Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/27/1995 07:05 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 HB 243 - LICENSING OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS                                  
 Number 220                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said HB 243 was heard in committee the previous day,            
 but was held over for additional testimony.  He announced that                
 Deirde Buschmann was waiting to testified via teleconference from             
 Number 224                                                                    
 DEIRDE BUSCHMANN said she practiced as a landscape architect in the           
 Forest Service for 13 years and recently started her own practice.            
 She felt the registration of landscape architects in the state of             
 Alaska will provide a number of positive benefits including                   
 improved safety and design of parks, playgrounds and other places             
 of public use, design consistency in the application of the                   
 Americans with Disabilities Act, and professional recognition of              
 the of (indisc.) knowledge and abilities that landscape architects            
 provide the public.  She said passage of this legislation will                
 bring Alaska in line with 45 other states and put Alaska on equal             
 footing with other design professionals in the state.                         
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if the committee members had any questions for            
 Ms. Buschmann.  Hearing none, he asked if there were additional               
 people to testify on HB 243.                                                  
 Number 247                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS made a motion to move HB 243 with individual           
 recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes.                                
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON objected for discussion purposes.  He asked              
 how many people will be registered and how many people will fall              
 out of the system because they can't get registered.                          
 Number 258                                                                    
 SHARON MACKLIN, Representative, Alaska Professional Design Council,           
 responded that about 50 people statewide would want to be licensed.           
 CHAIRMAN KOTT inquired as to how many might fall out of the system.           
 MS. MACKLIN requested clarification on the term "fall out."                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said he was referring to how many people would           
 not be able to provide the same service they are currently                    
 providing because of a licensing requirement.  He asked if there              
 are any people that are now doing this kind of work that may not be           
 able to be licensed as a result of this legislation passing?                  
 MS. MACKLIN commented she didn't have a clear answer for the                  
 committee, but didn't think there would be any.  She mentioned that           
 Catherine Reardon may be able to respond to the question.                     
 CATHERINE REARDON, Director, Division of Occupational Licensing,              
 Department of Commerce & Economic Development, said she did not               
 have a clear answer either.                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked what is it going to take now to be                
 certified by the board as a landscape architect?                              
 MS. MACKLIN responded one of the qualifications is a national test            
 and then the Board of Registration will set up their own criteria,            
 as they do now for architects, engineers and land surveyors.  She             
 gave an example of why the council feels it is in the best interest           
 of public safety to be licensed.  Several years ago, an individual            
 was killed while riding his bike down the West High/Westchester               
 Lagoon bike trail.  They determined the reason for the accident was           
 the incline was too steep and it hadn't been designed to a scale              
 that was safe.  That was one example in Alaska of why we need                 
 people to design projects that are safe for the entire public.                
 Number 295                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA commented on creating another bureaucracy for           
 another group of people in our state.  He added that he was a                 
 landscaper for four years while working his way through college.              
 He put in sprinkler systems, designed lawns, etc.  At that time he            
 did not have to pass any test, but stood by his work and developed            
 a good reputation.  He felt the people who are proposing these                
 changes admit that these landscape architects do not reach the                
 standards of architects and engineers, and are admitting it by                
 saying they are going to have somebody on this board, but they                
 don't have a vote.  He stressed his feelings of creating another              
 obstacle for those people who are enthusiastic and trying to make             
 a living and this would put up more roadblocks to those                       
 individuals.  He explained that his comments were not directed at             
 Ms. Macklin.  He was not going to hold the bill up but stressed it            
 was just another case of creating more bureaucracy and roadblocks,            
 while at the same time talking about decreasing the size of                   
 MS. MACKLIN referenced Representative Kubina's comments relating to           
 the person on the board, and said that person was only going to be            
 appointed for a short period of time during which regulations would           
 be drafted for landscape architects.  She reiterated they would not           
 be a permanent person on the board; that is why they were not given           
 a vote.  She added at the end of the bill there is a list of                  
 exemptions; people who don't have to be registered and can continue           
 to provide a variety of services; e.g., gardeners putting in flower           
 beds, taking care of landscaping per se, etc.  Individuals would              
 have to be registered in very specific cases.                                 
 Number 344                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said there is a motion before the committee to move             
 HB 243 with individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal                
 notes.  He asked if there were any objections.  Hearing none, HB              
 243 was moved from the House Labor & Commerce Committee.                      

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