|SYNOPSIS:||Under existing law, the Alabama Sunset Committee is responsible for periodically reviewing state professional licensing boards, agencies, and commissions.|
|This bill would create the Alabama Sunrise Act to require the Sunset Committee to review proposals for the regulation of additional professions or occupations and the necessity and cost-effectiveness of the proposed regulation to protect the public health, safety, or welfare from significant and discernible harm or damage.|
To create the Alabama Sunrise Act; to add Section 41-20-4.1 to the Code of Alabama 1975, to require the Sunset Committee to review proposals for the regulation of additional professions or occupations and the necessity and cost-effectiveness of the proposed regulation to protect the public health, safety, or welfare from significant and discernible harm or damage.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:
Section 1. Section 41-20-4.1 is added to the Code of Alabama 1975, to read as follows:
(a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the Alabama Sunrise Act.
(b) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) That no profession or occupation be subject to regulation by the state unless the regulation is necessary to protect the public health, safety, or welfare from significant and discernible harm or damage and that the police power of the state be exercised only to the extent necessary for that purpose.
(2) That no profession or occupation be regulated by the state in a manner that unnecessarily restricts entry into the practice of the profession or occupation or adversely affects the availability of the professional or occupational services to the public.
(c) In determining whether to regulate a profession or occupation, the Legislature shall consider all of the following factors:
(1) Whether the unregulated practice of the profession or occupation will substantially harm or endanger the public health, safety, or welfare, and whether the potential for harm is recognizable and not remote.
(2) Whether the practice of the profession or occupation requires specialized skill or training, and whether that skill or training is readily measurable or quantifiable so that examination or training requirements would reasonably assure initial and continuing professional or occupational ability.
(3) Whether the regulation will have an unreasonable effect on job creation or job retention in the state or will place unreasonable restrictions on the ability of individuals who seek to practice or who are practicing a given profession or occupation to find employment.
(4) Whether the public is or can be effectively protected by other means.
(5) Whether the overall cost-effectiveness and economic impact of the proposed regulation, including the indirect costs to consumers, will be favorable.
(d) The proponents of legislation that provides for the regulation of a profession or occupation not already expressly subject to state regulation, upon request, shall provide all of the following information in writing to the Sunset Committee:
(1) The number of individuals or businesses that would be subject to the regulation.
(2) The name of each association that represents members of the profession or occupation, together with a copy of its code of ethics or conduct.
(3) Documentation of the nature and extent of the harm to the public caused by the unregulated practice of the profession or occupation, including a description of any complaints that have been lodged against persons who have practiced the profession or occupation in this state during the preceding three years.
(4) A list of states that regulate the profession or occupation, and the dates of enactment of each law providing for that regulation and a copy of each law.
(5) A list and description of state and federal laws that have been enacted to protect the public with respect to the profession or occupation and a statement of the reasons why these laws have not proven adequate to protect the public.
(6) A description of the voluntary efforts made by members of the profession or occupation to protect the public and a statement of the reasons why these efforts are not adequate to protect the public.
(7) A copy of any federal legislation mandating regulation.
(8) An explanation of the reasons why other types of less restrictive regulation would not effectively protect the public.
(9) The cost, availability, and appropriateness of training and examination requirements.
(10) The cost of regulation, including the indirect cost to consumers, and the method proposed to finance the regulation.
(11) The cost imposed on applicants or practitioners or on employers of applicants or practitioners as a result of the regulation.
(12) The details of any previous efforts in this state to implement regulation of the profession or occupation.
(13) Any other information the Sunset Committee considers relevant to the analysis of the proposed legislation.
(e) The Sunset Committee shall provide the Legislature with information concerning the effect of proposed legislation that provides for new regulation of a profession or occupation regarding all of the following:
(1) The departmental resources necessary to implement and enforce the proposed regulation.
(2) The technical sufficiency of the proposal for regulation, including its consistency with the regulation of other professions and occupations under existing law.
(3) If applicable, any alternatives to the proposed regulation which may result in a less restrictive or more cost-effective regulatory scheme.
(f) When making a recommendation concerning proposed legislation providing for new regulation of a profession or occupation, the Sunset Committee shall determine all of the following:
(1) Whether the regulation is justified based on the criteria specified in subsection (c), the information submitted pursuant to request under subsection (d), and the information provided under subsection (e).
(2) The least restrictive and most cost-effective regulatory scheme that will adequately protect the public.
(3) The technical sufficiency of the proposed legislation, including its consistency with the regulation of other professions and occupations under existing law.
(g) The Department of Examiners of Public Accounts and the Legal and Fiscal Divisions of the Legislative Services Agency shall provide assistance to the Sunset Committee in completing the sunrise process specified in this section.
Section 2. This act shall become effective on the first day of the third month following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law.