Legislature(1997 - 1998)
04/23/1998 02:30 PM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE April 23, 1998 2:30 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Bill Hudson, Co-Chairman Representative Scott Ogan, Co-Chairman Representative Beverly Masek, Vice Chair Representative Ramona Barnes Representative Fred Dyson Representative William K. (Bill) Williams Representative Irene Nicholia Representative Reggie Joule MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Joe Green COMMITTEE CALENDAR CS FOR SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 40(RES) Relating to the fisheries management fee proposed by President Clinton. - MOVED CSSJR 40(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 330(RES) "An Act relating to locations of underground facilities and excavations in the area of underground facilities." - MOVED HCS CSSB 330(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 262(RES) "An Act relating to regulation of hunting and trapping, to the definition of 'sustained yield,' and to controlled use areas." - HEARD AND HELD HOUSE BILL NO. 184 "An Act relating to land used for agricultural purposes and to state land classified for agricultural purposes or subject to the restriction of use for agricultural purposes only; and annulling certain program regulations of the Department of Natural Resources that are inconsistent with the amendments made by this Act." - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD (* First public hearing) PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: SJR 40 SHORT TITLE: FISHERIES MANAGEMENT FEE SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) LEMAN, Hoffman, Lincoln, Taylor, Mackie, Ward; REPRESENTATIVE(S) Hudson Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action 2/16/98 2522 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 2/16/98 2522 (S) RESOURCES 3/04/98 (S) RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 3/04/98 (S) MINUTE(RES) 3/05/98 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 3/05/98 2748 (S) RES RPT CS 4DP 2NR SAME TITLE 3/05/98 2748 (S) DP: HALFORD, TAYLOR, LINCOLN, LEMAN 3/05/98 2748 (S) NR: SHARP, GREEN 3/05/98 2748 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE TO SJR & CS (S.RES) 3/09/98 2791 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR 3/9/98 3/09/98 2793 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 3/09/98 2793 (S) RES CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 3/09/98 2793 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 3/09/98 2793 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME CSSJR 40(RES) 3/09/98 2793 (S) COSPONSOR(S): HOFFMAN, LINCOLN, TAYLOR 3/09/98 2793 (S) MACKIE, WARD 3/09/98 2794 (S) PASSED Y19 N- E1 3/09/98 2795 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 3/11/98 2588 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 3/11/98 2588 (H) FISHERIES, RESOURCES 3/25/98 (H) FSH AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124 3/25/98 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 3/26/98 2750 (H) FSH RPT 3DP 3/26/98 2750 (H) DP: OGAN, IVAN, AUSTERMAN 3/26/98 2751 (H) SENATE ZERO FISCAL NOTE (S.RES) 3/5/98 3/30/98 2802 (H) CROSS SPONSOR(S): HUDSON 4/23/98 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: SB 330 SHORT TITLE: LOCATING UNDERGROUND FACILITIES SPONSOR(S): LABOR & COMMERCE Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action 2/24/98 2631 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 2/24/98 2631 (S) L&C, RES 3/12/98 (S) L&C AT 1:30 PM FAHRENKAMP RM 203 3/12/98 (S) MINUTE(L&C) 3/23/98 2945 (S) L&C RPT CS 2DP 1NR SAME TITLE 3/23/98 2945 (S) DP: LEMAN, HOFFMAN NR: MACKIE 3/23/98 2945 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE TO SB & CS (S.L&C) 3/30/98 (S) RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 4/07/98 3178 (S) RES RPT CS 1DP 3NR NEW TITLE 4/07/98 3178 (S) DP: LEMAN; NR: HALFORD, SHARP, GREEN 4/07/98 3178 (S) PREVIOUS ZERO FN APPLIES (S.L&C) 4/08/98 (S) RLS AT 11:20 AM FAHRENKAMP RM 203 4/08/98 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 4/08/98 3197 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE TO CS (DCED) 4/14/98 3242 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR 4/14/98 4/14/98 3243 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 4/14/98 3244 (S) RES CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 4/14/98 3244 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 4/14/98 3244 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME CSSB 330(RES) 4/14/98 3244 (S) PASSED Y16 N- E4 4/14/98 3248 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 4/15/98 2979 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 4/15/98 2979 (H) RESOURCES, LABOR & COMMERCE 4/23/98 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: SB 262 SHORT TITLE: MANAGEMENT OF HUNTING SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) TAYLOR Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action 1/27/98 2318 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 1/27/98 2318 (S) RESOURCES 2/23/98 (S) RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 2/23/98 (S) MINUTE(RES) 3/23/98 (S) RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 3/23/98 (S) MINUTE(RES) 3/24/98 (S) RLS AT 11:45 AM FAHRENKAMP RM 203 3/24/98 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 3/24/98 2969 (S) RES RPT CS 5DP 1DNP NEW TITLE 3/24/98 2970 (S) DP: HALFORD, TAYLOR, SHARP, GREEN, 3/24/98 2970 (S) TORGERSON; DNP: LINCOLN 3/24/98 2970 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE TO SB & CS (F&G) 4/01/98 3092 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR 4/1/98 4/01/98 3092 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 4/01/98 3093 (S) RES CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 4/01/98 3093 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 4/01/98 3093 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME CSSB 262(RES) 4/01/98 3093 (S) PASSED Y14 N6 4/01/98 3093 (S) ELLIS NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION 4/02/98 3117 (S) RECONSIDERATION NOT TAKEN UP 4/02/98 3117 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 4/03/98 2865 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 4/03/98 2865 (H) RESOURCES, FINANCE 4/14/98 (H) RES AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124 4/14/98 (H) MINUTE(RES) 4/23/98 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 WITNESS REGISTER ROBERT PEARSON, Intern for Senator Loren Leman Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 113 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-2095 POSITION STATEMENT: Presented sponsor statement for SJR 40 and SB 330. JAMES ROWE, Director Alaska Telephone Association 201 East 56th Avenue, Suite 114 Anchorage, Alaska 99518 Telephone: (907) 563-4000 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on SB 330. SENATOR LOREN LEMAN Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 113 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-2095 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 330. BRUCE BAKER P.O. Box 211384 Auke Bay, Alaska 99821 Telephone: (Not provided) POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on SB 262. DICK BISHOP, Vice President Alaska Outdoor Council P.O. Box 73902 Fairbanks, Alaska 99707 Telephone: (907) 455-4262 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on SB 262. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 98-50, SIDE A Number 001 CO-CHAIRMAN BILL HUDSON called the House Resources Standing Committee meeting to order at 2:30 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Hudson, Dyson, Williams, Barnes, Masek and Ogan. Representative Nicholia arrived at 2:46 p.m. Representative Joule arrived some time after the meeting was called to order. CSSJR 40(RES) - FISHERIES MANAGEMENT FEE CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON announced the first order of business was CS for SJR 40(RES), Relating to the fisheries management fee proposed by President Clinton. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON called on Robert Pearson, intern for Senator Loren Leman, sponsor of the resolution. Number 022 ROBERT PEARSON, Intern for Senator Loren Leman, Alaska State Legislature, read the following sponsor statement: "Senate Joint Resolution 40 expresses the legislature's opposition to a proposed fisheries management fee included in President Clinton's Fiscal Year 1999 budget. The fee is designed to fund the management and enforcement activities of the National Marine Fisheries Service, under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). "The fee would be derived from a tax of up to 1 percent on the ex- vessel value of all fish harvested by commercial fishermen. Because Alaska has the most profitable fisheries in the country, state fishermen would pay the largest share of the $20 million in annual revenues the tax is expected to generate nationwide. "Alaska's fishermen would receive no new benefits or services from the new tax. The new revenues would simply free up the $20 million already budgeted for management and enforcement services and enable these monies to be spent on new spending projects in President Clinton's budget. "Commercial fishermen and seafood processors do not need another tax, especially one that produces no new quantified benefits. In addition to paying all the normal payroll and business taxes, commercial fishermen and seafood processors are burdened with several other taxes and user fees, including a raw fish tax, marine fuel tax, licensing fees, fishery landing tax, salmon enhancement tax, seafood marketing tax, and seafood marketing assessment. "The new tax may also pose a disproportionate burden for fishermen who operate only in state-managed waters extending three miles from shore, and who therefore derive little benefit from NOAA's management services in offshore fisheries. President Clinton's budget does not specify whether the tax would apply to only those fish caught in federally-managed water, or whether it would extend to all fish, regardless of management zone. This critical decision is left to the discretion of the Secretary of Commerce. However, lower-level employees at the National Marine Fisheries Service have expressed the view that all fishermen benefit from the federal government's management of the resource, regardless of the zone in which the fish are harvested. Following this logic, it appears likely the fee would be made to apply to all fish caught in waters around Alaska. "The fish tax would undermine the economic competitiveness of Alaska's seafood industry, which is the largest source of private sector jobs in the state. SJR 40 urges the Governor and Alaska's congressional delegation to work to ensure the tax is not included in the Fiscal Year 1999 federal budget." Number 092 REPRESENTATIVE FRED DYSON declared a conflict of interest. He tries to make a living fishing, and tries to make all of it very close to shore in less than six to seven feet of water. Senator Leman is right on the mark. REPRESENTATIVE RAMONA BARNES objected. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON announced the arrival of Representative Reggie Joule. Number 100 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON stated that he strongly supports the resolution. It is a disproportionate tax from the federal government with little or no benefit back to Alaskans. "Just because we may be way up in the north, but we're not dumb," he declared. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES made a motion and asked unanimous consent to move CS for SJR 40(RES) out of the committee with individual recommendations and the attached zero fiscal note. There being no objection, CSSJR 40(RES) moved out of the House Resources Standing Committee. CSSB 330(RES) - LOCATING UNDERGROUND FACILITIES CO-CHAIRMAN SCOTT OGAN announced the next order of business was CS for SB 330(RES), "An Act relating to locations of underground facilities and excavations in the area of underground facilities." CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN called on Robert Pearson, Intern for Senator Loren Leman, sponsor of the bill. Number 132 ROBERT PEARSON, Intern for Senator Loren Leman, Alaska State Legislature, read the following sponsor statement: "Senate Bill 330 was introduced at the request of the Alaska Telephone Association to provide an understanding of the standards and responsibilities for locating and excavating underground facilities throughout the state for utilities and contractors. "Senate Bill 330 amends AS 42.30 to set out responsibilities for excavators, construction project owners, and underground facility owners when a locate is requested. It provides for a penalty if an excavator intentionally damages a located underground facility. "Although the Alaska Public Utilities Commission has the authority to create locate standards, it has been a low-priority item due to the commission's workload. Currently, there are some national standards related to the issue of locating and uncovering underground utilities, but nothing as comprehensive as SB 330." Number 166 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked Mr. Pearson why the legislature should pass a more comprehensive locate law and burden contractors with more regulations, laws, and higher liabilities. Number 172 MR. PEARSON replied he is not qualified to comment on some of those issues. But, at one time he used to dig holes in Nevada where there was a locate system easy to use and accidents didn't happen. A statewide system, in general, is a good idea. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN announced that Representative Reggie Joule joined the meeting awhile back. Number 193 JAMES ROWE, Director, Alaska Telephone Association (ATA), testified in Juneau. Currently, Alaska does not have any state utility locate standards when business efficiency, uninterrupted service, and public safety would all benefit by it. In the later part of 1996, the Alaska Telephone Association started working on standards for the state. The association sent drafts to the National Utility Locating Contractors Association, Locate Call Center of Alaska, Municipal Light & Power (ML&P), Anchorage Area Utility Association, ENSTAR, Alaska Building Contractors, Associated General Contractors of Alaska, and Anchorage Home Builders Association for comments. The bill before the committee members is not a telephone bill. It is a fair bill in the best interest of the public for timely locates, knowing who is responsible for the locates, and knowing who is responsible for maintaining the locates. In addition, the issue of statewide difference has been addressed in working with Senator Leman. He appreciates Senator Leman and his work on the bill. It is a long way from ATA's original version. It benefits the industry - contractors and excavators alike. MR. ROWE further stated he sees a benefit to the small contractor because he would have to be addressed in as timely a manner as the largest contractor. In the remote areas, more time has been given to get out and do locates. A business man with a utility or private contractor could plan ahead with efficiency. More and more entities will be putting underground facilities out there so it is ever more important for standards. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN stated for the record he used to locate telephone cables in Florida. He is aware of the damages it can cause. He asked Mr. Rowe what were the comments from the Anchorage Home Builders Association. MR. ROWE replied he doesn't remember. He explained, at one time, there were treble damages in the bill for intentional damage to underground facilities. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN stated he is concerned being a small businessman and contractor himself about the burden of regulations. It is a discouragement. In fact, he got into politics because he was tired of all the government regulations and laws that detracted him from producing something. He is just looking out for the little contractor. A contractor is legally responsible if he damages a line - a good enough motivation to locate. The contractors that don't are probably not bonded anyway. In addition, his friends in rural Alaska aren't going to read the statute books before digging something. It works great for Anchorage and some of the other bigger cities and areas. MR. ROWE appreciated the comments made by Co-Chairman Ogan. He worked for an electric company for awhile and recalls it would have been nice for good locates. Number 341 REPRESENTATIVE REGGIE JOULE asked whether there are a lot of underground utility services. He is mostly familiar with the services that are above the ground. MR. ROWE replied there are getting to be more and more. He explained one of the greatest concerns came from Dillingham - Nushagak Power and Telephone. They have had some real problems identifying underground cables resulting in court proceedings. REPRESENTATIVE JOULE asked Mr. Rowe whether there has been input from rural utilities with regards to the issue, except for Nushagak. MR. ROWE explained the Alaska Telephone Association represents all of the local telephone companies in the state with the exception of Circle. GTE has also been very involved with this issue and it serves a number of rural areas throughout the state. In fact, the rural communities dominate the association. Number 384 REPRESENTATIVE BEVERLY MASEK stated it is a good bill. Damages are trying to be reduced underground as well as above the ground. Number 396 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK made a motion to adopt Amendment 1. It reads as follows: TO: CSSB 330(RES) Page 4, line 6: Delete "; liability" Page 4, lines 16 - 23: Delete all material. Reletter the following subsection accordingly. Page 4, line 31: Delete "civil actions" Insert "injunctive relief" Page 5, lines 8 - 14: Delete all material. Page 6, line 18: Delete all material. Renumber the following paragraphs accordingly. Number 397 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES objected for discussion about the amendment. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER stated deleting the word "liability" does not hold any detriment to the bill. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON explained it takes out the liability portion of the bill. REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA noted there still is a penalty section. Number 432 SENATOR LOREN LEMAN, Alaska State Legislature, explained there was at one time treble damages when an excavator intentionally damaged or knew of an underground facility and damaged it. The Senate Resources Committee expressed concern about the provision for the small excavators and it was taken out leaving just liability damages. It creates some problems because one is liable for his actions anyway. It is almost superfluous. He talked with the bill drafter, Terry Cramer, and asked her to remove his concerns from the bill. Therefore, the amendment removes the (indisc. ) parts and cleans up the bill. Number 455 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES withdrew her objection. There being no further objection, Amendment 1 was so adopted. Number 459 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK made a motion and asked unanimous consent to move CSSB 330(RES), as amended, out of the committee with individual recommendations and the attached zero fiscal note(s). There being no objection, HCS CSSB 330(RES) moved from the House Resources Standing Committee. CSSB 262(RES) - MANAGEMENT OF HUNTING CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN announced the next order of business was CS for SB 262(RES), "An Act relating to regulation of hunting and trapping, to the definition of 'sustained yield,' and to controlled use areas." Number 474 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN explained there was discussion at the last meeting about means of access that couldn't be restricted until there was already damage. The changes are noted on page 2, lines 23 - 24. It now reads as follows: "Sec. 16.05.799. Regulation of hunting. (a) The Board of Game and the department may not restrict the use of a means of access for hunting game if that means of access is a traditional means of access for hunting game for consumptive use." CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN further explained the word "has resulted" has been changed to "could result" on page 2, line 28. The word "would likely" has been changed to "would be unlikely" on page 2, line 30. The changes make the language more proactive instead of waiting for the game to be in bad shape. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN further explained the language has been changed on page 3, lines 1 - 2, to read as follows: "(2) has implemented active management measures that are necessary to aid in the recovery of depressed game populations in the area." CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN further explained the Department of Fish and Game testified about the language being too restrictive that it couldn't restrict a method or means to take game. The language has been clarified on page 2, lines 3 - 5, to read as follows: "(b) The Board of Game or the department may not restrict the use of a traditional means of access for hunting game for the purpose of preferring or affecting the quality of the outdoor experience of a person or group." Number 512 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES made a motion and asked unanimous consent to adopt the proposed committee substitute for SB 262, version 0- LS1379\H, Utermohle, 4/23/98, for consideration. There being no objection, it was so adopted. Number 525 BRUCE BAKER testified in Juneau. There are six reasons why the bill is not in the public's interest. It flies in the face of a hundred years of progress and development of a conservation ethic in this country by eliminating reference to the very word "conservation" from two places in the current law. The insertion of the word "biological management" in Section 1 raises questions of its definition and the appropriate division of authority between the Department of Fish and Game and the Board of Game. The wording "has implemented" doesn't fit with the recent changes of "could result" and "would be unlikely." The bill ignores the importance of the quality of an outdoor experience disenfranchising Alaskans and visitors who spend hundreds of millions of dollars to have a quality outdoor experience. Section 3 makes this another "freeze- the-moose" bill by suggesting that consumptive meat deserves to be managed on a sustained yield basis when there are hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on Alaska to experience the mystique of the wilderness including the existence of wolves and bears. He suggested modifying the bill to reflect the state constitution that calls for a sustained yield for all resources. Number 571 DICK BISHOP, Vice President, Alaska Outdoor Council (AOC), testified in Juneau. The AOC appreciates the intent of the bill by providing specific protections for harvest opportunities in traditional accesses. The changes are appropriate. Biological management is difficult to understand how it would be interpreted. The regulation of hunting on page 2, lines 22 - 24 is overly restrictive by saying "the department may not restrict." He suggested including the language "the department may not prohibit." The changes to the definition of sustained yield are appropriate. It may help clarify the importance of higher levels of prey. The discussion at the constitutional convention indicated that the language "subject to preference among beneficial uses" derives from a discussion on managing the enhancement of prey populations in recognizing their importance. Number 597 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN recessed the House Resources Standing Committee to the call of the chair at 3:09 p.m.