Legislature(1999 - 2000)
02/08/2000 08:11 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 291-ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE NOTICES Number 0733 CHAIR JAMES announced the second order of business is HOUSE BILL NO. 291, "An Act relating to the use of electronic format for certain state agency notices." Number 0755 REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON made a motion to adopt the proposed CS for HB 291, version 1-LS1244\H, Bannister, 2/7/00, as a work draft. There being no objection, proposed CSHB 291, Version H, was before the committee. Number 0769 REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA explained that HB 291 was a very modest effort to move the legislature toward the electronic age. She acknowledged that there is a constant stream of regulatory action that flows into committee offices. Therefore, in an effort to trim legislative costs, she had proposed that the legislature try to use electronic format to receive regulatory paperwork. REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA directed attention to page 1, line 14, where it read "furnished." She explained that the use of this word is to make the proposed CS technically sound, thereby making it legal to deliver [electronic] notices to legislative offices instead of using the current mandatory mailing procedure. The proposed CS would consistently change the word "mailed" to "furnished" so that agencies could provide an electronic copy of regulatory notices to legislators. REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA indicated a second change in the proposed CS is on page 2, lines 11-16, number 6. She acknowledged that some small agencies or boards might not have the technological capability to send e-mails. In that case, the proposed CS allows that agency to provide regulatory notices to legislators by other means. However, if an agency does have technological capability to send e-mails, then e-mail notice is required. She said that a legislator can request regulatory notices be mailed if that is the preferred method of notice for a particular legislator. Number 0989 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN commented that he had noticed that "cost saving measures" always seemed to be accompanied with a zero fiscal note rather than a negative fiscal note. He wondered why the committee does not start showing some real cost savings in the fiscal notes. Number 1023 REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA said the proposed amendment to the proposed CS might actually show a real cost saving. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN commented that maybe there is no negative fiscal note because the agency does not want their budget cut. REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA said she did not know if that was the reason. Number 1078 CHAIR JAMES announced that there was an amendment for the proposed CS before the committee. Amendment 1, 1-LS1244\H.1, Bannister, 2/7/00, read: Page 1, line 3: Delete "AS 44.62.190(a) is amended to read:" Insert "AS 44.62.190 is amended to read: Sec. 44.62.190. Notice of proposed action." Page 2, lines 16 - 25: Delete "; (7) furnished to the standing committee of each house of the legislature having legislative jurisdiction over the subject matter treated by the regulation under the Uniform Rules of the Alaska State Legislature, together with a copy of the proposed regulation, amendment, or order of repeal for the committee's use in conducting the review authorized by AS 24.05.182; (8) furnished to the staff of the Administrative Regulation Review Committee, together with a copy of the proposed regulation, amendment, or order of repeal and, if preparation of an appropriation increase estimate is required by AS 44.62.195, a copy of the estimate" Insert "[(7) FURNISHED TO THE STANDING COMMITTEE OF EACH HOUSE OF THE LEGISLATURE HAVING LEGISLATIVE JURISDICTION OVER THE SUBJECT MATTER TREATED BY THE REGULATION UNDER THE UNIFORM RULES OF THE ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE, TOGETHER WITH A COPY OF THE PROPOSED REGULATION, AMENDMENT, OR ORDER OF REPEAL FOR THE COMMITTEE'S USE IN CONDUCTING THE REVIEW AUTHORIZED BY AS 24.05.182; (8) FURNISHED TO THE STAFF OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION REVIEW COMMITTEE, TOGETHER WITH A COPY OF THE PROPOSED REGULATION, AMENDMENT, OR ORDER OF REPEAL AND, IF PREPARATION OF AN APPROPRIATION INCREASE ESTIMATE IS REQUIRED BY AS 44.62.195, A COPY OF THE ESTIMATE]" Page 2, line 26: Delete all material. Page 3, line 1: Delete all material. Page 3, following line 4: Insert a new subsection to read: "(d) Along with a notice furnished under (a)(2), (4)(A), or (6) [, (7), OR (8)] of this section, the state agency shall include the reason for the proposed action, the initial cost to the state agency of implementation, the estimated annual costs to the state agency of implementation, the name of the contact person for the state agency, and the origin of the proposed action." Page 3, line 5: Delete "Sec. 4." Insert "Sec. 2." [End of Amendment 1] Number 1096 REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA explained that she had left Amendment 1 in amendment form because working with two proposed committee substitutes is too confusing. Amendment 1 takes the legislature another step forward in receiving electronic notices by relieving an agency of notifying each standing committee member or administrative regulation review committee staff member. Her inclination is to move all the way forward in electronic notice capability. However, she recognizes that it is a policy call to be decided upon by the committee. CHAIR JAMES agreed that Amendment 1 is a step forward because regulatory notices are available on electronic media. Number 1178 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked if agency regulatory notices are going to be e-mailed or just be available. Number 1199 REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA answered that if the committee adopts the proposed CS, legislators will receive an electronic notice in their offices. She emphasized that only the legislator would receive the electronic notice, not committee members just because they are assigned to a committee. As to whether the electronic notice would be an e-mail, she said yes. Number 1265 CHAIR JAMES pointed out that every committee member is also a legislator, so the regulatory notices will be available to all of them. She envisioned that much paperwork will be eliminated if the legislature moves forward with the electronic technology available. Number 1340 REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA agreed with Chair James that ever- changing technology advances make for an exciting perspective of paperless offices in the future. CHAIR JAMES emphasized that there will be postage cost savings if the legislature moves into the use of electronic technology possibilities. Number 1370 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN expressed his belief that there will be a problem if standing committee members are not advised of regulatory notices because some legislators are not full time or in their offices every day checking e-mail messages. He suggested that maybe some legislators did not want their staff to check the legislators' e-mail messages. He suggested it would be appropriate to at least e-mail the legislator's committee aide regarding issues relevant to that committee. Number 1451 CHAIR JAMES said she cannot imagine why a part-time legislator would not want a legislative aide to read the e-mails. Her own aides sort through e-mails, eliminate those that are not relevant to the business at hand, and forward the important ones to her home. Number 1520 REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA mentioned that all a legislator has to do is notify an agency that information is to be mailed directly to that legislator's staff person. CHAIR JAMES emphasized that the computer age has arrived, so it would behoove legislators to become technologically literate. She would even like to have computers placed at desks in the House chambers so that legislators can see amendments immediately as they are being discussed. She suggested that being in the forefront of using computer technology is an advantage for legislators. Number 1659 REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON reminded members that every newspaper has pages full of legal notices that cost thousands of dollars to publish, and yet hardly anyone reads them. Those notices are there because they were mandated by antiquated government regulation. He said he wishes HB 291 went further than just addressing government action notices. He said it would be convenient to get all public notices published in electronic format in order to allow easier access for the public and to reduce publishing costs. CHAIR JAMES said she is pleased with Amendment 1 because it repeals legislation, and repealing unnecessary legislation was one of her purposes for filing for a legislative seat. Number 1762 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked how Amendment 1 affects the average citizen. Could people without computers in their homes request to be included on a mailing list? REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA said Amendment 1 is just for the legislature and does not affect any public notice requirements that are already in effect. As it stands now, public notice requirements, including expensive newspaper notices, are quite complicated and detailed. She believes there has to be an easier way to get regulatory notices published. Amendment 1 to the proposed CS is just the first step toward a simpler process. Number 1860 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN made a motion to adopt Amendment 1. There being no objection, it was so ordered and Amendment 1 was adopted. Number 1889 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN made a motion to move CSHB 291, version 1- LS1244\H, Bannister, 2/7/00, as amended, out of committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note. There being no objection, CSHB 291(STA) moved from the House State Affairs Standing Committee.