Legislature(1995 - 1996)

01/23/1996 01:06 PM CRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
              HOUSE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS                             
                       STANDING COMMITTEE                                      
                        January 23, 1996                                       
                           1:06 p.m.                                           
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
 Representative Ivan Ivan, Co-Chair                                            
 Representative Alan Austerman, Co-Chair                                       
 Representative Jerry Mackie                                                   
 Representative Kim Elton                                                      
 Representative Al Vezey                                                       
 Representative Pete Kott                                                      
 Representative Irene Nicholia                                                 
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
 All members were present.                                                     
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
 HOUSE BILL NO. 358                                                            
 "An Act relating to dog mushers' contests."                                   
      -  HEARD AND HELD                                                        
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
 BILL:  HB 358                                                               
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) IVAN                                            
 JRN-DATE     JRN-DATE             ACTION                                      
 12/29/95      2359    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/08/96      2359    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/08/96      2360    (H)   CRA, FINANCE                                      
 01/23/96              (H)   CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124                       
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
 DARIO NOTTI, Legislative Intern                                               
 Office of Representative Ivan Ivan                                            
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol Building, Room 503                                              
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4942                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented sponsor statement for HB 358.                  
 DENNIS POSHARD, Director                                                      
 Charitable Gaming Division                                                    
 Department of Revenue                                                         
 P.O. Box 110440                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0440                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2229                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on HB 358.                            
 JOE REDINGTON                                                                 
 HC 30, Box 5460                                                               
 Wasilla, Alaska  99654                                                        
 Telephone:  (907) 376-5562                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 358 with additional suggestions.            
 VIOLET REDINGTON                                                              
 HC 30, Box 5460                                                               
 Wasilla, Alaska  99654                                                        
 Telephone:  (907) 376-5562                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 358.                                        
 DOUG KATCHATAG                                                                
 P.O. Box 194                                                                  
 Unalakleet, AK  99684                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 624-3490                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 358.                                        
 CHRISTOPHER NAPOLI, Coordinator                                               
 Nushagak Classic                                                              
 P.O. Box 1251                                                                 
 Dillingham, Alaska  99576                                                     
 Telephone:  (907) 842-1514                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 358.                                        
 BEVERLY HOFFMAN                                                               
 Board of Directors                                                            
 Kuskokwim 300                                                                 
 P.O. Box 300                                                                  
 Bethel, Alaska  99559                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 543-3300                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 358.                                        
 HELEN DONAHUE, Legislative Assistant                                          
    to Representative Gary Davis                                               
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol Building, Room 420                                              
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2693                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Offered conceptual amendment to HB 358.                  
 GEORGE WRIGHT, Charitable Gaming Manager                                      
 Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp #2                                             
 8516 Forest Lane                                                              
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 790-2678                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 358.                                     
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 96-3, SIDE A                                                             
 Number 0001                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR IVAN IVAN called the House Community and Regional Affairs            
 Committee meeting to order at 1:06 p.m.  Members present at the               
 call to order were Representatives Ivan, Austerman, Mackie, Kott              
 and Vezey.  Members absent were Representatives Elton and Nicholia.           
 HB 358 - DOG MUSHING CONTESTS/GAMES OF CHANCE                               
 Number 0086                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR IVAN noted that the committee packets contained the bill;            
 relevant statutes; two zero fiscal notes, one from the Department             
 of Revenue and one from the Department of Community and Regional              
 Affairs; a sectional analysis; a sponsor statement; and a letter of           
 support from the Kuskokwim 300 Race Committee.                                
 Number 0125                                                                   
 DARIO NOTTI, Legislative Intern and aide to Representative Ivan,              
 presented the sponsor statement for HB 358.  He referred to a wall            
 map and pointed out that HB 358 would affect a minimum of twelve              
 dog races in Alaska, stimulating economic activity in at least nine           
 different communities.  He said the legislation would make those              
 races, which brought in thousands of visitors, economically viable.           
 He added that employment during those races was almost exclusively            
 Alaskan.  He explained HB 358 added dog mushers' contests to AS               
 05.15.180 and defined those contests in AS 05.15.690; it further              
 removed them from the sunset clause that would require the                    
 legislation to be reenacted in four years.  Mr. Notti informed the            
 committee that Dennis Poshard from the Department of Revenue could            
 answer technical questions.                                                   
 Number 253                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT referred to the sectional analysis and               
 asked about the sunset clause, stating his understanding that the             
 provision would not take effect until January 1, 2000.                        
 MR. NOTTI said he understood that anything changed in that statute            
 between now and the year 2000 would need to be reenacted in 2000 if           
 it were not for Section 3 of HB 358.                                          
 Number 0378                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY referred to Section 2, subsection (b), and               
 asked for clarification on games of chance with three elements of             
 DENNIS POSHARD, Director, Charitable Gaming Division, Department of           
 Revenue, responded that the concept of three elements of                      
 uncertainty that could not be determined at the start of a race               
 originated with a bill passed the previous year for the Iditarod              
 mushing sweepstakes.  When that bill was being discussed, it was              
 left up to the group conducting the activity to determine the three           
 elements.  Possible elements included the total number of dogs to             
 cross the finish line, the temperature at the time the winner                 
 crossed the finish line or other variables.  However, no one had              
 yet conducted an activity of that type.                                       
 Number 0526                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said he was having difficulty visualizing                
 exactly what the contest would be.  The language did not say there            
 could be up to three elements of chance; it specified there would             
 be three elements.                                                            
 MR. POSHARD agreed that was the way the Charitable Gaming Division            
 had interpreted the language.  He added that in the interim, they             
 had worked with the Iditarod Trail Committee to try to implement              
 their mushing sweepstakes.  The language applying to that                     
 sweepstakes, which was nearly identical to language in HB 358, was            
 found by the Iditarod Trail Committee to be so constrictive that              
 they decided not to conduct their contest this year.  They were               
 considering returning to the legislature for changes to their                 
 definition of a mushing sweepstakes.                                          
 Number 0601                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY commented that the Iditarod Trail Committee              
 had found the wording unacceptable and now the same wording was               
 going into a new statute.                                                     
 MR. POSHARD responded that he believed Co-Chair Ivan's office was             
 planning to work on the language with the Iditarod Trail Committee.           
 He said he himself had not spoken with that committee in the past             
 three weeks and did not know what steps they had taken regarding              
 new language.                                                                 
 Number 0682                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE JERRY MACKIE asked if HB 358 was intended to be like           
 the Nenana Ice Classic.  In that contest, participants simply                 
 guessed the time the ice would break up, causing the tripod to fall           
 over.  He wondered, with the language in HB 358, if there could be            
 a guess, for example, as to the time the winner crossed the finish            
 Number 0710                                                                   
 MR. POSHARD replied that the Iditarod Trail Committee's concern had           
 not been the three elements but the guesses.  They had wanted an              
 automated game with choices randomly picked by a computer.  The               
 Charitable Gaming Division had determined, through several prior              
 rulings within the division, that a guess required an active choice           
 by the participant; the computer setup proposed by the Iditarod               
 Trail Committee did not require such a guess.  He added that the              
 Charitable Gaming Division did not necessarily oppose the concept             
 of a game such as the one proposed by the Iditarod Trail Committee;           
 however, the Iditarod contest did not fit within the definition.              
 Number 0830                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE KIM ELTON asked if the three elements could consist            
 of, for example, the twelfth hour, the fifteenth minute and thirty-           
 seventh second.                                                               
 MR. POSHARD replied that he would not interpret it that way;                  
 however, he said, he supposed if one wanted to stretch the                    
 definition, it could be so interpreted.  He explained that in the             
 beginning, the language of the previous year's Iditarod bill did              
 not include three elements of uncertainty.  It required only the              
 closest guess of a single element of uncertainty, which he believed           
 was originally the finishing time.  But that bill was amended in              
 the Senate Finance Committee, its last committee of referral, to              
 require three elements of uncertainty.  The discussion around that            
 amendment had been that with only one element of uncertainty, there           
 would be too much possibility for collusion or cheating.  Mr.                 
 Poshard added he did not know how realistic that concern was, but             
 that was the reason for the present language.  Whether or not that            
 language should be left in HB 358, he did not know.                           
 Number 0942                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR IVAN noted that the committee had been joined by                     
 Representatives Elton and Nicholia.                                           
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked why the distance of 200 miles had been             
 included in HB 358.  He noted that it omitted certain kinds of                
 races such as sprints.                                                        
 Number 0960                                                                   
 MR. NOTTI responded that 200 miles was chosen because it was a long           
 enough distance that there would be less likelihood of being able             
 to fix the race.                                                              
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON commented that with three elements of                    
 uncertainty, the 200 miles might not be much of a concern if one              
 element was time.                                                             
 MR. POSHARD said although he did not know what happened in the                
 introduction of the bill, he understood from discussions that the             
 intent of the 200-mile minimum was to restrict contests to races              
 that would qualify a musher for the Iditarod.                                 
 Number 1020                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if who came in first, who came in second           
 and who came in third would be considered one element of chance or            
 MR. POSHARD replied he would consider that three elements of                  
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asserted that it would not be terribly                   
 difficult to commit fraud if someone wanted to rig the race.                  
 MR. POSHARD said he did not know how difficult it might be to rig             
 the Iditarod, where mushers traveled 1,000 miles to Nome in                   
 freezing cold temperatures.  He said he imagined that a musher who            
 had been on the trail for 12 or 13 days in 60-below weather with              
 high winds would not be thinking about the exact second of crossing           
 the line.  However, he admitted it would be possible to rig a race,           
 despite the significant amount of collusion required.                         
 Number 1097                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR IVAN noted that the Iditarod Trail Committee had been                
 invited to participate via teleconference and asked if anyone from            
 that committee was on line.  He then called on Joe Redington.                 
 Number 1128                                                                   
 JOE REDINGTON testified via teleconference, saying he was                     
 representing all dog mushers in Alaska, not just the Iditarod Trail           
 Committee.  He recounted a contest in 1973 where there was only one           
 element of chance, the winner's time.  He thought the proposed                
 contests would bring people to both the smaller races and the                 
 Iditarod.  The smaller ones, he added, could have simpler elements.           
 He believed the winner's time should be included, as well as                  
 possible elements such as temperature at the start or finish of the           
 race, the last place finisher's time or other variables.  He                  
 suggested that with smaller races such as the Knik 200, the                   
 Klondike 300, the Copper Basin 300 and the Kuskokwim 300, visitors            
 would be drawn from all over the United States because people like            
 a chance to win a few dollars.                                                
 Number 1251                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked Mr. Redington for his reaction to                   
 including sprint races and lowering the mileage to, say, 20 miles,            
 given that Mr. Redington had indicated he represented all the dog             
 mushers of Alaska.                                                            
 Number 1279                                                                   
 MR. REDINGTON clarified that he had not said he represented any               
 races, just the mushers.  He said he concurred with the 200-mile              
 races being included and added that the races he had mentioned were           
 all over 200 miles.                                                           
 VIOLET REDINGTON testified via teleconference in support of HB 358,           
 saying she agreed with the amendment.  She explained Joe Redington            
 was hard of hearing and she was therefore assisting with the                  
 teleconference.  She said Mr. Redington had not understood                    
 Representative Kott's question.                                               
 Number 1353                                                                   
 MR. REDINGTON added that the short races would be ideal also.  The            
 small races were not well known and did not draw crowds except for            
 the Fur Rendezvous.  He thought it would be great for the Fur                 
 Rendezvous and North America races to be included in the                      
 legislation, as long as the contests did not get so complicated               
 they made a bad name for the races.  He thought it possible that              
 all the races could be included.  He added that it was a great                
 thing for dog mushing.                                                        
 Number 1397                                                                   
 DOUG KATCHATAG testified via teleconference from Unalakleet in                
 support of HB 358.  He said that with dog mushing declining in                
 popularity, HB 358 would help build interest, especially in                   
 Unalakleet with the North and South 200.  He thought the three                
 elements would be good for that race.                                         
 Number 1453                                                                   
 CHRISTOPHER NAPOLI, Coordinator, Nushagak Classic, testified via              
 teleconference from Dillingham.  He said the Nushagak Classic was             
 a mid-distance race of over 200 miles and an Iditarod rookie                  
 qualifier.  He said he represented the Nushagak region, with a                
 board of directors that had voted unanimously in support of HB 358.           
 MR. NAPOLI said that with increasing limits of sponsorship and the            
 financial burden on race committees, they saw this bill as                    
 important to both the Nushagak Classic and to their business.  He             
 added that it would create an essential vehicle statewide for race            
 committees to raise necessary funding to maintain the sport of dog            
 mushing.  His committee, which was composed of volunteers,                    
 currently depended on raffles and endless phone calls to procure              
 funds.  They saw HB 358 as a step towards making the race self-               
 MR. NAPOLI added his suggestion for three important elements in the           
 race that would be hard to manipulate:  1) the winner's time; 2)              
 the half-way winner's time; and 3) the red lantern time.                      
 Number 1609                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE expressed his appreciation of Mr. Napoli's              
 answer regarding the three elements.  However, he questioned                  
 whether the red lantern time might not be the easiest to                      
 manipulate, because there was certainly no rush to cross the finish           
 Number 1573                                                                   
 MR. NAPOLI responded that what he had witnessed in five years of              
 the Nushagak Classic and other races was that when a person had               
 been on the trail as long as the last-place musher, that person               
 wanted to get home and get warm as soon as possible.  Mr. Napoli              
 saw little likelihood that musher would want to manipulate the                
 finishing time.  However, he admitted there would always be a                 
 situation where someone could manipulate one element or another.              
 He said the elements needed to be set up properly and monitored; he           
 suggested that perhaps the race rules could address monitoring for            
 unnecessary delays.                                                           
 Number 1609                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE agreed that two good elements would be the              
 winner's time and half-way point time.  He asked for opinions on              
 other possible elements on which to place bets.                               
 MR. NAPOLI replied he was not sure about including the temperature            
 at the start or finish because those numbers would not allow a wide           
 spectrum of guesses.  There might be a lot of identical entries               
 because temperatures were not broken down like finishing times,               
 which are calculated to hundredths or tenths of a second.                     
 Number 1668                                                                   
 MR. POSHARD referred to Representative Mackie's concern and stated            
 that the Charitable Gaming Division had always approached the                 
 contest as requiring the closest guess of at least three elements.            
 Elements would not be looked at individually.  Contests would be              
 set up so that all three variables were looked at to determine the            
 winner.  He cited an example where several contestants would guess            
 the first element, resulting in the second element being                      
 considered.  If several had also guessed that one, they would                 
 proceed to the third element to determine a winner.                           
 Number 1726                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR ALAN AUSTERMAN asked Mr. Napoli his opinion about the 200-           
 mile minimum distance in HB 358.                                              
 MR. NAPOLI replied that he liked the 200-mile provision because it            
 allowed the Nushagak Classic and several other important races a              
 vehicle for fund-raising.  However, the board he served on was also           
 involved with a local sprint race that he did not want to see                 
 limited.  He therefore felt a conflict over the issue.  He stated             
 that he had missed part of the meeting and was not aware that the             
 three elements would be considered together to determine the                  
 contest winner.  In that light, he said, perhaps having the                   
 temperature at the start or finish might be a tie-breaker that was            
 easy to analyze.                                                              
 Number 1792                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR AUSTERMAN suggested that HB 358 should address age limits            
 for participants, as it concerned a form of gambling.                         
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON responded to Mr. Napoli's comment regarding              
 the three elements.  If only one person picked the winning time,              
 for example, he wondered how the other two elements would be                  
 incorporated to determine the overall winner.                                 
 MR. POSHARD commented that was a good question.  He said he would             
 assume the first element would suffice in that instance, but                  
 indicated he was not sure.                                                    
 Number 1860                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON replied that if that were the case, it would             
 not address the Senate Finance Committee's concern, as there would            
 no longer be the control of two other elements of uncertainty.                
 MR. POSHARD said he saw Representative Elton's point.                         
 Number 1876                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE affirmed that the three elements needed                 
 further definition in HB 358.  He noted that the key wording was              
 "of at least three elements."  He thought that if temperature were            
 used, there would be many contestants tying on that element.  But             
 with winning times and half-way point times, he asserted, there               
 would be little likelihood of duplicate winners.                              
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said he surmised the contest would be like a             
 lottery where the contestant either chose all three elements                  
 correctly or did not win.  Most of the time, he added, there would            
 be no winner; he did not believe that was what the mushers wanted.            
 Number 1935                                                                   
 MR. POSHARD said his impression was different from Representative             
 Vezey's.  However, he supposed the legislation could be read that             
 way.  He thought the mushers definitely wanted a winner, because a            
 contest without a winner would backfire and hurt them in the long             
 run.  He added that he interpreted "guess or guesses" to mean that            
 more than one person could win.  As in the Nenana Ice Classic, if             
 two people had identical guesses, both would win.                             
 Number 1967                                                                   
 MR. NOTTI referred to Representative Vezey's question and said the            
 word "closest" addressed the issue.  Even if the nearest guess were           
 59 minutes off, someone would have the closest time.                          
 Number 2000                                                                   
 BEVERLY HOFFMAN, Board of Directors, Kuskokwim 300, testified via             
 teleconference in favor of HB 358.  She said the board supported              
 not only the Kuskokwim 300, but other races as well.   They wanted            
 to bring dog mushing back in their communities and award prize                
 money worthy of the mushers' time and efforts.  She referred to the           
 Fur Rendezvous and North American races and said she would support,           
 as she believed would the board, wording to include those two                 
 races.  Ms. Hoffman stated she was unclear about the three elements           
 of uncertainty.  She added that the board wanted the contest based            
 on the closest guess of the winning time.                                     
 Number 2082                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT referred to Mr. Redington's testimony that he             
 would not mind lowering the mileage limit below 200 miles if it did           
 not complicate matters.  He asked Mr. Poshard to comment on                   
 complications from the perspective of the Charitable Gaming                   
 Number 2100                                                                   
 MR. POSHARD responded that the only complication from the                     
 division's perspective was that there would be more permits to                
 issue.  He explained they would issue permits for both the race               
 itself and for this new contest under HB 358.  Currently, they were           
 issuing 59 dog race permits per year; therefore, there would not be           
 more than 59 additional permits.  He felt this number was not                 
 significant enough to dramatically impact the service provided by             
 the Charitable Gaming Division.  He thought they could maintain               
 current staffing and funding levels, with a zero fiscal note still            
 Number 2140                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked if any revenue was associated with the              
 MR. POSHARD replied that yes, there was a small amount of revenue             
 from a permit fee, which cost from $20 to $100 depending on the               
 amount of revenue the applicant had generated the previous year.              
 There was also revenue generated from a 1 percent fee on the net              
 proceeds that an organization retained from the activity they                 
 conducted.  He explained that in the case of dog mushing contests,            
 that amount was very small.  Few dog mushing contests were in the             
 business to make money; almost all money they took in was awarded             
 in prizes to the participants.                                                
 Number 2190                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT further asked what the Charitable Gaming                  
 Division looked at before deciding to issue a permit.                         
 MR. POSHARD responded that they first ensured that the organization           
 wishing to conduct an activity was qualified; they had to have                
 existed for three years immediately prior to the application,                 
 needed 25 members and had to conduct their business in a nonprofit            
 manner.  If those criteria were met, the division checked to see              
 what type of activity they wanted to conduct.  If, for example, it            
 was a dog mushing contest, the division usually reviewed their                
 internal rules, since there were few statutes or regulations                  
 addressing dog mushing contests.  Mr. Poshard said although the               
 division sometimes recommended changes to increase the integrity              
 level of the race, that was about it.  He added it was not a                  
 significant portion of the division's operations; out of $257                 
 million gross annual activity, he said, $250 million was related to           
 bingo and pull tabs.                                                          
 Number 2262                                                                   
 HELEN DONAHUE, Legislative Assistant to Representative Gary Davis,            
 explained that Representative Davis was offering, with Co-Chair               
 Ivan's approval, a conceptual amendment to HB 358 adding the Seward           
 Silver Salmon Derby Classic and the Mountain Marathon Race Classic            
 to the legislation.  She briefly explained both events and said the           
 proposed amendment was not ready yet.                                         
 Number 2340                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR IVAN commented that he had hoped a representative of the             
 Iditarod Trail Committee would have been available on                         
 teleconference to discuss proposed changes.  In order to offer that           
 opportunity and to consider amendments, he said, the House                    
 Community and Regional Affairs Committee would hold HB 358 for                
 further consideration at the next meeting.                                    
 Number 2372                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR AUSTERMAN wondered how extensively the committee wanted to           
 open up HB 358.  He mentioned that Seward was not the only place in           
 Alaska with a fishing derby.                                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY added that as he read HB 358, it already                 
 included salmon classics.  A specific bill was not necessary to               
 include them.                                                                 
 Number 2458                                                                   
 MR. POSHARD responded that if he remembered correctly, the Seward             
 Silver Salmon Derby was already in existence.  Its activities were            
 conducted under the fishing derby statutes, which were not specific           
 to any particular site or organization.  On the other hand, the               
 statutes about salmon classics were highly specific.                          
 Number 2451                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked what was being allowed in the chapter              
 relating to salmon classics.                                                  
 MR. POSHARD replied that there were either one or two organizations           
 in Alaska allowed to conduct a salmon classic.  He offered to look            
 up the statutes to clarify the matter.                                        
 TAPE 96-3, SIDE B                                                             
 Number 0001                                                                   
 MR. POSHARD reviewed the statutes and said AS 05.15.690 authorized            
 a salmon classic that was a game of chance, to be operated and                
 administered by the United Fishermen of Alaska.  In that classic,             
 a prize of money was awarded for the closest guess of the total               
 number of salmon harvested commercially statewide during a certain            
 period of time.  He said that was the only salmon classic provided            
 for in statute.                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked for clarification on the meaning of AS             
 05.15.180, which listed salmon classics under the exceptions of               
 subsection (b).                                                               
 MR. POSHARD explained it specified the types of permits that could            
 be issued.  But under the definition of "salmon classic," the                 
 Charitable Gaming Division could only issue the permit to the                 
 United Fishermen of Alaska.  Similarly, he said, the ice classic              
 permit could only be issued to the Nenana Ice Classic and a couple            
 of others.  The statutes were specific to certain organizations.              
 Number 0114                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY questioned whether those statutes might be               
 MR. POSHARD agreed that was probably so.  However, he said, no one            
 had challenged them to date.                                                  
 Number 0129                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE referred to Co-Chair Austerman's comment                
 about opening up HB 358 and said that in his experience in the                
 Alaska State Legislature, there was at least one bill per year                
 dealing with this issue.  He suggested that with all the exceptions           
 being added, perhaps they should just repeal the statute and let              
 any organization participate.                                                 
 Number 0166                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked Helen Donahue if the purpose of the                
 salmon classic would be to sell chances at guessing the size of the           
 largest salmon caught.                                                        
 MS. DONAHUE responded that the Chamber of Commerce would sell the             
 tickets.  It was her understanding the contest would be based on              
 guesses of the weight of the fish.                                            
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked if there would be an existing prize for            
 catching the fish, with the Chamber of Commerce then selling                  
 chances to pick the weight or size of that fish.                              
 MS. DONAHUE affirmed that was her understanding.                              
 Number 0193                                                                   
 MR. POSHARD referred to his previous comments and clarified that              
 there was no statute, therefore, allowing contestants to guess the            
 weight of a fish to win a prize.  There was only a statute covering           
 the salmon derby itself.                                                      
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON added that would be true unless the statute              
 under consideration was amended, to which Mr. Poshard agreed.                 
 MS. DONAHUE added she understood that Representative Gary Davis's             
 office was drafting amendments to deal with these issues.                     
 Number 0240                                                                   
 GEORGE WRIGHT, Charitable Gaming Manager, Alaska Native Brotherhood           
 Camp #2, testified that dog mushing should be left alone.  He                 
 asserted dog mushing was having a hard enough time across the state           
 because of lack of funds, sponsors and snow.  He said mushers                 
 worked hard at having a clean sport.  He wanted to lower the                  
 mileage from 200 miles to 20 miles, opening it up for all dog                 
 mushers, including sprinters and distance mushers; he said                    
 spectators would multiply by the hundreds.  He speculated that                
 anyone who could rig the three elements of the hour, the minute and           
 the second was pretty good.  He lauded dog mushers' integrity and             
 questioned whether mushers would ever conspire to let one be a                
 winner.  He said dog mushers should stand alone; he did not want to           
 add fishing, jogging and boating to the legislation.                          
 Number 0350                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked Mr. Wright if it was his interpretation            
 that the hour, minute and second were three different elements of             
 MR. WRIGHT replied yes.  He said if betting on a musher were                  
 eliminated, using times would be fine.  If several people guessed             
 the same time, they would split the money like they did in the                
 Nenana Ice Classic.  He reiterated his opinion that integrity was             
 not a problem with dog mushers.                                               
 Number 0418                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON pointed out that Mr. Wright was the cousin of            
 a classic musher, Roxy Wright.                                                
 MR. WRIGHT added that in dog mushing, a storm could hold                      
 participants up for two days.  He wondered how the finishing times            
 could be predicted.                                                           
 Number 0473                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR IVAN noted there had been similar interest the previous              
 year in including mid-distance races.  He added that time                     
 constraints had precluded adding amendments then.  He emphasized              
 that HB 358 provided economic development activities in communities           
 in rural Alaska.  He said he looked forward to hearing proposed               
 amendments and recommendations, including those from the Iditarod             
 Trail Committee.                                                              
 Number 0571                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR AUSTERMAN asked Co-Chair Ivan, as sponsor of the bill, and           
 his staff to take a look at age limits as they related to gambling.           
 CO-CHAIR IVAN replied that he also wanted to address that concern.            
 He noted that HB 358 would be heard again on Thursday, January 25,            
 if they were able to contact the Iditarod Trail Committee to                  
 Number 0620                                                                   
 MR. WRIGHT added further comments, suggesting that if sprinters               
 were not included, they would approach the legislature the next               
 CO-CHAIR IVAN announced that HB 391, and possibly HB 383, would be            
 heard Thursday, January 25.  He reminded committee members that the           
 subcommittee meeting on HB 383 was that afternoon at 4:00 p.m.                
 Number 0678                                                                   
 There being no further business to conduct, CO-CHAIR IVAN adjourned           
 the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee meeting at 2:07            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects