41-2954. Committees of reference; performance review reports; hearings; recommendations; subpoena powers

A. Each standing committee of both legislative houses shall constitute a committee of reference in the committee's respective subject matter areas and the committee's respective house.

B. After receipt of the preliminary sunset review report, each committee of reference or each committee of reference meeting jointly shall hold at least one public hearing when the legislature is not in session or before the third Friday in January to receive testimony from the public and from the officials of the agency involved.  The agency involved shall prepare a presentation for the first public meeting that addresses the elements of the written statement required by subsection F of this section.

C. Each committee of reference shall hold public hearings for the following purposes:

1. To determine the actual need of the agency to regulate or direct the particular activity.

2. To determine the extent to which the statutory requirements of the agency are necessary and are being met.

3. To receive testimony from the public as to the relationship of the agency with the public.

4. To receive testimony from the executive director or other head of the agency as to reasons for the continuation of the agency.

D. Each committee of reference shall consider but not be limited to the following factors in determining the need for continuation or termination of each agency:

1. The objective and purpose in establishing the agency and the extent to which the objective and purpose are met by private enterprises in other states.

2. The extent to which the agency has met its statutory objective and purpose and the efficiency with which it has operated.

3. The extent to which the agency serves the entire state rather than specific interests.

4. The extent to which rules adopted by the agency are consistent with the legislative mandate.

5. The extent to which the agency has encouraged input from the public before adopting its rules and the extent to which it has informed the public as to its actions and the expected impact on the public.

6. The extent to which the agency has been able to investigate and resolve complaints that are within its jurisdiction.

7. The extent to which the attorney general or any other applicable agency of state government has the authority to prosecute actions under the enabling legislation.

8. The extent to which agencies have addressed deficiencies in their enabling statutes that prevent them from fulfilling their statutory mandate.

9. The extent to which changes are necessary in the laws of the agency to adequately comply with the factors listed in this subsection.

10. The extent to which the termination of the agency would significantly affect the public health, safety or welfare.

11. The extent to which the level of regulation exercised by the agency compares to other states and is appropriate and whether less or more stringent levels of regulation would be appropriate.

12. The extent to which the agency has used private contractors in the performance of its duties as compared to other states and how more effective use of private contractors could be accomplished.

13. The extent to which the agency potentially creates unexpected negative consequences that might require additional review by the committee of reference, including increasing the price of goods, affecting the availability of services, limiting the abilities of individuals and businesses to operate efficiently and increasing the cost of government.

E. The committee of reference shall deliver the final sunset review report of its recommendations to the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, the governor, the auditor general and the affected agency on or before the third Friday in January. Such recommendations shall include one of the following:

1. That the state agency be continued.

2. That the state agency be revised or consolidated.

3. That the state agency be terminated pursuant to this chapter.

F. The final sunset review report by each committee of reference shall also include a written statement prepared by the agency involved that contains:

1. An identification of the problem or the needs that the agency is intended to address.

2. A statement, to the extent practicable, in quantitative and qualitative terms, of the objectives of such agency and its anticipated accomplishments.

3. An identification of any other agencies having similar, conflicting or duplicate objectives, and an explanation of the manner in which the agency avoids duplication or conflict with other such agencies.

4. An assessment of the consequences of eliminating the agency or of consolidating it with another agency.

G. Each committee of reference shall oversee the preparation of any proposed legislation to implement the recommendations of that committee of reference and is responsible for the introduction of such legislation.

H. If an agency is continued, it is not necessary to reappoint any member of the governing board or commission of the agency. Such members are eligible to complete their original terms without reappointment or reconfirmation.

I. Each committee of reference shall have the power of legislative subpoena pursuant to chapter 7, article 4 of this title.