Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/10/1995 01:39 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                                                                               
                                                                               
                     HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                         April 10, 1995                                        
                            1:30 P.M.                                          
                                                                               
  TAPE HFC 95-80, Side 1, #000 - end.                                          
  TAPE HFC 95-80, Side 2, #000 - end.                                          
  TAPE HFC 95-81, Side 1, #000 - 650.                                          
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  Mark  Hanley called  the  House Finance  Committee                 
  meeting to order at 1:39 p.m.                                                
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Hanley               Representative Martin                          
  Co-Chair Foster               Representative Mulder                          
  Representative Brown          Representative Navarre                         
  Representative Grussendorf    Representative Parnell                         
  Representative Kelly          Representative Therriault                      
  Representative Kohring                                                       
                                                                               
  ALSO PRESENT                                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative Con Bunde; Jerry Luckhaupt, Legislative Legal                 
  Counsel, Legislative Affairs Agency;  Margot Knuth, Criminal                 
  Division,  Department  of  Law;  Paul  Grant,  Alaska  Civil                 
  Liberty  Union;  Rod  Mourant, Staff,  Representative  Kott;                 
  Darrel  Johnson, Department  of  Health  & Social  Services;                 
  Catherine  Reardon,  Director,   Division  of   Occupational                 
  Licensing; Helen Mehrkens, Department of Education.                          
                                                                               
  SUMMARY                                                                      
                                                                               
  HB 28     An  Act  relating  to  the  possession of  weapons                 
            within the  grounds of  or on  the parking  lot of                 
            preschools, elementary, junior high, and secondary                 
            schools    or    while    participating    in    a                 
            school-sponsored event; requiring the expulsion or                 
            suspension of students  possessing deadly  weapons                 
            on school  grounds; and relating to school lockers                 
            and  other  containers  provided  in  a public  or                 
            private  school  by  the   school  or  the  school                 
            district.                                                          
                                                                               
            CSHB 28 (FIN)  was reported out of  Committee with                 
            "no recommendation" and with two zero fiscal notes                 
            by the Department of  Education and Department  of                 
            Public Safety, dated 2/22/95.                                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                1                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  HB 233    An Act extending until  1999 the termination  date                 
            of  the Board of  Clinical Social  Work Examiners,                 
            Board of Marital and Family Therapy, State Medical                 
            Board,  Board of  Nursing,  Board of  Nursing Home                 
            Administrators,   Board   of    Psychologist   and                 
            Psychological  Associate  Examiners,  Real  Estate                 
            Commission,   and   Hazardous    Substance   Spill                 
            Technology  Review  Council; extending  until 1996                 
            the termination date of the Board of Marine Pilots                 
            and  the  Correctional Industries  Commission; and                 
            providing for an effective date.                                   
                                                                               
            HB   233  was   HELD  in  Committee   for  further                 
  discussion.                                                                  
  HB 269    An  Act relating to  credits against certain taxes                 
            for  contributions  to certain  public educational                 
            radio and television networks and stations and  to                 
            endowments  for  public   educational  radio   and                 
            television   networks;   and   providing  for   an                 
            effective date.                                                    
                                                                               
            HB 269 was rescheduled.                                            
  HOUSE BILL NO. 28                                                            
                                                                               
       "An Act relating  to the  possession of weapons  within                 
       the grounds  of or  on the  parking lot of  preschools,                 
       elementary, junior high, and secondary schools or while                 
       participating  in  a school-sponsored  event; requiring                 
       the  expulsion  or  suspension  of students  possessing                 
       deadly  weapons  on  school  grounds;  and  relating to                 
       school  lockers  and  other containers  provided  in  a                 
       public or private  school by the  school or the  school                 
       district."                                                              
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE  CON  BUNDE,  sponsor  HB  28,  testified  in                 
  support of  the legislation.   He observed that  the Federal                 
  Gun Free Schools Act  was passed by Congress in  response to                 
  increasing violence and guns in schools.  This Act  requires                 
  school systems to implement programs for the control of guns                 
  and weapons before receiving federal funding.  He noted that                 
  HB  28  prohibits  the  possession  of  deadly  weapons  and                 
  defensive  weapons  on  school grounds  or  in  parking lots                 
  adjacent to public or private schools.   A person can obtain                 
  permission  to  carry a  prohibited  weapon  to  use  in  an                 
  existing gun range.  The legislation provides for a one year                 
  expulsion or suspension of a student that possesses a weapon                 
  on school  grounds.  Expulsion or suspension  of disabled or                 
  special education students may be modified.  The legislation                 
  requires an annual  statistical report  be submitted by  the                 
  Department  of Education  regarding the  number of  students                 
                                                                               
                                2                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  expelled and  the types  of weapons  involved.  He  observed                 
  that the legislation also allows locker searches in order to                 
  determine compliance with school regulations and state laws.                 
  Schools must display, in a prominent location,  notification                 
  of the search policy.                                                        
                                                                               
  Representative Bunde emphasized that Alaska must comply with                 
  the Federal  Gun Free Schools  Act or lose  federal dollars.                 
  He  stressed  that  schools  cannot  function properly  when                 
  students and teachers are concerned about their safety.                      
                                                                               
  In  response   to  a  question  by   Representative  Mulder,                 
  Representative  Bunde  clarified that  probable  cause would                 
  remain in  effect in regards  to vehicle searches  on school                 
  property.  If a student is caught with a gun they would have                 
  to be expelled.                                                              
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown  provided  members  with  Amendment  1                 
  (Attachment  1).    Amendment 1  requires  that  each school                 
  district adopt a policy providing for the "identification of                 
  procedures  and   conditions  for  early   reinstatement  of                 
  students  suspended  or  expelled."    She  emphasized  that                 
  federal law allows the reinstatement of students if there is                 
  a policy in  place.  Representative Bunde  expressed concern                 
  that exemptions do not nullify the penalty.                                  
                                                                               
  Representative Martin observed  that ordinary citizens carry                 
  weapons in the back of pick up trucks in relation to hunting                 
  activities.  He questioned the zero fiscal note accompanying                 
  the legislation.                                                             
                                                                               
  Representative  Bunde  expressed  support  for  the  use  of                 
  weapons in  connection with hunting or  personal protection.                 
  He emphasized that guns could be carried in the trunk.  Guns                 
  located in racks behind windows in pickup trucks  would have                 
  to be removed.   He stated that the Department  of Education                 
  has  indicated  that there  will be  no  fiscal impact  as a                 
  result of the legislation.                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown  asked  if there  is  a  definition of                 
  "defensive  weapon."     Representative  Bunde   noted  that                 
  "defensive weapon" is defined in AS 11.81.900(b)(16).                        
                                                                               
  In   response  to  a   question  by   Representative  Brown,                 
  Representative Bunde clarified that probable cause would not                 
  apply to the search  of school lockers.  He  emphasized that                 
  the  expectation  of privacy  is  lower on  public property.                 
  Specific groups or certain areas of  the school could not be                 
  singled out.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown questioned  whether the  sponsor would                 
  support  language  requiring  reasonable   suspicion  before                 
                                                                               
                                3                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  allowing  a  search.   Representative  Bunde stated  that he                 
  would not support  the language.  He  stressed that research                 
  indicated that the removal of all school lockers reduced the                 
  amount  of  violence or  theft in  schools.   He  added that                 
  lockers are not private property and are often shared.                       
                                                                               
  Representative Navarre asked if a  distinction could be made                 
  between  preschool, elementary,  junior  high and  secondary                 
  school students.  He also referred  to the drafting style of                 
  section 6.                                                                   
                                                                               
  MARGOT KNUTH,  CRIMINAL DIVISION,  DEPARTMENT OF  LAW stated                 
  that section 6 was properly drafted.                                         
                                                                               
  Representative Martin  reiterated concerns in regards to the                 
  inability to leave guns in truck racks.                                      
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Hanley pointed out that  current law prohibits guns                 
  on  school  grounds.   He  noted that  the  legislation adds                 
  mandatory expulsion of students that  defy the prohibition.                  
  Representative Bunde agreed  and added that the  legislation                 
  would  also   increase  the   sanction  for  possession   of                 
  unauthorized weapons by persons over the age of 21.                          
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown asked  for  an explanation  of changes                 
  made in sections 1 and 3.  Ms. Knuth noted that sections 1 -                 
   3  raise  the  penalty  for  possessing weapons  on  school                 
  grounds from a class B to a  Class A misdemeanor.  She noted                 
  that a class B misdemeanor is the lowest  class crime in the                 
  state of Alaska.  There are more options for sanctions under                 
  a class A misdemeanor.                                                       
                                                                               
  Ms.  Knuth noted  that the  only provision  required by  the                 
  federal mandate is  on page 3,  lines 4 -  7.  She  observed                 
  that  this  section  only  refers  to  handguns.   Only  the                 
  possession  of  handguns  would  require  the  expulsion  of                 
  students under this provision.                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Grussendorf asserted that the legislation has                 
  grown  beyond  what  was  requested  by  the  Department  of                 
  Education.   He suggested that  section 6 would  fulfill the                 
  desires of school  districts.  Representative Bunde  replied                 
  that the schools want the ability to search school lockers.                  
                                                                               
  HELEN  MEHRKENS, PROGRAM  MANAGER,  DEPARTMENT OF  EDUCATION                 
  discussed federal requirements.  She  noted that federal law                 
  requires that schools have a policy that will expel students                 
  who bring  a firearm to school or on school property for not                 
  less than  one calendar  year,  assure that  schools are  in                 
  compliance, submit  a one page report, and refer the student                 
  to the law enforcement or  juvenile delinquency system.  She                 
  noted that schools are not as safe as they once were.                        
                                                                               
                                4                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Martin  expressed concern that  the student's                 
  right to an  education be fulfilled during  their expulsion.                 
  Representative  Bunde noted  that  students can  be educated                 
  outside of the public  school.  He stressed that  the safety                 
  and rights of the majority should be supported.                              
                                                                               
  Ms.  Mehrkens  assured,  Representative  Martin,  that   the                 
  Department   anticipates   that   the    federal   reporting                 
  requirements will be a simple 3 to 4 hour process.                           
                                                                               
  In  response   to  a   question  by   Representative  Kelly,                 
  Representative  Bunde  noted that  federal  law requires  an                 
  exemption for special  education students.  He  acknowledged                 
  that  students  with  behavior  problems  would  be  special                 
  education  students.    Ms.  Mehrkens  noted   that  special                 
  eduction students  cannot be  expelled if  they brought  the                 
  weapon  to school in  connection with their  disability.  If                 
  the weapon was not brought in connection to their disability                 
  the student would be expelled.  The school would be required                 
  to   provide  expelled   special  education   students  with                 
  educational services in another setting.                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Brown referred to page 3, line 29 and page 2,                 
  line 19.  She  questioned if page 2, line 19  needed to have                 
  comas  around "other than a loaded  firearm" to clarify that                 
  the deadly weapon would have to be in the vehicle's trunk or                 
  a closed container  in the vehicle.   She observed that  the                 
  section provides  an exception for  adults over 21  to carry                 
  deadly weapons in their vehicle's trunk.                                     
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 95-80, Side 2)                                             
                                                                               
  Discussion  ensued  in regards  to the  use of  comas around                 
  "other than a loaded  firearm.  Ms. Knuth concluded  that it                 
  would be clearer if the comas were placed.                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Brown  asked why the definition  was expanded                 
  to  include "deadly weapon."   Ms. Knuth  noted that current                 
  law does not  allow loaded  firearms under any  circumstance                 
  including in the  trunk of a car or a closed container.  She                 
  agreed that the bill expands from firearms to deadly weapons                 
  those weapons that  may be possessed in the trunk of a motor                 
  vehicle or a  closed container  in the motor  vehicle.   She                 
  stated that the  provision would permit the possession  of a                 
  filet knife which was  contained in the trunk of a  car by a                 
  person over 21 years of age.                                                 
                                                                               
  Members continued to  discuss the drafting  of page 2,  line                 
  19.  Ms. Knuth noted that the former law only restricted the                 
  possession of firearms.  The possession of deadly weapons is                 
  a new crime.  The exception for deadly weapons is being made                 
                                                                               
                                5                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  on page 2, line 19, to allow possession in a closed trunk or                 
  closed container.   Students  would not  be allowed  to have                 
  knives or other deadly weapons.  She  clarified that federal                 
  law does not include deadly weapons.                                         
                                                                               
  Ms.  Mehrkens  stated  that  most  schools already  use  the                 
  broader  Alaska  definition of  weapon.   She noted  that 25                 
  students have been  suspended for  weapon violations in  the                 
  largest school district.                                                     
                                                                               
  Ms. Knuth noted  that Section  6 (a)(1) is  required by  the                 
  federal mandate.  Section (a)(2), suspension of  30 days for                 
  the possession of a deadly weapon is optional.                               
                                                                               
  Representative  Grussendorf  questioned  if the  legislation                 
  could be  reduced to  only include  Sections 5  and 6.   Ms.                 
  Knuth  stated that schools would like  to expel students for                 
  the possession of  deadly weapons  in addition to  firearms.                 
  She added that the legislation also changes the penalty.                     
                                                                               
  Representative Bunde noted that raising  the penalty was his                 
  original motivation  for introducing  the legislation.   The                 
  federal requirement came later.                                              
                                                                               
  JERRY  LUCKHAUPT,  LEGISLATIVE  LEGAL  COUNSEL,  LEGISLATIVE                 
  AFFAIRS AGENCY observed that the intent  of page 2, line 19,                 
  is to allow an adult to possess a deadly weapon in the trunk                 
  of a vehicle.   He noted that the deadly weapon  cannot be a                 
  loaded  firearm.   He  observed  that the  legislation would                 
  require that  a weapon  be  placed in  a trunk  or a  closed                 
  container in the vehicle.  He  conceded that the addition of                 
  comas around "other than a loaded firearm" would clarify the                 
  language.   He emphasized that  it would  not be a  crime to                 
  possess a deadly weapon in the trunk, as long as it is not a                 
  loaded firearm.                                                              
                                                                               
  Representative Brown clarified that there is  no requirement                 
  that the container of trunk be locked.                                       
                                                                               
  In  response  to a  question  by Representative  Martin, Mr.                 
  Luckhaupt stressed  that the  federal  requirement does  not                 
  address sanctions against possession of  firearms by persons                 
  who are not students. The penalty  for possession by persons                 
  who are not students is being increased.                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Bunde  stressed that  "out of  sight, out  of                 
  mind" applies to  the gun that is in a trunk or container in                 
  a vehicle.                                                                   
                                                                               
  PAUL GRANT, ALASKA  CIVIL LIBERTIES  UNION stated that  they                 
  are in general support of HB 28.   He expressed concern that                 
  the  current  language does  not  set up  standards  for the                 
                                                                               
                                6                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  exercise of discretion  in regards to  locker searches.   He                 
  stated   that  there  should   be  a   reasonable  suspicion                 
  requirement added to the locker search provision.  Mr. Grant                 
  provided  members  with  a  copy  of his  written  testimony                 
  (Attachment 2).  He recommended that section 5 be deleted.                   
                                                                               
  In  response  to a  question  by Representative  Martin, Mr.                 
  Grant clarified that probable cause is not needed  to search                 
  a  school  locker.    He  maintained that  the  constitution                 
  requires  a  reasonable  suspicion  that  there has  been  a                 
  violation of school policy.                                                  
                                                                               
  Representative Therriault suggested that posting a notice of                 
  the school's  locker search  policy would  tell the  student                 
  that they cannot  expect confidentiality.  Mr.  Grant argued                 
  that  constitutional  rights  of  privacy  ought not  to  be                 
  determined  by  written notices.    He supported  the notice                 
  requirement but argued that it did not justify a search.                     
                                                                               
  Mr. Grant noted that the Alaska  Supreme Court has not ruled                 
  on  what  constitutes "reasonable  suspicion".   He observed                 
  that there has not been a  warrant requirement in regards to                 
  school searches.   He  noted that  the  Court has  generally                 
  ruled that there should be some greater standard than random                 
  searches by school administrators.  He argued that the state                 
  of Alaska has, because  of the specific right to  privacy in                 
  the  Alaska  Constitution,  afforded  some  protection  from                 
  search  and  seizure  that  other   jurisdictions  have  not                 
  provided.                                                                    
                                                                               
  Representative  Parnell  agreed that  there  has not  been a                 
  ruling by the Alaska Supreme Court.   He questioned if there                 
  is a legitimate expectation of privacy in school lockers.                    
                                                                               
  Representative  Bunde provided  members  with statistics  of                 
  expulsions  in  Alaska   school  districts  (Attachment  3).                 
  Representative Martin reiterated  concerns that there  would                 
  be  fiscal   impact  as   a  result   of  the   legislation.                 
  Representative Bunde repeated that there is only a reporting                 
  requirement.   He  emphasized that parents  will have  to be                 
  responsible for the education of  students excluded from the                 
  school  system.   He  emphasized  that positive  behavior be                 
  rewarded.                                                                    
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown MOVED to adopt Amendment 1.  She spoke                 
  in support of Amendment  1.  Amendment 1 requires  that each                 
  school   district  adopt   a   policy   providing  for   the                 
  "identification  of  procedures  and  conditions  for  early                 
  reinstatement  of  students  suspended  or expelled."    She                 
  stressed that the  amendment is supported by  the Department                 
  of Education.                                                                
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                7                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Ms. Mehrkens stated that school  districts appear to already                 
  have procedures in place to allow students on a case by case                 
  basis to come back into the school system.                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Martin  observed that  the legislation  would                 
  require a one  year expulsion.  Co-Chair  Hanley stated that                 
  the  administrative  officer may  on  a case  by  case basis                 
  modify or reduce the suspension.                                             
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 95-81, Side 1)                                             
                                                                               
  Representative Brown argued that Amendment  1 would make the                 
  decision to reinstate students less arbitrary.  She stressed                 
  that schools  would set guidelines  for making case  by case                 
  decisions.                                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Parnell suggested  that it  would be hard  to                 
  assess  expulsions on  a case  by  case basis  if procedures                 
  exist.                                                                       
                                                                               
  Ms.  Mehrkens  gave   examples  of   procedures  by   school                 
  districts.   She noted that the appeal  process is generally                 
  used.  She stated that federal law is clear that the case by                 
  case  exemption  needs  to  be  addressed on  an  individual                 
  student  basis.    General policy  cannot  be  used for  all                 
  students.   Representative Bunde  suggested that  guidelines                 
  would circumvent the case by case review.                                    
                                                                               
  Ms.  Knuth  asserted  that  expulsion  without   alternative                 
  education opportunities will  result in  a fiscal impact  to                 
  state criminal  and social  programs.   She  noted that  the                 
  Federal Gun Free Schools  Act authorizes states to leave  it                 
  to the schools to come up  with alternative placements.  She                 
  noted  that  students are  expelled for  a variety  of other                 
  reasons which do not have a comparable state requirement for                 
  alternative placement.                                                       
                                                                               
  Ms.  Knuth  stated that  it makes  sense  to ask  schools to                 
  develop procedures  for reinstatement.   She suggested  that                 
  provisions could set  out time frame  lines for when  things                 
  occur, such as hearings.                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Bunde noted that the legislation requires due                 
  process proceedings.                                                         
                                                                               
  A roll call vote was taken on the MOTION  to adopt Amendment                 
  1.                                                                           
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Therriault,  Brown,   Kohring,  Martin,   Navarre,                 
  Foster                                                                       
  OPPOSED:  Mulder, Parnell, Hanley                                            
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                8                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED (6-3).                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown  provided  members  with  Amendment  2                 
  (Attachment 4).   She  noted that  Amendment 2  would add  a                 
  reasonable  suspicion  standard  to locker  searches.    She                 
  referred to a  Supreme Court ruling, involving  the state of                 
  New Jersey, that stated that  by general rule a search of  a                 
  student by school officials is permissible if it does not go                 
  beyond the scope  or the circumstances justifying it  and if                 
  the search  is based  on reasonable  grounds for  suspecting                 
  that it will uncover evidence  that the student has violated                 
  school rules.                                                                
                                                                               
  Ms. Knuth stated that the Court ruled that the 4th Amendment                 
  does apply to  searches conducted by school  officials.  She                 
  noted  that  the search  in  question was  conducted  on the                 
  student's purse.   She stressed that because  school lockers                 
  are the property  of the school  and students don't have  to                 
  use them, the 4th Amendment does  not apply.  She maintained                 
  that  the  legislation   is  a  codification  of   what  the                 
  constitutional law requires.  She emphasized that the search                 
  cannot be more invasive or intrusive than what is  necessary                 
  to find the type  of contraband that schools are  allowed to                 
  search  for in lockers.  She  spoke in support of the second                 
  part of Amendment  2:  "A  search or examination under  this                 
  section may not be more  intrusive than reasonably necessary                 
  to meet the objectives of the search."                                       
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown  MOVED to  divide  the question.   She                 
  MOVED to  adopt Amendment 2B, page 4,  line 16, "A search or                 
  examination under  this section  may not  be more  intrusive                 
  than  reasonably  necessary to  meet  the objectives  of the                 
  search."                                                                     
                                                                               
  Ms.  Knuth stated  that  Amendment 2B  would clarify  that a                 
  wallet  within  the locker,  or  another small  container in                 
  which  a gun  would not  fit, could  not  be searched.   She                 
  acknowledged that a school could search all the lockers.                     
                                                                               
  Representative  Bunde noted  that students  are notified  in                 
  regards  to the  school's  search policy  at  the time  they                 
  register.                                                                    
                                                                               
  There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment 2B was adopted.                          
                                                                               
  Representative Brown MOVED to adopt Amendment 2A, delete "to                 
  determine  compliance  with"  and   insert  "if  the  person                 
  conducting the search  is acting under  reasonable suspicion                 
  that the search will  provide evidence of a past  or present                 
  violation of."                                                               
                                                                               
  A roll call vote was taken on the MOTION.                                    
                                                                               
                                9                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Brown, Kohring, Navarre, Foster                                    
  OPPOSED:  Martin, Mulder, Parnell, Therriault, Hanley                        
                                                                               
  Representatives Grussendorf  and Kelly were absent  from the                 
  vote.                                                                        
                                                                               
  The MOTION FAILED (4-5).                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown MOVED  to insert  comas around  "other                 
  than a loaded firearm" on page  2, line 19.  There being  NO                 
  OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                
                                                                               
  Representative Mulder MOVED to  report CSHB 28 (FIN) out  of                 
  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                 
  accompanying fiscal notes.                                                   
                                                                               
  CSHB 28  (FIN)  was  reported  out  of  Committee  with  "no                 
  recommendation"  and  with  two  zero  fiscal notes  by  the                 
  Department of  Education and  Department  of Public  Safety,                 
  dated 2/22/95.                                                               
  HOUSE BILL NO. 233                                                           
                                                                               
       "An Act extending  until 1999  the termination date  of                 
       the Board of  Clinical Social Work Examiners,  Board of                 
       Marital  and Family Therapy, State Medical Board, Board                 
       of Nursing, Board of Nursing Home Administrators, Board                 
       of Psychologist and Psychological  Associate Examiners,                 
       Real Estate  Commission, and Hazardous  Substance Spill                 
       Technology  Review  Council; extending  until  1996 the                 
       termination date  of the Board of Marine Pilots and the                 
       Correctional Industries Commission;  and providing  for                 
       an effective date."                                                     
                                                                               
  CATHERINE  REARDON,  DIRECTOR,   DIVISION  OF   OCCUPATIONAL                 
  LICENSING spoke  in support of HB  233.  She  noted that the                 
  Division has jurisdiction  over seven  of the eleven  boards                 
  and commissions contained  in the legislation.   She pointed                 
  out that the  fiscal note reflects  the costs of the  boards                 
  and commissions  and the  licensing  activities under  them.                 
  The fiscal note does  not reflect an increase of  cost.  She                 
  emphasized that the  licensing fees are directed  by statute                 
  to  cover the  costs  of licensing  activities.   When costs                 
  increase the fees are adjusted upward.  Program receipts and                 
  expenditures are  balanced.   She stressed  that the  sunset                 
  audits recommended longer extensions  than those included in                 
  the legislation.  She noted that the Division of Legislative                 
  Budget and Audit suggested that longer extensions would save                 
  auditing money.                                                              
                                                                               
  Representative  Grussendorf  noted  that   the  Division  of                 
                                                                               
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  Legislative Budget and Audit's recommendation for extensions                 
  to  the  year 2004  was only  accepted  for the  Real Estate                 
  Commission.    The other  boards  and commissions  were only                 
  extended to 1994.   Ms. Reardon  noted that the House  Labor                 
  and Commerce  Committee changed  the extension  date of  the                 
  Real Estate Commission.                                                      
                                                                               
  DARREL JOHNSON,  DIVISION OF MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL                 
  DISABILITIES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES spoke                 
  in  support of  HB 233.    He testified  in  support of  the                 
  Special Eduction Service Agencies.   He stressed that sunset                 
  of  the  Special  Education   Service  Agency  would  impair                 
  families' ability to gain the support they need for  special                 
  needs children and young adults.                                             
                                                                               
  Representative Therriault provided members  with Amendment 1                 
  (Attachment 5).  The amendment would eliminate the extension                 
  of the Hazardous Substance Spill Technology Review  Council.                 
  Representative Therriault MOVED  to adopt  Amendment 1.   He                 
  stated  that  the  amendment reflects  action  taken  in the                 
  operating budget.                                                            
                                                                               
  Representative Brown referred  to a  letter by Gary  Thomas,                 
  Director,  Prince  William  Sound Science  Center  (copy  on                 
  file).  Mr. Thomas stated that projects sponsored in part by                 
  the Council have had joint  sponsorship by industry, federal                 
  and state agencies,  public groups,  and universities.   She                 
  spoke in support of extending the Council.                                   
                                                                               
  Representative  Therriault clarified  that  the Council  was                 
  budgeted at $100.0 thousand  dollars in FY 95.   The Council                 
  was funded at $420.0 thousand dollars in FY 93.                              
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown   questioned  the   position  of   the                 
  Department of Environmental Conservation.                                    
                                                                               
  Representative Therriault noted  that it  was the intent  of                 
  the  House   Finance  Subcommittee  on  the   Department  of                 
  Environmental Conservation to allow the sunset to go ahead.                  
                                                                               
  A roll call vote was taken on the MOTION to  adopt Amendment                 
  1.                                                                           
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Kelly, Kohring, Martin, Mulder, Therriault, Hanley                 
                                                                               
  OPPOSED:  Brown, Grussendorf, Navarre                                        
                                                                               
  Representatives  Parnell  and Foster  were  absent from  the                 
  vote.                                                                        
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED (6-3).                                                     
                                                                               
                                                                               
                               11                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Brown  asked why  the Board  of Storage  Tank                 
  Assistance was recommended for extension.                                    
                                                                               
  ROD  MOURANT,  STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE  KOTT  noted  that the                 
  legislation was based  on recommendations  by the Office  of                 
  the  Governor  and the  Division  of Legislative  Budget and                 
  Audit.  He stated that  some boards were added by the  House                 
  Labor   and  Commerce   Committee   due  to   administrative                 
  oversight.                                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown asked  the  basis for  distinction  of                 
  sunset dates.  Mr. Mourant could not answer.  Representative                 
  Grussendorf  noted  that  Mr.  Mourant  testified  that  the                 
  legislation was based on recommendations  by the Division of                 
  Legislative    Budget   and    Audit.       However,   those                 
  recommendations  were  only  accepted  for  the Real  Estate                 
  Board.                                                                       
                                                                               
  Representative Martin noted that the Division of Legislative                 
  Budget  and Audit  tried  to decrease  the  annual audit  of                 
  boards and commissions  by extending  some organizations  to                 
  five or ten years.                                                           
                                                                               
  Representative Brown noted  that the  Board of Storage  Tank                 
  Assistance was not contained in the audit.                                   
                                                                               
  HB 233 was HELD in Committee for further discussion.                         
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting adjourned at 3:50 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
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