Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 17

03/16/2005 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 182 WAGE & HOUR ACT: EXEC/PROF/ADMIN/SALES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 182(L&C) Out of Committee
+= HB 147 INSURANCE TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+= HB 33 EFFECT OF REGULATIONS ON SMALL BUSINESSES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 33(L&C) Out of Committee
+= HB 180 WORKERS' COMPENSATION TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
HB  33-EFFECT OF REGULATIONS ON SMALL BUSINESSES                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:52:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE  BILL  NO.  33,  "An Act  relating  to  the  effect  of                                                               
regulations on  small businesses; and providing  for an effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  moved to adopt the  committee substitute for                                                               
HB  33, Version  24-LS0239\L,  Bannister, 3/14/05,  as a  working                                                               
draft.   There  being  no  objection, Version  L  was before  the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL PAWLOWSKI,  Staff to  Representative Kevin  Meyer, Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  presented HB  33 on behalf  of Representative                                                               
Meyer,  sponsor.   He  explained  that  Version L  addresses  the                                                               
concerns of  the committee.   He turned  to page 3,  lines 21-22,                                                               
and said, "While the process described  in HB 33 doesn't create a                                                               
grounds  for traditional  review of  regulation, judicial  review                                                               
for unrelated  provisions are still warranted  under the existing                                                               
administrative procedure."  The second  change is on page 4, line                                                               
2-3, which  he explained excludes emergency  regulations from the                                                               
definition  of regulation  where it  applies to  this bill.   The                                                               
third change is  on page 4, line 7, which  changes the definition                                                               
of  small business  to a  business  that employs  fewer than  100                                                               
employees.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:55:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG asked  for  clarification regarding  a                                                               
handout in  the committee  packet that  illustrates the  steps in                                                               
the regulation adoption process under HB 33.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. PAWLOWSKI  explained that  on the  handout, anything  that is                                                               
not shaded is in the  existing drafting manual for administrative                                                               
regulations, and the  shaded parts are what HB 33  would add.  He                                                               
noted that he underlined a few parts for emphasis.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  commented that  he would like  to know                                                               
how  easy it  would be  to comply  with the  changes made  in the                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS KENNEDY,  Senior Assistant Attorney  General, Environmental                                                               
Section, Civil Division, Alaska Department of Law, replied:                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
      We agree with Representative Meyer that this process                                                                      
     can be fitted into the regulatory steps the way he has                                                                     
     outlined them,  and that it doesn't  present impossible                                                                    
     logistical  problems.   Certainly  ...  it  does add  a                                                                    
     step, and there  is a cost to it in  terms of involving                                                                    
     the  [Department of  Commerce, Community,  and Economic                                                                    
     Development  (DCCED)]  in  the process  and  so,  we've                                                                    
     addressed the cost in our  fiscal notes, although those                                                                    
     relayed  to a  slightly  earlier version  of the  bill.                                                                    
     But no, I  don't think there's a concern  that it makes                                                                    
     an  impossible  addition  to  the  regulatory  adoption                                                                    
     process.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:59:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ANDERSON noted,  "The drafting  manual for  administrative                                                               
regulations  isn't  codified;  it's   an  instructional  list  of                                                               
elements and areas  in which the regulation  drafter can follow."                                                               
Returning  to the  handout, he  stated that  the shaded  portions                                                               
indicate what would be codified.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. KENNEDY  agreed that the manual  is not law, but  is simply a                                                               
guide.   He said that  the steps that are  in the manual  now are                                                               
mostly  prescribed by  statute, and  the shaded  portions on  the                                                               
handout indicate  the additional  steps that would  be prescribed                                                               
by HB 33.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:01:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  turned to  the handout that  lists the                                                               
four things that the economic  effect statement must provide, and                                                               
he commented  that numbers one,  two, and four are  common sense.                                                               
However, he  opined that number  three, which says,  "A statement                                                               
of the  probable effect that  the proposed regulation  would have                                                               
on  small  businesses whose  conduct  would  be governed  by  the                                                               
proposed  regulation," is  a little  problematic.   He said  that                                                               
every  small business  is different,  and  he didn't  see how  to                                                               
reconcile those differences in regulation.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:02:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. KENNEDY  speculated that the  statement of effect would  be a                                                               
page or two of "thoughtful  discussion" that would be prepared by                                                               
the particular department  with the aid of the  Department of Law                                                               
and the DCED  employee who would be assigned to  manage the small                                                               
business consultation.   He noted, "I don't think  the intent, as                                                               
we read this bill, is to produce an elaborate study."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD stated that  the committee has heard past                                                               
testimony that  these things  are already being  done.   He asked                                                               
Mr. Kennedy if  [the bill] is a useful exercise,  and if there is                                                               
a "good  reason to put on  more people and expend  more effort to                                                               
do this...?"                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KENNEDY replied  that the  question  may be  getting into  a                                                               
policy  choice that  he may  not be  qualified to  speak to.   He                                                               
commented:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     I can tell you that it's  true that quite a lot of this                                                                    
     process is already happening today  in an informal way,                                                                    
     and that's  one of the  reasons that it  doesn't create                                                                    
     an impossible burden.   However, ... as  we've said, it                                                                    
     would add  a cost and  we're still discussing  with the                                                                    
     sponsor  whether  that  cost   is  worthwhile  in  many                                                                    
     contexts. ... We're concerned  that this process really                                                                    
     might  not  be  terribly   useful  in  the  context  of                                                                    
     regulations,   for  example,   that  are   only  making                                                                    
     technical amendments....                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD asked  Mr. Kennedy if it  would be useful                                                               
to reach  a consensus  on whether the  bill is  beneficial rather                                                               
than moving it to another committee.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. KENNEDY  replied that the  Department of Law doesn't  have an                                                               
objection  to moving  the bill  to another  committee because  it                                                               
feels that it is working well  with the sponsor and making steady                                                               
progress.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX opined  that  the bill  appears  to be  an                                                               
attempt  to   create  a  business-awareness  in   the  regulatory                                                               
process,  and  she  asked  why  the  bill  is  limited  to  small                                                               
businesses.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. PAWLOWSKI responded:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Business-awareness  in the  regulatory process  can add                                                                    
     to the  process and  make the  process better.   That's                                                                    
     the idea behind  the bill.  The idea in  limiting it to                                                                    
     a small  business is  that that's  a focused  area that                                                                    
     ... you can  make an actual effect.   Large businesses,                                                                    
     through the  public comment process, often  have people                                                                    
     that they can devote  to following regulations, whereas                                                                    
     a small businessman  who's just trying to  do their job                                                                    
     wakes  up the  next  day and  all of  a  sudden has  to                                                                    
     comply with  a whole  new host  of paperwork  that they                                                                    
     never thought that they were going  to have to do.  But                                                                    
     this puts  someone in  the process  that looks  out for                                                                    
     their interest.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON  noted that  the larger  businesses not  only have                                                               
legal  counsel and  accountants but  they also  have associations                                                               
that   can   defend   their    interests,   whereas   the   small                                                               
businessperson or the sole proprietor may not have that.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:08:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ANDERSON   added  that   he  agreed   with  Representative                                                               
Guttenberg regarding  numbers one,  two, and four,  but commented                                                               
that he  didn't think number  three was intangible  or difficult.                                                               
He  stated, "I  think that  ... the  need of  the bill  outweighs                                                               
holding the bill in committee."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:09:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG moved  to report  [CSHB 33,  Version 24-                                                               
LS0239\L, Bannister,  3/14/05,] out of committee  with individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no objection, CSHB 33(L&C) was  reported from the House Labor and                                                               
Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                

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