Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/02/1995 08:00 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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                         
 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               
 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                      
 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             
 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.                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects