Legislature(2005 - 2006)
05/09/2005 05:33 PM FIN
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CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 33(FIN) "An Act relating to required notification of the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, economic effect statements, and regulatory flexibility analyses regarding the adoption of regulations that may govern the conduct of small businesses; relating to a private cause of action, regulation invalidation, and judicial review related to required notification, economic effect statements, and regulatory flexibility analyses for the adoption of regulations that may govern the conduct of small businesses; and providing for an effective date." This was the second hearing for this bill in the Senate Finance Committee. MIKE PAWLOWSKI, Staff to Representative Kevin Meyer, bill's sponsor, noted that he was available to answer questions regarding the bill. Co-Chair Wilken referenced the flow chart titled "Steps in the Regulation Process Under HB 33" [copy on file] that had been discussed during the bill's first hearing, and stated that the chart should be altered to include, at "Step 5", another step reflecting that the proposed legislation should be also transmitted to the Division of Legal Services, Legislative Affairs Agency for review. Legal Services would notify the Regulation Review Agency, the Senate President, and the Speaker of the House were they to foresee a problem with the legislation. This step should be included as a result of 2004 enacted legislation that was sponsored by Senator Gene Therriault. Co-Chair Wilken voiced uncertainty as to the purpose of the legislation before the Committee. While HB 33 might be a "feel good" bill, he was unsure as to whether it would accomplish anything beyond what should already be being conducted in State government. 5:44:52 PM Co-Chair Green spoke against creating impediments to the process, as slowing the process down would be undesirable. Mr. Pawlowski responded that "serious discussions" about that issue have occurred during the bill's committee hearing process. In response to Co-Chair Wilken's comments, he noted that the chart would be corrected to reflect the Division of Legislative Audit's role in the flow chart. Mr. Pawlowski shared that "the experience of the 25 other states that have adopted similar legislation and the experience at the federal level is that these regulatory flexibility analyses and building this into state government has had significant savings for small businesses across the country". The Governor Frank Murkowski Administration has participated in the efforts being undertaken to ensure that the process "could be absorbed and not slowed down". 5:46:02 PM Co-Chair Wilken asked whether a process has been developed through which to evaluate the success of this legislation. Mr. Pawlowski stated that it has been the experience of other states, that the Regulatory Review Committee would conduct the follow-up evaluation. The goal of this flexibility regulatory analyses process is to lessen "the burden" on small businesses; therefore that occurrence would also indicate that the process was working. Some states have also implemented review provisions. The Legislature could also review it overtime. 5:46:55 PM Co-Chair Wilken suggested that a three-year termination date be specified for this Act and that a Legislative audit be conducted in order to determine whether the program should be extended. Co-Chair Green concurred. Mr. Pawlowski stated that while he has not discussed this option with Representative Meyer, the issue had been raised before. One of the reasons that a termination date was not specified in the bill was due to the determination that "trying to change regulatory culture" could be characterized as a "glacial change". After sharing some previous regulatory change efforts, he allowed that incorporating a termination date would be acceptable. Conceptual Amendment #1: This amendment specifies a termination date of January 1, 2009. In addition, a report of the program must to be presented to the Legislature no later than March 15, 2008. Co-Chair Wilken moved Conceptual Amendment #1. There being no objection, Conceptual Amendment #1 was ADOPTED. Co-Chair Wilken moved to report the bill from Committee with individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes. There being no objection, SCS CS HB 33 (FIN) was REPORTED from Committee with zero fiscal note #7, dated April 15, 2005 from the Department of Environmental Conservation; zero fiscal note #9, dated April 15, 2005 from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development; indeterminate fiscal note #10, dated April 13, 2005, from the Department of Law; $95,100 fiscal note #11, dated April 15, 2005 from the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development; and zero fiscal note #12, dated April 19, 2005 from the Department of Health and Social Services.