Legislature(1995 - 1996)
01/16/1996 08:00 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 382 - EXTEND BOARD OF DISPENSING OPTICIANS HB 404 - EXTENDING BOARD OF CHIROPRACTORS HB 405 - EXTEND BOARD OF OPTOMETRISTS Number 0529 The first order of business to come before the House State Affairs Committee was HB 382, HB 404 and HB 405. CHAIR JAMES said she prepared HB 382 and her Committee Aide, Walter Wilcox, was here to make the presentation. Number 0544 WALTER WILCOX, Committee Aide, House State Affairs Committee, read the sponsor statement for HB 382, HB 404 and HB 405. House Bill 382 extended the board for four years, HB 404 extended the board for five years, and HB 405 extended the board for five years. Mr. Wilcox stated the boards were responsible for overseeing the licensing of doctors that were covered by the appropriate board. The board must be extended, he stated, if the doctors were to be licensed. He further stated the fiscal notes identified the cost of the programs which were included in the 1997 fiscal year operating budget, therefore new funds were not required. Mr. Wilcox informed the committee, concerns were raised in the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee regarding some of the boards of which legislation was forthcoming. Catherine Reardon, Director, Division of Occupational Licensing was here to answer any questions from the committee. Number 0597 REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN asked Mr. Wilcox to share with the committee the concerns expressed in the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee. MR. WILCOX said he would defer to Ms. Reardon to answer that question. Number 0611 CHAIR JAMES asked Ms. Reardon to come forth and join them at the table for further discussion. She informed the committee members HB 382, HB 404 and HB 405 were grouped together because of their similarities, but they would vote on them separately. Number 0645 CATHERINE REARDON, Director, Division of Occupational Licensing, Department of Commerce and Economic Development, thanked Representatives James and Kott for introducing the three bills before them. She stated the boards were up for their scheduled "sunset period." The Legislative Budget and Audit Committee recommended extending all three boards, she stated. The fiscal notes were not new money the division would need, she asserted, but reflected the ongoing cost needed to run the programs. Ms. Reardon said, the issues brought forth in the "sunset" audits were relatively minor statute concerns. For example, the Board of Optometrists audit suggested the application deadline be regulated by department rather than by statute. The statute mandated that the application must be received 15 days before the examination causing administrative trouble in the department. It also suggested removing statute licensing requirements for branch offices, and finally, it recommended deleting some statute requirements due to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Board of Chiropractor Examiners audit suggested eliminating licensing reciprocity with other states. The Board of Dispensing Opticians audit suggested eliminating one of two statutes that addressed Alaska licensing requirements for those licensed in other states. The audit also suggested instituting a civil fine for practicing the field of opticianry without a license. In summary, she stated, the legislative audits were favorable towards the boards. Number 0975 CHAIR JAMES thanked Ms. Reardon and opened the floor up for discussion and questions. Number 0980 REPRESENTATIVE CAREN ROBINSON asked Ms. Reardon if the Administration would be making suggestions for changes or was it the responsibility of the legislature. Number 1000 MS. REARDON said the Administration agreed with all of the suggested changes as a result of the audits. However, the Governor did not intend to introduce legislation this year. The concentration was solely on extending the boards at this time. Number 1040 CHAIR JAMES asked if there were further questions or comments. Number 1045 REPRESENTATIVE SCOT OGAN asked if the boards had any judicial powers. Number 1062 MS. REARDON cited the Board of Registration for Architects, Engineers, Land Surveyors had the ability to fine up to $5,000 for unlicensed activity. However, the great majority of the boards did not have judicial power, she said. It was left to the court system burdened with perceived more serious cases. Ms. Reardon mentioned again the dispensing opticians audit recommended instituting a civil fine authority for that board. Number 1098 CHAIR JAMES asked if there were further questions or comments and thanked Ms. Reardon for her time. She called on the first teleconference participant in Anchorage, Larry Harper. Number 1114 LARRY HARPER via Anchorage, Licensed Dispensing Optician, testified and recommended to the committee the Board of Dispensing Opticians and the Board of Optometrists have the same "sunset" expiration date. Number 1175 CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Wilcox to respond. MR. WILCOX said it was his understanding the intention was to stagger the expiration dates for the audit department's work load. He called on Ms. Reardon to respond further. Number 1198 MS. REARDON said it was her understanding it worked that way in prior years. She said the chiropractic extension could be adjusted, however. Number 1200 MR. WILCOX said there was no objection to making them all the same. Number 1211 CHAIR JAMES said, that would be up to the committee, and asked if there were further questions or comments. Number 1217 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked Ms. Reardon to explain the makeup of the boards. Number 1242 MS. REARDON said there were five members on each board. The Board of Optometrists consisted of four licensed optometrists and one public member. The Board of Chiropractic Examiners consisted of four licensed chiropractors and one public member. The Board of Dispensing Opticians consisted of four opticians to include some licensed in contacts and some in spectacles, and one public member. The Board of Dispensing Opticians met one time per year to help keep expenses down, while the other two boards met twice a year. Teleconference meetings were arranged, when needed. Number 1350 CHAIR JAMES asked if there were further questions or comments. Number 1355 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER moved that HB 382 move from committee. Hearing no objection, HB 382 was moved out of the House State Affairs Committee with the attached fiscal note and individual recommendations. Number 1375 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN said there was discussion about changing "2000" to "2001" for the Board of Dispensing Opticians. He asked if the decision was to leave it at "2000." Number 1380 CHAIR JAMES said it would remain as is because there was a motion made and no one objected. Number 1390 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved that HB 404 move from committee. Hearing no objection, HB 404 was moved out of the House State Affairs Committee with the attached fiscal note and individual recommendations. Number 1405 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved that HB 405 move from the committee. Hearing no objection, HB 405 was moved out of the House State Affairs Committee with the attached fiscal note and individual recommendations.