Revision: Jan. 6, 2012, midnight
HB 458-FN-A – AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE
HOUSE BILL 458-FN-A
This bill establishes a “sunset law” for state of New Hampshire executive agency and judicial programs. It creates a joint legislative committee to review those programs, oversee the “sunset” process, and conduct an ongoing review of legislative oversight procedures.
The sunset committee is required to submit a termination schedule for all executive agency and judicial programs by January 1, 2013. Every program is scheduled for review every 8 years.
The bill also makes an appropriation for the start-up costs of the committee.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eleven
AN ACT establishing a sunset review process for executive agency and judicial programs and making an appropriation therefor.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 New Chapters; Sunset of Programs. Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 17-Q the following new chapters:
JOINT LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE ON REVIEW OF
EXECUTIVE AGENCY AND JUDICIAL PROGRAMS
17-R:1 Committee Established. There is hereby established a joint legislative committee on review of executive agency and judicial programs, which shall be known as the sunset committee.
17-R:2 Membership. The committee shall consist of 11 members, 6 of whom shall be representatives, 4 appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives and 2 appointed by the house minority leader, and 5 of whom shall be senators, 3 appointed by the president of the senate and 2 appointed by the senate minority leader. Members shall be appointed for their term of office, provided that all members shall be eligible for reappointment so long as they are qualified under the provisions of this section. Members shall be appointed no later than December 30 of the year of their election to the general court, except that vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term within 30 days of the creation of the vacancy, and the initial appointments under this chapter shall be made within 30 days of the effective date of this chapter. The members shall choose from their number a chairperson, provided that the chair shall rotate biennially between the house and senate members.
17-R:3 Meetings and Compensation. The committee shall meet on a regular stated date monthly and at such other times as the chair may call. The members shall not be compensated but shall receive legislative mileage for their attendance at committee meetings.
17-R:4 Duties. It shall be the duty of the committee to oversee the process of review of certain executive agency and judicial programs as provided in RSA 17-S. The committee shall annually review the list of executive agency and judicial programs exempted from the sunset process by RSA 17-S:4, and shall recommend to the legislature any amendment to said section the committee deems necessary. In addition, the committee shall conduct an ongoing review of legislative oversight procedures and make periodic reports of suggestions and recommendations in this regard to the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the senate.
17-R:5 Committee Sunset. The committee itself shall terminate on July 1, 2026, and shall be subject to review by the appropriate standing legislative committee every 8 years thereafter. This review shall, however, in no way preclude the ongoing review, by the committee, of the sunset process between the effective date of this chapter and July 1, 2021.
17-R:6 Assistants. The committee shall appoint and fix the compensation of such assistants as it needs to carry out its responsibilities and compensate them out of funds appropriated to the committee or out of funds appropriated to the general court as joint expenses. The committee is authorized to make such other expenditures as are necessary to carry out its duties under RSA 17-R and RSA 17-S.
LEGISLATIVE REVIEW OF EXECUTIVE AGENCY
AND JUDICIAL PROGRAMS
17-S:1 Popular Name. This chapter may be referred to as the “New Hampshire Sunset Act for Executive Agency and Judicial Programs.”
17-S:2 Definitions. As used in this chapter:
I. Agency names are those set forth in appendix A of the 2012-2013 budget manual issued by the department of administrative services budget office.
II. “Calendar day” means every day of the week including Sunday.
III. “Judicial programs” means programs within the judiciary that are funded by legislative appropriation, including the administrative office of the courts, the professional conduct committee, and the judicial conduct committee.
IV. “Sunset committee” means the joint legislative committee on review of executive agency and judicial programs established pursuant to RSA 17-R.
17-S:3 Review Dates Established. The first review date for an executive agency or judicial program is the termination date set forth in accordance with RSA 17-S:5, and each subsequent review date for a program is the date 8 years following the preceding review date, except for those agencies or programs designated in RSA 17-S:4.
17-S:4 Exemptions. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the following programs or entities:
I. Programs required by provisions of the New Hampshire constitution.
II. Programs within Laconia developmental services, the New Hampshire hospital, the New Hampshire home for the elderly, the state prison, the state library, the veterans’ home, and the youth development center.
III. Programs of the New Hampshire state retirement system.
17-S:5 Termination Schedule. Except as provided in RSA 17-S:4, all executive agency and judicial programs shall be terminated no later than July 1, 2020. No later than January 1, 2013, the committee shall submit legislation establishing a termination schedule for all agency and judicial programs leading up to the deadline. The legislation shall utilize agency program names as defined under this chapter.
17-S:6 Committee Jurisdiction for Review. On or before July 1, 2013, the sunset committee shall submit to the house and senate, for each program to be reviewed under RSA 17-S:5, a report setting forth the committee of each house which has legislative jurisdiction over that agency or judicial program.
17-S:7 Phasing Out of Agency or Judicial Program.
I. Any program which is not renewed in accordance with RSA 17-S:8 prior to the deadlines established by RSA 17-S:5 shall continue in existence for 9 months following that deadline for the purpose of completing its functions. During this period the powers or authority of the agency or the judiciary relative to the program shall not be limited or reduced. During this period appropriations for the program shall not exceed the amount appropriated for the final 9 months of the preceding fiscal year for that program. Upon expiration of this 9-month period, the agency or the judiciary shall cease all activities of that program.
II. Upon the expiration of the 9-month period provided in paragraph I of this section for any agency to end the activities of the program, the sunset committee shall submit appropriate legislation to repeal the RSA statutory provisions relative to that agency program.
17-S:8 Renewal Procedure.
I. The review and evaluation outlined under this section shall have as its objective the elimination of executive agency and judicial programs which have insufficient funding to specifically and completely perform the functions which are assigned to the program by statute or by rule.
II. Not later than the third legislative day of each regular legislative session, the sunset committee shall submit to the relevant committees of the house and senate, as determined by RSA 17-S:6, a report for each program scheduled for review during that year. In preparing the report, the sunset committee shall work in consultation with the relevant house and senate committees. The report shall include but not be limited to the following:
(a) The law or rule under which the program was created and carries on its activities.
(b) The amount of the appropriation for the program for each of the past 6 fiscal years.
(c) An examination of the cost and effectiveness of the agency program, in relation to the appropriations made for the program.
(d) An examination of the extent to which the objectives of the program under review have been achieved when compared to the objectives initially set forth for the program under review and an analysis of any significant variance between projected and actual performance.
(e) An examination of whether funding for the program is sufficient to meet the objectives listed in subparagraph (d).
(g) The program’s progress toward applying the benefits, economies, and efficiencies of computer processing to its operations, if and where applicable.
III. No later than 15 business days from receipt of the sunset committee’s report, the standing committee of the house to which it was referred shall hold a public hearing at which the agency or the judiciary shall testify whether or not the programs under review should be eliminated. Not later than 14 calendar days after the hearing the committee shall report to the house its recommendations as to the programs. Such report shall include a statement of whether the program has sufficient funding to accomplish its objectives, and the recommendation of the committee with respect to the elimination of the program. If the committee recommends renewal of the program it shall do so in the form of a bill which shall extend the life of the program for 8 years, commencing with the next termination date.
IV. After house action on any bill resulting from the committee report outlined in paragraph III of this section, the respective senate committee shall consider the reports of the sunset committee and the house committee, and shall hold a public hearing not later than the thirtieth legislative day. Said committee shall report its recommendations as to the agency or the judiciary not later than 14 calendar days after the public hearing. The report of the senate committee shall meet the same guidelines as set forth for the report of the house committee in paragraph III of this section. If the house had passed a bill renewing the program, the senate committee shall report that bill to the full senate together with its report, whether or not the senate committee recommends renewal of the agency or judicial program.
V. If one house refuses to pass a bill renewing the agency or judicial program by the fortieth legislative day, a committee of conference shall be appointed in accordance with house, senate, and joint rules. Said committee shall report its recommendations to both houses not later than 5 legislative days after its formation. If both houses refuse to pass a bill renewing a program, or if a committee of conference report recommending renewal is not adopted by both houses by the termination date set forth in RSA 17-S:5, the program shall be terminated and shall conduct its operations in accordance with RSA 17-S:7.
VI. No bill shall renew more than one program identified for review under the provisions of RSA 17-S:5. All committees of both houses are required to report all bills renewing executive agency or judicial programs to the full house or senate. No bill, resolution, or amendment thereto, renewing or extending any agency or judicial program shall be considered in either house until after the standing committee overseeing the program has submitted the report, required by paragraphs III and IV, to that house.
17-S:9 Rights of Citizens and Employees. This chapter shall not cause the dismissal of any claim or right of a citizen against any agency or the judiciary. Nor shall it cause the dismissal of any claim or right arising under an agency or judicial program terminated pursuant to this chapter which is subject to litigation. Such claims and rights shall be assumed by the attorney general or the judicial branch, as appropriate. Nothing in this chapter shall interfere with the general court otherwise considering legislation on any agency or judicial program, or similar entity. All officers and employees of any program terminated in accordance with this chapter shall be accorded first preference for any available jobs in the state service for which they qualify.
17-S:10 Effect of Termination on Obligations.
I. If a program is terminated pursuant to this chapter when there are outstanding any bonds, notes, bond anticipation notes, debentures, interim certificates, or other evidences of financial indebtedness (collective “obligations”) issued by such agency in connection with such programs:
(a) All duties, functions, responsibilities, and rights relating to the payment or securing the payment of such obligations shall pass to the state and be performed by and through the state treasurer; and
(b) Any property then held by such agency or in connection with such program shall then also pass to the state.
II. The passing of obligations and rights in accordance with this section shall not increase or diminish them and the faith and credit of the state shall not thereby be pledged to the payment of any such obligation.
2 Budget and Appropriations; Revolving Funds; Requests for Appropriations and Statement of Objectives; Information Required for Legislative Review. Amend RSA 9:4, I to read as follows:
I. On or before October 1 prior to each biennial legislative session, all departments of the state shall transmit to the commissioner of administrative services, on blanks to be furnished by the commissioner, estimates of their expenditure requirements for each fiscal year of the ensuing biennium for administration, operation maintenance expenditure, and program services, including costs for workers’ compensation and unemployment compensation. In addition, all departments of the state which have programs subject to legislative review under RSA 17-S during the next regular legislative session shall submit a detailed statement of their program goals and objectives during the next 2 fiscal years. In case of the failure of any department to submit such estimates within the time above specified, the commissioner of administrative services shall cause to be prepared such estimates for such department as in the commissioner’s opinion are reasonable and proper.
3 Budget and Appropriations; Revolving Funds; Judicial Branch Budget; Information Required for Legislative Review. Amend RSA 9:4-a to read as follows:
9:4-a Judicial Branch Budget. The supreme court, the superior court, and the probate judges shall prepare their own budgets and the budgets of their respective components, which they shall deliver to the chief justice of the supreme court for transmittal to the speaker of the house, the president of the senate, the house finance committee, and the senate finance committee, for review and processing by the legislature according to the same time schedule for budgetary review and analysis required of executive agencies. In addition, all judicial programs subject to legislative review under RSA 17-S during the next regular legislative session shall submit a detailed statement of their program goals and objectives during the next 2 fiscal years. A copy of said transmittal shall be forwarded to the superior court and probate judges. The judicial branch budgets shall be prepared upon forms and according to procedures prescribed by the commissioner of administrative services. The budget request documents and such additional information as may be requested shall be submitted to the commissioner of administrative services to be included in the governor’s budget in the amounts requested, and with such comments as the governor deems appropriate.
4 Appropriation. The sum of $1 is hereby appropriated to the joint legislative committee on review of executive agency and judicial programs for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, for the purposes of this act. The sum hereby appropriated is continuing and shall not lapse. The governor is authorized to draw a warrant for said sum out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated.
5 Effective Date. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.
HB 458 FISCAL NOTE
AN ACT establishing a sunset review process for executive agency and judicial programs and making an appropriation therefor.
The Legislative Branch and the Judicial Branch state this bill may have an indeterminable impact on state expenditures in FY 2012 and each fiscal year thereafter. There will be no impact on state revenues or county and local revenues or expenditures.
The Office of Legislative Budget Assistant is awaiting information from the Department of Administrative Services relative to the potential fiscal impact of this bill. The Department was initially contacted on 12/09/10 and most recently contacted on 06/12/11.
The Legislative Branch states this bill would establish a joint legislative committee on review of agency and judicial programs. This bill establishes RSA 17-R:6, which authorizes the committee to appoint and fix the compensation of assistants needed to carry out its responsibilities and compensate them from funds appropriated to the committee or out of funds appropriated to the general court as joint expenses. The Legislative Branch is unable to determine the fiscal impact of this bill as the number of potential assistants and their compensation is not known.
The Judicial Branch states this bill would enact RSA 17-R and 17-S, establishing a legislative review process for executive agency and judicial programs. The Branch states this bill requires Branch representatives to testify before a House committee on the question of whether judicial programs under review should be eliminated and also requires the Judicial Branch, as part of its biennial budget submission, submit a detailed statement of the goals and objectives of all judicial programs subject to the “sunset” process during the next regular legislative session. The Branch states these two direct requirements would be unlikely to exceed a fiscal impact of $10,000. However, the Branch states it would have preparation costs in its work with the committees set up under this bill. The Branch states such indirect costs could exceed a fiscal impact of greater than $10,000. The Branch is unable to provide a more definitive estimate of the fiscal impact of this bill as it does not know what would be considered a “judicial program”.
This bill appropriates $1 in FY 2012 from the general fund to the joint legislative committee on review of executive and judicial programs for the purposes of this act.