SENATE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY

 

 

February 28, 2005                                                                                               Hearing Room 343

1:00 P.M.                                                                                                                      Tapes 49 - 50

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Ginny Burdick, Chair

Sen. Charles Starr, Vice-Chair

Sen. Roger Beyer

Sen. Floyd Prozanski

Sen. Charlie Ringo

Sen. Vicki Walker

Sen. Doug Whitsett

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Joe O'Leary, Counsel

Dale Penn, Committee Assistant

 

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:

                                                National Tort Reform – Informational Meeting

                                                SB 253 – Public Hearing

                                                SB 306 – Public Hearing

 

 

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 49, A

004

Chair Burdick

Calls the meeting to order at 1:06 p.m. and opens an informational meeting on national tort reform.

NATIONAL TORT REFORM – INFORMATIONAL MEETING

013

Dr. John C. Moorhead

President, Oregon Medical Association (OMA).  Introduces Dr. Donald J. Palmisano and gives a brief history on his accomplishments.

037

Dr. Donald J. Palmisano

Immediate Past-President, American Medical Association (AMA).  Submits a packet and testifies on national liability crisis (EXHIBIT A).

064

Palmisano

Recounts liability stories brought about by the crisis in the United States.

110

Palmisano

Discusses the 1987 Supreme Court decision that has caused large amounts of non-meritorious claims against doctors.  Gives statistics on court costs for physicians.

137

Palmisano

Talks about insurers leaving the market due to rising court costs.

180

Palmisano

Brings up California’s example of healthcare maintenance (pre-trial screening panels, etc.).  Cites statistics that prove the effectiveness of this method.

225

Chair Burdick

Explains that there are numerous approaches to this issue facing the Legislature this session.

234

Sen. Ringo

Asks how much funding the AMA gets from the insurance industry.

238

Palmisano

Replies that the majority of funding comes from dues paid by physicians and students.

247

Sen. Ringo

Expresses his belief that the OMA received an amount of their budget from the insurance industry.

252

Morehead

Stresses that the OMA is almost exclusively funded by dues.

263

Sen. Prozanski

Asks about the advocacy resource center and the packet handed out to the committee (Exhibit A).

264

Palmisano

Gives information on the resource center and the AMA.

271

Sen. Prozanski

Inquires if the advocacy center is meant to get information out to the national level.

274

Palmisano

Details the sharing of information through the advocacy center.

291

Sen. Prozanski

Asks about the funding for the center.

293

Palmisano

Responds that the resource center is almost exclusively funded by AMA dues.

307

Sen. Prozanski

Brings up the issue of settlement caps.

320

Palmisano

Discusses the non-economic caps in Missouri and California as examples of what the AMA recommends.

350

Sen. Prozanski

Addresses the topic of mediation in order to stop frivolous lawsuits.

363

Palmisano

Stresses the AMA’s belief in physicians acknowledging and apologizing for any mistakes they cause; recommends good communication between physicians and patients. 

405

Chair Burdick

Asks about the arbitration process available as well as the non-economic caps in California.

407

Palmisano

Replies with information on the California process as well as Kaiser-Permanente who uses mediation techniques.

437

Sen. Whitsett

Talks about the problems with limiting a physician’s practice due to insurance premiums, especially in rural areas.

477

Palmisano

Expresses his agreement with Sen. Whitsett’s ideas of cooperation between physicians and the AMA to battle the increased insurance premium.

TAPE 50, A

030

Palmisano

Discusses the methods Texas, Georgia, and other states are using to deal with problems in insurance premiums.

046

Chair Burdick

Closes the informational meeting and opens a public hearing on SB 253.

SB 253 – PUBLIC HEARING

052

William E. Taylor

Counsel.  Describes SB 253 relating to enacting an interstate compact for juveniles.

059

Rick Masters

Special Counsel, The Council of State Governments.  Testifies in support of SB 253.  Addresses the increasing problems with juvenile offenders.

102

Masters

Explains that 22 other states have adopted the compact that SB 253 would enact.  Summarizes the effects of adopting SB 253.

153

Masters

Discusses the increased regulatory standards resulting from the passage of SB 253.  Talks about several other compacts that would act in accordance with this bill.

170

Chair Burdick

Inquires as to the definition of the compact, and if this bill would replace the original compact from 1955.

174

Masters

Replies yes, this would completely replace the compact from 1955.

179

Chair Burdick

Asks about a past attempt at changing the compact.

182

Masters

States that he doesn’t remember that attempt.

189

Taylor

Cites historical detail on the different state compacts and the ambiguities between state drafting styles.

218

Sen. Whitsett

Inquires about the interstate commission created by SB 253.

223

Masters

Replies with information on the effects of SB 253.  Discusses current law dealing with the compacts.

243

Sen. Whitsett

Wonders about statutory authorization given to the commission due to SB 253 as well as the fiscal impact.

248

Masters

Talks about the need for increased staff with the passage of SB 253.

265

Sen. Whitsett

Inquires if SB 253 would allow the commission to levy a tax to the states.

268

Masters

Responds that yes, it would allow the commission to require dues paid by the state.

277

Taylor

Clarifies the compact law between states, focusing on the funding methods available.

304

Sen. Whitsett

Comments on the interstate compact between California and Oregon.

315

Taylor

Replies with information on interstate compacts.

319

Masters

Submits a list of compacts currently in law (EXHIBIT B).

324

Sen. Beyer

Inquires about the commission created by SB 253.

337

Masters

Gives information on the creation of the commission.

342

Sen. Beyer

Wonders about the statutory authority of the commission.

345

Masters

Responds with information on the statutory authority of the commission.

364

Sen. Beyer

Asks about a legal challenge of the commission rules.

372

Masters

Explains that the challenge exists as a legal method of expressing your grievances.  Goes over the need for SB 253 in relation to juvenile adjudication.

425

Harry Gilmore

Manager, Technical Assistance Unit, Department of Human Services.  Submits testimony and testifies in a neutral stance on SB 253 (EXHIBIT C).  Relates their hesitance to support SB 253 due to the fiscal impact not being accounted for in the Governor’s budget.

490

Gilmore

Stresses that there needs to be passage of this bill by 35 states before it can go into effect. 

 

TAPE 49, B

039

Sen. Whitsett

Inquires as to the fiscal impact.

044

Gilmore

Replies with information on the funding and administration of the compact now and after the passage of SB 253.

058

Sen. Whitsett

Desires clarification of the rules, and if they would be set by this commission.

061

Gilmore

Replies yes and cites examples of what would occur after SB 253 is passed.

070

Sen. Whitsett

Inquires if the figures could be changed in the future.

071

Gilmore

States that yes, they could be changed.

073

Chair Burdick

Wonders why there needs to be an increase in staff under this bill.

075

Masters

Gives information as to why the extra staff is needed.

108

Chair Burdick

Asks how much staff is currently employed by the compact.

109

Masters

Replies that there is no staff currently employed for this compact.

118

Sen. Beyer

Inquires if the first 35 states that pass the compact would get the right to set the rules.

119

Gilmore

States that once the prerequisite 35 states have passed the compact, the rule-making process can commence.

144

Sen. Beyer

Wonders if states entering the compact several years after the rules were set would get to participate in the amending of said rules if they didn’t agree with the original setup.

153

Gilmore

Responds that there is a withdrawal process, by repealing the legislation, but that a state that enters later most likely could not participate in the rules process, as the rules would have already been set.

160

Masters

Discusses a sunset clause that was adopted by North Dakota as an option.

174

Karen Andall

Oregon Youth Authority (OYA).  Testifies in a neutral stance on SB 253.  Talks about the conversations on whether the compact dealing with juveniles should be under the OYA’s authority.

194

Chair Burdick

Asks if they would need legislation to enact their rules.

195

Andall

Replies that it would most likely require legislation.

204

Chair Burdick

Closes the public hearing on SB 253 and opens a public hearing on SB 306.

SB 306 – PUBLIC HEARING

211

William E. Taylor

Counsel.  Describes SB 306 relating to criminal penalties for selling, giving, or otherwise providing alcoholic beverages to people under 21 years of age.

230

Vinita Howard

Member, Governor’s Advisory Committee on Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII).  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 306 (EXHIBIT D).

268

Howard

Details the minimum drinking age law’s relation to decreasing deaths on the roads.

291

Joanne Fairchild

Trauma Nurse Coordinator, Legacy Emanuel Hospital.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 306 (EXHIBIT E).  Discusses her professional history dealing with mind-altering chemicals.

360

Fairchild

Declares her support for an amendment to allow first-time offenders to receive education (at their expense) on alcohol abuse.

381

Chair Burdick

Inquires if parents should lock up liquor cabinets.

385

Fairchild

Stresses that such a precaution would help out immensely.

413

Pamela S. Erickson

Director, Oregon Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 306 (EXHIBITS F & H).

480

Erickson

Cites a recent example of severe alcohol poisoning involving two underage drinkers furnished alcohol from an adult.

TAPE 50, B

015

Erickson

Explains recent statistics involving binge drinking and it’s relation to underage drinking.

027

Jon Stubenvoll

Communications Director, Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC).  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 306 (EXHIBIT G).

064

Sen. Prozanski

Raises the issue of individuals who do not know the law, and if there should be some equity in this policy.

087

Stubenvoll

Offers clarification on willingly providing alcohol to a minor as opposed to unwillingly breaking the law.

090

Sen. Prozanski

Comments on individuals who have licenses as opposed to those who do not, and asks if there should be equity in the law in relation to those situations.

104

Stubenvoll

Illustrates the differences between knowingly and unknowingly breaking the law.

121

Chair Burdick

Expresses her concern over this issue.

134

Daina Vitolins

Oregon District Attorneys Association (ODAA).  Testifies in support of SB 306.

152

Kelly Skye

Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.  Testifies in opposition to SB 306 due to the increase in the mandatory minimum sentence.  Discusses the confusion relating to licensed and un-licensed individuals.

194

Andrea Meyer

American Civil Liberties Union.  Testifies in opposition to SB 306.

197

Steve Lanning

Oregon American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Unions.  Testifies in opposition to SB 306.  Stresses their opposition due to the confusion relating to licensed and un-licensed individuals.

218

Bill Perry

Oregon Restaurant Association (ORA).  Testifies in a neutral stance on SB 306.  Details the problems of the establishment being burdened with the majority of the penalties due to the reluctance to go after the individuals who brokered the deal (the buyer and the seller).  Stresses that the courts are not currently enforcing the laws.

260

Sen. Prozanski

Inquires as to the suspension of the licenses.

272

Perry

Offers information as to the suspension of licenses and the assessment of fines.

294

Sen. Prozanski

Wonders if a chart or scale should be constructed detailing a series of penalties and sanctions for businesses that break the law.

316

Perry

Stresses that the restaurants continue to be sanctioned even if they follow the rules and do the right things.

327

Sen. Prozanski

Inquires if people with a suspended license are put into a database that lets other businesses know about their history.

338

Perry

Replies that such a communal database is highly sought after by the ORA.

347

Sen. Beyer

Inquires as to the wording of SB 306 relating to the mandatory minimum fine.

375

Sen. Prozanski

Gives information on court decisions and mandatory penalties.

406

Chair Burdick

Submits written testimony from Stuart Fishman in opposition to SB 306 (EXHIBIT I).

407

Chair Burdick

Closes the public hearing on SB 306 and adjourns the meeting at 2:55 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. Torts, Medical Liability Reform, Donald J. Palmisano, 78 pp
  2. SB 253, list of interstate compacts, Rick Masters, 1 p
  3. SB 253, written testimony, Harry Gilmore, 2 pp
  4. SB 306, written testimony, Vinita Howard, 3 pp
  5. SB 306, written testimony, Joanne Fairchild, 11 pp
  6. SB 306, written testimony, Pamela S. Erickson, 1 p
  7. SB 306, written testimony, Jon Stubenvoll, 2 pp
  8. SB 306, written testimony, Pamela S. Erickson, 2 pp
  9. SB 306, written testimony, Stuart Fishman, 2 pp