Legislature(1993 - 1994)
04/05/1993 08:00 AM House RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE April 5, 1993 8:00 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Bill Williams, Chairman Representative Con Bunde Representative Pat Carney Representative John Davies Representative Joe Green Representative Jeannette James MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Bill Hudson, Vice Chairman Representative David Finkelstein Representative Eldon Mulder OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT Representative Carl Moses Representative Kay Brown COMMITTEE CALENDAR HB 218: "An Act repealing the restriction on the maximum length of salmon seine vessels; and providing for an effective date." ADOPTED CSHB 218 (FSH) AND MOVED FROM COMMITTEE WITH A DO PASS RECOMMENDATION HJR 20: Urging modification of the North American Free Trade Agreement. ADOPTED CSHJR 20 (ITT) AND MOVED FROM COMMITTEE WITH A DO PASS RECOMMENDATION WITNESS REGISTER Representative Carl Moses Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 204 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Phone: 465-4451 Position Statement: Prime Sponsor, HB 218 Dan Austin, Legislative Aide to Representative Kay Brown Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 517 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Phone: 465-4998 Position Statement: Presented sponsor statement on HJR 20 Representative Kay Brown Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 517 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Phone: 465-4998 Position Statement: Prime Sponsor, HJR 20 John C. Bhend 8410 Majestic Drive Anchorage, Alaska 99504 Phone: 338-5722 Position Statement: Supported HJR 20 Gene Dekerlegand Kenai Peninsula Central Labor Council P.O. Box 1757 Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Phone: 262-5787 Position Statement: Referred members to written testimony supporting amendments to NAFTA Joan Bennett-Schraeder Coalition of Labor Women P.O. Box 1587 Kenai, Alaska 996111 Phone: 283-4359 Position Statement: Expressed concern over impact of NAFTA on Alaska PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 218 SHORT TITLE: REPEAL 58 FT. LIMIT FOR SEINE VESSELS BILL VERSION: CSHB 218(FSH) SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MOSES TITLE: "An Act relating to the maximum length of salmon seine vessels; and providing for an effective date." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/10/93 592 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 03/10/93 592 (H) FISHERIES, RESOURCES 03/22/93 (H) FSH AT 08:30 AM CAPITOL 17 03/22/93 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 03/29/93 824 (H) FSH RPT CS(FSH) NEW TITLE 2DP 1NR 03/29/93 824 (H) DP: MOSES, PHILLIPS 03/29/93 824 (H) NR: OLBERG 03/29/93 824 (H) -ZERO FISCAL NOTE (F&G)NEW TITLE 3/29/93 03/26/93 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 03/29/93 (H) FSH AT 08:30 AM CAPITOL 17 03/29/93 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 04/05/93 (H) RES AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 124 04/05/93 977 (H) RES RPT CS(FSH) NEW TITLE 3DP 2NR 04/05/93 977 (H) DP: CARNEY, BUNDE, WILLIAMS 04/05/93 977 (H) NR: GREEN, DAVIES 04/05/93 977 (H) -PREVIOUS ZERO FN(F&G) 3/29/93 BILL: HJR 20 SHORT TITLE: AMEND N. AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT BILL VERSION: CSHJR 20(ITT) SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BROWN TITLE: Relating to the North American Free Trade Agreement. JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/29/93 176 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/29/93 176 (H) INTERNATIONAL TRADE & TOURISM, RESOURCES 02/18/93 (H) ITT AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 102 02/18/93 (H) MINUTE(ITT) 02/18/93 (H) MINUTE(TRA) 03/04/93 (H) ITT AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 102 03/04/93 (H) MINUTE(ITT) 03/18/93 (H) MINUTE(ITT) 03/22/93 731 (H) ITT RPT CS(ITT) NEW TITLE 5DP 1NR 03/22/93 731 (H) DP: GREEN, NORDLUND,MENARD, TOOHEY, JAMES 03/22/93 731 (H) NR: SANDERS 03/22/93 731 (H) -ZERO FISCAL NOTE (ITT/NO DEPT) 3/22/93 04/05/93 (H) RES AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 124 04/05/93 970 (H) RES RPT CS(ITT) NEW TITLE 4DP 1NR 04/05/93 971 (H) DP: CARNEY, JAMES, DAVIES, WILLIAMS 04/05/93 971 (H) NR: BUNDE 04/05/93 971 (H) -PREVIOUS ZERO FN(ITT/NO DEPT) 3/22/93 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 93-41, SIDE A Number 000 The House Resources Committee was called to order by Chairman Bill Williams at 8:07 a.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Williams, Bunde, Carney, Davies, and Green. Members absent at the call were Representatives Hudson, Finkelstein, James, and Mulder. CHAIRMAN BILL WILLIAMS announced the meeting was being held by teleconference, and that the first bill for consideration would be HB 218. HB 218: REPEAL 58 FT. LIMIT FOR SEINE VESSELS Number 042 REPRESENTATIVE CARL MOSES, PRIME SPONSOR OF HB 218, explained that in 1970, the Alaska legislature banned the use of seine boats longer than 58 feet in order to keep larger boats from competing with small local vessels. He cited attempts in recent years to repeal the limit in an attempt to diversify the fisheries. If the restriction is repealed, he said, it would allow the same vessel to be used in salmon, groundfish and crab fisheries, rather than requiring separate vessels and increased expense. Number 065 REPRESENTATIVE MOSES noted that the restriction has resulted in giving much of Alaska's crab and groundfish to non- resident fisheries. With the pending implementation of the Individual Fishery Quota (IFQ) program, he said there is more reason to allow more participation for Alaskans in the fisheries. He explained changes made to HB 218 in the House Special Committee on Fisheries. He noted CSHB 218 (FSH) would ensure that length restrictions for salmon seine vessels would be determined by the Board of Fisheries on a regional basis. The board would have a three-year period to take up those restrictions, he said. REPRESENTATIVE MOSES mentioned the support for HB 218 given by the Southeast Seiners, the Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Salmon Seiners Association. Number 098 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE referred to areas where the 58-foot limit might be kept and asked under what circumstances that might happen. REPRESENTATIVE MOSES replied that he personally did not feel that it would be necessary, but that the Board of Fisheries would review the seine length requirements on a regional basis. Number 120 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN asked why the 58-foot limit was established in the first place. REPRESENTATIVE MOSES explained that the intent was to keep out large boats from outside of Alaska. Because that is now regulated by the limited entry system, and because the limit is keeping residents from participating in other larger boats, the repeal is now seen as necessary, he said. Number 140 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked if the 58-foot limit was seen as a safety factor in rough water. REPRESENTATIVE MOSES said that some 58-foot seiners had tried to participate in the Bering Sea bottom fisheries but sea conditions there made it too difficult, so some fishermen had bought larger boats for those fisheries. Because of the cost, many had bought older boats which have safety problems. Number 170 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE MOVED to pass CSHB 218 (FSH) from committee with individual recommendations. He asked unanimous consent. CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked if there were any objections to the motion. Hearing none, the MOTION PASSED. CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS announced the next bill to be heard by the committee would be HJR 20. HJR 20: AMEND N. AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT Number 183 DAN AUSTIN, LEGISLATIVE AIDE TO REPRESENTATIVE KAY BROWN, offered to explain how the International Trade and Tourism (ITT) Committee substitute differed from the original version of HJR 20. He read from the resolution, which called for the federal government and partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to give consideration to the potential impact on Alaska's economy, labor force and environment. MR. AUSTIN explained that the CSHJR 20 (ITT) adds language on line 6 regarding NAFTA's ability to challenge states' rights. Lines 10 and 11, he said, delete language regarding banned chemicals and agricultural controls. Line 11 adds "state standards," he added. Page 2 of CSHJR 20 (ITT), he explained, adds a new "whereas" clause regarding jobs lost, and line 3 added language regarding dispute resolution. MR. AUSTIN continued his explanation of CSHJR 20 (ITT), noting a new "resolve" clause on line 5, requiring a vote within 90 days. Line 11 on page 2, he said, adds another resolve clause calling for the full partnership of the state. Number 290 REPRESENTATIVE KAY BROWN, PRIME SPONSOR OF HJR 20, told the committee that it was important to let the U.S. Congress know the state's concerns relating to NAFTA, to avoid having the state's powers usurped. REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN referred to a recent energy conference in Washington, D.C. and noted the overwhelming support voiced for NAFTA there. He commented that HJR 20 appears to say that Alaska does not like NAFTA. Number 321 REPRESENTATIVE BROWN responded that HJR 20 does not necessarily say that the state does not like NAFTA. Rather, she explained, it sends a message that energy-producing states will lose jobs as a result of NAFTA. She added that Mexico is a competitor as an oil producer, and pointed out that there are areas of NAFTA that need to be addressed to keep the agreement from having a negative impact on the state. Environmental standards, she added, were also in jeopardy of being compromised. She cited as an example the biodegradable plastic rings on soda and beer six-packs. REPRESENTATIVE BROWN said that as a result of NAFTA's policy of adopting the "lowest common denominator" in environmental standards, that environmental safeguard could be compromised, she said. Number 350 REPRESENTATIVE JOHN DAVIES referred to deleted language in CSHJR 20 (ITT) regarding the use of banned chemicals, and noted that it was his impression that the U.S. Department of Agriculture was not doing a good job of enforcing and implementing environmental safeguards. MR. AUSTIN replied that this was an area where negotiation was on-going. He explained that the Department of Agriculture had been instructed to keep strict restrictions, and that the real question was one of enforcement and inspection. He confirmed for Representative Davies that standards would be maintained. Number 380 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE referred to the resolve clause that said the state legislature was a partner in dispute resolution, and raised the question of problems this might create with U.S. sovereignty, as well as potential confusion with a number of individual states involved in any one dispute. He suggested it might never get resolved with too many parties involved. REPRESENTATIVE BROWN explained that state involvement in dispute resolution would only occur when one state's laws are affected by activities associated with NAFTA. She agreed it would be cumbersome if all states were involved in resolving a dispute. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES suggested clarifying that section to specify that the state would be involved and not the state legislature. Number 410 CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS announced the committee would now take testimony from the teleconference sites. JOHN C. BHEND, REPRESENTING HIMSELF, believed NAFTA was ill- conceived, and would result in jobs from Alaska and the rest of the U.S. being lost to Mexico. He suggested that the agreement won't help the conditions of workers in Mexico, and that it hurts the rights of working people. In addition, he cautioned that NAFTA undermines environmental standards and does not provide a means for enforcing standards. Other problems he saw with NAFTA included conflicts with states's sovereignty and the hampering of efforts to lower health care costs. Number 467 MR. BHEND cautioned that NAFTA would be an economic and social disaster as increasing numbers of jobs will be lost to Mexico. He noted that Canada's economy had suffered already, and he estimated that approximately 500,000 jobs will be lost from the United States. A ripple effect was likely to reach into the entire economy, he added. He stated his support of HJR 20, to ensure that Alaska benefits from and is not harmed by increased international trade. GENE DEKERLEGAND, KENAI PENINSULA CENTRAL LABOR COUNCIL, testified via teleconference from Kenai. He directed members' attention to his written testimony contained in their bill packets. (A copy of Mr. Dekerlegand's testimony may be found in the House Resources Committee Room, Capitol Room 124, and after the adjournment of the second session of the 18th Alaska State Legislature, in the Legislative Reference Library.) Number 532 JOAN BENNETT-SCHRAEDER, COALITION OF LABOR WOMEN, testified via teleconference from Kenai. She asked Representative Brown whether the various agencies and departments of the state had prepared reports to show the anticipated impact that NAFTA would have on Alaska. REPRESENTATIVE BROWN answered that she was not aware of any. She said she had worked with the Office of International Trade in preparing HJR 20, but added that the administration had not taken a position. MS. BENNETT-SCHRAEDER told the committee that the impact of NAFTA on the state is too important for agencies to remain neutral. CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked if any one else wished to testify on HJR 20. There was no response. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES made a MOTION to move CSHJR 20 (ITT) with individual recommendations. CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS noted before taking a vote on the motion that the comments of Mr. Dekerlegand of Kenai would be included with the bill files as part of the record on HJR 20. Number 560 REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES recommended that the legislative research office be requested to provide more information on the impact NAFTA would have on Alaska. She also suggested the administration provide the legislature with a position on HJR 20 and on NAFTA. REPRESENTATIVE BROWN agreed that this work would be on-going during the legislative interim. She mentioned that Alaska had responded to a survey circulated among states regarding potential effects of NAFTA, but added that the survey dealt only with banking and securities' issues. She noted that it is difficult to determine the effects of something like NAFTA until the effects actually take place. There was no data base on which to gauge the effects, she said, although she was convinced NAFTA would affect a number of areas of the state's economy. Number 601 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES agreed that we would not know what NAFTA would do until it was done, but added that everyone needed to be aware of the potential effects. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES underscored that there had been frustrations in attempts to establish local hire provisions, and that it was important to work now to avoid similar potential problems associated with NAFTA. Number 612 CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS referred to the motion before the committee to move CSHJR 20 (ITT) from the Resources committee with individual recommendations. He asked if there were any objections, and hearing none, the MOTION PASSED. ANNOUNCEMENTS CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS announced the committee would next meet on April 7, 1993 at 8:00 a.m. to hear HB 260 and to take action on the confirmation of an appointee to the Big Game Commercial Services Board. ADJOURNMENT There being no further business to come before the House Resources Committee, Chairman Williams adjourned the meeting at 8:45 a.m.