Legislature(2005 - 2006)BELTZ 211

03/03/2005 01:30 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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01:34:16 PM Start
01:38:18 PM Alaska State Board of Public Accountancy: Max Mertz - Juneau
01:40:06 PM Alaska State Board of Public Accountancy: Catherine Wilson - Tok
01:42:07 PM Regulatory Commission of Alaska: Anthony Price - Anchorage
01:48:17 PM HB15
02:03:44 PM HB90
02:11:42 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Confirmation Hearings:
Alaska State Board of Public Accountancy-
Max E. Mertz - Juneau
Catherine L. Wilson - Tok
Regulatory Commission of Alaska -
Anthony A. Price - Anchorage
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
        HB  15-LIQUOR LICENSES: OUTDOOR REC. LODGE/BARS                                                                     
CHAIR BUNDE announced HB 15 to be up for consideration.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE KEVIN  MEYER, sponsor of  HB 15, said  the purpose                                                               
of  this bill  is to  create  an alcoholic  beverage license  for                                                               
outdoor recreation  lodges. Currently,  lodge owners who  want to                                                               
serve  alcohol try  to  get a  dispensary  license costing  about                                                               
$2,500. A  guided group on a  boat would need a  package license,                                                               
which is  another $1,500.  All totaled, it  would cost  $4,000 to                                                               
serve a  drink with a meal  and allow alcohol on  the boat. These                                                               
types of licenses  are based on population and a  lodge might not                                                               
be able  to afford to get  one even if  it is available. It  is a                                                               
very  burdensome situation  for  many small  lodges. Some  lodges                                                               
currently circumvent this  by telling clients to  bring their own                                                               
alcohol, sell it to them illegally,  or provide it and charge for                                                               
it as part of the room rate, which is illegal.                                                                                  
1:48:17 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MEYER said  this creates  problems for  wholesale                                                               
people who provide alcohol to  rural areas. In fact, a wholesaler                                                               
brought  this  issue  to  his  attention.  Without  licenses  for                                                               
selling alcohol  to remote lodges there  is a lack of  input from                                                               
the  local  community.  Also,  if  licensing  is  required,  TAMS                                                               
training is provided.                                                                                                           
He said the  definition of an outdoor recreation  lodge means, "A                                                               
business  that provide  over-night accommodations,  meals and  is                                                               
primarily  involved  in  offering opportunities  for  persons  to                                                               
engage in outdoor  recreation activities." He noted  that the key                                                               
to this  license is  approval from  the Alcohol  Beverage Control                                                               
Board (ABC), which provides greater oversight and training.                                                                     
He  explained that  currently lodges  can only  serve alcohol  to                                                               
guests of  off-duty staff and over-nighting  guests; licenses are                                                               
non-transferable.  The  licenses  would  cost  $1,250  every  two                                                               
years,  which would  indicate a  positive  fiscal note  - as  the                                                               
state doesn't  get anything currently.  The ABC board is  part of                                                               
the Division  of Public Safety,  which would make  state troopers                                                               
and fish and game officers available for enforcement.                                                                           
1:51:26 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MEYER  noted that part  2 is an  amendment offered                                                               
by  Representative  Rokeberg that  would  allow  the transfer  of                                                               
licenses  in  place prior  to  1985  to  family members  who  are                                                               
inheriting a business  as long as it stays at  the premises. This                                                               
was in  reference to The  Double Muskie Inn in  Girdwood, Alaska.                                                               
Cabaret,  Hotel, Restaurant  and  Retailers Association  (CHARR),                                                               
ABC and lodges that they spoke to support this bill.                                                                            
CHAIR BUNDE asked if everybody who  works at the lodge would have                                                               
a TAMS card.                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MEYER deferred  the  answer to  that question  to                                                               
Doug Griffin.                                                                                                                   
CHAIR BUNDE  said he would  hold the  question for him  and asked                                                               
what  would prevent  mom and  pop  gas stations  that serve  snow                                                               
mobilers up  at Cantwell  from putting  up a  cabin out  back and                                                               
saying they are providing overnight  recreation saying they serve                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  MEYER answered  that it  must have  at least  two                                                               
beds  and the  people being  served must  stay over  night. Those                                                               
businesses would  be eligible to  apply for this license,  but it                                                               
must  go through  a  community hearing  process  and be  reviewed                                                               
every two years.                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE  asked how  lodges in remote  locations would  have a                                                               
hearing in a community.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE MEYER replied that AS 4.11.460 says:                                                                             
     Within  50 miles  of the  borders of  the municipality,                                                                    
     the  licensee must  get signatures  from a  majority of                                                                    
     the  residents   within  one   mile  of   the  proposed                                                                    
     Another  section  says  50  miles   or  more  from  the                                                                    
     boundaries  of a  municipality, the  licensee must  get                                                                    
     signatures from  two-thirds of the  permanent residents                                                                    
     within a five-mile radius of the nearest post office.                                                                      
1:54:45 PM                                                                                                                    
DOUG GRIFFEN,  Director, Alcoholic Beverage Control  Board (ABC),                                                               
supported  HB 15  saying it  is a  balanced and  well-constructed                                                               
bill.  He knows that this  could put licenses out in rural Alaska                                                               
where there are  lots of concerns about alcohol  abuse. He thinks                                                               
it is critical  to limit serving alcohol  to registered overnight                                                               
guests only.   This bill will provide  regulation and enforcement                                                               
to currently  unregulated and unenforced activity.  He noted that                                                               
alcohol server training  is important and should be  given to all                                                               
potential servers.                                                                                                              
1:57:08 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  GRIFFIN noted  the  narrowing affect  of  amendment and  his                                                               
concern about  making the  license a  general dispensary  one. He                                                               
pointed out that lodge owners can apply for a broader license.                                                                  
CHAIR  BUNDE   said  the  license   cost  of  $1,250   is  fairly                                                               
substantial  and  asked how  this  fee  relates  to the  cost  of                                                               
processing it.                                                                                                                  
MR.  GRIFFIN replied  that  the fee  is one-half  the  cost of  a                                                               
beverage  dispensary  license  and provides  more  revenues  than                                                               
needed  for  processing.  However,  he said  that  oversight  and                                                               
enforcement  is  expensive, but  is  more  difficult to  quantify                                                               
because of  those people being paid  out of the general  fund. "I                                                               
think the amount it could be argued  might be too much for a very                                                               
small lodge  and maybe too  little for a  large one, but  I think                                                               
it's a reasonable figure."                                                                                                      
1:59:44 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MEYER  pointed out the similarity  to club license                                                               
fees, which are $1,200 and  package store license fees, which are                                                               
2:01:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BUNDE said  that the Finance Committee  would be interested                                                               
in knowing the cost of administering the license program.                                                                       
BOB  KLINE,  Operations  Manager,  Brown  Jug  Liquor  Stores  in                                                               
Anchorage, said  he spent 12 years  as a member of  ABC board and                                                               
is  current  chairman of  the  Government  Affairs Committee  for                                                               
Alaska CHARR. His conversations  with Representative Meyer led to                                                               
this legislation, which he supports.                                                                                            
2:03:09 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  BUNDE thanked  him for  his testimony,  closed the  public                                                               
hearing  and  held the  bill  for  another  hearing in  the  near                                                               

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