Jerry Kopel

Dear Editor:

I'm so glad my columns on the five-bill limit for considering new occupations drew some attention from my good friends Speaker Russ George and President Ray Powers in the Aug.6 Statesman.

Sorry guys, but you are wrong. For example, the letter claims the five bill limitation has been met, then states "the other four bills highlighted in Jerry Kopel's article related to occupations and professions already regulated. These bills addressed real estate sales, commercial feed, school teachers and bail bond agents..all occupations or professions currently regulated to some degree."

Well, as of the start of 1999, I could be a time share salesman, commercial feed manufacturer, or commercial feed guarantor without any how-do-you-do to any legislative prohibition. And, as of the start of 1999, there were no such creatures as an "apprentice teacher" (and there still isn't) or "professional cash bail agent". Sure, there were surety agents, and cash bonding agents, but no professional cash bail agents.

Actually, there was one occupational law (that passed) which I had overlooked in my columns. This is SB 35 by Sen. Powers to regulate

"authorized quality assurance representatives" for manufactured housing and nonhousing units. No such animal existed prior to the 1999 session. It is new occupational regulation No. 10.

Russ and Ray are on the right track when they state "we should admit we have a problem --the statute is apparently ambiguous in part." But don't change the statute so that the Dept. of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) conducts no more than five Sunrise reviews of groups seeking regulation. That isn't the problem. In 1999, DORA only conducted two Sunrise reviews, naturopaths and manufactured housing. All the OTHER occupations presented in bill form IGNORED the law, by-passing the DORA review.

You can't constitutionally keep a legislator from introducing a bill on any subject, but you can by JOINT RULE, require the bill to undergo a DORA review BEFORE it is heard in committee. A couple of bills dying in committee will work wonders. Good luck to the Speaker and President on clearing up the problem.

Jerry Kopel

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