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the minimum capital and surplus required of a stock company, 2 and the minimum surplus required of a mutual or reciprocal 3 company, or of a Lloyd's organization by the laws of the Dis
4 trict heretofore applicable shall not be increased by this sub5 section, and provided also that in the case of such continuously 6 authorized companies the provisions of section 24 relating 7 to the names of companies, and the provisions of section 25
8 relating to the amount of surplus necessary to the issuance
9 of policies having no provision for contingent liability, shall 10 not be applicable.” 11 SEC. 402. Section 25 of chapter II of the Fire and 12 Casualty Act (54 Stat. 1070; D.C. Code, sec. 35–1329) is 13 amended by striking out the figure “$300,000” and inserting 14 in lieu thereof the figure “$600,000”. 15 TITLE V-AMENDMENT OF AMOUNT OF CON
19 SEC. 501. The Act approved June 28, 1906 (34 Stat. 20 546), as amended (D.C. Code, sec. 1-805), is amended by 21 striking out the figure “$2,000” wherever it appears therein 22 and inserting in lieu thereof the figure “$10,000”.
Senator STEVENSON. The first witness will be Mr. Graham Watt, Deputy Mayor-Commissioner of the District of Columbia.
STATEMENT OF GRAHAM W. WATT, DEPUTY MAYOR-COMMIS
SIONER, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Mr. WATT. Good morning, Senator.
Mr. Chairman, if I may, before beginning my prepared statement, I would like to take this opportunity to express once again, at this time, publicly, the very great appreciation that we of the District government have of the concern which you have shown to our numerous legislative proposals affecting the District of Columbia. You and other members of this committee are certainly to be commended for your efforts, and we do commend you for your work on behalf of your other constituency, if I may so refer to the citizens of the District of Columbia. We also express our appreciation to the very competent staff of the Senate committee, and to those members of your personal staff, who have concerned themselves with District affairs, because of the number of bills which are before you this morning.
Now, I have intentionally made my prepared remarks very brief.
Should you have questions as we proceed, I have representatives of a number of District departments and agencies who can respond to your questions on the varying bills.
In each case my statement is accompanied by additional appended material which I would like to, at the appropriate time, submit for the record and for the use of the committee.
I will begin with S. 1363, which is the proposed District of Columbia Licensing Procedures Act.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I thank you for the opportunity to appear today to testify on S. 1363, the proposed District of Columbia Licensing Procedures Act.
The bill is identical to legislation submitted to the Congress by the Commissioner on January 29, 1971, and I would ask that a copy of the Commissioner's transmittal letter and related material be included in the record.
Senator STEVENSON. It will be so entered.
THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,
Washington, D.C., January 29, 1971, The PRESIDENT, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: The Commissioner of the District of Columbia has the honor to submit for the consideration of the Congress a draft bill “To revise and modernize the licensing by the District of Columbia of persons engaged in certain occupations, professions, businesses, trades, and callings, and for other purposes." A section-by-section analysis and a statement of purpose and justification of the provisions of the bill are also included.
The purpose of this proposed legislation was stated by the President April 28, 1969 in his message to the Congress, recommending legislation for the District of Columbia, as follows:
“The Reorganization Plan which established the present government [of the District of Columbia] left to Congress many mundane municipal functions which are burdensome chores to it but important functions for good local government. At present, Congress must allot a portion of its legislative calendar to setting ordinances for the District of Columbia, in effect performing the duties of a local City Council for the Capital. It thus deals with matters which are of little or no importance to the nation as a whole
the setting of a fee, for example, to redeem a dog from the city pound. The concerns of the District are frequently shunted aside to allow for higher-priority legislative business. 'No policy can be worse than to mingle great and small concerns,' argued Augustus Woodward, one of the founders of our city, when Congress considered establishing a territorial form of government in 1800. 'The latter become absorbed in the former, are neglected and forgotten.'
“Legislation will be proposed to transfer a number of specific authorities to the District Government–including authority to ... modernize the licensing of various businesses, occupations and professions." (Emphasis and bracketed language supplied)
The Commissioner of the District of Columbia accordingly proposes that the Congress enact legislation to vest in the District of Columbia Council authority to make regulations from time to time, as appropriate, upgrading the qualification requirements for a number of licenses, modernizing procedures and making such procedures as uniform as possible, modifying the grounds for suspension or revocation of these licenses, and increasing or decreasing fees connected with the issuance of such licenses.
The Commissioner strongly urges favorable consideration of this legislation, not only in order to relieve the Congress of the chore of involving itself in the details of the licensing of the various professions, occupations, businesses, trades, and callings affected by the bill, but also in order to vest in the municipal government of the District of Columbia more responsibility in local matters. The District of Columbia Council has expressed its support for this legislation. Sincerely yours,
GRAHAM W. WATT,
Assistant to the Commissioner (For Walter E. Washington, Commissioner).
The bill consists of two titles. The first title (which by its first section, is denominated the “District of Columbia Licensing Procedures Act”) provides for the revision and modernization of the twenty-one Acts of Congress specified in section 104 of the title. The second section of this title is a declaration of policy stating that the Congress finds it desirable that the District revise and modernize procedures relating to the licensing of persons engaged in certain occupations, professions, businesses, trades, and callings, and that such licensing procedures shall be made as nearly uniform as may be feasible. The third section of the title authorizes the kinds of action the District may take in connection with the revision and modernization of these Acts. The fourth section of the title lists the twenty-one Acts of Congress which the District is empowered to revise and modernize. The fifth section of the title has the effect of transferring to the District from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia the function of denying, suspending, or revoking licenses issued under the authority of four specified Acts of Congress. Finally, a sixth section of the title provides that prosecutions for the violation of any of the Acts of Congress or parts of Acts specified in section 104, except the Healing Arts Practice Act, shall be conducted in the name of the District of Columbia by the Corporation Counsel. Prosecutions for violations of the Healing Arts Practice Act would continue to be conducted by the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, in view of the fact that the third and subsequent violations of such Act, are felonies.
Title II amends existing law, provides a saving clause, and establishes the effective date of the bill. The title's first section amends the Act of June 5, 1953, authorizing the District to fix certain licensing and registration fees, so as to permit the District to take necessary action to revise and modernize the fee schedule applicable to services or functions which the District of Columbia may perform in connection with the administration of the Acts of Congress specified in section 104 of the bill. Section 201 authorizes the District, where appropriate, to increase or decrease fees to such amounts as the Council determines after public hearing to be reasonable in consideration of the interests of the public and the persons required to pay the fee and in consideration of the approximate costs of administering each of the District's statutory duties related to the activity for which the fee is charged. The second section provides a savings clause, and the third section establishes the effective date of the Act as the first day of the first month which begins at least 30 days after its approval.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND JUSTIFICATION
Physicians, dentists, dental hygienists, registered nurses, practical nurses, physical therapists, optometrists, pharmacists, psychologists, podiatrists, veterinarians, certified public accountants, architects, barbers, persons participating in boxing contests, cosmetologists, plumbers and gas fitters, steam engineers, professional engineers, real estate and business chance brokers and salemen, undertakers, and electrical and refrigeration and air conditioning contractors are licensed, registered, or certified, as the case may be, under the authority of twenty-one Acts of Congress. The earliest of these Acts was enacted in 1887. The most recent was enacted in 1970. Thirteen of the Acts were enacted before 1939, while eight were enacted since 1944. The Commissioner believes that it may readily be appreciated that there is considerable need to modernize many if not all of these Acts which were enacted more than twelve years ago; i.e., seventeen of the twenty-one Acts.
From time to time, action is initiated by persons interested in a particular profession, occupation, business, trade, or calling to revise the Act of Congress relating to such profession, occupation, business, trade, or calling. These revisions may range from a complete rewriting of an Act (such as has been proposed by the pharmacists, the optometrists, the cosmetologists, the barbers, and the real estate brokers and salesmen) down to such a simple matter as permitting the acceptance of the results of national board examinations in connection with the licensing of podiatrists. The number of Acts involved, and the need for revising them to meet changing needs, inevitably results in the submission to each Congress of requests for such changes.
The principal problems confronting the Government of the District of Columbia and the persons affected by these Acts of Congress are lack of uniformity in the methods and procedures prescribed by such Acts, and certain obsolescent or inadequate standards and requirements established by them. In the eighty-three year span between the earliest of the Acts and the most recent, the many Congresses have prescribed a variety of standards, requirements, and procedures which, by reason of their lack of uniformity, create difficulties in the administration and application of such Acts. Particularly affected by this lack of uniformity are those attorneys who may be retained by persons contesting the proposed denial, suspension, or revocation of a license, certificate, or registration. since an attorney so retained, rather than being able to rely on a standard. uniform procedure, must make sure that whatever action he takes conforms with the particular requirements of the applicable statute. Further, he must also familia rize himself with the regulations adopted under the authority of such statute, and these in turn, because of the requirements of the statute under which they are adopted, may also vary from regulations issued under the authority of other of the twenty-one Acts of Congress. In the August 1963 issue of the Journal of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia, in an article by Marion Edwyn Harrison, Esquire, entitled “Licensing Procedures in the District of Columbia" (pages 395-411), the situation which has come to exist is described as follows (page 402) :
“V. A POTPOURRI OF PROCEDURES: THE DEPARTMENT OF OCCUPATIONS AND
"Occupation and Professions in its present form was created by Reorganization Order No. 59 (1953), since amended, and it is an interesting and varied collection of committees, commissions and boards with varying procedures, published and unpublished, and existing pursuant to various statutes and regulations. This variety stems partially from the collection of statutory enactments, seemingly created almost willy-nilly by Congress, and partly from the fact that the various committees, commissions and boards do not appear to correlate their activities or unduly to be aware of the existence of each other."
The other principal problem is that relating to the standards and requirements established by the various Acts. Certain of them do not prescribe educational or experiential qualifications best designed to meet the needs of the public, as measured by present-day standards. Other standards relating to the grounds for the suspension or revocation of licenses are, in the view of the Commissioner, inadequate to protect the public interest. It is the recommendation of the Commissioner that, in order to meet the needs of the public and to protect its interests, the District be given authoriy to take action to improve and up-grade the educational and experiential requirements of the various Acts, and to prescribe, for the suspension or revocation of licenses, standards which will adequately protect the interests of the general public.
The Commissioner believes there is considerable need to revise and modernize most of the twenty-one Acts of Congress providing for the licensing, registration, or certification of persons engaging in certain professions, occupations, businesses, trades, or callings. The Commissioner believes, however, that even were the Congress able to undertake and accomplish a thorough, full-scale revision and modernization of these Acts, the needs of the public would not fully be met, since the piecemeal revision and modernization of these Acts would very likely continue in existence the present lack of uniformity in standards, requirements, and procedures. Further, the Commissioner believes that there is need for consolidating, in one publication, a particular licensing act and the regulations issued under the authority of such Act, so that persons affected thereby may readily inform themselves of the requirements of the licensing act and the regulations issued pursuant thereto.
Accordingly, the Commissioner proposes that the District be authorized to issue regulations revising and modernizing certain specified Acts or parts of Acts of Congress establishing licensing procedures relating to persons engaging in certain occupations, professions, businesses, trades, and callings. Further, the Commissioner proposes that the District be authorized, in such regulations, to restate the language of the applicable statute together with the language of such additional implementing regulations as the District has adopted or may adopt pursuant to the authority contained in such statute, all to the end of making it more convenient for persons affected by a particular licensing statute and the regulations issued pursuant thereto to acquaint themselves with the requirements of such statute and regulations and to reduce to a minimum the differences in the qualifications and procedures established by such licensing statutes and their accompanying regulations.
In furtherance of the effort to meet a long-recognized need for a simplified method of accomplishing desired changes in the written requirements, policies and procedures applicable to the various licensing programs administered by the Department of Economic Development of the Government of the District of Columbia, the Commissioner has prepared a bill which would authorize the District of Columbia Council, after public hearing, to adopt regulations which would, in their form, be a combination of the language contained in a particular statute and the language of regulations adopted by the District of Columbia Government under the authority of that statute, with such revisions and modernizations in the language of both the statute and such regulations as may, after such public hearing, be considered desirable. In short, the bill is designed to authorize the District, by regulation, to revise and modernize some twenty-one Acts of Congress, retaining or improving upon (or perhaps in some cases deleting) the requirements and procedures established by the specified twenty-one Acts of Congress, and retaining or improving the qualifications for licensing established by such Acts. A BILL To revise and modernize procedures relating to licensing by the District of
Co'umbia of persons engaged in certain occupations, professions, businesses, trades, and callings, and for other purposes
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, TITLE I-REVISION AND MODERNIZATION OF DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
LICENSING PROCEDURES SEC. 101. That this title may be cited as the “District of Columbia Licensing Procedures Act."
SEC. 102. The Congress hereby finds it desirable that the Government of the District of Columbia (hereinafter, “District'') revise and modernize procedures relating to the licensing by the District of persons engaged in certain occupations, professions, businesses, trades, and callings. The Congress further finds