Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 17
01/31/2005 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE
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* first hearing in first committee of referral
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= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 15-SEASONAL HUNT/FISH LODGE LIQUOR LICENSE CHAIR ANDERSON announced that the final order of business would be HOUSE BILL NO. 15, "An Act relating to seasonal alcoholic beverage licenses; and providing for an effective date." He explained that he held the bill [over from the previous week] because he wanted to ask particular lodge owners if they would be affected by the bill. He commented that he spoke with four lodge owners from rural, interior Alaska, and all four responded positively to the bill. REPRESENTATIVE KOTT moved to adopt CSHB 15, Version 24-LS0075\I, Luckhaupt, 1/31/05 as the working document. There being no objection, Version I was before the committee. MICHAEL PAWLOWSKI, Staff to Representative Kevin Meyer, Alaska State Legislature, testified on behalf of Representative Meyer, sponsor of HB 15. He presented an overview of the changes made in Version I. He pointed out that the name of the license was changed to "an outdoor recreation lodge". Also, the seasonal limitation on the lodge was removed because some lodges provide more than one seasonal activity. He said that Section 9, page 1, line 9 has the added line: An outdoor recreation lodge license may not be transferred. MR. PAWLOWSKI stated that this line was added to address Chair Anderson's concern that the law not impact valuation on existing licenses. He said that in Section 2, page 1, line 12-14, the definition of lodge has been changed to include the following phrase: is primarily involved in offering opportunities for persons to engage in outdoor recreation activities MR. PAWLOWSKI commented that the above phrase was added to give the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board ("ABC Board") specific statutory direction. He remarked that the primary purpose of a lodge is to provide opportunities outdoor recreation, which is different than a hotel or motel. 4:22:15 PM MR. PAWLOWSKI then turned to Section 3 of Version I. Because most lodges are in areas with small populations, he opined that the lodges need to be exempted from AS 04.11.400(a), which governs and limits the amount of licenses that can be issued. At the same time, he said, Version I allows the licenses to be issued but not transferred to maintain consistency with the new Section 2. REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG asked if the license will be given to the lodge or to the lodge owner. As an example, he asked if the license would stay with the property when the lodge owner sold the lodge. MR. PAWLOWSKI replied that he would defer to ABC Board on this issue, but he said that he thinks the license would be given to the owner of the lodge. Therefore if the lodge was sold the new owner would need to get a new license. CHAIR ANDERSON asked if Mr. Pawlowski received a response of opinion from the Cabaret Hotel Restaurant and Retailers Association (CHARR) or the Alaska Restaurant and Beverage Association (ARBA). MR. PAWLOWSKI replied that he had not. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG turned attention to Section 2, page 1, line 14 and asked why the minimum number of guest [rooms] is two instead of four, six, or eight. MR. PAWLOWSKI answered that it was difficult to write this bill so that it would include as many different possible permutations of an outdoor recreation lodge that exists in the State of Alaska. He explained that some lodges are very small; he explained that the bill allows lodges to serve alcohol "only to the overnight guests, but in addition we've added off-duty staff to the license to include people that are working out in the field in these lodges and want to be able to be served when they are off-duty." He said that the minimum number of two guest rooms was recommended by the ABC BOARD, and this "does provide the flexibility for a lot of the unique places in Alaska to qualify for this license, as that is the intent." Bob Klein, Chairman, Government Affairs Committee, CHARR, stated that he is also retailer for Brown Jug in Anchorage, Alaska and was speaking for both entities. He stated that he was on the ABC Board for 12 years, nine of which he was the chairman. He said that the bill is a way of bringing an already-occurring practice under control. He also pointed out that the lodge owners who acquire this license would be required to complete [the two mandatory alcohol server training programs]: Training for Intervention Procedures (TIPS) and Techniques in Alcohol Management (TAM), and also would have the benefit of being allowed to purchase from distributors or retailers, and can have the goods sent to them. He said that [CHARR and Brown Jug] support the bill. 4:27:38 PM REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked how many of Brown Jug's clients have only two beds in their lodge. MR. KLEIN replied, "We actually raised the two beds as a question, but Representative Meyers' group was pretty supportive that that should be the low threshold." He commented that if the bill is passed, "it has to go before the ABC [Board] for further consideration and for some regulations that are attached to it, and if two beds is too small ... they can put come restrictions as well." CHAIR ANDERSON pointed out that Representative Kott made the observation that the bill states "two guest rooms", not "two guest beds". DOUG GRIFFIN, Director, ABC BOARD, said that Mr. Pawlowski did a fine job on the bill. He commented that he interpreted the "nontransferability of the license" to mean that when a lodge is sold, the new owners would have to apply for a new license. He stated that there shouldn't be any problem with someone applying for a new license. He said, "We're trying to be sensitive to the concerns of CHAR, that ... if you add transferability to the license, it does obtain, in theory, some value". REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked what the rationale was in Section 3 for distinguishing between organized and unorganized boroughs. MR. GRIFFIN explained that this is existing language that is in the statute; the only change is the addition on subsection (m), takes into account the lodge licenses. He said, "The whole idea there is where you've got different standards where you've got any kind of liquor license that's near an organized government, that they have the ability to have some input. ... The idea is to exempt these licenses from those population limitations." 4:32:31 PM CHAIR ANDERSON closed public testimony. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG moved [to adopt Amendment 1, labeled 24- LS0075\G.1, Luckhaupt, 1/20/05], "conceptually to fit into ... [Version I]." CHAIR ANDERSON objected for discussion purposes. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG gave an overview of Amendment 1, which read: Page 1, line 1, following "licenses;": Insert "relating to transfer of certain beverage dispensary licenses issued before June 6, 1985;" Page 1, following line 14: Insert a new bill section to read: "* Sec. 3. AS 04.11.360 is amended to read: Sec. 04.11.360. Denial of transfer of a license to another person. An application requesting approval of a transfer of a license to another person under this title shall be denied if (1) the board finds, after review of all relevant information, that transfer of a license to another person would not be in the best interests of the public; (2) the application has not been completed in accordance with AS 04.11.280; (3) the application contains false statements of material fact; (4) the transferor has not paid all debts or taxes arising from the conduct of the business licensed under this title unless (A) the transferor gives security for the payment of the debts or taxes satisfactory to the creditor or taxing authority; or (B) the transfer is under [PURSUANT TO] a promise given as collateral by the transferor to the transferee in the course of an earlier transfer of the license under which promise the transferor is obliged to transfer the license back to the transferee in the event of default in payment for property conveyed as part of the earlier transfer of the license; (5) transfer of the license to another person would result in violation of the provisions of this title relating to identity of licensees and financing of licensees; (6) transfer of the license to another person would violate the restrictions pertaining to the particular license under this title; (7) transfer of the license to another person is prohibited under the provisions of this title as a result of an election conducted under AS 04.11.507; (8) the prospective transferee does not have the qualifications required under this title of an original applicant; (9) the license was issued under AS 04.11.100(f) or 04.11.400(g); however, this paragraph does not apply to a beverage dispensary license issued before June 6, 1985, under former AS 04.11.400(j); or (10) the license was issued under AS 04.11.135, unless the transferor is also applying to transfer the beverage dispensary license required under AS 04.11.135 to the same transferee." Renumber the following bill section accordingly. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated, There is one license in the state left under this subsection [AS 04.11.400(j)] and that's the license for the Double Musky Restaurant in Girdwood, Alaska. And that license, the beverage dispensary license, was issued to [the owners] ... as a special public convenience license. And one of the provisions when it was issued was it had no transferability ... in other words, you couldn't transfer it at all. ... The business ... grew very successful over the years. [The owner is] reaching his ... retirement age. His son ... will be taking the business over. So even under the provisions of the state law now, [the owner] can't even will that business to his son; there's no way that you can transfer the license right now. Therefore what this particular small provision [will do is] ... change that and ... allow ... the license to be transferred to another individual. MR. GRIFFIN stated that the ABC Board has no problem with Representative Rokeberg's provision. CHAIR ANDERSON remarked, "I know, for the record, Representative Meyer ... didn't want the bill changed because her was in fear that maybe this would make a catalyst for someone to object to it at a future committee hearing." MR. PAWLOWSKI said, "I believe that Representative Meyers' statement to me was that the primary concern he had was with how ... ABC viewed it." CHAIR ANDERSON removed his objection. There being no other objections, the Amendment 1 was adopted by the committee. REPRESENTATIVE LYNN moved to report CSHB 15, Version 24- LS0075\I, Luckhaupt, 1/31/05, as amended from committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. There being no objection, CSHB 15(L&C) was reported from the House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.