Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

05/05/2021 03:30 PM RESOURCES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 133 REMOTE RECREATIONAL SITES; SALES; PERMITS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
*+ SB 134 MASTER GUIDE-OUTFITTER REQUIREMENTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 134(RES) Out of Committee
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 79 HUNTING/TRAPPING/FISHING: DISABLED VETS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 79(RES) Out of Committee
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
           SB 134-MASTER GUIDE-OUTFITTER REQUIREMENTS                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:33:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REVAK  announced the consideration  of SENATE BILL  NO. 134                                                               
"An  Act relating  to master  guide-outfitter qualifications  for                                                               
licensure."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:34:09 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR NATASHA VON IMHOF, speaking  as sponsor of SB 134, stated                                                               
the purpose of the bill  is to address the unintended consequence                                                               
of  legislation passed  in 2019  regarding  the conditions  under                                                               
which  the  [Big  Game  Commercial  Services  Board]  would  take                                                               
disciplinary   action  against   guides  who   violate  the   law                                                               
pertaining to  their profession.  SB 134  amends the  language to                                                               
work  as  intended.  She  expressed  hope  this  issue  could  be                                                               
resolved  during  this  hunting   season.  She  deferred  a  more                                                               
detailed introduction of the bill to Ms. Lucky.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:35:09 PM                                                                                                                    
JULI  LUCKY,  Staff,  Senator Natasha  von  Imhof,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau, Alaska,  introduced SB 134 on  behalf of the                                                               
sponsor, paraphrasing the following sponsor statement:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Senate  Bill 134  clarifies under  what conditions  the                                                                    
     Big Game  Commercial Services  Board would  be required                                                                    
     to revoke a Master Guide  license. The bill corrects an                                                                    
     unintended     consequence     due     to     different                                                                    
     interpretations  of language  included  in the  board's                                                                    
     last reauthorization bill.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     The Big  Game Commercial  Services Board  regulates the                                                                    
     activities of professionals  that provide guide, guide-                                                                    
     outfitter,  and  transportation  services to  big  game                                                                    
     hunters. The board had a  sunset review in 2018; Senate                                                                    
     Bill 43 was introduced in  2019 to extend the board for                                                                    
     five years. During deliberation  on the bill, there was                                                                    
     some frustration  regarding the inability of  the board                                                                    
     to  quickly take  action  to revoke  the  license of  a                                                                    
     Master  Guide  who  had   been  convicted  of  criminal                                                                    
     offenses. The board relayed that  it had the ability to                                                                    
     revoke  the   license,  but  the  process   had  to  be                                                                    
     suspended during  the criminal  case, and  the required                                                                    
     investigation and due process was lengthy.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     A Master  Guide license does not  confer any additional                                                                    
     hunting rights; it is an  honorary designation given to                                                                    
     Registered  Guides  who  have  demonstrated  excellence                                                                    
     over a  long history in their  profession. Legislators,                                                                    
     members of  the public,  and clients expect  those that                                                                    
     use the title to be held to the highest standard.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     The Senate  Finance committee  added language  that was                                                                    
     intended  to  require  revocation  of  a  Master  Guide                                                                    
     license upon conviction in a  court of law for criminal                                                                    
     offenses related  to the profession. This  language was                                                                    
     reviewed  and   approved  by   the  full   Senate,  all                                                                    
     subsequent    committees,   and    the   full    House.                                                                    
     Unfortunately, during  the December BGCSB  meeting, the                                                                    
     language was reviewed by staff  attorneys and there was                                                                    
     concern that  the statute could  be construed  to apply                                                                    
     to any violation  of the statute    even late paperwork                                                                    
       which was clearly not the legislative intent.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     The BGCSB undertook a lengthy  process to determine how                                                                    
     to  capture the  legislature's  intent: holding  Master                                                                    
     Guides  to the  high standard  their title  conveys and                                                                    
     requiring  the  revocation  of licenses  for  egregious                                                                    
     offenses that do not honor  the profession. Senate Bill                                                                    
     134  is  the result  of  that  work and  would  require                                                                    
     revocation of  a Master Guide license  after conviction                                                                    
     of an offense  where the offender serves  more than one                                                                    
     day in jail or a $1,500  or greater fine is imposed. It                                                                    
     also  conforms the  qualifications for  a Master  Guide                                                                    
     license to  these standards and also  requires that the                                                                    
     guide has not had a  similar license revoked within the                                                                    
     past five years.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     I  would  appreciate your  support  of  this bill  that                                                                    
     clarifies  the  statute and  ensures  it  works as  the                                                                    
     legislature intended.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LUCKY summarized  that SB  134  treats the  narrow class  of                                                               
egregious  offenses for  which  a master  guide  license must  be                                                               
revoked.  The board  proposed the  language  to meet  legislative                                                               
intent and  mirror existing statute  to ensure it  is interpreted                                                               
correctly.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:36:03 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BISHOP joined the committee meeting.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:38:15 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS asked  what offenses require the  board to revoke                                                               
a master guide license.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY replied  it would apply to offenses where  a person was                                                               
imprisoned for more than one  day or received an unsuspended fine                                                               
of  more than  $1,500 was  imposed.  She said  the board  created                                                               
those standards after a review of  the cases that came before the                                                               
board  and  the disciplinary  actions  it  imposed. She  directed                                                               
attention  to  the  minutes  of   the  Big  Game  Services  Board                                                               
teleconference held February 20, [2020]  in the bill packets. The                                                               
relevant data is  on page 9 of the 9-page  document. It shows the                                                               
board  considered six  master  guide-outfitter violations  [since                                                               
the sunset audit in 2018].                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:40:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR VON IMHOF interjected the table is outlined in green.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY continued to detail the examples.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:40:18 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease to help members find the table in their bill packets.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:40:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REVAK  reconvened  the  meeting and  asked  for  a  better                                                               
description of the  graph because the members'  copies were black                                                               
and white.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY restated that the relevant data  is on page 9 of the 9-                                                               
page   document.  It   enumerates   six  master   guide-outfitter                                                               
violations the board considered prior  to the statutory change in                                                               
2019. Violations  one and four  met the threshold  for revocation                                                               
after the bill was enacted.  SB 134 would require revocations for                                                               
these types of offenses, she said.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:42:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEVENS  summarized  that   revocations  apply  only  to                                                               
specific hunting violations.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LUCKY answered  that  is correct.  She  continued, "At  this                                                               
time, the language that was in  Senate Bill 43 was interpreted to                                                               
apply to  any violations and that  is what we are  trying to fix.                                                               
And what  this bill would do  is say that the  fine imposed would                                                               
have to  be more  than $1,500  or if  the person  spent a  day in                                                               
jail. Those  were the two  conditions under which a  Master Guide                                                               
[license] would be required to be revoked."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:42:44 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS  asked for confirmation  that a master  guide who                                                               
received a  $1500 fine or spent  time in jail for  something that                                                               
was unrelated to hunting would not be affected by this bill.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY  answered that  is correct;  she directed  attention to                                                               
the language  on page  2, lines  19-20 of  the bill  that clearly                                                               
states this is  "related to hunting or the provision  of big game                                                               
hunting or transportation services."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:43:24 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL  referenced the eligibility provision  in paragraph                                                               
(4)  of Section  1  and asked  for the  reason  the lookback  for                                                               
hunting violations was  changed from 15 years  preceding the date                                                               
of the application to 5 years.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY answered  that Section 1 relating to  eligibility for a                                                               
master guide  license was  changed to conform  to Section  2 that                                                               
has the "shall revoke" language.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:44:12 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REVAK requested the sectional analysis.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY presented the following sectional analysis for SB 134:                                                                
                                                                                                                                
   Sec. 1: Amends AS 08.54.610(b), which outlines the                                                                         
             requirements to obtain a master guide-outfitter                                                                    
             license, to  limit  the  violations that  would                                                                    
             make a person ineligible to receive a license.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
             Specifically, the  amendment  limits  the  look                                                                    
             back period to five years and  would only apply                                                                    
             after  conviction  for  an  offense  where  the                                                                    
             person was imprisoned for more than  one day or                                                                    
             there was a fine  of more than  $1,500 imposed.                                                                    
             It also prohibits granting a master guide-                                                                         
             outfitter license to an individual that has had                                                                    
             a hunting, guiding, outfitting,  transporter or                                                                    
             similar    license    revoked     in    another                                                                    
             jurisdiction.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
   Sec. 2: Amends AS 08.54.710(k), which requires revocation                                                                  
             of a master guide-outfitter  license in certain                                                                    
             circumstances, to  limit  the  violations  that                                                                    
             would  require   revocation,  similar   to  the                                                                    
             language in  section  one,  to an  offense  for                                                                    
             which a person is imprisoned for  more than one                                                                    
             day or a fine of more than $1,500 is imposed.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY advised that one  of the board's guiding principles was                                                               
to  conform AS  08.54.610(b)  to existing  statute. She  directed                                                               
attention  to the  document in  the bill  packets that  shows the                                                               
statute  relating to  eligibility  for licenses  has a  five-year                                                               
lookback. She noted the board suggested this language.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:46:22 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BISHOP  asked if the  statute had something similar  to a                                                               
"Three strikes and you're out" provision.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LUCKY said  she  believes  that it  would  be the  five-year                                                               
lookback, but she would defer to the board for confirmation.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:46:56 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REVAK  offered his  understanding that  somebody who  has a                                                               
qualifying violation has "a five-year  timeout from being able to                                                               
receive a guide license." He asked if that was correct.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LUCKY  answered this  would  apply  to individuals  who  are                                                               
otherwise eligible  to hold  a master guide  license, but  it was                                                               
correct that  the lookback  for guide-outfitter  violations would                                                               
be five years.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR REVAK  responded, "So if  you got one of  these violations,                                                               
you wouldn't be able to receive  a guide license for another five                                                               
years."                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LUCKY answered,  "That is  correct Mr.  Chairman, but  I did                                                               
want to point out  that you would also still have  to meet all of                                                               
the other  requirements for  the master  guide license.  But this                                                               
would disqualify you for at least a period of five years."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:48:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REVAK repeated,  "At least."  He noted  Renee Hoffard  was                                                               
available for questions.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BISHOP asked if there was  a limit to the number of times                                                               
a guide  could have  their license  revoked and  reinstated after                                                               
five years.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:48:40 PM                                                                                                                    
RENEE  HOFFARD,  Executive  Administrator,  Big  Game  Commercial                                                               
Services Board,  Juneau, Alaska,  referenced subsection  (l) that                                                               
is not being amended and read the following:                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 08.54.710. Discipline  of guides and transporters.                                                                  
     (l) The  board may  issue a  registered guide-outfitter                                                                    
     license  to  a   person  whose  master  guide-outfitter                                                                    
     license is revoked under (k) of this section.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
She highlighted the  provision that says to qualify  for a master                                                               
guide license,  the applicant must  be a registered guide  for 15                                                               
of  the   20  years  immediately   preceding  the  date   of  the                                                               
application. If  the offense is  egregious enough, the  board, in                                                               
consultation with the Department of  Law, may choose to not issue                                                               
the registered guide license.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR REVAK asked Ms. Lucky if she had anything to add.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:50:44 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  LUCKY  noted the  concern  in  the testimony  the  committee                                                               
received about "may versus shall."  She said everybody agreed the                                                               
language needed to  be amended but the opinions varied  on how to                                                               
do that. Some people want the  board to have discretion to revoke                                                               
a  master guide  license for  certain violations,  but the  board                                                               
suggested  narrowing  the  scope   to  just  the  most  egregious                                                               
offenses and making the revocation mandatory.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:51:57 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. LUCKY  said the second  issue relates to the  effective date.                                                               
The hunting  season is  underway and there  is some  concern that                                                               
without  an  immediate effective  date  a  small violation  could                                                               
result in  a guide having  their license revoked for  five years.                                                               
Self-reporting  of  small  violations   is  common  and  that  is                                                               
jeopardized  by the  current interpretation  that all  violations                                                               
result in license revocation.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LUCKY said  the sponsor  has an  amendment for  an effective                                                               
date that is retroactive to the  date Senate Bill 43 was enacted.                                                               
This   makes   the  law   consistent,   and   it  clarifies   the                                                               
legislature's understanding  and intention when it  passed Senate                                                               
Bill 43 in September 2019.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:54:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REVAK found no committee questions or comments.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
He opened public  testimony on SB 134; finding  none, Chair Revak                                                               
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR REVAK asked if there were amendments.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:54:32 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE moved Conceptual Amendment 1 to SB 134.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     OFFERED IN THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     BY SENATOR VON IMHOF                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     TO: SB 134 (32-LS06096\I)                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     This is  a conceptual  amendment. Legislative  Legal is                                                                    
     directed  to  make  any changes  or  deletions  to  the                                                                    
     suggest language,  including technical,  conforming, or                                                                    
     bill title changes, in order accomplish the intent.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     INTENT OF  AMENDMENT: Add an  effective date to  SB 134                                                                    
     to  match the  effective date  of the  enactment of  AS                                                                    
     08.54.710(k) by Senate Bill 43  in 2019 (CHAPTER 26 SLA                                                                    
     19).                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
[There was no explanation of this amendment.]                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:54:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REVAK   found  no   objection  and   announced  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 1 to SB 134 was adopted.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:54:51 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:56:37 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REVAK reconvened  the meeting  and asked  the will  of the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:56:49 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE moved  to report SB 134,  work order 32-LS0696\I                                                               
as   conceptually  amended,   from  committee,   with  individual                                                               
recommendations   and  attached   fiscal  note(s).   He  directed                                                               
Legislative Legal to make changes  or deletions to the conceptual                                                               
amendment to accomplish the intent.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:57:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REVAK  found no  objection and  CSSB 134(RES)  was reported                                                               
from the Senate Resources Standing Committee.                                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 134 Background - Related Statutes.pdf HRES 5/17/2021 1:00:00 PM
SRES 5/5/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 134
SB 134 Sponsor Statement 4.30.2021.pdf HRES 5/17/2021 1:00:00 PM
SRES 5/5/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 134
SB 134 Fiscal Note 4.31.21.pdf SRES 5/5/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 134
SB 134 Sectional Analysis 4.30.2021.pdf SRES 5/5/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 134
SB 134 Support Doc-BGCSB Final minutes 2.2020.pdf HRES 5/17/2021 1:00:00 PM
SRES 5/5/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 134
SB 133 Sponsor Statement 4.27.21.pdf SRES 5/5/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 133
SB 133 Fiscal Note 4.26.21.pdf SRES 5/5/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 133
SB 133 Sectional Analysis 5.3.2021.pdf SRES 5/5/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 133
SB 79 CS ver W.pdf SRES 5/5/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 79
SB 79 ver W Explanation of changes.pdf SRES 5/5/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 79
SB 133 Remote Rec Presentation 5.5.2021.pdf SRES 5/5/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 133
SB 133 VUU Map (No Layers - Reduced).pdf SRES 5/5/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 133
SB 134 Support Letter APHA 5.5.21.pdf HRES 5/17/2021 1:00:00 PM
SRES 5/5/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 134