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Senate Bill 1007

Senate Bill 1007

Phil Haunschild
February 12, 2017

Bill description: This bill grants the Idaho Board of Licensure of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors the power to require mediation of disputes.

Rating: -2

Does it create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government? Conversely, does it eliminate or curtail the size or scope of government? 

Currently, under Idaho Code 54-1208(6), “The board may recommend arbitration of disputes between professional engineers or disputes between professional land surveyors.” This amendment will add the following:  “The board may require mediation of disputes between professional land surveyors.” Requiring professional surveyors to enter into legally binding contracts for arbitration is much different than recommending it. This bill gives the Board the authority, in essence, to determine how professionals function. Surveyors should have the option to determine if mediation is the best way to resolve their disputes. (-1)

Does it in any way restrict public access to information related to government activity or otherwise compromise government transparency or accountability? Conversely, does it increase public access to information related to government activity or increase government transparency or accountability? 

The text of the bill sets no limits on the structure of a mediation. Landowners who may have decades of knowledge about their boundaries are not guaranteed a say in the mediation process. The bill makes no mention of who shall serve as mediator. The choice of mediator is often crucial in determining the outcome, a choice that will likely fall, through rulemaking, to the board. This could give the board power to determine winners and losers in mediation cases. (-1)

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