Legislature(1995 - 1996)
05/07/1995 12:40 PM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= 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 together. 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.