(2-9-2016) From ASHHP President, Richard Kaiser:
Hello Again ASHHP Members,
There are many important issues requiring everyone’s attention. First & Foremost is the pending legislation in the Alabama Senate and House. The Senate Bill 18, and House Bill 29 contain legislation we have been pressing to get passed for some time now, as you are no doubt aware. Both these bills now have been prefiled and will soon be through Committee and up for vote on the respective “floor”. But we have been told that the best way to successfully achieve passage, even tho these bills have NO opposition, is a grassroots effort by our licensees and members to personally contact their respective legislators both in the Senate and in the House. It has become really imperative to get this grassroots effort off the ground in order to have this legislation passed. (So saith the legislators we have talked to face to face & on the phone.) In the next few days, you will each receive a letter refreshing you on the contents of the bills, the name and phone number of your personal Senators & Representatives, and a detailed sheet of talking points to discuss with each legislator. More than one legislator may be listed for your zip code, and if you don’t know your specific legislator by name, call all who are listed. This is truly one of our CRITICAL needs. Look for our mail, read the talking points, then PLEASE make those telephone calls. Thank you!!
Ladies & Gentlemen:
Things are moving rather rapidly, as I just found out that our legislation, House Bill 29 will be read in chamber on Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 10:30AM, and Senate Bill 18 will be read in chamber on the 10th at 12:00PM or 12:30PM.
So we are asking you to devote a few minutes to call your representative and senator to inform them of the need for us to have this unopposed legislation passed. Attached is the talking points memo that I referred to in yesterday’s email so you can accurately summarize the need for passage. This legislation will help us ensure that the Alabama Hearing Instrument Dealer Board remains a viable, self sufficient Board essential for the welfare of all Alabama Hearing Instrument Specialists.
Thank you for your effort. It will be time well spent.
Senator McClendon has pre-filed SB 18 in the Senate and Representative Paul Lee has pre-filed HB 29 in the House. We are urging that every member contact their representative and Senator and urge their for this legislation during the current legislative session.
ASHHP has a list of each Representative and Senator for every district where we have licensed professionals.
There are 159 Hearing Instrument Dispensers, Fitters or Apprentices currently licensed providing support to all districts of Alabama which would be affected by this legislation.
Changes to Title 34, Chapter 14 in a non-controversial proposal that is seeking to update the regulation and move all fees mentioned in the legislation to Alabama Code 445-X. This will allow the Alabama Hearing Instrument Dealer's board to adjust the fees as necessary to keep pace with increases in costs that are beyond to Board's ability to control.
Title 34, Chapter 14 was originally written in 1971 and updated in1991, 1994 and 2009. Fees charged to applicants for testing and annual licenses renewal were originally written into the legislation. Although initially adequate, the fees currently charged to the board to purchase standardized tests used for initial licensure and practical examinations exceed the amount we are allowed to charge individuals submitting applications for initial licensure or renewal.
Title 34 Chapter 14-1 contains new definitions to define an Apprentice, Direct Supervision, Indirect supervision, Hearing Aids and Hearing Aid Specialist which were either not defined earlier or required updating.
Title 34 Chapter 14-3 contained a loophole that allowed individuals requesting licensure through reciprocity agreements to receive a license without any exposure to or a requirement for passage of an exam on the Alabama law governing hearing instruments or to demonstrate practical proficiency to the licensing board. The proposed change eliminates that loophole.
Title 34 Chapter 14-5 made reference to a test that is not used. The Alabama Board originally wrote the licensure test for applicants. Neither a national or international standardized exam existed at that time. We, along with the majority of other states, have adopted and began using the International Studies for Hearing Instrument Science standardized test and practical for individuals submitting for initial licensure. Alabama adopted both for use in 2008. This change removes reference to the old test and correctly identifies the standards in the test currently used.
Chapter 14-33 changes the required frequency of meetings from once annually to a minimum of two annually. The board currently meets once quarterly. One meeting per year would not allow the board sufficient time to complete its' required business.
Technical corrections and antiquated language used in the original legislation were updated.
- Each member of ASHHP is urged to contact their representatives and urge their support of the bills by number when they come up in their respective sessions.