Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/15/1994 08:00 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  SB 242 - HOURS FOR STATE OFFICES                                             
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY opened SB 242 for discussion.                                 
  Number 018                                                                   
  SENATOR ROBIN TAYLOR, PRIME SPONSOR, addressed SB 242.  He                   
  stated SB 242 was introduced because flexible state office                   
  hours would give state agencies leeway in setting their                      
  "standard state office hours."  Each state office would be                   
  required to review the preferences and needs of its'                         
  clientele, and recommend to the Administration which hours                   
  would be best for each community.  This would allow state                    
  offices the flexibility to serve the public without adding                   
  to the state operating budget.  The agencies would have to                   
  periodically review their office hour structure.                             
  SENATOR TAYLOR commented the state's goal should be service                  
  to the public.  The state's current 37 1/2 hour workweek                     
  requires most people to take time off from work to be able                   
  to utilize the services.  He felt this was inappropriate and                 
  people should not have to lose money or make special                         
  arrangements to accommodate the state offices.  He felt                      
  state offices in the larger communities around the state                     
  should shift their office hours, whereby they could be open                  
  from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.  He relayed some state employees                    
  have responded positively to the idea of shifting office                     
  hours, to better accommodate both the public and their                       
  personal lives.  SENATOR TAYLOR mentioned the Commissioner                   
  of Administration, Nancy Usera, indicated to him that even                   
  if SB 242 were not to pass, she would still attempt to put                   
  it into effect by regulation.                                                
  SENATOR TAYLOR felt SB 242 should be passed into law to                      
  prevent future administrations from disregarding the                         
  implementation of the policy.                                                
  Number 097                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT believed SB 242 was a good idea.                    
  He asked for a specific example of how SB 242 would apply to                 
  a particular agency.                                                         
  SENATOR TAYLOR replied in a smaller community, with only two                 
  or three employees, a state office could announce it would                   
  be open from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., rather than closing at                    
  4:30 p.m.  This change may appease both the public and the                   
  employees, while not increasing cost for the state's budget.                 
  Number 124                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT thought vehicle registration would be a                  
  similar example.                                                             
  Number 125                                                                   
  SENATOR TAYLOR responded most smaller communities do not                     
  have a full-time employee in charge of vehicle registration,                 
  therefore it may not be an appropriate assimilation.  He                     
  implied using a Department of Environmental Conservation                     
  office to obtain a building permit might be another example.                 
  Number 141                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE BETTYE DAVIS stated SB 242 was a good bill.                   
  She noted some state agencies were already extending their                   
  hours past 4:30 p.m. to accommodate their clients.                           
  SENATOR TAYLOR appreciated their motivation.                                 
  Number 150                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked what SB 242 would actually do.                          
  Number 153                                                                   
  SENATOR TAYLOR answered SB 242 requires agencies to review                   
  their hours in an attempt to carry the policy out.  The                      
  agencies would report back periodically on their success.                    
  Having the policy in law would be stronger than having it in                 
  Number 165                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT moved to pass SB 242 out of committee                    
  with individual recommendations.                                             
  Number 168                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY recognized the motion and asked the committee                 
  secretary to call the roll.                                                  
  IN FAVOR:      REPRESENTATIVES VEZEY, KOTT, B. DAVIS,                        
  ABSENT:        REPRESENTATIVES ULMER, G. DAVIS, OLBERG.                      
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY announced SB 242 passed from the House State                  
  Affairs committee.                                                           

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