Legislature(1997 - 1998)
04/26/1997 10:10 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE April 26, 1997 10:10 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Jeannette James, Chair Representative Ethan Berkowitz Representative Fred Dyson Representative Kim Elton Representative Ivan Ivan Representative Al Vezey MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Mark Hodgins COMMITTEE CALENDAR HOUSE BILL NO. 47 "An Act relating to authorizing the Department of Corrections to provide an automated victim notification and prisoner information system." - MOVED HB 47 OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE BILL NO. 48 "An Act making a special appropriation for an automated victim notification system; and providing for an effective date." - HEARD AND HELD * HOUSE BILL NO. 264 "An Act providing for a negotiated regulation making process; and providing for an effective date." - HEARD AND HELD SENATE BILL NO. 141 "An Act relating to permits to carry concealed handguns; and relating to the possession of firearms." - BILL CANCELLED (NOT YET PASSED BY SENATE) (* First public hearing) PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 47 SHORT TITLE: TELEPHONE VICTIM NOTIFICATION SYSTEM SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KEMPLEN, Kubina, Croft, Dyson, Kohring, Brice JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/13/97 40 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 1/3/97 01/13/97 40 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/13/97 40 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 03/10/97 617 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KUBINA 03/26/97 862 (H) COSPONSOR(S): CROFT 04/03/97 978 (H) COSPONSOR(S): DYSON 04/24/97 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 04/24/97 1331 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KOHRING 04/25/97 1347 (H) COSPONSOR(S): BRICE 04/26/97 (H) STA AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 48 SHORT TITLE: APPROP: VICTIM NOTIFICATION SYSTEM SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KEMPLEN, Kubina, Croft, Dyson, Brice JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/13/97 40 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 1/3/97 01/13/97 40 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/13/97 40 (H) STA, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 03/10/97 617 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KUBINA 03/26/97 863 (H) COSPONSOR(S): CROFT 04/03/97 978 (H) COSPONSOR(S): DYSON 04/24/97 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 04/24/97 (H) MINUTE(STA) 04/25/97 1348 (H) COSPONSOR(S): BRICE 04/26/97 (H) STA AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 264 SHORT TITLE: NEGOTIATED REGULATION MAKING SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) JAMES, Berkowitz JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 04/25/97 1343 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 04/25/97 1343 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE 04/26/97 (H) STA AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 102 WITNESS REGISTER LAUREE HUGONIN, Executive Director Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault 130 Seward, Room 501 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 586-3650 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 47 and 48. JAYNE ANDREEN, Executive Director Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Department of Public Safety P.O. Box 111200 Juneau, Alaska 99811-1200 Telephone: (907) 465-4356 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 47 and 48. CARLA TIMPONE, Lobbyist Alaska Women's Lobby; and Co-Chair AWARE Shelter 211 4th Street, Suite 108 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 463-6744 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 47 and 48. ROBERT COLE, Director Division of Administrative Services Department of Corrections P.O. Box 112000 Juneau, Alaska 99811-2000 Telephone: (907) 465-3342 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 47 and 48. DEBORAH BEHR, Assistant Attorney General Legislation and Regulations Section Department of Law P.O. Box 110300 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300 Telephone: (907) 465-3600 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 47, 48, and 264. REPRESENTATIVE ALLEN J. KEMPLEN Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 112 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-2435 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 47 and HB 48. WALTER WILCOX, Legislative Assistant to Representative Jeannette James State Capitol, Room 102 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-3743 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided sponsor statement on HB 264. ROBERT HUNTINGTON KNIGHT, Jr. Address not provided Telephone: not provided POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 264. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 97-51, SIDE A Number 0001 The House State Affairs Standing Committee was called to order by Chair Jeannette James at 10:10 a.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives James, Dyson, Elton, and Vezey. Members absent were Berkowitz, Hodgins and Ivan. Representative Ivan arrived at 10:11 a.m.; and Berkowitz at 10:13 a.m. HB 47 - TELEPHONE VICTIM NOTIFICATION SYSTEM HB 48 - APPROP: VICTIM NOTIFICATION SYSTEM The first order of business to come before the House State Affairs Standing Committee was HB 47, "An Act relating to authorizing the Department of Corrections to provide an automated victim notification and prisoner information system," and HB 48, "An Act making a special appropriation for an automated victim notification system; and providing for an effective date." Number 0079 LAUREE HUGONIN, Executive Director, Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, was the first person to testify in Juneau. Her testimony today was in support of HB 47 and HB 48. It was especially critical for victims of domestic violence to be notified as soon as possible when there was a change in an offender's status, particularly if the offender was being released. The victim would then have the best chance possible to get herself to a safe space. The domestic violence and victim protection act added five responsibilities to the Department of Corrections when to notify victims. Three were in regards to parole hearings; and two were in regards to pre-release furloughs. In addition, there had been difficulty in notifying victims when action had taken place over the weekend by corrections when the prosecutorial agency was not at work. Therefore, an automated system would help in all regards of notifying the victim. Number 0239 JAYNE ANDREEN, Executive Director, Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Department of Public Safety, was the next person to testify in Juneau. Her testimony today was in support of HB 47 and HB 48 for both the council and the Department of Public Safety. There had been an increased statutory mandate for corrections to notify victims over the years for safety and peace of mind. Corrections was having difficulty notifying victims after they relocated. Therefore, the council had put the word out to the various victims' agencies to remind them to notify corrections of their new location. The VINE system was a 24-hour system so victims could call to determine the status of their offenders relieving anxiety. Number 0406 CARLA TIMPONE, Lobbyist, Alaska Women's Lobby; and, Co-Chair, AWARE Shelter, was the next person to testify in Juneau. Her testimony today was in support of HB 47 and HB 48 for both the lobby and the shelter. She explained two cases in Juneau whereby one woman was notified on the street by a friend that her perpetrator had been released, and the other woman found out by calling the prison herself only to learn after the fact that her perpetrator had been released. In Juneau, she explained, the Department of Corrections notified the district attorney's office by paper of a change in status. The district attorney's office then notified the victim. There were a lot of victims and perpetrators so it was almost impossible to keep up with the system. An automated system would be greatly supported. ROBERT COLE, Director, Division of Administrative Services, Department of Corrections, was the next person to testify in Juneau. He was here to answer any questions. Number 0543 REPRESENTATIVE FRED DYSON stated he was concerned that the VINE system would not be updated quick enough by corrections. He asked Mr. Cole how it would work? Number 0588 MR. COLE replied there was a legitimate concern about the flow of information between the courts, the prosecutors, and the Department of Corrections; and then from the Department of Corrections back to the prosecutors. The answer was automation. At present, corrections was not able to talk directly to the court system via E-mail or any other means electronically. The court system was working on receiving E-mail. Corrections was automated last year by using funds carried forward the previous year which meant it could talk to everybody but the courts. In addition, the Department of Corrections was responsible for facilities such as the Cook Inlet Pre-Trial in Anchorage where there was a high volume of status changes which was made more complicated by the fact that there was no automated communication between corrections and the courts. Number 0946 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked Mr. Cole if the VINE system would start to solve the problems of the Department of Corrections? MR. COLE replied, "Correct." REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked Mr. Cole when someone's time was up was an entry made in a computer or was a piece of paper signed? MR. COLE replied both. If the victim was registered with the Department of Corrections, he or she would receive a notification via paper with the release and disposition status. Number 1031 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked Mr. Cole how he would make sure that the information on the paper was entered into the computer concurrently? MR. COLE replied there were record officers that were charged with the responsibility of entering the data. An audit was being conducted right now on the current system to determine if the necessary information was being contained. The preliminary information from the auditor indicated that information was missing rather than inaccurate. The missing information was a result of the traffic in the high volume institutions. For example, a person was either moved or released from the courts before corrections was notified. Number 1106 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked Mr. Cole if he just said that corrections turned people loose without information from the courts? MR. COLE replied, "No." REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked Mr. Cole who decided to turn somebody loose? MR. COLE replied the supervising superintendent made the final decision. REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked Mr. Cole if the supervising superintendent signed a piece of paper? MR. COLE replied he did not know if the superintendent, the time accounting officer, or the record officer actually signed the piece of paper. REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked Mr. Cole at what point did it trigger the VINE system? Who did the automatic notification? MR. COLE replied the VINE system reached into the current computer system and extracted status change data then automatically notified the registered victims. REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked Mr. Cole who typed the information into the computer? MR. COLE replied the record officers. REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked Mr. Cole who told the record officers? MR. COLE replied there was a system in place to examine the paper records to calculate the time and release date. REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked Mr. Cole when would the VINE system be notified of a release? MR. COLE replied it would be done at the time the decision was made to release the prisoner. REPRESENTATIVE DYSON stated, for clarification, at the same time a decision was made an entry would be made into the computer. MR. COLE stated it would have to work something like that or there would not be a timely update to the VINE system. REPRESENTATIVE DYSON stated he was concerned that the piece of paper would sit around for some time before getting to the clerk. Why not eliminate the paper work by having the decision maker enter the change in the computer? he asked. Number 1287 MR. COLE stated next year the department would propose to amend the previous statutes of notification because the VINE system would not free the workers from sending a paper notification to the victim as well. It was not an issue during a transitional year, however. It would be more efficient to do the whole system electronically. Number 1317 MR. COLE further stated that the multi-purpose facilities throughout the state handled many different types of inmates. The VINE system could help sort out the different types of inmates as well. Number 1358 CHAIR JEANNETTE JAMES asked Mr. Cole if he could pull up the status of an inmate with the current system? MR. COLE replied, "Yes." Number 1381 CHAIR JAMES stated, for clarification, that the VINE system would reach into the current system and update itself. MR. COLE stated only status changes would be looked at by the VINE system - transfers, releases, court dates, paroles and probations. Number 1447 REPRESENTATIVE ETHAN BERKOWITZ stated that the VINE system would benefit prosecutors as well as the Department of Corrections, because the victim-witness coordinators were not always in the loop. Number 1463 CHAIR JAMES asked if the VINE system would receive information from other sources? Number 1475 MR. COLE replied the fiscal note was just for the Department of Corrections. In order to add the court system and the prosecutorial system, for example, it would cost more money and take more time. He reiterated there was no way - presently - to talk electronically with the court system. Number 1516 CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Cole if there was an item in the budget to get that done this year? Number 1523 MR. COLE replied it was not in the budget of the Department of Corrections. Our part was done. Number 1541 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY commented the department already had the capability to do this if it had the resources and the will. Therefore, we should concentrate on putting resources into the transitional phase to implement the victims' rights legislation passed last year. We were making a mistake to try to codify how it should be implemented. In addition, the department would probably prefer to divert the function of victim notification to the private sector; it was not part of its core functions and responsibilities. Number 1674 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked Mr. Cole if the VINE system was a private contractor? MR. COLE replied, "Yes." REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked Mr. Cole if the VINE company would be managing the data base? MR. COLE replied the VINE company would be managing the notification system, not the data base. REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked Mr. Cole if the state would purchase the software? MR. COLE replied and management. REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked Mr. Cole if the VINE company would be doing a portion of the work after being set up with the state system? MR. COLE replied, "Yes." Number 1704 CHAIR JAMES stated the bill called for a request for proposal (RFP) when the VINE Company was the only one that provided this type of service. Number 1764 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON agreed that the Department of Corrections did not need legislation to enter into a contract to expand its system to notify victims. However, money was necessary. He considered it one of the higher priorities this session. Number 1789 CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Cole to address the issue of liability due to errors. MR. COLE replied corrections would be liable if the information was not entered timely or correctly. The courts would be liable if it did not notify corrections of a status change in a timely fashion. According to an audit of the victim notification system, 99.56 percent of all victims were notified timely. Number 1846 CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Cole if the estimated revenues shown in the new fiscal note for HB 47 would come through the VINE system? Number 1874 MR. COLE replied the jail link component of the VINE system was a 1-900 phone number to inquire about the status of an inmate. Presently, the department received about 600 calls like that per day. Therefore, $1.25 per phone call equaled about $250,000. The department did not know if the volume would remain at 600 after imposing a charge, however. The department believed it would cost about $93,000 per year to continue the VINE system which could be recouped through the jail link component and program receipts. Number 1939 CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Cole about the federal funds available. Number 1944 MR. COLE replied he knew there had been VINE applications throughout the country financed by federal grants. There were federal grant pockets used for the VINE system. The state of Alaska should be just as eligible as any other entity in the country. Existing grant funds could be gone and used already this year. Therefore, we should attempt to use the funds in the new federal fiscal year. Number 1984 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ announced he had an amendment to HB 48 to reflect the new fiscal note. CHAIR JAMES explained the committee would deal with HB 47 first to determine if we need HB 48. Number 2006 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON stated on the contrary we should not do anything with HB 47 because the department did not need legal authority to do this. CHAIR JAMES replied that was the type of discussion we needed to have now. CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Cole if he would be the party primarily involved in implementing the VINE system? MR. COLE replied, "Yes." CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Cole, if he had the money, did he already have the authority to do what HB 47 said? MR. COLE replied he did have the authority. It was important for the legislature to make a statement and this was not a bad statement to make. It said as a matter of policy that the legislature was concerned about victims' rights. Number 2074 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked Mr. Cole, if the department received an appropriation to implement a victim notification system, would it be the intent of the department to carry it out? Number 2094 MR. COLE replied, "Yes." We would take it to heart and try to get it done. Number 2101 CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Cole, if the system was expanded to connect to the courts; for example, who would be the authorizing agency - the courts, Department of Law, or Department of Public Safety? Number 2131 MR. COLE replied there was a Criminal Justice Information System Advisory Board that worked on the information problems that existed between all of the law enforcement and judicial agencies. Therefore, all the entities would be working together to try to make it work. Number 2127 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ moved to adopt Amendment 1. There was no objection, Amendment 1 was so adopted. Number 2185 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked Chair James, if given the time left in the session, would it be possible to get the money to the conference committee in the next 7 to 10 days for HB 47? He did not want the appropriation aspect of the bill delayed at all. Number 2214 CHAIR JAMES replied the House State Affairs Standing Committee had thoroughly reviewed the bills. She would like that the next committee of referral to look at both bills as well. Or, if the committee members wished we could just move HB 47 to the next committee of referral. Number 2251 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON moved that HB 47; and HB 48, as amended, move from the committee with individual recommendations and the attached fiscal note(s). CHAIR JAMES objected. The fiscal note was for HB 47, not HB 48. House Bill 47 with a fiscal note would have the same effect as HB 48 as an appropriation bill. Number 2293 DEBORAH BEHR, Assistant Attorney General, Legislation and Regulations Section, Department of Law, was the next person to testify in Juneau. A fiscal note attached to a bill would go in the back of the budget and it could be reduced accordingly and sent to the free conference committee. A separate appropriation would not go to the free conference committee and it would not necessarily be lowered. Number 2312 CHAIR JAMES stated she suspected a separate appropriation would mean that it would die. Her recommendation would be to pass HB 47 with a fiscal note. Number 2329 REPRESENTATIVE KIM ELTON stated HB 47 with a fiscal note would require each department and municipality to cooperate with the Department of Corrections. Number 2350 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON withdrew his motion. Number 2359 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON moved that HB 47 move from the committee with individual recommendations and the attached fiscal note(s). CHAIR JAMES asked Representative Allen J. Kemplen, sponsor of the bill, if he had any objection? REPRESENTATIVE ALLEN J. KEMPLEN, Alaska State Legislature, replied, "No." CHAIR JAMES asked if there was any objection to the motion. Hearing no objection, HB 47 was so moved from the House State Affairs Standing Committee. HB 264 - NEGOTIATED REGULATION MAKING The next order of business to come before the House State Affairs Standing Committee was HB 264, "An Act providing for a negotiated regulation making process; and providing for an effective date." Number 2425 WALTER WILCOX, Legislative Assistant to Representative Jeannette James, explained HB 264 took the request of citizens for a change in the regulation making process seriously. Currently, the regulations were written first then taken to the public. TAPE 97-51, SIDE B Number 0001 MR. WILCOX explained a negotiated regulation system (neg/reg) was being used by the federal government, Montana and Nebraska. They found it to be cheaper because it eliminated litigation at the end of the process; the people had their say up front. The bill outlined a way to convene a committee by the agency and interested parties, as-well-as, a mediator to create regulations that everybody could live with. The package of information provided to the committee members included the following: sponsor statement, negotiated regulation/rule making, Alaska regulation adoption process, Montana's neg/reg act, Nebraska's neg/reg act, the neg/reg U.S. code, and the neg/reg Nebraska administrative code. He further announced Bob Knight was in the audience today as an expert witness. He had worked with the neg/reg process at the federal level. Number 0067 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked Mr. Wilcox how the Administration had responded to this and did the environmental lobby committee know what was being done? Number 0086 MR. WILCOX replied the Administration appeared to be heading in the same direction as the bill. Deborah Behr, Department of Law, was here to testify as well. Number 0128 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY wondered how the committee managed to hear the bill today when it was just read across the floor of the House of Representatives. MR. WILCOX replied because we were good. Number 0138 CHAIR JAMES explained her quest in the legislature had been to try to simplify the regulatory process. The bill was a good answer even though it cost more up front. She asked the House State Affairs Standing Committee members to give this bill a thorough review. The bill would probably not be moved out of the committee this year. Number 0184 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ explained The Yukon Pacific Corporation brought everybody on board up front including the environmental organizations which reduced contentiousness that normally accompanied the permitting process. He asked Chair James if that was what she was aiming for? Number 0211 CHAIR JAMES replied, "Correct." Generally people did not like surprises. Number 0247 DEBORAH BEHR, Assistant Attorney General, Legislation and Regulations Section, Department of Law, was the next person to testify in Juneau. She had not been able to call all of the agencies because she just got the bill yesterday at 2:30 p.m. The Administration had been very interested in neg/reg. Three departments had come to her already to explore neg/reg over the summer - Department of Revenue (DOR), Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and Department of Natural Resources (DNR). MS. BEHR explained that the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) had not been updated since the 1980's. Work shops were appropriate and some agencies were starting to conduct work shops on the larger regulation projects. She cited the Department of Environmental Conservation held work shops on the water quality regulations. MS. BEHR stated she liked the model in the bill because it was an up-front process not raising a lot of constitutional problems. It set up a board to help plan for the regulation process so that everybody would have an opportunity for comment. MS. BEHR explained this summer we would need to look at adjusting the bill for the boards and commissions. She did not know how to negotiate with a board or commission. She was concerned about the boards that had to act quickly such as the Board of Fisheries. She was concerned about the open records provision because most industries did not mind being candid with an agency but they did not want their records to be public. She stated the bill had many layers and suggested cutting a few to save money. She cited the provision for a salary to sit on the board. (THE TESTIMONY OF MS. BEHR IS NOT COMPLETE DUE TO THE TELECONFERENCE NETWORK BEING SHUT OFF. SHE WAS ASKED TO RESTATE HER CONCERNS LATER IN THE HEARING) Number 0628 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked Ms. Behr to comment on the provision of no judicial review. What problems would it solve or could occur without a judicial review? Number 0648 MS. BEHR replied the decision of the commissioner was non- reviewable. She did not have a legal problem with it. The regulation as a result of a decision was subject to a legal challenge, however, because it was under existing provisions in law that were not being repealed. Number 0669 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON referred Ms. Behr to the language on page 9, line 10 and wondered about the requirement before rather than after and the perception of the public process that went along with it. Number 0700 MS. BEHR stated a regulator would have to be careful to not give the appearance of special deals with the regulated industry while the regulation was out for public comment. Number 0719 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated he liked the idea of bringing people to the table to try to work towards the middle. He wondered if the petition process would create a heavy work load. Number 0754 MS. BEHR stated there was an existing petition process in the current APA. The bill was asking for a different type of petition; a petition to call for a review committee. She was not sure of the impact. The petition process for the APA had not caused a lot of problems. Number 0795 CHAIR JAMES explained there were two triggers to regulation writing: new legislation or a rewrite of existing regulations. A petition to request the use of neg/reg would come when there was controversy over new legislation for example. An agency would also choose that process to get the concerns out of the way. In the case of existing regulations that needed to be rewritten someone would want the neg/reg process because too often regs were written that did not work in the field. Number 0882 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked Ms. Behr if there should be a provision to keep people from petitioning for a regulation change if there were administrative appeals that had yet to be exhausted? He cited the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) process as an example. Number 0914 MS. BEHR stated someone should not be able to file one petition after another either. Number 0924 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked Ms. Behr if she had been in contact with Nebraska or Montana? MS. BEHR replied, "Not yet." Number 0938 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated this was clearly the product of earlier industrial/organizational theorists. He asked Mr. Wilcox what sort of theorists or scholars had looked into this? Number 0959 MR. WILCOX replied in the bill package there was a document summarizing the responses of the individuals in the various states on how it worked. Number 1010 MR. WILCOX explained that neg/reg would probably only be used less than six times per year according to Ms. Behr. We were looking at very expensive or very controversial types of regulations. The example of the PFD by Representative Elton would not apply because the commissioner would summarily dismiss it. Number 1036 CHAIR JAMES added it would also require more than one person. Number 1042 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated what was important to him was not necessarily important to the commissioner. He asked Mr. Wilcox what discretion an agency had to reject a petition? Number 1060 MR. WILCOX replied a convener was appointed by the agency who did background research on the issue, impact, and cost. The convener then reported back to the commissioner with the recommendation to either form a committee or not. Number 1077 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated, therefore, it might not be an issue of magnitude but of cost. Number 1103 MR. WILCOX stated somebody would have to address the issue. If it had gotten to the point of a petition the department would have investigated it already. Number 1143 MS. BEHR stated she could see the neg/reg process being used by more than resource agencies. There had been very controversial day care regulations addressed in the past. Number 1181 CHAIR JAMES explained she got the idea for neg/reg when she was working with the assisted living regulations. The Division of Family and Youth Services included a consumer and a day care provider when drafting the regulations. The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities worked with the trucking industry on trucking regulations. The Department of Revenue worked with the industry on oil tax regulations. Number 1204 MS. BEHR stated some could be done without the bill. CHAIR JAMES replied, "You're right." An outline of how it would work was needed, however. Number 1293 ROBERT HUNTINGTON KNIGHT, Jr. was the next person to testify in Juneau. He explained he was involved with setting up the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a member of the founding task force. He worked for the first two administrators as an aide, and was at the Department of Interior in water pollution before the EPA. The idea was to begin to control and regulate the discharges to improve the quality of the environment throughout the nation. No one was sure how to do it except through the regulatory process either in a hostile fashion or by talking to the polluters. We assumed good faith in the polluter and created a committee setting where there was room for exchanges of views. Work sessions were held as well to prevent the leakage of proprietary secrets. MR. KNIGHT, Jr. further stated that he did not see anything in HB 264 to prohibit or restrain boards and commissions from making emergency regulations. If the emergency became a long problem then the neg/reg would be a good route to follow but it might not be necessary. MR. KNIGHT, Jr. further stated the federal agencies found neg/reg to be a very exciting process because input at a formative stage allowed for the identification of issues that might not have appeared until a regulation was promulgated. It sped up the process, cut costs, and reduced litigation. Number 1657 CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Knight, Jr. how long had Montana and Nebraska used neg/reg? MR. KNIGHT, Jr. replied he did not know about Montana and Nebraska. The federal government started using this type of process in the 1960's. MR. WILCOX explained Montana started in 1993, Nebraska in 1994, and the federal government in 1990. Number 1681 MR. KNIGHT, Jr. stated the process had been around a long time. The idea that a statue was needed was new. Number 1690 CHAIR JAMES explained she was turned on to the idea of neg/reg because some agencies were using it while other were not. Something was needed in statute so that the option was considered. Number 1712 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ wondered if anyone opposed neg/reg. He could not think of a reason why. Number 1721 MR. KNIGHT, Jr. stated some opposed it because there was the potential to add another layer of bureaucracy that could impede the regulatory decision making process. Number 1801 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ explained he characterized the situation where the interested parties were brought in prior to the development of any conflict. MR. KNIGHT, Jr. stated there could already be conflict. He cited, in regards to oil spills, prior to the task force the agencies were blaming each other. It took only four months to get an interagency agreement between the players. However, 20 years later the agencies spent 10 hours discussing who was in charge after the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The agreements had to be revisited. Number 1942 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON explained, when he first looked at this issue, cost and time were of concern to him because both were frustrating to agencies. However, upon review, neg/reg would save on cost and time because it would occur prior to the current public process. He asked Mr. Knight, Jr. if his notion was correct? Number 2020 MR. KNIGHT, Jr. replied, "Yes." It was a public meeting, not a private meeting, for anyone interested. It was a way to get the parties together to talk things out ahead of time. The savings was not necessarily in the process itself; but, in time, effort, litigation, and cooperation. MR. WILCOX asked that Ms. Behr repeat her testimony for the record. Number 2161 MS. BEHR reiterated she had not been able to talk to all of the agencies because she just got the bill yesterday afternoon. The agencies that had expressed an interest in neg/reg were DEC, DOR and DNR. The DEC participated in the process now with its water quality work shops which were successful. She liked the bill because it called for a process before the start of the regulatory process, therefore, it did not raise constitutional problems. In addition, it was an advisory process so the commissioner was not bound to the recommendation. The Department of Law would be willing to work this summer on the issues. MS. BEHR explained she was concerned about the commissions and boards and how to negotiate with one member when that member did not speak for the whole. She was concerned about the Board of Fisheries and the Board of Game and their excelerated time lines. They might need to be exempted, for example. She was concerned about open records. Private businesses were reluctant to give proprietor records to the state for fear of it becoming a public document. She was concerned about providing a salary for the members. She was concerned about the 30 day time frame to set up a committee being too long. She was concerned about ethics. She was concerned about the definition of unanimous consent. TAPE 97-52, SIDE A Number 0001 MS. BEHR further stated she was concerned about immunity. More would probably be willing to service if there was some kind of immunity. She was concerned about the agencies receiving gifts to set up the committee. She would prefer that it went to the state rather than the committee itself to remove any appearance of influence. Number 0085 CHAIR JAMES announced she would like to hear HB 264 one more time before the end of session in order to hear from the Administration and industry members. ADJOURNMENT Number 0118 CHAIR JAMES adjourned the House State Affairs Standing Committee meeting at 11:45 a.m.