Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/05/2004 09:05 AM FSH

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES                                                                            
                         April 5, 2004                                                                                          
                           9:05 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Paul Seaton, Chair                                                                                               
Representative Peggy Wilson, Vice Chair                                                                                         
Representative Cheryll Heinze                                                                                                   
Representative Dan Ogg                                                                                                          
Representative Ralph Samuels                                                                                                    
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 458                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating to  a  one-day  commercial fishing  crewmember                                                               
license."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 458(FSH) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 273(FIN)                                                                                                 
"An Act  amending the size,  membership, and powers of  the board                                                               
of  directors  of  the Alaska  Seafood  Marketing  Institute  and                                                               
making  a   corresponding  change  in  the   quorum  requirement;                                                               
authorizing   the   establishment   of  the   seafood   marketing                                                               
assessment at a  rate of 0.5 percent or 0.6  percent of the value                                                               
of  seafood  products  produced;  providing for  an  election  to                                                               
retain, terminate, or increase  the seafood marketing assessment;                                                               
providing  for  the  repeal  of  the  salmon  marketing  tax  and                                                               
provisions  related to  the salmon  marketing tax;  and providing                                                               
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HCS CSSB 273(FSH) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 347(RES)                                                                                                 
"An Act  relating to  moratoria on entry  of new  participants or                                                               
vessels  into a  commercial fishery;  relating to  vessel permits                                                               
for,  and the  establishment  of  a moratorium  on  entry of  new                                                               
vessels  into, state  Gulf of  Alaska  groundfish fisheries;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 458                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SHORT-TERM COM FISHING CREWMEMBER LICENSE                                                                          
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MOSES BY REQUEST                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
02/16/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/16/04       (H)       L&C, FSH, RES                                                                                          
03/24/04       (H)       L&C REFERRAL WAIVED                                                                                    
04/05/04       (H)       FSH AT 9:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 273                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ASMI BOARD/ SEAFOOD TAXES & ASSESSMENTS                                                                            
SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) STEVENS G BY REQUEST OF SALMON INDUSTRY                                                                  
TASK FORCE                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
01/23/04       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/23/04       (S)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
02/03/04       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
02/03/04       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/03/04       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
02/10/04       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
02/10/04       (S)       Moved SB 273 Out of Committee                                                                          
02/10/04       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
02/11/04       (S)       L&C RPT 1DP 2NR                                                                                        
02/11/04       (S)       NR: BUNDE, FRENCH; DP: STEVENS G                                                                       
02/26/04       (S)       FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                      
02/26/04       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
03/09/04       (S)       FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                      
03/09/04       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
03/10/04       (S)       FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                      
03/10/04       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/10/04       (S)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
03/22/04       (S)       FIN RPT CS  3DP 4NR           NEW TITLE                                                                
03/22/04       (S)       DP: WILKEN, DYSON, STEVENS B;                                                                          
03/22/04       (S)       NR: GREEN, HOFFMAN, OLSON, BUNDE                                                                       
03/22/04       (S)       FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                      
03/22/04       (S)       Moved CSSB 273(FIN) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/22/04       (S)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
03/24/04       (S)       FIN CS ADOPTED Y14 N6                                                                                  
03/29/04       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
03/29/04       (S)       VERSION: CSSB 273(FIN)                                                                                 
03/31/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/31/04       (H)       FSH, FIN                                                                                               
04/05/04       (H)       FSH AT 9:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
BILL: SB 347                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: COMM. FISHING MORATORIA, INCL. AK GULF                                                                             
SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) STEVENS B BY REQUEST                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
02/16/04       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/16/04       (S)       RES                                                                                                    
03/03/04       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/03/04       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/03/04       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
03/05/04       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/05/04       (S)       Moved CSSB 347(RES) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/05/04       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
03/08/04       (S)       RES RPT CS  3DP 2NR           NEW TITLE                                                                
03/08/04       (S)       NR: OGAN, LINCOLN; DP: WAGONER,                                                                        
03/08/04       (S)       STEVENS B, ELTON                                                                                       
03/08/04       (S)       FIN REFERRAL ADDED                                                                                     
03/09/04       (S)       FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                      
03/09/04       (S)       Moved CSSB 347(RES) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/09/04       (S)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
03/10/04       (S)       FIN RPT CS(RES)  3DP 4NR                                                                               
03/10/04       (S)       DP: WILKEN, BUNDE, STEVENS B;                                                                          
03/10/04       (S)       NR: GREEN, HOFFMAN, OLSON, DYSON                                                                       
03/22/04       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
03/22/04       (S)       VERSION: CSSB 347(RES)                                                                                 
03/24/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/24/04       (H)       FSH, RES, FIN                                                                                          
03/29/04       (H)       FSH AT 9:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
03/29/04       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/29/04       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
04/05/04       (H)       FSH AT 9:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ADAM BERG, Staff                                                                                                                
to Representative Carl Moses                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 458 on behalf of the sponsor,                                                                 
Representative Moses.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ROLAND MAW, Executive Director                                                                                                  
United Cook Inlet Drift Association (UCIDA)                                                                                     
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 458.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PAUL SHADURA, President                                                                                                         
Kenai Peninsula Fishermen's Association                                                                                         
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 458.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
GUY BELL, Director                                                                                                              
Division of Administrative Services                                                                                             
Department of Labor & Workforce Development (DLWD)                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   During discussion of HB  458, explained the                                                               
Fishermen's Fund and answered questions.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
KRIS WRIGHT, Licensing Supervisor                                                                                               
Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G)                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    During discussion  of  HB  458,  answered                                                               
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CARL MOSES                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Spoke as the sponsor of HB 458.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY STEVENS                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Spoke as  the sponsor,  by request  of the                                                               
Joint Legislative Salmon Industry Task Force, of SB 273.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
RAY RIUTTA, Executive Director                                                                                                  
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI)                                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified that  the ASMI board hasn't met to                                                               
discuss the current version of SB 273.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-19, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  PAUL   SEATON  called  the  House   Special  Committee  on                                                             
Fisheries meeting to order at  9:05 a.m.  Representatives Seaton,                                                               
Wilson,  Heinze, Ogg,  and Samuels  were present  at the  call to                                                               
order.    Representative  Gara  arrived as  the  meeting  was  in                                                               
progress.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 458-SHORT-TERM COM FISHING CREWMEMBER LICENSE                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL NO.  458, "An  Act relating  to a  one-day commercial                                                               
fishing crewmember license."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0120                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ADAM  BERG,  Staff to  Representative  Carl  Moses, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  presented   HB  458  on  behalf   of  the  sponsor,                                                               
Representative Moses.  He explained  that HB 458 would allow one-                                                               
day  commercial fishing  crewmember licenses.   This  legislation                                                               
would  aid   out-of-state  visitors  and  others   interested  in                                                               
commercial  fishing.    Currently,   these  individuals  have  to                                                               
purchase a  $60 resident license  or a $120  nonresident license.                                                               
The idea  is to  provide permit holders  another avenue  to raise                                                               
money.   Under  this  one-day license,  this  would allow  permit                                                               
holders to  work as  a boat  for hire.   Furthermore,  this would                                                               
allow visitors  an affordable way  to participate in  the fishery                                                               
as a crewmember.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0238                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS  moved to  adopt  CSHB  458, Version  23-                                                               
LS159\U,  Utermohle,  3/31/04,  as  the working  document.    [No                                                               
objection  was stated,  and therefore  Version U  was treated  as                                                               
adopted and before the committee.]                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BERG  explained  the  changes   encompassed  in  Version  U.                                                               
Section 5  of the original  legislation was deleted  because that                                                               
section had  changed the definition  of "fisherman" such  that it                                                               
didn't  allow these  one-day permit  holders to  qualify for  the                                                               
Fishermen's Fund.   At  the request of  the Fishermen's  Fund and                                                               
the Department  of Labor & Workforce  Development (DLWD), Section                                                               
5 was deleted.  The other  change encompassed in Version U is the                                                               
addition  of   the  January  1,   2005,  effective  date.     The                                                               
aforementioned  change  was  done   per  the  request  of  Alaska                                                               
Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G).                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0341                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON  inquired as  to  the  current fee  for  a                                                               
crewmember fishing license.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BERG  answered that the  fee is  $60 annually for  a resident                                                               
and $180 for a nonresident.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON surmised that those  who have never been on                                                               
a boat before would have a  higher propensity of having a mishap.                                                               
Therefore,  she expressed  concern with  the potential  for these                                                               
one-day  crewmembers  to   use  up  the  limited   funds  in  the                                                               
Fishermen's Fund if there are a lot of accidents.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. BERG reminded the committee that  this would be an option for                                                               
the permit  holder.  He related  his experience that safety  is a                                                               
high  priority  for  boat   captains.    Representative  Wilson's                                                               
concern  was   the  thinking  that   resulted  in   the  original                                                               
legislation not having these one-day  crewmembers qualify for the                                                               
Fishermen's Fund, he noted.  However,  this was a big concern for                                                               
DLWD because  restricting the  definition in such  a way  that it                                                               
precludes holders  of the shorter-period licenses  from obtaining                                                               
benefits could be  viewed as a denial of  equal protection, which                                                               
could be  a basis  for litigation.   Furthermore, DLWD  felt that                                                               
altering  the  definition of  "fishermen"  may  leave the  fund's                                                               
dedication vulnerable.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0611                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON surmised then  that this legislation allows                                                               
tourists to be a commercial fisherman for a day.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BERG  replied yes.   Currently, a tourist  could go out  on a                                                               
[commercial fishing]  boat, but couldn't participate  in any way.                                                               
Moreover,  the current  $180 crewmember  license  fee seems  cost                                                               
prohibitive.   Although  Mr. Berg  said that  he didn't  know how                                                               
many individuals would take advantage  of this option for $30, it                                                               
does provide  the option.   He noted  that this would  be another                                                               
extreme tourism option.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HEINZE  questioned   what  these  tourists  would                                                               
actually do and how many people might actually utilize this.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BERG  replied that it  would be up to  the boat captain.   In                                                               
regard to how many individuals  would take advantage of this, the                                                               
fiscal note estimates  100 licenses.  However, he  said he didn't                                                               
know how that estimate was reached.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0733                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG inquired  as  to why  a  one-day license  was                                                               
chosen versus a  license for a week because for  most fishing one                                                               
day doesn't even get the individual to the fishing spot.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. BERG noted that originally  there were one-, two-, and seven-                                                               
day licenses.   However, ADF&G  was concerned that it  would lose                                                               
receipts  on  the  licenses [because  regular  crewmembers  would                                                               
purchase  these cheaper  licenses].   Mr. Berg  related that  the                                                               
sponsor  didn't  share  that  view  because  regular  crewmembers                                                               
aren't  going to  purchase a  one-week license  and leave;  these                                                               
individuals  are typically  here  for the  summer.   The  one-day                                                               
crewmember license  was introduced  in order to  have a  piece of                                                               
legislation that ADF&G wouldn't oppose.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG  asked if ADF&G  would be extremely  upset and                                                               
oppose legislation that includes a one-week license for $150.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BERG said that he couldn't speak for ADF&G.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG reiterated  that  it would  likely take  more                                                               
than one  day to be  involved in commercial fishing.   Therefore,                                                               
he  questioned  whether the  individual  would  have to  purchase                                                               
multiple licenses at the same time.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.   BERG  confirmed   that  under   the  current   legislation,                                                               
individuals  going on  a three-day  trip would  have to  purchase                                                               
three one-day crewmember licenses.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0973                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS related his  understanding that if someone                                                               
had a week-long  stay at a lodge, this would  allow a [commercial                                                               
fishing]  tour operator  the  ability to  offer  a one-day  trip,                                                               
particularly in Bristol Bay.   Therefore, the locals could create                                                               
a  tourism  business  that  is  in  conjunction  with  commercial                                                               
fishing.    He said  he  didn't  believe  people would  fly  from                                                               
Anchorage  to commercial  fish.    Representative Samuels  stated                                                               
that he liked the legislation and didn't see a downside to it.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  commented, "I  could see  this working  if a                                                               
lot  of people  did it."   However,  he expressed  disbelief that                                                               
anyone would  be able to  obtain the liability insurance  to make                                                               
it cost  effective to  bring tourists  onto a  commercial fishing                                                               
boat.    He acknowledged  that  one  could go  without  liability                                                               
insurance.   If  one purchases  liability insurance,  there would                                                               
have to be a lot of potential customers in order to do it.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BERG noted  that any  [permit  holder] wanting  to use  this                                                               
option  would  have  to  do   advertising  in  order  to  solicit                                                               
customers.   He also  noted that  boats for hire  have to  have a                                                               
six-pack  license  and  other  requirements.    This  legislation                                                               
merely provides an option for fishermen to try out.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  inquired as to  how large the demand  is for                                                               
this legislation.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. BERG said  that the original idea came from  an individual in                                                               
Naknek, and therefore  it's difficult to say what  the demand is.                                                               
The  sponsor's office  has taken  several  calls from  interested                                                               
groups, and there has been no negative reaction, he related.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA surmised  that under  a one-day  license, an                                                               
individual would  only be able  to touch  the gear that  one day,                                                               
but could be on board and not touch the gear other days.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. BERG  clarified that if  one wanted to  be out more  than one                                                               
day  and  participate,  the individual  would  have  to  purchase                                                               
stacking licenses.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON informed the committee, "I  think that we have to be                                                               
clear that at some point if you  are not a crewmember ... and you                                                               
are  on the  boat, then  you're  not covered  by the  Fishermen's                                                               
Fund, which  means all the liability  would be on the  boat owner                                                               
or  they  would have  to  be  as a  six-pack  boat.   If  it's  a                                                               
commercial fishing  boat and  you only have  your crew  on board,                                                               
you don't have to be a six-pack boat."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1359                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ROLAND  MAW,   Executive  Director,   United  Cook   Inlet  Drift                                                               
Association (UCIDA),  informed the committee  that he has  been a                                                               
commercial  fisherman for  salmon  in the  Upper  Cook Inlet  for                                                               
about 30  years.  Mr.  Maw announced support  of HB 458  for both                                                               
himself and UCIDA; the $30  fee is reasonable and could certainly                                                               
be used  in the Soldotna  area.   Mr. Maw informed  the committee                                                               
that  [this legislation  is the  result] of  a suggestion  he and                                                               
others brought forth to the Joint Salmon Industry Task Force.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. MAW,  in light  of today's  testimony and  questions, offered                                                               
the following  information.   He informed  the committee  that he                                                               
carries  liability insurance  for  his vessel  in  the amount  of                                                               
$500,000 per  incident, as  well as  liability insurance  for his                                                               
crew in the  amount of $500,000 per crewmember per  incident.  He                                                               
explained that  he can rotate crew  in and out of  his policy for                                                               
coverage purposes.   Over the years,  when he has had  a guest on                                                               
board the  issue becomes  whether the individual  is crew  or not                                                               
for the  purposes of liability  insurance.  "And so  we've always                                                               
been kind of in  this no man's land between a  six-pack boat or a                                                               
charter boat  and some kind  of a commercial boat,"  he remarked.                                                               
Mr. Maw addressed the question  regarding the demand for [one-day                                                               
commercial  fishing crewmember  licenses].   He related  that his                                                               
son put a one-day commercial fishing  trip on the Internet and it                                                               
received  1,200 hits  in 12  hours.   Therefore,  Mr. Maw  didn't                                                               
doubt  that  this  is  necessary and  the  public  will  respond.                                                               
Furthermore, he  felt that  those who would  take advantage  of a                                                               
one-day  commercial   fishing  crewmember  license]   would  have                                                               
insurance, including liability insurance.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MAW  related   that  last  summer  he   had  an  18-year-old                                                               
crewmember who, on his day off,  took a river rafting trip during                                                               
which he dislocated his shoulder.   This all happened the evening                                                               
before the fishing  trip was to begin.   Therefore, this [one-day                                                               
commercial fishing  license] would've  been helpful in  this case                                                               
in  which temporary  crew  was needed.   Mr.  Maw  turned to  the                                                               
question of what  these one-day crewmembers could  do and related                                                               
that on  his boat  he would  envision these  individuals bleeding                                                               
and icing the  fish.  Mr. Maw said that  he believes 100 licenses                                                               
a year is a [conservative/small]  estimate.  He mentioned that he                                                               
would  like the  option of  a  two-day and  three-day license  as                                                               
well.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1676                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PAUL    SHADURA,   President,    Kenai   Peninsula    Fishermen's                                                               
Association, related the association's  support of HB 458 because                                                               
it  provides  a way  in  which  to  diversify while  providing  a                                                               
service to  those nonresidents and  tourists who visit  the Kenai                                                               
Peninsula.   He mentioned  that often  in a  season such  as that                                                               
forecasted for this next summer,  it's difficult to find crew who                                                               
will stay for  any length of time.  The  $180 nonresident license                                                               
is fairly cost prohibitive for  many.  He acknowledged that there                                                               
is a  liability issue  that individual  businesses would  have to                                                               
address.  Mr.  Shadura informed the committee  that the insurance                                                               
is based on  the numbers of individuals fishing  with each permit                                                               
holder rather  than the  individual names.   The  insurance costs                                                               
for  crewmembers on  a setnet  site are  fairly reasonable.   Mr.                                                               
Shadura reiterated his  support and expressed the  desire to have                                                               
this be  in effect  as soon as  possible, at least  by June  1 in                                                               
order to allow individual crewmembers  to purchase licenses at an                                                               
Alaska  Department of  Fish  & Game  (ADF&G)  office because  the                                                               
licenses might not be available to vendors at the time.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1876                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
GUY   BELL,  Director,   Division  of   Administrative  Services,                                                               
Department of Labor & Workforce  Development (DLWD), informed the                                                               
committee that  the Fishermen's Fund  receives 39 percent  of the                                                               
licensed  revenue  for  commercial   fishermen.    The  fund  was                                                               
established  in  1951 as  a  payer  of  last resort  for  medical                                                               
expenses  associated with  injuries that  occur while  commercial                                                               
fishing.   Therefore, if an  individual has any  other insurance,                                                               
it  would  apply first  before  the  Fishermen's Fund  goes  into                                                               
effect.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON   recalled  testimony  from  last   year  that  the                                                               
Fishermen's Fund  is in  good shape  and has  money still  in its                                                               
account.  The Fishermen's Fund is  a dedicated fund that can't be                                                               
rolled over  to other uses.   Chair Seaton asked if  there is any                                                               
concern  that this  legislation would  cause any  fiscal problems                                                               
for the Fishermen's Fund.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL  said that the  department projects a small  increase in                                                               
revenue  as a  result of  this legislation.   It's  difficult, he                                                               
said,  to estimate  the potential  liability  of the  Fishermen's                                                               
Fund.   Currently, the  Fishermen's Fund is  solvent and  in good                                                               
financial  condition.   He acknowledged  that  untrained crew  do                                                               
bring forth concern for potential  injuries, although he surmised                                                               
that those  bringing untrained crew would  exercise discretion in                                                               
the type of activities in  which the one-day participants will be                                                               
involved.  Mr.  Bell acknowledged the concern  regarding the fund                                                               
taking   in   money  and   an   individual   not  receiving   the                                                               
corresponding  level  of  coverage provided  to  others  actively                                                               
involved in the commercial fishing business.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 2016                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  surmised that the Fishermen's  Fund would go                                                               
into  effect because  along the  line  an individual's  insurance                                                               
didn't [cover  the incident].   He asked if the  Fishermen's Fund                                                               
requires  that  the  employer  of  the  injured  individual  have                                                               
insurance, and  therefore the Fishermen's  Fund can go  after the                                                               
employer who  didn't have the  required liability insurance.   He                                                               
likened the aforementioned to workers' compensation.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BELL answered  that he  didn't  believe so,  but offered  to                                                               
confirm that.   In further  response to Representative  Gara, Mr.                                                               
Bell  said  he  didn't  believe   there  is  a  requirement  that                                                               
[employers]  must  provide  medical   insurance  in  the  fishing                                                               
industry, but, again, he offered to confirm that.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON posed a situation  in which a fisherman has                                                               
insurance, but  has not  met the  deductible.   She asked  if the                                                               
Fishermen's Fund would pick up the deductible.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL said  that he didn't believe the  Fishermen's Fund would                                                               
pick up  the deductible.   Furthermore,  the general  standard is                                                               
that the  maximum payment  from the fund  is $2,500  unless there                                                               
are some exceptional circumstances.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON informed  the committee  that a  few years  ago the                                                               
Fishermen's  Fund raised  its [maximum  payment] to  $2,500, upon                                                               
which all  the marine insurance  carriers in Alaska  raised their                                                               
deductible  to  $2,500.   "Although  it's  an insurance  of  last                                                               
resort, ... if you have a  policy that has a deductible of $2,500                                                               
you  are  not  covered  by any  other  insurance,  and  therefore                                                               
Fishermen's Fund  covers the  first $2,500,"  he explained.   The                                                               
way  the [marine  insurance] industry  is structuring,  one could                                                               
almost  refer to  the  Fishermen's  Fund as  the  payer of  first                                                               
resort.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  surmised then that the  insurance industry                                                               
has  gotten around  the fact  that the  Fishermen's Fund  doesn't                                                               
cover the deductible by raising  the deductible, and therefore an                                                               
individual isn't insured until $2,500 has been spent.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  highlighted  that  39 percent  of  the  commercial                                                               
licensing  fee  goes to  the  Fishermen's  Fund, which  has  been                                                               
growing over  the years because it  has been taking in  more than                                                               
it has paid out.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  clarified then  that the  Fishermen's Fund                                                               
basically pays the deductible on every fisherman's insurance.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2311                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA asked if the  funds generated by the $30 one-                                                               
day  commercial  fishing  license  will  cover  the  department's                                                               
costs.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
KRIS WRIGHT,  Licensing Supervisor,  Alaska Department of  Fish &                                                               
Game (ADF&G),  said that the department  took a good guess  as to                                                               
how many  of these licenses  would be  sold.  She  explained that                                                               
the January  1 start date was  requested because the plan  was to                                                               
add this as a  box on the license.  Therefore,  there would be no                                                               
additional cost.   However,  the suggested date  of June  1 would                                                               
result in costs to the department.   She opined that most vendors                                                               
would probably be unhappy if  they didn't receive the opportunity                                                               
to sell that license from the very beginning.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA asked if the license  fee was a bit more than                                                               
$30  for this  year in  order  to cover  the costs  of getting  a                                                               
special license  to those  businesses that want  to sell  it this                                                               
summer.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. WRIGHT replied  yes.  She mentioned that the  story about the                                                               
number  of  hits   an  Internet  site  received   for  a  one-day                                                               
commercial  fishing trip  was surprising  and thus  she is  a bit                                                               
concerned with regard to the  number of [licenses] that should be                                                               
printed.  Ms. Wright said that this could be worked out.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA   related  his   intention  to   provide  an                                                               
immediate effective date so that  this license could be available                                                               
this summer.   He  surmised that the  department would  work with                                                               
the sponsor to determine the amount of the fee for the summer.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. WRIGHT replied yes.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 2448                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG asked if having  a three-day license at a cost                                                               
of $50 would be problematic.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. WRIGHT recalled that when  the department initially worked on                                                               
this legislation,  there was a one-day,  three-day, and seven-day                                                               
license.   The  department requested  that there  not be  so many                                                               
options available  until it determines  "where this  fishery is."                                                               
She further  recalled working  on a fiscal  note for  a seven-day                                                               
license under  which the department  would make money.   The next                                                               
[version of the  legislation] she saw was for  a one-day license,                                                               
which she  understood to  be at the  request of  the associations                                                               
because there  would be people  who wouldn't  want to go  out for                                                               
seven days,  although one might  want to  go out for  three days.                                                               
Ms. Wright clarified that the  department wasn't against a three-                                                               
day or seven-day license.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  inquired  as  to the  fee  for  a  seven-day                                                               
license.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. BERG answered that the fee was $100 for a seven-day license.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON recalled  that when  the committee  had legislation                                                               
before it with a one-day  [crewmember] license, it was determined                                                               
that the administrative cost per license would be $10.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. WRIGHT  explained that if  this license  is just part  of the                                                               
license  that already  exists, there  wouldn't be  any additional                                                               
printing costs or mailing costs.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2693                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON,  upon determining  no one  else wished  to testify,                                                               
closed the public hearing on HB 458.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE  remarked that it seems  that the three-day                                                               
license  would  be  appropriate  and  provide  some  flexibility,                                                               
although she said  that she didn't have a problem  with a one-day                                                               
license.   She further remarked that  HB 458 is a  good bill that                                                               
she would like to see moved.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  recommended that the legislation  be changed                                                               
to have  an immediate effective  date and the sponsor  could work                                                               
with  ADF&G  to  determine  the  cost  of  a  three-day  license.                                                               
Therefore,  perhaps  an  amendment  could be  made  in  the  next                                                               
committee of  referral, the  House Resources  Standing Committee,                                                               
to add a  three-day license.  He also suggested  that ADF&G could                                                               
determine  the additional  cost necessary  for the  department to                                                               
implement this proposal this summer.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON noted  that the  fiscal notes  would be  changed by                                                               
Representative Gara's recommendation.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. WRIGHT  requested that  the effective  date not  be immediate                                                               
but  rather  June  1,  which  would provide  some  time  for  the                                                               
department.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  agreed and  then suggested that  the changes                                                               
to the effective date could be  worked out in the House Resources                                                               
Standing Committee as well.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE  said that  she, as a  member of  the House                                                               
Resources  Standing   Committee,  would  be  glad   to  offer  an                                                               
amendment  [implementing  the  recommendation  by  Representative                                                               
Gara].                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2811                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CARL MOSES,  Alaska  State Legislature,  sponsor,                                                               
stated that  he would prefer  a three-day license.   He indicated                                                               
that the industry should have some  advance notice in order to be                                                               
able to advertise, and therefore  he didn't have any problem with                                                               
a January 1,  2005, effective date because much needs  to be done                                                               
in order to create an effective program.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2840                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG  moved that the committee  adopt the following                                                               
amendment:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 15;                                                                                                           
     Delete "one"                                                                                                               
     Insert "three"                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 15;                                                                                                           
     Delete "$30"                                                                                                               
     Insert "$50"                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SAMUELS   objected   and  suggested   that   the                                                               
legislation allow  for a one-day  license as well as  a three-day                                                               
license.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON suggested that  the amendment stand because                                                               
if one  wants to go out  bad enough, he  or she will pay  the $50                                                               
for a  three-day license.   Therefore, she suggested that  if one                                                               
wants to go out for six days the license fee could be $100.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE  agreed with Representative  Wilson because                                                               
she suggested that  it would be easier in regard  to printing and                                                               
distribution to offer just the three-day.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  suggested that  the license  could merely                                                               
have another box [option].                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MOSES related  that his preference would  be for a                                                               
one-day and a three-day license.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-19, SIDE B                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS commented that  "we" don't want commercial                                                               
fishermen to purchase these licenses.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2909                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG withdrew  his  amendment and  moved that  the                                                               
committee adopt the following amendment:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 15, after "$30"                                                                                               
     Insert "or a three-day crewmember fishing license for                                                                      
     a fee of $50"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS asked if there  are any wage issues if one                                                               
were to go out fishing for a one-day trip.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG said  that it's  a contractual  issue between                                                               
the boat captain and the fisherman.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  related that there is  a law that states  before [a                                                               
fisherman]  leaves  port,  he  or she  must  have  a  contractual                                                               
agreement stating the fisherman's percentage.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2833                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON   moved  that  the  committee   adopt  the                                                               
following amendment:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 9;                                                                                                            
     Delete "January 1, 2005"                                                                                                   
     Insert "July 1, 2004"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA   objected  for  discussion   purposes,  and                                                               
inquired as  to Representative Moses'  preference with  regard to                                                               
the effective date.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   MOSES  said   that  he   would  like   for  this                                                               
legislation  to  take  effect  as  soon  as  is  practical.    He                                                               
reiterated that  he didn't  mind the  January 1,  2005, effective                                                               
date.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  withdrew the  above amendment  and offered                                                               
the following amendment:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 9;                                                                                                            
     Delete "January 1, 2005"                                                                                                   
     Insert "June 1, 2004"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  recalled that ADF&G  had said it  could do                                                               
this  by June  1,  2004,  which would  allow  some operators  the                                                               
opportunity to receive revenue they haven't in the past.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  agreed, but asked  if ADF&G should  be given                                                               
the authority to [include in  the license fee] the printing costs                                                               
for this summer.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  mentioned that if this  legislation picks                                                               
up a fiscal note, then it faces a longer process.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MOSES  reiterated  that practically,  January  1,                                                               
2005, would probably be best.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON pointed  out that this is a House  bill, which still                                                               
needs  to go  through the  Senate and  the governor  for signing.                                                               
However, the department  has to have everything in  order for the                                                               
vendors to sell the licenses  rather than just have it restricted                                                               
to  a few  locales.   Chair Seaton  announced that  for practical                                                               
purposes he objected to Representative Wilson's amendment.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HEINZE stated  her agreement  with Representative                                                               
Wilson and her desire to help [fishermen] as much as possible.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON inquired  as to  what date  the department                                                               
believes it can implement this license.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WRIGHT  surmised  that  she  could  implement  the  proposed                                                               
license within a month of the governor signing the legislation.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON surmised  that July  1, 2004,  would be  a                                                               
good date.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2580                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  withdrew her previous amendment  and moved                                                               
that the committee adopt the following amendment:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 9;                                                                                                            
     Delete "January 1, 2005"                                                                                                   
     Insert "July 1, 2004"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON reminded the committee that there was an objection.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
A roll call  vote was taken.  Representatives  Heinze, Ogg, Gara,                                                               
and Wilson  voted in favor of  Representative Wilson's amendment.                                                               
Representatives Samuels and Seaton  voted against it.  Therefore,                                                               
the amendment was adopted by a vote of 4-2.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2503                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  pointed out  that with  the adoption  of the                                                               
above  amendment, there  will now  be a  fiscal note  because the                                                               
department  will  have  to  develop   extra  forms.    Therefore,                                                               
Representative  Gara   expressed  his   desire  to  add   to  the                                                               
legislation  a section  authorizing the  department to  charge an                                                               
additional preparation and mailing  fee to cover the applications                                                               
for 2004.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WRIGHT replied  yes, adding  that the  department is  always                                                               
looking for cost  savings.  Therefore, it would  be beneficial to                                                               
charge a  fee for that  first year of  the proposed license.   In                                                               
response  to  Representative Wilson,  Ms.  Wright  said that  the                                                               
additional  fee for  this year  only wouldn't  be very  much, and                                                               
therefore she  suggested that  $1-$2 would be  plenty.   She said                                                               
she is thinking of mailing.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON suggested  that no fee has to be  established in the                                                               
legislation now, it  could be left to be determined  in the House                                                               
Resources Standing Committee.   Therefore, the administrative fee                                                               
could be based on more than guess work.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  clarified that  his intention is  to provide                                                               
the department the authority to  set a cost-reimbursement fee for                                                               
the summer.   He  indicated that  he would  agree to  letting the                                                               
House Resources Standing Committee address it.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WRIGHT informed  the  committee that  if  the department  is                                                               
given  this   authority,  it  would  require   an  administrative                                                               
regulation.    The  aforementioned  would take  time  that  would                                                               
result in her  inability to make the July 1  date, "it would have                                                               
to be in the statute."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2357                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG  moved that the committee  adopt the following                                                               
conceptual  amendment,  which  would  say:   "there  will  be  an                                                               
administrative fee charged  in excess of the cost  of the license                                                               
'X'  that will  be  filled  in now  and  the Resources  Committee                                                               
meeting for the year 2004."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON objected  for discussion purposes.  He  asked if the                                                               
intent is to specify that it only applies to 2004.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG replied yes.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  clarified   that  his  conceptual  amendment                                                               
should specify "only the year 2004."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  removed  his  objection.   There  being  no  other                                                               
objections, the conceptual amendment [as amended] was adopted.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2281                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HEINZE  moved to  report  CSHB  458, Version  23-                                                               
LS1591\U, Utermohle,  3/31/03, as amended, out  of committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There being  no objection,  CSHB 458(FSH)  was reported  from the                                                               
House Special Committee on Fisheries.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SB 273-ASMI BOARD/ SEAFOOD TAXES & ASSESSMENTS                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
CS  FOR SENATE  BILL NO.  273(FIN),  "An Act  amending the  size,                                                               
membership, and  powers of the  board of directors of  the Alaska                                                               
Seafood Marketing Institute and  making a corresponding change in                                                               
the  quorum requirement;  authorizing  the  establishment of  the                                                               
seafood  marketing assessment  at a  rate of  0.5 percent  or 0.6                                                               
percent of the value of  seafood products produced; providing for                                                               
an  election  to  retain,  terminate,  or  increase  the  seafood                                                               
marketing  assessment; providing  for  the repeal  of the  salmon                                                               
marketing  tax and  provisions related  to  the salmon  marketing                                                               
tax; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2196                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG moved  to  adopt HCS  CSSB  273, Version  23-                                                               
LS1366\J, Utermohle, 4/2/04, as the working document.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2159                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY  STEVENS,  Alaska  State  Legislature,  sponsor  by                                                               
request  of the  Joint  Legislative Salmon  Industry Task  Force,                                                               
highlighted that  Version J includes  two simple  changes located                                                               
on page  7, lines 15 and  30.  After discussing  this legislation                                                               
with  the  director   of  the  Division  of   Elections,  it  was                                                               
discovered  that  there are  a  couple  of  small errors  in  the                                                               
current  statutes  regarding  the  seafood  marketing  assessment                                                               
election.    He  explained  that  an  election  is  made  by  the                                                               
processors with regard to what they  want to tax themselves.  The                                                               
current  statute  specifies  that the  Alaska  Seafood  Marketing                                                               
Institute  (ASMI)  would  mail   out  and  receive  the  ballots.                                                               
However,  the director  of the  Division  of Elections  preferred                                                               
that  the  division mail  out  and  receive  the ballots  if  the                                                               
division is ultimately responsible  for them.  The aforementioned                                                               
led to the changes on page 7, lines 15 and 30.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY  STEVENS turned to the  legislation as a whole.   He                                                               
began  by relating  that the  Joint  Legislative Salmon  Industry                                                               
Task Force, from the beginning,  realized the importance of ASMI,                                                               
the need  to fund it properly,  and have a reasonable  size board                                                               
of directors.   Therefore, the Joint  Legislative Salmon Industry                                                               
Task  Force proposed  this legislation,  which  would change  the                                                               
size of  the ASMI board from  25, an unmanageable size,  to seven                                                               
or nine members.   This legislation also attempts  to establish a                                                               
sounder financial basis  for ASMI.  Senator  Gary Stevens pointed                                                               
out that  the committee packet should  include a copy of  a chart                                                               
that compares  the current  tax structure,  the tax  structure if                                                               
the .5 percent  is approved, the tax structure if  the .5 percent                                                               
isn't approved, and  the tax structure if the  processors vote to                                                               
eliminate the assessment.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY STEVENS  reviewed  the current  tax structure,  and                                                               
explained that ASMI  is funded with $1.5 million  from the salmon                                                               
marketing tax paid  by the fishermen and almost a  $3 million tax                                                               
paid by the processors and  $2 million from the federal Fisheries                                                               
Marketing Board.  Therefore, the  total funding for ASMI today is                                                               
$6.5  million.   This legislation  would  require a  vote of  the                                                               
processors  in March  to  decide whether  to  eliminate the  ASMI                                                               
assessment,  which  is illustrated  in  the  last column  of  the                                                               
chart.  The  members/processors of ASMI have the  right to decide                                                               
whether to  continue ASMI, and over  the past 20 years  there has                                                               
never  been a  vote to  not fund  ASMI.   However, if  processors                                                               
voted  not  to fund  ASMI,  the  processors assessment  would  no                                                               
longer exist  and thus the total  funding for ASMI, with  a nine-                                                               
member board, would be $3.5 million.   Another choice would be to                                                               
maintain the current  tax with the .3 percent  the processors are                                                               
paying, which  is illustrated in  the third column of  the chart.                                                               
Under the aforementioned,  the funding would remain  the same and                                                               
ASMI  would receive  about $6.5  million.   The final  choice the                                                               
processors  would  be  allowed  in  this  March  election  is  to                                                               
increase  the tax  on  themselves, which  is  illustrated in  the                                                               
second column.   If  the processors  choose a  .5 percent  tax on                                                               
themselves,  the salmon  marketing  tax would  be eliminated,  or                                                               
could  become regional,  while  the  processors assessment  would                                                               
increase  to about  $5 million  and  the federal  funds from  the                                                               
Fisheries  Marketing  Board would  remain  at  about $2  million.                                                               
Therefore,  the ASMI  board, consisting  of seven  members, would                                                               
receive approximately $7 million.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON passed the gavel to Vice Chair Wilson.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  turned attention to the  second column of                                                               
the  chart,  which illustrates  the  funding  if the  .5  percent                                                               
processor  tax is  approved and  the board  decreases in  size to                                                               
seven.  Therefore, he inquired as to who the seven are.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY  STEVENS answered that  the seven-member  ASMI board                                                               
would consist of four large  processors, one small processor, and                                                               
two fishermen.   The idea  is that  if the processors  are paying                                                               
for the entire [tax], then they should have control.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  surmised then  that the options  with the                                                               
nine-member ASMI board  would merely add two  fishermen while the                                                               
processor membership would stay the same.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY  STEVENS commented  that he wanted  to be  sure that                                                               
any changes didn't make it  less likely that the processors would                                                               
move to the .5 percent, which he viewed as the best solution.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1695                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG turned  to the  last column,  which addresses                                                               
the option  of the processors  eliminating their assessment.   If                                                               
the aforementioned  were to happen,  would the  processors remain                                                               
on the board, he asked.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY STEVENS  replied yes.   He  reminded the  committee                                                               
that the salmon marketing tax is  repealed December 31, 2005.  If                                                               
that  happens, he  assumed  that  ASMI would  begin  a shut  down                                                               
phase.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG   surmised  then   that  if   the  processors                                                               
eliminate their assessment, the salmon  marketing tax would go to                                                               
zero.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY STEVENS  reiterated that  the salmon  marketing tax                                                               
sunsets  on   December  31,  2005.     In  further   response  to                                                               
Representative Ogg, Senator Gary  Stevens explained that annually                                                               
the Fisheries  Marketing Board decides whether  the federal funds                                                               
will be provided.  He further  explained that under the option of                                                               
the processors eliminating their  assessment, he assumed that the                                                               
Fisheries Marketing Board wouldn't fund ASMI either.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  highlighted  that  the  Fisheries  Marketing                                                               
Board could  choose or not choose  to fund ASMI under  any of the                                                               
options presented today.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY STEVENS replied yes.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  surmised  then  that the  funding  from  the                                                               
Fisheries Marketing Board can't really be counted on definitely.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY STEVENS agreed, and  interjected his assumption that                                                               
should  the funding  from the  Fisheries Marketing  Board not  be                                                               
provided, there should be an  entire review of the entire funding                                                               
of ASMI.   However, he  noted that the  federal funds seem  to be                                                               
secure for now.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR WILSON returned the gavel to Chair Seaton.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1543                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE recalled that  the sponsor mentioned, under                                                               
the  scenario  of   the  .5  percent  tax   being  approved,  the                                                               
possibility  of  the  salmon  marketing  tax  becoming  regional.                                                               
Therefore, she requested that the sponsor elaborate on that.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY  STEVENS informed the committee  that Representative                                                               
Ogg is the  sponsor of legislation on regional  marketing.  "It's                                                               
always  been  our thought  that  ...  if  this 1  percent  salmon                                                               
marketing tax  would be eliminated that  it might be a  very good                                                               
time to move those funds  into regional marketing organizations,"                                                               
he explained.  This legislation, SB  273, can't really be tied to                                                               
Representative Ogg's legislation, he noted.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1488                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA inquired as to  who pays the salmon marketing                                                               
tax.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY STEVENS  answered  that  it's a  1  percent tax  on                                                               
fishermen when  the catch is  delivered.  In further  response to                                                               
Representative  Gara,  he  confirmed  that  none  of  the  salmon                                                               
marketing tax is paid by processors.   He also clarified that the                                                               
current ASMI  board consists of  12 [fishermen],  12 [processors]                                                               
and one lay person.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  turned  to   the  federal  funds  from  the                                                               
Fisheries Marketing Board, which he  considered to be state funds                                                               
because it  comes to  the state which  decides how  to distribute                                                               
it.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY   STEVENS  related   his  understanding   that  the                                                               
Fisheries Marketing Board funds go directly to ASMI.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA expressed concern  with regard to eliminating                                                               
the fishermen's voice from how ASMI  money is spent in one of the                                                               
options and making the fishermen's  voice a minority voice in the                                                               
other options.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY STEVENS  opined  that if  the  processors fund  the                                                               
majority of  ASMI, then they  would probably want control  of the                                                               
ASMI board.  Although the tax structure  can be left as it is, he                                                               
felt that  a 25-member board that  meets once or twice  a year is                                                               
inadequate and ineffective.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1324                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   HEINZE  related   her  understanding   that  the                                                               
processors  took the  lead in  marketing and  the fishermen  have                                                               
been content with fishing.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY STEVENS  disagreed.   He  noted  the importance  of                                                               
having the input of fishermen  on the ASMI board, but highlighted                                                               
that the processing industry really has the marketing staff.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  related that from some  commercial fishermen                                                               
he has  the understanding that they  have more of an  interest in                                                               
direct  marketing  of  fresh fish  rather  than  the  processor's                                                               
marketing [strategies].                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY  STEVENS explained that ASMI  does generic marketing                                                               
because  its  job isn't  to  market  for specific  processors  or                                                               
fishermen.   With regard to  who pays what, Senator  Gary Stevens                                                               
related that  virtually every step of  the way there has  been an                                                               
objection from  everyone who  would potentially  be taxed.   This                                                               
legislation provides  options to  the industry  regarding whether                                                               
it wants to be taxed and by how much.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1111                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG turned  to the option in the  second column of                                                               
the chart,  if the .5 percent  is approved.  He  pointed out that                                                               
the salmon marketing tax is merely zeroed out because it ends.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY  STEVENS agreed,  and  reiterated  that the  salmon                                                               
marketing tax is repealed on December 31, 2005.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG clarified that  the salmon marketing tax would                                                               
merely end  and the money  is no longer paid.   There will  be no                                                               
connection  between  this  legislation  and  his  regional  [tax]                                                               
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1010                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RAY   RIUTTA,  Executive   Director,  Alaska   Seafood  Marketing                                                               
Institute (ASMI), began by thanking  Senator Gary Stevens for his                                                               
efforts in  putting together SB  273 and Senator Ben  Stevens for                                                               
his leadership  with the Joint  Legislative Salmon  Industry Task                                                               
Force, and all the work  of the Joint Legislative Salmon Industry                                                               
Task Force.  Mr. Riutta stated  that the ASMI board hasn't met to                                                               
discuss  the  current  version  of  SB 273.    However,  he  felt                                                               
comfortable   relating  support   for  the   technical  amendment                                                               
[explained by Senator Gary Stevens earlier].                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. RIUTTA  related that  the original  legislation, SB  273, was                                                               
unanimously supported by the ASMI  board with two points.  First,                                                               
there is  the need for  a stable funding base  for ASMI.   As was                                                               
noted earlier, ASMI  is highly dependent on federal  funding.  In                                                               
fact,  federal funding  amounts  to about  60  percent of  ASMI's                                                               
budget.   However, it's unlikely  that such federal  funding will                                                               
continue.  This  original legislation and Version  J both address                                                               
the need  for a stable  funding base for  ASMI.  Mr.  Riutta also                                                               
related that the  ASMI board's recommendation to  reduce the size                                                               
of the board  to 15 occurred quite some time  ago.  He reiterated                                                               
that the ASMI board hasn't met  to discuss the current version of                                                               
SB 273.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0833                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  remarked that it  would be a shame  if the                                                               
processors decided  to eliminate their assessment.   However, she                                                               
said she wasn't exactly happy  with a nine-member board because a                                                               
larger board is  necessary to gather the feelings  of the various                                                               
fishermen and processors.  She  mentioned that some fishermen are                                                               
doing  small processing  in order  to add  value and  obtain more                                                               
revenue.   Representative  Wilson related  that she  likes a  15-                                                               
member board best.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  recalled that  the processors  vote every                                                               
year regarding whether to continue their tax.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. RIUTTA said  that under current statute  the processors could                                                               
vote  to eliminate  their assessment,  although  they have  never                                                               
voted to do so.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  offered his  belief that the  smaller the                                                               
board, the more can be accomplished.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0624                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HEINZE noted  that there  has been  lots of  talk                                                               
about  the proposed  Alaska  Travel  Industry Association  (ATIA)                                                               
tourism tax  that is modeled  after ASMI.  However,  the concerns                                                               
with  the  tourism  tax  have  been that  although  it  could  be                                                               
collected, it couldn't  be dedicated like the ASMI tax  can.  "In                                                               
light  of all  this  process,  is this  jeopardizing  in any  way                                                               
ASMI's funding," she asked.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  RIUTTA said  that he  wasn't sure  of the  arguments on  the                                                               
tourism tax  because he hasn't  followed it.  However,  there are                                                               
some concerns with collecting money  through the state and having                                                               
an organization such as ASMI  use that money to promote products.                                                               
There have  been court challenges  to similar commissions  in the                                                               
Lower 48,  and some  have even  been successful.   He  noted that                                                               
ASMI reviewed this last year and  determined that the way ASMI is                                                               
structured, as a state agency  with the voluntary assessment from                                                               
the processors,  somewhat shields ASMI from  potential law suits.                                                               
The  State of  Washington is  moving to  adopt some  of the  same                                                               
procedures that ASMI currently follows  in order to protect their                                                               
own commodity's commissions.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE said that [the  concern] was more in regard                                                               
to the  collection of  taxes that are  designated to  [a specific                                                               
entity].                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. RIUTTA recalled that it was  an issue of free speech, in that                                                               
people are forced to pay taxes  to an organization that speaks on                                                               
behalf of  all those in  the organization, although all  those in                                                               
the organization may not agree.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0370                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG inquired  as to  how the  appointment process                                                               
would take place were this legislation to become law.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  RIUTTA related  his understanding  that  if the  legislation                                                               
becomes  law, the  current board  would  end its  tenure and  the                                                               
governor would  select a new  board.  However, he  mentioned that                                                               
some of the same members may be appointed to the new board.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON,  upon determining  that there was  no one  else who                                                               
wished to testify, closed the public hearing.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0233                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON expressed concern if  the processors choose a seven-                                                               
member  board, which  is  outlined  in Section  4  of Version  J.                                                               
Having four  of the  members being processors  with a  payroll of                                                               
more than $2.5  million could potentially be  seen as privatizing                                                               
within one  sector the entire board.   Therefore, he said  he was                                                               
considering an  amendment that would  change the makeup  to three                                                               
large processors and one small processor  and one lay member.  He                                                               
inquired as to the sponsor's thoughts.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY STEVENS  said that such was discussed  some time ago                                                               
and the  language was  in an  earlier version.   He said  that he                                                               
personally  didn't object,  but noted  his concern  [tape changes                                                               
midspeech].                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-10, SIDE A                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY  STEVENS reiterated  his earlier statements  that he                                                               
didn't want the  processors to find reasons not to  choose the .5                                                               
percent tax.   He said he saw  the logic in having  a lay person.                                                               
However, he said he didn't see the danger in leaving [the seven-                                                                
member board] as  it is.  He  said that he wouldn't  object if it                                                               
was changed.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0116                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY  STEVENS turned  to Representative  Wilson's earlier                                                               
concern with  regard to the  size of the  board.  If  one follows                                                               
the  logic that  every element  needs  to be  represented on  the                                                               
board, every region, fishery, and  gear type would be represented                                                               
and result in a board of  125.  Senator Gary Stevens recalled his                                                               
experience  in  working  on other  statewide  organizations  with                                                               
large boards, and related that  large boards generally don't work                                                               
very well.   He expressed  the need for  the board to  consist of                                                               
statesmen who are present to do  what's best for the industry and                                                               
not what's best for that  individual's own piece of the industry.                                                               
Senator Gary  Stevens said  that he didn't  know what's  the best                                                               
size for  the board, although  he viewed a seven-member  or nine-                                                               
member board  as better  than a  board consisting  of twenty-five                                                               
members.   He related his  experience that the larger  the board,                                                               
the more  difficult it is to  work together.  He  further related                                                               
that all  the data he has  read suggests that an  effective board                                                               
consists  of  seven to  nine  members.   Furthermore,  the  board                                                               
should take on the responsibility of the entire industry.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY STEVENS  clarified  that when  this legislation  is                                                               
signed  into law,  the old  board would  cease to  exist and  the                                                               
governor would  appoint new members.   He noted that it  won't be                                                               
an easy job to find seven to nine  members to fill the board.  In                                                               
response to  Representative Ogg,  Senator Gary  Stevens specified                                                               
that  the language  on page  6, line  5, specifies  that the  old                                                               
board will cease to exist.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0605                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON offered Conceptual Amendment  1 to Sections 4 and 5,                                                               
which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     In  the advent  that  a seven-member  board is  chosen,                                                                    
     [four] three  members shall  be from  large processors,                                                              
     two are  fishermen, one is  a small processor,  and one                                                                
     is a layperson with  marketing expertise outside of the                                                                
     seafood business.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     In  the  advent that  a  nine-member  board is  chosen,                                                                    
     [four] three members  shall represent large processors,                                                              
     four  fishermen,  one small  processor,  and  one is  a                                                                
     layperson  with  marketing  expertise  outside  of  the                                                                
     seafood business.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS objected for discussion purposes.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON,  in response  to Representative  Samuels, explained                                                               
that the  first paragraph of  Conceptual Amendment 1  would occur                                                               
under the  scenario presented  in column  2 of  the chart  in the                                                               
committee packet.   The second paragraph  of Conceptual Amendment                                                               
1 would  occur under the  scenario presented  in column 3  of the                                                               
chart.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  inquired as to  what would happen  if the                                                               
processors eliminate  their assessment  as specified in  the last                                                               
column of the chart.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON said that he didn't address that.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY STEVENS clarified that  under Conceptual Amendment 1                                                               
if  the processors  eliminate their  assessment, the  nine-member                                                               
board  would  consist  of  three   large  processors,  one  small                                                               
processor, four fishermen, and one lay  person.  He noted that in                                                               
the aforementioned case, it would be a very short-lived board.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  asked  if  Senator  Gary  Stevens  supported                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 1.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY  STEVENS  answered  that  he  prefers  the  current                                                               
language in  Version J,  although he said  he wouldn't  object to                                                               
Conceptual Amendment  1.  He  opined that Conceptual  Amendment 1                                                               
seems to make it less advantageous  for the processors to go to a                                                               
.5 percent tax or to pay the entire tax.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0994                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HEINZE  said  that   she  could  see  where  more                                                               
marketing input  could be obtained.   However, she  expressed the                                                               
need  to  be  careful  not   to  introduce  someone  without  the                                                               
expertise and thus waste the position.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  said she  could see the  sponsor's concern                                                               
because if the desire is for  the processors to put in more, then                                                               
they will need to have a little  more than half the seats or they                                                               
won't  put  in more.    Therefore,  if the  goal  is  to get  the                                                               
processors to put  in more, then the way in  which the membership                                                               
is allocated within the industry shouldn't be changed.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  questioned  why an  individual  without  any                                                               
background in  the seafood business  would be placed on  the ASMI                                                               
board.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON pointed out that  marketing is a business itself and                                                               
is  more than  marketing a  particular product.   Therefore,  the                                                               
requirement  is that  the layperson  have expertise  in marketing                                                               
rather than  an individual who  deals with a specific  process or                                                               
product.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE opined that ASMI performs marketing.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  agreed, and explained  that the  executive director                                                               
of ASMI  presents proposals and  the board has to  make decisions                                                               
on  the proposals.    When making  the  decisions, the  marketing                                                               
expertise would come into play.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1334                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON   asked  if   Mr.  Riutta   believes  that                                                               
Conceptual  Amendment 1  would jeopardize  what is  trying to  be                                                               
accomplished.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. RIUTTA answered that he  couldn't speculate, and reminded the                                                               
committee that he would need to discuss it with the ASMI board.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE asked whether it  would be valuable to have                                                               
a  layperson with  marketing expertise  as a  member of  the ASMI                                                               
board.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. RIUTTA,  speaking as the  executive director,  specified that                                                               
he would rather have individuals from the industry.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON withdrew Conceptual Amendment 1.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1468                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG moved  to report  HCS CSSB  273, Version  23-                                                               
LS1366\J,  Utermohle, 4/2/04,  out of  committee with  individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no  objection, HCS  CSSB  273(FSH) was  reported  from the  House                                                               
Special Committee on Fisheries.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SB 347-COMM. FISHING MORATORIA, INCL. AK GULF                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
CS FOR  SENATE BILL NO.  347(RES), "An Act relating  to moratoria                                                               
on  entry  of  new  participants or  vessels  into  a  commercial                                                               
fishery; relating  to vessel permits  for, and  the establishment                                                               
of  a moratorium  on entry  of new  vessels into,  state Gulf  of                                                               
Alaska  groundfish  fisheries;  and providing  for  an  effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  reviewed the  history of  this legislation  in this                                                               
committee, and requested  that by the next  meeting everything is                                                               
available in order that a decision could be made.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1573                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  noted  that   the  information  from  Alaska                                                               
Department of Fish & Game  (ADF&G) and Commercial Fisheries Entry                                                               
Commission  (CFEC)  has  been   helpful.    However,  information                                                               
regarding how many vessel owners  aren't interim-use permit (IUP)                                                               
owners  is  necessary.   Therefore,  he  requested that  data  be                                                               
available.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  said  that  data has  been  requested  and  should                                                               
hopefully  be available  by the  next hearing.   He  directed the                                                               
committee to  look through  the back  page of  the data  where it                                                               
outlines  the unique  number  of permit  holders  and the  unique                                                               
number of vessels.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
[SB 347 was held over.]                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Special Committee on Fisheries meeting was adjourned at 11:02                                                                   
a.m.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects