Legislature(2011 - 2012)
2011-01-24 House JournalFull Journal pdf
2011-01-24 House Journal Page 0107 HB 121 HOUSE BILL NO. 121 by the House Rules Committee by request of the Governor, entitled: "An Act establishing the commercial charter fisheries revolving loan fund, the mariculture revolving loan fund, and the Alaska microloan revolving loan fund and relating to those funds and loans from those funds; and providing for an effective date." was read the first time and referred to the House Special Committee on Fisheries and the Resources and Finance Committees. The following fiscal note(s) apply: 1. Fiscal, Dept. of Commerce, Community, & Economic Development The Governor's transmittal letter dated January 21, 2011, follows: "Dear Speaker Chenault: Under the authority of Article III, Section 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I am transmitting a bill establishing the Alaska microloan revolving loan fund, the mariculture revolving loan fund, and the commercial charter fisheries revolving loan fund, and relating to those funds. This bill would create the Alaska microloan revolving loan fund, the mariculture revolving loan fund, and the commercial charter fisheries revolving loan fund, within the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. Structured as revolving loan funds, all earnings and loan payments would be retained by the funds for future loans. All operating expenses would also be paid from earnings of the fund. This legislation will promote economic development in Alaska by helping small businesses access critical capital. The Alaska Microloans are modeled after a program currently operated through the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) and available in almost every other state to provide small, short term loans to small businesses. This federal program, however, is currently unavailable in 2011-01-24 House Journal Page 0108 Alaska because an intermediary lender is required. To date no lenders meeting the SBA's qualifications have been identified in Alaska. A critical sector of Alaska's coastal economy is mariculture. Currently, access to start-up capital by Alaska's mariculturists is extremely limited because of the time needed for crop development and market readiness. Due to the unique cash flow characteristics inherent in the industry, access to capital with flexible terms is essential. This legislation will promote economic development, allow the industry to expand, and successfully compete in world seafood markets. On January 5, 2010, the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council published a final rule implementing a halibut charter fisheries limited entry program. Based on past fishing history, it is expected that 40 percent of those applying for the permit, will be denied under NOAA's restrictions, escalating permit prices. In an effort to make financing available to Alaskans for the purchase of halibut charter permits, a new loan fund has been developed that is similar to the highly successful commercial fishing revolving loan fund (AS 16.10.340). This will ensure those valuable permits remain in Alaskans' hands. I urge your prompt and favorable action on this measure. Sincerely, /s/ Sean Parnell Governor"