Document - Letter of Support ANA 3.21.17.pdf HL&C 3/22/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 86
HB086 Fiscal Note DEED-APEC 3.2.17.pdf HL&C 3/22/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 86
HB086 Sponsor Statement 3.2.17.pdf HL&C 3/22/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 86
HB079 Sectional Analysis Version O 3.22.17.pdf HL&C 3/22/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 79
HB132 Version J Amendment 1 3.22.17.pdf HL&C 3/22/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
HB132 Version R Amendment 1 3.22.17.pdf HL&C 3/22/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
HB132 Version R Amendment 2 3.22.17.pdf HL&C 3/22/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
HB132 Version R Amendment 3 3.22.17.pdf HL&C 3/22/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
HB132 Version R Amendment 4 3.22.17.pdf HL&C 3/22/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132