Interim Joint Committee on Licensing and Occupations


Minutes of the<MeetNo1> 2nd Meeting

of the 2007 Interim


<MeetMDY1> July 13, 2007


The<MeetNo2> 2nd meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing and Occupations was held on<Day> Friday,<MeetMDY2> July 13, 2007, at<MeetTime> 10:00 AM, in<Room> Room 171 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Joni L. Jenkins, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.


Present were:


Members:<Members> Members in attendance at the Capital Annex, Room 171, Senator Gary Tapp, Co-Chair; Representative Joni L. Jenkins, Co-Chair; Senators Tom Buford,  Julie Denton, Denise Harper Angel, Ernesto Scorsone, and Robert  Stivers II; and Representatives Tom Burch, Tim Firkins, Tim Moore, Ruth Ann Palumbo, Carl Rollins II, Sal Santoro, Ron Weston, and Susan Westrom.  Members in attendance at Paducah Community College, Room 101:  Senator Bob Leeper.


Guests:  Claude Wagner, Director, Division of Occupations and Professions; Rodney Raby, State Fire Marshal, Floyd Van Cook, Executive Director, David Reichert, General Counsel, Steven New, HVAC Supervisor, Nelson Henderson, Division Director,  Office of Housing, Buildings and Construction; Richard Vincent, Executive Vice President, Associated General Contractors of Kentucky; and Paul Gannoe, Director, Division of Engineering and Contract Administration, Finance Cabinet.


LRC Staff:  Vida Murray, Bryce Amburgey, Tom Hewlett and Susan Cunningham.


No action was taken on the minutes of the June 2007 meeting  due to the lack of a quorum.  Representative Jenkins told members there was a memo in their meeting folder advising them to send their travel vouchers to their respective leadership offices. 


First on the agenda, Claude Wagner, Director of the Division of Occupations and Professions, told the committee that there was a change in the veterinary examiners regulations regarding ethics.  He said that a regulation requiring veterinarians to have written consent to euthanize an animal puts into effect HB 49 from the 2007 legislation session.  Mr. Wagner said that the education requirements for licensed professional counselors had recently been changed.  The new regulation reversed educational requirements that would have gone into effect in January 2008.  Mr. Wagner said that the division was in the process of writing regulations to address proprietary school closings.  One change would require schools to submit electronic data every year, including student transcripts and some financial information.  Mr. Wagner said that the division is sending an informational letter to all licensed proprietary schools and posting proposed changes on the division's web site to allow the proprietary schools to comment.  He said that this change would allow the division to have accurate records that would not be lost if a school with mediocre record-keeping closed.  Mr. Wagner commented that there were 20 boards under the Division of Occupations.  In 2006 there were 21,584 licensees, 1,426 more licenses than in 2005. 


Mr. Wagner said that the division's income comes entirely from the boards and currently the funding was adequate.  The boards' income comes from the renewal of licenses and continues to grow.  He said that overhead cost is low because there is no redundant office space for staff.  The board could assume the administrative duties of additional boards.  Mr. Wagner said that it costs approximately $47,600 to add a board administrator who, depending on the size of the board may administer to more than one board.  The division incurs the initial cost and the board reimburses the division from renewal fees after the first year.  Mr. Wagner said that a document imaging system was put in place in April 2007.  The system allows the board to scan and maintain an electronic file of all new licensees.  He said that this system is a more efficient way of managing renewals, complaints, and correspondence.  Mr. Wagner said that the division anticipated legislative changes.  The changes include: for the Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology Board to add requirements for people operating with an interim license but failing the national exam to submit documentation of preparation to pass the exam to the board; Dietitians and Nutritionists Board to address hardship issues for inactive licensee; and Private Investigators Board to address a loop hole that allows people to operate for 240 hours unlicensed.  Mr. Wagner said that all the boards have websites and the division is updating technology by adding features to forms that allow licensees more typing space for legible documentation.  He added that the office was encouraging the boards' to review other boards regulations as a benchmark for their own changes.


Senator Tapp asked if there were enough people licensed to serve the deaf and hard of hearing.  Mr. Wagner said that the Board of Interpreters for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has issued temporary or interim licenses to about one-half of its members; however, during the next 12 to 24 months the board should move toward a permanent license.  Additionally, there are family members who perform interpretative services that do not join the association, therefore he could not accurately judge if there were enough professionals for adequate service.  Representative Jenkins asked how many people worked in the Division.  Mr. Wagner responded there are 12 people, including himself.


Representative Jenkins recognized Senator Leeper joining the meeting via videoconference.


Next on the agenda was a status report from the Office of Housing, Buildings and Construction on recently enacted legislation affecting heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and self-extinguishing cigarettes.  Mr. Van Cook, Executive Director of the Office of Housing, Buildings and Construction told the committee that SB 10 enacted in the 2007 legislative session, established an inspection program for new HVAC installations in all buildings in the state.  Mr. Steven New, HVAC supervisor, Office of Housing,  Buildings and Construction told members that a notice had been sent out to local jurisdictions regarding new regulations for permitting and inspections.  He said that currently there are 10 field inspectors and three new inspectors have been hired, adding that every two months the office will add staff until July, 2008.  Mr. New said that the division will have on-line permitting at local health departments.  Mr. Cook added that small counties will coordinate their inspection schedules to provide broad coverage.  Mr. New said currently there are nine HVAC programs.


Senator Tapp asked Mr. Cook if in the future inspectors could be trained to have dual certification for plumbing and HVAC.  Mr. Cook said a plumbing inspector must have a license for eight years and an HVAC inspector must have his or her license for six years and that some inspectors do have dual certification.  Senator Buford asked if each single family home receives a heating and ventilation inspection.  Mr. Cook said that prior to SB 10 single family homes were not inspected, stating further that on all new construction the insulation and duct work will be checked to make sure all seams are tight and gas is not leaking through vents.   


Next, State Fire Marshal Rodney Raby commended the committee on the passage of SB 134 (2007).  He said that Kentucky was number nine in fire deaths in the United States.  He said that one-quarter to one-third of fire deaths are related to smoking cigarettes, pipes, and cigars.  Even people who do not smoke suffer the consequences via second-hand smoke.  Mr. Raby said safe cigarettes should reduce fire deaths by 15 to 25 percent.  He said the program, which begins in April, 2008, would be managed by one or two people.  He said that the Attorney General's office reported that there are approximately 300 licensed brand families.  Mr. Raby said that over a three-year period, the paper used by these brands would be tested, at a cost of $1,000 per brand.  He said there are currently 24 general inspectors and 10 in the Hazardous Materials section who would be testing the paper.  Mr. Raby said that the office is sending notices to the industry this fall and there is a 60-day grace period after the effective date to allow selling the cigarettes in stock.


Senator Tapp asked if the 60-day window was necessary since the industry is already aware of the bill and it does not go into effect until April, 2008.  Mr. Cook said the office was trying to accommodate the small operations because their stock does not move as fast.


Nelson Henderson told committee members that the Fire Marshal's office is made up of two groups, the General Inspection Section which provides fire prevention inspections for hospitals, day cares, nursing homes, hotels, motels, retail and industrial facilities, and places of assembly, and the Hazardous Materials Section which licenses and inspects underground storage tanks and various parts of the propane gas industry.    These inspections are done on an annual basis.  Mr. Henderson said that there are approximately 190,000 regulated buildings in the state of Kentucky.  He said that both sections respond to emergencies and disasters within the state and are part of the Governor's Emergency Operations Plan.  Mr. Henderson said that both Sections operate on General Fund dollars all of which currently go to employee salaries and benefits.  There are no agency funds established to provide training, travel, or code education for the General Inspection Section.  Mr. Henderson added that the Hazardous Materials Section does not generate enough revenue to pay for some services.  Rodney Raby said the General Inspection Section and the Hazardous Materials Section have been using funds from other sections to fund their services; however, this was no longer possible due to legislative changes.  Van Cook said that some sections charge fees and are self sustaining.  The self-sustaining sections include elevator inspections, boiler inspectors, manufactured housing, and state electrical inspectors.  Mr. Raby proposed that during the next legislative session the General Inspection Section and the Hazardous Materials Section be merged to create the new Fire Prevention Section.  He proposed that fees be assessed to sustain the cost of services.  Mr. Raby presented a list of potential fees to the committee for their consideration.


Representative Jenkins asked what the State Fire Marshal's General Fund allotment was.  Van Cook said $2.5 million of General Fund moneys was allotted for both sections.  Senator Buford asked if the Governor could do an Executive Order so that the offices could be combined and have access to more funds.  Van Cook said that some money from electrical licensing had been going to the Fire Marshal's Office.  Laura Lynn Best, staff accountant, said that all the General Fund money has been redirected to the Division of Fire Prevention.  She said the office was providing baseline service and a hiring freeze had been in effect for the State Fire Marshal's Office due to fund restrictions.  Senator Buford asked how much money the office needed to sustain its services.  Ms. Best responded that the budget request for the next biennium was approximately $4 million.  Representative Palumbo asked for the definition of a "place of assembly."  Richard Pedigore, Assistant Fire Director said any place where more than 100 people are together.  Representative Rollins asked how much revenue would be produced from fees if the fee schedule was put into place.  Mr. Raby said those figures have not been calculated yet.


Next on the agenda, Richard Vincent, Executive Vice President, Associated General Contractors of Kentucky; Tom Underwood, Kentucky Fire Sprinkler Association; and Paul Gannoe, Director of the Division of Engineering and Contract Administration in the Finance Cabinet came before the committee to report on the implementation of HB 49 (2007), AN ACT relating to construction contracts.  Representative Jenkins called the members attention to a letter from Alicia Sells, Director of Governmental Relations, Kentucky School Board Association, on the bill's effects on school board construction.  Mr. Vincent thanked the members for the legislation which could be characterized as prompt pay legislation.  He said that construction associations and law firms are offering educational opportunities to those in the industry on changes mandated by the law.  As an example, he said that the Kentucky Construction Coalition, made up of subcontractors and general contractors representing both union and open shop employers, held a seminar on the bill in June, with approximately 150 people attending.  Mr. Vincent said that although the legislation was new and the contractors are in a transition period, they are looking forward to implementing the measures. He said that all association members will be updated and the general public will be made aware of the new law.  Tom Underwood said that his association was making material available to any construction entity.  Paul Gannoe said his division administered capital construction projects for the state.  He said that his agency was pleased with the end result adding that they too had sent out a brief outline of the bills effects on contract letting.  He said that the prompt payment, lien provision, and the retainage make the contracts more fair.  He said that staff has been trained and a mailing has been sent to agents advising them to contact staff with questions.


Senator Buford asked if the provision to exempt construction relating to facilities in excess of one billion dollars was adopted in the Free Conference Committee.  Mr. Vincent said that it was not included.  Senator Tapp asked if there was more than one way to contact distributors, other than workshops, to make them aware of what the legislation does.  Mr. Vincent said that his association is working with a law firm  on a package that can be distributed by any means, electronically, mail and other distribution houses. 


There being no further business to come before the meeting Representative Jenkins adjourned the meeting at 11:05 a.m.