Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/09/1994 01:30 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                                                                               
                                                                               
                     HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                          March 9, 1994                                        
                            1:30 P.M.                                          
                                                                               
  TAPE HFC 94 - 53, Side 2, #000 - end.                                        
  TAPE HFC 94 - 54, Side 1, #000 - end.                                        
  TAPE HFC 94 - 54, Side 2, #000 - #515.                                       
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson  called the House Finance  Committee meeting                 
  to order at 1:30 P.M.                                                        
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson               Representative Foster                          
  Co-Chair MacLean              Representative Martin                          
  Vice-Chair Hanley             Representative Navarre                         
  Representative Brown          Representative Parnell                         
  Representative Grussendorf    Representative Therriault                      
                                                                               
  Representative Hoffman was not present for the meeting.                      
                                                                               
  ALSO PRESENT                                                                 
                                                                               
  John   Jemewouk,  Executive   Director  of   Western  Alaska                 
  Fisheries  Development  Association,  Elim;  Nels  Anderson,                 
  Executive  Director,  BBEDC,  Dillingham;   Ragnar  Alstrom,                 
  YDFDA,  Azakanuk;  Fred  Phillip, CVFC,  Kwigillingok;  Mark                 
  Snigaroit, Chairman,  APICDA, Juneau;  Agafon Knukoff,  Jr.,                 
  President, CBSFA, St. Paul Island; Josh Fink, Staff, Senator                 
  Tim  Kelly;  Patti  Rizer, (testified  via  teleconference),                 
  Anchorage;  Bruce  Tizer,  (testified  via  teleconference),                 
  Anchorage;  Fred  Rogers,  (testified  via  teleconference),                 
  Squaw   Valley,   Idaho;   Robert   Moss,   (testified   via                 
  teleconference),   Homer;   Chris   Moss,   (testified   via                 
  teleconference),   Homer;   David  Wilson,   (testified  via                 
  teleconference),  Anchorage;  Steve  Lear,   (testified  via                 
  teleconference),  Anchorage;  Mark   Bond,  (testified   via                 
  teleconference), Attorney for ALYESKA, Squaw Valley,  Idaho;                 
  John Bevis, (testified via teleconference), Anchorage; Diana                 
  Woods,  (testified  via  teleconference),   Anchorage;  Mike                 
  Stone,  (testified  via  teleconference),   Anchorage;  Gary                 
  Medenvil, Eaglecrest, Juneau; Phil Thingstad, (testified via                 
  teleconference),   Anchorage;   Bob   Day,  (testified   via                 
  teleconference),  Anchorage;  Mano   Frey,  (testified   via                 
  teleconference),  Anchorage;  Terry  Kadel,  (testified  via                 
  teleconference),  Anchorage;  David  Sams,   (testified  via                 
  teleconference), Challenge Alaska Program, Anchorage; Dennis                 
  Mince, Attorney, Anchorage.                                                  
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                1                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SUMMARY                                                                      
                                                                               
  COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT QUOTA PROGRAM (CDQ) PRESENTATION                       
  SB 44     An  Act relating  to  civil  liability for  skiing                 
            accidents, operation of  ski areas, and  duties of                 
            ski area operators  and skiers; and providing  for                 
            an effective date.                                                 
                                                                               
            SB   44  was   HELD  in   Committee  for   further                 
  discussion.                                                                  
  COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT QUOTA PROGRAM (CDQ) PRESENTATION                       
                                                                               
  JOHN JEMEWOUK, EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR, WESTERN ALASKA FISHERIES                 
  DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION, ELIM,  explained that  applications                 
  for  the  CDQ's  are  based  on  7.5%  of  the  biologically                 
  harvestable Bering Sea pollock resource and are submitted on                 
  a biennial basis to the Governor of Alaska.  The communities                 
  eligible  to receive  quotas must  be located  on or  within                 
  fifty miles of the  Bering Sea coast from the  Bering Strait                 
  to the western  most of the  Aleutian Islands or located  on                 
  islands within  the Bering  Sea.   Mr.  Jemewouk added  that                 
  CDQ's  proceeds  must  be invested  in  fishery  development                 
  programs and ventures  that create  jobs and promote  stable                 
  local  economies  in  western  Alaska.      He provided  the                 
  Committee with  a packet  of information  regarding the  CDQ                 
  program.  [Copy on file].                                                    
                                                                               
  NELS  ANDERSON,  EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR, BRISTOL  BAY  ECONOMIC                 
  DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (BBEDC), DILLINGHAM,  explained that                 
  BBEDC  received  20 percent  of  the available  CDQ pollock.                 
  BBEDC's  corporate fishing  partner is  Oceantrawl Inc.,  an                 
  Alaska  corporation operating three factory trawlers.  BBEDC                 
  plans to:                                                                    
                                                                               
       *    Implement a plan consisting of employment training                 
            programs and small  business development  program,                 
            grants for value-added processing and marketing.                   
                                                                               
       *    Establish   a   Scholarship  Endowment   Fund  for                 
            students to attend college.                                        
                                                                               
       *    Set up  a reserve  to provide  matching funds  for                 
            infrastructure construction, and financing for the                 
            acquisition of Individual Fishing Quotas (IFQ).                    
                                                                               
       *    Employ sixty people year round.                                    
                                                                               
  RAGNAR   ALSTROM,   YUKON   DELTA    FISHERIES   DEVELOPMENT                 
  ASSOCIATION (YDFDA),  ALAKANUK,  spoke for  the Yukon  Delta                 
  communities stating that  his area received five  percent of                 
                                                                               
                                2                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  the available CDQ's.   YDFDA's corporate fishing  partner is                 
  Golden Alaska Seafoods.  YDFDA plans to:                                     
                                                                               
       *    Establish  a  training  program  for  up  to   258                 
            residents by 1995.                                                 
                                                                               
       *    Develop a fleet of small  catcher vessels designed                 
            to operate in local longline and/or pot fisheries.                 
                                                                               
       *    Set up a fund for  purchasing salmon limited entry                 
            permits.                                                           
                                                                               
       *    Explore halibut  and cod  fisheries  in the  upper                 
            Bering Sea.                                                        
                                                                               
       *    Employ 50 people in the CDQ operations by 1995.                    
                                                                               
  FRED PHILLIP,  COASTAL VILLAGES FISHING  COOPERATIVE (CVFC),                 
  KWIGILLINGOK,  stated  that  CVFC  consists  of  the  Yukon-                 
  Kuskokwim  Delta  communities  and  that  they  received  27                 
  percent of the available pollock CDQ.  The corporate partner                 
  for CVFC is Golden Age Fisheries.  CVFC plans to:                            
                                                                               
       *    Purchase 50 percent equity in  the 197 ft. factory                 
            trawler  Brons Point  with  the long-term  goal of                 
            owning, managing, and operating  a fleet of at-sea                 
            processing and harvesting vessels.                                 
                                                                               
       *    Establish  a  "Salmon  Roe  University"  to  train                 
            residents   of  the  region   to  be   salmon  roe                 
            technicians.                                                       
                                                                               
       *    Purchase  or  construct   a  salmon  processor  to                 
            operate in the lower Kuskokwim River.                              
                                                                               
       *    Train  individuals from  CVFC members  villages to                 
            work at all levels of the ground fish industry.                    
                                                                               
  MARK SNIGAROIT, CHAIRMAN, ALEUTIAN PRIBILOF ISLAND COMMUNITY                 
  DEVELOPMENT  ASSOCIATION(APICDA),  JUNEAU,   explained  that                 
  APICDAA's corporate  partners in  harvesting  the quota  are                 
  Trident Seafoods Corporation, one of  Alaska's largest shore                 
  based   seafood   processing   companies,    and   Starbound                 
  Partnership, operator of a factory trawler.  APICDA received                 
  18 percent of the  pollock reserve set aside for  the CDQ's.                 
  The goals for APICDA are:                                                    
                                                                               
       *    Establish  a  comprehensive  vocational education,                 
            job training and employment program.                               
                                                                               
       *    Establish  a higher  education endowment  fund for                 
            community residents who  wish to purse  university                 
                                                                               
                                3                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
            degrees.                                                           
                                                                               
       *    Participate  in  funding  for  completion  of  the                 
            Zapadni Bay Harbor on St. George Island.                           
                                                                               
       *    Complete  engineering designs for a dock in Nelson                 
            Lagoon.                                                            
                                                                               
       *    Work with the  False Pass  Tribal Council to  fund                 
            the construction  of a  gear storage  warehouse in                 
            False Pass.                                                        
                                                                               
  AGAFON KNUKOFF, JR., PRESIDENT,  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTRAL                 
  BERING SEA FISHERMEN'S ASSOCIATION (CBSFA), ST. PAUL ISLAND,                 
  noted that he represented the  fishing community of St. Paul                 
  in the Pribilof Islands.   CBSFA received 10 percent  of the                 
  Bering Sea CDQ pollack.  CBSFA corporate fishing  partner is                 
  American Seafoods Company, Inc.  CBSFA plans to:                             
                                                                               
       *    Establish a boat loan program for the purchase and                 
            construction of vessels 32' to 125' in length, and                 
            that  are capable  of participating  in  the multi                 
            species fisheries of the Bering Sea.                               
                                                                               
       *    Set aside funds for  infrastructure development on                 
            St. Paul Island.                                                   
                                                                               
       *    Employment  goal:     20-25  people  in  the   CDQ                 
            operation.                                                         
                                                                               
  Mr. Jemewouk summarized  that the program has  given western                 
  Alaska  villages in  western  Alaska hope  particularly  for                 
  young adults  to become productive  members of society.   He                 
  indicated his concern with the sunset  clause to the program                 
  dated December, 1995.                                                        
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 94-54, Side 1).                                            
  SENATE BILL 44                                                               
                                                                               
       "An  Act  relating   to  civil  liability   for  skiing                 
       accidents, operation of  ski areas,  and duties of  ski                 
       area  operators   and  skiers;  and  providing  for  an                 
       effective date."                                                        
                                                                               
  JOSH  FINK,  STAFF   TO  SENATOR   TIM  KELLY,  provided   a                 
  legislation overview.  He stated that the bill would attempt                 
  to strike a balance between protecting skiers and ski resort                 
  operators by clearly defining the inherent dangers and risks                 
  of skiing  assumed by the skier,  as well as the  duties and                 
  responsibilities the ski  resort operator has to  the skiing                 
  consumer.                                                                    
                                                                               
                                4                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  He  continued  that while  SB  44  would remove  ski  resort                 
  operators from liability  for injuries caused solely  by the                 
  inherent risks  and dangers of skiing, it  would not absolve                 
  ski  operators  from  negligence   or  civil  liability  for                 
  violations of provisions outlined in the legislation.                        
                                                                               
  PATTI   RIZER,   (TESTIFIED  VIA   TELECONFERENCE),  PARENT,                 
  ANCHORAGE, testified against the legislation for  the safety                 
  of Alaska's children.  She noted  that there currently is an                 
  inherent risk law in place in the state.  Recently, that law                 
  was  interpreted by the  Supreme Court  stating that  a land                 
  owner must act as a responsible  land owner and maintain the                 
  ski property  in a reasonably  safe condition by  common law                 
  duty.    She  noted  her concern  with  the  legislation  in                 
  determining  what   would   be  a   "reasonable"  risk   and                 
  responsibilities of the skier.                                               
                                                                               
  Ms. Rizer added that given the amount of money a  person who                 
  skies pays at local ski areas, they should be able to assume                 
  that  there  ski  operators  are  acting responsible.    She                 
  thought  the  legislation would  allow  ski resorts  to make                 
  money while continuing to hire unqualified personnel.                        
                                                                               
  BRUCE   RIZER,   (TESTIFIED  VIA   TELECONFERENCE),  PARENT,                 
  ANCHORAGE,  testified  in opposition  to  SB 44  providing a                 
  brief  history  of the  legislation.    He  stated that  the                 
  legislation was introduced  shortly after  the death of  his                 
  son  at  the  Alyeska  Ski  Resort.   He  thought  that  the                 
  legislation was  an attempt  to evade  the Hiibschamn  case,                 
  which  defines  "reasonable"  responsibility  of ski  resort                 
  operators, handed down by  the Supreme Court.  He  commented                 
  that the legislation would alleviate "shared responsibility"                 
  from ski resort operators.                                                   
                                                                               
  FRED  ROGERS,  (TESTIFIED  VIA TELECONFERENCE),  DEVELOPMENT                 
  COMPANY,  SQUAW  VALLEY,  IDAHO,  spoke  in support  of  the                 
  legislation.  He point out that the legislation would define                 
  the liability between the skier and the  ski area operators.                 
  The  information is  essential for  insurance companies  for                 
  future economic development projects.                                        
                                                                               
  ROBERT MOSS,  (TESTIFIED VIA  TELECONFERENCE), KACHEMAK  SKI                 
  CLUB,  HOMER, testified in support of  SB 44 indicating that                 
  it would address liability insurance issues.                                 
                                                                               
  CHRIS MOSS, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), HOMER, testified                 
  in support  of the  legislation.   He stated  that the  bill                 
  adequately addresses the "responsibilities" of the skier and                 
  the ski area.                                                                
                                                                               
  DAVID  WILSON,  (TESTIFIED  VIA TELECONFERENCE),  ANCHORAGE,                 
                                                                               
                                5                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  testified  in support of the  legislation and stated that it                 
  would encourage economic activity in the State by addressing                 
  the  strong  inherent  risk law.    He  added,  SB 44  could                 
  eliminate unnecessary litigation.                                            
                                                                               
  Representative Navarre  asked  Mr.  Wilson  to  provide  the                 
  Committee  with  information  in  which   he  indicated  the                 
  statistics  of trial  attorneys  increasing  the  number  of                 
  lawsuits against ski areas.                                                  
                                                                               
  STEVE LEAR, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), PROFESSIONAL SKI                 
  INSTRUCTORS (PSI), ANCHORAGE, spoke in support of SB 44.  He                 
  stated  the legislation  supports the responsibility  of the                 
  users and operators of ski areas and also encourages them to                 
  share in the risks and hazards of skiing.                                    
                                                                               
  MARK BOND,  (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE),  GENERAL COUNSEL                 
  FOR THE  NATIONAL SKI  PATROL, ATTORNEY  FOR ALYESKA,  SQUAW                 
  VALLEY,  IDAHO, spoke  in support  of the  legislation.   He                 
  pointed out that injury rates from skiing have declined over                 
  the year due to improved operator safety practices.                          
                                                                               
  He pointed out that the expenses of litigation, stating that                 
  the way to avoid these costs would be for the Legislature to                 
  define  the  "inherent risks"  of skiing  and note  that ski                 
  area's are  not liable  for them.   He pointed  out that  in                 
  Colorado,   similar   legislation   has   been   effectively                 
  implemented.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative Navarre asked if there  has been a growth  in                 
  claim  suits against  Alyeska and skiers.   Mr.  Bond stated                 
  that  there  has been  an  increase.   Representative Martin                 
  asked how the  legislation would help  the skier.  Mr.  Bond                 
  replied  that  the law  would  require  that a  list  of the                 
  inherent risks and dangers be posted.                                        
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 94-54, Side 2).                                            
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown  asked  if equal  protection  problems                 
  would be increased  due to  specification of an  enforcement                 
  mechanism on state  lands.   Mr. Bond listed  the state  ski                 
  resorts  indicating  who  owned  the  land which  they  were                 
  located.  He added that the  Department of Natural Resources                 
  (DNR) has  requested this  legislation and  that the  Forest                 
  Service has the  authority to site people for  violations as                 
  specified  in  statute.   DNR would  like  to have  the same                 
  authority.                                                                   
                                                                               
  JOHN  BEVIS,  (TESTIFIED   VIA  TELECONFERENCE),   CHALLENGE                 
  ALASKA,  ANCHORAGE,  spoke  in   support  of  the   proposed                 
  legislation  stating   that   the  law   would  define   the                 
  responsibility of the skier.                                                 
                                                                               
                                6                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  DIANA  WOODS,  (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  ANCHORAGE,                 
  spoke in favor of  SB 44.   She stated that the  legislation                 
  would protect  the interest of skiers and  ski operators and                 
  added  that  it could  control  the  cost of  skiing  due to                 
  reduced insurance claims.                                                    
                                                                               
  MIKE  STONE,  (TESTIFIED   VIA  TELECONFERENCE),   ANCHORAGE                 
  ECONOMIC  DEVELOPMENT  CORPORATION,   ANCHORAGE,  spoke   in                 
  support  of  SB  44,  stating  that  it  would  be  critical                 
  legislation for Alaska in order to be competitive with other                 
  ski destinations in the United States and Canada.                            
                                                                               
  GARY MEDENVIL,  BUSINESS MANAGER, EAGLECREST,  JUNEAU, urged                 
  the Committee  to support  the legislation  adding that  the                 
  bill addresses the  needs of small  ski areas.  Without  the                 
  legislation, city owned  ski areas such as  Eaglecrest could                 
  suffer the same fate as the Valdez resort resulting from the                 
  Hiibschamn versus Valdez court case.                                         
                                                                               
  Representative  Therriault  commented  that the  bill  would                 
  provide uniformity of regulations to all state ski areas.                    
                                                                               
  PHIL THINGSTAD, (TESTIFIED  VIA TELECONFERENCE),  ANCHORAGE,                 
  spoke  in favor of  SB 44.   He added, that  the legislation                 
  would  define the legal parameters for  skiers and ski areas                 
  by encouraging future development and goal setting.                          
                                                                               
  BOB DAY, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), ANCHORAGE, spoke in                 
  support of the  proposed legislation  adding that he  favors                 
  any attempt to define  and control the costs of  skiing.  He                 
  pointed  out  that the  bill is  fair  and would  define the                 
  responsibility of the operator and the skier.                                
                                                                               
  MANO FREY,  (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE),  PRESIDENT, AFL-                 
  CIO,  ANCHORAGE,   stated  that  the  AFL-CIO  supports  the                 
  legislation  given  the  balance  it  has  created  for  ski                 
  operators to be  liable for  any negligent acts  and at  the                 
  same time defining uniform rules for skiers.                                 
                                                                               
  TERRY  KADEL,  (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  ANCHORAGE,                 
  spoke in support of  SB 44.  He stated  that the legislation                 
  would be good for Alaska as it would define responsibilities                 
  between the skier and  the operator.  He added,  that skiing                 
  is  a  sport with  inherent risks  and  skiers need  to take                 
  ownership  of  those  risks.     The  legislation  would  be                 
  economically good for  Alaska allowing  new resorts to  open                 
  and expand.                                                                  
                                                                               
  DAVID SAMS, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), PRESIDENT OF THE                 
  BOARD OF DIRECTORS,  ANCHORAGE CHALLENGE PROGRAM, ANCHORAGE,                 
  spoke  in  support  of the  legislation  which  would define                 
                                                                               
                                7                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  liability for skiers and operators.                                          
                                                                               
  DENNIS  MINCE,  (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  ATTORNEY,                 
  ANCHORAGE, spoke in opposition to the legislation.  He asked                 
  the  Committee to  consider  the  precedence established  in                 
  drafting  an  exception  for  a  particular business  and  a                 
  special interest.  He  stated that the legislation  is being                 
  promoted  by  SEIBU,  a  large  Japanese  corporation.    He                 
  suggested that each legal situation  should be considered in                 
  court while given the specific facts regarding it.                           
                                                                               
  Representative Brown recommended adding  language to Page 5,                 
  Line 6, inserting "the Department is authorized to charge  a                 
  fee,  sufficient  to  cover the  cost  of  plan,  review and                 
  approval".    She  stated  that  the language  change  would                 
  address  the  ten areas  cited  causing  cost to  DNR.   She                 
  offered  to  draft  the  amendment  and  provide  it to  the                 
  Committee.                                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Parnell requested more  information regarding                 
  duties as  required  by other  state  statutes on  ski  area                 
  operators in  which "inherent risks" are defined.   Mr. Bond                 
  pointed out  that  there are  twenty-six different  statutes                 
  which define  an "inherent  risk".   He suggested  providing                 
  information  from the  Colorado  legislation which  has been                 
  effective.   He also offered to  make his research available                 
  to the Committee.                                                            
                                                                               
  SB 44 was HELD in Committee for further discussion.                          
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting adjourned at 3:35 P.M.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
                     HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                          March 9, 1994                                        
                            1:30 P.M.                                          
                                                                               
  TAPE HFC 94 - 53, Side 2, #000 - end.                                        
  TAPE HFC 94 - 54, Side 1, #000 - end.                                        
  TAPE HFC 94 - 54, Side 2, #000 - #515.                                       
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson  called the House  Finance Committee meeting                 
  to order at 1:30 P.M.                                                        
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson               Representative Foster                          
  Co-Chair MacLean              Representative Martin                          
                                                                               
                                8                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Vice-Chair Hanley             Representative Navarre                         
  Representative Brown          Representative Parnell                         
  Representative Grussendorf    Representative Therriault                      
                                                                               
  Representative Hoffman was not present for the meeting.                      
                                                                               
  ALSO PRESENT                                                                 
                                                                               
  John   Jemewouk,  Executive   Director  of   Western  Alaska                 
  Fisheries  Development  Association,  Elim;  Nels  Anderson,                 
  Executive  Director,  BBEDC,  Dillingham;   Ragnar  Alstrom,                 
  YDFDA,  Azakanuk;  Fred  Phillip, CVFC,  Kwigillingok;  Mark                 
  Snigaroit, Chairman,  APICDA, Juneau;  Agafon Knukoff,  Jr.,                 
  President, CBSFA, St. Paul Island; Josh Fink, Staff, Senator                 
  Tim  Kelly;  Patti  Rizer, (testified  via  teleconference),                 
  Anchorage;  Bruce  Tizer,  (testified  via  teleconference),                 
  Anchorage;  Fred  Rogers,  (testified  via  teleconference),                 
  Squaw   Valley,   Idaho;   Robert   Moss,   (testified   via                 
  teleconference),   Homer;   Chris   Moss,   (testified   via                 
  teleconference),   Homer;   David  Wilson,   (testified  via                 
  teleconference),  Anchorage;  Steve  Lear,   (testified  via                 
  teleconference),  Anchorage;  Mark   Bond,  (testified   via                 
  teleconference), Attorney for ALYESKA, Squaw Valley,  Idaho;                 
  John Bevis, (testified via teleconference), Anchorage; Diana                 
  Woods,  (testified  via  teleconference),   Anchorage;  Mike                 
  Stone,  (testified  via  teleconference),   Anchorage;  Gary                 
  Medenvil, Eaglecrest, Juneau; Phil Thingstad, (testified via                 
  teleconference),   Anchorage;   Bob   Day,  (testified   via                 
  teleconference),  Anchorage;  Mano   Frey,  (testified   via                 
  teleconference),  Anchorage;  Terry  Kadel,  (testified  via                 
  teleconference),  Anchorage;  David  Sams,   (testified  via                 
  teleconference), Challenge Alaska Program, Anchorage; Dennis                 
  Mince, Attorney, Anchorage.                                                  
                                                                               
  SUMMARY                                                                      
                                                                               
  COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT QUOTA PROGRAM (CDQ) PRESENTATION                       
                                                                               
  SB 44     An  Act relating  to  civil liability  for  skiing                 
            accidents, operation  of ski areas, and  duties of                 
            ski area operators  and skiers; and  providing for                 
            an effective date.                                                 
                                                                               
            SB  44   was   HELD  in   Committee  for   further                 
  discussion.                                                                  
                                                                               
  COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT QUOTA PROGRAM (CDQ) PRESENTATION                       
                                                                               
  JOHN JEMEWOUK, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,  WESTERN ALASKA FISHERIES                 
  DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION, ELIM,  explained that  applications                 
  for  the  CDQ's  are  based  on  7.5%  of  the  biologically                 
  harvestable Bering Sea pollock resource and are submitted on                 
                                                                               
                                9                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  a biennial basis to the Governor of Alaska.  The communities                 
  eligible  to receive  quotas must  be located  on or  within                 
  fifty miles of the  Bering Sea coast from the  Bering Strait                 
  to the western  most of the  Aleutian Islands or located  on                 
  islands within  the Bering  Sea.   Mr.  Jemewouk added  that                 
  CDQ's proceeds  must  be  invested  in  fishery  development                 
  programs and ventures  that create  jobs and promote  stable                 
  local  economies  in  western  Alaska.      He provided  the                 
  Committee with  a packet  of information  regarding the  CDQ                 
  program.  [Copy on file].                                                    
                                                                               
  NELS  ANDERSON,  EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR, BRISTOL  BAY  ECONOMIC                 
  DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (BBEDC), DILLINGHAM,  explained that                 
  BBEDC  received  20 percent  of  the available  CDQ pollock.                 
  BBEDC's  corporate fishing  partner is  Oceantrawl  Inc., an                 
  Alaska corporation operating three factory trawlers.   BBEDC                 
  plans to:                                                                    
                                                                               
       *    Implement a plan consisting of employment training                 
            programs and small  business development  program,                 
            grants for value-added processing and marketing.                   
                                                                               
       *    Establish   a   Scholarship  Endowment   Fund  for                 
            students to attend college.                                        
                                                                               
       *    Set up  a reserve  to provide  matching funds  for                 
            infrastructure construction, and financing for the                 
            acquisition of Individual Fishing Quotas (IFQ).                    
                                                                               
       *    Employ sixty people year round.                                    
                                                                               
  RAGNAR   ALSTROM,   YUKON   DELTA    FISHERIES   DEVELOPMENT                 
  ASSOCIATION  (YDFDA), ALAKANUK,  spoke for  the Yukon  Delta                 
  communities stating that  his area received five  percent of                 
  the available CDQ's.   YDFDA's corporate fishing  partner is                 
  Golden Alaska Seafoods.  YDFDA plans to:                                     
                                                                               
       *    Establish  a  training  program   for  up  to  258                 
            residents by 1995.                                                 
                                                                               
       *    Develop  a fleet of small catcher vessels designed                 
            to operate in local longline and/or pot fisheries.                 
                                                                               
       *    Set up a fund for  purchasing salmon limited entry                 
            permits.                                                           
                                                                               
       *    Explore  halibut and  cod fisheries  in the  upper                 
            Bering Sea.                                                        
                                                                               
       *    Employ 50 people in the CDQ operations by 1995.                    
                                                                               
  FRED PHILLIP, COASTAL  VILLAGES FISHING COOPERATIVE  (CVFC),                 
                                                                               
                               10                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  KWIGILLINGOK,  stated  that  CVFC  consists  of  the  Yukon-                 
  Kuskokwim  Delta  communities  and  that  they  received  27                 
  percent of the available pollock CDQ.  The corporate partner                 
  for CVFC is Golden Age Fisheries.  CVFC plans to:                            
                                                                               
       *    Purchase 50 percent equity in  the 197 ft. factory                 
            trawler  Brons  Point with  the long-term  goal of                 
            owning, managing,  and operating a fleet of at-sea                 
            processing and harvesting vessels.                                 
                                                                               
       *    Establish  a  "Salmon  Roe  University"  to  train                 
            residents  of   the  region   to  be   salmon  roe                 
            technicians.                                                       
                                                                               
       *    Purchase  or  construct   a  salmon  processor  to                 
            operate in the lower Kuskokwim River.                              
                                                                               
       *    Train  individuals from  CVFC members  villages to                 
            work at all levels of the ground fish industry.                    
                                                                               
  MARK SNIGAROIT, CHAIRMAN, ALEUTIAN PRIBILOF ISLAND COMMUNITY                 
  DEVELOPMENT  ASSOCIATION(APICDA),  JUNEAU,   explained  that                 
  APICDAA's corporate  partners  in harvesting  the quota  are                 
  Trident Seafoods Corporation, one  of Alaska's largest shore                 
  based   seafood   processing   companies,    and   Starbound                 
  Partnership, operator of a factory trawler.  APICDA received                 
  18 percent of the  pollock reserve set aside for  the CDQ's.                 
  The goals for APICDA are:                                                    
                                                                               
       *    Establish  a  comprehensive  vocational education,                 
            job training and employment program.                               
                                                                               
       *    Establish  a higher  education endowment  fund for                 
            community residents who  wish to purse  university                 
            degrees.                                                           
                                                                               
       *    Participate  in  funding  for  completion  of  the                 
            Zapadni Bay Harbor on St. George Island.                           
                                                                               
       *    Complete engineering designs for  a dock in Nelson                 
            Lagoon.                                                            
                                                                               
       *    Work with the  False Pass  Tribal Council to  fund                 
            the  construction of a  gear storage  warehouse in                 
            False Pass.                                                        
                                                                               
  AGAFON KNUKOFF, JR., PRESIDENT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,  CENTRAL                 
  BERING SEA FISHERMEN'S ASSOCIATION (CBSFA), ST. PAUL ISLAND,                 
  noted that he represented the fishing community of St.  Paul                 
  in the Pribilof Islands.   CBSFA received 10 percent  of the                 
  Bering Sea CDQ pollack.   CBSFA corporate fishing partner is                 
  American Seafoods Company, Inc.  CBSFA plans to:                             
                                                                               
                               11                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
       *    Establish a boat loan program for the purchase and                 
            construction of vessels 32' to 125' in length, and                 
            that  are capable  of  participating in  the multi                 
            species fisheries of the Bering Sea.                               
                                                                               
       *    Set aside funds for  infrastructure development on                 
            St. Paul Island.                                                   
                                                                               
       *    Employment  goal:     20-25  people  in   the  CDQ                 
            operation.                                                         
                                                                               
  Mr. Jemewouk summarized  that the program has  given western                 
  Alaska  villages  in western  Alaska  hope  particularly for                 
  young adults  to become productive  members of society.   He                 
  indicated his concern with the sunset  clause to the program                 
  dated December, 1995.                                                        
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 94-54, Side 1).                                            
                                                                               
  SENATE BILL 44                                                               
                                                                               
       "An   Act  relating  to   civil  liability  for  skiing                 
       accidents, operation of  ski areas,  and duties of  ski                 
       area  operators  and  skiers;  and  providing  for   an                 
       effective date."                                                        
                                                                               
  JOSH  FINK,  STAFF   TO  SENATOR   TIM  KELLY,  provided   a                 
  legislation overview.  He stated that the bill would attempt                 
  to strike a balance between protecting skiers and ski resort                 
  operators by clearly defining the inherent dangers and risks                 
  of skiing assumed  by the skier, as  well as the  duties and                 
  responsibilities the ski  resort operator has to  the skiing                 
  consumer.                                                                    
                                                                               
  He  continued  that while  SB  44  would  remove ski  resort                 
  operators from liability  for injuries caused solely  by the                 
  inherent risks and  dangers of skiing, it  would not absolve                 
  ski  operators  from  negligence  or  civil  liability   for                 
  violations of provisions outlined in the legislation.                        
                                                                               
  PATTI   RIZER,   (TESTIFIED  VIA   TELECONFERENCE),  PARENT,                 
  ANCHORAGE, testified  against the legislation for the safety                 
  of Alaska's children.  She noted  that there currently is an                 
  inherent risk law in place in the state.  Recently, that law                 
  was interpreted  by the  Supreme Court  stating that a  land                 
  owner must act as a responsible  land owner and maintain the                 
  ski  property in a  reasonably safe condition  by common law                 
  duty.    She  noted  her  concern  with  the  legislation in                 
  determining   what  would   be  a   "reasonable"   risk  and                 
  responsibilities of the skier.                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
                               12                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Ms. Rizer added that given the amount  of money a person who                 
  skies pays at local ski areas, they should be able to assume                 
  that  there  ski  operators  are  acting responsible.    She                 
  thought  the  legislation would  allow  ski resorts  to make                 
  money while continuing to hire unqualified personnel.                        
                                                                               
  BRUCE   RIZER,   (TESTIFIED  VIA   TELECONFERENCE),  PARENT,                 
  ANCHORAGE,  testified  in opposition  to  SB 44  providing a                 
  brief  history  of the  legislation.    He  stated that  the                 
  legislation was introduced  shortly after  the death of  his                 
  son  at  the  Alyeska  Ski  Resort.   He  thought  that  the                 
  legislation was  an attempt  to evade  the Hiibschamn  case,                 
  which  defines  "reasonable"  responsibility  of ski  resort                 
  operators, handed down by  the Supreme Court.  He  commented                 
  that the legislation would alleviate "shared responsibility"                 
  from ski resort operators.                                                   
                                                                               
  FRED  ROGERS,  (TESTIFIED  VIA TELECONFERENCE),  DEVELOPMENT                 
  COMPANY,  SQUAW  VALLEY,  IDAHO,  spoke  in support  of  the                 
  legislation.  He point out that the legislation would define                 
  the liability between the skier and the  ski area operators.                 
  The  information is  essential for  insurance  companies for                 
  future economic development projects.                                        
                                                                               
  ROBERT MOSS,  (TESTIFIED VIA  TELECONFERENCE), KACHEMAK  SKI                 
  CLUB,  HOMER, testified in support of  SB 44 indicating that                 
  it would address liability insurance issues.                                 
                                                                               
  CHRIS MOSS, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), HOMER, testified                 
  in support  of the  legislation.   He stated  that the  bill                 
  adequately addresses the "responsibilities" of the skier and                 
  the ski area.                                                                
                                                                               
  DAVID  WILSON,  (TESTIFIED  VIA TELECONFERENCE),  ANCHORAGE,                 
  testified  in support of the legislation  and stated that it                 
  would encourage economic activity in the State by addressing                 
  the  strong  inherent  risk law.    He  added,  SB 44  could                 
  eliminate unnecessary litigation.                                            
                                                                               
  Representative  Navarre  asked  Mr. Wilson  to  provide  the                 
  Committee   with  information  in  which  he  indicated  the                 
  statistics  of  trial  attorneys  increasing the  number  of                 
  lawsuits against ski areas.                                                  
                                                                               
  STEVE LEAR, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), PROFESSIONAL SKI                 
  INSTRUCTORS (PSI), ANCHORAGE, spoke in support of SB 44.  He                 
  stated the  legislation supports  the responsibility  of the                 
  users and operators of ski areas and also encourages them to                 
  share in the risks and hazards of skiing.                                    
                                                                               
  MARK BOND,  (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE),  GENERAL COUNSEL                 
  FOR THE  NATIONAL SKI  PATROL, ATTORNEY  FOR ALYESKA,  SQUAW                 
                                                                               
                               13                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  VALLEY,  IDAHO, spoke  in support  of the  legislation.   He                 
  pointed out that injury rates from skiing have declined over                 
  the year due to improved operator safety practices.                          
                                                                               
  He pointed out that the expenses of litigation, stating that                 
  the way to avoid these costs would be for the Legislature to                 
  define  the  "inherent risks"  of skiing  and note  that ski                 
  area's  are not  liable for them.   He  pointed out  that in                 
  Colorado,   similar   legislation   has   been   effectively                 
  implemented.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative Navarre asked if there  has been a growth  in                 
  claim  suits against  Alyeska and skiers.   Mr.  Bond stated                 
  that  there  has been  an  increase.   Representative Martin                 
  asked how the  legislation would help  the skier.  Mr.  Bond                 
  replied  that  the law  would  require  that a  list  of the                 
  inherent risks and dangers be posted.                                        
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 94-54, Side 2).                                            
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown  asked  if equal  protection  problems                 
  would be increased  due to  specification of an  enforcement                 
  mechanism on state  lands.   Mr. Bond listed  the state  ski                 
  resorts  indicating  who  owned  the  land which  they  were                 
  located.  He added that the  Department of Natural Resources                 
  (DNR) has  requested this  legislation and  that the  Forest                 
  Service has the  authority to site people for  violations as                 
  specified  in  statute.   DNR would  like  to have  the same                 
  authority.                                                                   
                                                                               
  JOHN  BEVIS,  (TESTIFIED   VIA  TELECONFERENCE),   CHALLENGE                 
  ALASKA,  ANCHORAGE,   spoke  in  support   of  the  proposed                 
  legislation   stating  that   the  law   would  define   the                 
  responsibility of the skier.                                                 
                                                                               
  DIANA  WOODS,  (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  ANCHORAGE,                 
  spoke in  favor of SB 44.   She stated  that the legislation                 
  would protect the  interest of skiers and  ski operators and                 
  added  that  it could  control  the  cost of  skiing  due to                 
  reduced insurance claims.                                                    
                                                                               
  MIKE  STONE,  (TESTIFIED   VIA  TELECONFERENCE),   ANCHORAGE                 
  ECONOMIC  DEVELOPMENT  CORPORATION,   ANCHORAGE,  spoke   in                 
  support  of  SB  44,  stating  that  it  would  be  critical                 
  legislation for Alaska in order to be competitive with other                 
  ski destinations in the United States and Canada.                            
                                                                               
  GARY MEDENVIL,  BUSINESS MANAGER, EAGLECREST,  JUNEAU, urged                 
  the Committee  to support  the legislation  adding that  the                 
  bill addresses the  needs of small  ski areas.  Without  the                 
  legislation, city owned  ski areas such as  Eaglecrest could                 
  suffer the same fate as the Valdez resort resulting from the                 
                                                                               
                               14                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Hiibschamn versus Valdez court case.                                         
                                                                               
  Representative  Therriault  commented  that the  bill  would                 
  provide uniformity of regulations to all state ski areas.                    
                                                                               
  PHIL THINGSTAD, (TESTIFIED  VIA TELECONFERENCE),  ANCHORAGE,                 
  spoke  in favor of  SB 44.   He added,  that the legislation                 
  would  define the legal parameters for  skiers and ski areas                 
  by encouraging future development and goal setting.                          
                                                                               
  BOB DAY, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), ANCHORAGE, spoke in                 
  support of the  proposed legislation  adding that he  favors                 
  any  attempt to define and control  the costs of skiing.  He                 
  pointed  out  that the  bill is  fair  and would  define the                 
  responsibility of the operator and the skier.                                
                                                                               
  MANO FREY,  (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE),  PRESIDENT, AFL-                 
  CIO,  ANCHORAGE,  stated  that  the  AFL-CIO  supports   the                 
  legislation  given  the  balance  it  has  created  for  ski                 
  operators to be  liable for  any negligent acts  and at  the                 
  same time defining uniform rules for skiers.                                 
                                                                               
  TERRY  KADEL,  (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  ANCHORAGE,                 
  spoke  in support of SB 44.   He stated that the legislation                 
  would be good for Alaska as it would define responsibilities                 
  between the skier and  the operator.  He added,  that skiing                 
  is  a  sport with  inherent risks  and  skiers need  to take                 
  ownership  of  those  risks.     The  legislation  would  be                 
  economically good for  Alaska allowing  new resorts to  open                 
  and expand.                                                                  
                                                                               
  DAVID SAMS, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), PRESIDENT OF THE                 
  BOARD OF DIRECTORS,  ANCHORAGE CHALLENGE PROGRAM, ANCHORAGE,                 
  spoke  in  support  of the  legislation  which  would define                 
  liability for skiers and operators.                                          
                                                                               
  DENNIS  MINCE,  (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  ATTORNEY,                 
  ANCHORAGE, spoke in opposition to the legislation.  He asked                 
  the  Committee to  consider  the precedence  established  in                 
  drafting  an  exception  for  a  particular business  and  a                 
  special interest.  He  stated that the legislation is  being                 
  promoted  by  SEIBU,  a  large  Japanese  corporation.    He                 
  suggested that each legal situation  should be considered in                 
  court while given the specific facts regarding it.                           
                                                                               
  Representative Brown recommended adding language to Page  5,                 
  Line 6, inserting "the Department  is authorized to charge a                 
  fee,  sufficient  to  cover  the cost  of  plan,  review and                 
  approval".    She  stated  that  the language  change  would                 
  address  the  ten areas  cited  causing  cost to  DNR.   She                 
  offered  to  draft  the  amendment and  provide  it  to  the                 
  Committee.                                                                   
                                                                               
                               15                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Parnell requested more  information regarding                 
  duties as  required  by other  state  statutes on  ski  area                 
  operators in  which "inherent risks" are defined.   Mr. Bond                 
  pointed  out that  there are  twenty-six different  statutes                 
  which define  an "inherent  risk".   He suggested  providing                 
  information  from  the Colorado  legislation which  has been                 
  effective.   He also offered to  make his research available                 
  to the Committee.                                                            
                                                                               
  SB 44 was HELD in Committee for further discussion.                          
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting adjourned at 3:35 P.M.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
                               16                                              

Document Name Date/Time Subjects