Legislature(1997 - 1998)

04/22/1997 08:03 AM STA

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

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