Legislature(2003 - 2004)
2003-05-01 House JournalFull Journal pdf
2003-05-01 House Journal Page 1236 HB 295 HOUSE BILL NO. 295 by the House Rules Committee by request of the Governor, entitled: "An Act relating to the publishing and furnishing of certain public notices regarding regulations or rules of certain state agencies; relating to distribution of the Alaska Administrative Code, Alaska Administrative Register, and supplements to the code or register; and providing for an effective date." was read the first time and referred to the Transportation and Finance Committees. The following fiscal note(s) apply: 1. Indeterminate, Office of the Governor/All Depts. The Governor's transmittal letter dated April 30, 2003, follows: "Dear Speaker Kott: Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I am transmitting a bill to change the Alaska Administrative Procedure Act and make other statutory improvements to provide for better and more cost-effective notice of regulatory changes. First, the bill would allow certain state agencies to publish, in a newspaper or other publication, an abbreviated notice of proposed 2003-05-01 House Journal Page 1237 regulatory changes that clearly describes the changes and how an interested person may obtain more detailed information through the Internet or in written form. Second, the bill also would amend a variety of state statutes to allow agencies the flexibility of sending out individual notices by means other than regular mail. This change would make these newspaper publication requirements consistent with the provision in the Administrative Procedure Act, that notice need be published in only one newspaper of general circulation in the state. Under the Administrative Procedure Act, public notice of changes to regulations must be published in a newspaper of general circulation or other specified type of publication. This notice is to include an informative summary of the changes, which has been interpreted to require a comprehensive description. In practice this results in lengthy notices, usually in the classified advertisement section of the newspapers, that are expensive and often difficult to understand. This bill would change this practice to allow for a more abbreviated notice in newspapers or other publications, clearly describing the subject matter of the changes and directing interested persons to more detailed information sources. Recognizing the utility and efficiency of the Internet, the bill requires detailed information on the changes to be available on the Alaska Online Public Notice System. Also, recognizing that the Internet is not available to all citizens, the bill would provide that detailed information be made available to interested persons by other means, if requested. Thus, the bill would allow state agencies to use the Internet to improve communications regarding regulatory changes, while still providing notice for those who do not yet have the access or ability to use the Internet. The bill also would change statutory notice provisions for specific government entities to allow for the flexibility to use methods of communication other than regular mail in providing public notice of regulation or rule changes. There is a provision that notices shall be delivered by mail, upon request. This flexible approach was put into place in 2000 for regulations under the Administrative Procedure Act, and has proven effective. The changes in this bill would simply extend that flexibility to certain named state agencies. In addition, the bill would amend the statutes relating to publication of newspaper notices to make it consistent with the requirement in the 2003-05-01 House Journal Page 1238 Administrative Procedure Act that notice be published in a single newspaper of general circulation. The governmental entities affected by these changes include the Alaska Teachers' Retirement Board, Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation, Alaska Railroad Corporation, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Department of Administration, Public Employees' Retirement Board, and the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority. This bill also excludes specific government entities from having to publish an abbreviated notice in a newspaper or other publication relating to topics of concern to larger institutions and groups that have the ability to or already regularly communicate with the state through electronic means. These statutes include such areas as the Alaska Securities Act, the Alaska Trust Company Act, oil and gas leasing, state personnel rules, certifying authority for an electronic signature, Medicaid rate setting for facilities, and the Pipeline Act. When adopting regulations or rules under these specific statutes, the government agencies would continue to post the notice on the Alaska Online Public Notice System and furnish the notice to interested parties and other government entities, but would not be required to publish the abbreviated notice. The government entities affected by these changes include the lieutenant governor, Department of Administration, Department of Revenue, Department of Health and Social Services, State Assessment Review Board, Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Community and Economic Development, and the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. The changes to public notice procedures made by the bill would be applicable to public notices issued on or after the effective date of the Act. Lastly, this bill would amend the requirement for the lieutenant governor, at state expense, to supply a complete set of the Alaska Administrative Code, the Alaska Administrative Register, and each supplement to the code or register to the clerk of each local government unit. This bill allows local government units' clerks to request a paper or electronic copy of the publications, and would require payment for the requested copy. Because electronic access to the Alaska Administrative Code is currently available through the 2003-05-01 House Journal Page 1239 legislature's website, and through links to that website found on various state agency websites, local governments still would have a "no-cost" option for access to the information. I urge your prompt consideration and passage of this bill. Sincerely, /s/ Frank H. Murkowski Governor"