Bill Text - SB407 (2012)

Establishing an office of professional licensure and transferring administrative and clerical operations of certain professional licensing and certification boards to the office.


Revision: March 8, 2012, midnight

SB 407-FN – AS INTRODUCED

2012 SESSION

12-3070

09/01

SENATE BILL 407-FN

AN ACT establishing an office of professional licensure and transferring administrative and clerical operations of certain professional licensing and certification boards to the office.

SPONSORS: Sen. Bradley, Dist 3

COMMITTEE: Finance

ANALYSIS

This bill establishes an office of professional licensure and transfers administrative and clerical operations of certain professional licensing and certification boards to the office.

This bill was requested by the office of the governor.

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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

12-3070

09/01

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twelve

AN ACT establishing an office of professional licensure and transferring administrative and clerical operations of certain professional licensing and certification boards to the office.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 Chapter Heading. The chapter heading of RSA 310-A is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

CHAPTER 310-A

OFFICE OF PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE

2 Office of Professional Licensure. RSA 310-A:1 and RSA 310-A:1-a are repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

310-A:1 Office of Professional Licensure Established. There shall be an office of professional licensure consisting of each of the members of the board of professional engineers, board of architects, state board of licensure for land surveyors, foresters’ board, board of professional geologists, board of natural scientists, board of landscape architects, board of court reporters, board of home inspectors, board of accountancy, real estate appraiser board, manufactured housing installation standards board, board of manufactured housing, real estate commission, plumbers board, electricians board, board of registration in optometry, board of podiatry, board of examiners of nursing home administrators, office of allied health professionals, board of chiropractic examiners, board of dental examiners, board of registration of funeral directors and embalmers, board of mental health practice, naturopathic board of examiners, board of hearing care providers, board of acupuncture, midwifery council, board of licensing for alcohol and other drug use professionals, board of licensed dieticians, electrology advisory committee, ophthalmic dispensers, advisory board of massage therapists, and advisory board of reflexology, structural integration, and Asian bodywork therapy.

310-A:1-a Office of Professional Licensure; Purpose. The purpose of the office of professional licensure is to promote efficiency and economy in the administration of the business processing, recordkeeping, and other administrative and clerical operations of professional licensing and certification boards. The individual professional licensing and certification boards that are organized under the office of professional licensure have specialized knowledge and experience and are separate and distinct for the purpose of regulating their various professions. Notwithstanding the unique regulatory role of each board, the legislature finds that there are significant economies and efficiencies in providing for the joint administration of the boards’ administrative, clerical, business processing, and recordkeeping functions. Except as provided in this chapter, the professional licensing and certification boards and entities organized under the office of professional licensure shall exercise the powers, duties, functions, and responsibilities granted by statute.

3 New Section; Administration of the Office of Professional Licensure. Amend RSA 310-A by inserting after section 1-a the following new section:

310-A:1-b Administration of the Office of Professional Licensure.

I. The office of professional licensure shall operate under the supervision of an unclassified executive director who shall be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the council, and shall serve for a term of 4 years.

II. The executive director shall be qualified by reason of professional competence, education, and experience. A vacancy shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment.

III. The salary of the executive director shall be as specified in RSA 94:1-a.

IV. The executive director of the office of professional licensure shall be responsible for:

(a) The performance of the administrative, clerical, and business processing responsibilities of the boards, commissions, and other entities within the office of professional licensure.

(b) Employment of such personnel needed to carry out the functions of the office of professional licensure.

(c) Issuance of a license or certification to any applicant who has met the requirements for licensure and denying a license or certification to applicants who do not meet the minimum qualifications for licensure.

(d) Maintenance of the official record of all applicants and licensees.

(e) Supervision, coordination, and assistance to the boards and entities in rulemaking, pursuant to RSA 541-A.

(f) Maintaining the confidentiality of information, documents, and files in accordance with RSA 91-A.

4 Executive Director of the Office of Professional Licensure; Salary. The position of executive director of the office of professional licensure shall be unclassified. The salary of the executive director shall be determined after assessment and review of the appropriate temporary letter grade allocation for the position for inclusion in RSA 94:1-a, I(b), which shall be conducted pursuant to RSA 94:1-d and RSA 14:14-c. The governor is hereby authorized to transfer such funds appropriated to the boards, councils, and commissions identified in RSA 310-A:1 as inserted by section 1 of this act for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 as necessary to pay the salary and benefits of the executive director upon appointment by the governor and executive council. The executive director shall be appointed by the governor and executive council no later than October 1, 2012 in order to allow the new executive director to undertake planning and preparation for the establishment of the office of professional licensure and consolidation of its members and staff.

5 Establishment of Classified Positions.

I. The classified position of administrator of the joint board is hereby eliminated. There shall be established at the office of professional licensure a classified position of administrator II. The person serving as administrator of the joint board immediately prior to the effective date of this section shall serve as a classified administrator II in the office of professional licensure.

II. The unclassified position of executive director of the real estate commission is hereby eliminated. There shall be established at the office of professional licensure a classified position of administrator II. The person serving as the unclassified executive director of the real estate commission immediately prior to the effective date of this section shall serve as a classified administrator II of the office of professional licensure. Any funds appropriated for the compensation of the executive director of the real estate commission shall be used for compensation of this administrator II classified position of the office of professional licensure.

III. The classified supervisor position at labor grade 21 at the office of licensed allied health professionals is hereby eliminated. There shall be established at the office of professional licensure a classified supervisory position at labor grade 21. The person serving in the supervisory position at the office of licensed allied health professionals pursuant to RSA 328-F:3, II immediately prior to the effective date of this section shall serve as a classified supervisor in the office of professional licensure.

6 New Sections; Advisory Council; Investigative Costs. Amend RSA 310-A by inserting after RSA 310-A:1-b the following new sections.

310-A:1-c Office of Professional Licensure; Advisory Council.

I. There is hereby established an advisory council on professional licensure. The council shall consist of 7 members who are all appointed by the governor and who shall be selected from the boards, commissions, and councils that are organized under the office of professional licensure. The members of the advisory council shall serve for a term of 2 years and are eligible to serve 2 consecutive terms. The chairperson of the advisory council shall be selected by the governor.

II. The advisory council shall meet as necessary. In performing its responsibilities, the advisory council may:

(a) Review and make recommendations relating to the adoption of administrative rules and legislation that affects the office of professional licensure.

(b) Make recommendations regarding the administration, policy, human resource management, and budget of the office of professional licensure.

310-A:1-d Investigative Costs. For any order issued in resolution of a disciplinary proceeding before a board or other entity within the office of professional licensure where the board or entity has found misconduct sufficient to support disciplinary action, including but not limited to a violation of its practice act law, administrative rule, or professional code of conduct, the board or entity may require the licensee, permittee, registrant, or certificate holder who is the subject of such finding to pay to the board or entity a sum not to exceed the reasonable cost of investigation and prosecution of the proceeding. This sum shall not exceed $5,000. This sum may be imposed in addition to any otherwise authorized administrative fines levied by the board or entity as part of the penalty. The investigative and prosecution costs shall be assessed by the board or entity and any sums recovered shall be retained as agency income by the office of professional licensure and disbursed for any future investigations of complaints and activities that violate its chapter or rules or professional code of conduct adopted by a board or entity within the office of professional licensing.

7 Real Estate Commission; Executive Director. Amend RSA 331-A:2, V to read as follows:

V. “Executive director” means the executive director of the [New Hampshire real estate commission] office of professional licensure.

8 New Paragraph; Real Estate Commission. Amend RSA 331-A:5 by inserting after paragraph IX the following new paragraph:

X. All administrative, clerical, and business processing functions of the commission shall be transferred to the office of professional licensure, established in RSA 310-A:1, on July 1, 2013.

9 Real Estate Commission; Transfer of Authority. The authority granted the executive director of the real estate commission under RSA 331-A:8, relative to the issuance and denial of licenses, hearing and proceedings on the denial of licenses, the hiring of clerical, administrative and investigative staff, maintenance of the official record, and implementation of a program for consumer education, is hereby transferred to the executive director of the office of professional licensure.

10 Board of Registration in Optometry. Amend RSA 327:2, IV to read as follows:

IV. [The board shall be an administratively attached agency, under RSA 21-G:10, to the department of health and human services. In addition, the board shall be subject to the provisions of RSA 126-A:10-a.] All administrative, clerical, and business processing functions of the board shall be transferred to the office of professional licensure, established in RSA 310-A:1, on July 1, 2013.

11 Board of Podiatry. RSA 315:1-a is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

315:1-a Administrative and Business Processing Functions. All administrative, clerical, and business processing functions of the board shall be transferred to the office of professional licensure, established in RSA 310-A:1, on July 1, 2013.

12 Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators. RSA 151-A:3, VI is repealed and reenacted as follows.

VI. All administrative, clerical, and business processing functions of the board shall be transferred to the office of professional licensure, established in RSA 310-A:1, on July 1, 2013.

13 Office of Allied Health Professionals. Amend RSA 328-F:3, II-III to read as follows:

II. The governing boards’ chairpersons or their appointees shall make up the board of directors of the office of licensed allied health professionals. The board of directors shall, subject to the rules adopted by the director of the division of personnel, have authority to [establish and fill a supervisory position at labor grade 21 and technical and clerical positions to run the office’s business in an efficient manner, and to] contract for the services of investigators and legal counsel. [The board of directors shall have the authority to delegate to the person in the supervisory position matters of administrative and personnel management.]

III. [There shall be an office of licensed allied health professionals established in Concord. It shall be an administratively attached agency, under RSA 21-G:10, to the department of health and human services. In addition, the board shall be subject to the provisions of RSA 126-A:10-a.] All administrative, clerical, and business processing functions of the office of allied health professionals shall be transferred to the office of professional licensure, established in RSA 310-A:1, on July 1, 2013.

14 Office of Allied Health Professionals; Board of Directors. RSA 328-F:12 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

328-F:12 Responsibilities of the Board of Directors.

I. The board of directors shall meet at least quarterly and more often if needed.

II. The board of directors shall provide a forum for practice issues arising in the allied health professions, but shall not set policy for the governing boards.

III. The board of directors annually shall submit to the governor a report of the transactions of the preceding year and a complete statement of the receipts and expenditures of the board.

IV. The board of directors shall receive and account for all moneys taken in by the governing boards pursuant to their respective practice acts, and shall pay such moneys to the state treasurer to be deposited into the general fund.

15 Board of Chiropractic Examiners. RSA 316-A:2, IV is repealed and reenacted as follows:

IV. All administrative, clerical, and business processing functions of the board shall be transferred to the office of professional licensure, established in RSA 310-A:1, on July 1, 2013.

16 Board of Dental Examiners. RSA 317-A:2, IV is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

IV. All administrative, clerical, and business processing functions of the board shall be transferred to the office of professional licensure, established in RSA 310-A:1, on July 1, 2013.

17 Board of Dental Examiners; Duties. Amend RSA 317-A:4, I(d) to read as follows:

(d) To obtain legal counsel, investigators, and such other assistance as may be required; [to make contracts and arrangements for the performance of administrative and similar services; and to establish compensation therefor;]

18 Board of Registration of Funeral Directors and Embalmers. RSA 325:2, IV is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

IV. All administrative, clerical, and business processing functions of the board shall be transferred to the office of professional licensure, established in RSA 310-A:1, on July 1, 2013.

19 Board of Registration of Funeral Directors and Embalmers. Amend RSA 325:10 to read as follows:

325:10 Secretary, Duties. The secretary of the board shall keep a record of all proceedings of the board, issue all notices and certificates and attest such papers and orders and perform such other duties as may be designated or directed by the board. [He may employ a clerk and expend for such employment a sum determined by the board.]

20 New Paragraph; Board of Mental Health Practice. Amend RSA 330-A:3 by inserting after paragraph II the following new paragraph:

III. All administrative, clerical, and business processing functions of the board shall be transferred to the office of professional licensure, established in RSA 310-A:1, on July 1, 2013.

21 Naturopathic Board of Examiners. RSA 328-E:7, VII is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

VII. All administrative, clerical, and business processing functions of the board shall be transferred to the office of professional licensure, established in RSA 310-A:1, on July 1, 2013.

22 Powers and Duties of the Board. Amend RSA 328-E:8, II-IV to read as follows:

II. [The board may appoint qualified personnel to administer any part or all of any examination provided for under this chapter.

III.] The board shall have the power to subpoena witnesses and administer oaths in any hearing or disciplinary proceedings, and to compel, by subpoena duces tecum, the production of papers and records.

[IV.] III. Witnesses summoned before the board shall be paid the same fees as witnesses summoned to appear before the superior court, and such summons shall have the same effect as though issued for appearance before such court.

23 Board of Hearing Care Providers. RSA 137-F:3, VIII is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

VIII. All administrative, clerical, and business processing functions of the board shall be transferred to the office of professional licensure, established in RSA 310-A:1, on July 1, 2013.

24 New Paragraph; Board of Acupuncture Licensing. Amend RSA 328-G:3 by inserting after paragraph IV the following new paragraph:

V. All administrative, clerical, and business processing functions of the board shall be transferred to the office of professional licensure, established in RSA 310-A:1, on July 1, 2013.

25 Board of Acupuncture Licensing. Amend RSA 328-G:8 to read as follows:

328-G:8 Disposition of Receipts. All moneys received by the board under this chapter shall be [paid to the administrator of the board, who shall give a receipt therefor and shall, at the end of each month, report to the commissioner of the department of health and human services the total amount of money received and deposit it with the state treasurer] deposited in the general fund.

26 Midwifery Council. RSA 326-D:3, III is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

III. All administrative, clerical, and business processing functions of the board shall be transferred to the office of professional licensure, established in RSA 310-A:1, on July 1, 2013.

27 Midwifery Council. Amend RSA 326-D:10 to read as follows:

326-D:10 Powers and Duties of Commissioner. The powers and duties of the commissioner shall include[:

I.] providing the public with such information, relative to certification in and the practice of midwifery, as the commissioner deems sufficient to enable the public to make informed decisions in selecting a competent midwife.

[II. Providing administrative services to the council created under this chapter.]

28 New Paragraph; Board of Licensing for Alcohol and Other Drug Use Professional. Amend RSA 330-C:3 by inserting after paragraph XV the following new paragraph:

XVI. All administrative, clerical, and business processing functions of the board shall be transferred to the office of professional licensure, established in RSA 310-A:1, on July 1, 2013.

29 Board of Licensing for Alcohol and Other Drug Use Professionals. Amend RSA 330-C:5, IX-XII to read as follows:

IX. [Obtain employees and assistants as may be necessary, in the opinion of the board, to administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter.

X.] Establish and collect fees required in this chapter.

[XI.] X. Submit an annual report to the commissioner of the department of health and human services summarizing the board’s proceedings and activities.

[XII.] XI. Select nationally recognized examinations that meet the requirements of this chapter.

30 Board of Licensed Dietitians. Amend RSA 326-H:7, VI to read as follows:

VI. [The board shall be an administratively attached agency, under RSA 21-G:10, to the department of health and human services. In addition, the board shall be subject to the provisions of RSA 126-A:10-a.] All administrative, clerical, and business processing functions of the board shall be transferred to the office of professional licensure, established in RSA 310-A:1, on July 1, 2013.

31 Plumbers’ Board. RSA 329-A:3, III is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

III. All administrative, clerical, and business processing functions of the board shall be transferred to the office of professional licensure, established in RSA 310-A:1, on July 1, 2013.

32 Plumbers’ Board. Amend RSA 329-A:6 to read as follows:

329-A:6 Receipts and Disbursements. The secretary of the board shall receive and account at least monthly for all moneys derived under the provisions of this chapter, and shall pay the same to the state treasurer. [The board may employ such clerical or other assistants as are necessary for the proper performance of its work, and may make expenditures from this fund for any purpose which, in the opinion of the board, is reasonably necessary for the proper performance of its duties under this chapter. Under no circumstances shall the total amount of payments made hereunder exceed the amount of the fees collected hereunder. Any balance in said account shall lapse at the end of each fiscal year.]

33 Electricians’ Board. RSA 319-C:4, IV is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

IV. All administrative, clerical, and business processing functions of the board shall be transferred to the office of professional licensure, established in RSA 310-A:1, on July 1, 2013.

34 Electricians’ Board. Amend RSA 319-C:5, I to read as follows:

I. The state fire marshal [and the board], with the approval of the commissioner of safety, shall be empowered to appoint such inspectors as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter. Any person so employed shall be under the administration and supervisory direction of the state fire marshal.

35 Electricians’ Board. Amend RSA 319-C:6-b to read as follows:

319-C:6-b Fees. The board[, with the approval of the commissioner of safety,] shall establish application fees for examination of applicants, fees for licensure, for renewal, and for late renewal of licenses to practice under this chapter, and for transcribing and transferring records and other services. The fee for examination shall not include fees charged by and paid to an examination entity approved by the board. The fees established by the board shall be sufficient to produce estimated revenues equal to 125 percent of the direct operating expenses of the board for the previous fiscal year. Fees collected shall be deposited in the fire standards and training and emergency medical services fund, established in RSA 21-P:12-d, and used for the purposes of operating expenses of the inspectors for the electricians’ board. Fees collected in excess of actual operating expenses of inspectors for the electrician’s board shall be deposited in the general fund as unrestricted revenue.

36 Transfer of Classified Personnel and Appropriations. All classified personnel of the joint board and all boards, councils, and committees identified in RSA 310-A:1 as of June 30, 2012 shall be transferred to the board of professional licensure as of July 1, 2013. All appropriations made for the joint board and all boards, councils, and committees listed in RSA 310-A:1 shall be transferred to the office of professional licensure as of July 1, 2013.

37 Repeal. The following are repealed:

I. RSA 327:2, V, relative to the office of the board of registration in optometry.

II. RSA 331-A:7, I, relative to the appointment of the executive director of the real estate commission.

III. RSA 331-A:6, relative to administrative attachment of the real estate commission.

IV. RSA 331-A:8, relative to the powers of the executive director of the real estate commission.

V. RSA 330-A:5, relative to the administrative attachment of the board of mental health practice.

VI. RSA 328-E:15, relative to certain administrative services provided to the naturopathic board of examiners.

VII. RSA 328-G:4, relative to the administrative attachment of the board of acupuncture licensing.

VIII. RSA 330-C:4, relative to the administrative attachment of the board of licensing for alcohol and other drug use professionals.

38 Effective Date.

I. Section 4 of this act shall take effect upon its passage.

II. The remainder of this act shall take effect July 1, 2013.

LBAO

12-3070

Revised 03/07/12

SB 407 FISCAL NOTE

AN ACT establishing an office of professional licensure and transferring administrative and clerical operations of certain professional licensing and certification boards to the office.

FISCAL IMPACT:

      The Joint Board of Licensure and Certification, Real Estate Commission, Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of Safety state this bill have an indeterminable impact on state revenues and expenditures in FY 2012 and each year thereafter. There will be no impact on county and local revenues or expenditures.

METHODOLOGY:

    The Joint Board of Licensure and Certification (Joint Board) and Real Estate Commission (Commission) state this bill establishes the Office of Professional Licensure (Office) and will have an indeterminable impact on state expenditures. The Joint Board and Commission state costs will include, but are not limited to, compensation expenses for the new unclassified director position and other costs associated with the establishment of the Office, such as relocation and information technology expenses. In addition, the Commission states this bill would convert its unclassified executive director position to a classified administrator II position. Under RSA 94:9, unclassified employees shall receive upon such cessation of employment three days' salary for each year of employment in or unclassified service. According to the Department this change would be treated as a separation from the unclassified position and be rehired to the classified position, which would result in an expenditure under RSA 94:9 of $32,119 in FY 2014.

    The Department of Health and Human Services states it currently performs certain administrative functions for several administratively attached professional licensing boards, and charges said boards for such services and under this bill several of those boards would be transferred to the Office of Professional Licensure. The Department states the functions are currently performed by one part-time employee who also performs other duties within the Department. The Department’s budget includes annual revenues from said boards of approximately $10,400 per year. Under this bill the Department would reduce its costs by this amount or utilize the part-time employee in functions funded by other sources, as it assumes the Office will perform the functions currently performed by this employee. The Department assumes employees of the boards and councils being transferred will move to the Office and will have no net fiscal impact.

    The Department of Safety states this bill transfers plumbers’ board and electricians’ board clerical and administrative functions to a newly established Office of Professional Licensure. The Department states under this bill revenue that funds the electrical inspectors will be deposited into the fire standards and training and emergency medical services fund (Fire & EMS Fund), with revenue in excess of actual operating expenses of the inspectors deposited into the state general fund. The Department is unable to estimate this increase to state general fund revenue. The Department also states under this bill four clerical positions, which are currently funded with general funds and agency income, would be transferred to the Office. The Department assumes these four positions would become entirely funded by general funds within the Office. In total, the Department states this bill would result in an increase to state general fund revenues and expenditures as well as a decrease to other fund revenues and expenditures.

None