Legislature(2019 - 2020)GRUENBERG 120

04/02/2019 10:00 AM FISHERIES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 99 NUYAKUK RIVER FALLS: HYDROELECTRIC SITE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ HB 105 COMM FISHERMEN'S FUND:VESSEL OWNER CLAIMS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invited/Public> --
        HB 105-COMM FISHERMEN'S FUND:VESSEL OWNER CLAIMS                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:51:43 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO.   105,  "An  Act  relating   to  claims  against                                                               
protection and indemnity insurance policies of vessel owners."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:52:26 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAN ORTIZ,  Alaska  State  Legislature, as  prime                                                               
sponsor of HB  105, said that the proposed  legislation was heard                                                               
in a  prior session and was  based on the fishermen's  fund which                                                               
was created  in 1951.  The  fund provided the treatment  and care                                                               
of Alaskas   licensed and commercial  fishermen who  were injured                                                               
while fishing, on shore or off  shore, in Alaska.  It was created                                                               
by fishermen, for fishermen, from  a portion of every fishermens                                                                
license fee.   He explained that in 2010  the legislature amended                                                               
the fishermens  funds statutes to allow  a vessel owner to file a                                                               
claim against the  fund for 50 percent of  the owners  protection                                                               
and  indemnity insurance  deductible  from the  fund.   A  vessel                                                               
owner could file a claim if  an injured crew member filed a claim                                                               
against  both  the  fishermens    fund  and  the  vessel  owners                                                                
insurance.  He  told the committee the idea behind  this was that                                                               
the fishermens  fund was essentially a  payor of last resort.  If                                                               
a  vessel owner  carries  protection and  indemnity insurance  to                                                               
fully cover a  crew members  medical expenses in the  event of an                                                               
injury, then there  would be a reduced burden  on the fishermens                                                                
fund.   Representative  Ortiz said  HB 105  would allow  a vessel                                                               
owner to  fully recover the  protection and  indemnity deductible                                                               
from  the fund  up to  the amount  of $5000.   He  reiterated the                                                               
fishermens fund is self-funded by the fishermen.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:55:12 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP asked  if  there had  been  any modeling  of                                                               
claims in  order to  know what  was paid  out of  the fishermens                                                                
fund over a period of time.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ORTIZ  shared  what  the fund  had  paid  out  on                                                               
deductibles between  2014 and 2017.   He said  the sustainability                                                               
of the  fund would remain  intact and overall performance  of the                                                               
fund would  be the  same if HB  105 passed.   He shared  that the                                                               
fund  managers  are  responsible  for making  sure  the  fund  is                                                               
sustainable, and they support the bill.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:57:38 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE asked how much  money was in the fishermens                                                                
fund and what the annual contribution to the fund was.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:57:58 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
LIZ  HARPOLD,  Staff,  Representative  Dan  Ortiz,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  explained that  the current  value of  the fund  is                                                               
$11.7 million,  and the  ten-year average value  of the  fund had                                                               
been around $11.5  million.  She continued her  answer by sharing                                                               
that about  $1.1 million goes into  the fund annually.   She said                                                               
that  shifting  the  financial   burden  to  the  vessel  owner's                                                               
insurance would help protect the fund.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:58:49 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKIN asked  for clarification whether the                                                               
fiscal note was  correct because it seemed like a  small price to                                                               
pay.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HARPOLD expressed  agreement  that the  fiscal  note of  $16                                                               
thousand was a small price for a great benefit.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
11:00:06 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES opened invited testimony on HB 105.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
11:00:27 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
BOB  KEHOE,   Executive  Director,  Purse  Seine   Vessel  Owners                                                               
Association, told  the committee  his organization  managed three                                                               
fishermen-owned marine  insurance pools,  and profits  created by                                                               
the  pools were  distributed back  to  the pool  members to  help                                                               
control  the  cost  of  liability  insurance.  He  continued  his                                                               
testimony  by saying  the Purse  Seine Vessel  Owners Association                                                               
supported  the   bill  and   thanked  Representative   Ortiz  for                                                               
sponsoring the bill.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
11:03:11 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CLAY BEZENEK,  Commercial Fisherman, reported that  he had served                                                               
on the fishermen's fund board in  the past.  He explained that in                                                               
2009  the board  introduced  similar legislation  to the  current                                                               
bill.  He testified in support of HB 105.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:05:54 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
FRANCES LEACH,  Executive Director,  United Fishermen  of Alaska,                                                               
said that  United Fishermen  of Alaska  would like  to be  on the                                                               
record in  support of HB 105,  and on behalf of  the organization                                                               
she thanked  Representative Ortiz for bringing  the bill forward.                                                               
She said  the bill  provided additional  incentive for  owners to                                                               
purchase liability insurance  for crew members in  order to cover                                                               
the full  cost of an  injured crew  members  medical care  in the                                                               
event of an injury, rather than relying on the fishermens  fund.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
11:07:19 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES  opened   public  testimony  on  HB   105.    After                                                               
determining  that no  one wished  to testify,  she closed  public                                                               
testimony.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
11:07:41 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES announced that HB 105 was held over.                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB099 Supporting Document - Naknek Electric resolution.pdf HFSH 4/2/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 5/7/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 99
HB099 Supporting Document - NETC Fish First Resolution.pdf HFSH 4/2/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 5/7/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 99
HB099 Supporting Document - Nuyakuk Hydroelectric_2019update.pdf HFSH 4/2/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 5/7/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 99
HB099 ver A 3.28.19.PDF HFSH 4/2/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 5/7/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 99
HB099 Supporting Document - Nuyakuk Studies Description and Estimate.pdf HFSH 4/2/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 5/7/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 99
HB105 Fiscal Note DLWD 03.29.19.pdf HFSH 4/2/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 4/4/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 105
HB105 Sponsor Statement 03.29.2019.pdf HFSH 4/2/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 4/4/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 105
HB105 Support Document - PSVOA 03.26.2019.pdf HFSH 4/2/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 4/4/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 105
HB105 Support Document - SEAFA 03.26.2019.pdf HFSH 4/2/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 4/4/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 105
HB105 Support Document - SEAS 03.26.2019.pdf HFSH 4/2/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 4/4/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 105
HB105 Support Document - UFA 03.26.2019.pdf HFSH 4/2/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 4/4/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 105
HB105 ver A 03.26.2019.PDF HFSH 4/2/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 4/4/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 105
HB099 Fiscal Note DNR 03.29.19.pdf HFSH 4/2/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 5/7/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 99
HB099 Sectional Analysis ver A 3.28.19.pdf HFSH 4/2/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 5/7/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 99
HB099 Sponsor Statement 3.28.19.pdf HFSH 4/2/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 5/7/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 99
HB099 Supporting Document - Aleknagik Resolution.pdf HFSH 4/2/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 5/7/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 99
HB099 Supporting Document - BBNA resolution.pdf HFSH 4/2/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 5/7/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 99
HB099 Supporting Document - Curyung Tribal Council resolution.pdf HFSH 4/2/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 5/7/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 99
HB099 Supporting Document - Dillingham City Council resolution.pdf HFSH 4/2/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 99
HB099 Supporting Document - Hydro presentation_testimony.pdf HFSH 4/2/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 5/7/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 99