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J_LS_2021A 04/22/2021 08:03:37 AM Committee Summary

PUBLIC
STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
JOINT COMMITTEE COMMITTEE ON LEGAL SERVICES
Date 04/22/2021
Attendance
Buckner *
Cooke X
Gardner X
Herod *
Rodriguez X
Snyder X
Van Winkle X
Weissman X
Soper X
Lee X
Time 08:03:37 AM to 08:40:16 AM
Place Old State Library
This Meeting was called to order by Lee
This Report was prepared by Owen Colling
Hearing Items Action Taken
Discussion regarding soliciting attorneys to represent the General Assembly Committee Discussion Only
Discussion of Committee on Legal Services rules Committee Discussion Only

SB21-152 - Referred to the Committee of the Whole


08:04:30 AM  

Jennifer Berman, Managing Senior Attorney, Office of Legislative Legal Services, testified before the Committee. Ms. Berman explained the annual Rule Review Bill, SB 21-152, to the Committee.



08:07:00 AM
Motion Refer Senate Bill 21-152 to the Committee of the Whole.
Moved Soper
Seconded Weissman
Buckner Excused
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Herod Excused
Rodriguez Yes
Snyder Yes
Van Winkle Yes
Weissman Yes
Soper Yes
Lee Yes
Final YES: 8   NO: 0   EXC: 2   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS



Discussion regarding soliciting attorneys to represent the General Assembly - Committee Discussion Only


08:07:12 AM  

Sharon Eubanks, Director, Office of Legislative Legal Services, testified before the Committee. Ms. Eubanks discussed possible ways to expand the pool of attorneys who may represent the General Assembly and the possibility of increasing the hourly rate of compensation.

Representative Weissman discussed researching the rate of compensation and looking at what other states pay outside counsel and addressed the reason for seeking additional attorneys to add to the list of those the Committee may retain.

08:14:48 AM  

Senator Gardner suggested putting out a request for information for attorneys who might have interest in representing the General Assembly that requires a specific experience level and also discussed raising the hourly rate of compensation.

Representative Herod agreed with Senator Gardner about raising the hourly rate of compensation.

Representative Snyder suggested getting a compensation survey of attorneys that work in this area of law for the last 8 years.

Representative Weissman explained that only using an inflationary adjustment of the compensation rate might not raise it enough but that he would like to see more data.

Senator Cooke thanked the Office for exploring a way to expand the pool of attorneys.

Senator Gardner and Ms. Eubanks discussed the request for information and who should cull through that information. Senator Gardner also stated that he thinks a larger pool of attorneys is necessary.

08:25:07 AM  

Senator Lee asked the Office to gather information on the topic and come back with information and recommendations.

Representative Herod discussed keeping an eye on the capacity of the Office and why the General Assembly has needed to hire outside counsel.



Discussion of Committee on Legal Services rules - Committee Discussion Only


08:26:17 AM  

Julie Pelegrin, Deputy Director, Office of Legislative Legal Services, testified before the Committee. Ms. Pelegrin presented her memo outlining the technical changes that should be made to the Committee's rules and discussed whether the Committee would like the Office to redraft the rules. Ms. Pelegrin also discussed how the Committee's organic statute does not explicitly give procedural rulemaking authority to the Committee.

08:29:23 AM  

Senator Gardner discussed the technical changes staff suggested to the rules and his support for updating them. He also suggested specifically looking at the chair and vice-chair rules.

Representative Weissman suggested asking the Office to provide a draft of the updated rules and discussed the rules about the chair and vice-chair.

Representative Soper also discussed the chair and vice-chair rules.

Representative Snyder and Ms. Pelegrin discussed gender-neutral language.

Senator Lee requested that the Office redraft the rules based on the recommendations made by the Office and present the draft of the updated rules to the Committee at a future meeting.

08:35:30 AM  

Ms. Pelegrin explained what is on the agenda for the next meeting. Senator Gardner and Ms. Pelegrin discussed moving the May meeting up by a week or two.


08:40:16 AM   The committee adjourned.