Legislature(2007 - 2008)CAPITOL 120

02/20/2008 01:00 PM JUDICIARY


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 359 PROBATION AND MINOR CONSUMING TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 359(JUD) Out of Committee
+ HB 256 ACTIVE GAME MANAGEMENT/AIRBORNE SHOOTING TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 256(JUD) Out of Committee
+= HB 237 REMOVING A REGENT TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                       February 20, 2008                                                                                        
                           1:04 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Jay Ramras, Chair                                                                                                
Representative Nancy Dahlstrom, Vice Chair                                                                                      
Representative John Coghill                                                                                                     
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Ralph Samuels                                                                                                    
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
Representative Lindsey Holmes                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 359                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to probation and the offense of minor consuming                                                                
or in possession or control of alcohol."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 359(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 256                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to active game management and to the airborne                                                                  
or same day airborne taking of certain game animals; making                                                                     
conforming amendments; and providing for an effective date."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 256(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 237                                                                                                              
"An Act  authorizing the governor  to remove or suspend  a member                                                               
of the  Board of  Regents of  the University  of Alaska  for good                                                               
cause; establishing a procedure for  the removal or suspension of                                                               
a regent; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 359                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PROBATION AND MINOR CONSUMING                                                                                      
SPONSOR(S): JUDICIARY                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
02/08/08       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/08/08       (H)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
02/20/08       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 256                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ACTIVE GAME MANAGEMENT/AIRBORNE SHOOTING                                                                           
SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
05/11/07       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/11/07       (H)       RES, JUD                                                                                               
01/30/08       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
01/30/08       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/30/08       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/04/08       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
02/04/08       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/04/08       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/08/08       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
02/08/08       (H)       Moved CSHB 256(RES) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/08/08       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/13/08       (H)       RES RPT CS(RES) 2DP 1DNP 3NR 3AM                                                                       
02/13/08       (H)       DP: EDGMON, GATTO                                                                                      
02/13/08       (H)       DNP: GUTTENBERG                                                                                        
02/13/08       (H)       NR: SEATON, ROSES, JOHNSON                                                                             
02/13/08       (H)       AM: FAIRCLOUGH, KAWASAKI, WILSON                                                                       
02/20/08       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 237                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: REMOVING A REGENT                                                                                                  
SPONSOR(S): STATE AFFAIRS                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
04/13/07       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/13/07       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
05/01/07       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
05/01/07       (H)       Moved CSHB 237(STA) Out of Committee                                                                   
05/01/07       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
05/01/07       (H)       STA RPT CS(STA) NT 4DP 3NR                                                                             
05/01/07       (H)       DP: JOHNSON, ROSES, GRUENBERG, LYNN                                                                    
05/01/07       (H)       NR: JOHANSEN, COGHILL, DOLL                                                                            
05/03/07       (H)       JUD AT 1:30 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
05/03/07       (H)       Failed To Move Out Of Committee                                                                        
05/03/07       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/01/08       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/01/08       (H)       <Bill Hearing Canceled>                                                                                
02/08/08       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/08/08       (H)       <Bill Hearing Canceled>                                                                                
02/20/08       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
EMILY BEATLEY, Staff                                                                                                            
to Representative Jay Ramras                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION   STATEMENT:      Presented   HB  359   on   behalf   of                                                             
Representative  Ramras, chair  of  the  House Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee, sponsor.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DOUG WOOLIVER, Administrative Attorney                                                                                          
Administrative Staff                                                                                                            
Office of the Administrative Director                                                                                           
Alaska Court System (ACS)                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Responded to  questions during discussion of                                                             
HB 359.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
JOSHUA FINK, Director                                                                                                           
Anchorage Office                                                                                                                
Office of Public Advocacy (OPA)                                                                                                 
Department of Administration (DOA)                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Provided comments  during  discussion  of                                                             
HB 359.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
BRIGADIER GENERAL THOMAS H. KATKUS, Commander, Army Director                                                                    
Alaska Army National Guard (AK ARNG)                                                                                            
Fort Richardson, Alaska                                                                                                         
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Provided comments  during  discussion  of                                                             
HB 359.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN SAXBY, Senior Assistant Attorney General                                                                                  
Natural Resources Section                                                                                                       
Civil Division (Anchorage)                                                                                                      
Department of Law (DOL)                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:     Presented  HB  256  on   behalf  of  the                                                             
administration.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
DOUG LARSEN, Director                                                                                                           
Division of Wildlife Conservation                                                                                               
Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G)                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Provided  a comment  during discussion  of                                                             
HB 256.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
JOEL BENNETT                                                                                                                    
Alaskans for Wildlife                                                                                                           
(No address provided)                                                                                                           
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Provided comments  during  discussion  of                                                             
HB 256.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
JOE KLUTSCH, President                                                                                                          
Alaska Professional Hunters Association, Inc. (APHA)                                                                            
Copper Center, Alaska                                                                                                           
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Provided comments  during  discussion  of                                                             
HB 256, and urged passage of the bill.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
JOHN TOPPENBERG, Director                                                                                                       
Alaska Wildlife Alliance                                                                                                        
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Provided comments  during  discussion  of                                                             
HB 256.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REUBEN HANKE                                                                                                                    
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 256.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MARTIN WADE WILLIS                                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Provided comments  during  discussion  of                                                             
HB 256.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ROD ARNO, Executive Director                                                                                                    
Alaska Outdoor Council (AOC)                                                                                                    
Wasilla, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Provided comments  during  discussion  of                                                             
HB 256, and asked that the bill be passed from committee.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JERRY McCUTCHEON                                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Provided comments  during  discussion  of                                                             
HB 256.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
VICTOR VAN BALLENBERGHE                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:    During discussion  of  HB  256,  provided                                                             
comments and suggested a change to Section 8 of Version E.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAY  RAMRAS called the  House Judiciary  Standing Committee                                                             
meeting  to  order at  1:04:51  PM.   Representatives  Dahlstrom,                                                             
Coghill, Samuels,  Lynn, and Ramras  were present at the  call to                                                               
order.    Representatives Holmes  and  Gruenberg  arrived as  the                                                               
meeting was in progress.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HB 359 - PROBATION AND MINOR CONSUMING                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:05:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO. 359,  "An  Act  relating  to probation  and  the                                                               
offense  of  minor  consuming  or in  possession  or  control  of                                                               
alcohol."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:05:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM  moved to  adopt the  proposed committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for  HB 359,  Version  25-LS1377\M,  Luckhaupt,                                                               
2/20/08, as the work draft.   There being no objection, Version M                                                               
was before the committee.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  RAMRAS  noted that  HB  359  was  sponsored by  the  House                                                               
Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:06:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
EMILY BEATLEY,  Staff to Representative Jay  Ramras, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  on behalf  of Representative  Ramras, chair  of the                                                               
House Judiciary  Standing Committee,  sponsor, presented  HB 359.                                                               
She explained that under the  current statute pertaining to minor                                                               
consuming,  the  court  is  required  to  automatically  place  a                                                               
convicted  person on  probation for  one  year from  the date  of                                                               
conviction or until  the person reaches the age  of 21, whichever                                                               
is later.   House Bill 359 proposes to add  a new [subsection] to                                                               
AS 04.16.50,  giving the  courts the  authority to  terminate the                                                               
probation  of  someone  convicted  of minor  consuming  -  unless                                                               
he/she  is a  habitual  repeat  offender -  if  he/she meets  the                                                               
conditions of  probation set forth  by the court  and continuance                                                               
of  probation would  interfere with  the person's  rehabilitation                                                               
and growth.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BEATLEY said  that  HB  359 was  specifically  drafted as  a                                                               
"betterment" bill, and is not  specific to those applying for the                                                               
military,  although  research  indicates  that this  is  a  large                                                               
issue.   Others  who might  also benefit  from HB  359 are  those                                                               
seeking entrance  into certain colleges, and  university students                                                               
traveling into or through Canada  for sporting events.  Under the                                                               
bill,  all who  are  convicted and  serving  probation for  minor                                                               
consuming  - except  for  habitual repeat  offenders  - would  be                                                               
eligible  for probation  termination via  petition to  the court.                                                               
The  belief  is,   she  relayed,  that  the   bill  will  provide                                                               
additional  incentive to  those convicted  of minor  consuming to                                                               
succeed while on probation.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  said he strongly  supports HB 359.   He                                                               
asked whether the term "growth" as  used on page 2, line 3, would                                                               
cause the courts difficulty.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BEATLEY offered her belief that  it would be up to the courts                                                               
to interpret that term.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:10:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOUG  WOOLIVER,  Administrative Attorney,  Administrative  Staff,                                                               
Office  of  the  Administrative  Director,  Alaska  Court  System                                                               
(ACS), said  he doesn't  know what  "growth" means,  but surmised                                                               
that  it was  included  in  the bill  to  give judges  discretion                                                               
beyond just  rehabilitative goals, and that  how judges interpret                                                               
that term will  vary and be closely tied to  the specifics of the                                                               
defendant.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  said he  would  hope  that the  courts                                                               
would be able  to apply common sense and thus  alleviate the need                                                               
for the legislature to define the term.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOLIVER agreed.   In response to a question,  he offered his                                                               
recollection  that  historically,  there have  been  about  4,000                                                               
minor consuming charges filed each  year, but he doesn't know how                                                               
many  end in  convictions or  how many  of those  charged are  on                                                               
probation at any given time,  though he estimated that the number                                                               
of  the latter  is  probably in  the thousands.    He noted  that                                                               
Version M  somewhat narrows  the category  of who  could petition                                                               
the court  to have his/her  probation terminated -  the procedure                                                               
would  be much  like  a suspended  imposition  of sentence  (SIS)                                                               
procedure -  but he is unable  to estimate at this  time how many                                                               
might petition the court.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS offered  that the impetus behind [the  bill] is that                                                               
as long  as the State  of Alaska "has its  thumb on one  of these                                                               
minors, the U.S.  government can't own them"; as  such, "the best                                                               
vocational  rehab program  available across  the country"  is not                                                               
available to some of the youth who might most benefit from it.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS questioned Ms.  Beatley's use of the term,                                                               
"habitual," and whether  the bill would apply only  to first time                                                               
offenders.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BEATLEY explained  that AS  04.16.050(d)  currently says  in                                                               
part,  "A person  is guilty  of  habitual minor  consuming or  in                                                               
possession  or control  if  the person  was  placed on  probation                                                               
under  (c) of  this  section, or  has  been previously  convicted                                                               
twice", and that  a reference to subsection  (d) was specifically                                                               
left out  of the  bill so  as to  exclude those  who fit  in that                                                               
category.     In  response  to   a  question,  she   offered  her                                                               
understanding that  the procedure provided  by the bill  could be                                                               
used  by someone  who only  had  one prior  conviction for  minor                                                               
consuming but not by someone who had two prior convictions.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:14:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOSHUA  FINK,  Director,  Anchorage   Office,  Office  of  Public                                                               
Advocacy (OPA),  Department of Administration (DOA),  opined that                                                               
while  the  State should  never  condone  underage drinking,  the                                                               
punishment should be proportionate to  the crime, and offered his                                                               
belief  that the  legislature did  not  intend for  kids who  are                                                               
cited for  underage drinking to  be precluded from being  able to                                                               
join  the  military.   He  relayed  that  when  he was  a  public                                                               
defender,  he  saw  kids  who got  cited  for  underage  drinking                                                               
because they  were at a party  and who then found  out later that                                                               
they couldn't enlist  in the military, and  he characterized this                                                               
as an unintended  consequence of the current  minor consuming law                                                               
that will be fixed by HB 359.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:16:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRIGADIER  GENERAL THOMAS  H. KATKUS,  Commander, Army  Director,                                                               
Alaska  Army National  Guard (AK  ARNG),  said that  the AK  ARNG                                                               
abides by  all the  [enlistment] standards of  the U.S.  Army for                                                               
age, citizenship, education,  trainability, physical fitness, and                                                               
moral  standards.   If the  courts had  the ability  to terminate                                                               
probation  for those  youths who've  been convicted  of utilizing                                                               
alcohol but who  don't have any other criminal  charges, it would                                                               
give those  youths the  opportunity to  join the  military, which                                                               
could  provide them  with  better mentors  and  more options  for                                                               
getting  out of  a bad  situation.   Any time  a person  has more                                                               
options  available, the  better  his/her chances  of success,  he                                                               
concluded.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG observed that  there are no accompanying                                                               
fiscal notes for HB 359.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOLIVER  explained that if the  ACS were to submit  a fiscal                                                               
note, it would be based on  an anticipated increase in the number                                                               
of hearings  the court  would have.   For  example, if  there are                                                               
8,000  people currently  on probation  for  minor consuming,  the                                                               
court  might  anticipate  a significant  number  of  probationers                                                               
requesting a  hearing.  However,  he added,  he is not  sure what                                                               
percentage  of those  convicted might  qualify for  the procedure                                                               
proposed by  the bill, and so  he will be researching  that issue                                                               
further to see if a fiscal note is warranted.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:20:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG referred to  the language of proposed AS                                                               
04.16.050(l)(2)  and (3),  and  said he  is  having an  amendment                                                               
drafted to address  his concern that the person  will continue to                                                               
make payments for  the court-ordered programs and  the fines that                                                               
the  court  imposes; for  example,  any  unpaid amount  could  be                                                               
entered as a  judgment against the person.  He  asked whether the                                                               
ACS would be amenable to such an amendment.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOOLIVER  indicated  that  he  is not  sure  that  [such  an                                                               
amendment] would be an issue for the ACS.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL expressed  concern that  the language  of                                                               
proposed AS 04.16.050(l)(4) isn't written correctly.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BEATLEY  explained that  the  Department  of Law  (DOL)  had                                                               
wanted the  bill to also  stipulate that  the person has  to have                                                               
substantially complied  with other  conditions of  probation, and                                                               
it appears that the drafter  simply added that stipulation to the                                                               
stipulation  that the  continuance of  probation would  interfere                                                               
with the rehabilitation and growth  of the person.  She suggested                                                               
that  perhaps  the two  aspects  of  proposed AS  04.16.050(l)(4)                                                               
could instead be separated into two different paragraphs.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL indicated  that he  felt something  still                                                               
needed to be done to clarify those stipulations.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SAMUELS  said   he   is   reading  proposed   AS                                                               
04.16.050(l)(4) to say  that a person need  not completely comply                                                               
with the  conditions of  probation before  being allowed  to join                                                               
the   service  if   doing  so   would   interfere  with   his/her                                                               
rehabilitation.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL said  he  understands  that concept,  but                                                               
opined that the language doesn't currently say that.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG posited  that the  language means  that                                                               
before the court  can grant the motion  [to terminate probation],                                                               
the  court must  find that  the defendant  has complied  with any                                                               
other  conditions of  probation  - in  other  words, that  he/she                                                               
hasn't been committing  any other crimes - and must  find that if                                                               
probation continues  and the  motion is  not granted,  that would                                                               
interfere  with the  defendant's rehabilitation  and growth.   He                                                               
opined that the  courts would interpret the  language of proposed                                                               
AS 04.16.050(l)(4) in that fashion.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOLIVER concurred  with Representative Gruenberg's summation                                                               
of the language, but cautioned that  he can't say how judges will                                                               
actually interpret the language.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS closed  public testimony and set HB  359, Version M,                                                               
aside until later in the meeting.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HB 256 - ACTIVE GAME MANAGEMENT/AIRBORNE SHOOTING                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:28:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 256, "An  Act relating to active  game management                                                               
and to the  airborne or same day airborne taking  of certain game                                                               
animals;  making  conforming  amendments; and  providing  for  an                                                               
effective date."  [Before the committee was CSHB 256(RES).]                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS moved  to  adopt  the proposed  committee                                                               
substitute (CS)  for HB 256, Version  25-GH1076\E, Kane, 2/15/08,                                                               
as the work draft.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLMES  objected,  and  asked  whether  the  only                                                               
change between Version E and  CSHB 256(RES) is that the effective                                                               
date has been changed from July 1, 2007, to July 1, 2008.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  RAMRAS offered  his understanding  that that  is the  only                                                               
change.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLMES removed her objection.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS relayed that Version E was before the committee.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:32:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN   SAXBY,  Senior   Assistant   Attorney  General,   Natural                                                               
Resources Section, Civil Division  (Anchorage), Department of Law                                                               
(DOL), after  relaying that he is  assigned to the Board  of Game                                                               
and the  Alaska Department of Fish  & Game (ADF&G) and  that work                                                               
on  the  bill  began  during the  Murkowski  Administration  when                                                               
interested legislators requested that the  DOL and the ADF&G come                                                               
up with language  that would improve and make  more workable both                                                               
the  "intensive management  law and  the same-day  airborne law,"                                                               
said that  work on the  bill began before the  current litigation                                                               
challenging Alaska's  predator control  programs and  before "the                                                               
current initiative that's  on the ballot for  the next election."                                                               
He then  offered his  understanding that Sections  1 and  2 don't                                                               
make any substantive changes but  instead merely adopt conforming                                                               
language necessitated by changes proposed elsewhere in the bill.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY explained  that [in drafting the  bill], the underlying                                                               
assumption  of the  DOL and  the ADF&G  was that  the legislative                                                               
intent was to maintain both  the "intensive management law on the                                                               
books" and the "same-day airborne  law on the books" while making                                                               
them  more   workable.    The   departments  had   no  intention,                                                               
therefore,  to significantly  alter what  they believed  were the                                                               
underlying core principles of both  laws.  Section 3, he relayed,                                                               
rewrites  the "intensive  management  law,"  which resulted  from                                                               
Governor Hickel's 1992  shutdown of predator control  in the face                                                               
of a  tourism boycott.   That original  law was written  to force                                                               
the  Board  of Game,  in  certain  instances, to  adopt  predator                                                               
control  programs.   The departments  are assuming,  he remarked,                                                               
that the  legislature continues to  want to require the  Board of                                                               
Game to  have a duty  to act intensively, to  manage intensively,                                                               
in certain instances.  He went on to say:                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     We believe the core principles  of that law have always                                                                    
     been,  first of  all, that  the Board  [of Game]  is to                                                                    
     identify  populations  of  game [for  which]  ...  it's                                                                    
     important to manage intensively  ... [because they] are                                                                    
     important  for   high  levels  of   human  consumption;                                                                    
     second,  that once  those  populations are  identified,                                                                    
     that the  Board [of Game]  set objectives for  the size                                                                    
     of the population and for  the harvest level ... that's                                                                    
     to come  out of that  population; and, third,  that ...                                                                    
     the Board [of  Game] is then to  adopt regulations that                                                                    
     ... implement this duty to  manage intensively, and, if                                                                    
     objectives aren't  being met, that the  Board [of Game]                                                                    
     ...  take   what  measures  ...,  within   reason,  are                                                                    
     necessary   in  order   to  attempt   to  reach   those                                                                    
     objectives.     And  that's  what  Section   3  begins;                                                                    
     Section 3  ...  restates  the  duty -  ...  in  a  much                                                                    
     clearer fashion than ... stated  under the existing law                                                                    
     -  for   the  Board   [of  Game]  to   identify  [game]                                                                    
     populations  that  are  important to  manage  for  high                                                                    
     levels  of  human   use,  and  then  to   ...  set  ...                                                                    
     population   and    harvest   objectives    for   those                                                                    
     populations.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY  explained that [one  provision of] Section  4 requires                                                               
the Board of Game to  manage moose, caribou, and deer populations                                                               
so as  to meet its  set objectives.   He characterized this  as a                                                               
broader requirement than under current  law because currently the                                                               
Board of Game only has  to adopt intensive management regulations                                                               
when  a population  is  depleted or  when the  Board  of Game  is                                                               
[otherwise]  forced  to reduce  the  taking  of that  population,                                                               
whereas under  HB 256, the  Board of  Game will always  have that                                                               
duty,  since once  a  population is  identified  as important  to                                                               
manage  for  high levels  of  harvest  by  humans, it  is  always                                                               
important  to do  so.   [Game] populations  sometimes need  to be                                                               
reduced,  for example,  because  they are  over populating  their                                                               
range, and  so the  Board of Game  needs to have  a duty  to take                                                               
action  to  maintain  the   population's  productivity  in  those                                                               
instances as well.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY  said that  another provision  of Section  4 stipulates                                                               
that if objectives  are not being met, then the  Board of Game is                                                               
to  adopt  regulations  to   restore  productivity  and  increase                                                               
harvest,  including instituting  active  management measures  and                                                               
programs.   The final  provision of  Section 4  was added  by the                                                               
House Resources  Standing Committee to  ensure that this  duty to                                                               
identify populations to be managed  for high levels of harvest by                                                               
humans doesn't mean  that the Board of Game  can't identify other                                                               
uses  for populations  or can't  identify other  populations that                                                               
are to be managed differently.   The departments did not envision                                                               
this provision as causing any  problems, because they felt it was                                                               
already  part of  current  law,  but it  was  added to  alleviate                                                               
concerns  that the  duty outlined  in Section  3 appears  to only                                                               
consider high levels of harvest by humans as an important use.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:39:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY pointed  out that the term,  "intensive management" has                                                               
been  changed to  the  term, "active  management",  which is  now                                                               
defined in Section 5 as  including predator control."  Section 5,                                                               
furthermore,  eliminates a  number  of what  he characterized  as                                                               
very problematic definitions  that have provided a  lot of fodder                                                               
for  litigation;  a  lot  of  these  terms,  he  added,  are  not                                                               
necessary to  enable the  Board of  Game to  reach the  goals the                                                               
legislature intended  via adoption  of the  "intensive management                                                               
law."  He  offered his belief that the  term, "active management"                                                               
is  being  defined  the  same  way via  HB  256  that  the  term,                                                               
"intensive management"  is currently defined in  statute.  Within                                                               
the  management   community,  he   relayed,  the   term,  "active                                                               
management" in  general carries a  broader connotation  in Alaska                                                               
than the term, "intensive management"  because the latter term is                                                               
now being equated with just predator control.  He added:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Our  intent  with  this term,  here,  is  to  encourage                                                                    
     innovative   thinking.   ...   There's  a   number   of                                                                    
     situations  where  predator  control  may  not  be  the                                                                    
     answer but there's still a  need to do something beyond                                                                    
     just regulating [harvest by humans]  ... and bag limits                                                                    
     and  seasons,  and  do something  affirmative,  and  so                                                                    
     we're  introducing this  term,  "active management"  to                                                                    
     encourage that kind  of thinking and to  let the public                                                                    
     know that is our intent.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:40:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLMES asked how  the term, "intensive management"                                                               
is currently defined.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY offered that existing AS 16.05.255(j)(4) reads:                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
          (4) "intensive management" means management of an                                                                     
     identified  big game  prey  population consistent  with                                                                    
     sustained yield  through active management  measures to                                                                    
     enhance,   extend,  and   develop  the   population  to                                                                    
     maintain high  levels or provide  for higher  levels of                                                                    
     human  harvest,  including  control  of  predation  and                                                                    
     prescribed  or planned  use of  fire and  other habitat                                                                    
     improvement techniques.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLMES noted  that [proposed  AS 16.05.255(j)(1)]                                                               
simply   says,  "(1)   'active   management'  includes   predator                                                               
control;".   She asked whether  there is a broader  definition of                                                               
"active management" elsewhere in statute.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY  said there certainly  could be one already,  but noted                                                               
that the ADF&G  and the DOL have created a  broader definition in                                                               
case  the legislature  decides  it would  prefer  to broaden  the                                                               
definition of that  term beyond what the  bill currently provides                                                               
for.  The departments intentionally  left the definition provided                                                               
for in proposed  AS 16.05.255(j)(1) open.  He  explained that the                                                               
word, "includes"  is defined  in Title 1  to mean  "including but                                                               
not limited  to".   The departments don't  mean to  limit "active                                                               
management"  to predator  control,  he relayed,  but  do want  to                                                               
ensure that predator control is  included in the statute in order                                                               
to clarify, both  to the public and to the  departments, that the                                                               
legislature  still  intends  to  "ratify  the  use  of"  predator                                                               
control.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:43:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY said that that  broader definition retains, almost word                                                               
for word, the  current definition of "providing for  a high level                                                               
of human harvest",  because it's the departments'  view that that                                                               
is the very core of  the "intensive management" principle and the                                                               
duty that the  legislature sought to impose, but  makes one small                                                               
change  to  clarify  that  the  issue  pertains  to  the  current                                                               
biological  capabilities  rather  than  some  future  harvestable                                                               
surplus.  He  then offered his understanding that  Sections 6 and                                                               
7  do  not make  substantive  changes  but instead  merely  adopt                                                               
conforming  language necessitated  by changes  proposed elsewhere                                                               
in the bill.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY,  in response to  a question, relayed that  existing AS                                                               
16.05.255(j)(2)  reads  in  part,  "(2)   'high  level  of  human                                                               
harvest'  means the  allocation of  a sufficient  portion of  the                                                               
harvestable  surplus ...",  whereas  proposed AS  16.05.255(j)(2)                                                               
reads  in  part,  "(2)  'providing  for a  high  level  of  human                                                               
harvest'  means allowing  allocation of  a sufficient  portion of                                                               
the  harvestable surplus  ...".   He  opined  that although  this                                                               
seems  to be  a small  change, it  bears on  an argument  made in                                                               
court that the current statutory  wording requires that the Board                                                               
of  Game must  base  its  objectives in  setting  high levels  of                                                               
harvest by humans on whatever  the current harvestable surplus is                                                               
even  if  that's a  depleted  harvestable  surplus; the  opposing                                                               
argument made  by [the  departments] is that  the purpose  of the                                                               
"intensive  management law"  is  to restore  game populations  to                                                               
abundance.    Addition of  the  word,  "allowing", therefore,  is                                                               
meant to  indicate that  the language refers  to a  future action                                                               
rather than a current action.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG questioned  whether  use  of the  term,                                                               
"allowing" might be interpreted to allow  the Board of Game to do                                                               
things other  than what Mr.  Saxby is  suggesting.  From  a legal                                                               
point  of view,  he proffered,  the use  of the  term, "allowing"                                                               
means  that the  Board of  Game "may,  but need  not" allocate  a                                                               
sufficient portion of  the sustainable harvest to  achieve a high                                                               
probability of success, thus giving  the board more discretion to                                                               
do things other than what the departments intend.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY pointed out, though,  that in court, the argument being                                                               
made regarding  the existing definition  of "high level  of human                                                               
harvest"  is  that the  allocation  must  be  made now  based  on                                                               
whatever  the  current  harvestable  surplus is.    Changing  the                                                               
definition  via proposed  AS  16.05.255(j)(2)  will clarify  that                                                               
"this  isn't a  current  allocation -  it's  something that  will                                                               
happen  in the  future," he  remarked.   The departments  did not                                                               
want  to  change the  overall  definition  very much,  he  added,                                                               
because  it's  held  in  very high  regard  among  proponents  of                                                               
intensive  management  and  it's  the   very  core  of  what  the                                                               
legislature intended to require the Board of Game to do.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:48:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG  again   argued,  however,   that  the                                                               
proposed definition might give the  Board of Game more discretion                                                               
than intended.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY  said that he  doesn't have a suggestion  for different                                                               
language, and  doesn't know how the  Board of Game would  be able                                                               
to  twist the  proposed  definition around  into  allowing it  to                                                               
manage for  some other purpose  - the underlying  principle would                                                               
still be that  the Board of Game is obligated  to manage game for                                                               
high levels of harvest by humans.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG noted that  the proposed definition says                                                               
that  the  Board of  Game  shall  consider "all  hunter  demand",                                                               
whereas the current definition says  that the Board of Game shall                                                               
consider  "hunter demand".   He  asked  why the  word, "all"  was                                                               
added.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY indicated that the addition  of the word "all" is meant                                                               
to clarify that the legislature intends  for the Board of Game to                                                               
manage for  all consumptive  uses of a  population, not  just the                                                               
local subsistence  use.  One  of the arguments  repeatedly raised                                                               
in court  is that the  purpose of the "intensive  management law"                                                               
must have  been only  to provide for  the often  fairly low-level                                                               
local  subsistence   use  and  it  wasn't   intended  to  require                                                               
management  for abundance  in order  to provide  for, say,  urban                                                               
sport hunters,  for example.   Addition of the word  "all" should                                                               
preclude that argument, he posited.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  offered  his  understanding  that  the                                                               
proposed language  would limit consideration to  all hunter uses,                                                               
and not other uses as well.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY  concurred that the  consideration would be  limited to                                                               
all "consumptive" uses, and again  offered his understanding that                                                               
that's the  core of the  "intensive management law" and  what the                                                               
legislature intended  to require  in adopting  that law  in 1994;                                                               
the changes proposed  by Version E would just make  that law more                                                               
workable.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:51:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SAXBY went  on  to explain  that Section  8,  in part,  adds                                                               
"brown  bear"  to the  "same-day  airborne  law"  - both  in  the                                                               
prohibition  provision and  in the  exception provision  - though                                                               
this  doesn't  change the  status  quo  because brown  bears  are                                                               
already included  in the regulations  pertaining to this  law; it                                                               
was felt  that if there is  a need to have  statutory language in                                                               
place for  wolves and wolverines,  there is  also a need  to have                                                               
statutory language in place for  brown bears because they too are                                                               
a  high-level  "keystone"  predator   and  as  slow  breeding  as                                                               
wolverines,  for  example.    The  "same-day  airborne  law,"  he                                                               
offered, has  two core  principals:  one,  that the  animals that                                                               
are covered should  not routinely be shot on the  same day that a                                                               
person  has been  airborne, and,  two,  that there  should be  an                                                               
exception  for when  doing so  is necessary  for some  biological                                                               
purpose.  The departments are  trying to preserve both principles                                                               
in proposing the changes in Section 8.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY said that another of  the changes proposed by Section 8                                                               
alters the  existing exception for  when it's necessary  "to mesh                                                               
it with  the intensive management law."   This is the  first time                                                               
that the  "same-day airborne law"  will actually "mesh"  with the                                                               
"intensive  management   law";  as   currently  worded,   and  as                                                               
sometimes worded  in the  past, those two  laws have  been pretty                                                               
contradictory.  Section 8 also  proposes to eliminate some of the                                                               
language that  the departments feel  is not necessary  to achieve                                                               
the  underlying goals  of "this  law."   Section 9  adds language                                                               
that would make  it legal for an authorized person  to fly into a                                                               
remote area  and take a  wolf or a  brown bear, for  example, for                                                               
public  safety  purposes.   Under  the  current language  of  the                                                               
"same-day airborne law," such would  be a misdemeanor crime, even                                                               
if  done by  a  State employee.   Section  10  defines the  word,                                                               
"shooting"   to  clarify   that  one   can  dart   animals  [with                                                               
tranquilizers  or other  nonlethal  drugs].   Sections 11-14,  he                                                               
offered, are  merely transitional  provisions and  effective date                                                               
provisions.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:56:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOUG LARSEN, Director, Division  of Wildlife Conservation, Alaska                                                               
Department of  Fish &  Game (ADF&G),  concurred with  Mr. Saxby's                                                               
explanation of HB 256.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:56:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOEL  BENNETT,   Alaskans  for   Wildlife,  indicated   that  his                                                               
organization  is sponsoring  and promoting  "the initiative  that                                                               
will  be  voted on  by  Alaskans  in August"  regarding  same-day                                                               
airborne  hunting  -  05HUNT  -   and  that  that  initiative  is                                                               
substantially  the  same  as  the   initiative  that  the  voters                                                               
approved in  1996 but which  was largely repealed  by legislative                                                               
action  three years  afterwards.   Subsequent to  "that," in  the                                                               
year 2000,  his organization brought  forth a  referendum dealing                                                               
with "one  of the main  aspects of the previous  initiative, that                                                               
is  to say,  whether or  not the  public or  department personnel                                                               
would  be  [the] people  who  would  undertake airborne  predator                                                               
control,"   and  that   [referendum   was   approved]  as   well.                                                               
Unfortunately, he  remarked, that [referendum] was  also repealed                                                               
after two  years via legislative  action.  The initiative  yet to                                                               
be  voted  on  -  05HUNT  - deals  entirely  with  the  statutory                                                               
language  that Section  8 of  Version E  is proposing  to change:                                                               
AS 16.05.783(a).                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BENNETT noted that he'd served  on the Board of Game for over                                                               
12  years,  and  that  he's  testified  in  the  House  Resources                                                               
Standing Committee  against HB  256 in  general because  he feels                                                               
that it  doesn't meet "any  of the threshold standards"  that are                                                               
contained  in either  of the  aforementioned initiatives.   Given                                                               
that  an  initiative  can  be  taken  off  the  ballot  when  the                                                               
legislature enacts substantially similar  legislation, it will be                                                               
up to the attorney general to  determine whether Section 8 of the                                                               
bill is  substantially the same as  the aforementioned [upcoming]                                                               
initiative.   However,  Mr. Bennett  pointed  out, during  Senate                                                               
Resources  Standing Committee  hearings on  the Senate  companion                                                               
bill, the DOL  representative declined to answer  the question of                                                               
whether that  bill's Section  8 is  substantially similar  to the                                                               
initiative  and instead  posited that  the bill  should stand  or                                                               
fall on its own merits.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. BENNETT  said that that  has lead his organization  to assume                                                               
that the departments  are being evasive with  the legislature and                                                               
with the  public, and that  the departments want to  avoid saying                                                               
whether  Section 8  is substantially  similar  to the  initiative                                                               
because "they  know that  it will cause  a serious  reaction from                                                               
the  57,000  people who  signed  this  initiative over  the  past                                                               
year."    Once  [HB  256   or  its  companion  bill]  passes  the                                                               
legislature,  he   predicted,  then  the  DOL   will  advise  the                                                               
lieutenant  governor that  the bill  is substantially  similar to                                                               
the initiative and ask that it be  removed from the ballot.  As a                                                               
sponsor  of the  upcoming initiative,  he said  he doesn't  think                                                               
that Section 8  is substantially similar to  the initiative; "any                                                               
common sense and  plain reading of [the] two  documents, I think,                                                               
would reach that conclusion."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BENNETT  explained that the  goal of the  upcoming initiative                                                               
is to  revise the current  law so that it  is nearly the  same as                                                               
what [it  became when]  the 1996 initiative  was approved  by the                                                               
voters,  and  the  key  part  of that  law  was  a  reference  to                                                               
"biological emergency".   Section 8 of HB 256,  however, makes no                                                               
reference to "biological emergency".  He went on to say:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     To demonstrate  how dissimilar it  is, all you  have to                                                                    
     do is look  at what's happened this year  and last year                                                                    
     and  the  previous two  years:    the Board  [of  Game]                                                                    
     adopted  five  predator  control programs  for  killing                                                                    
     large numbers of  wolves on tens of  thousands of acres                                                                    
     of state and  federal lands, [but] not a  single one of                                                                    
     these   programs   would   satisfy   the   initiative's                                                                    
     standard.    Every  single   one  ...,  however,  would                                                                    
     satisfy the vague standards in Section 8.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BENNETT  asked that  the  DOL  be  required to  provide  the                                                               
legislature with its  best advice on the question  of whether the                                                               
initiative and  the bill are  similar and regarding what  the DOL                                                               
will advise the lieutenant governor  should Section 8 of the bill                                                               
pass.  He added:                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     We don't want  to be tricked, and neither  should you -                                                                    
     and  certainly  the public  deserves  a  fair and  open                                                                    
     discussion of  this point -  I think the only  way that                                                                    
     you can [ensure]  ... that doesn't happen  is to debate                                                                    
     the "substantially  similar" question openly,  with the                                                                    
     best advice you  can get from the [DOL]  on this issue.                                                                    
     It's  not  about  predator   control,  it's  not  about                                                                    
     airborne  hunting; it's  about  democracy.   Without  a                                                                    
     critical  analysis,  by  passing  this  bill  out  with                                                                    
     Section 8 as  written, you could be  denying the people                                                                    
     of Alaska their right to vote.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  asked Mr. Bennett whether  he is involved                                                               
in litigation pertaining to the initiatives.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BENNETT said he is not.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked  why the bill was  referred to the                                                               
House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL said he didn't know.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS indicated that he didn't know either.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said he  is just wondering whether there                                                               
is  something  in  HB  256  that  the  House  Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee should  be specifically looking  at.  In response  to a                                                               
comment, he added that he hopes  it is not setting a precedent to                                                               
send  bills  to  the  House  Judiciary  Standing  Committee  just                                                               
because there  might be  a conflict between  an initiative  and a                                                               
previous legislature,  regardless that  the bill raises  an issue                                                               
that has garnered a lot of interest.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:06:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOE KLUTSCH, President,  Alaska Professional Hunters Association,                                                               
Inc. (APHA), relayed  that he would be speaking on  behalf of the                                                               
APHA's hunting-guide members and himself.   He said that there is                                                               
a great  hunting tradition in  Alaska, and offered  the following                                                               
quote   from  the   ADF&G  publication   "Understanding  Predator                                                               
Management  in   Alaska":    "It   is  integral   to  lifestyles,                                                               
traditional cultures, the economy, and  basic food needs for many                                                               
Alaska families."   He  added that  a lot  of those  families are                                                               
guiding  families that  share substantial  amounts  of meat  with                                                               
people who  would otherwise not  have access  to wild game.   The                                                               
issue  at hand,  he opined,  is  the dwindling  number of  moose,                                                               
caribou, and,  in some  areas, deer,  and other  ungulate species                                                               
that's occurred over  the last 15 years.  Again  referring to the                                                               
aforementioned  publication, he  said it  offers historical  data                                                               
from  territorial and  early statehood  days, and  suggested that                                                               
members read it.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. KLUTSCH posited that most  declines [in prey populations] can                                                               
be    directly   attributable    to   ever-increasing    predator                                                               
populations,   particularly  wolf   populations,  especially   in                                                               
Western and  Southcentral Alaska.  Historically,  active predator                                                               
management  resulted in  high numbers  of game  species, allowing                                                               
for  sustainable, long-term  use by  hunters.   Since the  1980s,                                                               
efforts to manage predator populations  have been curtailed, with                                                               
the result  being a  continual loss  of opportunity  [for hunting                                                               
prey populations].   Those  opposed to HB  256, he  opined, would                                                               
like people  to believe that  no predator control  efforts should                                                               
be  undertaken until  a threshold  of  biological emergency  [has                                                               
been  attained];  however,  it's  just not  acceptable  to  allow                                                               
[prey] populations  to be depleted,  by predation  or overhunting                                                               
or any other activity, to a level of biological emergency.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. KLUTSCH  said that  doing so  intentionally ignores  the fact                                                               
that at  that point in  the allocation equation,  nonresident and                                                               
general resident seasons  [would be] closed, and,  in most cases,                                                               
subsistence seasons  [would be]  curtailed to Tier  I or  Tier II                                                               
[because  there  wouldn't  be]  enough animals  to  allow  for  a                                                               
sustainable  harvest.    Also,  if  such  is  allowed  to  occur,                                                               
recovery of  many game species  could take  decades.  There  is a                                                               
constitutional and even  a moral obligation to  prevent such from                                                               
happening.   He  mentioned  that he's  sat on  a  "fish and  game                                                               
advisory committee"  for 28 years,  and has watched  many seasons                                                               
for caribou  and moose  be closed systematically  as a  result of                                                               
increases    in   predator    populations,   particularly    wolf                                                               
populations.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KLUTSCH opined  that nothing  in  the bill  spells doom  for                                                               
predators.  To the contrary, it  gives the ADF&G and the Board of                                                               
Game -  with thorough  public input from  all affected  parties -                                                               
the  ability to  authorize and  undertake properly-justified  and                                                               
measured predator  management programs;  it allows the  ADF&G and                                                               
the  Board of  Game to  act before  the state  finds itself  in a                                                               
management  crises.   Acting only  in  the case  of a  biological                                                               
emergency  is  acting  too  late.   Failure  to  actively  manage                                                               
predator  species, particularly  wolves, is  now having  and will                                                               
continue to  have a devastating  effect on all Alaskans  who rely                                                               
on prey species,  and that includes those who  watch wildlife and                                                               
those  who  don't  have  an  opportunity  to  get  out  into  the                                                               
wilderness  but  take  comfort  from  knowing  that  wildlife  is                                                               
abundant  in  Alaska.    Everybody  can  benefit  from  including                                                               
predators  in  a management  equation,  he  concluded, and  urged                                                               
passage of HB 256.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  offered his  understanding that  the vast                                                               
majority  of deaths  in prey  populations result  from predators.                                                               
He  asked Mr.  Klutsch  what percentage  of  prey populations  he                                                               
takes for human consumption compared to what predators take.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KLUTSCH  said  it  varies   from  prey  population  to  prey                                                               
population.  With regard to  moose populations in Game Management                                                               
Unit 17  (GMU 17) and GMU  9, for example, harvest  by humans can                                                               
account for approximately 2-3 percent  of those prey populations'                                                               
reduction, whereas  reduction from  predation can  be as  high as                                                               
60-80 percent, particularly  since cows and cows  with calves are                                                               
especially vulnerable to  both bears and, primarily,  wolves.  It                                                               
is  the duty  of the  Board of  Game and  the ADF&G  - with  good                                                               
public input  - to sort this  issue out on a  case-by-case, unit-                                                               
by-unit,  proposed-regulation-by-regulation   basis,  he  opined,                                                               
adding that  he doesn't  see anything in  the bill  that provides                                                               
wholesale authorization  to eliminate predators -  that's not the                                                               
intent of the bill.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:12:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  TOPPENBERG, Director,  Alaska  Wildlife  Alliance, said  he                                                               
would like  to address one aspect  of HB 256, that  being what he                                                               
characterized  as  "the  abdication"   of  any  requirement  that                                                               
available  biological science  be a  part of  the decision-making                                                               
process.   Mr.  Toppenberg said  his organization  disagrees with                                                               
Mr. Saxby's  interpretation of much  of HB  256 as it  applies to                                                               
that  specific [point].   The  Board of  Game, he  remarked, only                                                               
sometimes gives  minimal consideration to available  science; the                                                               
Board  of Game  has  implemented predator  control programs  that                                                               
cause mainstream scientists serious  concern - note that research                                                               
data  compiled  by  the  ADF&G is  available  to  any  interested                                                               
scientist.   Scientific  organizations  opposed  to the  current,                                                               
extreme predator  control programs include the  National Research                                                               
Council  (NRC),  the American  Society  of  Mammalogists (ASM)  -                                                               
which comprise 500 scientists that  "signed off" on two different                                                               
letters to the  governor - as well as  172 individual scientists,                                                               
both  inside  and outside  of  Alaska,  who  signed a  letter  he                                                               
delivered to the  governor, making it clear that  they see little                                                               
scientific  justification   for  the  extreme   predator  control                                                               
programs now in place.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. TOPPENBERG  offered his  belief that  HB 256  eliminates both                                                               
the requirement  to consider  the minimal  scientific information                                                               
normally brought to  the Board of Game, and  the requirement that                                                               
predators be the  proximate cause of possible  lowered numbers of                                                               
prey.  This legislation should  be opposed by anyone who supports                                                               
modern  concepts of  wildlife  management,  which recognize  that                                                               
healthy populations of  both predator and prey  are necessary for                                                               
healthy ecosystems in Alaska.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL asked  Mr. Toppenberg,  "In your  science                                                               
review, did you  do it with regard to just  the management of the                                                               
population,  or   management  for  human  consumption   of  these                                                               
[populations]."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TOPPENBERG  said  that the  assessments,  according  to  his                                                               
interpretation and understanding, "would  be a notation" that the                                                               
Board of Game has given  inadequate justification for the extreme                                                               
nature of the  predator control programs now  in place regardless                                                               
of  whether   they  are  structured   for  consumptive   or  non-                                                               
consumptive  use  - it's  simply  an  acknowledgment that  modern                                                               
scientific  concepts  are  not  a  part  of  the  decision-making                                                               
process but should be.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  said  he  does not  accept  that  answer                                                               
because  it is  not  scientific.   He  attempted  to clarify  his                                                               
question:  "Was  it with regard to human consumption  or just the                                                               
ecosystem?"                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TOPPENBERG indicated  that  his interpretation  is that  the                                                               
scientists to  whom he  is referring  believe that  it is  in the                                                               
best  interest  of  both  predator   and  prey  to  have  healthy                                                               
ecosystems;  that  predators are  a  necessary  part of  healthy,                                                               
intact,   functioning  ecosystems;   and  that   severe,  extreme                                                               
depletion of predator  numbers - by as much as  80 percent, which                                                               
is now  the stated goal for  wolf reduction in five  areas of the                                                               
state   -   doesn't   meet  any   currently-accepted   scientific                                                               
standards.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:17:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REUBEN HANKE,  after mentioning that  he holds a  current, aerial                                                               
wolf-control gunner's permit, said he  would be speaking in favor                                                               
of HB  256.  He relayed  that since "we" started  the aerial wolf                                                               
control  project  in  GMU  16B,  he  has  personally  noticed  an                                                               
increase in  the numbers  of moose  that are  present in  a small                                                               
area in  which he hunts  and traps.  Prior  to 2005, he  said, he                                                               
would typically  count between  20-40 moose  - generally  just in                                                               
one  spot and  rarely were  any of  them calves  - whereas  since                                                               
2005, he  has seen  moose in several  different location  in that                                                               
area  and  the  number  of  calves  has  increased  dramatically.                                                               
Acknowledging that GMU  16 still has problems  with overall moose                                                               
numbers, he offered his belief  that moving forward with existing                                                               
[predator control] programs will result  in an increase [in moose                                                               
populations] throughout  the GMU,  and that HB  256 will  help as                                                               
well.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:19:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARTIN WADE WILLIS noted that he  has a degree in biology, has in                                                               
the  past served  as  a biologist  for the  ADF&G,  now owns  "an                                                               
outfitter business, and  is an avid moose hunter.   He said he is                                                               
continually  amazed at  the biased  testimony the  legislature is                                                               
receiving   from  the   DOR  and   the  ADF&G;   the  departments                                                               
intentionally omit  [speaking about] the serious  consequences of                                                               
the bill,  and don't want the  legislature to know that  they are                                                               
removing any requirements  to use science to  document whether or                                                               
not predator control is necessary.   The departments are giving a                                                               
carte blanche  open ticket to the  Board of Game to  just use its                                                               
opinion to  institute "one  of the  most contentious  issues that                                                               
face wildlife  management" in Alaska.   Three  "initiatives" have                                                               
been  before the  public, and  the  people have  voted, giving  a                                                               
clear indication of  how they feel about  aerial predator control                                                               
- that being  that they definitely want science  involved.  House                                                               
Bill 256  allows the Board  of Game to  use its opinion  only and                                                               
not justify whether that opinion reflects reality.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIS  offered his understanding  that the Board of  Game is                                                               
mandated  to manage  Alaska's  wildlife for  the  benefit of  all                                                               
Alaska  residents,   and  that   the  House   Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee  is responsible  for making  sure that  the bills  that                                                               
come before it [align with] that  mandate.  How is it, then, that                                                               
the  committee  can  justify  giving   the  Board  of  Game  [the                                                               
authority  to  base its  decision  regarding  such a  contentious                                                               
practice on the  wishes of] only 15 percent  Alaska's residents -                                                               
the  hunters; HB  256 removes  the  ability of  the remaining  85                                                               
percent  of Alaska's  residents to  have  a say  in how  Alaska's                                                               
wildlife is  managed.   The existing statute  is not  improved by                                                               
replacing science with opinion, or  by legislating the public out                                                               
of the process.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIS, noting that the  bill would also authorize the aerial                                                               
shooting of  bears, surmised  that since the  public has  been so                                                               
vocal with regard to "predator wolf  control," it will be just as                                                               
vocal  with  regard  to  bear   control.    He  opined  that  the                                                               
legislature shouldn't hand  such a contentious issue  over to the                                                               
Board  of Game,  which  he characterized  as  a special  interest                                                               
group  because it  doesn't  represent all  Alaskans.   Again,  he                                                               
remarked, HB  256 is  attempting to legislate  the public  out of                                                               
the process, and he requested that  the committee ask the DOL why                                                               
science  needs  to be  removed  from  the  equation in  order  to                                                               
improve the statute.   In response to a question,  he offered his                                                               
understanding that the  DOL has "removed the  specific words that                                                               
say, 'need to base predator  management on' ... 'the best science                                                               
available' ... and  replaced it with the opinion of  the Board of                                                               
Game."   He  offered  his belief  that this  will  result in  the                                                               
public being  denied the  ability to interact  with the  Board of                                                               
Game.  What  resource does the public have when  the only mandate                                                               
the Board  of Game  has is  to have an  opinion regarding  such a                                                               
contentious issue?                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:24:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROD  ARNO,  Executive  Director, Alaska  Outdoor  Council  (AOC),                                                               
after  relaying   that  the  AOC   has  a  membership   of  3,000                                                               
individuals and  47 clubs, offered  that in watching HB  256 move                                                               
through the  legislative process,  and in  watching the  Board of                                                               
Game implement the bill's provisions  after it was introduced, he                                                               
can say that state government  is doing something right and doing                                                               
it for the right reasons.  He elaborated:                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     What  they're   doing  is  successfully   managing  our                                                                    
     predator/prey relationships - on  a limited area of the                                                                    
     state, less  than 10 percent  - and the  reason they're                                                                    
     doing  it  is to  allow  for  the continuation  of  our                                                                    
     traditional,  cultural, wild-food  harvest.   Since the                                                                    
     law was  passed in '94  - [the law] that  empowered our                                                                    
     professional  wildlife managers  to implement  predator                                                                    
     control management programs -  there's been a number of                                                                    
     legal challenges by  outside, or outside-funded, animal                                                                    
     rights  groups.    The State  has  prevailed  in  every                                                                    
     single case so far.   While [the State's] ... record is                                                                    
     commendable,  it has  taken  a  considerable amount  of                                                                    
     State time, money,  and brainpower.  So  now, our State                                                                    
     employees have  done what has been  reasonably expected                                                                    
     [of] them ...; they've taken  a look back, they've seen                                                                    
     what could  be done  to tighten  up the  law as  it was                                                                    
     amended throughout  the years,  and have  offered those                                                                    
     improvements to you in the form of HB 256.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. ARNO  pointed out that when  the ADF&G appears to  stray from                                                               
its  mission,  the AOC  is  quick  to  call the  department  into                                                               
account.  He  suggested, therefore, that when the  ADF&G is doing                                                               
something right,  it should be  supported and given the  tools it                                                               
needs to  do the  job it's  been asked  to do.   He  concluded by                                                               
asking the  committee to  pass HB  256 in order  to clean  up the                                                               
law.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL asked  whether  removing the  requirement                                                               
that the department use good science is of concern to the AOC.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. ARNO said it is not,  and offered his belief that the ADF&G's                                                               
mission will  remain the same,  that being to  protect, maintain,                                                               
and improve the fish and  game and aquatic-plant resources of the                                                               
state,  and to  manage  their  use and  development  in the  best                                                               
interest of the economy and [for]  the wellbeing of the people of                                                               
the state consistent with the sustained yield principle.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL   asked  whether   the  ADF&G   has  been                                                               
collecting data and making decisions based on good science.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. ARNO offered  his belief that it has, and  suggested that the                                                               
ADF&G publication  "Predator Management in Alaska"  includes over                                                               
60  references to  such  data.   Alaska  currently  has the  most                                                               
knowledgeable predator/prey  management scientists in  the world,                                                               
and legislative funding has allowed  the necessary information to                                                               
be gathered.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:29:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JERRY  McCUTCHEON  opined that  "biological  science"  is an  art                                                               
rather than a science, an art  like medicine.  Gone are the days,                                                               
he  remarked, when  great herds  of  caribou and  bands of  sheep                                                               
roamed  the  foothills  of  Mount McKinley,  bands  of  sheep  so                                                               
numerous and  thick that they  would not move  out of the  way of                                                               
the oncoming dog teams of  the miners, trappers, and post-office-                                                               
mail  dog-team drivers;  the sheep  immediately in  front of  the                                                               
dogs would  just jump  up on  the backs of  other sheep  and then                                                               
fall back in  as the dog teams passed through.   The park service                                                               
took hunting  and trapping  out of the  equation, and  the wolves                                                               
slowly destroyed  those big herds  of caribou and bands  of sheep                                                               
to  the point  where the  wolves resorted  to killing  and eating                                                               
each  other before  finally relocating.   The  parts of  the park                                                               
that still  held game resulted  from the  territorial government,                                                               
and then  the state government,  practicing aerial  wolf hunting.                                                               
There were more  wolves and more game years ago  when aerial wolf                                                               
hunting  was  allowed.   In  conclusion  he  said  he is  a  firm                                                               
believer  in aerial  wolf  hunts.   None  of this  land-and-shoot                                                               
[controversy], he added - it's not  about fair chase - it's about                                                               
predator control.  No wolf hunting  or bear hunting by the ADF&G,                                                               
or relocating animals by the  ADF&G, he suggested; just raise the                                                               
bounty until  the state  has an active  community of  aerial wolf                                                               
hunters.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:33:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICTOR  VAN  BALLENBERGHE  relayed  that  he  is  a  professional                                                               
wildlife biologist,  has been doing  that type of work  in Alaska                                                               
since 1974, and  has served on the Board of  Game three different                                                               
times  since 1985.    He  suggested that  in  order to  determine                                                               
exactly what changes HB 256  is proposing to the current statutes                                                               
regarding  intensive management  and  same-day airborne  hunting,                                                               
the bill  and those two existing  laws need to be  looked at side                                                               
by  side.   If one  does  that, he  relayed, one  will find  that                                                               
Section  3, for  example,  proposes to  delete  from existing  AS                                                               
16.05.255(e) several guidelines  that the Board of  Game now uses                                                               
when  adopting intensive  management  regulations,  one of  those                                                               
guidelines  being that  intensive management  be applied  only to                                                               
depleted moose  and caribou populations or  to those experiencing                                                               
reduced productivity.   Those [existing guidelines]  were adopted                                                               
for  a reason,  he opined,  and yet  the bill  proposes to  allow                                                               
intensive  management  to be  applied  to  any populations,  even                                                               
those that aren't depleted  or experiencing reduced productivity.                                                               
That's a significant change.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VAN  BALLENBERGHE relayed  that  another  of the  guidelines                                                               
Section 3  is proposing  to delete  is that  intensive management                                                               
programs  must  be  feasibly   achievable  using  recognized  and                                                               
prudent  active management  techniques.   "Why would  we want  to                                                               
delete  that,"  he  queried.    Referring  to  Section  4,  which                                                               
proposes to alter  AS 16.05.255(f), he also asked,  "Why would we                                                               
want to  delete the provision that  intensive management programs                                                               
do not apply  if they are ineffective,  inappropriate, or against                                                               
the best interest  of subsistence users"; this  provision will be                                                               
deleted by  Section 4.   And the  most serious provisions  of the                                                               
existing, same-day  airborne hunting  law that are  being deleted                                                               
can  be  found   in  Section  8,  which  proposes   to  alter  AS                                                               
16.05.783(a).  Those  provisions are guidelines for  the Board of                                                               
Game,  that based  on information  from the  ADF&G, the  Board of                                                               
Game must find that predation is  the cause for the problems and,                                                               
if so, that predator control is a likely solution.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VAN BALLENBERGHE  asked, "Isn't  it just  common sense  that                                                               
before we  launch a wolf  control program we'd want  to establish                                                               
that  predation  is  the  problem  and reducing  it  is  the  ...                                                               
solution?"   If so,  why should the  bill delete  that guideline?                                                               
Regardless that  Mr. Saxby says  it is unnecessary  language, Mr.                                                               
Van  Ballenberghe argued,  it is  instead an  important guideline                                                               
for the Board of Game and  is language the removal of which would                                                               
be  objected  to by  every  competent  biologist  he knows.    So                                                               
although members  have been  told that HB  256 would  improve and                                                               
simplify existing  statutes and would make  things more workable,                                                               
he remarked,  he is  of the  belief that  it will  instead remove                                                               
virtually every  guideline the Board  of Game uses  when adopting                                                               
intensive management  programs and  replace them with  the simple                                                               
requirement  that  what the  Board  of  Game institutes  must  be                                                               
"conducive"  to achieving  the  intensive management  objectives.                                                               
"Conducive"  is a  standard  so  weak as  to  be meaningless,  he                                                               
opined.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VAN  BALLENBERGHE, in  conclusion,  urged  the committee  to                                                               
amend the bill  such that Section 8 no longer  proposes to delete                                                               
the language of AS 16.05.783(a)(1)-(2) that currently reads:                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     has  determined based  on information  provided by  the                                                                    
     department                                                                                                                 
          (1) in regard to an identified big game prey                                                                          
     population  under AS  16.05.255(g) that  objectives set                                                                    
     by the board for the  population have not been achieved                                                                    
     and  that  predation  is an  important  cause  for  the                                                                    
     failure  to achieve  the objectives  set by  the board,                                                                    
     and  that a  reduction of  predation can  reasonably be                                                                    
     expected to  aid in the achievement  of the objectives;                                                                    
     or                                                                                                                         
          (2) that a disease or parasite of a predator                                                                          
     population                                                                                                                 
          (A)   is   threatening   the   normal   biological                                                                    
     condition of the predator population; or                                                                                   
          (B) if left untreated, would spread to other                                                                          
     populations.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:39:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN  BALLENBERGHE, in  response to  a question,  posited that                                                               
that language is critical to guiding  the Board of Game when it's                                                               
making  some   important  determinations  regarding   whether  to                                                               
institute   a   predator   control   program.      Again,   those                                                               
determinations are whether  predation is the problem  and, if so,                                                               
whether reducing  predation is  the solution;  it is  only common                                                               
sense  that  the   Board  of  Game  would  want   to  make  those                                                               
determinations based on  information from the ADF&G  - the entity                                                               
that  gathers  the  biological information.    That  language  is                                                               
critical to having a regulation  related to predator control that                                                               
will work in the long run.   Deleting that language and depriving                                                               
the  Board of  Game  of that  guideline, he  opined,  is a  major                                                               
mistake.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked Mr.  Van Ballenberghe  whether he                                                               
would  be  in favor  of  also  deleting  the new  language  being                                                               
proposed via Section 8 that currently reads:                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     determines  that  the  program would  be  conducive  to                                                                
     achieving the objectives  established for human harvest                                                                
     or  population  size  of  a  moose,  caribou,  or  deer                                                                
     population  identified under  AS 16.05.255(e)  or would                                                                
     be conducive  to the health  of a  predator population,                                                                
     and if  the program  is limited  to the  area necessary                                                                
     for that purpose                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VAN BALLENBERGHE  indicated that  he  would be  in favor  of                                                               
deleting that language.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:42:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked Mr.  Van Ballenberghe  whether he                                                               
has problems with  Section 8's proposal to add brown  bears to AS                                                               
16.05.783(a).                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN  BALLENBERGHE indicated that  he does have  problems with                                                               
that addition.  He elaborated:                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Brown  bears,  in  the  state   of  Alaska,  have  been                                                                    
     considered   a  ...   big-game  trophy   species  since                                                                    
     statehood  - since  the legislature  set  up the  basic                                                                    
     authorities  and  ... functions  of  the  [ADF&G].   In                                                                    
     recent years  they have become  predators, and  the ...                                                                    
     existing intensive management  statute fully allows the                                                                    
     [Board of Game] to  have predator control programs that                                                                    
     are  designed to  reduce ...  [predation by  bears] and                                                                    
     bear populations when that is the problem.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN BALLENBERGHE, in response  to another question, said that                                                               
research started illustrating in the  late 1970s that brown bears                                                               
were a  significant predator  of moose and  caribou calves.   His                                                               
point, however,  is that the  Board of  Game already has  all the                                                               
authority it  needs under the  existing intensive  management law                                                               
to reduce  brown bears when they  are in fact documented  to be a                                                               
[problem], so  there is no  need to consider the  drastic measure                                                               
of shooting them from  the air.  The Board of  Game had, in 1982,                                                               
"adopted a  regulation" to just  that effect, but there  was such                                                               
immediate  public  resistance to  that  that  the Board  of  Game                                                               
rescinded it under  huge amounts of public  pressure; the concept                                                               
of shooting  brown bears  from the  air is  just so  repulsive to                                                               
most people that it should not be instituted.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked Mr.  Van Ballenberghe  whether he                                                               
would also  be in  favor of  altering Section 8  such that  it no                                                               
longer proposes to delete from  AS 16.05.783(a) the language that                                                               
currently reads:  "as part of a game management plan".                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VAN BALLENBERGHE  said  he  would be  in  favor  of such  an                                                               
alteration.  He added:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Why  should  we object  to  having  the provision,  the                                                                    
     guideline  for  the  [Board of  Game]  when  it  adopts                                                                    
     predator control programs, that they  be part of a game                                                                    
     management  plan?    Again  ...,  most  biologists  and                                                                    
     managers  would   applaud  that.  ...  There   must  be                                                                    
     overriding  considerations  that guide  these  actions,                                                                    
     and what  better way  than to  put them  in a  ... game                                                                    
     management plan  of which predator  control is  a part.                                                                    
     It's a  puzzle to me why  that would be taken  from the                                                                    
     existing statute,  other than,  as has  been suggested,                                                                    
     it is  one of  the issues on  which the  litigation has                                                                    
     been based.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VAN  BALLENBERGHE suggested  that  instead  of removing  the                                                               
aforementioned guideline, to the detriment  of the Board of Game,                                                               
the committee should  just ensure that the Board  of Game follows                                                               
existing   statute.     It's  not   that   complex,  he   opined;                                                               
furthermore,  when  the  existing  statutory  language  has  been                                                               
challenged, the State has prevailed.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:46:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  asked  Mr. Van  Ballenberghe  what  he                                                               
thinks about Section 8's proposal  to change the phrase "the same                                                               
day that a person has been  airborne" in AS 16.05.783(a) to, "the                                                               
same day that the person has been airborne".                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN  BALLENBERGHE said he  doesn't see any problem  with that                                                               
proposed language change.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  RAMRAS, after  ascertaining  that no  one  else wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on HB 256.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked Mr. Saxby  why HB 256 was referred                                                               
to the House  Judiciary Standing Committee, and  whether the bill                                                               
has any legal issues that the committee ought to address.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY said  he doesn't know why the bill  was referred to the                                                               
House  Judiciary  Standing  Committee,   and  indicated  that  it                                                               
contains  no  legal issues  that  need  to  be addressed  by  the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS  noted that Article  VIII, Section 4, of  the Alaska                                                               
State  Constitution  says in  part:    "Fish, forests,  wildlife,                                                               
grasslands, and  all other  replenishable resources  belonging to                                                               
the State  shall be  utilized, developed,  and maintained  on the                                                               
sustained   yield  principle,   subject   to  preferences   among                                                               
beneficial uses.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:49:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  made  a  motion  to  adopt  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 1  such that the  only change Section 8  would continue                                                               
to  propose to  AS 16.05.783(a)  would  be that  of changing  the                                                               
phrase, "the  same day that  a person  has been airborne"  to the                                                               
phrase, "the same day that the person has been airborne".                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS objected.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY, in  response to a question, said that  the proposal to                                                               
change "a"  to "the" is  intended to clarify that  that provision                                                               
applies to the person who has  been airborne, rather than to just                                                               
any person.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS  surmised  that  Conceptual  Amendment  1                                                               
would  eliminate all  the  other changes  proposed  by Section  8                                                               
except for that one.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG concurred with  that summation, and said                                                               
he  supports that  change,  but  not the  others  that Section  8                                                               
currently proposes.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS  suggested  that  they  instead  move  an                                                               
amendment to delete Section 8  and, if that amendment is adopted,                                                               
that they  then move another  amendment to add back  the proposed                                                               
change of "a" to "the" in AS 16.05.783(a).                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said:   "I was just thinking  I could do                                                               
it  in  one  amendment  rather  than  two."    He  surmised  that                                                               
Conceptual Amendment  1 would make  Section 8 simpler in  that it                                                               
would  no  longer contain  any  of  its other  currently-proposed                                                               
changes.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:53:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote was  taken.  Representative Gruenberg  voted in                                                               
favor  of Conceptual  Amendment  1.   Representatives  Dahlstrom,                                                               
Coghill,  Samuels,  and  Ramras  voted against  it.    Therefore,                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 1 failed by a vote of 1-4.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM moved  to  report the  proposed CS  for                                                               
HB 256,  Version 25-GH1076\E,  Kane,  2/15/08,  out of  committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.   There  being no  objection, CSHB  256(JUD) was  reported                                                               
from the House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB 359 - PROBATION AND MINOR CONSUMING                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:54:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS  announced that the  committee would next  return to                                                               
the hearing on HOUSE BILL NO.  359, "An Act relating to probation                                                               
and the  offense of minor  consuming or in possession  or control                                                               
of  alcohol."   [The proposed  committee substitute  (CS) for  HB                                                               
359,  Version 25-LS1377\M,  Luckhaupt,  2/20/08,  which had  been                                                               
adopted as the work draft earlier  in the meeting, was before the                                                               
committee.]                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG made  a  motion to  adopt Amendment  1,                                                               
labeled 25-LS1377\M.1, Luckhaupt, 2/20/08, which read:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, lines 12 - 13:                                                                                                     
          Delete "has either paid for the programs or has                                                                       
     made a good faith effort to pay for the programs"                                                                          
          Insert "has either                                                                                                    
               (A)  paid for the programs; or                                                                                   
               (B)  made a good faith effort to pay for the                                                                     
     programs, agreed  to have the  debt reduced to  a civil                                                                    
     judgment,  entered  into  a  repayment  plan  with  the                                                                    
     provider  or  the  state, and  agreed  that  the  civil                                                                    
     judgment  may be  enforced in  the manner  provided for                                                                    
     restitution and fines in AS 12.55.051"                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 14, through page 2, line 1:                                                                                   
          Delete "has paid the fine for the offense or has                                                                      
     made a good faith effort to pay the fine"                                                                                  
          Insert "has either                                                                                                    
               (A)  paid the fine; or                                                                                           
               (B)  made a good faith effort to pay the                                                                         
     fine, agreed to have  the remaining fine amount reduced                                                                    
     to  a civil  judgment,  entered into  a  plan with  the                                                                    
     state,  and  agreed  that the  civil  judgment  may  be                                                                    
     enforced  in the  manner provided  for restitution  and                                                                    
     fines in AS 12.55.051"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS objected.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   explained  that  Amendment   1  would                                                               
require that a person, in addition  to making a good faith effort                                                               
to  pay for  the  programs,  must also  agree  to  have the  debt                                                               
reduced to  a civil  judgment, enter into  a repayment  plan, and                                                               
agree  that the  civil judgment  may  be enforced  in the  manner                                                               
provided for in  statute for restitutions and fines.   He offered                                                               
his understanding that Mr. Wooliver  from the Alaska Court System                                                               
(ACS) doesn't, at this time, see a problem with Amendment 1.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS removed his objection  to Amendment 1.  [Amendment 1                                                               
was treated as adopted.]                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:57:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG made  a  motion to  adopt Amendment  2,                                                               
labeled 25-LS1377\M.2, Luckhaupt, 2/20/08, which read:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, lines 1 - 2:                                                                                                       
          Delete "probation and the offense of minor                                                                          
     consuming or in possession or control of alcohol"                                                                        
     Insert  "termination of  probation for  certain persons                                                                  
     convicted  of  minor  consuming  or  in  possession  or                                                                  
     control  of alcohol  or repeat  minor  consuming or  in                                                                  
     possession or control of alcohol"                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS objected.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   explained  that  Amendment   2  would                                                               
tighten the title so as to limit what may be added to HB 359.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS removed his objection.   [Amendment 2 was treated as                                                               
adopted.]                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:58:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  moved to report the  proposed committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for  HB 359,  Version  25-LS1377\M,  Luckhaupt,                                                               
2/20/08,   as  amended,   out   of   committee  with   individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no  objection,   CSHB  359(JUD)  was  reported   from  the  House                                                               
Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HB 237 - REMOVING A REGENT                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:58:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 237, "An  Act authorizing the governor  to remove                                                               
or suspend a member of the  Board of Regents of the University of                                                               
Alaska for good  cause; establishing a procedure  for the removal                                                               
or suspension of a regent;  and providing for an effective date."                                                               
[Before the committee  was CSHB 237(STA), which had  failed to be                                                               
reported from committee on 5/3/07 by a vote of 3-3.]                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:00:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG reminded members  that HB 237 provides a                                                               
due-process procedure  by which  the governor, for  [good] cause,                                                               
can suspend or remove a member  of the University of Alaska Board                                                               
of Regents.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS  indicated that  at a  future hearing  the committee                                                               
might consider the  question of whether to rescind  its action in                                                               
failing to report CSHB 237(STA) from committee.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
[CSHB 237(STA) was held over.]                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Judiciary Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 3:01 p.m.                                                                 

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