Legislature(1995 - 1996)
04/27/1995 07:05 PM L&C
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= 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 Petersburg. 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 government. 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.