Legislature(1999 - 2000)

03/24/1999 03:30 PM House L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 143 - REAL ESTATE:SURETY FUND & DISCLOSURES                                                                                  
Number 1650                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG announced the committee's next order of business                                                              
is HB 143, "An Act relating to the executive officer employed for                                                               
the Real Estate Commission, to educational materials published by                                                               
the Real Estate Commission, to the Real Estate Surety Fund, to                                                                  
contracts by the Real Estate Commission, and to disclosures in real                                                             
property transactions."  The chairman commented the committee would                                                             
take the public testimony, noting two witnesses in Kenai had been                                                               
unable to continue waiting:  Ron Johnson and Dave Feeken.  As the                                                               
bill sponsor, Chairman Rokeberg presented HB 143 to the committee.                                                              
The legislation is in two sections.  1) It affects the real estate                                                              
surety fund of the Alaska Real Estate Commission.  2) It has                                                                    
provisions for nondisclosure of psychological (indisc.) to                                                                      
property.  The first part of the bill changes the use of the surety                                                             
fund.  The chairman indicated the surety fund, by statute, cannot                                                               
exceed $500,000 in contributions from part of the real estate                                                                   
licensees' fees, not to exceed $125 per biennial.  After procedural                                                             
hearings and claims are made, up to $10,000 per incident can be                                                                 
awarded out of the fund.  The chairman indicated the surety fund is                                                             
a form of consumer protection in lieu of bond, established a number                                                             
of years ago.  The current real estate statute allows portions of                                                               
the surety fund above $250,000 to be used for educational purposes.                                                             
The commission has funded portions of personal services from the                                                                
surety fund.  A portion of the executive secretary's salary comes                                                               
from the fund; Chairman Rokeberg noted he thinks another full-time                                                              
position is almost or completely paid out of the fund.  He                                                                      
indicated additional items paid for out of the fund are the                                                                     
sponsoring of certain classes, seminars, et cetera, approved by the                                                             
Number 1815                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG further indicated Alaska Statute requires that                                                                
each occupational license program be self-supporting.  However, the                                                             
real estate licensees are somewhat unusual because of the surety                                                                
fund fee in addition to the biennial license fee.  The chairman                                                                 
expressed his view that the use of the surety fund co-mingled what                                                              
should be entirely the license fee in with the surety fund fee.                                                                 
Money is being removed from the surety fund for what the chairman                                                               
considers operational expenses.  The intent of the first part of HB
143 is to make the biennial licensing fee cover all the                                                                         
commission's expenses, as is the practice with every other license.                                                             
The only money removed from the surety fund would be what is needed                                                             
for the administration and servicing of the fund:  hearing                                                                      
officers, attorneys, and all the other expenses and claims that                                                                 
come out of the surety fund.  The chairman stated, "Therefore, when                                                             
the biennial cycle comes around, if there is very little use of the                                                             
surety fund, which in the last couple years there actually has been                                                             
very little use, and now the law allows for lapsing into the GF,                                                                
the general fund, when you get over a half million dollars in the                                                               
(indisc.), but we put sweep language in the budget so it doesn't                                                                
happen, so it's kind of a ruse, that's what I'm trying to do, is                                                                
straighten this thing out so what we're doing is only having the                                                                
fees paid ... into the fund for the fund, and run the fund                                                                      
operations out of the fund, and have all the other licensing costs                                                              
in their fee.  That's the intention."                                                                                           
Number 1946                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE questioned if the sweeping of all the various                                                              
funds wasn't a constitutional requirement.                                                                                      
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG answered no, it is actually in the statute.  The                                                              
chairman indicated the bill contains a section providing for an                                                                 
ongoing report regarding the surety fund balance to avoid exceeding                                                             
that cap.  He commented there have been some accusations Ms.                                                                    
Reardon is also aware of that the Real Estate Commission has been                                                               
using the security fund as a "slush fund" for trips to Hawaii, et                                                               
cetera.  The chairman noted commission executive staff members had                                                              
attended "NARELO (ph), National Real Estate Officers Convention,"                                                               
held in Hawaii a few years previously.  Although that expense was                                                               
completely legitimate in the chairman's opinion, "it has the                                                                    
specter."  The chairman continued, "Plus we always have to be                                                                   
aware, particularly of the Administration's and the Department of                                                               
Commerce and Economic Development Occ-Licensing -- well, it's                                                                   
actually the commissioner's office that's (indisc.) tapping into                                                                
the licensing fees but Miss Reardon has to defend the (indisc.),                                                                
she's the great defender  of (indisc.), but there's always that                                                                 
problem too."  Chairman Rokeberg noted, as well, the commission has                                                             
been publishing the landlord-tenant law book for several years, to                                                              
his confusion.  He noted this is like a phantom tax on real estate                                                              
licensees, although he thinks the state has a clear responsiblity                                                               
to publish a landlord-tenant book.  In response to Representative                                                               
Murkowski's question about the publishing costs, the chairman                                                                   
answered about $6,000 every other year.                                                                                         
Number 2105                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG continued that the second part of the bill                                                                    
concerns psychological impairment, and many states have these                                                                   
provisions in statute.  This takes away any obligation on part of                                                               
a real estate licensee to disclose certain background information                                                               
about a property including a natural death, suicide, murder or                                                                  
other crime classified as a felony under state or federal law on                                                                
the property.  He stated, "In other words, if you have a house                                                                  
listing ... you should not have to disclose ... you should all know                                                             
we have a disclosure form.  Any time a residential property is                                                                  
sold, there is a mandate in the statute that requires that the                                                                  
disclosure form be filled out and there are certain requirements                                                                
for the disclosure.  What's happened is there's national case law                                                               
about the expectations of what should or should not be disclosed.                                                               
There's even a case in Massachusetts where the failure to disclose                                                              
... the existence of a ghost in a residential home was grounds for                                                              
recision of a contract."                                                                                                        
There was some discussion among the committee regard this issue and                                                             
ghosts in sold property.                                                                                                        
Number 2279                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG continued, "The real property -- there's certain                                                              
background information which shouldn't be disclosed, (indisc.) for                                                              
example, the AIDS or HIV-positive disease because it's unlikely to                                                              
be transmitted.  This particular provision in the law reflects the                                                              
federal law which is on the books now.  As just a further reminder,                                                             
remembering the licensees have to learn their law to remind them                                                                
that's part of the federal law and ... they shouldn't do that.  And                                                             
the other thing is subsection (D) [(C)] on page 3, an amendment I                                                               
rather intemperately, without committee hearings, put in a real                                                                 
estate bill last year that relieves the obligation of a real estate                                                             
licensee to disclose a registered sex offender (indisc.) property.                                                              
... [We] have some veterans here ... who recall that situation ...                                                              
this is a famous provision.  And what I want to do is flip the                                                                  
feedback on the real estate industry and see how they want to                                                                   
proceed on these particular issues.  The first section I think is                                                               
an important thing that should be taken care of, the second one's                                                               
... something I want to try to get cleaned up."                                                                                 
Number 2388                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said he felt it is appropriate to put the                                                                  
landlord-tenant printing someplace besides the Real Estate                                                                      
Commission.  He does think there is going to be an issue with                                                                   
removing the notification requirements on sex offenders.                                                                        
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked why Representative Brice would say that.                                                                
He indicated the chairman needs to educate the committee.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE noted he was present and when the law to                                                                   
register sex offenders was passed and supported it.                                                                             
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG stated this has nothing to do with the sex                                                                    
offender registry.                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE replied yes, it does.                                                                                      
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG commented, "Well, we have taken care of in a good                                                             
part the disclosure, but we haven't take care of the potential                                                                  
liability on a licensee."                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said he purchased a home in December.  He was                                                              
given a piece of paper notifying him the search would not be done,                                                              
but providing the appropriate Internet address if he wished to do                                                               
it himself.  Representative Brice commented he appreciated that                                                                 
very much.                                                                                                                      
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG noted the previous year's legislation had done                                                                
that.  He commented, "This is the closure, this is the last step in                                                             
Number 2510                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE HALCRO questioned, "Let me ask you about..."                                                                     
[TESTIMONY INTERRUPTED BY TAPE CHANGE]                                                                                          
[From tape log notes: 'Landlord-tenant (indisc.) original (indisc.)                                                             
having fund pay for that initially']                                                                                            
TAPE 99-30, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE HALCRO finished, "...just did."                                                                                  
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG responded, "I think that probably when the                                                                    
de-funding of consumer protection (indisc.) about, they transferred                                                             
it over there, as I recall.  I don't know, may be it'll come out in                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE HALCRO asked in follow-up, "What about the fact that                                                             
real estate agents sell multi-family dwellings thereby they're                                                                  
selling to somebody who's going to become a landlord."  He                                                                      
questioned whether that didn't fall under the purview.                                                                          
Number 0046                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI clarified that the landlord-tenant                                                                     
handbook is mainly a handbook to aid tenants, primarily, with their                                                             
rights regarding any potential evictions.                                                                                       
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG said there is no question it is a very valid                                                                  
publication.  He agreed with Representative Murkowski's suggestion                                                              
the court system should publish it, indicating he doesn't think the                                                             
real estate licensees should be required to pay for this.  The                                                                  
chairman further indicated the committee would take the public                                                                  
Number 0139                                                                                                                     
ERIC DYRUD, Co-Chair, Legislative Committee, Anchorage Board of                                                                 
REALTORS, testified via teleconference from Anchorage.  Mr. Dyrud                                                               
referred to AS 08.88.450 which is amended on page 2, Sections 3 and                                                             
4 of HB 143, regarding the surety fund.  This portion [current                                                                  
statute] directs that the surety fund be established in the general                                                             
fund.  The licensees, or at least the Anchorage Board of REALTORS                                                               
legislative committee, would like to see the surety fund in an                                                                  
interest-bearing fund where the interest accrues to the benefit of                                                              
the licensees who pay into it.                                                                                                  
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG noted the committee would examine that but he                                                                 
thinks there will be restrictions based on the appearance of a                                                                  
dedicated fund situation.  The committee can look into whether it                                                               
might be possible to have a separate fund that is not in the                                                                    
general fund.                                                                                                                   
MR. DYRUD indicated probably about $15,000 to $20,000 in interest                                                               
per year could be gained that could be used to reduce the                                                                       
licensees' fees.  Referring to the landlord-tenant publication, Mr.                                                             
Dyrud said he is not sure it should be paid out of the surety fund,                                                             
but it certainly is a useful book, and is used in the industry as                                                               
well as with tenants.  He wouldn't necessarily call it pro-tenant.                                                              
It is used in the courses taught and in dealing with rental                                                                     
property management.  Mr. Dyrud indicated he used to use the                                                                    
booklet at least once a month and now uses it perhaps once a                                                                    
quarter.  A lot of the tenants request it, and he provides them                                                                 
Number 0321                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked if Mr. Dyrud thought the real estate                                                                    
licensees should pay for the landlord-tenant booklet.                                                                           
MR. DYRUD answered that if they had their choice, no.                                                                           
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG indicated this was a brief hearing on HB 143; he                                                              
wanted to introduce the legislation and circulate it in the                                                                     
industry.  The committee would await further input.  He confirmed                                                               
there was no one else in Anchorage who wished to testify on the                                                                 
Number 0380                                                                                                                     
SUZANNE MANNIKKO, We [?] Against Sexual Predators (WASP), testified                                                             
next via teleconference from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough                                                                      
Legislative Information Office (Mat-Su LIO).  Ms. Mannikko stated                                                               
she is opposed to this bill because it removes the responsibility                                                               
of Realtors to notify potential buyers/sellers of a sex offender in                                                             
the area.  Ms. Mannikko described that she recently put her home on                                                             
the market and she has no problem with the disclosure of this.  She                                                             
continued, "Part of protecting our children is being aware of our                                                               
environment and our surroundings, and I feel like our state does so                                                             
little to protect our children from these sex offenders and repeat                                                              
sex offenders.  By removing this ... from the bill, here we are                                                                 
again taking away from our children and I just think it's the wrong                                                             
thing to do.  And if you're concerned about the sex offender                                                                    
registration not being accurate, then you need to find some more                                                                
financing to put more people out there to make these sex offenders                                                              
comply with the laws that we do have.  I think this is a poor thing                                                             
to do to our children."                                                                                                         
Number 0490                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG informed Ms. Mannikko it is not the duty of a                                                                 
real estate agent to disclose a sex offender and that is the nature                                                             
of this bill.                                                                                                                   
MS. MANNIKKO agreed, but noted on the form she received from her                                                                
Realtor it provided a website address for people, and she would                                                                 
hate to see even that disappear.                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG noted that was just enacted the previous year.                                                                
MS. MANNIKKO questioned if the bill wasn't to remove the                                                                        
responsibility of the Realtor in giving notice of sex offenders.                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG said the real estate agent does not have a                                                                    
responsibility or duty to notify now; this is just to clarify that.                                                             
The chairman commented that is the point.                                                                                       
MS. MANNIKKO replied, "Oh, but that is the point.  ... I guess I                                                                
did misunderstand this, correct?"                                                                                               
Number 0569                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG agreed, stating he just wanted to clarify it with                                                             
her.  The issue is should or should not the real estate agent have                                                              
the responsibility.                                                                                                             
MS. MANNIKKO interjected she believes they definitely should.                                                                   
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG said the agents can't because they sometimes get                                                              
into what is called dual agency.  The chairman continued, "Where                                                                
you have a duty to two people, one the buyer and one the seller,                                                                
potentially, after it's fully disclosed, and therefore you're in an                                                             
impossible situation."  He noted that is why it is a matter of                                                                  
technicality within the law.  A Realtor can disclose that                                                                       
information if he desires but he shouldn't have a duty to do so,                                                                
particularly if he finds himself in a position where whatever he                                                                
would do would be basically illegal.  Chairman Rokeberg noted that                                                              
is the dilemma they are in.                                                                                                     
Number 0606                                                                                                                     
MS. MANNIKKO noted her understanding is that the Realtor has the                                                                
duty to disclose potential health hazards and she questioned that                                                               
this was not considered a health hazard to children.                                                                            
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG replied there is a duty to disclose if the real                                                               
estate agent is aware of a defect in a home.  There is also a                                                                   
further duty to be aware of certain things, if the agent has a                                                                  
level of professional expertise.  However, in the chairman's                                                                    
opinion, to impose a further duty to identify sex offenders goes                                                                
beyond the responsibility.  He noted, "We have a technical problem                                                              
in the law because of the duties of a[n] agent to (indisc.) various                                                             
people in the transaction that he finds himself into a -- actually                                                              
in a legal box that he can't get out of without some legislative                                                                
relief.  This in no way is intended to diminish the importance of                                                               
the sexual register ... it is also intended to tell the public that                                                             
the real estate agents are not the sex offender police either.                                                                  
That's the duty of law enforcement and of government, and everybody                                                             
involved with knowledge of the sexual register.  So, to suggest                                                                 
that the real estate agent has a special duty is not -- I don't                                                                 
think is fair, and that's really the point of the bill.  I authored                                                             
the provision on the disclosure last year to help the public, make                                                              
sure they knew that the registry existed and ... become                                                                         
knowledgeable about that.  It's kind of hard to explain the                                                                     
technical details [of] why we need this kind of legislation, but I                                                              
think it's -- a good case can be made and it certainly isn't meant                                                              
to diminish the  amount of notice and awareness of a potential sex                                                              
offender to the children of our state, that's certainly not the                                                                 
Number 0750                                                                                                                     
MS. MANNIKKO said, "What you're saying is it's just not the way to                                                              
do it."                                                                                                                         
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG responded, "No, it's really a legal technical                                                                 
problem we find ourselves in to try to impose a duty and that's the                                                             
reason for the bill.  It's not that a[n] agent can't disclose it,                                                               
he can if he so desires but once he does that then he's got a duty                                                              
and responsibility to one of the individuals as part of the                                                                     
transaction -- it gets kind of technical to explain but -- and                                                                  
sometimes that relationship changes so he find himself in a dilemma                                                             
where you have a duty to two masters and that's what the problem                                                                
Number 0793                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE thanked Ms. Mannikko for her testimony.  He                                                                
explained the real estate agents don't disclose, but they do ask                                                                
the person buying the property to sign a piece of paper signifying                                                              
that this information has been presented, that the purchasers have                                                              
been made aware.  The purchasers currently sign the paper saying                                                                
that the real estate agent has disclaimed any knowledge of any                                                                  
sexual offenders in the area, and the paper shows,  if the                                                                      
purchasers are interested, where to find out if there are any                                                                   
registered sex offenders in the community.  Representative Brice                                                                
indicated the real estate agents don't necessarily have to disclose                                                             
the information, and he thinks that is appropriate.  However, he                                                                
thinks the provision in the legislation would remove the real                                                                   
estate agents' requirement to make that information available to                                                                
the purchaser; Representative Brice thinks Ms. Mannikko has a valid                                                             
point.  He thinks that is an important service provided to the                                                                  
consumer by the Realtor.                                                                                                        
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG thanked Ms. Mannikko for her testimony.  He                                                                   
questioned whether anyone else wished to testify on HB 143.                                                                     
Number 0921                                                                                                                     
CATHERINE REARDON, Director, Division of Occupational Licensing,                                                                
Department of Commerce and Economic Development, came forward.  Ms.                                                             
Reardon offered to hold her testimony until a later time if the                                                                 
chairman desired.                                                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG offered a couple of questions, agreeing the hour                                                              
was getting late.  He asked about the interest-bearing fund                                                                     
MS. REARDON replied she would examine it again to give the                                                                      
committee a definitive answer.  She has asked this question before                                                              
herself.  She believes the surety fund can be in the general fund                                                               
and still be an interest-bearing account if the statute specifies                                                               
it will earn interest.  There may be some other types of funds she                                                              
could obtain statutory language from.  Ms. Reardon indicated                                                                    
removing the surety fund from the general fund might create some                                                                
problems.  Noting it is possible the surety fund could be                                                                       
interest-bearing, she commented she did not know if there would be                                                              
extra work for the treasury or the fund managers but the question                                                               
could certainly be posed.                                                                                                       
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked Ms. Reardon to discover when and why the                                                                
Real Estate Commission received responsibility for the                                                                          
landlord-tenant booklet.                                                                                                        
Number 1014                                                                                                                     
MS. REARDON assented, noting it is something they have chosen to                                                                
do; it is not assigned by regulation or statute.  It is a very                                                                  
popular government publication, many requests are received.  Many                                                               
agencies request the booklets so they can further distribute them.                                                              
Ms. Reardon noted the bill, as she understands it, would not                                                                    
prevent or stop the commission or division from publishing the                                                                  
document.  She indicated the legislation simply mandates a                                                                      
publication that is primarily tenant and not equally                                                                            
landlord-oriented can't be published from the surety fund.  Ms.                                                                 
Reardon maintains they currently try to publish a very impartial,                                                               
unbiased item which might very well satisfy the legislation.                                                                    
Noting she does not want to fight the committee on the issue, it                                                                
appears to her publishing the booklet out of the general fund real                                                              
estate funding source would still be an option.  She stated, "So if                                                             
you really don't want that published, we probably need to be real                                                               
clear about that or else you might just get frustrated to find                                                                  
we're still doing it."                                                                                                          
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG noted it is not a large amount but it is kind of                                                              
a personal thing:  Should the real estate licensees be paying for                                                               
it?  He thinks it came from the disbanded consumer protection                                                                   
division (indisc.) Department of Law, and so they tried to find a                                                               
place to put it.  The chairman questioned again why the real estate                                                             
licensees are paying for it.                                                                                                    
Number 1121                                                                                                                     
MS. REARDON suspects there a couple of reasons.  The real estate                                                                
office receives a lot of telephone calls about landlord-tenant                                                                  
issues, which is not within the office's area of responsibility.                                                                
However, rather than just turning away these members of the public,                                                             
it is helpful to offer to send the booklet so people can inform                                                                 
themselves.  Additionally, as Ms. Reardon understands it, there are                                                             
licensees involved in dealing with tenants and "we" want them to                                                                
know how to deal with tenants legally.  She mentioned that property                                                             
managers are in the business of collecting rent, keeping it in                                                                  
escrow accounts, deposits, et cetera.  Ms. Reardon informed the                                                                 
committee the Real Estate Commission is meeting tomorrow and the                                                                
next day; she or Grayce [Ms. Oakley, Executive Secretary, Real                                                                  
Estate Commission] will bring these questions and concerns to the                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG mentioned that another thing is the out-sourcing                                                              
of the surety fund hearings and counsel.  He noted it is not                                                                    
entirely clear but it is his intention to hire other counsel                                                                    
besides the Department of Law for the surety fund hearings.                                                                     
Number 1203                                                                                                                     
MS. REARDON explained that regarding surety fund hearings, the                                                                  
commission is simply the judge.  In disciplinary actions against                                                                
real estate licensees, the division prepares the case acting as the                                                             
prosecution.  Therefore the division is hiring the prosecution                                                                  
lawyer - basically the Department of Law.  That is not the case                                                                 
with the surety fund.  The division pays for the hearing officer,                                                               
not a lawyer, not the Department of Law.  In surety fund                                                                        
proceedings, the member of the public who feels that he/she was                                                                 
injured presents his/her own case.  The division does not                                                                       
investigate for or argue the person's case.  The accused person                                                                 
also argues his/her own case.  The state role is, through the                                                                   
hearing officer, to make a proposed decision which the commission                                                               
then accepts or does not accept.  The division is not paying the                                                                
Department of Law in this particular setting.  Ms. Reardon                                                                      
indicated the Department of Law might become involved if, for                                                                   
example, the commission was sued as a result of a surety fund                                                                   
hearing.  Because the division does not investigate in these                                                                    
situations, the division does not really have any costs in that                                                                 
area.  Ms. Reardon appreciated the removal of the threat that when                                                              
the surety fund balance exceeds $500,000, the licensees who paid it                                                             
would lose it.  She indicated there shouldn't be this inherent                                                                  
pressure to spend to make sure the $500,000 limit is not exceeded.                                                              
That is somewhat this year's situation because it has been a very                                                               
low expenditure year.  She would ask, from a technical point of                                                                 
view, that since the law states they cannot go over $500,000, what                                                              
happens if they do?                                                                                                             
Number 1319                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE HALCRO commented that wasn't it the desire in the                                                                
bill to create an average over two years, since the fees are higher                                                             
one year and shrink the next year while in some cases the                                                                       
educational and other expenses stay consistent.  He indicated the                                                               
provision allowing the average daily balance of the fund to be                                                                  
based on a two-year period would be useful for these yearly                                                                     
MS. REARDON responded it would be wonderful if the fund could not                                                               
exceed $500,000 at the end of the two-year license period.  Ms.                                                                 
Reardon referred to page 2, line 12, of the legislation, indicating                                                             
she had not actually seen the two-year period.  Something like that                                                             
would be very helpful because that is exactly the problem:  the                                                                 
fund is filled up in one year and it is difficult not to exceed the                                                             
cap four months later, but it has to be high enough to make it                                                                  
through the entire second year.  Ms. Reardon feels the chairman has                                                             
been very supportive and constructive in working with the division                                                              
and the Real Estate Commission.  She informed the committee the use                                                             
of the surety fund for educational purposes and a staff position is                                                             
specifically authorized in the budget each year.  It is                                                                         
appropriated; they are not using it as a "slush fund."  The                                                                     
division is following its budgetary guidelines.                                                                                 
Number 1425                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG expressed his confusion regarding the fiscal                                                                  
note, commenting this should have a zero fiscal impact.                                                                         
MS. REARDON stated her intention was to show that $104,000 less                                                                 
would be spent out of the surety fund and $104,000 more out of                                                                  
general fund program receipts, for a net wash.  Noting that the                                                                 
second paragraph of the analysis on the fiscal note says it is a                                                                
funding source change, Ms. Reardon indicated there may be an error                                                              
in the note and she will review it.  No additional monies are being                                                             
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG mentioned it should be pretty seamless, but has                                                               
to be done; he questioned that the next cycle begins in January                                                                 
MS. REARDON agreed it does.                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG indicated this the reason they need to                                                                        
accommodate this and why the bill needs to pass this session if it                                                              
is going to pass.  The chairman mentioned the possible removal of                                                               
items to ensure the legislation's passage.                                                                                      
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked Ms. Reardon how the hiring was going,                                                                   
questioning if a freeze was still in effect.                                                                                    
MS. REARDON replied the commissioner's office had signed the                                                                    
request to hire memorandums that day, and they could speak of that                                                              
if the chairman wished.  Ms. Reardon commented the other item for                                                               
future discussion regards the title change of the executive                                                                     
secretary on page 1 of the legislation.  Her understanding is that                                                              
this title change is not intended to trigger a change in pay or                                                                 
duties.  Ms. Reardon said she may be suggesting at the next hearing                                                             
that the title be left as "executive secretary", with an additional                                                             
sentence, "who will use the working title 'executive director'".                                                                
She indicated the current title change as written in the                                                                        
legislation might unintentionally trigger job classification and                                                                
pay range changes.                                                                                                              
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG requested Ms. Reardon pass the legislation on to                                                              
the Real Estate Commission, noting he would appreciate the                                                                      
commission's input.  [HB 143 WAS HELD OVER]                                                                                     

Document Name Date/Time Subjects