PA 12-143—sHB 5496

Program Review and Investigations Committee

Government Administration and Elections Committee

AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM REVIEW AND INVESTIGATIONS COMMITTEE REQUIRING COMMITTEES OF COGNIZANCE TO CONDUCT REVIEWS UNDER THE SUNSET LAW

SUMMARY: Under the prior sunset law, numerous licensing and regulatory state agencies and programs terminated on set dates unless the General Assembly reestablished them after the Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee (PRI) conducted a performance audit of each.

This act eliminates the automatic termination dates and instead establishes a staggered review schedule. It transfers, from PRI to the applicable joint standing committee of the General Assembly with cognizance, responsibility for reviewing the entities and programs. The committee of cognizance must conduct the review every ten years, rather than every four years as prior law required PRI to do.

The act repeals provisions rendered obsolete by the elimination of the automatic termination dates. It also makes technical and conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2012

PERFORMANCE AUDIT AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Under the act, a legislative committee, rather than PRI, must (1) review the public need for each specified entity or program under its jurisdiction according to established criteria and (2) report to the General Assembly its recommendations for terminating, reestablishing, modifying, or consolidating it. Toward that end, the act establishes procedures and associated deadlines, which Table 1 shows.

Table 1: Audit Procedures and Schedule

Action

Deadline

PRI provides each committee of cognizance with a form for collecting data using results-based measures, including the criteria the law establishes for determining public need and public interest

March 15th of the year preceding the year when the entity or program is scheduled for review

Applicable committee of cognizance provides the form to the state agency with oversight over the entity or program

July 1st of the year preceding the year when the entity or program is scheduled for review

State agency with oversight of the entity or program submits the completed form to the applicable committee of cognizance

January 15th of the year when the entity or program is scheduled for review

Staggered Review Schedule

The act divides the programs and entities scheduled for sunset into 10 groups. Under the review schedule, the applicable committees of cognizance must review the programs and entities in the first group by July 1, 2014 and an additional group by July 1 of each year that follows through 2023, at which point the schedule starts over.

Public Hearing, Report, and Recommendations

Prior law required the Government Administration and Elections Committee (GAE) to hold a public hearing before any governmental entity or program was terminated, modified, consolidated, or reestablished. It allowed, but did not require, the GAE Committee to make recommendations to the General Assembly concerning modification or consolidation.

The act instead requires the applicable committee of cognizance to hold the public hearing during the regular legislative session in the year that the program or entity is scheduled for review. After the applicable committee holds a public hearing, it must submit a report to the General Assembly with its recommendations. The committee may ask PRI to review the entity or program if it determines further review is necessary. PRI may grant or deny the request.

The act does not specify a deadline by which the applicable committee of cognizance must submit its report to the General Assembly. Previously, PRI had to submit its report by January 1st of the year in which affected entities and programs were scheduled for termination.

OLR Tracking: KS: SN-E: PF: eh