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CSSB 219(FIN): "An Act establishing and relating to the Navigable Waters Commission for Alaska."

00                       CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 219(FIN)                                                                   
01 "An Act establishing and relating to the Navigable Waters Commission for Alaska."                                       
02 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
03    * Section 1.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section                         
04 to read:                                                                                                                
05       STATE POLICY.  The legislature determines that the efficient and orderly                                          
06 development of the state will be better achieved if the state and the federal governments join                          
07 together in a carefully coordinated approach to land and water use planning and management.                             
08 The legislature recognizes that, although the state is the primary trustee of public trust                              
09 resources, it is in the best interest of the citizens if the state and federal governments, as                          
10 designated stewards of these resources, cooperate to the maximum extent possible in                                     
11 determining their uses.  However, the legislature also recognizes that, even without federal                            
12 participation, the state must proceed to make management decisions.  The state is particularly                          
13 blessed with significant water resources that are invaluable in numerous ways to state                                  
14 residents and all citizens of the United States.  With the massive numbers of navigable                                 
15 waterways and bodies of water in the state, the task of resolving submerged land ownership                              
01 and navigable water determinations has been painfully slow, counter-productive from an                                  
02 orderly resource management standpoint, and costly as the state, private landowners, and the                            
03 federal government attempt to initiate long-range planning processes.  For this reason, it is                           
04 determined by the legislature that the State of Alaska and the United States should cooperate                           
05 in establishing a joint state and federal commission or, if the federal government elects not to                        
06 participate, a state commission must be established to proceed efficiently and effectively to                           
07            (1)  expedite the process of quieting legitimate title to the state's submerged                              
08 lands;                                                                                                                  
09            (2)  determine, to the extent possible, which bodies of water are navigable or                               
10 non-navigable; and                                                                                                      
11            (3)  provide recommendations to the state and the federal governments                                        
12 concerning ways to improve the process of making navigability determinations and ways to                                
13 quiet title to the state's submerged lands fairly and expeditiously.                                                    
14    * Sec. 2.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
15 read:                                                                                                                   
16       NAVIGABLE WATERS COMMISSION FOR ALASKA.  (a)  A Navigable Waters                                                  
17 Commission for Alaska is established.  If authorized by federal law, the commission shall be a                          
18 joint federal and state commission.                                                                                     
19       (b)  The governor or the governor's designee shall serve as chair of the commission.  If                          
20 federal participation is authorized by federal law, the member appointed by the President of                            
21 the United States or the United States Secretary of the Interior shall serve as co-chair of the                         
22 joint commission.  The chair or co-chairs of the commission shall call meetings.                                        
23       (c)  If a joint commission is formed, four state and four federal members of the                                  
24 commission constitute a quorum, and all decisions of the commission require concurrence by                              
25 at least four state and four federal members of the commission.  Otherwise, four state                                  
26 members of the commission constitute a quorum, and all decisions of the commission require                              
27 concurrence by at least four members.                                                                                   
28       (d)  A vacancy in the membership of the commission does not affect its powers.  The                               
29 vacancy shall be filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made.                                  
30       (e)  Subject to procedures adopted by the commission, the chair or co-chairs, in                                  
31 accordance with applicable laws, may                                                                                    
01            (1)  appoint and fix the compensation of the commission staff and personnel as                               
02 they consider necessary; and                                                                                            
03            (2)  procure temporary and intermittent services.                                                            
04    * Sec. 3.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
05 read:                                                                                                                   
06       MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMISSION.  (a)  The state membership on the                                                   
07 Navigable Waters Commission for Alaska is composed of the governor or the governor's                                    
08 designee, two members appointed by the governor, two members appointed by the president                                 
09 of the senate, and two members appointed by the speaker of the house, all of whom serve at                              
10 the pleasure of the appointing authority.                                                                               
11       (b)  The membership also includes individuals appointed under federal law if a joint                              
12 commission is authorized.                                                                                               
13    * Sec. 4.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
14 read:                                                                                                                   
15       COMPENSATION AND PER DIEM.  (a)  A state member of the Navigable Waters                                           
16 Commission for Alaska who is a state officer or employee serves without compensation in                                 
17 addition to that received for regular employment.  Other state members of the commission                                
18 receive compensation as authorized for the Board of Fisheries under AS 16.05.290.                                       
19       (b)  State members of the commission are entitled to per diem and travel expenses                                 
20 authorized by law for boards and commissions under AS 39.20.180.                                                        
21    * Sec. 5.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
22 read:                                                                                                                   
23       DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION.  The Navigable Waters Commission for Alaska                                             
24 shall                                                                                                                   
25            (1)  establish a process for researching navigability determinations that affect                             
26 land title;                                                                                                             
27            (2)  develop procedures for involving private landowners and the general                                     
28 public in the navigability determination process of the commission;                                                     
29            (3)  undertake a process of navigable and non-navigable waters identification                                
30 under criteria established in law;                                                                                      
31            (4)  make recommendations to improve coordination and consultation between                                   
01 the state and federal governments in making navigability determinations and decisions                                   
02 concerning title to submerged lands.                                                                                    
03    * Sec. 6.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
04 read:                                                                                                                   
05       HEARINGS.  The Navigable Waters Commission for Alaska or, on the authorization                                    
06 of the commission, any subcommittee or member of the commission may, for the purposes of                                
07 carrying out its duties, hold hearings, take testimony, receive evidence, print or otherwise                            
08 reproduce and distribute all or part of commission proceedings and reports, and sit and act at                          
09 those times and places as the commission, subcommittee, or members consider desirable.                                  
10    * Sec. 7.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
11 read:                                                                                                                   
12       INFORMATION FOR THE COMMISSION.  Each agency, department, board, or                                               
13 commission of the state government is authorized to furnish to the Navigable Waters                                     
14 Commission for Alaska, upon request of a chair or co-chair, information the commission                                  
15 considers necessary to carry out its functions under this Act.                                                          
16    * Sec. 8.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
17 read:                                                                                                                   
18       REPORTS.  (a)  On or before January 31 of each year, the Navigable Waters                                         
19 Commission for Alaska shall submit to the President of the United States, the United States                             
20 Secretary of the Interior, the United States Congress, the governor, and the state legislature a                        
21 written report describing its activities during the preceding year and its recommendations                              
22 regarding its duties under sec. 5 of this Act.                                                                          
23       (b)  The commission shall submit its final comprehensive report at least 10 days                                  
24 before the date the commission is terminated.                                                                           
25    * Sec. 9.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
26 read:                                                                                                                   
27       TERMINATION OF THE COMMISSION.  The Navigable Waters Commission for                                               
28 Alaska is terminated two years after the effective date of this Act.