Legislature(2015 - 2016)CAPITOL 120

04/07/2015 05:00 PM FISHERIES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Time Change from 10:00 a.m. --
*+ HCR 10 MARITIME WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHCR 10(FSH) Out of Committee
*+ HB 179 FOOD PROGRAM DONATIONS; FISH AND GAME TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 179(FSH) Out of Committee
*+ HB 119 LEG. APPROVAL OF BRISTOL BAY SULFIDE MINE TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 119 Out of Committee
*+ HB 110 PERSONAL USE FISHING PRIORITY TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
          HB 179-FOOD PROGRAM DONATIONS; FISH AND GAME                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:52:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES  announced that  the final  order of  business would                                                               
be, HOUSE BILL NO. 179 "An  Act relating to donations of fish and                                                               
game to food service programs."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:53:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT  moved to  adopt  CSHB  179, labeled  29-                                                               
LS076\E as the working document.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES objected for discussion.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:53:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS  presented  the  CS  for  HB  179,                                                               
Version E,  and said the  bill allows  people to donate  sport or                                                               
subsistence harvested  food to non-profit meal  programs, such as                                                               
senior  centers, pre-schools,  or  schools.   He paraphrased  the                                                               
following  summary of  changes, [original  punctuation provided],                                                               
as follows:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Defines  and uses  "covered organization"  to mean  the                                                                    
     list  of organizations  in section  3(4)  of the  prior                                                                    
     version  (version   A)  that  are  allowed   to  accept                                                                    
     donations  of   wild  food   for  their   meal  service                                                                    
     programs.  Expands the  list  of covered  organizations                                                                    
     listed  in the  prior version  to add  private schools;                                                                    
     public, nonprofit,  and private child  care facilities,                                                                    
     including preschools and  head start programs; licensed                                                                    
     residential  psychiatric  treatment  centers;  a  wider                                                                    
     variety of  senior center  facilities; and  senior meal                                                                    
     programs.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Defines and uses  "covered food item" to  mean the food                                                                    
     allowed to  be donated to a  covered organization under                                                                    
     section 1 of version A, now section 1(b) of version E.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Moves definition  sections from  Title 17 to  Title 16.                                                                    
     Defines additional terms.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Removes  personal use  fish from  the  list of  covered                                                                    
     food items that  can be donated. This  means the status                                                                    
     quo  rules  remain in  place  for  personal use  caught                                                                    
     fish.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Makes clear  that all game,  marine or  aquatic plants,                                                                    
     and  nests or  eggs of  fish and  game, not  just those                                                                    
     harvested  for subsistence  or  sport,  can be  donated                                                                    
     under the bill.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Explicitly  allows  a  covered organization  to  accept                                                                    
     state  funding, federal  funding, and  fees from  staff                                                                    
     and  users for  meals  containing  covered food  items.                                                                    
     Explicitly bars  a covered organization  from accepting                                                                    
     payment for meals provided to  people who are not staff                                                                    
     or  users,  including  the general  public.  Users  are                                                                    
     individuals a covered organization serves.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Removes  the  specific  language   on  food  safety  in                                                                    
     Section 4(a) of version A.  Discussions with DEC led to                                                                    
     the conclusion  that this language  was better  left to                                                                    
     regulation.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Standardizes language between the  sections of the bill                                                                    
     in Title  16 and Title  17, so that all  sections refer                                                                    
     to covered organizations and covered food items.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Moves  language on  indemnification from  liability for                                                                    
     covered   organizations   to   the   existing   section                                                                    
     providing  indemnification to  food banks,  rather than                                                                    
     creating a separate section.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
5:54:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS advised  that  a  large change  in                                                               
Version  E removes  any  mention  of personal  use  in the  bill.                                                               
Other   changes,   he   said,    clarify   the   eligibility   of                                                               
organizations.      He   explained   that   the   Department   of                                                               
Environmental Conservation (DEC) currently  has regulations as to                                                               
how people can  donate sport or subsistence food  to, for example                                                               
food  banks, and  advised the  bill allows  DEC to  continue that                                                               
flexibility through regulations.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
5:55:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REID  MAGDANZ,  Staff,  Representative  Jonathan  Kreiss-Tomkins,                                                               
Alaska State Legislature, said that  word choices and definitions                                                               
are  different in  Version  E than  within Version  A,  due to  a                                                               
change  in  drafting  attorneys.    He  explained  the  following                                                               
changes:  the term  "covered organization"  was  added to  define                                                               
which  organizations are  eligible  to  receive these  donations;                                                               
"covered food item"  refers to eligible foods to  donate; more of                                                               
the language was  pulled into Title 16 - wherein  Version A had a                                                               
significant amount of  language pulled from Title  17, which puts                                                               
everything in  one place and standardizes  the definitions across                                                               
those  titles;   and  clarification  language  was   included  to                                                               
ascertain  the  bill  fully  reflects   the  intent  and  sponsor                                                               
statement.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES opened public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:56:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MAX WORHATCH, testified in opposition  for HB 179, and advised he                                                               
is  a  sports, subsistence,  and  personal  use fisherman  and  a                                                               
hunter.  He  stated he is not opposed  to benefiting non-profits,                                                               
but  the  bill  creates  a  whole new  user  group  for  Alaska's                                                               
resources.    He  opined that  in  speaking  with  Representative                                                               
Kreiss-Tomkins  determined  the bill  is  more  for villages  and                                                               
outlying areas; therefore, the problem is  that it is a state law                                                               
and Petersburg's fish and game  resources are being used to their                                                               
full capabilities.   He expressed that any sport  fish donated or                                                               
served  to   schools  should  come  from   the  highly  regulated                                                               
commercial  industry   where  the  Department   of  Environmental                                                               
Conservation   (DEC)  and   the  United   States  Department   of                                                               
Agriculture  (USDA)  food  approved processing  capabilities  are                                                               
required and  adhered to.   He  referred to game  and said  he is                                                               
opposed, although it  would be nice for Alaska's  children to eat                                                               
deer chops at lunch the problem  is that the chain of custody and                                                               
care  of the  meat  is too  vague  for  him.   When  it comes  to                                                               
management of the  resources involved, he said, it  would lead to                                                               
an  increase in  harvests  which complicates  management and  may                                                               
preclude  people from  harvesting  meat for  the  needs of  their                                                               
family.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:58:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT   clarified  that  this  bill   does  not                                                               
increase the amount of bag limits or  fish to be taken, in that a                                                               
person must  stay within  the Department of  Fish &  Game (ADF&G)                                                               
rules and regulations.   For example, she remarked,  she can only                                                               
take  her eligible  two King  Salmon but  can donate  one of  the                                                               
salmon to a non-profit.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  stated her comment is  accurate in                                                               
that the bill does not touch on allocations.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WORHATCH argued  that there  is  no annual  limit for  sport                                                               
fish, not  King Salmon,  but for other  species an  individual is                                                               
allowed  six salmon  per day,  every day  of the  year.   In that                                                               
regard, he  related, fishermen could  fish their daily  limit and                                                               
donate the catch, which could  cause an increase in demand around                                                               
larger  communities, such  as  Juneau,  Petersburg, Wrangell,  or                                                               
Ketchikan where local  users do not have go out  far in the ocean                                                               
to fulfill  their needs.  He  opined that as more  fish are taken                                                               
out of that area, there will be less for everyone.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
6:00:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT  pointed out  that currently  people could                                                               
fish their  six salmon every day  and ship it to  their family in                                                               
the  lower-48  if  they  wanted   to,  it  does  not  change  any                                                               
allocation.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. WORHATCH responded that he does  not know how that works, and                                                               
opined that  even though personal  use is not being  addressed, a                                                               
sport  fishing   Alaskan  resident   falls  under   personal  use                                                               
regulations.  He  said he is unclear as to  whether an Alaskan is                                                               
allowed to send a huge amount of fish out of the state.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
6:01:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SETH  BEAUSANG, Attorney,  Natural Resources  Section, Department                                                               
of Law (DOL), responded there is  no clear answer to the question                                                               
of  whether an  individual  can  send their  daily  catch to  the                                                               
lower-48, in  that sport fishing  is defined in state  statute as                                                               
taking or attempting  to take for personal use, and  not for sale                                                               
or barter.   He remarked that in the past,  the Department of Law                                                               
(DOL) has advised  that in taking sport caught  fish for personal                                                               
use there is limited amount of  sharing allowed.  He said whether                                                               
it would  be permissible to  share on the  above-mentioned scale,                                                               
there is no clear answer in the law.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
6:03:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JERRY McCUNE,  Cordova District Fishermen United  (CDFU), offered                                                               
that there are  a couple salmon donations provided  by CDFU, such                                                               
as a  senior salmon  day, and  donating fish to  the school.   He                                                               
mentioned that they have the  processors process the fish because                                                               
the  school uses  the  fish throughout  the  year; therefore,  it                                                               
can't  be   home  vacuumed  packed   and  must   be  commercially                                                               
processed.  He  opined that while he understand the  intent is to                                                               
allow people to  donate game, but on the fish  side he is nervous                                                               
about someone "willy  nilly" taking fish out of  their freezer at                                                               
the end  of the year and  dumping it somewhere.   He offered that                                                               
for any public event wherein CDFU  is serving salmon, it has been                                                               
run through the DEC processor.   He said the bill's intent is for                                                               
a good cause, but he is cautious when it comes to fish.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
6:04:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LORINDA  LHOTKA, Food  Safety &  Sanitation Program,  Division of                                                               
Environmental  Health, Department  of Environmental  Conservation                                                               
(DEC), answered  that (indisc.) currently, and  they've (indisc.)                                                               
for many  years that a  school could receive  (indisc.) involving                                                               
seafood and  plants and that would  include fish.  She  said they                                                               
could receive the  fish whole (indisc.) and then  process them in                                                               
a  facility (indisc.)  permanent space  allows them  to do  that.                                                               
They could  also get  fish donated  from a  commercial processor,                                                               
she explained.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES said  she heard that one way to  donate is through a                                                               
commercial processor, but could not  hear the first way to donate                                                               
in that the telephone line is muffled.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. LHOTKA said  (indisc.) allow a school food service  or a non-                                                               
profit program to receive the  fish whole, gutted, or gilled, and                                                               
the  school could  process (indisc.)  store at  the school,  food                                                               
service, head-start,  or a  long-term care  facility.   She added                                                               
that the  regulations allow the  school or food  establishment to                                                               
[process] it, or it can come from a commercial food processor.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES  closed public testimony  after ascertaining  no one                                                               
further wished to testify.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
6:06:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ asked what prompted the bill.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  responded that there  is increased                                                               
public  interest  in  eating  good local  foods  in  Alaska  with                                                               
nutritious  foods  for schools  programs.    He said  his  second                                                               
motivation is  that in some  communities, variations of  "what is                                                               
described in  this bill may,  or may not, already  be happening,"                                                               
which speaks  to an existing  reality in a significant  number of                                                               
Alaskan communities.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
6:08:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON pointed out that  the witness from DEC said                                                               
there are regulations where certain  facilities can receive these                                                               
donated goods, and asked what the bill is trying to expand.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  explained that  a line  in statute                                                               
is changed by  this bill, as currently if an  individual wants to                                                               
donate  salmon  to a  food  bank,  for  instance, it  is  allowed                                                               
through DEC  regulations.  He  said the  food bank will  give the                                                               
food  away without  any monetary  transactions, but  there is  an                                                               
issue with a senior center where  people may pay a nominal amount                                                               
of money for their lunch  which disallows that facility to engage                                                               
in donated fish  and game.  The bill changes  that and, he noted,                                                               
DEC regulations are not being substantively altered.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON  said with  regard  to  the senior  center                                                               
example, if  a normal meal  is $5.00  and on that  particular day                                                               
are  eating donated  food,  couldn't  the value  of  the meal  be                                                               
reduced related to the donated food.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
6:10:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS answered  that institutions  could                                                               
create  an  internal  policy allowing  free  meals  when  serving                                                               
donated foods.   He suggested  clear segregated  systems offering                                                               
days of donated foods, and not donated foods.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES  pointed  out  that fish  and  game  donated  meals                                                               
include  other side  dishes in  the meal  wherein costs  would be                                                               
incurred  through a  senior center,  and said  she could  see the                                                               
point of this bill.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
6:11:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FOSTER  asked  whether  the  term  game  includes                                                               
marine mammals.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KREISS-TOMKINS   deferred   to   attorney   Seth                                                               
Beausang.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. BEAUSANG  responded that the  definition of game in  Title 16                                                               
does  include  marine  mammals; however,  the  taking  of  marine                                                               
mammals  is  highly regulated  and  generally  prohibited by  the                                                               
federal Marine  Mammal Protection Act  of 1972, which  would come                                                               
into play.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES  closed public testimony after  ascertaining that no                                                               
one further wished to testify.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES removed  her objection and Version E  was before the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
6:12:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT moved  to  report CSHB  179, labeled  29-                                                               
LS076\E out of committee with  individual recommendations and the                                                               
accompanying  fiscal  notes.   There  being  no  objection,  CSHB                                                               
179(FSH) passed from the House Special Committee on Fisheries.                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 119 Supporting Document - BBFR Map.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 119
HB 119 Supporting Document - Pebble 2.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 119
HB 119 Supporting Document - Pebble 1.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 119
HB 119 Supporting Document - Pebble 3.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 119
HB 119 Supporting Document - Talking Points.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 119
HB 119 Supporting Document - Pebble 3.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 119
HB 119 Supporting Document - BBFR Map.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 119
HB 119 Supporting Document - Talking Points.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 119
HB 119 Supporting Document - Pebble 1.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 119
HB 119 Supporting Document - Pebble 2.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 119
HB 110 Oppose CDFU.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 110
HB 110 Oppose UFA.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 110
HB 110 Oppose Martin.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 110
HB 110 Oppose SEAFA.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 110
HB 110 Oppose AK Salmon Alliance.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 110
HB 110 Oppose UCIDA.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 110
HCR 10 Support DOL.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HCR 10
HB179 Explanation of Changes ver A to ver E.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 179
HB179 ver E.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 179
HB179 Sectional ver E.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 179
HB 179 Support Tlingit and Haida.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 179
HCR 10 Support BBB Chamber of Commerce.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HCR 10
HB 110 Oppose SEAS.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 110
HB 110 Oppose ASA.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 110
HB 110 Oppose Lee.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 110
HB 110 Oppose Evans.pdf HFSH 4/7/2015 5:00:00 PM
HB 110