HOUSE COMMITTEE ON

BUSINESS, LABOR, AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS

 

 

March 02, 2005   Hearing Room B

8:30 A.M. Tapes  44 - 45

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. Alan Brown, Chair

Rep. Sal Esquivel, Vice-Chair

Rep. Mike Schaufler, Vice-Chair

Rep. Paul Holvey

Rep. George Gilman

Rep. Derrick Kitts

Rep. Chip Shields

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Janet Adkins, Committee Administrator

Katie Howard, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:        

HB 2395 – Work Session

HB 2460 – Public Hearing and Work Session

HB 2461 – Public Hearing

                                                Introduction of Committee Measures – Work Session

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 44, A

003

Chair Brown

Calls the meeting to order at 8:36 a.m.  Opens the work session on HB 2395

HB 2395 – WORK SESSION

006

Janet Adkins

Committee Administrator.  Explains HB 2395.  Submits the -1 amendments (EXHIBIT A).

026

Rep. Kitts

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT HB 2395-1 amendments dated 3/1/05.

029

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

 

Chair Brown

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

031

Rep. Kitts

MOTION:  Moves HB 2395 to the floor with a DO PASS AS AMENDED recommendation.

038

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

AYE:            In a roll call vote, all members present vote Aye.

 

Chair Brown

The motion CARRIES.

REP. MACPHERSON will lead discussion on the floor.

042

Chair Brown

Closes the work session on HB 2395.  Opens the public hearing on HB 2460. 

HB 2460 – PUBLIC HEARING

044

Janet Adkins

Committee Administrator.  Explains HB 2460.

059

Chair Brown

Mentions that HB 2460 is sponsored by Rep. Gilman

062

Rep. Gilman

Speaks in support of HB 2460.

070

Jan Berman

County Clerk, Crook County and President, Oregon Association of County Clerks.  Speaks in support of HB 2460.  States that she has not done a notary certification during the 11 years she has been a county clerk. 

084

Jan Coleman

Yamhill County Clerk.  Speaks in support of HB 2460.  Submits written testimony in support of HB 2460 (EXHIBIT B).  States that she has done several notary certifications.  Believes that the notary certifications were done prior to the last decade.  Explains that there is no need for the law.

111

Rep. Esquivel

Asks if county clerks physically kept the notaries’ books.

113

Berman

States that the county clerks did not keep notary books.  Talks about the certification process.  Believes that the statute was repealed in 1983.

123

Adkins

Asks if notaries came in to get the books certified.

126

Coleman

Answers that notaries could still come in and be on the record.  Says that the statute was repealed in 1990. 

132

Rep. Holvey

Asks what the term of a notary is.

135

Berman

States that the term of a notary is four years and that they then have to recertify.

140

Chair Brown

Closes the public hearing on HB 2460 and opens the work session on HB 2460.

HB 2460 – WORK SESSION

143

Rep. Esquivel

MOTION:  Moves HB 2460 to the floor with a DO PASS recommendation.

149

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

AYE:            In a roll call vote, all members present vote Aye.

 

Chair Brown

The motion CARRIES.

150

Rep. Esquivel

MOTION:  Moves HB 2460 be placed on the CONSENT CALENDAR.

151

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

 

Chair Brown

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

153

Chair Brown

Closes the work session on HB 2460.  Opens the public hearing on HB 2461. 

HB 2461 – PUBLIC HEARING

155

Janet Adkins

Committee Administrator.  Explains HB 2461.  Submits a schedule of the 2005 notary public seminars. (EXHIBIT C)

176

Rep. Gilman

Speaks in support of HB 2461.

186

Dee Berman

Crook County Clerk.  Submits written testimony in support of HB 2461 (EXHIBIT D).  Discusses her time as a notary and how inadequate the process to license notaries is.  Talks about the classes provided for notaries and explains that no one knew that they were liable for the documents that they are notarizing.  Notes that improper notarization causes county clerks to reject the document.    

220

Rep. Schaufler

Asks what a notary does and what the liability of a notary is and how much training and testing is.  Notes that indemnifying may be a better course of action for notaries. 

231

Tom Wrosch

Secretary of State’s Office.  Submits written testimony in support of HB 2461 (EXHIBIT E).  States that notaries do many things including: witnessing a signature, administer oaths, and certify copies of documents.  Says that important documents are certified by notaries and a notary is liable for any damages that may occur as a result of improper notarization.  Notes that an employer can be held responsible for notaries if the notary is under their employment. 

271

Wrosch

Asserts that throughout the country notaries have never been indemnified, because someone needs to be held responsible for the actions in which the notary partakes.  Says that notaries are indemnified if they perform their duties in the same manner that a person of average intelligence would.  States that many notaries do not perform their duties properly.

291

Rep. Schaufler

Asks for a real life example of an improper notarization and asks how frequently the problem occurs.

297

Jan Coleman

County Clerk, Yamhill County.  Submits written testimony in support of HB 2461 (EXHIBIT H).  Talks about a notary who gave notarization via the telephone.   

307

Rep. Esquivel

Asks what notary has had to buy a mortgage.

318

Wrosch

Responds that he cannot tell Rep. Esquivel when a notary has had to buy a mortgage.  Talks about how a notary was sued unsuccessfully since the notary properly recorded the event.  Says that some notaries have bond requirements in other states.  States that the Secretary of State’s Office does not get statistics on when notaries are sued. 

345

Rep. Esquivel

Asks if improper notarizations get kicked back for recordation of a document.  States that he has not heard or witnessed the “doom and gloom” scenario that the witnesses have discussed.

351

Berman

Says that a week and a half ago an improper notarization came into the Cook County Clerk’s office.  States that they give the document back to the notary that recorded it improperly.  Gives further examples of improper notarizations.

387

Wrosch

Says that in 1989 the open book test for notaries was established.  Talks about how the open book test does not work.  Says many notaries do not know what they are supposed to be doing.   

TAPE 45, A

001

Wrosch

Discusses who comes to the exams and how notaries want the classes to be mandatory.  Notes North Carolina, Florida, California, and Pennsylvania have adopted educational requirements for notaries.  Emphasizes his support of HB 2461.

020

Coleman

States that many employers do not invest time and training in their employees who become notaries.  Emphasizes that three hours of training in four years is a small requirement.  Talks about how someone in the workplace can be certified to become a trainer for notaries.  Explains how HB 2461 will create accountability. 

047

Rep. Kitts

Asks how long there has been notaries in Oregon

049

Wrosch

Believes that it has been since the creation of the state.

056

Rep. Kitts

Mentions example of providing notarization over the phone and asks if the person knew it was wrong.

059

Coleman

Says that the person was an attorney. 

062

Rep. Kitts

States that the person most likely knew that what they were doing was wrong and believes that even after taking the class the attorney would have still known it was wrong.  Shares that he does not think that a three hour class will solve this problem.  Believes that the case has not been made that a four hour class will help make notarizations better.  States that he would like to see a fine for fraudulent notarizations.

091

Rep. Esquivel

Asks how three hours would change the situation where someone put a fraudulent date on the document.

096

Berman

Says that the three hour training is for honest notaries and it is not for those who are going to commit fraud.  Asserts that the educational class would have helped her when she was a notary.  Mentions that the test to obtain a notary’s license does educate notaries about ORS 194 but not about other statutes that apply to their work.

119

Chair Brown

Summarizes the witnesses’ testimony.

124

Rep. Esquivel

Asks how the educational requirement will be enacted.

128

Wrosch

Says that they have explored many different avenues for administering and completing the educational requirement.  States that there are providers who will educate notaries.  Talks about the seminars they have all over the state (EXHIBIT C).  Mentions other states that have tremendous success with similar laws.  Addresses that HB 2461 is not to stop criminal intent but instead to educate notaries. 

162

Rep. Holvey

Speaks in support of HB 2461.  Says that the issues facing notaries is not always cut and dry.  Asks about the “not to exceed five dollars” in section three of HB 2461.  Shares concerns that in the future five dollars may not cover the cost. 

176

Wrosch

Believes that the five dollar fee will work.  States that the five dollar fee is to cover the materials cost and that the online tutorial will help curb costs.  Expresses desire not to put a financial burden on notaries.

210

Chair Brown

Asks how many notaries there are in Oregon and if they charge a fee.

212

Wrosch

States that there are 46,000 notaries.  Says that they may charge a fee of up to five dollars if they have not signed the fee waiver form.  Notes that many notaries do not charge a fee.

226

Chair Brown

Requests an amendment.  Closes the public hearing on HB 2461. Opens the work session for the purpose of introducing committee measures.

INTRODUCTION OF COMMITTEE MEASURE – WORK SESSION

230

Chair Brown

Submits LC 3087 and LC 1782 (EXHIBITS G and I)

232

Rep. Kitts

MOTION:  Moves LC's:  3087, 1782 BE INTRODUCED as committee bills.

243

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

 

Chair Brown

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

247

Janet Adkins

States that the Senate’s General Government Committee heard HB 2214.  Says that it is the bill that was previously heard by this committee.  Mentions that the groups involved have a list of amendments, but they did not have the amendments yesterday so it did not pass out of committee.  States that there is still an issue with the Energy Saving Performance Contracts.  Says that Steven Kafoury asked for another week to work on the amendments related to that issue. 

268

Chair Brown

Closes the work session for the purpose of introducing committee measures.  Adjourns the meeting at 9:25 a.m.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. HB 2395, -1 amendments, staff, 1 p
  2. HB 2460, written testimony, Jan Coleman, 1 p
  3. HB 2461, schedule, staff, 1 p
  4. HB 2461, written testimony, Dee Berman, 1 p
  5. HB 2461, written testimony, Tom Wrosch, 2 pp
  6. No exhibit
  7. Introductions, LC 3087, staff, 1 p
  8. HB 2461, written testimony, Jan Coleman, 1 p
  9. Introductions, LC 1782, staff, 24 pp