Legislature(1995 - 1996)

05/07/1995 06:02 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 HB 335 - BIG GAME COMMERCIAL SERVICES BOARD                                 
 CO-CHAIRMAN JOE GREEN stated the committee has a revised sponsor              
 statement and HB 335 before them.  He noted the committee had                 
 passed a similar bill, HB 102, earlier in the session which only              
 included the extension of the Big Game Commercial Services Board              
 (BGCSB).  He said there are several amendments and a committee                
 REPRESENTATIVE ALAN AUSTERMAN asked what the status is of the                 
 original bill.                                                                
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN responded the original bill is in Senate Finance.           
 REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN said HB 102 is being held in Senate                 
 Finance because a certain member of that committee is not going to            
 let it out without changes.  He stated the problem is the title is            
 too tight.  He told committee members in an attempt to keep the               
 BGCSB from terminating, HB 335 was introduced and added that the              
 proposed changes are what will move the bill.                                 
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated in committee members folders is a law              
 opinion from Gross & Burke.  He said the Attorney General's office,           
 in another occupational licensing situation with the electrical               
 board, gave an opinion on the effects of the termination of that              
 board.  He noted the law office of Gross & Burke was hired by the             
 Alaska Professional Hunters Association to review the potential               
 impact if the legislature fails to take action in extending the               
 termination date of the BGCSB.  He pointed out that Legislative               
 Legal also concurred with the vast majority of what is contained in           
 the opinion.                                                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said if the BGCSB sunsets, anyone can be a                
 guide without any licensing, can advertise, and can open a guide              
 business with no restraints.  He noted a number of years ago the              
 Owsichek decision ruled that exclusive guide use areas were                   
 illegal.  The law opinion stated, "in the absence of legislation              
 amending AS 08.54 to expressly transfer BGCSB functions to the                
 Division, there will be no authority for any state agency to issue            
 guide licenses or to discipline licensed guides.  Most, if not all,           
 regulations currently on the books that were adopted by the BGCSB             
 to implement its licensing and disciplinary authority will cease to           
 have the force and effect of law and will be effectively repealed."           
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated the law opinion continued, "There will             
 be no restrictions on any person in the state conducting guided               
 hunts.  Anyone may do so.  Guides with licenses that do not expire            
 until December 31, 1995, will technically still have them, but they           
 will be meaningless pieces of paper."  He noted Legislative Legal             
 had a problem with the last conclusion in the opinion which states,           
 "The guide use area system, created by regulations under statutory            
 authority given exclusively to the BGCSB, will cease to exist.  Any           
 person, licensed or not, will be able to conduct guided hunts in              
 any area of the state, without regard to existing limitations on              
 the number of areas in which a guide may operate."  He said                   
 Legislative Legal felt that might be ambiguous and end up in court.           
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said the revised version of HB 335 extends the            
 BGCSB's expiration date from June 30, 1994, to June 30, 1999, and             
 eliminates the Commercial Use Permit.                                         
 REPRESENTATIVE JOHN DAVIES asked if Representative Ogan is                    
 referring to the bill or proposed amendments.                                 
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said currently HB 335 only extends the BGCSB              
 and has a broad title.  He stated what he is discussing are                   
 proposed amendments.                                                          
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN recalled Representative Ogan had mentioned the              
 existing bill (HB 102), which is in the Senate Finance Committee,             
 has too tight of a title.  He clarified the three options to get              
 the extension needed is get a certain member of that committee to             
 concur with the extension, get him to agree to a two-thirds vote to           
 open the title and amend it or HB 335.                                        
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN responded that is correct.  He said his                   
 approach is to throw all three of the options on the wall and see             
 which one sticks.  He noted there does not seem to be any movement            
 on the other side.                                                            
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN clarified that Representative Austerman                     
 understood the total program.                                                 
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN stated he could understand if the                    
 committee was just going to pass a bill which simply extends the              
 sunset.  He felt the five amendments before the committee are                 
 rewriting the entire bill and suggested a new bill should be                  
 written.  He thought a committee substitute should have been                  
 Number 197                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said there was an attempt to get a committee              
 substitute completed but there was not enough time.  He stated                
 negotiations have been ongoing for a number of days.                          
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN asked if anyone had a copy of the original           
 bill, HB 102.                                                                 
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said his understanding is that HB 102 and HB            
 335 are the same except HB 335 has a broader title.                           
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN asked why HB 102 is being held in Senate             
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN replied it is acceptable to have a broader                
 title than what is in the language but it is not acceptable to have           
 broader words than the title.  He said the title in HB 102 only               
 says, "An Act extending the termination date of the BGCSB."                   
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN stated that is what was sent over and that           
 is what the House intended to do.                                             
 Number 245                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated a Senator in the Senate Finance                    
 Committee will not allow HB 102 to go out of the committee without            
 a broader title to make the changes he wants made.                            
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN clarified what is happening is the House             
 Resources committee is making the changes that Senator wants.                 
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated that is correct.                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT felt the House had done its job.  He said            
 it is totally unusual for someone to request a new version of a               
 bill, with a new title, just to provide the opportunity to make an            
 amendment.  He stated the original intent of the bill was clear and           
 now the issue is being slammed back on the committee.  He thought             
 it was inappropriate.                                                         
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN agreed that the best and most rational solution           
 would be to simply extend the BGCSB for one more year.  He said HB            
 335 is before the committee.  The committee could deal with the               
 issue next year and have adequate public testimony.  He stated he             
 is not happy with the process either but the urgency of what will             
 happen to the guiding industry if some solution is not worked out             
 is what is most important.                                                    
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN noted HB 102 extends the BGCSB from 1994 to 1998.           
 He wondered if there was a misprint with the 1994.                            
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES stated there is a one year sunset period.  He           
 felt there was another option available and that is to get a                  
 sufficient number of the Senate Finance Committee members to vote             
 HB 102 out of committee.                                                      
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN responded all the options have been explored.             
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES clarified that option will not work.                    
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said he suspects it will not but he could not             
 forecast that.                                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES stated if there is going to be such a drastic           
 affect on the guiding community, those folks should have been                 
 putting a lot of pressure on the said Senator to get the bill out.            
 He wondered if those people have talked to him.                               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN replied there has been a tremendous amount of             
 pressure put on that Senator.  He said that Senator has strong                
 opinions.  He thought the Senator's intent in extending the BGCSB             
 last year was to get these changes made.  He stated a committee               
 chairman can hold a bill for whatever reason and at this point, he            
 does not know what the Senator's motivations are.                             
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES agreed with Representative Kott's comments.             
 Number 332                                                                    
 stated he has been working diligently in trying to keep the BGCSB             
 and the regulations in the industry alive.  He said there will be             
 total chaos if the BGCSB is sunsetted and a total deregulation                
 happens.  He noted the BGCSB also governs transporters which are              
 air taxis that transport people into the field for the purpose of             
 hunting big game.  There are approximately 5,000 to 6,000                     
 nonresident hunters who come to Alaska, along with approximately              
 3,000 guides in the state.  The industry brings in approximately              
 $100 million a year to the state.                                             
 MR. KING said he wears a hat as a hunting consultant and travel               
 agent, in which he talks to hunters from all over the world about             
 Alaska as a tourism, hunting and fishing destination.  Since the              
 Owsichek decision happened and the stability of the Alaska guiding            
 business took a big tailspin, guides have been working very hard in           
 the industry and with the BGCSB to reconstruct the international              
 confidence of Alaska as a destination for sport hunting.  He felt             
 there has been success in reestablishing that confidence, not only            
 with the international hunting community but also with the National           
 Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, etc.  He pointed            
 out that the issue of total deregulation is on state land.  Many of           
 those in the industry have both federal and state areas in which to           
 conduct business and both areas are critical.                                 
 Number 382                                                                    
 MR. KING told committee members he would give them a brief history            
 on why the BGCSB is in the position it is in.  He said one year               
 ago, when the BGCSB was extended for one year (it will terminate              
 June 30, 1995), Senator Halford had some problems with the statutes           
 and would not come forward to inform the industry what the problems           
 were so they could be addressed.  He stated Senator Halford thought           
 he had an agreement to make some changes with Paul Johnson,                   
 Chairman of the BGCSB and the President of the Alaska Professional            
 Hunters Association.  Those agreements were never conveyed and                
 unfortunately there was never a determination of what the problems            
 MR. KING noted HB 102 was merely an extension bill.  He stated                
 Senator Halford took offense to that bill thinking that a quick one           
 was being pulled by not allowing him to make any changes to the               
 bill, when in fact that had not crossed the minds of those in the             
 guiding industry.  When it appeared there was a problem about two             
 weeks ago, the industry responded with numerous letters to Senator            
 Halford and when it appeared that would not work, there was an                
 attempt to talk to all of the other Senate members through                    
 correspondence and faxes trying to tell them how critical the issue           
 was.  He said all the responses to the correspondence indicated the           
 need to talk to Senator Halford.                                              
 MR. KING stated he came down a week ago and tried to talk to                  
 Senator Halford.  A five minute conversation occurred in Senator              
 Halford's office and the Senator generated a letter in which he               
 alluded to some of the things he wanted.  He said over the past               
 week, he extracted bits and pieces of what Senator Halford was                
 looking for and analyzed many of the things from his and the                  
 industry's standpoint.  He pointed out one of the reasons Senator             
 Halford did not introduce legislation himself is because he is a              
 guide-outfitter and holds a license, and felt there might be a                
 conflict of interest.  Therefore, nothing was put in the original             
 bill except to extend the BGCSB.                                              
 Number 437                                                                    
 MR. KING reviewed the revised sponsor statement and commented on              
 the points which are beneficial.  He said some of the changes are             
 good ideas and others, people will have heartburn with.  None of              
 the changes are detrimental.  He stated if there is an attempt to             
 push HB 102 through the Senate and Senator Halford changes the                
 title, a two-thirds vote will be required.  He felt if Senator                
 Halford is allowed to do that, he could eliminate regulations that            
 would be catastrophic to the industry.                                        
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN asked if any of the changes would put the            
 state back in a situation similar to the Owsichek case.                       
 MR. KING replied no.  The changes have nothing to do with an area             
 allocation system.                                                            
 MR. KING stated the first proposal is to extend the BGCSB.  The               
 second change is to eliminate the commercial use permit.  He said             
 the commercial use permit was a device put in during the Randall              
 Burns administration to extract more dollars from the industry, to            
 be funneled to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) and             
 the Department of Public Safety for enforcement and fish and game             
 purposes.  The commercial use permit not only mandates that guide-            
 outfitters and transporters pay their $100 a year, but also has               
 provisions for gear rental services.                                          
 MR. KING pointed out gear rental services might involve a business            
 that rents a white water river raft to anybody who wants to rent              
 one.  If that person uses the raft to float down a river and shoots           
 a caribou, all of a sudden that person, if he does not have his               
 license, is in violation.  He explained that same requirement also            
 falls on photographic or videographic services wanting to take a              
 picture of a moose or caribou.  He stressed the regulations are               
 unenforceable.  He said it is impossible to extract $100 from every           
 person who sends someone to Alaska to hunt.                                   
 MR. KING felt the commercial use permit was only good because there           
 was a provision that every transporter had to have a commercial use           
 permit.  In order to get a commercial use permit, regulations said            
 a person could not have had a violation of state or federal guiding           
 or hunting regulations within the previous five years.  He noted              
 the same provision is in the guide-outfitter permit statute but not           
 under transporters.  He explained a scenario is an outlaw guide who           
 gets busted.  All he would have to do is say he is going to be an             
 air taxi now and continue to haul hunters into the field.  He said            
 that is the only real purpose of the commercial use permit other              
 than collecting about $50,000 annually from the industry.                     
 Number 504                                                                    
 MR. KING stated the next change is adding language to the                     
 transporter license requirements requiring the applicant to not               
 have been convicted of violating a state or federal hunting or                
 guide-outfitting regulation or statute within the last five years             
 for which the person was fined more than $500 or imprisoned for               
 more than five days.  He noted this is the same requirement the               
 guide-outfitters have.                                                        
 MR. KING said the next change eliminates the requirement for a                
 written test for assistant guide-outfitters.  He stated during the            
 Randall Burns administration, a written test was developed for                
 assistant guides.  Prior to that time, assistant guides only needed           
 a recommendation from a guide-outfitter who was going to be                   
 responsible for that assistant guide when he or she was going to be           
 working for him in the field, they needed to be 18-years-old, have            
 a first-aid/CPR card, and be in sound health.  He explained the               
 state has contracted a business in Utah to write a written test for           
 assistant guides and also grades the test.  He stressed the test is           
 very arbitrary and includes questions not even on the subject.  He            
 pointed out there are several questions on the test which some very           
 qualified people to be assistant guides could not pass.  Therefore,           
 the labor pool has been diminishing and the industry has been                 
 forced, because of the statute, to hire some licensed assistant               
 guides who are quite elderly, or nonqualified people with no field            
 experience who could pass the test.                                           
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated a guide-outfitter is fully responsible             
 for everything the assistant guide does in the field, as well as              
 his clients.  Therefore, the guide-outfitter has complete                     
 liability.  He said by eliminating the requirement for the test,              
 many of the people in the villages will be able to be hired.  They            
 are quite qualified since they grew up in the village, they know              
 how to hunt and fish, but they cannot pass the test.                          
 MR. KING said there are many qualified people out there.  He stated           
 many of the guide-outfitters who have larger operations are Alaskan           
 people and they want to hire Alaskan people.  He noted previously             
 there was a rule that a person had to be an Alaskan to be an                  
 assistant guide but that was proven unconstitutional.  Therefore,             
 there are many people from outside who can take the test and pass,            
 resulting in an influx of outside people who have never been in any           
 of the remote areas of the state.                                             
 MR. KING explained the next change eliminates requirements that a             
 guide-outfitter provide the BGCSB with permission from the state or           
 federal land managers in order to obtain a guide use area.  The               
 BGCSB will still need proof of permission from private landowners.            
 He said the next change eliminates the requirement to register base           
 camps.  He stated this has been in statute but has been                       
 incorporated in the guide-outfitter's operations plan when                    
 registering for a guide use area.                                             
 MR. KING said the next change eliminates the requirement for a                
 guide-outfitter to carry public liability insurance.  He stated               
 many industries governed under boards similar to the BGCSB do not             
 require public liability insurance.  Those in the industry who are            
 full-time and serious carry public liability insurance far                    
 exceeding the requirements of the state.  All of the federal land             
 managers and private land managers require public liability                   
 insurance.  He pointed out 99 percent of the guide-outfitters and             
 transporters have public liability insurance.  The only people who            
 do not carry the insurance are the people who are not serious about           
 being in the industry and are guide-outfitting as a hobby or a                
 weekend job.                                                                  
 MR. KING stated another change is eliminating the requirement for             
 a guide-outfitter, utilizing aircraft, to carry passenger liability           
 insurance.  He said he does totally agree with these two insurance            
 changes and noted these insurances are not required of many other             
 industries at the state level.                                                
 Number 603                                                                    
 MR. KING said the final change is to eliminate the authority of the           
 BGCSB to require additional qualifications of assistant guides to             
 qualify for licensing.  He stated the desire is to encourage as               
 many new people into the industry as possible.                                
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN noted that many of the requirements                  
 eliminated are going to be required on federal lands.                         
 MR. KING said that is correct.                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated private and federal landowners require             
 MR. KING felt Senator Halford will get HB 335 through the Senate.             
 He urged the committee to pass HB 335 immediately.                            
 Number 629                                                                    
 is very important the BGCSB be continued and not go out of                    
 existence on July 1, as it would have serious repercussions for the           
 guide industry, as well as customers.  She said the department has            
 concerns about the policy implications of the proposed changes and            
 does not support several of them.                                             
 MS. REARDON stated in regard to the issue of liability and aircraft           
 insurance, the liability insurance was deleted from the statute               
 last year.  Therefore, all that remains is the requirement that               
 marine mammal guide-outfitters have general liability insurance.              
 She felt the aircraft insurance is an important feature.  Most of             
 the people using guide-outfitters come from out of the state or out           
 of the country, pay a lot of money and probably assume that whoever           
 flies them around will have some type of insurance.  She pointed              
 out the opportunity for the buyer beware does not exist because by            
 the time people get to Alaska and get on the plane, it is too late            
 to discover that the guide-outfitter does not have insurance.                 
 MS. REARDON stressed it is important for guide-outfitters and                 
 assistant guides who fly clients to have this type of insurance.              
 She felt there is also a need to determine whether or not the                 
 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has any requirements for                
 insurance.  She stated guide-outfitters have been exempted from the           
 requirement that they meet all the commercial license requirements            
 but it is worth asking the FAA, if the state eliminates the                   
 insurance requirement, whether or not they will then require guide-           
 outfitters to be commercial pilots.  She said the Administration              
 has concerns about the implications of no aircraft insurance on the           
 MS. REARDON said the other major issue is the provision for                   
 evidence of permission from landowners before the Division of                 
 Occupational Licensing issues a permit for a certain guide area.              
 Currently, the division requires people who want to be guides in a            
 certain area to submit some evidence of permission from the                   
 landowner.  These landowners can be in one guide area and can                 
 involve five different landowners.  She noted the landowners could            
 include two different federal agencies, a Native corporation, a               
 private citizen, and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).               
 The division has been collecting those permissions and issuing the            
 MS. REARDON pointed out with the change, the division would not be            
 asking for the evidence of permission any longer.  She thought it             
 would be a disservice to the guides and the general public.  If no            
 evidence of permission is asked for, the division will be issuing             
 permits to individuals and giving them permission to guide in an              
 area.  At the same time, DNR or the federal government may say they           
 do not have permission.  She felt it would be a very confusing                
 situation.  She stated if one guide wants to check on one of his              
 competitors to determine if he has permission to do what he is                
 doing, the division will no longer be able to determine the answer.           
 When a customer wants to be guided, the division will not be able             
 to say whether or not a guide has permission to be in a certain               
 TAPE 95-67, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 MS. REARDON stated she is not hearing from guides saying they                 
 should not be required to have aircraft insurance or that it is               
 onerous to be required to provide evidence of landowner permission.           
 She questioned where the major problems are with the situation and            
 what is so unreasonable.  She reiterated the Administration                   
 supports the continuation of the BGCSB.                                       
 MS. REARDON added that the elimination of the commercial use permit           
 does not affect the division.  The division does issue the                    
 commercial use permits but the money is passed along to ADF&G and             
 the Department of Public Safety.  She felt it was important for the           
 committee to check with those two departments on the implications             
 of losing that funding source.                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN noted the committee has a dilemma.  The                  
 committee can continue to review HB 335 but cannot take any action,           
 due to the lack of a quorum, or recess until the next day.  He felt           
 if the committee cannot hear HB 335 and get it to the House floor             
 the next day, it does not have a chance to get approved by the                
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN stated he can appreciate the dilemma the             
 BGCSB finds itself in.  He said it goes against his grain to act on           
 HB 335 because if Senator Halford had been serious about the issue,           
 any Senator could have drafted a similar bill and introduced it.              
 He felt a game was being played.  He noted he does not agree with             
 all of the proposed changes.  He wondered why the committee was               
 doing Senator Halford's work.                                                 
 Number 088                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said the best way for the House to remain in              
 control of any changes to the BGCSB statutes was to pass HB 335               
 with a tight title describing what the changes are.                           
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN reiterated he does not agree with some of            
 the changes.                                                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT stated he does not have anything against the              
 BGCSB.  He felt the BGCSB is being used as a political pawn.  He              
 said not one other extension bill has any language other than the             
 extended date and the effective date.  He recalled Mr. King had               
 mentioned that Senator Halford did not want to make the changes on            
 the Senate side because it might be a conflict of interest.  He               
 thought there was an indication of a conflict of interest                     
 currently.  He asked Mr. King to tell committee members which                 
 changes he was opposed to.                                                    
 MR. KING said the eliminations of insurance are a bad idea.  He               
 stated those two changes do not lend professionalism to the                   
 industry.  He did not think the Senate would allow Senator Halford            
 to get away with pulling out those insurance requirements.                    
 However, if HB 335 does not get over to the Senate, the industry              
 and the BGCSB does not have a chance.                                         
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN stated he also has a concern with the                
 change eliminating the evidence of permission from the landowner.             
 MR. KING said guide areas will span across several landownerships.            
 He stated just because a guide registration area spans those                  
 different landownerships, a guide may not have permission from one            
 of those land managers.  He pointed out the DCED will still issue             
 the license, knowing that a particular section of the area cannot             
 be used.  A guide is not required to have permission for all of the           
 area but is only required to have permission for part of it and               
 that is the only part the state issues the license for to hunt.  He           
 did not feel the elimination of this requirement is a major                   
 Number 173                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said guides will still have to get permission             
 to use the land.  Any commercial use, whether it be a logger, a               
 fish camp, a trapper, a recreational cabin, etc., has to get                  
 permission from the landowner.  Otherwise, violations of laws                 
 occur.  He stated the only thing being eliminated is the BGCSB                
 enforcing some other agency's regulation.                                     
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN recessed the meeting until 9:00 a.m. Monday, May            
 TAPE 95-68, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN called the meeting back to order at 9:20 a.m. on            
 Monday, May 8.  Members present were Representatives Green, Ogan,             
 Austerman, Davies, and Kott.  Members absent were Representatives             
 Williams, Barnes, MacLean, and Nicholia.                                      
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN told committee members a committee substitute             
 was drafted which incorporates the changes discussed previously.              
 version C.                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES OBJECTED for discussion purposes.                       
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said the sponsor would go through the changes               
 contained in the committee substitute.                                        
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                 
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if there were any other objections.                   
 Hearing none, the MOTION PASSED.                                              
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated Section 1 changes the date of when the             
 BGCSB will cease to exist from June 30, 1994, to June 30, 1999.  He           
 said Section 2, line 14, eliminates the requirement to hold a                 
 commercial use permit.                                                        
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked what the fiscal impact is going to be             
 with the elimination of the commercial use permit.                            
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said he did not know the answer but thought               
 there were people in the audience who might be able to answer the             
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN recalled previously the committee was told           
 that eliminating this permit means a loss of $50,000.                         
 MS. REARDON stated the loss would be between $50,000 and $60,000.             
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN clarified that figure would be in addition to the           
 HB 102 fiscal note the committee passed earlier.                              
 MS. REARDON said that was correct.                                            
 Number 097                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked if that is the entire hit with respect            
 to the change throughout the bill.                                            
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN responded to the best of his knowledge, it is.            
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated with the loss of one commercial use                
 permit member on the BGCSB, it was determined that the board member           
 slot needed to be filled by another person.  Therefore, it is                 
 proposed that a change be made from two to three public members on            
 the board.  He stressed public members contribute a lot of good               
 things to the board.  He noted there have been complaints in the              
 distant past that the board was slanted and run by guides.  He felt           
 having more public involvement is a positive step.                            
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said Section 3, lines 21-23, eliminates the               
 written test for assistant guide-outfitters.  He stated the guide-            
 outfitter is responsible for the assistant guide's actions and the            
 people the assistant guide guides in the field.  He felt there is             
 a tremendous amount of accountability.  He noted that many of the             
 questions on the current test for assistant guides are ambiguous.             
 There are people who are very qualified to be assistant guides who            
 may not be able to pass the test.  He thought the elimination of              
 this requirement will give guide-outfitters the opportunity to hire           
 more people familiar with the areas in which they are going to                
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said the changes on page 2, lines 30 and 31 are           
 cleanup from the elimination of the commercial use permit.  The               
 changes on page 3, lines 1, 2, 5, 8, and 11 are language cleanup              
 regarding the commercial use permit.  He stated page 3, lines 11-             
 13, eliminates the requirement for guide-outfitters to register               
 base camps in order to get their license.  He pointed out this                
 elimination does not change the requirement for a land use permit             
 from the various landowners.  He told committee members the                   
 requirement to get a land use authorization from private landowners           
 remains.  He pointed out the DNR and the federal government have              
 their own systems of enforcing their permit uses in-house.                    
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN clarified page 3, beginning at line 11, is           
 the elimination of the requirement for guides to register base                
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said that is correct.  He stated currently                
 there is still a reporting process in which a guide fills out his             
 hunt plan, which is then filed with the BGCSB staff.  He said the             
 Department of Public Safety still has the ability to know where the           
 base camps are.  This change simply eliminates the requirement as             
 a condition of getting a guide license.  He felt this change is               
 simply a paper reduction act.                                                 
 Number 220                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated the changes on page 4, line 20 and page            
 5, lines 13, 14, and 20-22 are language cleanup.  He said Section             
 7 is a major change regarding the issue of an assistant guide being           
 able to get hired with a written recommendation from a master                 
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN clarified that section refers back to page           
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said no.  It refers back to page 2, lines 22              
 and 23.                                                                       
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated the change on page 6, lines 3 and 4,               
 refers to assistant guides and eliminates the additional                      
 qualifications the board may establish, as the additional                     
 qualifications are ambiguous.  He said that goes along with the               
 same line of reasoning of allowing guides to hire whomever they               
 like because they are responsible for them.                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN thought assistant guides had a requirement           
 of previously working for a guide for a short period of time before           
 getting their assistant guide license.                                        
 MR. KING replied there is not a requirement to that effect.  He               
 said there is a requirement for an assistant guide license for the            
 person to have hunted in the state for two of the previous five               
 years.  He stated with this statute change, that person must also             
 receive a recommendation from a guide-outfitter or master guide and           
 meet the other qualifications.  He reiterated that the guide-                 
 outfitter takes sole responsibility for the assistant guide.                  
 Therefore, a guide will not hire a person who is incompetent.  He             
 noted that currently, guides are being forced to hire incompetent             
 people because they have passed the test.                                     
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated the next change is on page 6, line 9,              
 with the added language, "has not been convicted of a state or                
 federal hunting or guide-outfitting statute or regulation within              
 the last five years for which the person was fined more than $500             
 or imprisoned for more than five days;".  He said in light of the             
 commercial use permit fee being eliminated, this addition relates             
 to a transporter.  A transporter is someone who only provides                 
 transportation for hunters in the field.  He pointed out                      
 transporters see what is going on in the field.  He felt it was               
 important to have transporters who do not have major hunting                  
 violations and convictions.                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if this requirement is for a person serving           
 only as a transporter or under any circumstance, such as a road               
 guide now doing transporting only.                                            
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated it is only a transporter.  He said the             
 requirement also prevents guides who get convicted for a major                
 violation from going into the transporting business.                          
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said on page 6, lines 25-27, the language, "A             
 transporter may also provide, under authority of a commercial use             
 permit, other big game commercial services as defined under AS                
 08.54.460."  He stated changes on page 6, lines 30 and 31, on page            
 7, lines 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 14, 15, 19, 24, and 26-29, page 8, lines             
 7, 8, 9, 10, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 24-26, and 28-30, and page 9,                
 lines 5, 6, 11, 12, and 22-26 are all commercial use permit                   
 language cleanup.                                                             
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated the next change is on page 10, line 2.             
 He said this change eliminates the requirement for guides to report           
 to the BGCSB that they have their land use permits from the DNR and           
 the federal government.  This change is also contained on page 10,            
 lines 30 and 31.  He said page 10, line 18 is a commercial use                
 permit language cleanup.                                                      
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated the repealers in Section 19 include AS             
 08.54.400(c)(3), which is commercial use permit language cleanup;             
 AS 08.54.460 and AS 08.54.470 is the commercial use permit                    
 provision; and AS 08.54.590(1) and AS 08.54.590(12) refers to the             
 base camps and spike camps.                                                   
 Number 471                                                                    
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked what the current constitution of the BGCSB            
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN said that information is contained on page           
 1 of the BGCSB statutes and regulations book.                                 
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN wondered where the regulation is listed providing           
 that guide-outfitters be responsible for assistant guides and their           
 MR. KING replied that information is contained on page 16, "Sec.              
 08.54.540. Responsibility of guide-outfitter for violations."  He             
 read the regulation.                                                          
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN commented in serving on the BGCSB, he can                 
 attest that the official attitude of the board is to give the                 
 maximum discipline for every case.  He noted sometimes the                    
 discipline on the part of the board exceeds what the criminal                 
 courts give.                                                                  
 MR. KING said the BGCSB was very good about notifying the industry,           
 in writing, their intention to be very strict on this issue.                  
 Number 518                                                                    
 AOC is concerned about the possible elimination of the BGCSB.  He             
 said AOC is very supportive of HB 335 and hopes the bill can move             
 quickly.  He noted there is some contention among members on the              
 Senate side about the issue.  He thought perhaps the Administration           
 has concerns about the changes being made but it is hoped the                 
 legislature and the Administration can work these issues out.                 
 MR. GRASSER said his family started in the guide outfitting                   
 business in the 1930s.  He stated the guiding industry is good and            
 one of the few industries in Alaska which is self-supporting.  He             
 urged the committee to pass HB 335.                                           
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN recalled there had been a discussion about the              
 fiscal note.                                                                  
 GERON BRUCE, REPRESENTATIVE, ADF&G, stated the fiscal note                    
 associated with the elimination of the commercial use permit will             
 reduce interagency revenues received by the department by $45,000.            
 He said he has asked staff to prepare the fiscal note and there               
 will be an attempt to get it completed as quickly as possible.  He            
 explained initially ADF&G used that money to work with the BGCSB to           
 develop the guiding areas.  The past couple of years, the                     
 department has provided all the money to the Department of Public             
 Safety and they have been using it for enforcement activities.                
 MR. BRUCE stated the department's plans were, beginning in the                
 fiscal year 1997, to split the money with the Department of Public            
 Safety and use a portion of the funds to establish and pay part of            
 the costs for a position in the department to function as the                 
 liaison with the BGCSB.  He said he did not know if that position             
 will be established without the funding.                                      
 MR. BRUCE told committee members ADF&G supports efforts to keep the           
 BGCSB in existence as it is very important to the state's hunting             
 industry.  He noted approximately 10 percent of the hunters who               
 hunt annually in the state are nonresident and contribute                     
 approximately 75 percent of the license fees going to the                     
 department.  He said most of the nonresident hunters are required             
 to have guides.  Therefore, the guiding industry is very important            
 to the department.                                                            
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked if Mr. Bruce knew the total dollar amount           
 nonresident fees generate.                                                    
 MR. BRUCE stated he did not know an exact figure but he would                 
 estimate the nonresident fees are about 75 percent of the licensing           
 fees the Division of Wildlife Conservation generates and is                   
 approximately $5 million or $6 million.                                       
 Number 582                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN pointed out that nonresident fees are quite               
 expensive and can range from $250 to $750.  Therefore, a                      
 significant amount of ADF&G's budget is paid by nonresident hunters           
 and the vast majority of those hunters retain the services of                 
 guides.  He suggested it would be a big drain on ADF&G's budget if            
 the BGCSB is eliminated.                                                      
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN recessed the meeting at 9:58 a.m. to the call of            
 the Chair.                                                                    
 TAPE 95-68, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN called the meeting back to order at 10:47 a.m.              
 Members present were Representatives Green, Williams, Ogan, Davies            
 and Austerman.  Members absent were Representatives Barnes, Kott,             
 MacLean, and Nicholia.                                                        
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN announced there is a quorum present.                        
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked, since he had to leave earlier, if                
 there is a Department of Public Safety fiscal impact related to HB            
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated the fiscal impact is approximately                 
 (Representative KOTT joined the committee.)                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES questioned whether or not there is a fiscal             
 note attached to the bill reflecting that effect.                             
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said a fiscal note is being prepared.  He                 
 explained the money is given to ADF&G and is then transferred to              
 the Department of Public Safety who uses it to lease helicopter               
 time in western Southcentral Alaska for enforcement purposes.  He             
 noted if the BGCSB does not get extended, there will be a bigger              
 hit on the fiscal note due to the potential drop in nonresident               
 licensing fees, which amount to approximately $5 million a year.              
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES noted he is concerned about that larger                 
 impact.  He stated he is also concerned that if there is a fiscal             
 impact, that impact should be reflected in a fiscal note, and the             
 bill referred to the House Finance Committee.                                 
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said that is a question for Speaker Phillips or           
 Co-Chairman Green.                                                            
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN mentioned there is a fiscal note being               
 drafted, which most likely will be attached to the bill before it             
 leaves the committee.                                                         
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES stated he would like to leave the concern on            
 the record that it is his understanding there are several fiscal              
 impacts and they should be reflected in a fiscal note, and                    
 therefore should be referred to the Finance Committee.                        
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN commented the fiscal impact is revenue neutral.             
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN agreed the impact is revenue neutral.  He                 
 thought the only impact would be to the Department of Public                  
 Number 100                                                                    
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN recalled that ADF&G indicated earlier their                 
 fiscal note would be reduced to approximately $45,000.  He thought            
 the fiscal note would be attached to the bill redraft.                        
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN made a MOTION to AMEND the title of CSHB                  
 335(RES) to read, "An Act extending the termination date of the Big           
 Game Commercial Services Board to June 30, 1999; eliminating the              
 requirement for a commercial use permit and for payment of                    
 commercial use permit fees; amending the membership of the Big Game           
 Commercial Services Board; relating to the qualifications for an              
 assistant guide-outfitter license; eliminating the requirement for            
 testing of assistant guide-outfitters; providing for additional               
 licensing requirements for transporters; eliminating the                      
 requirement for prior approval to enter or remain on state and                
 federal land; eliminating the requirement to register base camps;             
 amending the definition of `big game commercial services'; and                
 providing for an effective date."                                             
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN stated Speaker Phillips had sent a note to the              
 committee indicating that the BGCSB and Senator Halford have worked           
 out the difficulties.  Therefore, if HB 335 is acceptable to the              
 committee and the House, it will be acceptable on the Senate side.            
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN WITHDREW his MOTION.                                      
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated a new committee substitute is now                  
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN made a MOTION to ADOPT CSHB 335(RES), version             
 F.  He indicated the only change is the title.                                
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT OBJECTED since he did not have a copy to look             
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said the proposed committee substitute tightens           
 up the title.                                                                 
 Number 161                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked if the new title in version F is supposed           
 to reflect the Utermohle amendment.                                           
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said that is correct.                                     
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT thought it was different.  He stated perhaps it           
 tightens up the title even further.                                           
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if there were any objections to the motion.           
 Hearing none, the MOTION PASSED.                                              
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES made a MOTION to AMEND CSHB 335(RES) on page            
 6, lines 10 and 11, the deletion be made and substitute the                   
 language, "(6) has not been convicted of a state or federal hunting           
 or guide-outfitting statute or regulation within the last five                
 years for which the person was fined more than $500 or imprisoned             
 for more than five days."                                                     
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN OBJECTED for the purpose of discussion.  He               
 thought that was already a requirement.                                       
 MR. KING stated in regard to the language on page 6, lines 10 and             
 11, which is being deleted, the industry feels that provision is              
 not needed, provided the other proper language is in the                      
 requirements.  He said lines 16-19, on page 6, is a provision for             
 the guide-outfitter and that requirement is added to the                      
 transporter requirements.  He reiterated the assistant guide is               
 solely the responsibility of his employer who must be a registered            
 or master guide.                                                              
 Number 206                                                                    
 MR. KING noted Sec. 08.54.540 of the statute outlines the                     
 responsibility of the guide-outfitter for violations, which makes             
 the guide-outfitter responsible for any violation of statute,                 
 regulation or hunting law by the class-A assistant or assistant               
 guide while in the course of the class-A assistant guide-                     
 outfitter's or assistant guide-outfitter's employment.  He said the           
 section also refers to AS 08.54.500 which is the discipline general           
 provisions.  He felt the provisions are very tight and protection             
 is provided for.                                                              
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked what the additional requirements                  
 established by the BGCSB for assistant guides were.                           
 MR. KING said the test was in the provisions and there were no                
 additional qualifications.  He stated it was just an ambiguous line           
 in the statute which said the BGCSB could establish additional                
 requirements.  He noted the Senate Finance Committee requested the            
 reduction of arbitrary powers of the BGCSB to make it easier for              
 new participants to join the industry at the base level, which is             
 the assistant guide level.                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked what happens if an assistant guide                
 violates a state statute and is fined $600.  He wondered if the               
 guide pays the fine.                                                          
 MR. KING replied the guide is responsible for the actions of the              
 assistant guide.  He said the guide probably would not pay the fine           
 although he could.  However, the guide's license would be in                  
 jeopardy for the acts of his employees.                                       
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES stated the fine of $600 does not remove the             
 guide's license.  He asked how the guide is responsible.                      
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN responded the BGCSB has the authority to revoke           
 licenses and impose fines up to $5,000, in addition to the criminal           
 penalties the guide would be liable for, due to his assistant                 
 breaking the rules.  He stated the guide is just as responsible as            
 if he committed the violation himself.                                        
 Number 291                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked why anyone would object to a                      
 requirement that an assistant guide could not operate if he had               
 been convicted of a violation.                                                
 MR. KING said the guiding industry would not have objection to that           
 requirement.  He noted that has never been a requirement in the               
 past.  He expressed concern with timing.  He wondered if this                 
 additional amendment would slow down the bill.                                
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES replied he did not know.  He said his concern           
 is public policy.  He expressed appreciation for the desire to                
 reduce the arbitrariness of the BGCSB.  He stated this amendment              
 would do that.  He thought it was a reasonable compromise and a               
 reasonable requirement.                                                       
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN noted on page 14 of the BGCSB statutes and           
 regulations booklet, Sec. 08.54.510 outlines the discipline                   
 provisions.  He said in that section it speaks to anyone being in             
 violation of either AS 08.54.500 or AS 08.54.505.  If they are                
 convicted, they cannot be hired.                                              
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN suggested that Representative Davies offer the            
 amendment on the House floor.                                                 
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                 
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES noted that pages 10 and 11, Sections 16 and             
 17, remove the requirement to show evidence of permission to                  
 operate in a particular area.  He stated his general concern is the           
 issue of allowing the Division of Occupational Licensing to issue             
 a permit to operate in an area where no evidence of permission has            
 been shown.  He felt potential lawsuits were being set up.  He said           
 he did not know what the big deal was--if a person has permission             
 to operate in an area, what is so difficult about copying the                 
 permit and giving it to the division at the time of application for           
 the license.                                                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated if that elimination is taken out, he can           
 assure the committee the bill will be dead.  He said the reason the           
 language was eliminated was because people still have to get                  
 permits but no other industry has to report to a board to get a               
 permit to operate.                                                            
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN made a MOTION to MOVE CSHB 335(RES) with fiscal           
 notes to be attached, out of committee with individual                        
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT stated before the bill can be transmitted to              
 the Chief Clerk, it must be accompanied by a fiscal note.                     
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said the bill can move from committee as long as            
 the committee understands the fiscal note and the fiscal note                 
 itself can follow.  He noted testimony has indicated there will be            
 a fiscal impact but it will still be revenue neutral.                         
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked what that means.                                  
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN replied instead of actually having the fiscal               
 note attached to the document, as long as the fiscal effect is                
 discussed in committee and the representatives voting on the bill             
 know what the fiscal responsibility is, the bill can be                       
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said that was not his question.  He asked how           
 there can be a fiscal impact and the bill be revenue neutral.                 
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN responded because it is fees paid rather than               
 funds paid out of the general fund.  He stated it is general fund             
 Number 397                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BILL WILLIAMS stated there are a lot of questions              
 being asked about the bill.                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN recessed the meeting at 11:12 a.m.                          
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN called the meeting back to order at 2:45 p.m.               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN WITHDREW his MOTION.                                      
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN made a MOTION to MOVE CSHB 335(RES), version F,           
 out of committee with individual recommendations.                             
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN WITHDREW his MOTION.                                      
 Number 435                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES made a MOTION to AMEND CSHB 335(RES) on page            
 6, line 10, the deletion be made and insert the language, "(6) has            
 not been convicted of a state or federal hunting or guide-                    
 outfitting statute or regulation within the last five years for               
 which the person was fined more than $500 or imprisoned for more              
 than five days."                                                              
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if there were any objections.  Hearing                
 none, the MOTION PASSED.                                                      
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN made a MOTION to MOVE CSHB 335(RES), as                   
 amended, with attached fiscal note, out of committee with                     
 individual recommendations.                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if there were any objections.  Hearing                
 none, the MOTION PASSED.                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects