For Immediate Release
August 24, 2016
Economic Affairs Committee to Conclude Air Ambulance, Licensing Board Studies
HELENA - The legislature’s Economic Affairs Interim Committee will conclude its year-long studies on the costs of air ambulances and licensing boards at its Aug. 30-31 meeting. The meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 30 and at 8 a.m. on Aug. 31 in Room 137 of the State Capitol. The public is welcome to attend and comment on proposed bill drafts.
Under consideration by the 8-member committee will be a bill draft to hold a patient who receives emergency transport harmless as to disputes on balance bills and to set parameters for voluntary arbitration between the insurers and air ambulance providers involved in that patient’s bill. Other bill drafts may be available for the committee’s discussion, including bills related to licensing of air ambulances and changes in terms for those air ambulances that offer memberships. The committee also will review its study findings and material related to pricing transparency and air ambulance use drafted by a working group organized by the State Auditor’s Office.
For its study of licensing board costs, the committee will review a bill draft that provides the Commissioner of Labor and Industry with supervisory authority over board activities that have the potential to be anticompetitive. Because most licensing boards are made up of members of a profession or occupation, the members may propose regulations that benefit licensees to the detriment of others. If antitrust accusations are made in court, the licensing board members might be sued individually. The proposed bill draft would allow immunity to those board members if the Commissioner of Labor and Industry had determined that their actions were allowed under legislative intent to protect public health and safety. Also, as part of the study, committee members will report findings for the study to be included in the committee’s final report.
In other activities, the committee will:
- Review bill drafts for legislation to be proposed by the Departments of Agriculture and Labor and Industry plus the State Auditor’s Office and the Livestock Loss Board;
- Hear from Workers’ Compensation Court Judge David Sandler about the activities of his office; and
- Hear reports related to apprenticeships, veteran home loans, Montana historic preservation, unemployment insurance for victims of domestic abuse, and research and commercialization grants, among other required presentations.
The meeting will be broadcast from the Legislature’s website http://leg.mt.gov/css/default.asp, and over TVMT. Station information is available at http://leg.mt.gov/css/Video-and-Audio/tvmt.asp.
Committee members are: Rep. Ryan Lynch, D-Butte, presiding officer; Sen. Gordon Vance, R-Bozeman, vice presiding officer; Sen. Tom Facey, D-Missoula, Rep. Mike Lang, R-Malta, Rep. Nate McConnell, D-Missoula, Rep. Vince Ricci, R-Laurel; Sen. Rick Ripley, R-Wolf Creek, and Sen. Lea Whitford, D-Cut Bank.
For more information on the committee or agenda, contact committee staff, Pat Murdo at email@example.com or by phone at 406-444-3594, or visit the committee website at http://leg.mt.gov/css/Committees/interim/2015-2016/Economic-Affairs/Meetings/Aug-2016/aug-2016.asp.