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Governor Signs Forest Bill and Marital and Family Therapists Bill


August 08, 2003
Friday - 7:40 pm

Ketchikan, Alaska - Governor Frank Murkowski today at news conference held at the Ted Ferry Civic Center signed into law bills that revise the powers of the Marital and Family Therapist Board and makes changes to the Forest Resources and Practices Act.

The first bill, HB 135, by Wrangell Rep. Peggy Wilson, adds the Marital and Family Therapist Board to the list of boards that may contract to obtain assistance and treatment for licensees who abuse alcohol or drugs. It also amends client confidentiality statutes to allow a therapist to warn law enforcement authorities or a potential victim of threatened imminent serious physical harm.

The bill authorizes the Board to require a licensee to submit to a reasonable physical or mental examination if the Board has credible evidence indicating that the licensee's ability to practice safely is at issue. And it amends the grounds for disciplinary action against a licensee to include sexual misconduct with a current or recent former client.
These changes will provide additional protection to the public and help make the statutes consistent with other licensing boards.

SB 149, by Wrangell Senator Robin Taylor, streamlines planning requirements for state timber sales, makes changes to the rules governing negotiated sales for locally - manufactured products, and streamlines and coordinates the various statutes related to state forest planning.

It changes the management focus of legislatively designated state forests from multiple use that allow timber management to a focus on timber management that allows for other beneficial uses. And it narrows the conditions under which the Department of Natural Resources can impose riparian protection standards within state forests that are more stringent than those established in the Forest Resources and Practices Act.

"This bill is a step in the right direction toward promoting resource development and creation of jobs and new revenues for the state," Murkowski said.



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