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Legislative Audit Commission

Topic Selection Subcommittee

Minutes

March 27, 1998

The meeting of the Legislative Audit Commission Topic Selection Subcommittee was called to order by Senator Deanna Wiener on Friday, March 27, 1998 at 8:35 a.m. in room G-21 State Capitol.

Members present:

Representative Lynda Boudreau    Senator Sheila Kiscaden
Representative Mindy Greiling Senator David Knutson
Representative Dan McElroy Senator Alan Spear
Senator Deanna Wiener

Members not present:

Representative Mary Jo McGuire

Senator Wiener recognized Roger Brooks, Deputy Legislative Auditor for Program Evaluation. Mr. Brooks reviewed the results of a survey of legislators on topic interest, as well as two crime-related topics mandated in legislation. He indicated that staff would be able to work on five major topics, and suggested that the Commission select one or two smaller studies to be worked on when those are completed but before the new topics are selected next year.

Senator Wiener indicated that Senator Pogemiller had expressed concern to her over the timeliness of the reports in that a number are released toward the end of the session. There was some discussion about timelines and delays in the topic selection process the first year of every session because of the time it takes to appoint members to the Commission.

There was considerable discussion about the effect of legislation mandating evaluation studies, and Senator Wiener asked Commission members to encourage other legislators to acknowledge the topic selection process. Mr. Brooks indicated that adding more studies would stretch experienced staff, and if the office were to contract for a study, it would lose credibility. Senator Wiener indicated that a bill had been introduced that would allow the Commission to override any mandates. She noted that it did not get heard, but suggested it be introduced each year. Senator Knutson suggested the Commission Chair send a memo to all members of the Legislature, asking that they acknowledge the Commission’s topic selection process. Representative Greiling suggested that this be made a part of the joint Senate-House rules.

After discussion about available resources and the thirteen topics included in the survey, two mandated crime-related topics, and a topic suggested in legislation several years ago, it was agreed that the Subcommittee would direct Program Evaluation Division staff to complete evaluation proposals on the following topics: juvenile out-of-home placements, regulatory boards, state building code, feedlot regulation, metropolitan mosquito control; and background papers on the cost of crime (legislative mandate), a study of bail procedures (legislative mandate), and PCA administrative penalty orders (requested for consideration in previous legislation). These will be recommended to the full Legislative Audit Commission.

The meeting adjourned at 10:00 a.m.

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Senator Deanna Wiener, Chair

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Jean Barnhill, Recording Secretary

 

Mentioned

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