Legislature(1995 - 1996)

05/07/1995 12:40 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 233(FIN) am                                            
       An Act extending the  termination date of the  Board of                 
       Clinical Social Work Examiners, Board of Marine Pilots,                 
       Board of  Marital  and Family  Therapy,  State  Medical                 
       Board,  Board of  Nursing,  Board  of Psychologist  and                 
       Psychological   Associate   Examiners,    Real   Estate                 
       Commission,   Special    Education   Service    Agency,                 
       Correctional  Industries   Commission,  and   Hazardous                 
       Substance   Spill   Technology   Review  Council;   and                 
       providing for an effective date.                                        
  Co-chairman  Halford  directed  that  CSHB  233  (Fin)am  be                 
  brought on for  discussion and advised that it  would extend                 
  some entities beyond the traditional four-year term prior to                 
  sunset review and reenactment or elimination.  Some entities                 
  are  recommended  for ten-year  extension or  exemption from                 
  sunset altogether.   He then voiced his  recommendation that                 
  extensions be  reduced, saying  that he  did  not intend  to                 
  extend beyond the four years established in sunset law.                      
  Senator Rieger  spoke to  an increasing  number of  problems                 
  resulting from restrictive statutory  licensing requirements                 
  that prohibit qualified individuals from practicing in their                 
  fields.  As  an example, he  noted that the licensing  board                 
  for physical therapists  has resisted efforts to  "open that                 
  up"  even  when  state hearing  officers  concluded  that an                 
  individual who applied was totally qualified but technically                 
  ineligible because of  statutory wording.  Concern  has been                 
  raised regarding whether  "our whole occupational  licensing                 
  statutes  are  really   properly  crafted."    The   Senator                 
  referenced a recent newspaper article  focusing on the state                 
  medical  board  as  a  further  example.    He  then  voiced                 
  discomfort with  extension of  existing boards  in light  of                 
  need  for overall review.   He  acknowledged need  for board                 
  certification to protect the  public but questioned economic                 
  manipulation  by  boards.    In   his  closing  remarks,  he                 
  referenced  a  recent exchange  with  a constituent  who was                 
  denied  licensing  by  the board  governing  acupuncture and                 
  suggested that  individuals  are prevented  from  earning  a                 
  livelihood as a  result of lack of overall  statutory review                 
  by the legislature.                                                          
  Co-chairman Halford observed  that Secs. 1 through  8 relate                 
  to occupational licensing.   Proposed extensions range  from                 
  2003 to 2005.   Noting that all of the  impacted boards have                 
  an additional  wind-down  year following  the actual  sunset                 
  date, he suggested that extensions be  changed to 1996.  The                 
  Co-chairman next  referenced extension  of the  correctional                 
  industries program, set  forth in Sec. 10,  and acknowledged                 
  that it is  unique in  that it  does not  enjoy a  wind-down                 
  period.  It would thus cease as of July 1, 1995.                             
  Referencing  Sec. 9  extension  of the  hazardous  substance                 
  spill technology  review council, Co-chairman  Frank advised                 
  that funding for the council  was removed from the operating                 
  budget because of impending sunset.                                          
  Senator Zharoff acknowledged  concern regarding extension of                 
  sunset boards beyond  five years but noted that dates within                 
  the bill  were recommended  by Legislative  Audit.   He then                 
  suggested that the  length of recommended extensions  be cut                 
  in half.  Senator Rieger recalled that the Legislative Audit                 
  report questioned need for legislation  every four years for                 
  boards that  are always  extended when  brought forward  for                 
  sunset  review.   The  recommendation  for those  boards was                 
  review  every  ten years.    The Senator  reiterated growing                 
  legislative  sensitivity   concerning  economic   regulation                 
  powers exerted by boards.  He cited recent debate associated                 
  with the board of marine pilots  as an example.  Co-chairman                 
  Halford  agreed  that creation  of  a regulatory  body gives                 
  control to the executive branch.  It then becomes  difficult                 
  or impossible to  effect amendments  until sunset, if  those                 
  amendments are opposed by the executive branch.                              
  Senator Sharp MOVED to change sunset dates in Secs. 1, 3, 4,                 
  5, 6, 7, and 8 to 1996, and to change the date in Sec. 10 to                 
  1997.  He advised  that Secs. 2 and 9 were  removed from the                 
  motion  since  the  board  of marine  pilots  (Sec.  2)  was                 
  recently  considered and funding  for the council  in Sec. 9                 
  may  have been  removed  from  the  budget.   Senator  Randy                 
  Phillips OBJECTED.  Co-chairman Halford called for a show of                 
  hands.   The motion  CARRIED on a  vote of 4  to 2,  and the                 
  AMENDMENT was ADOPTED.                                                       
  Co-chairman  Halford voiced  his understanding  that  Sec. 2                 
  extension  of  the   Board  of  Marine  Pilots  to  1999  is                 
  consistent with  legislation recently  passed by  committee.                 
  Senator Rieger  questioned whether the  committee would want                 
  to extend the board for that long should the legislation not                 
  pass  both  bodies.     Voicing  his  belief   that  earlier                 
  legislation would supercede HB 233,  Senator Rieger MOVED to                 
  change the extension  date in Sec.  2 to 1996.   Co-chairman                 
  Halford remarked that enactment of legislation  would depend                 
  upon  the  order in  which  it  is signed  by  the governor.                 
  OBJECTION to  the motion  was raised.   Co-chairman  Halford                 
  called for a show of hands.  The motion CARRIED on a vote of                 
  5 to 1, and the AMENDMENT was ADOPTED.                                       
  Co-chairman Halford  noted that Sec.  11 would no  longer be                 
  necessary since it  contains an  exemption from sunset  law.                 
  As a result  of amendments adopted  by committee, no  boards                 
  would  extended   beyond  the  statutory   four-year  sunset                 
  provision.   Senator  Phillips  subsequently  noted need  to                 
  retain the  last sentence  of Sec.  11 and  remove the  word                 
  "also" therefrom.   No  objection to  deletion of  the first                 
  portion  of  Sec.  11  or  retention  of the  last  sentence                 
  following removal of the word "also" having been raised, the                 
  bill was so AMENDED.                                                         
  JERRY McCUNE, representing the Prince  William Sound Science                 
  Center,  came  before committee  to  speak  to Sec.  9.   He                 
  explained  that  the  hazardous substance  spill  technology                 
  review  council  is in  its  wind-down  year.   A  number of                 
  projects  are underway,  and  approximately $1.7  million in                 
  funding from  "criminal money"  remains for  distribution to                 
  projects  statewide.   In  order  to  finish its  work,  the                 
  council requested an extension  of one year.  The  oil spill                 
  recovery  institute will  then  take  over  federal  moneys.                 
  Council operations will be derived from the $1.7 million.  A                 
  total  of 63  proposed  projects have  been narrowed  to 15.                 
  Decisions will have to be made as to which ones will receive                 
  funding and which will  not.  In response to  questions from                 
  Senator  Rieger,  Mr. McCune  advised  that the  15 projects                 
  would  utilize the $1.7  million.   In some  cases, projects                 
  will  be  contracted  while  the  council will  merely  make                 
  contractual recommendations on others.                                       
  Co-chairman Frank asked if  extension of an entire  year was                 
  necessary.   Mr.  McCune  responded affirmatively,  advising                 
  that the  council only meets four or five  times a year.  He                 
  attested to difficulties associated with getting all parties                 
  End:      SFC-95, #65, Side 1                                                
  Begin:    SFC-95, #65, Side 2                                                
  Co-chairman Frank MOVED that  the Sec. 9 extension  date for                 
  the commission  be changed from  June 30, 1995,  to December                 
  31, 1994.    In  light  of  the  additional  wind-down  year                 
  associated  with  sunset,  the  amendment  would extend  the                 
  council for half a  year.  No objection having  been raised,                 
  the AMENDMENT was ADOPTED.                                                   
  Senator Rieger  MOVED for  passage of  SCS  CSHB 233  (Fin).                 
  Senator Zharoff OBJECTED.  Co-chairman  Halford called for a                 
  show of  hands.  The motion FAILED on a  vote of 3 to 3, and                 
  SCS CSHB 233 (Fin) was held in committee.                                    

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