Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/05/2004 01:19 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 5, 2004                                                                                          
                           1:19 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Beverly Masek, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Cheryll Heinze, Vice Chair                                                                                       
Representative Carl Gatto                                                                                                       
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Nick Stepovich                                                                                                   
Representative Kelly Wolf                                                                                                       
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Nancy Dahlstrom, Co-Chair                                                                                        
Representative Beth Kerttula                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 419                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to regional seafood development associations                                                                   
and to regional seafood development taxes."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 419(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 36                                                                                                   
Requesting the National Park Service to mitigate the adverse                                                                    
economic effects of commercial fishing closures and restrictions                                                                
in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 419                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: REGIONAL SEAFOOD DEVELOPMENT ASS'NS./TAX                                                                           
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) OGG BY REQUEST OF SALMON INDUSTRY                                                                 
TASK FORCE                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
02/02/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/02/04       (H)       EDT, RES, FIN                                                                                          
02/10/04       (H)       EDT AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 120                                                                            
02/10/04       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/10/04       (H)       MINUTE(EDT)                                                                                            
02/24/04       (H)       EDT AT 5:15 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/24/04       (H)       Moved CSHB 419(EDT) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/24/04       (H)       MINUTE(EDT)                                                                                            
02/26/04       (H)       EDT RPT CS(EDT) 2DP 2NR 1AM                                                                            
02/26/04       (H)       DP: CRAWFORD, HEINZE; NR: DAHLSTROM,                                                                   
02/26/04       (H)       CISSNA; AM: KOHRING                                                                                    
03/05/04       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HJR 36                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MITIGATING GLACIER BAY FISHING CLOSURES                                                                            
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) WEYHRAUCH                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
02/05/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/05/04       (H)       FSH, RES                                                                                               
02/11/04       (H)       FSH AT 8:30 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
02/11/04       (H)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
02/25/04       (H)       FSH AT 8:30 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
02/25/04       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
02/25/04       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
02/26/04       (H)       FSH RPT 5DP                                                                                            
02/26/04       (H)       DP: OGG, SAMUELS, GUTTENBERG, WILSON,                                                                  
02/26/04       (H)       SEATON                                                                                                 
03/05/04       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAN OGG                                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 419 as sponsor by request of                                                                  
the Joint Legislative Salmon Industry Task Force.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
GERALD McCUNE, Lobbyist                                                                                                         
for United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA)                                                                                            
Cordova, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 419.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
LINDA SYLVESTER, Staff                                                                                                          
to Representative Bruce Weyhrauch                                                                                               
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HJR 36 on behalf of                                                                              
Representative Weyhrauch, sponsor.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-12, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  BEVERLY  MASEK  called  the  House  Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 1:19 p.m.   Representatives Masek,                                                               
Gatto,  Heinze, Lynn,  Stepovich, and  Wolf were  present at  the                                                               
call to order.  Representative  Guttenberg arrived as the meeting                                                               
was in progress.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 419-REGIONAL SEAFOOD DEVELOPMENT ASS'NS./TAX                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MASEK announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE BILL  NO. 419,  "An  Act relating  to regional  seafood                                                               
development  associations  and  to regional  seafood  development                                                               
taxes."  [Before the committee was CSHB 419(EDT).]                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0060                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HEINZE  moved  to adopt  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute (CS),  Version 23-LS1418\U, Utermohle, 3/3/04,  as the                                                               
work draft.   There being no objection, Version U  was before the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0110                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAN OGG,  Alaska  State  Legislature, sponsor  of                                                               
HB 419 by request  of the Joint Legislative  Salmon Industry Task                                                               
Force ("Task  Force"), told  members this bill  is an  outcome of                                                               
discussions held  in a  Task Force  finance subcommittee  that he                                                               
chaired.  He said:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Folks that had come  to our subcommittee indicated that                                                                    
     they  would  like to  have  the  ability to  utilize  a                                                                    
     mechanism that  would allow  them to  regionally market                                                                    
     their seafoods.   They had a bunch  of ingredients that                                                                    
     they felt  would help them further  their industries on                                                                    
     a local  basis. ... The subcommittee  listened to that;                                                                    
     we crafted this particular bill in response to that.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     What  this   bill  does,  in  response   to  their  ...                                                                    
     requests, it  creates 12 regions  in the state  where a                                                                    
     development   association   could  be   initiated   and                                                                    
     created.   The  power  to ...  authorize that  creation                                                                    
     lies ...  with the commissioner ...  [of the Department                                                                    
     of Community & Economic  Development (DCED)], but it is                                                                    
     a voluntary organization.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     The fishermen  in each of  those regions would  need to                                                                    
     approach  the  commissioner  and   ask  to  become  the                                                                    
     organization  that represents  that region.   It's  the                                                                    
     first-in  organization that  gets  to  be the  regional                                                                    
     one, and  then they  would have to  take a  vote, which                                                                    
     the  commissioner would  conduct,  of  their gear  type                                                                    
     [or] their fishery.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     It allows those  types of definitions.  If  they get 51                                                                    
     percent of -  if it's a gear type or  if it's a fishery                                                                    
     - then they  have an organization.  They  also, at that                                                                    
     time, designate  what the tax  is that they  would like                                                                    
     to  collect from  their  membership,  and then  they're                                                                    
     able  to utilize  those taxes  for  the development  of                                                                    
     their fishery resources in that region.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0340                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG  indicated changes  made in  Version U  are in                                                               
response to  public testimony.   Turning  to page  9, line  2, he                                                               
explained  that "may"  was  changed to  "shall"  because of  some                                                               
discomfort by members of the  fishing industry who wanted to have                                                               
a  little  more force  with  the  commissioner and  wanted  these                                                               
things to happen.   He indicated another change was  made to this                                                               
sentence  to clarify  that the  first  qualified organization  to                                                               
apply  will  be  designated   the  regional  seafood  development                                                               
association; otherwise,  it could  result in  competition between                                                               
two or more fishing groups.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG  indicated that a  change on page 10,  line 2,                                                               
removed the phrase "including seafood  processors" in response to                                                               
testimony  by members  of  the  fishing industry.    He said  the                                                               
change doesn't mean that [seafood  processors] can't be included,                                                               
but "they don't have to provide that  if they don't want to."  He                                                               
reported  that  there  was  some   feeling,  depending  upon  the                                                               
complexity of  the regional organization and  the powers adopted,                                                               
that there may  a conflicting situation with  a seafood processor                                                               
in  relation  to federal  law.    In  order  to avoid  that,  the                                                               
language was removed;  he remarked, "We have no  objections."  He                                                               
said there was virtually no opposition to this [bill version].                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0579                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOLF asked  if this  would promote  the [state's]                                                               
regional seafood  development programs  such as the  "Kenai Wild"                                                               
branding program.   He also asked  if this bill would  reduce the                                                               
size or influence of Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI).                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG  replied that this  bill is separate  from any                                                               
ASMI bill that will be coming  through the legislature.  He added                                                               
that whatever happens to ASMI really  has no impact on this bill,                                                               
and  the bill  has no  impact on  ASMI, except  that it  enhances                                                               
Alaskan seafood.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0669                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STEPOVICH   asked  which  organizations   are  in                                                               
support of the bill.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG  explained that during the  initial Task Force                                                               
hearings    there   had    been   questions    from   fishermen's                                                               
organizations;  those  whom  the  Task Force  has  contacted  are                                                               
supportive of this bill.  It  is a voluntary operation, he added,                                                               
and fishermen's organizations that really  want this bill want it                                                               
so they can get on with their business.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOLF  asked  if   fishery  taxes  would  be  made                                                               
available to the regional programs with passage of the bill.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG replied  no.   He said  this bill  sets up  a                                                               
separate  category  of taxes  for  this  particular purpose;  for                                                               
participating  fishing  groups,  this  will be  a  new  tax  that                                                               
they'll voluntary adopt.   He said this doesn't  affect any other                                                               
fishery taxes that the state presently has.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOLF asked if this is  going to be a tax above the                                                               
existing "raw fish tax" that the state has.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG said yes.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0829                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG  directed  attention to  page  10  and                                                               
asked whether an association on  an Interior river that wanted to                                                               
form  a development  association  would be  qualified under  this                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  related  his  understanding  that  it  would                                                               
qualify; it  was one  of the  questions that  came up  during the                                                               
process.  He explained that  people from the Alaska Peninsula and                                                               
the Yukon-Kuskokwim  area had said  it would be unwieldy  to have                                                               
one  organization represent  900 miles  of Yukon-Kuskokwim  river                                                               
system,  and had  requested that  it  be broken  down into  three                                                               
separate,  distinct regions,  which  was  accomplished early  on.                                                               
They were pleased with that, he  said, and it covers every region                                                               
of the state where there are fishery resources.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0946                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
GERALD  McCUNE, Lobbyist  for United  Fishermen of  Alaska (UFA),                                                               
informed the  committee that UFA  had voted to support  this bill                                                               
wholeheartedly.   He  added that  the sponsor  had explained  the                                                               
bill pretty well.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0990                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HEINZE  moved to  report  CSHB  419 [Version  23-                                                               
LS1418\U,  Utermohle, 3/3/04]  out of  committee with  individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no  objection,   CSHB  419(RES)  was  reported   from  the  House                                                               
Resources Standing Committee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HJR 36-MITIGATING GLACIER BAY FISHING CLOSURES                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MASEK announced  that the final order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE  JOINT RESOLUTION NO.  36, Requesting the  National Park                                                               
Service to  mitigate the adverse  economic effects  of commercial                                                               
fishing closures  and restrictions  in Glacier Bay  National Park                                                               
and Preserve.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 1:30 p.m. to 1:34 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1081                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LINDA SYLVESTER, Staff to  Representative Bruce Weyhrauch, Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  presented HJR 36 on  behalf of Representative                                                               
Weyhrauch, sponsor.   She explained that  the [federal government                                                               
has  determined]  that Glacier  Bay  National  Park and  Preserve                                                               
would  be  better off  as  a  pristine  area subject  to  extreme                                                               
protection  because  the area  is  considered  to be  a  national                                                               
treasure.   She said  over time,  commercial fishermen  there are                                                               
being precluded and have been  satisfied [monetarily] in terms of                                                               
their phase-out.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER explained that the  purpose of the resolution is to                                                               
request  that  the National  Park  Service  (NPS) obtain  [goods,                                                               
materials, or  vessels that they  need, use, purchase,  or lease]                                                               
for various  reasons including  research, tours,  maintenance, or                                                               
law enforcement  from the  fishermen who  once relied  on Glacier                                                               
Bay  National  Park  and  Preserve for  their  livelihood.    She                                                               
explained that the  resolution doesn't attempt to  dictate to NPS                                                               
how its procurement  process should be carried  out, but requests                                                               
that it consider  the people who have been  impacted in Gustavus,                                                               
Hoonah, and other outlying areas.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1221                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STEPOVICH asked  how NPS  would [determine  which                                                               
individuals have been negatively impacted].                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SYLVESTER  explained  that the  resolution  doesn't  discuss                                                               
that.   It  is a  broad, open-ended  request to  NPS to  consider                                                               
[economic associations with people  who were negatively impacted]                                                               
in the area, rather than  obtaining services and goods outside of                                                               
the state.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1257                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOLF  asked whether this resolution  requests that                                                               
the federal government spend money in Alaska.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER affirmed  that.  She said it's  specifically in the                                                               
smaller  communities outside  of  Glacier Bay  National Park  and                                                               
Preserve, if possible.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOLF  asked  Ms.  Sylvester if  she  thought  the                                                               
federal government would listen to the request.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER responded that it can't hurt to ask.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1298                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  asked if  the reference  to those  who have                                                               
been adversely  affected by the  closures and  restrictions could                                                               
cover  anybody.   He indicated  the language  is broad  and could                                                               
possibly apply to individuals who  are somehow adversely affected                                                               
by the closure, such as recreational fishermen.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER said the resolution  speaks to individuals who once                                                               
operated  in Glacier  Bay  National Park  and  Preserve and  were                                                               
negotiated with.  She suggested  the resolution is narrow in this                                                               
regard;  it is  speaking  to  a small  group  of  people and  the                                                               
communities  they were  a  part of,  which  have been  negatively                                                               
impacted  because there  is no  fishery in  Glacier Bay  National                                                               
Park and Preserve.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1404                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE asked how many people are being                                                                           
compensated.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER  said she  didn't know.   She said  this resolution                                                               
includes  not   only  captains  and   vessel  owners,   but  also                                                               
crewmembers and shop  owners, and would apply  to the communities                                                               
surrounding Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MASEK announced that HJR 36 would be held over.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Resources Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 1:40 p.m.                                                                 

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