Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124

02/08/2017 03:15 PM House LABOR & COMMERCE

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Audio Topic
03:18:46 PM Start
03:19:18 PM HB48
03:41:24 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
        HB 48-ARCHITECTS,ENGINEERS,SURVEYORS: EXTEND BD                                                                     
3:19:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KITO  announced that  the only order  of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 48, "An  Act relating  to the composition  of the                                                               
State Board  of Registration for Architects,  Engineers, and Land                                                               
Surveyors; extending the  termination date of the  State Board of                                                               
Registration for  Architects, Engineers, and Land  Surveyors; and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
3:20:07 PM                                                                                                                    
BIANCA CARPENETI,  Staff, Representative  Sam Kito,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, presented  HB 48 on  behalf of  Representative Kito,                                                               
prime sponsor.   She  stated that HB  48 extends  the termination                                                               
date  of   the  State  Board  of   Registration  for  Architects,                                                               
Engineers, and Land  Surveyors (AELS), and changes  the status of                                                               
the current  landscape architect  board member from  a non-voting                                                               
to a  voting member.   The bill  reflects the  recommendations of                                                               
the Division of Legislative Audit and AELS.                                                                                     
CHAIR KITO added  that a revised fiscal note would  be coming out                                                               
3:21:37 PM                                                                                                                    
KRIS  CURTIS, Legislative  Auditor,  Legislative Audit  Division,                                                               
Legislative  Agencies and  Offices,  stated that  the April  2016                                                               
Sunset Audit [included  in the committee packed]  found that AELS                                                               
is  serving the  public's  interests.   The  board registers  and                                                               
regulates architects,  engineers, and land surveyors.   The board                                                               
monitors  registrants and  works  to ensure  that only  qualified                                                               
individuals practice  in Alaska.   The board develops  and adopts                                                               
regulations  to improve  the occupations.   She  stated that  the                                                               
division recommends  the eight-year maximum extension  and has no                                                               
recommendations  [for  improvement].   She  drew  attention to  a                                                               
schedule of expenditures on page  seven of the audit, which shows                                                               
that at  the end  of fiscal year  2013 (FY 13),  the board  had a                                                               
deficit  of approximately  $260,000.   At that  point, the  board                                                               
raised its fees.   At the end  of FY 15, the board  had a surplus                                                               
of  $740,000 and  decreased fees.    She noted  that the  board's                                                               
composition  represents  all   licensed  professions  except  for                                                               
landscape  architects.     In   1998,  a   temporary,  non-voting                                                               
landscape architect board position  was created in uncodified law                                                               
and has been  reauthorized in every extension of the  board.  The                                                               
original intent  of the position  was to help the  board regulate                                                               
the landscape architect  profession.  Seven out of  the ten board                                                               
members  were asked  if  they  were in  support  of  making it  a                                                               
permanent position and all seven stated their support.                                                                          
3:24:32 PM                                                                                                                    
DALE  NELSON,  Chairman,  Legislative Liaison  Committee,  Alaska                                                               
Professional Design Council, LLC  (APDC), testified in support of                                                               
HB 48.   He  stated that  he is  a registered  professional civil                                                               
engineer of  more than 40  years.  He  stated that both  AELS and                                                               
APDC support  HB 48, as  presented.   He emphasized the  need and                                                               
value of the board's extension.                                                                                                 
3:26:01 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH asked  what enforcement  actions have  been                                                               
taken in the last year.                                                                                                         
MR.  NELSON stated  that APDC  supported  having an  investigator                                                               
work  specifically  for AELS.    He  mentioned that  professional                                                               
engineers, architects,  land surveyors, and  landscape architects                                                               
must sign  that [they work]  for the safety, health,  and welfare                                                               
of the public.                                                                                                                  
3:28:09 PM                                                                                                                    
MICHELE   ELFERS,   Chief    Landscape   Architect,   Engineering                                                               
Department,  City  and  Borough  of Juneau  (CBJ),  testified  in                                                               
support of HB 48.  As a member  of the APDC board, she stated the                                                               
board's support  of the bill.   She  relayed that the  AELS board                                                               
ensures  a   high  quality  standard  for   safe  and  functional                                                               
infrastructure.  She  stated her support and  the board's support                                                               
of  making  the  landscape  architect position  a  permanent  and                                                               
voting position.                                                                                                                
3:29:10 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP asked  why the  position has  never been  a                                                               
voting position.                                                                                                                
MS. ELFERS stated her understanding  that the seat was originally                                                               
a temporary  seat when landscape  architects were  first becoming                                                               
licensed in Alaska.   She stated that she is not  sure why it was                                                               
not made a voting position when the profession became licensed.                                                                 
3:30:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  KITO  asked  if  the   role  of  the  landscape  architect                                                               
currently  [on  the  board]  is to  provide  advice  and  support                                                               
concerning  other   landscape  architects   in  the   state  when                                                               
reviewing licensure applications.                                                                                               
MS. ELFERS answered yes.                                                                                                        
CHAIR KITO observed that the  non-voting position has been useful                                                               
but landscape architects have not been fully represented.                                                                       
MS. ELFERS  stated that she agrees.   She added that  HB 48 would                                                               
provide equal representation for all practicing professions.                                                                    
3:31:37 PM                                                                                                                    
COLIN   MAYNARD,  Member,   State  Board   of  Registration   for                                                               
Architects, Engineers,  and Land  Surveyors (AELS),  testified in                                                               
support of  HB 48.   He  drew upon  his previous  experience with                                                               
APDC and  stated that  the main  reason the  [landscape architect                                                               
board] position  was made temporary and  non-voting initially was                                                               
due to the board's uncertainty  of the future number of landscape                                                               
architects.    Now  there  are close  to  50  licensed  landscape                                                               
architects.   He stated  that many  competent people  have filled                                                               
the  non-voting   position  in  the   last  18  years   and  have                                                               
represented and  served well.   He offered his opinion  that it's                                                               
time to  make the position permanent.   He said that  in the past                                                               
there  was one  particular legislator  who didn't  like landscape                                                               
architects  and  prevented making  the  position  permanent.   He                                                               
stated that the design community  has sought to make the position                                                               
permanent since  the board's first  sunset date.  In  response to                                                               
Representative Birch's previous  question about the investigative                                                               
branch,  he stated  that the  board rarely  knows details  of any                                                               
accusations   until  there   is   a  consent   agreement  -   the                                                               
investigative branch "deals  with it."  He  stated that currently                                                               
there are 16 open cases; 14  have been closed since November.  He                                                               
concluded that there is active  enforcement of the licensure act,                                                               
and  he offered  his understanding  that there  has never  been a                                                               
licensure  act action  against a  landscape architect;  [previous                                                               
actions] have always been against the other professions.                                                                        
CHAIR KITO asked how many professionals are licensed by AELS.                                                                   
MR.   MAYNARD  stated   that   there   are  approximately   7,000                                                               
[licensees],  of  which  5,000   are  engineers  -  mostly  civil                                                               
3:34:42 PM                                                                                                                    
JANEY  HOVENDEN, Director,  Division  of Corporations,  Business,                                                               
and  Professional  Licensing  (DCBPL),  Department  of  Commerce,                                                               
Community  &  Economic  Development  (DCCED),  introduced  Alysia                                                               
Jones, the  new Executive Administrator  for AELS, and  she noted                                                               
that the committee  may be hearing from Ms. Jones  in the future.                                                               
She stated that an updated  fiscal note is forthcoming; DCBPL was                                                               
unaware  of  a  previous  fiscal note  for  the  temporary  board                                                               
member's travel expenses.  She  said the travel expenses would be                                                               
deleted from the new fiscal note.                                                                                               
3:35:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  KITO  clarified  that the  forthcoming  fiscal  note  will                                                               
reflect the  fact that there  is already money in  the governor's                                                               
FY  18 budget  for  travel  for the  landscape  architect on  the                                                               
board.  He asked if this  is because the travel expenses were not                                                               
a standard budget item.                                                                                                         
MS.  HOVENDEN  stated  that  the  expenses  were  funded  with  a                                                               
separate  bill,  not  as  a  complete  board,  which  caused  the                                                               
3:36:49 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  noted  that  there is  a  fiscal  note  for                                                               
travel,  but  the  audit  lists travel  expenses  of  $40,000  to                                                               
$50,000 per  year.   He asked why  there is a  fiscal note  for a                                                               
budgetary item if  travel is an expense incurred and  paid for by                                                               
the board.                                                                                                                      
MS.  HOVENDEN clarified  that  the  division's receipt  supported                                                               
services, while  licensing fees pay  for all the expenses  to the                                                               
program, including board travel.                                                                                                
3:37:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KITO  stated that  [the funding] will  be reflected  in the                                                               
updated fiscal note.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  stated that  he had expected  to see  a zero                                                               
fiscal  note  because  the  board's fees  more  than  covers  its                                                               
MS.  HOVENDEN  stated  that the  spending  authority  allows  the                                                               
division  to  spend  money  on   the  board's  behalf  -  it's  a                                                               
continuation of what is already being spent on its behalf.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL noted the  [approximate] $700,000 surplus and                                                               
7,000 licensees,  and he asked if  there will be a  licensing fee                                                               
adjustment of $100 per person.                                                                                                  
MS. HOVENDEN  stated the board  recently decreased  its licensing                                                               
fees, and it will take a couple bienniums to spend the surplus.                                                                 
3:39:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KITO opened public testimony on HB 48.                                                                                    
3:40:17 PM                                                                                                                    
LUANNE   URFER,  Member,   State   Board   of  Registration   for                                                               
Architects, Engineers, and Land  Surveyors (AELS), encouraged the                                                               
committee  to support  HB  48.   As  a  landscape architect,  she                                                               
stated  that it's  important to  represent  her field,  encourage                                                               
safety,  and  ensure  that  projects  are  done  that  allow  for                                                               
opportunities for the public.                                                                                                   
CHAIR KITO announced that HB 48 was held over.                                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB048 Fiscal Note DCCED-CBPL 2.3.17.pdf HL&C 2/8/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 48
HB048 Sponsor Statement 2.6.17.pdf HL&C 2/8/2017 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 2/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 48
HB048 Supporting Document-Sunset Audit 01.31.17.pdf HL&C 2/8/2017 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 2/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 48
HB048 Supporting Document-Letters of Support 2.6.17.pdf HL&C 2/8/2017 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 2/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 48