Bill/Topic

HB104

Short Title

IMMUNITY FOR FIRE DEPT. & MEMBERS

Description

An Act relating to immunity for a fire department and employees or members of a fire department.

Link to Bill

http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?bill=HB%20104&session=29

Sponsor(s)

REPRESENTATIVE(S) TILTON

Position

For

Call to Action

None

Speaking Points

We have identified 7 fire departments in Alaska that contract to municipalities to provide emergency services (fire and EMS).

The FNSB legal staff is of the opinion the fire department is open to liability that could come back onto the local taxpayer of a single fire service area resulting in a huge financial burden to a much greater extent than do municipal fire departments that have city or borough employees.

This bill will protect fire departments that contract with municipalities but will also strengthen immunity protection to municipal fire departments as well.

This legislation will protect fire departments and their respective fire service area residents from unnecessary liability by reducing their exposure. This is of particular concern to private non-profit fire departments.

It will not protect against willful misconduct or gross negligence.

If successful, the new law is expected to lower insurance premiums on the general liability policies that these departments are required to purchase annually to meet contractual obligations.

The number of service area taxpayers affected by this legislation statewide being served by non-profit fire departments is estimated at over 90,000 Alaska residents. Municipal residents protected by this legislation are estimated at over 300,000.

This bill has two zero-fiscal notes attached.

Bill/Topic

HB113

Short Title

PERS CREDIT/WORKERS COMP. POLICE & FIRE

Description

An Act relating to accrual of service in the public employees' retirement system by a peace officer or firefighter while the peace officer or firefighter is unable to work and is receiving workers' compensation benefits; and requiring the state to make certain contributions under the defined contribution plan of the public employees' retirement system for a peace officer or firefighter who is unable to work and is receiving workers' compensation benefits.

Link to Bill

http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?bill=HB%20113&session=29

Sponsor(s)

REPRESENTATIVE(S) JOSEPHSON, Millett

Position

Monitor

Call to Action

None

Bill/Topic

HB2

Short Title

OVERTIME EXEMPTION FOR STUDENT PRACTICUMS

Description

An Act exempting certain unpaid students from the Alaska Wage and Hour Act.

Link to Bill

http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?session=29&bill=HB0002

Sponsor(s)

REPRESENTATIVE(S) LYNN

Position

Monitor

Call to Action

None

Bill/Topic

HB3

Short Title

WORKERS' COMPENSATION DEATH BENEFITS

Description

An Act relating to a death benefit for health insurance payable to the widows, widowers, and children of police officers, firefighters, or emergency medical technicians who die because of work-related injuries.

Link to Bill

http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?session=29&bill=HB0003

Sponsor(s)

REPRESENTATIVE(S) JOSEPHSON, LYNN, Tuck, Gara, Kito, Tarr

Position

Monitor

Call to Action

None

Bill/Topic

HB4

Short Title

AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATOR

Description

An Act relating to automated external defibrillators.

Link to Bill

http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?bill=HB%20%20%204&session=29

Sponsor(s)

REPRESENTATIVE(S) WILSON, Millett, Claman, Tilton, Olson
SENATOR(S) Stoltze, Egan, Micciche, Meyer, Giessel

Position

For

Current Update

2/11/15 Passed House 37-0; 4/10/15 Passed Senate HSS; 4/14/15 referred to Senate Rules.

Call to Action

None

Speaking Points

HB 4 Seeks to remove impediments to the provision of AEDs in public places – places of business, institutional settings, educational facilities, etc.

Automatic external defibrillators, or AEDs, are automated medical devices that can be safely used by an untrained bystander to restore a normal cardiac rhythm in someone in sudden cardiac arrest. When it is turned on, the device provides step-by-step aural and textual instructions on how to attach and use the device. These devices have an impressive success rate for people in VF in a witnessed cardiac arrest.

Current state law (AS 09.65.087(b)) puts conditions on the applicability of the “Good Samaritan Law” to firms or agencies that desire to put AEDs in their facilities. These conditions include the requirement to provide training, maintenance, and a means to notify 911. Now, these are all good things to do, but the law does not establish similar conditions with respect to fire extinguishers or other life-saving devices. We think this limitation is an impediment to the availability of AEDs.

What we’re proposing to do is remove these conditions in order to encourage the provision of AEDs by institutions and firms.

Qualifications in civil immunity laws have been found to be an impediment to the acquisition of AEDs. Recent trends in litigation suggest a facility without an AED may be more at risk for a lawsuit than one with an AED.

Large institutions can’t confidently assure that each of the conditions can be reliably met, therefore exposing them to liability. For example, the manufacturers of four popular AED models recommend daily maintenance checks. It is unrealistic to expect that a large organization can check each of their devices every day.

What we are trying to do is increase the number of AEDs in public places. To achieve optimal public health benefits, AEDs should be strategically placed in high-risk locations such as transportation hubs, high-density public areas, and fitness facilities. Evidence shows that untrained laypersons can apply and use an AED safely and effectively.

AEDs are covered by Alaska’s Good Samaritan law, which is designed to encourage would-be rescuers to take action without fear of litigation. However, Alaska’s Good Samaritan law attaches conditions to institutions that provide AEDs.

As you can see from the attachment, the draft bill removes all conditions and substitutes the words “gross negligence,” thereby leaving it to the courts to determine liability (as in all other life-saving devices).

For example, University of Alaska General Counsel has determined the placement of AEDs in public locations exposes the University to a moderate risk of being sued if it is determined the AED was not properly maintained according to the specifications in the statute.

We believe that the ubiquitousness of smart phones makes the requirement to provide a means to notify 911 largely obsolete.

Bill/Topic

HB4002

Short Title

INS. FOR DEPENDS. OF DECEASED FIRE/POLICE

Description

"An Act relating to major medical insurance coverage under the Public Employees' Retirement System of Alaska for certain surviving spouses and dependent children of peace officers and firefighters; and providing for an effective date."

Link to Bill

http://www.legis.state.ak.us/PDF/29/Bills/HB4002A.PDF

Sponsor(s)

RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR

Position

For

Current Update

05/23/16 2964 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS
05/23/16 2964 (H) L&C, FIN
05/23/16 2964 (H) FN1: ZERO(ADM)
05/23/16 2964 (H) GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER
05/23/16 2964 (H) REFERRED TO LABOR & COMMERCE

Call to Action

None

Speaking Points

One of the arguments against the earlier versions of the bill was that if you do this for cops and firefighters what if other PERS employees want the benefit. The slippery slope argument. The answer to this is while other jobs have their risks no other employees put their lives on the line as a regular course of their normal duties.

Bill/Topic

HB56

Short Title

ALASKA FIREFIGHTERS' DAY

Description

An Act establishing Alaska Firefighters' Day.

Link to Bill

http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?bill=HB%20%2056&session=29

Sponsor(s)

EPRESENTATIVE(S) LYNN, CLAMAN, Tuck, Kawasaki, Gara, Millett

Position

For

Call to Action

None

Bill/Topic

HB66

Short Title

INS. FOR DEPENDENTS OF DECEASED TEACHERS

Description

An Act relating to providing medical insurance coverage under the Teachers' Retirement System of Alaska and the Public Employees' Retirement System of Alaska; and providing for an effective date.

Link to Bill

http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?bill=HB%20%2066&session=29

Sponsor(s)

REPRESENTATIVE(S) MILLETT, Josephson, Munoz, Kito, LeDoux, Lynn, Tuck

Position

For

Call to Action

None

Speaking Points

For many of us there was an assumption that if we were killed in the line of duty our families would continue to be covered with state sponsored health care. After the tragic events unfolded in Tanana, we learned that was not the case. To address this gap in survivor benefits, several law makers committed to draft legislation that would provide major medical benefits for the surviving family members. During this legislative session, Anchorage House Representative, Charisse Millet, introduced HB 66. As proposed, HB66 changes Alaska Statutes regarding the Retiree Major Medical Insurance Benefit (AS 39.35.535), to include the surviving spouse and qualifying children of PERS/TERS members, when the member is killed in the line of duty (AS 39.35.430). This benefit would be provided to all eligible PERS/TERS members, their surviving spouse, and dependent children until age 18 (or 23 if attending school). Under AS 39.35.430, line of duty deaths of peace officers and firefighters provide survivors a pension at 50% of the monthly compensation in the month in which the death occurred, or 75% of the retirement benefit if the member is retired or eligible to retire at the time of death. If you qualify for a survivors pension benefit under HB66, you will qualify for major medical Insurance coverage. (Section 11(3) of HB66). The bill sponsor plans to make this bill retroactive to 2013.

To keep the momentum going, I would highly encourage each of you to write your state Representatives and Senators to express your support of the bill as written. Please let Representative Millett and her co-sponsors know how appreciative you are for their support. For your convenience, I have included her Juneau contact information below. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you.

Bill/Topic

HB90

Short Title

PEACE OFFICER/FIREFIGHTER RETIREMENT

Description

An Act relating to the Protective Occupation Retirement Council; relating to participation of certain employees in the defined benefit and defined contribution plans of the public employees' retirement system; and providing for an effective date.

Link to Bill

http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?bill=HB%20%2090&session=29

Sponsor(s)

REPRESENTATIVE(S) MILLETT, Lynn, Hawker, LeDoux, Stutes

Position

For

Current Update

https://secure-afca.collobb.com/docmanager/index/streamfile/id/1908/

Call to Action

None

Speaking Points

Alaska has concern with potential future
unfunded liabilities
• DCR provides inadequate benefits
• HB 247 is a potential solution
– If actuarial experience is as expected, benefits will
be paid comparable to Tier 3
– If actuarial experience is unfavorable, lower benefits
will be paid
– Individuals do not take this risk, the government
does not take this risk, pools of individuals do

Bill/Topic

SB14

Short Title

EMERGENCY MED. SERVICES; DEFIBRILLATORS

Description

An Act relating to the appointment of a mobile intensive care paramedic to the State Medical Board; relating to medical review organizations; relating to immunity pertaining to automated external defibrillators; and providing for an effective date.

Link to Bill

http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?session=29&bill=SB14

Sponsor(s)

SENATOR(S) COGHILL

Position

For

Current Update

Compare HB4

Call to Action

None

Speaking Points

This bill address several things that will benefit our EMS responders.
1) adds a paramedic seat to the Medical Board
2) adds EMT’s, paramedics, Emergency medical dispatchers to the list of medical personnel protected by immunity from liability
3) adds immunity protection for medical review organizations
4) immunity pertaining to automated external defibrillators

Senate Bill 14 gives EMS agencies protections for peer review activities and adds a paramedic to the State Medical Board.

Peer review is an intensive self-evaluation process used within healthcare organizations to continuously monitor and improve patient care. Peer review protection is provided by states to healthcare organizations to establish an environment conducive to improvement, without fear of discovery and litigation.

SB 14 changes the definition of “review organization” to include EMS groups who perform quality improvement functions. By doing so, they are afforded the immunity and confidentiality protections hospitals enjoy. Peer review protection is essential if Alaska’s EMS systems are to be used to their maximum potential.

The State Medical Board adopts regulations governing the practice of medicine in Alaska. It makes final licensing decisions and takes disciplinary action against healthcare professionals. The board has five physicians, one physician assistant, and two public members. Paramedics have no representation on the board, despite being regulated by it for more than 30 years. SB 14 gives paramedics a voice on the board which will strengthen, enhance, and support the board’s decision-making on issues that fundamentally affect their profession.

Bill/Topic

SB29

Short Title

STATE MEDICAL BOARD MEMBERSHIP

Description

An Act relating to the membership of the State Medical Board.

Link to Bill

http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?bill=SB%20%2029&session=29

Sponsor(s)

SENATOR(S) MEYER

Position

Monitor

Call to Action

None

Bill/Topic

SB43

Short Title

IMMUNITY FOR FIRE DEPT. & MEMBERS

Description

An Act relating to immunity for a fire department and employees or members of a fire department.

Link to Bill

http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?bill=SB%20%2043&session=29

Sponsor(s)

SENATOR(S) COGHILL, Stoltze, Egan

Position

For

Current Update

SB43 moved out of committee today and is on to the next committee. On the House side, companion HB104 is still in its first committee but was heard today for the first time. Attached is a legal document from legislative counsel that explains the history

Call to Action

None

Speaking Points

We have identified 7 fire departments in Alaska that contract to municipalities to provide emergency services (fire and EMS).

The FNSB legal staff is of the opinion the fire department is open to liability that could come back onto the local taxpayer of a single fire service area resulting in a huge financial burden to a much greater extent than do municipal fire departments that have city or borough employees.

This bill will protect fire departments that contract with municipalities but will also strengthen immunity protection to municipal fire departments as well.

This legislation will protect fire departments and their respective fire service area residents from unnecessary liability by reducing their exposure. This is of particular concern to private non-profit fire departments.

It will not protect against willful misconduct or gross negligence.

If successful, the new law is expected to lower insurance premiums on the general liability policies that these departments are required to purchase annually to meet contractual obligations.

The number of service area taxpayers affected by this legislation statewide being served by non-profit fire departments is estimated at over 90,000 Alaska residents. Municipal residents protected by this legislation are estimated at over 300,000.

This bill has two zero-fiscal notes attached.