Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)
02/13/2018 01:30 PM LABOR & COMMERCE
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HB 18-RACE CLASSICS 2:58:50 PM CHAIR COSTELLO announced the consideration of HB 18. [SCS HB 18(CRA) was before the committee. 2:59:04 PM REPRESENTATIVE DAN ORTIZ, Alaska State Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, sponsor of HB 18, said this bill is necessary for the Ketchikan Greater Chamber of Commerce to be eligible to obtain a race classic permit. The category "race classic" is so narrowly defined in statute it only provides for the Mount Marathon Race held by the Seward Chamber of Commerce. The Ketchikan Chamber would like to obtain a permit for a non-motorized boat race beginning in Port Townsend, Washington and ending in Ketchikan, Alaska. The bill was amended in the Senate Community and Regional Affairs Committee expanding the scope to allow other communities to permit race classics. 3:01:13 PM SENATOR MEYER asked if he supports the CRA amendment to broaden the scope of the bill. REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ said the Ketchikan Chamber would rather not have the amendment, but the chair of the CRA committee did not want to address this issue multiple times when different communities wanted to put on a race classic. As sponsor, he said his interest is seeing the bill move forward, even with the amendment. SENATOR MEYER expressed concern that the amendment makes the definition overly broad, which could have unforeseen consequences. CHAIR COSTELLO said she shares that concern. There's a reason that the legislature goes through an approval process. 3:03:22 PM SENATOR MICCICHE stated support for the original intent of HB 18. SENATOR MEYER asked the sponsor if he would support the committee returning to the original version of the bill. REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ replied, "I'd be perfectly fine with that." SENATOR MEYER asked if he said that the sponsor of the amendment supported the bill with or without the amendment. REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ replied he couldn't speak for the sponsor of the amendment. 3:05:02 PM At ease 3:06:26 PM CHAIR COSTELLO reconvened the meeting and asked Ms. Mitchell why classics and games of skill and chance must come before the legislature for authorization. She also asked if the administration had any concerns with the Senate CRA amendment. 3:07:15 PM KATRINA MITCHELL, Gaming Group Manager, Tax Division, Department of Revenue, Juneau, Alaska, explained that statute defines a variety of classics. Some like the Nenana Ice Classic are limited to certain organizations while others like the Crane Classic are open to any organization. CHAIR COSTELLO asked how many communities or organization have taken advantage of the Crane Classic authorization. MS. MITCHELL said the Crane Classic is defined as a game of chance in which a money prize is awarded for the closest guess of the arrival time of the first Sandhill Crane to a specific location. Any organization that holds a gaming permit can conduct a Crane Classic. Other classics such as the Cabbage Classic, the Deepfreeze Classic, and the Goose Classic statutorily limit the authority to conduct the classic to a certain organization. Any organization that holds a gaming permit could choose to hold a classic every year, if it is not specific to an organization. CHAIR COSTELLO asked if the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce currently holds a gaming permit or if the bill gives permission to hold that classic. MS. MITCHELL said she presumes the chamber already holds a gaming permit to hold yearly raffles. Should the bill pass, they would check "raffle and race classic" on the annual permit request. CHAIR COSTELLO asked if she would advise the committee to limit the scope of the proposed race classic. She thought she understood the rationale for the amendment but doing it in the bill may complicate matters. MS. MITCHELL said just nonprofit organizations and municipalities are authorized to apply for and hold a gaming permit, which limits the field of participants. About 1,000 permits are issued a year. Expanding the field means that more than one organization that holds a gaming permit would be allowed to put on a race classic if it wanted to. SENATOR MICCICHE stated support for adopting version A that passed the House. CHAIR COSTELLO polled members and determined there was no objection to returning to HB 18, 30-LS0199\A. CHAIR COSTELLO opened public testimony on HB 18, version A. 3:14:16 PM CHELSEA GOUCHER, President, Board of Directors, Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce, Ketchikan, Alaska, stated that HB 18 would be a great help to Ketchikan Chamber. It is primarily funded through membership and works with a budget of under $200,000. She cited the important work underway by the chamber including maritime workforce development, an initiative regarding health care pricing transparency, resource development in timber and mining sectors and most recently an initiative to attract tech workers to Ketchikan and Southeast generally. HB 18 would help the chamber capitalize on the non-motorized boat race between Port Townsend, Washington and Ketchikan, Alaska. It's a race that has already garnered national attention for adventure and sport enthusiasts. SENATOR MEYER offered his understanding that the Ketchikan Chamber didn't care which version of HB 18 passes. MS. GOUCHER clarified that the Ketchikan Chamber asked the sponsor to put forward the original version. 3:17:13 PM CHAIR COSTELLO found no one else who wished to comment and closed public testimony on HB 18. 3:17:18 PM At ease 3:17:47 PM CHAIR COSTELLO reconvened the meeting. 3:17:52 PM SENATOR MEYER moved to adopt HB 18, 30-LS0199\A as the working document. CHAIR COSTELLO found no objection and version A was adopted. 3:18:14 PM SENATOR MEYER moved to report HB 18, 30-LS0199\A, from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s). 3:18:30 PM CHAIR COSTELLO found no objection and announced that HB 18, version A, moved from the Senate Labor and Commerce Standing Committee. She noted the fiscal note would change in the next committee of referral, if needed.