Boards & Commissions Sunset

Amends Regulatory Licensing Reform Act policies regarding
regulation of professions and vocations, to prohibit or require
termination of regulations that are unnecessary or redundant of
existing protections.  Requires the DCCA to sunset a board or
commission in the absence of an Act expressly prohibiting the
sunset, and upon any finding of the Legislative Auditor that the
board or commission is redundant or unnecessary.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The Hawaii Regulatory Licensing Reform Act, Act
 2 70, Session Laws of Hawaii 1977, was enacted in response to
 3 growing concern over the rapid proliferation of professional and
 4 vocational licensing boards and commissions, and the perception
 5 that these served the interests of the regulated industry, rather
 6 than the interests of the consumer.  Act 70 set forth criteria to
 7 be used to evaluate and determine whether existing regulatory
 8 programs should be modified or discontinued.  The criteria were
 9 codified in section 26H-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
10      Under Act 70, each chapter regulating a profession or
11 vocation was scheduled for repeal.  The statutorily-created board
12 or commission of the regulated profession or vocation was
13 required to assess whether its statutory program complied with
14 the section 26H-2 criteria, and to submit a report to the
15 legislature one year prior to the applicable repeal date.  New
16 legislation was required to continue regulatory programs reviewed
17 under Act 70.  
18      In 1979, the review component of this automatic review and
19 repeal law was amended to require that assessments be performed

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                                     H.B. NO.           

 1 by the legislative auditor.  This amendment was made to "better
 2 provide for consumer interests. . . [and] a more objective
 3 viewpoint in assessing the value of the particular regulation
 4 under review."  Recognizing that automatic review of every
 5 existing professional or vocational regulatory program consumed a
 6 disproportionate amount of the auditor's limited resources, in
 7 1994 the legislature restricted automatic review and repeal to
 8 professional or vocational regulatory programs enacted after July
 9 1, 1994.  The legislature further limited this procedure in 1996
10 to regulatory programs actually listed in section 26H-4, Hawaii
11 Revised Statutes.
12      The legislature finds that existing policies and procedures
13 amplify the influence of special interests and should be re-
14 examined to more fairly represent the interest of the general
15 public.  In addition, the legislature finds that the question of
16 whether the activities of a board or commission further the
17 policies that have been identified by the legislature as
18 justifying regulation, is a question best resolved through an
19 assessment performed by an objective and informed agency like the
20 legislative auditor.  Once the question is resolved, state
21 maintenance of the board or commission may not be justified, and
22 should be discontinued without delay.

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 1      The purpose of this Act is to provide a mechanism for the
 2 expeditious removal of unnecessary vocational and professional
 3 regulatory boards and commissions that serve the interests of
 4 regulated industry, rather than the interests of the consumer.
 5      SECTION 2.  Section 26H-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 6 amended to read as follows:
 7      "26H-2 Policy; sunset required.  (a)  The legislature
 8 hereby adopts the following policies regarding the regulation of
 9 certain professions and vocations:
10      (1)  The regulation and licensing of professions and
11           vocations shall be undertaken only where reasonably
12           necessary to protect the health, safety, or welfare of
13           consumers of the services; the purpose of regulation
14           shall be the protection of the public welfare and not
15           that of the regulated profession or vocation;
16      (2)  Regulation in the form of full licensure or other
17           restrictions on certain professions or vocations shall
18           be retained or adopted when the health, safety, or
19           welfare of the consumer may be jeopardized by the
20           nature of the service offered by the provider;
21      (3)  Evidence of abuses by providers of the service shall be
22           accorded great weight in determining whether regulation
23           is desirable;

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                                     H.B. NO.           

 1      (4)  Professional and vocational regulations [which] that
 2           artificially increase the costs of goods and services
 3           to the consumer shall be avoided except in those cases
 4           where the legislature determines that this cost is
 5           exceeded by the potential danger to the consumer;
 6      (5)  Professional and vocational regulations shall be
 7           eliminated when [the legislature determines that] they
 8           [have no further benefits to] no longer benefit
 9           consumers;
10      (6)  Regulation shall not unreasonably restrict entry into
11           professions and vocations by all qualified persons;
12           [and]
13      (7)  Fees for regulation and licensure shall be imposed for
14           all vocations and professions subject to regulation;
15           provided that the aggregate of the fees for any given
16           regulatory program shall not be less than the full cost
17           of administering that program[.]; and
18      (8)  Professional and vocational regulation shall not be
19           imposed or shall be eliminated if:
20           (A)  Regulatory objectives may be undertaken by the
21                industry to be regulated and governmental
22                participation is not necessary to protect the
23                public health, safety, or welfare;

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                                     H.B. NO.           

 1           (B)  Other private or public agencies provide adequate
 2                protections; or
 3           (C)  Regulatory objectives may be cost-effectively
 4                reassigned within the department of commerce and
 5                consumer affairs.
 6      (b)  Upon any finding by the legislative auditor based upon
 7 the factors identified in subsection (a)(8), that a professional
 8 or vocational board or commission should be eliminated, the
 9 department shall immediately sunset the board or commission in
10 the absence of enacted legislation expressly prohibiting the
11 sunset of the board or commission."
12      SECTION 3.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
13 New statutory material is underscored.
14      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
16                           INTRODUCED BY:  _______________________