"An Act relating to the terms of members of boards and commissions that regulate businesses and professions and to the duties of the members of the State Board of Registration for Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyors."
I have introduced HB 252 by request of the State Board of Registration for Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyors (AELS Board), the regulatory board responsible for adopting regulations to ensure minimum competency of design professionals and to ensure the public health, safety and welfare is met. The AELS Board is also responsible for overseeing the scope of work practices of those professionals. Board members can serve a minimum of two full terms, and the bill would allow board members to serve a minimum of 6 years full years; and would enhance public health, safety, and welfare by allowing the AELS Board to require a mandatory continuing education program for continued professional competency. HB 252 would accomplish two things:
First, HB 252 modifies the existing term limit statute so that serving a partial term of less than two years would not represent a full term on the State Board of Registration for Architects, Engineers, and Land Surveyors defined under AS 08.48.021 but serving a partial term of two or more years would count as a full 4-year term. The AELS Board has, in the past, experienced problems with this statutory provision when a vacancy occurs but is not filled for some time. When an individual fills a partial term, it counts as a full term, no matter how short the partial term may be. This change would allow a Board member filling a partial term of less than two years, to serve the partial term, plus a full 8 years (two 4-year terms).
Second, the AELS Board requires statutory authority in order to adopt regulations concerning continuing education. The first recommendation cited in the Legislative Audit #08-20001-00 dated October 20, 2000 specified this ability be legislated to the AELS Board in order to help implement and maintain high standards in the professions they oversee. HB 252 would provide the AELS Board statutory authority under AS 08.48.101(a) to develop mandatory continuing education programs for the professions it serves. It is important to the Board that the statute not specifically mandate the Board to require a mandatory continuing education as a condition of licensure renewal, because in some instances professionals are already complying with continuing education requirements required by their professional societies. The AELS Board would work with the professional societies before developing any programs.