Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124

02/16/2018 03:15 PM House LABOR & COMMERCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
Moved CSHB 110(L&C) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
          HB 110-MASSAGE THERAPY LICENSING; EXEMPTIONS                                                                      
4:18:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KITO  announced that  the next order  of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO.  110, "An Act relating to the  practice of massage                                                               
therapy;  relating  to  the  Board  of  Massage  Therapists;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
4:19:00 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
4:19:21 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  moved  to   adopt  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for  HB   110,  labeled  30-LS0157\U,  Radford,                                                               
2/9/18, as the working draft.                                                                                                   
CHAIR KITO objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                    
4:19:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CRYSTAL KOENEMAN,  Staff, Representative  Sam Kito,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, reviewed  the changes contained  in Version U  of HB
110.  First, on page 1,  a new section was inserted that modifies                                                               
the language  regarding the qualifications  of the  public member                                                               
for the Board  of Massage Therapists by  removing the restriction                                                               
of  being  a  former  member of  another  occupational  licensing                                                               
board.   This recommendation  was also  mentioned in  the state's                                                               
Legislative   Audit   Division,    [Audit   08-20109-17],   Audit                                                               
Recommendation three, she said.                                                                                                 
MS. KOENEMAN  reported the second  change, noting that  Version U                                                               
removes all  language regarding an application  for exemption for                                                               
those currently  in the exception  category under  Alaska Statute                                                               
(AS) 08.61.080, which relates  to energy workers, reflexologists,                                                               
and structural integrators.  She  said with that change Version U                                                               
would  only apply  to licensure  of massage  therapists under  AS                                                               
08.61].   The final change  is in Section  4 of Version  U, which                                                               
amends the  standards of license  renewal by changing  the annual                                                               
fingerprint requirement  from every  renewal cycle to  once every                                                               
six years or every three licensing cycles.                                                                                      
4:21:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  KITO  removed  his  objection.   There  being  no  further                                                               
objection, Version U was adopted as the working document.                                                                       
4:22:43 PM                                                                                                                    
GRETCHEN  GRAEFF,  Massage  Therapist   and  Rolfer,  shared  her                                                               
concerns with  the proposed bill.   She said she was  unclear why                                                               
the  board has  been slow  to  require infection  control in  its                                                               
safety education requirements.   She previously testified on this                                                               
last year, noting  this change was recommended  at previous board                                                               
meetings.   She expressed concern  that the board refers  to last                                                               
century's  recommendations  instead of  more  current  ones.   An                                                               
additional  concern  was  that   the  issue  of  massage  therapy                                                               
establishments  has  distracted  the board  from  regulating  the                                                               
practice of massage therapy.  She  added that the current Code of                                                               
Ethics  and Standards  of Practice  are ambiguous  and confusing.                                                               
The interpretation  by licensed massage therapists  of the Health                                                               
Insurance  Privacy and  Portability Act  (HIPPA) and  the Centers                                                               
for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC) are broad, occasionally                                                               
inaccurate, and quite varied throughout the state.                                                                              
MS. GRAEFF added  that at the board's December  2017 meeting, the                                                               
board  had stated,  "The standards  of practice  are currently  a                                                               
recommendation and  do not have  a disciplinary matrix."   It was                                                               
time that was  put in place, although it may  be possible that it                                                               
already is, she said.  That  was problematic, she said, given the                                                               
letter  from  David  Edward  Smith,   who  advised  that  massage                                                               
therapists must adhere  to the standards of practice  and code of                                                               
ethics in our  state.  She said that the  biggest concern was for                                                               
the licensing  of businesses  in the state.   The  implication of                                                               
the board  needing to  help law enforcement  by having  a massage                                                               
therapy   establishment  indicates   that  currently,   unless  a                                                               
business  in Alaska  is under  the regulation  of a  professional                                                               
board, that business  may sell illegal services.   She was unsure                                                               
if that is true.                                                                                                                
MS.  GRAEFF said  that if  the board  is going  to recognize  the                                                               
Board  of Massage's  jurisdiction  to the  regulation of  massage                                                               
establishments to  help law enforcement with  trafficking, sexual                                                               
assault,  and  exploitation, she  would  like  this committee  to                                                               
recognize  these potential  crimes  are more  extensive than  the                                                               
nefarious use of her profession as  a front.  She lauded the work                                                               
by  the board  for  regulations for  governing  the licensing  of                                                               
massage therapists.   Since the  massage therapists are  in their                                                               
third  year of  licensure,  the standards  should  be clear,  she                                                               
said.   She offered  her belief that  the law  enforcement issues                                                               
are  large  enough to  be  concerned  at the  business  licensing                                                               
level, she  said.  She was  unsure why law enforcement  could not                                                               
stop  prostitution  advertising  as  massage  services  when  the                                                               
licensing requirement governing massage therapists is in place.                                                                 
4:28:47 PM                                                                                                                    
TRACI  GILMOUR,  Owner, TLC  Massage  Therapy;  Member, Board  of                                                               
Massage  Therapists,  Division   of  Corporations,  Business  and                                                               
Professional   Licensing   (DCBPL),   Department   of   Commerce,                                                               
Community &  Economic Development (DCCED), as  a licensee, stated                                                               
her support  for the  proposed committee  substitute for  HB 110.                                                               
She  emphasized that  increased  continuing  education hours  and                                                               
licensure has  created better consumer expectations  for massage.                                                               
Therapists can  coordinate better  with medical  professionals to                                                               
serve  clients  and provide  a  better  course of  treatment  for                                                               
clients.    Massage  therapists  are  learning  to  network  with                                                               
outside  agencies  and  better  represent  their  professions  in                                                               
working  with state,  local, and  federal law  enforcement.   She                                                               
added  that   licensure  for  massage  therapists,   as  well  as                                                               
requiring  fingerprinting for  background  checks  can help  stop                                                               
human  trafficking.     She  fully  supported   the  decrease  in                                                               
continuing education  for the bloodborne  pathogens since  it has                                                               
been difficult  to find  providers for a  four-hour course.   She                                                               
added that  reducing the burden  of fingerprinting to  once every                                                               
third renewal  period reduces  costs to  licensees.   She offered                                                               
her support for the proposed CS for HB 110.                                                                                     
4:31:42 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   WOOL    asked   about   board    regulation   of                                                               
establishments.  He said it  was difficult to understand previous                                                               
testimony; however, he recalled  that some businesses engaging in                                                               
illegal activity would  be easier to identify and  monitor if the                                                               
[legitimate] massage therapy businesses  had physical licenses on                                                               
their premises.                                                                                                                 
MS.  GILMOUR  agreed.   She  identified  a  professional  massage                                                               
business in Anchorage that has  been cited four times for illegal                                                               
activity.  Since businesses are  not licensed, it is difficult to                                                               
determine  if  the  business is  providing  legitimate  services.                                                               
Although  not  required to  do  so,  she posts  her  professional                                                               
license  and  puts  her license  number  on  all  correspondence.                                                               
Without  investigations, the  [illegal]  businesses can  operate.                                                               
She said she supports professional  business licenses for massage                                                               
therapists; however, she would like to keep licensure costs low.                                                                
4:33:37 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   SULLIVAN-LEONARD    asked   whether   bloodborne                                                               
pathogen  training is  available at  hospitals or  the [American]                                                               
Red Cross.                                                                                                                      
MS. GILMOUR said that the  new exam would be administered through                                                               
massage  therapist schools,  but  continuing  education could  be                                                               
online  or  available  as  part  of a  first  aid  course.    She                                                               
explained that it  has been difficult to  obtain four-hour online                                                               
courses  in  bloodborne  pathogens.     In  further  response  to                                                               
Representative  Sullivan-Leonard, she  said it  was difficult  to                                                               
find the four-hour courses.                                                                                                     
CHAIR  KITO stated  that the  initial training  was available  to                                                               
massage  therapists;  however,  for  renewal  purposes,  two-hour                                                               
courses  were available  in first  aid courses,  but it  was more                                                               
difficult to find four-hour courses.                                                                                            
4:35:33 PM                                                                                                                    
VOLKER  HRUBY, President,  American  Massage Therapy  Association                                                               
(AMTA), Alaska  Chapter, stated  that he  is a  life-long Alaskan                                                               
who  has  been a  massage  therapist  for  13  years in  the  spa                                                               
industry, medical  massage, and in  private practice.   The AMTA,                                                               
Alaska  Chapter, represents  many massage  therapists in  Alaska.                                                               
and offers its support of  the proposed committee substitute (CS)                                                               
for HB  110.  The  new version of  the bill [Version  U] requires                                                               
massage  boards to  adopt regulations  governing massage  therapy                                                               
establishments in addition to individual  therapists.  He offered                                                               
his belief that  this would give the state the  authority to shut                                                               
down operations of human  trafficking and prostitution activities                                                               
by those  who use massage therapy  as a front.   In addition, the                                                               
proposed  bill would  increase the  minimum course  of study  for                                                               
licensure from  500 to  625 hours,  which represents  the current                                                               
national minimum standard.  It  would also reduce the requirement                                                               
of safety  education for  bloodborne pathogens  from four  to two                                                               
hours  as recommended  by the  national standard.   Finally,  the                                                               
proposed  bill would  change the  requirement for  fingerprinting                                                               
every  six  years instead  of  every  two  years.   The  enabling                                                               
legislation   established  the   Board  of   Massage  Therapists,                                                               
statutes, and  requirements for  licensure of  massage therapists                                                               
almost four years  ago.  Thus, the need for  minor adjustments to                                                               
licensure has  arisen.  He urged  members to move this  bill from                                                               
4:37:50 PM                                                                                                                    
LAUREN  PAAP,  President,   American  Organization  for  Bodywork                                                               
Therapy  of  Asia  (AOBTA),  stated  that  she  represents  Asian                                                               
Bodywork  therapists,  such  as  shiatsu,  acupressure,  amma  or                                                               
qigong.  She  asked for clarification on whether  her members, if                                                               
not exempted would have been required  to pay a fee.  She further                                                               
asked  if  her  group  was  required to  be  licensed  under  the                                                               
proposed CS for HB 110.                                                                                                         
CHAIR KITO said  that portion of the bill was  removed and is not                                                               
in the current CSHB 110, {Version U].                                                                                           
MS. PAAP referenced whether there  was an intent to include Asian                                                               
bodywork  members  in  the  future.   If  so,  she  had  specific                                                               
CHAIR  KITO  assured Ms.  Papp  that  the  only bill  before  the                                                               
committee  was  the  current committee  substitute  for  HB  110,                                                               
[Version U], that includes three  changes to licensing of massage                                                               
MS. PAAP  directed attention to  the provision that  requires 625                                                               
CHAIR  KITO asked  her to  limit  questions to  the bill  version                                                               
before  the committee  and to  contact his  staff for  discussion                                                               
MS. PAAP offered to do so.                                                                                                      
4:40:25 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KITO closed public testimony on HB 110.                                                                                   
4:40:44 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  moved  to  report  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for  HB   110,  Version  30-LS0157\U,  Radford,                                                               
2/9/18, out of committee with  individual recommendations and the                                                               
accompanying fiscal  notes.  There  being no objection,  the CSHB
110(L&C) was reported from the  House Labor and Commerce Standing                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB110 Version U.pdf HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 110
HB083 Supporting Document - Alaska Comparable Plans 4.18.17.pdf HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 83
HB083 ver A 3.2.17.PDF HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 83
HB083 Supporting Document - Compare DB to DC access 4.18.17.pdf HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 83
HB083 Fiscal Note DOA-COM 2.9.18.pdf HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 83
HB83 Oakley Presentation.pdf HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 83
HB83 Sectional Analysis 2.28.17.pdf HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 83
HB083 Fiscal Note DOA-DRB 2.9.18.pdf HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 83
HB083 Supporting Document - 401k retirement readiness 4.18.17.pdf HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 83
HB110 Fiscal Note DCCED-DCBPL 2.09.18.pdf HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 110
HB110 Supporting Documents - Support Letters 2.15.18.pdf HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 110
HB110 Supporting Documents - Opposition Letters 2.12.18.pdf HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 110
HB303 Sectional Analysis 2.6.18.pdf HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 303
HB303 Supporting Document-Workers' Compensation Board Resolution No. 17-01 2.6.18.pdf HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 303
HB303 Transmittal Letter 2.6.18.pdf HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 303
HB303 Fiscal Note DOA DRM 1.24.18.pdf HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 303
HB303 ver A 2.6.18.PDF HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 303
HB303 Fiscal Note DOA-DRM 2.6.18.pdf HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 303
HB303 HLAC DOLWD presentation 2.16.18.pdf HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 303
HB303 Opposition Letter 2.15.18.pdf HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 303
HB110 Support Letters 2.15.18.pdf HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 110
HB110 Sponsor Statement 2.15.18.pdf HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 110
HB110 Sectional Analysis 2.15.18.pdf HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 110
HB083 Letters of Support 2.15.18.pdf HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 83
HB083 Letters of Support 2.16.18 packet 2.pdf HL&C 2/16/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 83