Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/29/1995 02:30 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
              HB 234 ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUDICATIONS                             
 TERESA WILLIAMS, Assistant Attorney General, testified on behalf of          
 the Office of the Governor.  CSHB 234(JUD) makes minor, but                   
 important changes in the Administrative Procedures Act.  It                   
 clarifies the law, saves money, and speeds the process.  The                  
 Administrative Procedures Act contains some archaic language that             
 causes delays and often results in frivolous litigation.  She was             
 unaware of any opposition to the bill.  The bill is expected to               
 reduce hearing costs to both the state and involved parties.  CSHB
 234(JUD) will allow routine telephonic participation, changes the             
 reimbursement rate for witnesses, expressly authorizes the agency             
 to allow discovery and how it will take place, and codifies                   
 existing court law regarding burden of proof and standard of proof.           
 The bill also clarifies the time period for requesting                        
 Number 560                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked about witness fees and other fees not included           
 in the bill, and expressed concern that the petitioner might be               
 burdened to such an extent that people are discouraged from                   
 petitioning for redress.  MS. WILLIAMS replied the telephonic                 
 participation provision will eliminate the need to have witnesses             
 travel and help reduce costs.                                                 
 SENATOR TAYLOR questioned the impact of the changes made in the               
 bill upon the selection of forum, and who would choose what venue             
 the matter should be tried within.  MS. WILLIAMS explained the bill           
 does not really change the selection.  The old language refers to             
 Senate districts that no longer exist; the most comparable                    
 districts are the judicial districts.  SENATOR TAYLOR clarified the           
 bill makes no substantive changes, only clean up changes.  He added           
 that discretion should allow for some adjustment of location of               
 hearing if more appropriate for all parties.                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects