Legislature(2017 - 2018)SENATE FINANCE 532

04/13/2018 01:30 PM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 4:20 p.m. --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 110(L&C) Out of Committee
<Bill Hearing Rescheduled from 4/12/18 at 1:30pm>
Moved CSHB 318(FIN) Out of Committee
<Bill Hearing Rescheduled from 4/12/18 at 1:30pm>
Moved HB 323 Out of Committee
<Bill Hearing Rescheduled from 4/12/18 at 1:30pm>
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 318(FIN)                                                                                                
     "An Act extending the termination  date of the Board of                                                                    
     Social Work  Examiners; relating to the  composition of                                                                    
     the Board  of Social Work Examiners;  and providing for                                                                    
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
4:52:52 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon  read the  title of  the bill.  She noted                                                                    
that the  sponsor, Representative Ivy Spohnholz,  was on the                                                                    
House floor.                                                                                                                    
TED MADSEN,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE IVY  SPOHNHOLZ, discussed                                                                    
the bill.  He noted that  the bill was an  eight-year sunset                                                                    
extension for the  Board of Social Work  Examiners. He noted                                                                    
that  Section 2  of  the  bill contained  a  "tweak" to  the                                                                    
board's composition.  The subject  was discussed on  page 10                                                                    
of the  report by the  Division of Legislative  Audit. Under                                                                    
current law,  the board  could not  be entirely  composed of                                                                    
government agency  employees, or non-profit  social workers.                                                                    
He explained  that the  requirement had  made it  onerous to                                                                    
fill  the seats  of  the board.  The  proposed change  would                                                                    
allow for the  four licensed social workers on  the board to                                                                    
be non-profit employees.  He noted that it  was difficult to                                                                    
find a for-profit social worker  to fill the position on the                                                                    
board. The  agency responses indicated  that the  change had                                                                    
been supported.                                                                                                                 
4:55:03 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Curtis  discussed the document  "A Sunset Review  of the                                                                    
Department of Commerce,  Community and Economic Development,                                                                    
Board  of Social  Work Examiners  (board)," (copy  on file).                                                                    
She read from the report conclusions on the first page:                                                                         
     The  audit concluded  that the  board  operated in  the                                                                    
     public's   interest   by  effectively   licensing   and                                                                    
     regulating   social   workers.  Board   meetings   were                                                                    
     conducted in  compliance with law,  investigations were                                                                    
     generally  processed timely,  and the  board issued  or                                                                    
     changed regulations to improve the profession.                                                                             
Ms. Curtis  informed that the  division was  recommending an                                                                    
eight-year extension  of the  board. She  directed attention                                                                    
to page  6, which showed  a schedule of  licensing activity.                                                                    
As  of March  2017, there  were 783  total active  licenses,                                                                    
which was  a 41 percent  increase when compared to  the 2009                                                                    
sunset  audit.  Page 7  of  the  report  was a  schedule  of                                                                    
revenues and expenditures.  At the end of FY 17  there was a                                                                    
surplus of  $95,000. The fees were  listed on page 8  of the                                                                    
Ms. Curtis  directed attention to  page 9, where  the report                                                                    
began listing two recommendations for improvements:                                                                             
     Recommendation No. 1:                                                                                                      
     DCBPL's director should improve procedures to ensure                                                                       
     board-required documentation is obtained prior to                                                                          
Ms. Curtis  detailed that of  the 25 licenses  tested, there                                                                    
was  one error.  The  board had  appropriately approved  the                                                                    
license,  but   it  was   conditional  upon   receiving  key                                                                    
documentation.  Subsequently  DCBPL  staff  had  issued  the                                                                    
license without obtaining the documentation.                                                                                    
Ms. Curtis continued discussing the recommendations:                                                                            
     Recommendation No. 2:                                                                                                      
     The  Office of  the  Governor,  Boards and  Commissions                                                                    
     director  should  work  with   the  board  to  identify                                                                    
     potential  applicants for  the board's  vacant clinical                                                                    
     social worker position.                                                                                                    
Ms.  Curtis  detailed that  the  position  became vacant  in                                                                    
March  2017, and  was still  vacant in  October of  the same                                                                    
year.  She   referenced  earlier  testimony   regarding  the                                                                    
statutory requirements for board  members and the difficulty                                                                    
in finding applicants.                                                                                                          
Ms. Curtis  noted that  the response to  the audit  began on                                                                    
page   19.  The   Office  of   the  Governor   responded  to                                                                    
recommendation 2 and agreed  that the stringent requirements                                                                    
should  be  changed  and  encouraged the  board  to  seek  a                                                                    
legislative fix.  The response  from DCCED  was on  page 21,                                                                    
and  agreed with  both recommendations.  With regard  to the                                                                    
recommendation  for improving  licensure documentation,  the                                                                    
department agreed  that additional checks and  balances were                                                                    
needed  to ensure  the administrative  record was  complete.                                                                    
The department also stated  it needed additional supervisory                                                                    
resources to ensure the standards were met.                                                                                     
Ms.  Curtis continued  discussing the  audit and  noted that                                                                    
the board's response was on page  23 of the audit. The board                                                                    
agreed with both recommendations.                                                                                               
4:57:58 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon  asked if Ms. Curtis  had done historical                                                                    
research  in  order to  determine  why  the legislature  had                                                                    
adopted such stringent guidelines.                                                                                              
Ms. Curtis answered in the negative.                                                                                            
Mr. Madsen  indicated he had contacted  Legislative Research                                                                    
Services regarding the original  enactment of the board. The                                                                    
board  member guidelines  had been  a part  of the  original                                                                    
legislation crafted to create the  board in 1988. The intent                                                                    
was to find a private,  for-profit social worker to serve on                                                                    
the  board;  however,  the   vast  majority  of  individuals                                                                    
working in  social work  were not  working for  a for-profit                                                                    
4:59:25 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
5:00:22 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Madsen read  an excerpt  of an  email from  Legislative                                                                    
Research Services (copy not on file):                                                                                           
     We reviewed the bill  files and House committee minutes                                                                    
     for HB 526,  and note that a major concern  in 1988 was                                                                    
     the issue of  social workers in private  practice and a                                                                    
     lack  of regulation  or any  means to  discipline those                                                                    
     individuals  when   or  if   a  client   complained  of                                                                    
     unprofessional behavior.                                                                                                   
     During the  committee process, the bill  was amended to                                                                    
     include  regulation  of  a clinical  social  worker  in                                                                    
     private practice and language  was added to ensure that                                                                    
     at  least  one licensed  member  of  the board  was  in                                                                    
     private practice.                                                                                                          
DANIELLE  LAFON, CHAIR,  BOARD OF  SOCIAL WORKER  EXAMINERS,                                                                    
FAIRBANKS (via teleconference), spoke  in support of HB 318.                                                                    
She stated that the board  supported HB 318, and thought the                                                                    
board was necessary to  continue providing public protection                                                                    
by overseeing social work licensure in Alaska.                                                                                  
5:01:45 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Stevens asked  if there  were  social workers  that                                                                    
were not government employees.                                                                                                  
Ms.  Lafon stated  that  there were  social  workers in  the                                                                    
state that  were not governmental employees,  however it was                                                                    
hard  to quantify  the number  as  the board  did not  track                                                                    
employment location.                                                                                                            
Senator Stevens asked  if Ms. Lafon could  estimate a number                                                                    
of non-governmental employee social workers in the state.                                                                       
Ms. Lafon answered in the negative.                                                                                             
Senator  Stevens asked  is  Ms. Lafon  saw  an advantage  in                                                                    
having a non-governmental social worker on the board.                                                                           
Ms. Lafon  was not  sure why the  regulation was  written as                                                                    
such. She noted that the board  had a vacancy for a year due                                                                    
to the  challenging regulation and  lack of  applicants. The                                                                    
board had discussed  the matter extensively and  did not see                                                                    
a conflict with changing the requirement as proposed.                                                                           
5:03:14 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair   MacKinnon   referenced  a   recommendation   that                                                                    
additional supervision  was needed.  She asked if  the board                                                                    
had made the request of the administration.                                                                                     
Ms. Lafon was not sure what Co-Chair MacKinnon referenced.                                                                      
Ms.  Curtis  clarified that  the  agency's  response to  the                                                                    
audit was  to state that  it was important to  ensure checks                                                                    
and  balances  were   in  place  in  order   to  ensure  its                                                                    
administrative record was  complete. The department believed                                                                    
additional  supervisory  resources  were  needed  to  ensure                                                                    
departmental standards were met.                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon  asked if the administration  had come to                                                                    
the  board  to  ask  for  additional  receipt  authority  or                                                                    
support for using board funds from licenses.                                                                                    
Ms. Lafon discussed the audit  findings. She stated that the                                                                    
board  sent  its  division employees  to  training  sessions                                                                    
through  the Association  of Social  Work Boards.  The board                                                                    
members  also  received  training. The  board  had  received                                                                    
notification  from the  division that  it was  educating its                                                                    
staff to license social workers appropriately.                                                                                  
5:05:50 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair   MacKinnon  asked   if   the  administration   had                                                                    
requested  additional  DGF to  support  from  the board  for                                                                    
additional supervision of the board's licensees.                                                                                
Ms. Lafon answered in the negative.                                                                                             
Co-Chair MacKinnon  stated that  the committee  would direct                                                                    
the department to  have communication with the  board on the                                                                    
Ms.  Curtis  stated that  the  comment  from the  department                                                                    
could be  seen in multiple sunset  audits. Legislative Audit                                                                    
had found multiple instances (for  multiple boards) in which                                                                    
DCPBL staff  did not  follow up  to obtain  documentation or                                                                    
other   details.  There   was  standard   language  inserted                                                                    
regarding the need for additional resources.                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon  asked if the department  was making such                                                                    
statements  when there  was excess  DGF  available from  the                                                                    
board. She wondered  if the problem was a  training issue or                                                                    
a personnel issue.                                                                                                              
Ms.  Curtis   stated  that  the  department   had  made  the                                                                    
statement multiple times, and she  thought all the boards in                                                                    
question were in a state of surplus.                                                                                            
5:07:43 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  referenced  a  repeated  theme  in  the                                                                    
audits  related to  a recommendation  for additional  staff.                                                                    
She  wondered  if there  was  a  connection between  surplus                                                                    
revenue and the request.                                                                                                        
Ms. McCullough  stated that the division  had identified the                                                                    
need  to have  more  occupational licensers  to  be able  to                                                                    
issue more licenses.                                                                                                            
5:09:15 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
5:09:28 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  McCullough  stated  that the  division  had  determined                                                                    
(through   audit  findings)   that  occupational   licensing                                                                    
examiners needed more oversight on  the quality of work. She                                                                    
detailed  that supervisors  typically had  7 to  8 employees                                                                    
under direct supervision, which could  include 6 or 7 boards                                                                    
under a supervisor's purview. The  division was finding that                                                                    
more  training,  oversight  and mentoring  would  solve  the                                                                    
resource problem.                                                                                                               
Ms.  McCullough  continued  that  the  division  would  need                                                                    
spending authority to provide more of the resources needed.                                                                     
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  asked if  the  division  would ask  all                                                                    
boards for additional funds for extra supervisory capacity.                                                                     
Ms.  McCullough stated  that the  division would  spread out                                                                    
the  work  of an  additional  supervisor,  and all  programs                                                                    
would  benefit   from  additional  supervision   over  daily                                                                    
occupational licensing work.                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon  asked how the funds  would be collected,                                                                    
and if  it would adequately  be shared with  all licensures,                                                                    
or only with those boards that had a surplus.                                                                                   
Ms. McCullough  reiterated that  all programs  would benefit                                                                    
from additional staff.                                                                                                          
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  asked if  all  programs  would pay  for                                                                    
additional staff.                                                                                                               
Ms.  McCullough answered  in the  affirmative and  clarified                                                                    
that additional supervisory staff  would be supported by all                                                                    
licensing fees.                                                                                                                 
5:12:56 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Bishop commented  that he  hoped that  the DCCED                                                                    
commissioner  was listening,  so  he could  assist with  the                                                                    
issues being discussed.                                                                                                         
Co-Chair  MacKinnon noted  that  the  commissioner had  been                                                                    
present earlier in the meeting.                                                                                                 
5:13:35 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Bishop  discussed a  new fiscal impact  note from                                                                    
the   Department  of   Commerce,   Community  and   Economic                                                                    
Development, OMB  Component 2360. He detailed  that the cost                                                                    
would  be $21,400  annually. He  read from  the Analysis  on                                                                    
page 2 of the fiscal note:                                                                                                      
     If the bill passes the following expenses will be                                                                          
     Travel:  $19.9(board  members   to  attend  four  board                                                                    
     meetings per year)                                                                                                         
     Services: $0.4  (advertising of public notice  of board                                                                    
     meetings)  $1.0  (training  and conference  fees)  $0.1                                                                    
     (stipends for board members  attending board meeting in                                                                    
     community of residence                                                                                                     
     Professional licensing programs  within the Division of                                                                    
     Corporations, Business  and Professional  Licensing are                                                                    
     funded by Receipt Supported  Services, fund source 1156                                                                    
     Rcpt  Svcs (DGF).  Licensing fees  for each  occupation                                                                    
     are  set  per  AS  08.01.065 so  the  total  amount  of                                                                    
     revenue    collected     approximately    equals    the                                                                    
     occupation's actual regulatory costs.                                                                                      
Co-Chair  MacKinnon noted  that from  FY  16 to  FY 17,  the                                                                    
board's  total   revenue  $333,783;  and   had  expenditures                                                                    
totaling  $215,924. The  information  had  been provided  by                                                                    
LFD. The  carry-forward in the  FY 12  to FY 13  time period                                                                    
was $36,860.  From FY 14 to  FY 15 there had  been a deficit                                                                    
carry-forward of $21,989. The  surplus carry-forward from FY                                                                    
16 to FY 17 was $95,870.                                                                                                        
5:15:16 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon OPENED public testimony.                                                                                     
Co-Chair MacKinnon CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                     
Vice-Chair  Bishop  MOVED to  report  CSHB  318(FIN) out  of                                                                    
Committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                                       
CSHB  318(FIN) was  REPORTED  out of  committee  with a  "do                                                                    
pass"  recommendation and  with one  new fiscal  impact note                                                                    
from   Department  of   Commerce,  Community   and  Economic                                                                    
5:16:23 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
5:19:01 PM                                                                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 110 Massage Therapy Testimony.docx SFIN 4/13/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 110