Legislature(1997 - 1998)
04/22/1997 08:03 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
CSSB 68(FIN) - TASK FORCE ON PRIVATIZATION The first order of business to come before the House State Affairs Standing Committee was CSSB 68(FIN), "An Act relating to the Task Force on Privatization; and providing for an effective date." Number 0076 CRAIG JOHNSON, Legislative Assistant to Senator Jerry Ward, announced that Senator Jerry Ward did not have a problem with the proposed committee substitute (0-LS0386/P, Cook, 4/18/97). As requested, an opinion from the Division of Legislative Legal and Research Services was included as well. CHAIR JEANNETTE JAMES asked Mr. Johnson if the legal opinion indicated that it was all right? MR. JOHNSON replied, "Yes." CHAIR JAMES explained the committee substitute added the language "and control excess growth in government" to page 1, line 14. CHAIR JAMES further explained that there was a legal opinion from Tamara B. Cook, Director, Division of Legal and Research Services, which indicated this was not a violation of the separation of powers. Number 0274 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY moved to adopted the committee substitute (0-LS0386/P, Cook, 4/18/97) and move it from the committee with individual recommendations and the attached fiscal note(s). Number 0331 REPRESENTATIVE ETHAN BERKOWITZ asked that the question be divided. He wanted to make sure he understood the focus of the task force. The concept of privatization was not necessarily the focus of creating a more streamline government. Therefore, he wanted to ensure that the task force had the reach to go beyond simple questions in regards to privatization. Number 0376 CHAIR JAMES replied that was covered at the last meeting. Nevertheless, she called for a roll call vote to determine if the question should be divided. Representatives Berkowitz and Elton voted in favor of dividing the question. Representatives James, Dyson, Hodgins and Vezey voted against dividing the question. The question was not divided. Number 0470 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated the concept of privatization was an overworked term. His research indicated that it was a narrow focus in terms of efficiency. Therefore, the bill should be drafted so that it was either narrow to focus on the term or broad to focus on efficiency in general. Number 0518 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated that privatization was a word with 5,000 applications, not definitions. It covered a broad plethora of ways to conduct business. The task force in the bill was given a very broad assignment. Number 0582 CHAIR JAMES stated that she was in the minority in regards to her concerns that privatization and out sourcing had two different meanings. Privatization was a buzz word that took on different connotations. Her biggest concern was controlling excess growth in government and she felt more comfortable with the bill since the language was added. She would be willing to move it out of the committee. Number 0675 REPRESENTATIVE KIM ELTON stated he objected because it seemed like a wonderful summer project for somebody. If this was a graduate program, one graduate student would do it over the summer. Instead, a task force was being established to create another report. Quite frankly, we could study privatization without a task force; it was an unnecessary growth of government. Number 0723 REPRESENTATIVE MARK HODGINS stated that he had been a contractor with the United States Postal Service for the past 19 years so he knew that privatization worked. A task force was not needed. There were areas of government that could not be privatized but there were a lot that could be privatized. Therefore, he would vote in favor of the bill. Number 0790 REPRESENTATIVE FRED DYSON wondered if part of Representative Berkowitz' objection was because it focused on only one way of trying for a more efficient government. Privatization was not the only solution, but in defense of the bill, it did not preclude a wise and intelligent use of the other things that could be used to help government work better. He would vote in favor of the bill moving from the committee. CHAIR JAMES called for a roll call vote. Representatives James, Dyson, Hodgins, Ivan and Vezey voted in favor of the motion. Representatives Berkowitz and Elton voted against the motion. The HCS CSSB 68(STA) was so moved from the House State Affairs Standing Committee.