Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124

03/10/2018 03:00 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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Audio Topic
03:04:28 PM Start
03:05:30 PM Confirmation Hearing(s):
03:10:04 PM HB89
03:48:32 PM HB264
04:40:34 PM HB350
04:43:18 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 89 LICENSE RADIOLOGIC/NUC. MED TECHNOLOGISTS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 264 SHOPPING BAG FEES & RECYCLING TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 350 AUTOMATED TELLER MACHINES: FEES TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 350 Out of Committee
              HB 264-SHOPPING BAG FEES & RECYCLING                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:48:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO  announced that  the next order  of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 264,  "An Act  relating to  a fee  for disposable                                                               
shopping bags;  relating to the  sale of reusable  shopping bags;                                                               
relating  to  the  recycling of  disposable  shopping  bags;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:49:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 3:49 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:50:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LISA DELANEY, Staff, Representative  Andy Josephson, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  presented  HB  264   on  behalf  of  Representative                                                               
Josephson,  prime sponsor.   She  gave a  PowerPoint presentation                                                               
[included in committee packet].                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY began with slide 1, 'Motivations':                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Plastic doesn't belong in nature.                                                                                          
       Plastic   pollution   is    detrimental   to   our                                                                       
          environment & wildlife                                                                                                
          Unsightlyfor residents & visitors                                                                                     
          People come here for a wilderness experience                                                                          
        Do we want tourists leaving with the impression                                                                         
          that we don't care about our wild spaces?                                                                             
     We're trying to encourage people to be mindful of                                                                          
     their behavior (consumption) and its effects on their                                                                      
     community, environment, health, and economy.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:51:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY moved to slide 2, "Why plastic bags?":                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
          A major plastic offender                                                                                              
         People overuse plastic bags  they're free and                                                                          
          readily accessible                                                                                                    
        So flimsy and delicate that one bag is often not                                                                        
          enough  anything with corners, must double-bag                                                                        
          it!                                                                                                                   
        Light and easily carried by the wind?and Alaska                                                                         
          has some serious winds                                                                                                
          So easy to substitute                                                                                                 
           Cloth bags make a much better replacement                                                                            
          sturdy, washable, even stylish                                                                                        
          Even  thick  plastic  bags don't  end  up  in  the                                                                    
          environment on a comparable scale to thin single-                                                                     
          use bags                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:52:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY spoke to slide 3, "Quick Perspective Break":                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
          Plastic does  not degrade; it breaks  into smaller                                                                    
          and smaller pieces                                                                                                    
          Bits  of plastic  are like  magnets to  pollutants                                                                    
          (?PCBs, for example)                                                                                                  
          These tiny plastic bits,  covered in toxins, enter                                                                    
          the ecosystem & work their way into the food                                                                          
          chain                                                                                                                 
          Fat-soluble toxins (again,  think PCBs) accumulate                                                                    
          in   animal   tissues,   and   toxins   accumulate                                                                    
          exponentially as you move up the food chain                                                                           
          We   Alaskans  love   our  delicious   rich-in-fat                                                                    
          salmon?                                                                                                               
          Plastic  pollution has  far-reaching effects  that                                                                    
          impact human health as well as the environment &                                                                      
          economy                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:53:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY addressed slide 4, "Why not start with a ban?":                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          This was a  tough call; bans are  more common (and                                                                    
          they get right to the point).                                                                                         
          Our rationale:                                                                                                        
          We wanted  people to have the  choice?give folks a                                                                    
          chance to get used to the idea           changing                                                                     
          behaviors takes time                                                                                                  
          The state is in need of revenue                                                                                       
          A fee  is still effective in  reducing plastic bag                                                                    
          use                                                                                                                   
          Stores already  subsidize disposable bag  costs by                                                                    
          charging more for goods purchased                                                                                     
          Estimated  hidden bag  costs =  $25-50 per  person                                                                    
          per year -- bags aren't as free as they seem                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:54:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY moved to slide 5, "The Committee Substitute":                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
          Bans single-use plastic bags under 4 mils thick                                                                       
          About the thickness of plastic sheeting                                                                               
        Establishes minimum $0.10 fee for all other bags                                                                        
          (paper/reusable)                                                                                                      
           Stores keep this feeits only purpose is to                                                                           
          prevent giveaway of thick plastic bags (i.e.,                                                                         
          working around the rule)                                                                                              
        Removes recycling requirement (moot if there's a                                                                        
          ban)                                                                                                                  
          Exempts stores under $250,000 gross sales                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:55:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY spoke to slide 6, "Peer Pressure":                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     GLOBAL                                                                                                                     
          More than 40 countries have a plastic bag ban                                                                         
          Bangladesh was the first (in 2002)                                                                                    
         Kenya has strictest ban (violators get up to 4                                                                         
        years in prison and fines from $19,000-$38,000)                                                                         
     UNITED STATES                                                                                                              
          13 US cities in 7 states have fee                                                                                     
          110 US cities in 18 states have ban                                                                                   
           The most common legislation across the US                                                                            
          involves a ban on plastic bags with a fee for                                                                         
          paper & reusable bags                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:56:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES said she is not clear on the fee for paper                                                                
or reusable bags.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY answered that there is no fee for a bag brought into                                                                
the store.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES asked whether there is a .10 fee for a                                                                    
paper bag.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY answered in the affirmative.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:56:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  DELANEY  addressed slide  7,  "Peer  Pressure -  Lower  49",                                                               
showing the list  of states with bans on plastic  bags and states                                                               
with  fees for  plastic bags.   She  indicated California  is the                                                               
only state with a statewide ban.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:57:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL stated that Alaska should appear in the list                                                                
of states with bans.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:57:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY moved on to slide 8 showing the 17 communities in                                                                   
Alaska with bans on plastic bags.  She pointed out that Palmer,                                                                 
Denali Borough, and Unalaska are considering a ban.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY moved to slide 9, "The resource(ful) state":                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
          Chefornak  - Community  purchased canvas  bags for                                                                    
          the local store to use                                                                                                
          Chevak -  Took used plastic bags  & crocheted them                                                                    
          into reusable plastic bags                                                                                            
          Cordova -  Eyak Preservation  Council ran  Go Fund                                                                    
          Me effort to raise funds to give a cloth bag                                                                          
          bearing their logo to every resident                                                                                  
          Denali   Borough  -   Partnered  with   Subaru  to                                                                    
          distribute reusable bags                                                                                              
          Koyuk  -  Received  Alaska Conservation  grant  to                                                                    
          provide two canvas bags to each household                                                                             
          Wasilla -  Working with  local youth  groups (e.g.                                                                    
          scouts) to sell cloth bags instead of candy                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:59:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY described the original bill in slide 10, "Section                                                                   
1":                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
       Adds "Article 5: Disposable Shopping Bag Fees" to                                                                        
     43.98 (Revenue & Taxation, Misc Provisions)                                                                                
          Establishes a $0.20  fee for single-use, carry-out                                                                    
          plastic bags                                                                                                          
          Lists exceptions  (e.g., bags for bulk  food, ice,                                                                    
          newspaper)                                                                                                            
          Works around any  municipal regulations to prevent                                                                    
          compounding fees                                                                                                      
          State fees are not in addition to muni fees                                                                           
          - Provides instructions for retail seller                                                                             
          - Display fees on receipt                                                                                             
          - May not reimburse fee (or otherwise work around                                                                     
          the rule)                                                                                                             
          - Maintain & file records with Revenue                                                                                
          Explains  penalties  for  violation  ($250,  $500,                                                                    
          $750 within a year)                                                                                                   
          DOR deals with violations                                                                                             
       Defines terms ("disposable shopping bag", "retail                                                                        
          seller", reusable bag")                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:00:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked how the amount of $250,000 was                                                                        
determined.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY answered it came through the House Community and                                                                    
Regional Affairs Standing Committee (HCRA).                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked for more information.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY said it came from another committee member.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:01:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON asked whether similar figures were                                                                     
found in similar areas.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY answered the figure was taken from other bills in                                                                   
the Lower 48.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY addressed slide 13, "Section 2":                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Amends 46.06 (Water, Air, Energy & Environmental                                                                           
     Conservation, Recycling & Reduction of Litter)                                                                             
          Establishes a recycling requirement                                                                                   
          - Retailers must accept plastic bags for the                                                                          
          purpose of recycling                                                                                                  
        Stipulates that plastic bags must show recycling                                                                        
          symbol                                                                                                                
            Requires that reusable bags must be made                                                                            
          available (obviously visible!) for purchase near                                                                      
          checkout                                                                                                              
        Outlines fees for violation of the above ($250,                                                                         
          $500, $750 within a year)                                                                                             
          - DEC deals with violations                                                                                           
       Defines terms ("disposable shopping bag", "retail                                                                        
          seller", "reusable bag") per Section 1                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY moved to slide 14 and stated Section 3 provides an                                                                  
effective date of January 1, 2019.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:03:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY described "the Committee Substitute' in slide 15:                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1: Adds new section to AS 46.06, "Recycling &                                                                      
     Reduction of Litter"                                                                                                       
          Establishes a ban on single-use plastic bags                                                                          
          Lists exceptions (e.g., bags for bulk food, ice,                                                                      
          newspaper)                                                                                                            
          Implements a minimum charge for all other bags                                                                        
          (paper & reusable)                                                                                                    
          Provides instructions for retail seller                                                                               
          - Display price on receipt                                                                                            
       - May not reimburse fee (or otherwise work around                                                                        
          the rule)                                                                                                             
          Explains penalties for violation ($250, $500,                                                                         
          $750 within a year)                                                                                                   
          - DOR deals with violations                                                                                           
          Defines terms ("disposable shopping bag", "retail                                                                     
          seller", reusable bag")                                                                                               
     Section 2: Provides an effective date of July 1, 2019                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:04:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  said he often  uses the self-checkout.    He                                                               
asked whether there would be  paper bags at the self-checkout and                                                               
how it would work.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  DELANEY answered  she assumes  one  would scan  it like  any                                                               
other item.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked whether anyone  had looked into how the                                                               
system works in other states such as California.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY answered she  had heard it was done in  such a way in                                                               
Hawaii.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:05:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  said he  thinks it's a  terrible idea.   He                                                               
asked whether it addresses paper bags or dog waste bags.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY answered the CS wou address single use plastic bags.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH   asked  about  the  thinking   behind  the                                                               
community size provision.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY answered  the original bill had a  provision in which                                                               
municipalities  could  take  part  in  the  state  tax;  however,                                                               
certain  boroughs  can't  do  that.    She  added  the  CS  would                                                               
establish a statewide ban.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:07:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked about dog waste stations and bags.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY  answered the  proposed bill  doesn't apply  to those                                                               
bags.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:08:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KITO  suggested the  proposed  bill  would only  apply  to                                                               
retail operations.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:08:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NICHOLAS WALSH  testified in support of  HB 264.  He  said he has                                                               
been fishing  and hunting in  Alaska for  years and has  seen the                                                               
impact of plastics  in the middle of nowhere.   He said he thinks                                                               
Hawaii has a state-wide ban on plastic bags.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:10:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO opened public testimony on HB 264.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:10:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PATTI FISHER,  Member, Mat-Su Zero Waste  Coalition, testified in                                                               
support  of   HB  264.     She   shared  information   about  the                                                               
organization.     She compared  the coalition  with the  American                                                               
Progressive Bag Alliance and stated  she is upset that an outside                                                               
group could  tell Alaskans what to  do.  She said  the single use                                                               
plastic bags contain particles that  are entering the food chain.                                                               
She said she forgets her reusable  bags all the time and she just                                                               
puts  her groceries  in her  cart  and into  her car.   She  said                                                               
banning single use plastic bags is the right thing to do.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:14:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VERONICA  PADULA, STEM  Program Manager,  Aleut Community  of St.                                                               
Paul Island, Alaska, Ecosystem  Conservation Office, testified in                                                               
support  of HB  264.   She indicated  she is  a graduate  student                                                               
studying the effects of plastic  debris on seabirds in the Bering                                                               
Sea.  She said she and  her fellow scientists have seen all types                                                               
of debris wash  up on the shorelines.  She  added that debris can                                                               
hurt them  internally and  can starve the  animals. She  said the                                                               
chemicals leech into  the tissues of the birds.   She stated that                                                               
the  populations of  birds have  been  declining.   She said  the                                                               
local community  had collected  over 10 tons  of debris  from the                                                               
shoreline and the community decided to ban bags from its store.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:19:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH said  he appreciates  the community  made a                                                               
local decision  as other  communities have.   He shared  a letter                                                               
from the Alaska Municipal League  asking for local governments to                                                               
make the  choice themselves as a  local control issue.   He asked                                                               
Ms.  Padula whether  she supports  allowing  local government  to                                                               
make the choice.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. PADULA  answered she supports  anything that reduces  the use                                                               
of single use plastics.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:21:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAROL MONTGOMERY,  Mat-Su Zero Waste Coalition,  testified in the                                                               
hearing on HB 264.  She  said, "People really hate plastic bags."                                                               
She remarked the written comments  were strongly in favor and the                                                               
city council vote was 5-1.   She said some have argued that local                                                               
communities should decide and not  the state. She pointed out the                                                               
state legislation  would close a  loophole that allows  stores to                                                               
hand out  slightly heavier plastic bags  for free.  She  opined a                                                               
fee  helps  businesses.    She  said  she  had  spoken  with  two                                                               
corporate representatives  who said they  feel a fee is  the only                                                               
way to support the use of  the reusable bags and would help level                                                               
the playing  field.  She queried  why people who bring  their own                                                               
bags should be  subsidizing people who don't.  She  said she took                                                               
issue  with the  plastic  bag  industry claim  that  less than  2                                                               
percent of  litter is from plastic  bags.   She  said the plastic                                                               
bags fly  around, which  is why  they are  seen everywhere.   She                                                               
spoke to the inability of plastic to biodegrade.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:25:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  asked whether Ms. Montgomery  is one of                                                               
the leaders of the Mat-Su Zero Waste Coalition.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. MONTGOMERY answered in the affirmative.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON   asked  whether  Ms.   Montgomery  has                                                               
firsthand knowledge  of domesticated reindeer or  other ungulates                                                               
consuming plastic.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MONTGOMERY answered  it was  the  issue that  got the  group                                                               
started.     She said  a  3rd grader  had been  to the  Matanuska                                                               
Experiment Farm  where a scientist  pulled nine plastic  bags out                                                               
of a  research caribou.    She added the group  was informed that                                                               
scientists  pull plastic  out of  these animals  regularly.   She                                                               
stated the mission  was to raise awareness of the  damage done to                                                               
the community by plastic bags.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON shared  his understanding  that Palmer,                                                               
Alaska, is looking  for a ban and the Mat-Su  Borough looked at a                                                               
ban.  He asked about areas  outside the Mat-Su Borough that share                                                               
the same concerns.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. MONTGOMERY said  Palmer Community Council had  held a meeting                                                               
to discuss plastic bag legislation  and there was a large turnout                                                               
in the community with 100 percent support for "doing something."                                                                
She explained  the only  power the  borough has  is to  impose an                                                               
excise tax.  She said people don't like the idea of a tax.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:29:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  mentioned  the  discussion  regarding  the                                                               
choice  between cloth  and disposable  diapers.   He said  he has                                                               
found  a number  of  uses for  plastic bags.    He asked  whether                                                               
people would be able to buy plastic bags.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. MONTGOMERY  shared her understand that  the legislation would                                                               
apply to carry out grocery bags.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:31:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRENDA DOLMA testified in support of  HB 264.  She emphasized she                                                               
is in support  of a total ban  on single use plastics.   She said                                                               
in her  community there  are programs whose  goal to  provide the                                                               
community with bags other than plastic  bags.   She mentioned the                                                               
Boomerang  Bags  worldwide  initiative.     She  said  she  spent                                                               
decades picking up marine debris  in her community.  She remarked                                                               
on the  effects of plastic  on animals. She reiterated  she would                                                               
support a change  in the bill from single use  bags to single use                                                               
plastics.   She said she  would also  support the removal  of any                                                               
exemption.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:38:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY WILSON testified in support of HB  264.   She stated she has                                                               
been using reusable bags for years.   She said she thinks most of                                                               
the time people  that complain about using reusable  bags see the                                                               
value after they try it out a few times.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:40:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO announced  he would leave public testimony  open on HB                                                               
264.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO held over HB 264.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB089 Supporting Document-Fact Sheet Biological Effects of Radiation 1.26.18.pdf HL&C 3/10/2018 3:00:00 PM
HB 89
HB089 ver J 1.26.18.pdf HL&C 3/10/2018 3:00:00 PM
HB 89
HB089 Supporting Document-Legislative Research Report 1.26.18.pdf HL&C 3/10/2018 3:00:00 PM
HB 89
HB089 Letter - Board of Chiropractic Examiners 1.26.18.pdf HL&C 3/10/2018 3:00:00 PM
HB 89
HB089 Sponsor Statement 1.26.18.pdf HL&C 3/10/2018 3:00:00 PM
HB 89
HB264 ver O 2.23.18.pdf HL&C 3/10/2018 3:00:00 PM
HB 264
HB264 Supporting Document - News Articles.pdf HL&C 3/10/2018 3:00:00 PM
HB 264
HB089 ver J Sectional Analysis 1.26.18.pdf HL&C 3/10/2018 3:00:00 PM
HB 89
HB264 Sponsor Statement 2.23.18.pdf HL&C 3/10/2018 3:00:00 PM
HB 264
HB264 Fiscal Note DOR TAX 1.28.18.pdf HL&C 3/10/2018 3:00:00 PM
HB 264
HB264 Opposition Letters 3.10.18.pdf HL&C 3/10/2018 3:00:00 PM
HB 264
HB089 Fiscal Note DCCED CBPL 3.2.18.pdf HL&C 3/10/2018 3:00:00 PM
HB 89
HB264 HLAC Presentation.pdf HL&C 3/10/2018 3:00:00 PM
HB 264
HB264 Sectional Analysis 2.23.18.pdf HL&C 3/10/2018 3:00:00 PM
HB 264
HB264 Summary of changes from ver J to O.PDF HL&C 3/10/2018 3:00:00 PM
HB 264
HB089 Opposition Letters 3.9.18.pdf HL&C 3/10/2018 3:00:00 PM
HB 89
HB089 Support Letters 1.26.18.pdf HL&C 3/10/2018 3:00:00 PM
HB 89