Legislature(2017 - 2018)SENATE FINANCE 532
04/07/2017 01:30 PM Senate FINANCE
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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." 1:55:40 PM BIANCA CARPENETI, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE SAM KITO, introduced the legislation. 1:57:08 PM KRIS CURTIS, AUDITOR, LEGISLATIVE AUDIT, explained that the purpose of a sunset audit was to determine whether the board was serving the public interest, and whether it served the public interest. She stated that it was found that the State Board of Registration for Architects, Engineers, and Land Surveyors (AELS Board) did serve the public's interest by effectively registering and regulating architects, engineers, and land surveyors. Senator von Imhof remarked that the fiscal note had $29,600 included in the governor's FY 18 request, and the out-year estimates had approximately the same number. She stated that the funds would be covered with receipts. Ms. Carpeneti replied in the affirmative. Co-Chair MacKinnon commented on Ms. Carpeneti's family's service to the state. 2:00:43 PM COLIN MAYNARD, AELS BOARD, ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), shared that he was available for questions. He announced that there was a desire to keep a balance in the funds to deal with a possible case. Co-Chair MacKinnon wondered why it is wondered why the board required a face-to-face meeting four times a year. Mr. Maynard replied that two people must review each application. He stated that it was easier to make determinations when in the same place, rather than via teleconference. 2:02:44 PM AT EASE 2:03:54 PM RECONVENED 2:04:15 PM MICHELE ELFERS, BOARD MEMBER, ALASKA PROFESSIONAL DESIGN COUNCIL, JUNEAU, testified in support of the bill and support of providing a permanent board seat for landscape architects. Senator Olson queried the number of landscape architects versus the number of architects and engineers. Ms. Elfers announced that there were approximately 50 licensed landscape architects in the state. She did not know the number of architects or engineers. She shared that there were also approximately 50 licensed mining engineers in the state, and they had representation on the AELS Board. Co-Chair MacKinnon CLOSED public testimony. 2:06:50 PM JANEY HOVENDEN, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF CORPORATIONS, BUSINESS, AND PROFESSIONAL LICENSING, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, introduced herself. Co-Chair MacKinnon queried the number of licensees in each of the individual professional licensures. 2:07:36 PM ALICIA JONES, EXECUTIVE ADMINISTRATOR, BOARD OF ARCHITECTS, ENGINEERS, AND LAND SURVEYORS, replied that there were approximately 3000 civil engineers; 843 mechanical engineers; approximately 50 landscape architects; and 476 land surveyors. She agreed to provide further detailed information. Co-Chair MacKinnon wondered whether the licensing fee was the same for each profession. She stressed that there was travel associated with each position. Ms. Jones responded that the fees were the same regardless of profession. Senator von Imhof noted that page 5 of the audit had a list of the different types of architects and engineers. She noted that page 8 showed the different fees. Senator Dunleavy noted that page 7 of the audit showed an increased ending cumulative surplus, with the exception of 2013. He wondered whether there was a reimbursement with the excess revenue. Ms. Hovenden noted that the surplus was growing, and the fees were slightly reduced. She stated that there was a hope to keep a "buffer." She stressed that the lowered fees would slowly deplete the surplus. Senator Dunleavy queried the definition of "they." Ms. Hovenden replied that it was the board. Co-Chair MacKinnon surmised that statute required professional licensing to pay for itself, so there was some fluctuation over time in account balances. Ms. Hovenden agreed. Ms. Jones revised her previous statement, and clarified that there was a difference in the fees between those who applied by exam versus those who applied by committee. Ms. Hovenden shared that all the licensures fees were the same. Co-Chair MacKinnon queried the fee amount. Ms. Hovenden replied that the fee was $150 for two years. Co-Chair MacKinnon wondered whether there was a discount for licensing two years out. Ms. Hovenden replied that it was a set fee for two years. Co-Chair MacKinnon queried comments. 2:12:45 PM REPRESENTATIVE SAM KITO, SPONSOR, stated that the bill was basically a sunset provision, with the one specific change to allow for a permanent AELS Board position to a landscape architect. Vice-Chair Bishop addressed FN 1: CED. Co-Chair MacKinnon announced that amendments were due by Monday at 5pm. SB 48 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further consideration. 2:15:44 PM AT EASE 2:16:36 PM RECONVENED