Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/03/1995 01:05 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 HB 234 - ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUDICATIONS                                       
                                                                               
 TERESA WILLIAMS, Assistant Attorney General, Commercial Section,              
 Civil Division, Department of Law testified via teleconference.  It           
 is the position of the Administration that administrative                     
 adjudications should be faster and less costly to the parties and             
 to the state than court proceedings are.  Current provisions, which           
 are confusing and archaic, can cause delay.  She said the changes             
 were run through the Executive Committee of the Alaska Bar                    
 Association.  At that meeting, it was found that these changes                
 would be a major improvement, and would provide a great deal of               
 clarity.  One change would replace registered mail with certified             
 mail.  The provision for witness assistance has changed. Back in              
 1959, apparently $15 per day was adequate.                                    
                                                                               
 MS. WILLIAMS suggested the following change:  On page 3, line 17,             
 instead of the word `subsistence', change it to `food and lodging'.           
 That will eliminate any question that we are talking about fishing            
 rights here.  The discovery provision gives the agencies the                  
 discretion to allow reasonable discovery.  The agencies currently             
 only have the authorization to give reconsideration for 30 days               
 after a decision is entered.  Here we have used a comparable court            
 rule that says you have 15 days instead of 30 days, giving the                
 agency 15 days to reconvene and to give reconsideration to the                
 request.                                                                      
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BRIAN PORTER asked Ms. Williams if changing subsistence to           
 food and lodging would include transportation costs.                          
                                                                               
 MS. WILLIAMS answered that transportation costs are addressed in              
 Section 2, starting at line 11.  She noted the word `subsistence'             
 is used on line 26 as well.                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CYNTHIA TOOHEY asked Ms. Williams about the 14 zero            
 fiscal notes.  She understood that to mean that this will not cost            
 anything more than it is costing already.                                     
                                                                               
 MS. WILLIAMS replied that is correct.                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY felt this new language would take an                  
 extremely archaic statute and make it a little less archaic, but              
 archaic still.  He thought the language mandating where hearings              
 would be held was cumbersome.  He thought that language should be             
 made simpler.  It seems to require unnecessary traveling expenses.            
 He thought it should be in Juneau if it is in the First Judicial              
 District, Anchorage if in the Third Judicial District, and                    
 Fairbanks, unless agreed to by the parties otherwise.                         
                                                                               
 Number 300                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. WILLIAMS did not have a position on that one way or the other.            
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER said without the ability to talk to some of the               
 departments that hold these hearings, they at least have the                  
 ability to allow the parties to agree on a mutually acceptable                
 site, so short of hearing of any problems with it, he would be                
 hesitant to change it at this point.                                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked another question on the whole                      
 Administrative Procedures Act (APA).  Why don't we adopt or                   
 coordinate with the rules of uniform arbitration in Title IX?                 
                                                                               
 MS. WILLIAMS said that at some point, some wholesale changes will             
 be necessary to the APA, but the changes in this bill are ones that           
 could be made quickly, and that have a zero fiscal note.  In fact,            
 they will save the state money.  We needed changes we could make              
 quickly, recognizing we were going to eventually have to take a               
 much more serious look at the APA.  That is an excellent idea for             
 us to be looking at later, but she felt it would slow this bill               
 down if they tried to craft something like that at this point.                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE made a motion to adopt Amendment Number 1,           
 which would change the word `subsistence' to `food and lodging' on            
 page 3, lines 17 and 26.  Seeing no objection, it was so ordered.             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY made a motion to pass HB 234 out of committee           
 with individual recommendations and zero fiscal notes.  Seeing no             
 objection, CSHB 234(JUD) moved out of committee.                              

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