This bill amends current law related to the Coastal Resources Management Council. It requires that all contested cases, enforcement proceedings, and administrative fines be heard by administrative hearing officers, rather than subcommittees. The bill also authorizes the executive director of coastal resources management to resolve contested licensing and enforcement proceedings through informal disposition.

Additionally, the bill specifies the appointment and compensation of hearing officers. The governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, would appoint one or two hearing officers who have practiced law for at least five years. The initial appointments would be for three and five years, respectively. The governor would designate one of the hearing officers as the chief hearing officer. The hearing officers would be devoted full time to their administrative duties and would not be allowed to practice law or be associated with any law practice. The bill also allows the executive director to hire a hearing officer if the position is vacant for more than 90 days. The executive director would also have the authority to hire a hearing officer employed by the state to adjudicate pending contested cases if necessary. The bill also specifies the duties of the clerk to the hearing officers and grants the clerk the power to issue subpoenas and administer oaths. Finally, the bill outlines the process for hearings and the review of proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law by the council. The bill would take effect upon passage.