Legislature(1995 - 1996)
02/02/1995 08:00 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HSTA - 02/02/95 HB 81 - PRESERVATION OF PUBLIC FACILITIES CHAIR JAMES announced that the next bill for discussion was HB 81. She asked if there was anyone present who wished to testify on this bill. As there was no one who wished to testify, she said she had not planned to move this bill out of committee without further testimony, but she was not totally opposed. She said she would accept comment from the committee on this bill. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON stated she also was not opposed to moving this bill out of committee, but she would like more explanation as to the fiscal note of this bill. CHAIR JAMES said that was another reason why this bill couldn't move out of committee yet, as they did not yet have a current fiscal note. She said the fiscal note would amount to the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities calculating the cost of deferred maintenance, divided into 15 years, to spread the way that would be funded by a capital appropriation. She said the other part of the bill that she considered equally important, was the life-cost basis of the ongoing repair and maintenance that would be required as an operating expense to not get in a delinquent maintenance situation again. She said the life-cost basis of calculating was based on the current value of the building. She said there was a rule of thumb on how much money was to be spent on maintaining the building each year, and also in setting money aside for replacement and renewal. For example, heating systems, which only have a certain lifetime, which may be less than the lifetime of the building. She said the main purpose of this bill was to get people to recognize this needed maintenance, as they could not force a future legislature to make an appropriation for this expense. She said that dedicated funds were not allowed. She said this bill would make the information available. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked if there was any requirement that a certain percentage be set aside each year, as currently many facilities were allowed to independently decide this for themselves, and there was no consistency. She said this was why different facilities were in various states of needed maintenance. Number 543 CHAIR JAMES said this bill specifically specifies a cost-life analysis and this was a pretty common method. She further stated that Representative Robinson's comments were absolutely right. She said different facilities had different maintenance programs and they each had different levels of success with the maintenance of their buildings. She said she would like to make sure that our facilities are maintained and that would be determined by a very scientific method. She said one of the reasons the university has such a large backlog of maintenance is that the legislature funds the university, but they are allowed to spend the monies as they see fit. She said that over a period of time, they have opted to spend their monies on programs and other things, as opposed to maintenance. She said the state needed to protect its assets and make them last as long as possible, even though this may not be very fun or exciting. She said that her biggest goal of this legislation was to make the information available, so that people understood what the needs were. Number 569 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked if there was any prohibition against creating a law which required that any capital project must be funded proportionately to account for ongoing repair and maintenance. CHAIR JAMES said this was not possible, because the legislature was prohibited from setting aside dedicated funds. She said the reason against dedicated funds was that the legislature preferred to fund things that were more popular than maintenance. She said the other thing to consider was that the state had a health-safety issue with employees who were working in unsafe buildings. She said this forced the state to fund a large capital project which usually costs more than if they had set money aside for maintenance. She said she assumed that if they followed this plan, they would set aside funds for maintenance in the operating budget, but the amount for renewal and replacement would probably be a capital appropriation. She said if the money was set aside each year, the money would be there when something major needed to be replaced. She said she would like to hold this bill until a later date so the people who would be involved could give testimony. She announced that on February 17, 1995, she would be attending the facilities maintenance conference. Number 608 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN IVAN asked what type of restrictions this would place on the rural areas. He asked if it would place any further limitations on rural areas who need to build an increasing number of structures for their growing population. CHAIR JAMES explained that this bill would only apply to specific agencies who may or may not be delinquent in their maintenance responsibilities. If an agency or community was not delinquent in their maintenance, then this bill would not have any affect on them. Number 630 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated that sometimes it was cheaper to build a new building than to renovate the old one because of changes in code requirements and other factors. CHAIR JAMES explained that this would be part of the evaluation process of those who would be charged with evaluating the status of the building. She said if it was found that the building was so deficient that it was cheaper to build new construction, then this would be part of the recommendation. She said she thought that if we were keeping closer track of the maintenance, then we would have less of these types of situations occurring. She further stated she thought that it was somewhat premature to try and push this bill through at this time as they needed more testimony from the public and the Administration, and she would like to hold it over until after February 17,1995.