Legislature(2009 - 2010)HOUSE FINANCE 519

03/23/2009 01:30 PM FINANCE


Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Confirmation Hearing: TELECONFERENCED
State Assessment Review Board
<Above Item Postponed from Agenda>
+ HB 78 EXTEND BOARD OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTANCY TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ HB 86 EXTENDING VETERINARY BOARD TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       March 23, 2009                                                                                           
                         1:34 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:34:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze called the House Finance Committee meeting                                                                     
to order at 1:34 p.m.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Hawker, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Bill Stoltze, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Bill Thomas, Jr., Vice-Chair                                                                                     
Representative Allan Austerman                                                                                                  
Representative Anna Fairclough                                                                                                  
Representative Richard Foster                                                                                                   
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
Representative Mike Kelly                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Harry Crawford                                                                                                   
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative Woodie Salmon                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Konrad Jackson, Staff, Representative Kurt Olson; Pat                                                                           
Davidson, Legislative Auditor, Legislative Audit Division,                                                                      
Legislative Affairs Agency                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Confirmation: Ronald Brown - State Assessment Review Board                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          Postponed                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HB 78     "An Act extending the termination date of the                                                                         
          Board of Public Accountancy; and providing for an                                                                     
          effective date."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          HB  78 was  REPORTED out  of Committee  with a  "do                                                                   
          pass"  recommendation and  with fiscal  note #1  by                                                                   
          the Department of Commerce,  Community and Economic                                                                   
          Development.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HB 86     "An Act extending the termination date of the                                                                         
          Board of Veterinary Examiners; and providing for                                                                      
          an effective date."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
          HB  86 was  REPORTED out  of Committee  with a  "do                                                                   
          pass"  recommendation and  with fiscal  note #1  by                                                                   
          the Department of Commerce,  Community and Economic                                                                   
          Development.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:36:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 86                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act extending the termination date of the Board of                                                                     
     Veterinary Examiners; and providing for an effective                                                                       
     date."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KONRAD JACKSON,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE KURT  OLSON, explained                                                                   
that  HB 86  extends the  termination  date of  the Board  of                                                                   
Veterinary  Examiners.    He   observed  that  the  Committee                                                                   
members  had  a  report  by  Legislative   Audit  with  their                                                                   
recommendations.   One  of the recommendations  is an  eight-                                                                   
year extension of the Board.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  noted  last  year's  legislative  work  to                                                                   
revise statutes related to veterinary medicine.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:37:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAT   DAVIDSON,  LEGISLATIVE   AUDITOR,   LEGISLATIVE   AUDIT                                                                   
DIVISION, LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS  AGENCY, addressed two issue in                                                                   
the audit.    The first is  that vacancies on the  board need                                                                   
to be  filled in a  timely manner.   The Board of  Veterinary                                                                   
Examiners  is a volunteer  board and  full memberships  makes                                                                   
operation of the  board easier.  It was found  that the board                                                                   
was operating effectively and in the public's interest.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Davidson reported  on the second recommendation.   In the                                                                   
financial  analysis, it  was determined  that licensing  fees                                                                   
should be reduced because there is a growing surplus.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Jackson offered to answer questions.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze pointed out a  concern about the shortage in                                                                   
Alaska of large animal practice veterinary medicine.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:39:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Foster wondered  why a  member of the  public                                                                   
would need  to be  on the board.   The  vacancy has  not been                                                                   
filled since  last November.   He pointed out that  with only                                                                   
four board members there would  not be enough members to have                                                                   
a quorum.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Jackson reported  that  one of  the  vacancies has  been                                                                   
filled and is ready for confirmation  by the legislature.  He                                                                   
thought there was a problem of  filling the member quota on a                                                                   
number of boards.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:41:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Joule wondered  if the  lack of interest  was                                                                   
due  to requirements  of disclosure.   Ms.  Davidson had  not                                                                   
heard of  that problem.   She did  not believe the  vacancies                                                                   
were a result of Representative Joule's concern.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Jackson addressed  the issue of ethics laws  and reported                                                                   
that  he has  not  seen  it as  a  detriment to  filling  the                                                                   
boards.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:43:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  asked if the  vacancy problem was  a recent                                                                   
one.   Ms. Davidson  did not  know.   She reported  that most                                                                   
boards under sunset review had  similar concerns with filling                                                                   
their boards.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Austerman recalled  subcommittee  discussions                                                                   
about professional  licensing.  He wondered if  it was normal                                                                   
for  boards to  carry  a similar  large  balance of  $271,000                                                                   
related to their  licensing fees.  Ms. Davidson  related that                                                                   
by  statute,  each of  the  boards  is  supposed to  be  self                                                                   
supporting.   They should have  close to a net  zero balance.                                                                   
There is  a concern about a  growing surplus in  future years                                                                   
for the Board of Veterinary Examiners.   She recommended that                                                                   
the fees be  reduced.  There is  a lot of variation,  but the                                                                   
goal is to approach zero within their two-year budgets.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Austerman  asked  if  the  fees  are  set  by                                                                   
regulation.  Ms.  Davidson reported that they are  set by the                                                                   
Division  of  Legislative  Audit  in  coordination  with  the                                                                   
board.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:47:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster recalled  in 1991 there were 116 boards                                                                   
and  commissions.    Governor  Hickle left  office  with  121                                                                   
boards and commissions in spite  of resolving to reduce them.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  noted a  fiscal note  for $65,000  from the                                                                   
Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:49:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker MOVED  to REPORT HB 86 out  of Committee with                                                                   
individual recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal note.                                                                   
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB  86  was  REPORTED  out of  Committee  with  a  "do  pass"                                                                   
recommendation and  with fiscal note #1 by  the Department of                                                                   
Commerce, Community and Economic Development.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:50:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 78                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act extending  the termination date of  the Board of                                                                   
     Public  Accountancy;  and  providing  for  an  effective                                                                   
     date."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Jackson explained the Board  of Public Accountancy shares                                                                   
some  of  the   same  issues  as  the  Board   of  Veterinary                                                                   
Examiners.  The  big difference is that there  is a four-year                                                                   
extension for the Board of Public  Accountancy as recommended                                                                   
by Legislative Audit.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Davidson  informed the Committee that  under professional                                                                   
auditing  standards one  of the  most  important standard  is                                                                   
that auditors  be independent  of the  organization they  are                                                                   
auditing.    She  explained that  Legislative  Audit  is  not                                                                   
independent with respect to the  Board of Public Accountancy.                                                                   
She  clarified that  a consultant  was hired  to conduct  the                                                                   
audit.   The contract  required that  the consultant  perform                                                                   
the  audit  according  to  the   same  statutory  areas  that                                                                   
Legislative Audit would have used.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Davidson read the conclusion of the audit:                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     In  recognition  of the  board's continuing  efforts  to                                                                   
     utilize   the   services   provided  by   the   National                                                                   
     Association  of  State  Boards of  Accountancy  and  the                                                                   
     potential for  additional statutory regulatory  changes,                                                                   
     the recommendation was for  a four-year extension rather                                                                   
     than the typical eight-year.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Davidson  shared  the  report's  three  recommendations:                                                                   
board  membership be  filled in  a more  timely manner,  fees                                                                   
need to  be re-evaluated  with the  intent of reducing  them,                                                                   
and the Investigation  Section should implement  an effective                                                                   
case tracking system.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Davidson gave  an example  of problems  within the  case                                                                   
management system.   This  recommendation would  address case                                                                   
management systems in all occupational boards.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:53:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze summarized  that the  shorter extension  is                                                                   
because the  board is  looking at  outsourcing some  of their                                                                   
services and restructuring.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  noted a fiscal note from  the Department of                                                                   
Commerce,  Community and  Economic Development.   He  pointed                                                                   
out that costs were paid by activities,  licensees, and other                                                                   
fees.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:54:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker MOVED  to REPORT HB 78 out  of Committee with                                                                   
individual recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal note.                                                                   
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB  78  was  REPORTED  out of  Committee  with  a  "do  pass"                                                                   
recommendation and  with fiscal note #1 by  the Department of                                                                   
Commerce, Community and Economic Development.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 1:59 PM.                                                                                           

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
02_HB78_Sponsor_Statement.pdf HFIN 3/23/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 78
02_HB86_Sponsor_Statement[1].pdf HFIN 3/23/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 86
04_HB78_LBA_Audit_Summary__08-20056-09.pdf HFIN 3/23/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 78
05_HB78_LBA_Full_Audit_Report__08-20056-09.pdf HFIN 3/23/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 78
Division of Legislative Audit digest.doc HFIN 3/23/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 86
05_HB86_LB&A_Report[1].pdf HFIN 3/23/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 86
State Assessment Review Board Brown.pdf HFIN 3/23/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 86