Legislature(2005 - 2006)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/25/2005 01:30 PM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 26 SHORT-TERM COM FISHING CREWMEMBER LICENSE TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 26(FIN) Out of Committee
+ HB 167 DEATH CERTIFICATE FOR DECEASED VETERAN TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 167(STA) Out of Committee
+ HB 213 ALCOHOL SERVER EDUCATION TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       April 25, 2005                                                                                           
                         1:49 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer called the House  Finance Committee meeting to                                                                   
order at 1:49:21 PM.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Chenault, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Kevin Meyer, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Richard Foster                                                                                                   
Representative Mike Hawker                                                                                                      
Representative Jim Holm                                                                                                         
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
Representative Mike Kelly                                                                                                       
Representative Carl Moses                                                                                                       
Representative Bruce Weyhrauch                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bill Stoltze, Vice-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Eric Croft                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Adam Berg,  Staff, Representative Carl Moses;  Representative                                                                   
Bob  Lynn;  Representative Max  Gruenberg;  Philip  Mitchell,                                                                   
Section  Chief, Bureau  of  Vital Statistics,  Department  of                                                                   
Health   and   Social   Services;    Jane   Perrson,   Staff,                                                                   
Representative  Jay Ramras; Representative  Jay Ramras;  Mark                                                                   
Vinsel, Executive Director, United Fishermen of Alaska                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Jerry  Beale,  Veterans' Service  Officer,  Division  Service                                                                   
Manager,  Military   and  Veterans  Affairs;   Paul  Shadura,                                                                   
President, Kenai Peninsula Fisherman's Association                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 26     "An Act relating to short-term commercial fishing                                                                     
          crewmember licenses; and providing for an                                                                             
          effective date."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB 26 (FIN) was REPORTED out of Committee with a                                                                    
          "do  pass" recommendation  and  with fiscal  impact                                                                   
          note  #1 by the  Department of  Fish and  Game, and                                                                   
          with an indeterminate  fiscal impact note #2 by the                                                                   
          Department of Labor and Workforce Development.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HB 167    "An Act  relating to providing a  death certificate                                                                   
          for a deceased veteran without cost."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB 167 (STA) was REPORTED out of Committee with                                                                     
          a "do  pass" recommendation and with  a zero fiscal                                                                   
          impact  note #1 by the  Department of  Military and                                                                   
          Veterans  Affairs,  and  with  a  new  zero  fiscal                                                                   
          impact note by the House  Finance Committee for the                                                                   
         Department of Health and Social Services.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HB 213    "An Act relating to alcohol server education."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
          HB 213 was REPORTED out of Committee with a "do                                                                       
          pass" recommendation and with a zero fiscal impact                                                                    
          note by the Department of Public Safety.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:51:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 26                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to short-term commercial fishing                                                                          
     crewmember licenses; and providing for an effective                                                                        
     date."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ADAM BERG,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE  MOSES, related that  HB 26                                                                   
allows  for  a  seven-day  license   for  commercial  fishing                                                                   
crewmembers for $30.   The bill provides an  option to charge                                                                   
tourists to  work on a commercial  boat.  It would  also help                                                                   
fishers  who  need short-term  help,  by  allowing  visitors,                                                                   
relatives, and  friends a  more affordable  way to help.   He                                                                   
pointed  out  that  under  the  House  Resources  Committee's                                                                   
version of the  bill, a clause was added that  would prohibit                                                                   
short-term license holders from being compensated.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:53:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch described  a possible scenario as to                                                                   
how this bill would work.  Mr.  Berg explained that currently                                                                   
a person could go on and watch  for free, but if they want to                                                                   
participate,  they  must  have  a  license.    Representative                                                                   
Weyhrauch called  it "dude" fishing.   He asked if  there are                                                                   
any survival  training requirements.   Mr. Berg  replied that                                                                   
the  permit   holder  is   responsible  for  that   training.                                                                   
Representative  Weyhrauch  asked   if  the  person  would  be                                                                   
subject  to remuneration  from the fishermen's  fund  if they                                                                   
were injured.  Mr. Berg replied that they would.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:57:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAUL   SHADURA,  PRESIDENT,   KENAI   PENINSULA   FISHERMAN'S                                                                   
ASSOCIATION,  testified (via  teleconference)  in support  of                                                                   
the  bill,  but   not  the  amendment  that   would  restrict                                                                   
compensation  for commercial  fishing.   He  noted that  many                                                                   
boats rely on the casual laborer.   He suggested striking the                                                                   
language   on  page   2,   lines  17-19.      He  noted   his                                                                   
responsibilities to have insurance  and training provided for                                                                   
his crewmembers.   He  called this bill  a necessity  for his                                                                   
industry.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:01:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch asked  about other compensation such                                                                   
as  a portion  of  the  catch.   Mr.  Berg replied  that  the                                                                   
current language would prohibit all types of compensation.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:01:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Holm inquired  about  the  reason behind  not                                                                   
compensating these crewmembers.   Mr. Berg replied that was a                                                                   
change   to  the   bill  in   the   Resources  Committee   by                                                                   
Representative Seaton.   He read from that  earlier amendment                                                                   
and stated disagreement with it.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Holm asked  for an explanation  of the  other                                                                   
side of the  issue.  Mr. Berg opined that  crewmembers should                                                                   
be paid for their work, whether they are tourists or not.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:04:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK VINSEL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,  UNITED FISHERMEN OF ALASKA,                                                                   
stated support  for the  bill as  it was originally  drafted.                                                                   
The intent was  to fill in gaps in commercial  fishing crews.                                                                   
He spoke in favor of paying temporary crewmembers.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:07:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Chenault MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 1 A:                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, Lines 17-19                                                                                                        
     Delete: "may not be paid, receive crew shares, or                                                                          
     receive other compensation for work performed under the                                                                    
     license and"                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer  OBJECTED for  discussion purposes.   Co-Chair                                                                   
Chenault explained  that the amendment would  allow a captain                                                                   
to bring short-term crew on board and be compensated.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch asked  how  the current  crewmember                                                                   
license and the proposed crewmember  license compare, and how                                                                   
much money is saved.  Mr. Berg  related that the cost used to                                                                   
be $60 for  a resident and $180  for a non-resident.   Now it                                                                   
would be $30 for both.  Representative  Weyhrauch inquired if                                                                   
they could  get a  regular Fish  and Game commercial  fishing                                                                   
crewmember license.  Mr. Berg said they could.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:10:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Chenault clarified  that  a crewmember  license  is                                                                   
different than a sport fishing license.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer  WITHDREW his OBJECTION  to adopt  Amendment 1                                                                   
A.  There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment 1 A was adopted.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:11:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch MOVED to  ADOPT Amendment  1, which                                                                   
would  require  the owner/operator  of  the  boat to  sign  a                                                                   
statement of participation in  random drug testing, to hold a                                                                   
federal merchant  marine license, and  that the vessel  is in                                                                   
compliance with  requirements for safety equipment  and other                                                                   
passenger-for-hire rules.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer OBJECTED for discussion purposes.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch  explained his reasoning  behind the                                                                   
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Berg  stated opposition to  Amendment 1.  He  referred to                                                                   
an email  from the Coast Guard  (copy on file),  which states                                                                   
that the crew is  subject to drug testing.   He stressed that                                                                   
it is unnecessary  to spell it out in statute.   He called it                                                                   
a little extra hassle.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:14:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Chenault  asked Representative Weyhrauch  if charter                                                                   
operators are currently required  to have a form asking about                                                                   
license fees and drug use.  Representative  Weyhrauch replied                                                                   
that they are  not.  Co-Chair Chenault noted  that a six-pack                                                                   
operator  is.   Representative  Weyhrauch  explained that  it                                                                   
would cause a  competitive disadvantage.  It would  open up a                                                                   
whole new  area.   Co-Chair Chenault replied  when he  had to                                                                   
buy a crew license it was not required.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:17:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Berg noted  that any commercial operator who  is going to                                                                   
take  people   out  for   money  has   to  follow   the  same                                                                   
requirements that the charter operator has to follow.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:18:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker opined  that this  legislation is  not                                                                   
creating a  new competitor for  the charter industry  because                                                                   
the existing language in the bill,  as amended, prohibits rod                                                                   
and reel fishing  while on a commercial fishing  vessel.  Mr.                                                                   
Berg said that's the way he sees it.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:20:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Holm  asked what a  six-pack license is.   Mr.                                                                   
Berg explained that  it is an operator's license  required by                                                                   
the Coast Guard.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Weyhrauch  explained   the  differences   in                                                                   
requirements  of charter  boats and commercial  boats.   This                                                                   
bill  addresses the  commercial  boat experience.   Mr.  Berg                                                                   
noted that  Coast Guard  requirements are  the same  for both                                                                   
boats.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:23:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch  WITHDREW  Amendment 1  and  stated                                                                   
that he would not offer Amendment 2.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Moses MOVED to  report CSHB  26 (FIN)  out of                                                                   
Committee   with    individual   recommendations    and   the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal notes.  There  being NO OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CSHB 26 (FIN) was REPORTED out  of Committee with a "do pass"                                                                   
recommendation  and  with  fiscal   impact  note  #1  by  the                                                                   
Department  of  Fish  and Game,  and  with  an  indeterminate                                                                   
fiscal  impact  note  #2  by  the  Department  of  Labor  and                                                                   
Workforce Development.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:25:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 167                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to providing a death certificate for a                                                                    
     deceased veteran without cost."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BOB  HOLM,  sponsor, explained  that  HB  167                                                                   
provides a  death certificate,  without cost, to  a surviving                                                                   
spouse or relative  of a deceased veteran.   It also provides                                                                   
for a program honoring deceased veterans.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:26:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MAX GRUENBERG  explained  that  the bill  was                                                                   
introduced  by  the  House  Military  and  Veterans'  Affairs                                                                   
Committee  and melds  two bills  together.   He related  that                                                                   
Section 1 is  modeled on an Arizona statute  and makes things                                                                   
easier  for  the  deceased's  family.   The  second  part  is                                                                   
modeled  on  federal  law.   It  permits  the  Department  of                                                                   
Military  and Veteran's  Affairs  to honor  the  memory of  a                                                                   
deceased  veteran  who was  a  state  resident by  sending  a                                                                   
certificate bearing  the governor's signature to  the next of                                                                   
kin.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:29:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer asked  about the  requirement  for 5  copies.                                                                   
Representative  Gruenberg  related  a  personal  story  about                                                                   
receiving a free death certificate.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:29:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Joule   spoke   about  members   of   Native                                                                   
Corporations and  their need for more than  one original copy                                                                   
of a death  certificate.  Representative  Gruenberg suggested                                                                   
that the number could be limited.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:31:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Lynn noted that  it is not intended to enhance                                                                   
a genealogical quest.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:31:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PHILLIP  MITCHELL, BUREAU  OF VITAL  STATISTICS, DIVISION  OF                                                                   
PUBLIC  HEALTH, DEPARTMENT  OF  HEALTH  AND SOCIAL  SERVICES,                                                                   
reported  on  the  fiscal  note and  the  average  number  of                                                                   
certificates  requested.  He  noted that  it might  take time                                                                   
for  people  to become  acquainted  with  this program.    He                                                                   
related  that there  has been  a  5 percent  increase in  the                                                                   
number of deaths.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:34:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Holm asked  if there  have been any  requests                                                                   
for this to be a free service.  Mr. Mitchell said no.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:34:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker  referred  to  a  statement  about  no                                                                   
general funding being  budgeted.  He clarified  that the FY06                                                                   
has $84,000 budgeted.   He pointed out that there  would be a                                                                   
decrease of $50,000  in receipt services.  He  suggested that                                                                   
a zero or indeterminate  note would be better.   Mr. Mitchell                                                                   
agreed  that  there  could  be  a  change  to  reflect  that.                                                                   
Representative Hawker explained  the budget process.  He said                                                                   
it is a grey area.  He suggested a zero note.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:37:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly opined that  the note  could be  a zero                                                                   
note.  He debated the issue.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:39:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker  put it in the context  of the bureau's                                                                   
budget and the effect on the governor's $2 million budget.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch stated his  appreciation as  to how                                                                   
the bureau is being managed.   He asked for an interpretation                                                                   
of "one death certificate".  Mr.  Mitchell explained that his                                                                   
understanding that one is provided per every request.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:40:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Chenault  asked if they  would be certified  copies.                                                                   
Mr. Mitchell said yes.  Co-Chair  Chenault related a personal                                                                   
story.   Representative Weyhrauch asked  if the first  one is                                                                   
free and the rest  are not.  Mr. Mitchell said  that would be                                                                   
correct if one individual is making the request.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:41:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JERRY BEALE, DIVISION SERVICE  MANAGER, MILITARY AND VETERANS                                                                   
AFFAIRS, testified  (via teleconference) in favor  of HB 167.                                                                   
He spoke of the Veterans Administration's requirements.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:43:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker  asked the  committee  to approve  two                                                                   
zero  fiscal notes  to HB  167.  He  MOVED to  ADOPT a  House                                                                   
Finance Committee  zero note to the Department  of Health and                                                                   
Social  Services.    There  being NO  OBJECTION,  it  was  so                                                                   
ordered.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:43:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster  MOVED to report CSHB 167  (STA) out of                                                                   
Committee   with    individual   recommendations    and   the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal notes.  There  being NO OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CSHB  167 (STA)  was REPORTED  out  of Committee  with a  "do                                                                   
pass" recommendation  and with a  zero fiscal impact  note #1                                                                   
by the Department of Military  and Veterans Affairs, and with                                                                   
a new zero fiscal impact note  by the House Finance Committee                                                                   
for the Department of Health and Social Services.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:45:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 213                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to alcohol server education."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
JANE  PERRSON, STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE  JAY RAMRAS,  explained                                                                   
that  HB 213  would  make  it  easier for  competent  alcohol                                                                   
servers to renew their alcohol  server education card without                                                                   
retaking the  full course, provided  they pass the test.   It                                                                   
would save time and expense in the service industry.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Chenault asked  if this  is referring  to the  TAMS                                                                   
card.  Ms. Perrson replied yes.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:47:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker  inquired if the individual  would need                                                                   
to be retested.  Ms. Perrson replied yes.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly  noted that commuter airlines  require a                                                                   
test.  He asked if this test is similar.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:48:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   JAY  RAMRAS,   related  that  he   employees                                                                   
personnel  servers who  have to  take the  3-hour course  and                                                                   
then take  the exam.   He  said that  there are thousands  of                                                                   
hours lost  by having  to take  the course  over again.   The                                                                   
bill  would eliminate  most  of the  course  and the  servers                                                                   
could take the test and be awarded a new certification.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:52:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly asked  if  the test  contains the  same                                                                   
material as the course.  Ms. Perrson replied yes.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer asked  if  the  ABC board  is  ok with  this.                                                                   
Representative  Ramras  said   he  believes  that  Labor  and                                                                   
Commerce supports this bill.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:53:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Chenault  asked if the test is the  same every time.                                                                   
Mr. Ramras  compared  it to a  CPR course;  always the  same.                                                                   
Co-Chair Chenault stated that  if new information is included                                                                   
in the test, he supports the bill.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:54:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch asked  if there are  accommodations                                                                   
for  blind   bartenders.    Representative  Ramras   said  an                                                                   
amendment  could  be  entertained for  alternate  methods  of                                                                   
testing.    Representative  Weyhrauch inquired  if  proof  of                                                                   
completion   could    be   a   card   or    something   else.                                                                   
Representative  Ramras explained  that presently everyone  is                                                                   
issued  a card.    Troopers can  request  that  the cards  be                                                                   
shown, so cards are used to keep it simple.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:57:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Foster   MOVED  to  report  HB   213  out  of                                                                   
Committee   with    individual   recommendations    and   the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB  213  was REPORTED  out  of  Committee  with a  "do  pass"                                                                   
recommendation  and with  a zero  fiscal impact  note by  the                                                                   
Department of Public Safety.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 2:59 PM.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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