Legislature(2007 - 2008)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/24/2008 09:00 AM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSSB 214(FIN) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
Moved SB 259 Out of Committee
Moved CSSB 260(STA) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
SENATE BILL NO. 214                                                                                                           
     "An Act relating to big game hunting by nonresident                                                                        
     members of the military service and their dependents;                                                                      
     and providing for an effective date."                                                                                      
Senator  Huggins  MOVED  to ADOPT  Committee  Substitute  25-                                                                   
LS1261\K as the working document before this Committee.                                                                         
Co-Chair Stedman OBJECTED for discussion purposes.                                                                              
Jody  Simpson,  Staff,  Senator Huggins,  remarked  that  the                                                                   
Committee Substitute  adds to the legislation  the individual                                                                   
listing of  the United State  Coast Guard into  the document.                                                                   
It was  learned that,  due to a  language change,  the United                                                                   
States Coast Guard must be listed individually.                                                                                 
Co-Chair  Stedman  WITHDREW  his OBJECTION.  There  being  NO                                                                   
further  OBJECTION,  Committee   Substitute  25-LS1261\K  was                                                                   
adopted as the working document before this Committee.                                                                          
Ms. Simpson  remarked that Senator  Charlie Huggins  goal was                                                                   
to waive the  twelve month waiting period  currently required                                                                   
for  military members,  the United  States  Coast Guard,  and                                                                   
their  dependents,  to  qualify  for  resident  rate  hunting                                                                   
licenses and Big Game tags.                                                                                                     
10:09:17 AM                                                                                                                   
Ms.  Simpson disclosed  that forty-five  states have  reduced                                                                   
the  resident  rate  for  stationed  military  personnel  and                                                                   
Alaska  currently   has  the  longest  waiting   period.  She                                                                   
continued that waiving the twelve-month  waiting period would                                                                   
allow  military personnel  and their  dependents to  purchase                                                                   
Big Game  tags at a reduced  rate. Ms. Simpson referred  to a                                                                   
$40,000  fiscal   note  reflecting  lost  revenue   from  the                                                                   
Department of Fish  & Game. Ms. Simpson emphasized  that this                                                                   
legislation  would  not  affect   residency  eligibility  for                                                                   
receiving  the Permanent  Fund  Dividend or  serving on  jury                                                                   
duty. She  also declared this  would not affect  personal use                                                                   
and  subsistence  which  would  still require  the  one  year                                                                   
residency. Ms.  Simpson revealed that  SB 214 would  not take                                                                   
effect until  January 1, 2009  because of the time  needed to                                                                   
reprint the forms and provide additional training.                                                                              
10:13:06 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Elton  referred to  line 7, "on  active duty  who are                                                                   
permanently stationed  in the  state, and their  dependents,"                                                                   
and  asked if  this would  preclude those  here on  temporary                                                                   
duty assignment.  Ms. Simpson  agreed it  would not  apply to                                                                   
military here  on temporary assignment. She added  this would                                                                   
cover  military personnel  who  are stationed  in Alaska  but                                                                   
shipped overseas.                                                                                                               
10:14:29 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator  Elton  referred to  a  letter  of concern  from  the                                                                   
Alaska  Professional Hunters  Association. Non-residents  are                                                                   
required to be  guided on Big Game hunts based  on the belief                                                                   
that  non-residents   may   not  have   the  skills   or  the                                                                   
understanding  of  the  Alaska  hunting  experience.  Senator                                                                   
Elton questioned if there had  been any resolution indicating                                                                   
that  military  person  have   this  hunting  expertise.  Ms.                                                                   
Simpson revealed  that the bill retains the  requirements for                                                                   
an  Alaska Professional  Hunters  Association  guide for  the                                                                   
three Big  Game hunts and,  with this provision,  the hunters                                                                   
association now approves this bill.                                                                                             
Senator Huggins  expressed the  need to acknowledge  the good                                                                   
work of  the military for the  state and the country,  and he                                                                   
believed that  this bill, which  would involve  little money,                                                                   
would  make  Alaska   a  "good  host."  He   emphasized  that                                                                   
professional hunters  have no problem  with this bill  and it                                                                   
would in  no way  affect the residency  requirements  for the                                                                   
Permanent Fund Dividend.                                                                                                        
10:19:37 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator  Thomas believed  there  could be  the appearance  of                                                                   
treating  the  military differently  from  other  individuals                                                                   
coming  to  the  state with  the  intention  of  establishing                                                                   
residency.  Ms.  Simpson  responded   that  the  question  of                                                                   
residency was  worked out through several hearings  in Senate                                                                   
Resources.  She believed  that Senator  Huggins's comment  of                                                                   
"being  a  good host"  to  the  military best  describes  the                                                                   
intent of the bill.                                                                                                             
10:20:48 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Huggins  revealed that  young people in  the military                                                                   
are often subjected to many strange provisions.                                                                                 
10:21:47 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator  Dyson  commended  his colleague  for  bringing  this                                                                   
forward  and helping  to make  Alaska one  of the  military's                                                                   
more attractive deployments.                                                                                                    
10:22:51 AM                                                                                                                   
ROBERT  FITHIAN,  EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,   ALASKA  PROFESSIONAL                                                                   
HUNTERS ASSOCIATION  testified via teleconference  in support                                                                   
of SB 214.                                                                                                                      
10:23:55 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator  Huggins  concluded  that   this  bill  captured  the                                                                   
essence of Alaskan's attitude  toward the military especially                                                                   
during a time of war.                                                                                                           
10:25:05 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator  Huggins  MOVED  to  REPORT  CSSB  214  (FIN)\K  from                                                                   
committee   with    individual   recommendations    and   the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal  note. There  being NO OBJECTION,  it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
CS  214 (FIN)\K  was REPORTED  out  of Committee  with a  "do                                                                   
pass"   recommendation   and   an   accompanying   previously                                                                   
published fiscal note from the Department of Fish and Game.                                                                     
10:26:18 AM                                                                                                                   

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