Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/04/2004 08:02 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                 ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                     
          HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                              
                        May 4, 2004                                                                                             
                         8:02 a.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bruce Weyhrauch, Chair                                                                                           
Representative Jim Holm, Vice Chair                                                                                             
Representative John Coghill                                                                                                     
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Paul Seaton                                                                                                      
Representative Ethan Berkowitz                                                                                                  
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 297(RES)                                                                                                 
"An  Act  relating  to bear  predation  management  and  the                                                                    
donation and sale of bear hides and skulls."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSB 297(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 385(JUD) am                                                                                              
"An Act relating to homeland  security, to civil defense, to                                                                    
emergencies  and to  disasters, including  disasters in  the                                                                    
event  of  attacks,  outbreaks of  disease,  or  threats  of                                                                    
attack  or  outbreak  of disease;  establishing  the  Alaska                                                                    
division of  homeland security  and emergency  management in                                                                    
the  Department  of  Military   and  Veterans'  Affairs  and                                                                    
relating  to  the  functions  of   that  division  and  that                                                                    
department; and providing for an effective date."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 354(STA) am(efd fld)                                                                                     
"An   Act   relating   to   complaints   filed   with,   and                                                                    
investigations,   hearings,  and   orders   of,  the   State                                                                    
Commission   for  Human   Rights;   and  making   conforming                                                                    
amendments."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 297                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: BEAR HUNTING/DISPOSAL OF HIDE/SKULL                                                                                
SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) SEEKINS                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
02/06/04       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/06/04       (S)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
03/17/04       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/17/04       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/17/04       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
04/02/04       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/02/04       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/02/04       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
04/07/04       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/07/04       (S)       -- Rescheduled to 4 pm 04/07/04 --                                                                     
04/14/04       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/14/04       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/14/04       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
04/16/04       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/16/04       (S)       Moved   CSSB    297(RES)   Out   of                                                                    
                         Committee                                                                                              
04/16/04       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
04/19/04       (S)       RES RPT CS FORTHCOMING 5DP                                                                             
04/19/04       (S)       DP: OGAN, DYSON, WAGONER,                                                                              
04/19/04       (S)       STEVENS B, SEEKINS                                                                                     
04/20/04       (S)       RES CS RECEIVED  NEW TITLE                                                                             
04/21/04       (S)       FIN REFERRAL WAIVED REFERRED TO                                                                        
                         RULES                                                                                                  
04/29/04       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
04/29/04       (S)       VERSION: CSSB 297(RES)                                                                                 
05/01/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/01/04       (H)       STA, RES                                                                                               
05/04/04       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 385                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SECURITY;DIV. HOMELAND SECURITY/EMER. MGT                                                                          
SPONSOR(S): HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
04/05/04       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/05/04       (S)       HES, FIN                                                                                               
04/05/04       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/05/04       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/05/04       (S)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
04/07/04       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/07/04       (S)       Rescheduled to 5:30 pm 04/07/04                                                                        
04/07/04       (S)       HES AT 5:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/07/04       (S)       Rescheduled from 1:30 04/07/04                                                                         
04/08/04       (S)       HES RPT CS  2DP 2NR  SAME TITLE                                                                        
04/08/04       (S)       DP: DYSON, WILKEN; NR: GUESS,                                                                          
                         DAVIS                                                                                                  
04/16/04       (S)       FIN REFERRAL WAIVED REFERRED TO                                                                        
                         RULES                                                                                                  
04/20/04       (S)       JUD REFERRAL ADDED AFTER HES                                                                           
04/20/04       (S)       JUD    WAIVED     PUBLIC    HEARING                                                                    
                         NOTICE,RULE23                                                                                          
04/21/04       (S)       JUD AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/21/04       (S)       Moved   CSSB    385(JUD)   Out   of                                                                    
                         Committee                                                                                              
04/21/04       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/22/04       (S)       JUD RPT CS 1DP 2NR  SAME TITLE                                                                         
04/22/04       (S)       DP: SEEKINS; NR: FRENCH, OGAN                                                                          
04/22/04       (S)       FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                      
04/22/04       (S)       Waived from Committee                                                                                  
04/29/04       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
04/29/04       (S)       VERSION: CSSB 385(JUD) AM                                                                              
04/30/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/30/04       (H)       STA                                                                                                    
05/04/04       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 354                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION PROCEDURES                                                                                 
SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/27/04       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/27/04       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
03/23/04       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
03/23/04       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/23/04       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/01/04       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
04/01/04       (S)       Moved   CSSB    354(STA)   Out   of                                                                    
                         Committee                                                                                              
04/01/04       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/02/04       (S)       STA RPT CS FORTHCOMING 1DP 2NR                                                                         
04/02/04       (S)       NR:   STEVENS   G,   STEDMAN;   DP:                                                                    
                         COWDERY                                                                                                
04/05/04       (S)       STA CS RECEIVED     SAME TITLE                                                                         
04/14/04       (S)       JUD AT 5:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/14/04       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
04/20/04       (S)       JUD RPT CS(STA) 1DP 3NR                                                                                
04/20/04       (S)       DP: SEEKINS                                                                                            
04/20/04       (S)       NR: THERRIAULT, OGAN, FRENCH                                                                           
04/20/04       (S)       JUD AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/20/04       (S)       Moved   CSSB    354(STA)   Out   of                                                                    
                         Committee                                                                                              
04/20/04       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
05/02/04       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
05/02/04       (S)       VERSION: CSSB 354(STA) AM(EFD FLD)                                                                     
05/03/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/03/04       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
05/04/04       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR RALPH SEEKINS                                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of SB 297.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
PAUL JOHNSON (ph)                                                                                                               
(Address not provided)                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  During discussion  of SB 297, expressed                                                                    
concerns  with   aspects  of  the  bill   and  responded  to                                                                    
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JOE KLUTSCH, President                                                                                                          
Alaska Professional Hunter's Association, Inc. (APHA)                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   During  discussion of SB 297, provided                                                                    
comments.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
KAREN HOLT (ph)                                                                                                                 
Talkeetna, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   During discussion of  SB 297, provided                                                                    
comments and responded to questions.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
KARA BAKKEN CLEMENS (ph)                                                                                                        
(Address not provided)                                                                                                          
POSITION   STATEMENT:     During  discussion   of  SB   297,                                                                    
encouraged the committee not to pass it.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DAVE BACHRACH (ph)                                                                                                              
(Address not provided)                                                                                                          
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Expressed concerns  during discussion                                                                    
of SB 297.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS DAY, Co-owner                                                                                                             
Emerald Air Service, Inc.                                                                                                       
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Expressed concerns  during discussion                                                                    
of SB 297.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
KEN DAY, Co-owner                                                                                                               
Emerald Air Service, Inc.                                                                                                       
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Expressed concerns  during discussion                                                                    
of SB 297 and responded to questions.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PAT CARTER                                                                                                                      
Alaska Professional Hunter's Association, Inc. (APHA)                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  During discussion  of SB 297, expressed                                                                    
concerns and responded to questions.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MATT ROBUS, Director                                                                                                            
Division of Wildlife Conservation                                                                                               
Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G)                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   During discussion of  SB 297, provided                                                                    
comments and responded to questions.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT J. NORDSTRAND, Deputy Attorney General                                                                                    
Civil Division                                                                                                                  
Office of the Attorney General                                                                                                  
Department of Law (DOL)                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  During discussion  of SB 297, responded                                                                    
to questions.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JOHN CRAMER, Director                                                                                                           
Administrative Services Division                                                                                                
Department of Military & Veterans' Affairs (DMVA)                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Presented  SB 385  on  behalf of  the                                                                    
Senate  Health,  Education   and  Social  Services  Standing                                                                    
Committee, sponsor.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRED DYSON                                                                                                              
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Spoke as  chair of the  Senate Health,                                                                    
Education and  Social Services Standing  Committee ("SHES"),                                                                    
sponsor of SB 385.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JAMES N. BUTLER III, Attorney at Law                                                                                            
Baldwin & Butler, LLC                                                                                                           
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  During discussion  of SB 385, expressed                                                                    
concerns.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
LISA M. FITZPATRICK, Esq., Chair                                                                                                
Human Rights Commission                                                                                                         
Office of the Governor                                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GRETCHEN GUESS                                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   During discussion of SB  385, spoke as                                                                    
a member  of the  Senate Rules Standing  Committee ("SRLS"),                                                                    
sponsor by request of the governor.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-77, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  BRUCE  WEYHRAUCH  called   the  House  State  Affairs                                                                  
Standing   Committee  meeting   to   order   at  8:02   a.m.                                                                    
Representatives Holm,  Seaton, Coghill, Lynn,  and Weyhrauch                                                                    
were  present  at  the  call   to  order.    Representatives                                                                    
Berkowitz  and  Gruenberg  arrived  as the  meeting  was  in                                                                    
progress.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SB 297-BEAR HUNTING/DISPOSAL OF HIDE/SKULL                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0042                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  announced that the first  order of business                                                                    
would be CS  FOR SENATE BILL NO. 297(RES),  "An Act relating                                                                    
to bear  predation management and  the donation and  sale of                                                                    
bear hides and skulls."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0053                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  RALPH SEEKINS,  Alaska State  Legislature, sponsor,                                                                    
presented SB 297.  He reported  that there is no shortage of                                                                    
black  or grizzly  bears  throughout  Alaska.   Furthermore,                                                                    
they  are not  threatened or  endangered and,  in some  game                                                                    
management units,  the bear populations are  "many multiples                                                                    
of  the  established  population objectives."    The  Alaska                                                                    
Department of Fish & Game  (ADF&G) estimates statewide black                                                                    
bear populations  as high as  200,000 and grizzly  and brown                                                                    
bear  populations  as  high as  approximately  35,000.    In                                                                    
certain game  management units, the estimates  show that 70-                                                                    
90 percent  of all moose calves  are dead before the  age of                                                                    
two  months, due  in large  part to  bear predation.   As  a                                                                    
result,  Senator Seekins  said,  "The  fall recruitment  was                                                                    
virtually  nothing, and  the  reproductive base  populations                                                                    
are  crashing."    He  noted  that  the  2003  McGrath  bear                                                                    
relocation experiment  "pretty clearly" demonstrated  that a                                                                    
reduction in  bear population has  a direct  positive effect                                                                    
on increasing [moose] calf survivability.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   SEEKINS  explained   that  SB   297  would   allow                                                                    
relaxation of the standards regarding  who can hunt in areas                                                                    
where there  is an overpopulation  of bears, thus  making it                                                                    
possible  to help  reduce the  number of  bears down  to the                                                                    
population objective that's  been set by the  Board of Game.                                                                    
The following  findings would have  to be  established first                                                                    
by the Board  of Game:  the consumptive use  of the big game                                                                    
population is  a preferred use;  depletion of that  big game                                                                    
population  has occurred  and may  result  in a  significant                                                                    
reduction in allowable human harvest  of the population; and                                                                    
enhancement of  abundance of a  big game prey  population is                                                                    
feasibly  achievable,   utilizing  recognized   and  prudent                                                                    
active management  techniques.   Once those findings  are in                                                                    
place and  an intensive management use  area is established,                                                                    
then the  provisions of  SB 297  would come  into play.   He                                                                    
continued as follows:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Those provisions, basically, are:   We would allow                                                                         
     a resident ... 21 years  of age - who's hunted big                                                                         
     game for  two years,  who's harvested big  game in                                                                         
     one year,  and who  has completed a  safety course                                                                         
     that [the  ADF&G] is  going to  put together  - to                                                                         
     accompany a  maximum of  two non-resident  or non-                                                                         
     resident alien hunters into the  field to hunt for                                                                         
     bear  in  that  area.   ...  You  cannot  get  ...                                                                         
     remuneration for  that.  So, ...  under the second                                                                         
     degree of kindred rule,  a ten-year-old could take                                                                         
     their ...  step-grandfather hunting  grizzly bear.                                                                         
     This  now would  allow  me to  take my  daughter's                                                                         
     father-in-law with me to go  hunting, as long as I                                                                         
     meet  that  criteria.     That  criteria  is  more                                                                         
     stringent than  the requirement  that we  have for                                                                         
     an  assistant  guide.   So,  it's  not  just  like                                                                         
     anybody gets to go out there and do it ....                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS noted  that  the bill  would  also allow  a                                                                    
military  person  coming  to   Alaska  to  be  considered  a                                                                    
resident, in  terms of  being able to  hunt "in  that area."                                                                    
If  that person  meets the  aforementioned criteria,  he/she                                                                    
would then  be able  to take  a friend  along who  might not                                                                    
otherwise be  able to hunt.   He said, "So, it  gives them a                                                                    
12-month edge to  be able to get into the  field, to be able                                                                    
to hunt."   The bill would also require the  ADF&G to set up                                                                    
a  hunter  safety  course that's  available  throughout  the                                                                    
state.  He also indicated that  the Board of Game would have                                                                    
the ability to choose which  methods and means would be most                                                                    
effective.  Once  the population objective set  by the Board                                                                    
of Game is  met, he remarked, "this whole  thing goes away."                                                                    
Senator  Seekins  stated that  something  needs  to be  done                                                                    
before  the  prey populations  crash.    He emphasized  that                                                                    
there would be a lot of  control involved, and areas such as                                                                    
Kodiak will not be one of  the areas that will be considered                                                                    
to be active management areas "for this purpose."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0540                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   WEYHRAUCH   asked   why  the   distinction   between                                                                    
nonresident and nonresident alien is important to the bill.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS  explained  that current  statute  requires                                                                    
that a nonresident or nonresident  alien must be accompanied                                                                    
by a  big game  guide in  the field.   He  stated:   "So, by                                                                    
allowing  this  exception  to  this  statute  -  with  these                                                                    
carefully prescribed qualifications  and in these particular                                                                    
areas -  that would need to  be corrected ... or  allowed in                                                                    
statute.  That's why it's there."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0583                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM asked why the  fee was lowered from $500                                                                    
to $250.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  responded that  it was  made a  ceiling fee                                                                    
rather than  a bear permit.   He  clarified:  "We  wanted to                                                                    
make  this distinct  from hunting;  this  is bear  predation                                                                    
management  [and]  requires   a  bear  predation  management                                                                    
permit that they have to apply  for."  He explained that the                                                                    
difference is  that the person  would only pay the  money if                                                                    
he/she  gets  the bear,  rather  than  paying up  front  and                                                                    
possibly not even  seeing a bear.  He said  it was suggested                                                                    
by Senator  Ogan that "we  probably will get about  the same                                                                    
amount of money,  or maybe more, because we're  going to try                                                                    
to reduce that bear population."                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0663                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON asked  what  would  prevent a  person                                                                    
from hunting as the bill  would allow, rather than paying up                                                                    
front to hunt.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS said the purpose of  the bill is to get more                                                                    
people  out there  hunting to  reduce  the bear  population;                                                                    
however,  he  emphasized that  if  someone  wants to  get  a                                                                    
trophy bear,  he/she won't find  them "in these areas."   In                                                                    
response to  questions from Chair Weyhrauch,  he stated that                                                                    
one of  the findings  that would be  required is  that bears                                                                    
are a part of the problem  [in predation] and a reduction in                                                                    
bears  would help  solve the  problem.   He  said there  are                                                                    
several game management  areas that have this  problem.  For                                                                    
example, he cited  Game Management Unit (GMU)  13, where the                                                                    
bear population  is between  1,500-1,600 and  the population                                                                    
objective is  around 300.   In response  to a  question from                                                                    
Representative  Lynn, he  revealed that  GMU 13  is an  area                                                                    
bounded  by  the  Parks Highway,  the  Denali  Highway,  the                                                                    
Richardson Highway, and  the [Glen Highway].   In that area,                                                                    
moose  populations   were  at  one  time   27,000,  but  are                                                                    
currently 7,000-8,000 because of  the huge predation problem                                                                    
that exists.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0854                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON   asked    whether   [bears]   would                                                                    
automatically qualify under the [wolf] predation [program].                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS  said  he doesn't  know,  but  offered  his                                                                    
belief that  bears are part  of the  problem in GMU  19, 20,                                                                    
and 13.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0953                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  asked  how the  annual  bear  count                                                                    
would be done.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS replied  that  although bears  are hard  to                                                                    
count, there  is a rough  estimate of populations  in "these                                                                    
areas,"  as well  as a  population objective.   He  surmised                                                                    
that Mr.  Robus, from the  ADF&G, would have the  ability to                                                                    
talk about the infield process more than he can.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  asked what  accountability  measure                                                                    
there  would be  if a  person is  given a  permit and  never                                                                    
shows up again.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS directed  attention to  page 4,  lines 1-4,                                                                    
which read in part:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     A  nonresident or  nonresident alien  shall pay  a                                                                         
     fee of $250 at the time  the bear is sealed by the                                                                         
     department.  The  person shall accurately complete                                                                         
     and return  to the  department in a  timely manner                                                                         
     reports  that may  be required  by regulations  of                                                                         
     the Board of Game.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  said that the  ADF&G and the Board  of Game                                                                    
will  have  some  timeline requirements  regarding  how  the                                                                    
[report] is returned.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1085                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  directed attention  to a  letter from                                                                    
[the Alaska  Professional Hunter's Association,  included in                                                                    
the committee  packet], stating that  differential treatment                                                                    
of  nonresidents  in different  areas  within  the state  is                                                                    
likely  to  expose Alaska's  bag  requirement  to a  federal                                                                    
constitutional  equal   protection  challenge.     He  asked                                                                    
Senator Seekins if he had looked  at that and sought a legal                                                                    
opinion.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  said he  has not  obtained a  legal opinion                                                                    
from  Legislative Legal  and Research  Services, but  he has                                                                    
worked with attorneys from "several  of the outdoor groups."                                                                    
He reiterated the aforementioned criteria.  He said:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     What we've done  is we've tried to  make sure that                                                                         
     the requirement  here is at  least in the  area of                                                                         
     what we  would require from a  second-class guide.                                                                         
     If  I  personally  were going  to  challenge  that                                                                         
     constitutionally,  I would  challenge it  based on                                                                         
     the  "second degree  of kindred"  rule, because  a                                                                         
     ten-year-old  who's never  been in  the field  can                                                                         
     guide  their  step-grandfather   to  hunt  grizzly                                                                         
     bear, under that provision.   There are sideboards                                                                         
     on this  that --  lawyers are 50  percent right/50                                                                         
     percent wrong,  and they'll  always find  a reason                                                                         
     not to do something ....                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     But, what ...  we [are] looking at is:   Okay, how                                                                         
     do  we  effectively  reduce this  population?    I                                                                         
     think we've given them some  information here.  If                                                                         
     you were  going to challenge that  requirement, it                                                                         
     would  not  be  based   on  these  more  stringent                                                                         
     requirements for someone to  be able to accompany,                                                                         
     but  it would  be on  a second  degree of  kindred                                                                         
     rule.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1211                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PAUL JOHNSON  (ph) stated that  he totally  understands what                                                                    
Senator Seekins  is trying to  accomplish; however,  he said                                                                    
he has a real concern  regarding the guide-required portions                                                                    
of  the bill.   He  restated Senator  Seekins' remark  about                                                                    
lawyers being  right 50  percent of the  time and  wrong the                                                                    
other 50 percent  of the time.  He indicated  the bill would                                                                    
affect more  than just bear;  sheep and goats would  also be                                                                    
jeopardized,  as   well  as  the  state's   resources.    He                                                                    
mentioned  Montana,  and said  that  attorneys  that he  has                                                                    
talked with have  warned, "Don't play games with  this."  He                                                                    
mentioned  compounding  subsistence  problems  and  resident                                                                    
hunt problems,  and said  [the bill]  "puts the  industry in                                                                    
jeopardy."   He  concluded,  "It's just  a  huge gamble;  it                                                                    
isn't worth it."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked Mr.  Johnson if he represents                                                                    
or is a member of a particular group.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSON   replied  that  he   belongs  to   the  Alaska                                                                    
Professional Hunters Association, Inc.  (APHA).  He revealed                                                                    
his background as  having worked on game issues  for over 25                                                                    
years.     In   response  to   a  follow-up   question  from                                                                    
Representative  Gruenberg,  he   confirmed  that  the  legal                                                                    
opinion to  which he  referred was the  same as  was earlier                                                                    
noted in the APHA's letter.   He emphasized that this is not                                                                    
a new  issue.  He  acknowledged that things  aren't perfect,                                                                    
but stressed that they have worked well to this point.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1430                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JOE   KLUTSCH,   President,  Alaska   Professional   Hunters                                                                    
Association, Inc.  (APHA), told the committee  that the APHA                                                                    
represents  over  600  professional  members  statewide  and                                                                    
facilitates a major component  of Alaska's visitor industry.                                                                    
He  revealed that  he has  been guiding  big game  hunts for                                                                    
over 30 years.  Where he  lives out on the Alaska peninsula,                                                                    
he noted, brown bears have  always been a significant factor                                                                    
in  moose   calf  mortality,  and  offered   his  view  that                                                                    
predators are generally opportunists;  there's no doubt that                                                                    
a  relatively small  percentage of  the bear  population are                                                                    
the culprits  in calf mortality.   He  said that to  a great                                                                    
extent, it's  learned behavior, adding  his belief  that the                                                                    
indiscriminate  or  wholesale  killing of  brown  bears  and                                                                    
grizzly bears is not likely  to result in a notable increase                                                                    
in  calf survival.   He  opined that  these are  issues best                                                                    
left to the Board of Game.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1505                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KLUTSCH referred  to  the  previously mentioned  letter                                                                    
which  emphasizes the  importance of  maintaining the  guide                                                                    
[requirement] without  exception.  He said:  "Our counsel is                                                                    
a  leading national  expert on  this subject  and has  cited                                                                    
significant case law that underscored  the importance of not                                                                    
making  exceptions to  the  provisions; to  do  so will  ...                                                                    
undermine  the   defensibility  of  the  provision   in  its                                                                    
entirety."   He noted that  the Alaska guide  requirement is                                                                    
predicated on  considerations of hunter welfare  and safety,                                                                    
resource  management, enforcement,  and accountability.   It                                                                    
benefits people  who come  from outside  Alaska to  hunt, as                                                                    
well as resident hunters.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. KLUTSCH  highlighted an excerpt  from his  letter, which                                                                    
read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Any  action  that  says, in  essence,  that  these                                                                         
     considerations are legitimate  and compelling with                                                                         
     respect to  one area (where the  guide requirement                                                                         
     is  in effect)  but  are not  compelling (and  are                                                                         
     waived) in another, weakens  the rational basis of                                                                         
     the  requirement.     As  a  result,  differential                                                                         
     treatment  of  non-residents  in  different  areas                                                                         
     within  the state  is  likely  to expose  Alaska's                                                                         
     guide requirement to  federal constitutional equal                                                                         
     protection challenge.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KLUTSCH expressed  understanding  of Senator  Seekins's                                                                    
goal  in  offering  the  bill, because  there  has  been  an                                                                    
absence  of meaningful  predator  management  in Alaska  for                                                                    
over a decade  and "we've seen the consequences  in a number                                                                    
of the  game management units."   He stated his  belief that                                                                    
if the Board of Game is left  to its own devices to sort the                                                                    
issue  out  through  traditional seasons,  bag  limits,  and                                                                    
methods  and  means,  eventually widespread  public  support                                                                    
will be  garnered.  He  noted that that public  support does                                                                    
not exist currently, which he said  is a concern.  He stated                                                                    
that  the wholesale  approach  to  harvesting bears  doesn't                                                                    
seem to  be wise  at this time,  because the  risks outweigh                                                                    
the advantages.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1643                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KLUTSCH, in  regard to  Senator Seekins'  remarks about                                                                    
the vulnerability  of the "second  degree of  kindred," said                                                                    
the  Senator makes  a valid  point.   He suggested  that the                                                                    
solution may  be to  revise the  "second degree  of kindred"                                                                    
provision, rather than rifting  the guide requirement in its                                                                    
entirety.    Mr.  Klutsch  concluded   that  this  issue  is                                                                    
critical, and said he hopes  the committee will consider his                                                                    
comments.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1663                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH  asked  about  Section 2,  noting  that  it                                                                    
addresses the issue of bear hides and skulls.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1677                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS  offered  his  belief  that,  currently,  a                                                                    
person  cannot  sell a  grizzly  bear  hide in  Alaska,  but                                                                    
he/she can take  it to Washington, for example,  and sell it                                                                    
to someone who could then bring  it back to Alaska.  He also                                                                    
offered  his understanding  that  the  hides and  "trophies"                                                                    
that are confiscated  for being illegally taken  are sold at                                                                    
auction  during  the  Fur Rendezvous  in  Anchorage.    That                                                                    
revenue supplements the "fish and  game fund."  He suggested                                                                    
that  [Section 2]  provides a  way for  someone to  donate a                                                                    
hide or skull back to [the  ADF&G] to be sold; after the net                                                                    
proceeds  are  realized,  the  person could  get  up  to  50                                                                    
percent of  that back, while  the remainder would  go either                                                                    
to the  ADF&G or  to a  tax-exempt organization  involved in                                                                    
conservation efforts.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS, in  response  to a  question, offered  his                                                                    
belief that  [Section 2]  would allow  the state  to auction                                                                    
the items on eBay.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH   asked  how  the  language   in  the  bill                                                                    
regarding  of  nonresidents   and  nonresident  aliens  will                                                                    
address  the   problem  of  bear   predation  on   big  game                                                                    
populations.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS posited  that that  language will  put more                                                                    
hunters  in the  field.    He indicated  that  the price  of                                                                    
hiring a big game guide to  go after grizzly bear is $7,000-                                                                    
$10,000, and  clarified that the  intent of the bill  is not                                                                    
to disrupt  [the hiring of  guides] in areas where  the bear                                                                    
populations  are  within  the  population  objectives.    He                                                                    
reiterated  the example  of GMU  13, where  there are  up to                                                                    
1,600 grizzly bears, but few  guides actively pursuing those                                                                    
bears.  He  said that in many cases, the  bears in that area                                                                    
are not the huge coastal  brown bears that people are after,                                                                    
and  it is  a difficult  area to  access.   Furthermore, big                                                                    
game guides cannot  take nonresidents to hunt  moose in that                                                                    
area, because the moose population  has crashed to the point                                                                    
where  only resident  hunting  is allowed.    He noted  that                                                                    
currently, there is a year-round  bear season, [with a limit                                                                    
of] one  bear a  year, "no  tag," in GMU  13, while  in many                                                                    
other areas  of the state the  limit is one bear  every four                                                                    
years.   Relaxation of methods  and means has not  helped to                                                                    
reduce the bear population, he concluded.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1883                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH noted that Section  1, subsection (g), would                                                                    
require the  department to provide  a hunter  safety course,                                                                    
but would not require the hunter to take that course.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS  directed attention  to  page  3, line  18,                                                                    
which states  that the  hunter must  obtain a  hunter safety                                                                    
certificate "under (g)  of this section."  In  response to a                                                                    
follow-up question  from Chair Weyhrauch, he  confirmed that                                                                    
the hunter would have to pay  for the course, so it would be                                                                    
"cost-neutral" [to the department].                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1920                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  directed  attention  to  page  4,                                                                    
lines  9, 11,  and 20.    He suggested  inserting the  words                                                                    
"obtained from a designated  intensive game management unit"                                                                    
after the words "legally taken bear hide or skull".                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH said he thinks  that inserting such language                                                                    
would  defeat the  purpose  of  the bill.    He opined  that                                                                    
Section  2 of  the bill  addresses a  broader policy  issue;                                                                    
it's not specifically an intensively managed game unit.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS  concurred, adding,  "There  are  a lot  of                                                                    
hides and  skulls out  there that  maybe aren't  even wanted                                                                    
anymore,  but  ...  this  could   help  them  serve  a  good                                                                    
purpose."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1990                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KAREN HOLT (ph) said:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Let me  begin by  stating my  wholehearted support                                                                         
     for predator management and  the intent of Senator                                                                         
     Seekins.   The  concern  I have,  however, is  the                                                                         
     part  of the  legislation that  allows individuals                                                                         
     who  are   not  licensed,  registered   guides  to                                                                         
     accompany a nonresident  or nonresident alien bear                                                                         
     hunter in  the field.  I've  watched the evolution                                                                         
     of the  guiding industry during the  past 20 years                                                                         
     of my husband's career.   As you probably know, an                                                                         
     individual  seeking registered  guide status  must                                                                         
     apprentice in  the field [and] take  a written and                                                                         
     practical  exam  showing proficiency  before  they                                                                         
     can become  licensed as a  registered guide.   And                                                                         
     this process takes many years.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     After a  guide is  registered, they  must maintain                                                                         
     licensure and,  prior to  commence going  into the                                                                         
     field, comply with  state laws requiring liability                                                                         
     insurance  and  land-use   authorization.    These                                                                         
     regulations are  for the general public,  they are                                                                         
     for safety,  and, most important,  they are  for a                                                                         
     quality   hunting  experience.     This   bill  is                                                                         
     important, but  I feel very  strongly it  needs to                                                                         
     be  amended for  the safety  [of] and  concern for                                                                         
     the general  public.  And  to support  the guiding                                                                         
     industry,   only   licensed   individuals   should                                                                         
     accompany those nonresident  and nonresident alien                                                                         
     bear hunters in the field.   I feel this language,                                                                         
     as currently  written, just opens the  door to too                                                                         
     many   individuals  who   have   no  interest   in                                                                         
     complying with the  industry regulations the state                                                                         
     has  already  decided  [are] in  the  ...  hunting                                                                         
     public's best interest.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. HOLT, in response to a question from Chair Weyhrauch,                                                                       
clarified that she is in Talkeetna and her husband is                                                                           
[working as a hunting guide] in Kodiak.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 2075                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON asked if  the concern is that allowing                                                                    
the "non-guides" to take people  hunting will put the guides                                                                    
within those areas out of business.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. HOLT answered,  "Not necessarily; I think it  could be a                                                                    
perception problem  when you allow  an individual  who takes                                                                    
somebody out in  the field."  She clarified that  she is not                                                                    
concerned about the person who  takes a relative out, but is                                                                    
concerned about the  person who wants to be  a guide without                                                                    
going   through   all   of  the   regulation   requirements,                                                                    
apprenticing,  and ensuring  that the  public's interest  is                                                                    
put first.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  asked Ms.  Holt  if  she thinks  the                                                                    
section of the  bill that wouldn't allow a  person to accept                                                                    
money for services would control that situation.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. HOLT  answered no.   She offered her  understanding that                                                                    
the  bill  would allow  the  person  to get  reimbursed  for                                                                    
expenses,  adding  that  there's  no  way  to  control  that                                                                    
[amount].                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2146                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  referenced page 2, lines  27-31, which read                                                                    
in part:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     A  resident  who  is not  a  registered  guide  or                                                                         
     master guide  may not receive any  remuneration in                                                                         
     excess    of   direct    expenses   incurred    in                                                                         
     accompanying the nonresident  or nonresident alien                                                                         
     to take  a bear  and may  not accompany  more than                                                                         
     two nonresidents,  regardless of whether  they are                                                                         
     aliens or  not, during a  calendar year to  take a                                                                         
     bear under this subsection.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  said he wants  to ensure that  someone [who                                                                    
is not  a registered  guide] would not  go into  the guiding                                                                    
business.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  asked if there  would be any  penalties for                                                                    
violations.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS answered  that he hopes that  issue would be                                                                    
addressed via regulation.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2196                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLM  offered  his  understanding  that  the                                                                    
intent  of  the  bill  is  to induce  people  to  help  with                                                                    
predator  control.    He echoed  Senator  Seekins'  previous                                                                    
remark that  the guides are  looking for the  large animals,                                                                    
which are  not necessarily in  the areas where  the predator                                                                    
control is needed.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  directed attention to page  2, lines 25-27,                                                                    
which read in part:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     A  registered  guide  or a  master  guide  is  not                                                                         
     subject  to  any  limitation   on  the  number  of                                                                         
     nonresident or  nonresident alien  permittees that                                                                         
     the  guide may  accompany for  purposes of  taking                                                                         
     bear under this section.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS  said,  "We've  tried  to  also  give  some                                                                    
inducement  for  guides  to take  these  nonresident  permit                                                                    
holders into those same areas."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLM remarked,  "But they  don't seem  to be                                                                    
very supportive of that."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  said he's  tried to  be sensitive  to that.                                                                    
He continued:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     I do believe  that we've tried to  be very careful                                                                         
     in  raising the  requirements for  somebody to  be                                                                         
     able to do that -  not [for] those of a registered                                                                         
     guide,  who [has]  done all  the  things that  the                                                                         
     previous  ... lady  with testimony  said.   And  I                                                                         
     respect  the fact  that  those  master guides  and                                                                         
     registered guides have to  go through a tremendous                                                                         
     process.   But  we've taken  the requirements  for                                                                         
     someone   who   is    a   resident   above   those                                                                         
     requirements  for a  second-class guide  who would                                                                         
     work for  that guide.   A second class  guide only                                                                         
     has to  be 19 years  ... old, ... hunted  big game                                                                         
     in  Alaska for  two years,  and have  a Red  Cross                                                                         
     certificate.  That's it.   So we've tried to bring                                                                         
     it  to  a  higher  standard than  that,  for  that                                                                         
     purpose.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2301                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KARA  BAKKEN CLEMENS  (ph) encouraged  the committee  not to                                                                    
pass SB  297.  She explained  that the bill seems  to be too                                                                    
extreme a measure, which risks  harming the bear population.                                                                    
That  population  would  be  slow to  recover  from  such  a                                                                    
measure and is an important  natural resource to hunters and                                                                    
to brown bear viewing and guiding services.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH  asked  for   confirmation  that  the  bill                                                                    
addresses the matter by individual game units.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS  answered, "Even  by  subunit  in the  game                                                                    
management unit, it can be done."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS,  in  response  to a  question  from  Chair                                                                    
Weyhrauch,  referred to  AS 16.05.255(e),  which he  said is                                                                    
the  statute  that  "controls the  intensity  of  management                                                                    
trigger."   He  stated, "And  those findings  now -  putting                                                                    
those areas  into ... management  - are in writing,  and are                                                                    
based   on   biological    information   provided   by   the                                                                    
department."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH  noted the  term  on  page  1, line  9,  "a                                                                    
cause", and questioned whether  it should read, "substantial                                                                    
cause."                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS said, "First of all,  ... it has to be in an                                                                    
area where human consumption is important."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH concluded,  "So,  ...  you're linking  your                                                                    
testimony in this bill back to these factors."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS concurred.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2388                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DAVE  BACHRACH  (ph)  told  the committee  that  he  owns  a                                                                    
wildlife viewing (indisc.).                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-77, SIDE B                                                                                                            
Number 2389                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BACHRACH said he has  heard concerns expressed regarding                                                                    
hunter  welfare and  safety, and  the potential  legal risks                                                                    
and battles that could arise over  [SB 297].  He offered his                                                                    
understanding  that  the bill  does  not  exempt areas  like                                                                    
Kodiak and  Katmai; it is a  statewide bill.  He  stated his                                                                    
belief  that  it should  be  up  to  the  Board of  Game  to                                                                    
determine  how   "these  things   are  managed,"   that  the                                                                    
legislature shouldn't  make those decisions.   He noted that                                                                    
bear populations are  slow to recover, and  that older bears                                                                    
have been removed from the  Alaska Peninsula, resulting in a                                                                    
generational  gap.   He  indicated  that  the bill  is  both                                                                    
scientifically and  economically unsound, and he  asked that                                                                    
the committee consider that.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 2321                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS  DAY, Co-owner,  Emerald Air  Service, Inc.,  told the                                                                    
committee that her company is  a bear viewing operation that                                                                    
has, for  the last 17 years,  taken about 500 people  a year                                                                    
to see brown  bears.  She stated her  concerns regarding the                                                                    
bill.  The first concern  relates to safety.  She emphasized                                                                    
that it's  important for people  hunting large  predators to                                                                    
have  an  experienced  [guide]   with  them.    Second,  she                                                                    
characterized the  bill as a  poor one "biologically."   She                                                                    
referred to  the previously stated  "rough estimate"  of the                                                                    
bear  population and  said that's  an  understatement.   She                                                                    
admitted that she  is not a biologist, but works  with a lot                                                                    
of biologists  and can  state that  it's difficult  to count                                                                    
bears.  She  echoed Mr. Bachrach's testimony  that bears are                                                                    
slow to recover,  and she indicated that the  effects of the                                                                    
bill may be to knock the population back too far.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. DAY  recommended looking at  the state, in  general, and                                                                    
where  its  dollars  are  made.    She  called  tourism  "an                                                                    
incredible industry  in Alaska."   Bears and wolves  are top                                                                    
on the  list of animals  that people  want to see  when they                                                                    
come to Alaska.  People also  want to come to Alaska to hunt                                                                    
bears.    She opined  that  the  perception of  the  general                                                                    
public  towards bills  like [SB  297] is  that [Alaska]  has                                                                    
moved  back into  the Neanderthal  Age.   She stated:   "The                                                                    
general public - nationwide and  worldwide - look for Alaska                                                                    
to preserve the animals and  the ecosystem up here; it's the                                                                    
Last Frontier.   And I think we need to  hold ourselves to a                                                                    
higher  standard."    She   emphasized  again  her  concerns                                                                    
regarding the ramifications of [SB 297].                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2216                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KEN DAY,  Co-owner, Emerald Air Service,  Inc., relayed that                                                                    
he  was out  in  the  field for  years  before starting  his                                                                    
business, and  that he used  to see a healthy  population of                                                                    
bears on the  Alaska Peninsula.  Over the  last 10-12 years,                                                                    
that population  began to decline  rapidly.  In  areas where                                                                    
there used to be 6-8 large  male bears daily, just last year                                                                    
there was  one male bear spotted  that weighed approximately                                                                    
600 pounds.  He indicated  that the state harvest records on                                                                    
the peninsula show  that 12 years ago, the average  age of a                                                                    
bear taken  out of the  area was 16  years old.   Before the                                                                    
last  fall  hunt,  that  average  age  was  3.8  years  old.                                                                    
Biologists in  the area  are saying  that the  population is                                                                    
being decimated.   Mr. Day  said the same evidence  has been                                                                    
presented to the  Board of Game, but it has  taken no action                                                                    
and still allows any hunter that  wants to go into this area                                                                    
to hunt.   He said he thinks [SB 297]  would be just another                                                                    
measure to  wipe out  the bear population,  and would  be of                                                                    
benefit to hunters but not the state.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2135                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PAT CARTER,  Alaska Professional Hunter's  Association, Inc.                                                                    
(APHA),  stated  that  98   percent  of  [Alaska's]  guiding                                                                    
industry  is comprised  of residents,  which is  one of  the                                                                    
highest resident  percentages of any industry  in the state.                                                                    
He  noted  that the  guiding  industry  is roughly  a  $120-                                                                    
million-a-year industry.  He continued as follows:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     While we  agree with  the need to  actively manage                                                                         
     all   of   our  wildlife   population,   including                                                                         
     predators, and we commend  Senator Seekins for his                                                                         
     efforts  in that  regard, we  feel  that this  ...                                                                         
     legislation   -  by   including  nonresident   and                                                                         
     nonresident aliens - is risking a lot.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     ...  [The]  APHA's  legal  council  has  extensive                                                                         
     experience  and  expertise  in this  area,  and  I                                                                         
     can't  think of  anybody that  I would  regard ...                                                                         
     higher ...,  with regard to  his opinion  on this.                                                                         
     [Game  Management]  Unit  13, as  Senator  Seekins                                                                         
     mentioned,  has  a   large  population  of  bears.                                                                         
     We're not  debating that;  we're not  debating the                                                                         
     need  to put  more  hunters in  the  field.   What                                                                         
     we're suggesting,  though, is that it  is ... very                                                                         
     risky  proposing   to  [alter]   "guide  required"                                                                         
     [language] in order to do that.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     If we  need to encourage  hunters in the  field, I                                                                         
     don't think that it's sportsmen  that are going to                                                                         
     actually  reduce the  population.   Speaking  with                                                                         
     the  department  yesterday,  they  mentioned  that                                                                         
     they had  somewhere between 1,200 and  1,500 bears                                                                         
     in  [GMU]   13.    Their  desired   population  is                                                                         
     somewhere in  the neighborhood of about  300.  So,                                                                         
     roughly  speaking,  we're talking  about  removing                                                                         
     1,000 bears out of that area.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER  estimated that  the program  proposed in  SB 297                                                                    
may result  in only 30  bears being  killed.  He  noted that                                                                    
predation of  moose calves  by bears  is a  learned behavior                                                                    
that all bears do not display.   Therefore, if only 30 bears                                                                    
are killed,  possibly only  2-5 of those  bears will  be the                                                                    
"problem  bears."   He questioned  how many  moose would  be                                                                    
saved by doing something that  is risking the guide industry                                                                    
of Alaska.   He  asked the  committee to  carefully consider                                                                    
"the  great  risk that  we're  taking  here [with]  ...  the                                                                    
probability of having [a] minimal desired effect."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1983                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM  asked what  bears normally eat  if they                                                                    
are not eating moose calves.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CARTER   said  bears   eat  squirrels,   smaller  game,                                                                    
ptarmigan, and berries.  In  response to a committee member,                                                                    
he said one of the APHA members  was attacked by a bear.  He                                                                    
emphasized that  hunting for bears is  a dangerous activity.                                                                    
Often when hunting bears, the decision  is to not shoot.  He                                                                    
offered  an example  of being  in close  proximity to  alder                                                                    
trees and shooting a bear  that disappears into those trees.                                                                    
He  asked, "Who's  going to  go in  there after  them?"   He                                                                    
indicated that  one of his  guides was pressured  into doing                                                                    
so because he didn't want to  wind up skinning a bear in the                                                                    
dark but paid dearly for it.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER  said [the APHA]  would remove its  opposition to                                                                    
the  bill if  the  language regarding  the nonresidents  and                                                                    
nonresident aliens  was removed, and other  means of putting                                                                    
more hunters  in the  field were  considered.   He suggested                                                                    
that perhaps  the take  of the person  donating a  bear hide                                                                    
could be increased.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1877                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked if there would  be any legal                                                                    
liability on the part of the  department if it gave a permit                                                                    
to a  nonqualified person and,  as a result, the  person who                                                                    
was guided got injured.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER said he is  not qualified to answer the question,                                                                    
but  thinks it's  a good  one to  ask.   He shared  that his                                                                    
earliest  memories  are  of hunting  and  fishing  with  his                                                                    
father and grandfather,  but he has never hunted  bears.  He                                                                    
said he has  been approached by bears, but has  never had to                                                                    
shoot one yet.   He said he wouldn't feel  qualified to take                                                                    
someone out in the field and  pretend to be a guide, because                                                                    
bears are  dangerous and, even  though he is a  resident, he                                                                    
would want to go with an experienced [guide].                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1812                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MATT  ROBUS, Director,  Division  of Wildlife  Conservation,                                                                    
Alaska Department of  Fish & Game (ADF&G),  stated that CSSB                                                                    
297(RES) has  some important improvements over  the original                                                                    
bill.   First is the  change in approach  from a way  to use                                                                    
hunting  to  achieve  predator control  results  to  a  true                                                                    
predation management program.   The bill provides a boundary                                                                    
between two  ways of taking  bears, with hunting  for trophy                                                                    
or food being the established  way and depends on fair chase                                                                    
as  an integral  part  of  the practice.    He continued  as                                                                    
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     This bill  would authorize  a program  whereby the                                                                         
     objective  is not  fair chase,  but  - in  certain                                                                         
     situations identified  by the Board of  Game, with                                                                         
     information  provided  by   the  department  -  to                                                                         
     reduce bear populations where bears  of one or the                                                                         
     other  species  are  a predation  problem  for  an                                                                         
     ungulate population.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     And so,  under the  bill, non-ordinary  methods of                                                                         
     taking bears  would be  restricted to  these areas                                                                         
     where the  Board of Game has  developed a specific                                                                         
     program  to take  care  of  a specific  situation.                                                                         
     And  I  think  that  that  gets  to  some  of  the                                                                         
     questions  that members  have asked  prior to  now                                                                         
     about the scope of this. ...                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROBUS indicated  that the  bill's proposed  program for                                                                    
bear  predation management  is similar  to the  department's                                                                    
existing  program  for  wolf predation  management,  and  it                                                                    
would allow  the Board  of Game  to incorporate  both wolves                                                                    
and  bears  in  predation management  implementation  plans,                                                                    
which up until now has not really been possible.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROBUS noted  a second  change in  CSSB 297(RES)  is the                                                                    
removal  of methods  and means  language  from the  original                                                                    
bill.   He relayed  that the  Board of  Game adopted  a bear                                                                    
management policy, which  it had been working on  for over a                                                                    
year,  at  its   March  meeting.    It   also  adopted  some                                                                    
associated regulations  to allow the implementation  of that                                                                    
program.  He stated, "The way  to get to unusual methods and                                                                    
means to  stimulate additional bear  harvest in  areas where                                                                    
it's necessary  for management  purposes is  largely already                                                                    
in place."  The Board  of Game, under those regulations, has                                                                    
the ability  to custom tune  those methods and means  to the                                                                    
situation;   therefore,   the    department   considers   it                                                                    
appropriate to  have those  decisions made  at the  Board of                                                                    
Game level and not have them incorporated into statute.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROBUS clarified  that the  term "hunter  safety course"                                                                    
does not refer to the  standard hunter education course that                                                                    
the  department  already delivers.    He  explained that  it                                                                    
would be some form of  training that the department presents                                                                    
to  address the  situation  of people  going  to take  bears                                                                    
under one  of the predation  control permits.  He  said, "We                                                                    
don't know  the exact shape of  that yet, but we  do want to                                                                    
make sure  that people  don't think  it's just  the standard                                                                    
elementary hunter education course."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 1579                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROBUS revealed  that the  department and  the Board  of                                                                    
Game have,  for a long time,  agreed that the first  step in                                                                    
attempting to reduce bear numbers  in a situation where that                                                                    
needs  to be  done is  to liberalize  the hunting  rules and                                                                    
hope that that  results in a higher level of  bear take.  He                                                                    
explained that that's predicated on  the notion that to take                                                                    
more  bears, it  is usually  necessary to  put more  hunters                                                                    
into the field.  He noted that  if in GMU 13, for example, a                                                                    
change is  made from  an 8-month bear  season to  a 12-month                                                                    
bear season,  it won't  make a  difference if  people aren't                                                                    
"attracted to taking  bears."  To that extent,  he said, the                                                                    
department  sees  the  nonresident [and  nonresident  alien]                                                                    
portion of the  bill as an innovative approach  to trying to                                                                    
put more people into the field.   He said the guides raise a                                                                    
serious point,  but since he is  not an attorney, he  is not                                                                    
prepared or qualified  to say "what the true  nature of that                                                                    
question  is."     He  indicated  that  the   focus  of  the                                                                    
department  has  been  on  the methods  and  means  and  the                                                                    
mechanism of the program itself.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1508                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked whether  there would  be any                                                                    
legal liability on  the part of the department if  it gave a                                                                    
permit  to  a nonqualified  person  and,  as a  result,  the                                                                    
person who was guided got injured.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROBUS responded that he  is not qualified to answer that                                                                    
question and recommended that it  be asked of the Department                                                                    
of Law (DOL).                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1478                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROBUS,  in response  to a question,  said that  he knows                                                                    
that  in the  current  programs, the  department is  issuing                                                                    
permits  only to  residents, but  he doesn't  know if  it is                                                                    
constrained to that.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON   asked    what   the   department's                                                                    
expectation  is  regarding  the number  of  nonresident  and                                                                    
nonresident aliens  that will take advantage  of the program                                                                    
but  who  would not  otherwise  have  taken advantage  of  a                                                                    
guiding opportunity.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. RUBUS said it would depend  on how much or how little an                                                                    
area  the  Board of  Game  decides  to  identify as  a  bear                                                                    
predation  management   control  area.    He   continued  as                                                                    
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     I think it's safe to  say that we're generally not                                                                         
     talking about  a trophy  bear area;  we're talking                                                                         
     about an area where  the hunting regulations would                                                                         
     have already been liberalized  as far as possible.                                                                         
     So, that  means that  residents would not  need to                                                                         
     buy a  $25 resident  tag to  hunt bears  there, in                                                                         
     the case  of brown  bears.   And of  course, [for]                                                                         
     black   bears,  residents   hunt  without   charge                                                                         
     everywhere.  ...  The  fact that  there  might  be                                                                         
     additional  methods  and  means  allowed  under  a                                                                         
     [Board of Game] program  - for instance, you might                                                                         
     be able to  use an aircraft to access  the area to                                                                         
     begin your  hunt, ...  and if you  do that  on the                                                                         
     same day,  you cannot do  that anywhere now  - ...                                                                         
     might attract more resident hunters.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     For nonresident  hunters - ... to  the extent that                                                                         
     they're   allowed  to   participate  here   -  the                                                                         
     attraction in  the present bill would  be for some                                                                         
     limited parts  of the nonresident  community, like                                                                         
     first-year military  residents; for  instance, not                                                                         
     having to buy  a brown bear nonresident  tag.  The                                                                         
     whole  guide  fee  question comes  in  here  also.                                                                         
     That  could  ...  reduce somebody's  costs  pretty                                                                         
     dramatically.   So, depending  [on] how  that part                                                                         
     of  the   bill  ends  up,  it   could  attract  an                                                                         
     additional  increment  of   nonresident  ...  bear                                                                         
     takers, under these permits  that would be issued,                                                                         
     as opposed to a standard hunt.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  noted that  there  seem  to be  some                                                                    
questions  regarding putting  some  of the  guiding laws  at                                                                    
risk.   He  said he  wants  to know  whether the  department                                                                    
thinks  that there  is  a substantial  benefit  to this  one                                                                    
provision,  or  whether  the  bill's  other  sections  offer                                                                    
substantial enough benefit without that provision.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROBUS  said that's  a difficult question  and has  to do                                                                    
with judgment and  estimating the situation.   He stated, "I                                                                    
think  the lowered  costs involved  would  be a  significant                                                                    
attractant, but  I think  the changes  to methods  and means                                                                    
would be significant for all  people participating ...."  He                                                                    
explained  that  since  it  would   be  a  predator  control                                                                    
situation and fair chase is  not the primary concern, people                                                                    
would be  given an advantage  that they don't  normally have                                                                    
in getting to and taking bear.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1250                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLM said  it has  been  suggested that  the                                                                    
balance won't  change significantly,  because the  bears are                                                                    
really not as  large a contributor to the  decimation of the                                                                    
moose  population.   He  asked  Mr.  Robus to  address  that                                                                    
issue.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROBUS  answered that with  all things  biological, every                                                                    
situation  is  different  and more  complicated  than  first                                                                    
believed.    He  indicated that  [some  considerations  are]                                                                    
whether habitat  conditions will  support a  higher ungulate                                                                    
population   than  what   currently   exists,  and   whether                                                                    
information  shows that  predation is  limiting an  ungulate                                                                    
population.    He  said  that   in  some  cases,  bears  are                                                                    
extremely  important  in   keeping  an  ungulate  population                                                                    
suppressed.   He  mentioned a  McGrath study  that has  been                                                                    
underway for the last decade,  in which the department found                                                                    
that  while   wolves  have  been   and  continue  to   be  a                                                                    
significant predator of moose  calves, year round, bears are                                                                    
the major predator in the first  few weeks of a calf's life.                                                                    
He noted that the department  has relocated 100 bears out of                                                                    
a 500 square  mile area last spring, as way  of reducing the                                                                    
pressure  on moose  calves.    He said  that  method was  an                                                                    
experiment and can't be used very often.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1070                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG directed  attention to  subsection                                                                    
(e) on page 3, which  would provide certain benefits only to                                                                    
people in  the military,  and questioned whether  that would                                                                    
pose any constitutional equal protection problems.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROBUS said he didn't know.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1021                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN  noted  that in  subsection  (e),  "the                                                                    
military  service" and  "the United  States Coast  Guard" is                                                                    
listed separately.   He offered  his understanding  that the                                                                    
U.S. Coast Guard was [part of] the military services.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said, "Except  in time of war ...."                                                                    
He  mentioned the  Department  of  Transportation [&  Public                                                                    
Facilities].                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0953                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT   J.  NORDSTRAND,   Deputy  Attorney   General,  Civil                                                                    
Division, Office of the Attorney  General, Department of Law                                                                    
(DOL),  said  he  is  not   prepared  to  comment  on  equal                                                                    
protection issues regarding SB 297.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  reviewed that  his two  issues are                                                                    
the  question  of  liability  in   subsection  (d)  and  the                                                                    
question of  constitutionality in  subsection (e).   He said                                                                    
he doesn't want the state getting into any legal problems.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDSTRAND responded, "I entirely  agree with that."  In                                                                    
regard  to  the question  of  permitting  and licensing,  he                                                                    
stated  that he  is  not aware  of any  cases  in the  Civil                                                                    
Division during his tenure of 1.5  years that had to do with                                                                    
the  state   being  sued   over  wrongfully   permitting  or                                                                    
licensing someone for some activity.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  requested   that  he  do  further                                                                    
research regarding his concerns.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0881                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON, in regard  to [subsection (e)], noted                                                                    
that  the military  person would  be allowed  a permit  at a                                                                    
lower  age  and could  act  as  a resident  in  accompanying                                                                    
nonresidents and nonresident alien  permittees to take bear.                                                                    
He  asked,  "Does  that  give  us  the  same  problems  that                                                                    
Representative Gruenberg's talking about, or not?"                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDSTRAND said he is  not familiar enough with the bill                                                                    
to  answer that  question.   In response  to a  comment from                                                                    
Representative  Gruenberg,  he said  he  would  be happy  to                                                                    
[look into those questions].                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0831                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLM  said it  seems  to  him that  "you're"                                                                    
alluding  to the  fact  that maybe  people  could take  away                                                                    
their  personal  responsibility  for their  actions  if  the                                                                    
state licenses them.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVES SEATON and GRUENBERG shook their heads no.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLM  said, "You  know,  you  get a  hunting                                                                    
license,  you go  out  and  shoot a  bear  that  was in  the                                                                    
alders,  and you  go  in  after him;  it  isn't the  state's                                                                    
responsibility you made a stupid act."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0793                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG clarified  that he  just wants  to                                                                    
know whether there would be  any liability if the state were                                                                    
to license someone who then has some problems.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0753                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  announced that public  testimony on  SB 297                                                                    
was closed.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 0746                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON, in  response to  a request  by Chair                                                                    
Weyhrauch,  moved  to  adopt  CSSB  297(RES)  [as  the  work                                                                    
draft].                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH  objected.   [The  question  of whether  to                                                                    
adopt CSSB  297(RES) as a  work draft was resolved  later in                                                                    
the meeting.]                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON moved  to  adopt  Amendment 1,  which                                                                    
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2,  line 21 -line  25 after the  word "guide"                                                                         
     and ending on the word "section."                                                                                          
     Delete all material                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 27, beginning of new sentence. "A...                                                                          
     Through page 3, line 4,                                                                                                    
     Delete all material                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 23-29                                                                                                         
     Delete all material                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 5-18                                                                                                          
     Delete all material                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Deleting  the material  basically  deletes a  non-                                                                         
     resident's  ability  to   take  bear  under  these                                                                         
     special  circumstances without  a big  game guide.                                                                         
     In  all  other  situations  we  require  big  game                                                                         
     guides  for  non-residents.   Deleting  his  [sic]                                                                         
     language  conforms the  bill to  existing statutes                                                                         
     and most likely removes  most objections from game                                                                         
     guides,  who make  their  living  from taking  out                                                                         
     non-residents.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH objected to Amendment 1.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON mentioned  residents and  methods and                                                                    
means, and said  Amendment 1 would allows the  good parts of                                                                    
the  bill to  go  forward, but  would  simply eliminate  the                                                                    
nonresident [and nonresident alien] section of the bill.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0660                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  responded that almost the  entire intent of                                                                    
the bill  is to put  more hunters  in the field  and there's                                                                    
nothing in the bill about methods  and means.  He said there                                                                    
are two choices:  airborne  hunting, or putting more hunters                                                                    
in the field.  He said he chooses the latter.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0569                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said it  sounds like the department                                                                    
"felt  that the  goal  was  a valid  management  tool."   He                                                                    
stated  that the  question becomes  one of,  who should  the                                                                    
hunters be?                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS said guides would  be limited to three areas                                                                    
into  which  they  could  bring   an  unlimited  number  [of                                                                    
people].  He reiterated the issue  of GMU 13, and said he is                                                                    
trying to  find the most  acceptable method of  reducing the                                                                    
bear population in the safest  way possible.  In response to                                                                    
a question  from Representative  Holm, he confirmed  that he                                                                    
has studied biology.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM  noted:  "Sometimes empirical  data does                                                                    
not  translate   from  ...  what  we're   looking  for,  for                                                                    
management tools.   Many times  [there are]  genetic changes                                                                    
[and] many  times we get unintended  consequences because we                                                                    
... depress  on species and  all of a sudden  something else                                                                    
blooms and grows in a  greater quantity someplace else."  He                                                                    
stated that  he thinks it's  important to keep in  mind that                                                                    
the ADF&G  will be  overseeing the process  and will  act to                                                                    
ensure that  the program  works.  He  said he  thinks that's                                                                    
probably the best place to leave the analysis.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0320                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  opined that "that's" important  because one                                                                    
can't get to intensive management without that.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON reiterated  that  he thinks  allowing                                                                    
unlimited guides  in [those  limited] areas  is good,  as is                                                                    
not  requiring  a  person  to  buy  a  tag  up  front.    He                                                                    
reiterated that his  problem is in regard to  the portion of                                                                    
the bill addressing nonresidents  and nonresident aliens; he                                                                    
doesn't think  that provision will constitute  a significant                                                                    
aspect of what  the bill is going to accomplish.   He stated                                                                    
that  his  intent  is  to  not  destroy  the  program.    He                                                                    
concluded:   "If we're willing  to put ...  the requirements                                                                    
at risk  for this benefit, for  nonresidents and nonresident                                                                    
aliens being  guided as  well as  ... residents  and others,                                                                    
than so  be it.   But that's what  the whole intent  and the                                                                    
construction of this amendment is about."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS said he respectfully disagrees.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON   maintained  his  motion   to  adopt                                                                    
Amendment 1 [text provided previously].                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0199                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  said, "I'm going  to withdraw  my objection                                                                    
to having  [CSSB 297(RES)]  before us, so  we can  deal with                                                                    
the amendment."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0166                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll call  vote was taken.   Representatives Gruenberg and                                                                    
Seaton  voted  in favor  of  Amendment  1.   Representatives                                                                    
Lynn,  Holm, and  Weyhrauch voted  against  it.   Therefore,                                                                    
Amendment 1 failed by a vote of 2-3.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0107                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLM moved  to report  CSSB 297(RES)  out of                                                                    
committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0087                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  objected for  discussion purposes.                                                                    
He requested that  the Department of Law  provide answers to                                                                    
his previously  stated questions,  so that that  opinion can                                                                    
be made available to the next committee of referral.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH noted  that the bill would be  heard next in                                                                    
the House Resources  Standing Committee.  He  said he thinks                                                                    
Representative  Seaton  made  some good  points  during  the                                                                    
discussion  of Amendment  1, and  stated his  intent was  to                                                                    
talk about the  issues some more.   He indicated concurrence                                                                    
with Representative Gruenberg's request.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-78, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   SEEKINS,   in   response  to   a   question   from                                                                    
Representative  Gruenberg, reviewed  the previously  covered                                                                    
subject of the  second degree kindred rule.   He illustrated                                                                    
that a ten-year-old  who has never been in  the field before                                                                    
could take  his/her step-grandfather hunting.   He said, "To                                                                    
me, that's  the threat  to the  guide industry,  rather than                                                                    
taking someone  who's at least  21, has hunted big  game for                                                                    
at least two  years, has harvested big game,  and has passed                                                                    
a  course  over  at  [the ADF&G]  specifically  toward  safe                                                                    
hunting of grizzly bear."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked, "Do  you plan to do anything                                                                    
about the problem there?"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  answered no.   He  said, "Quite  frankly, I                                                                    
would prefer that  that was expanded just a  little bit, ...                                                                    
but I think that's even getting more dangerous."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0090                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  withdrew  his objection.    There                                                                    
being no  further objection, CSSB 297(RES)  was reported out                                                                    
of the House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 9:41 a.m. to 9:44 a.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SB 385-SECURITY;DIV. HOMELAND SECURITY/EMER. MGT                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0200                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  announced that the  next order  of business                                                                    
would  be  CS FOR  SENATE  BILL  NO.  385(JUD) am,  "An  Act                                                                    
relating  to   homeland  security,  to  civil   defense,  to                                                                    
emergencies  and to  disasters, including  disasters in  the                                                                    
event  of  attacks,  outbreaks of  disease,  or  threats  of                                                                    
attack  or  outbreak  of disease;  establishing  the  Alaska                                                                    
division of  homeland security  and emergency  management in                                                                    
the  Department  of  Military   and  Veterans'  Affairs  and                                                                    
relating  to  the  functions  of   that  division  and  that                                                                    
department; and providing for an effective date."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0219                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG moved to  adopt CSSB 385(JUD)am [as                                                                    
the  work draft].   [No  further  action occurred  regarding                                                                    
this motion.]                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0230                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  CRAMER,  Director, Administrative  Services  Division,                                                                    
Department of Military &  Veterans' Affairs (DMVA), reviewed                                                                    
a  portion  of  the   sponsor  statement  [included  in  the                                                                    
committee packet].   He  listed the  primary purpose  of the                                                                    
legislation as  follows:  One,  to amend the  existing civil                                                                    
defense  statutes  to  update  them  for  homeland  security                                                                    
purposes; two,  to amend existing disaster  statutes to make                                                                    
them  applicable  to  homeland   security  in  outbreaks  of                                                                    
disease; three,  to combine two  divisions in the  DMVA into                                                                    
the  single division  of the  Division of  Homeland Security                                                                    
and  Emergency  Management;  and   four,  to  establish  the                                                                    
Homeland Security  And Emergency Management  subcommittee as                                                                    
a  legislative  subcommittee  of the  Joint  Armed  Services                                                                    
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0294                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CRAMER stated  that the  civil defense  chapter in  the                                                                    
DMVA  statute, AS  26.20, was  enacted in  1951, during  the                                                                    
Cold  War.    The  proposed legislation  would  update  that                                                                    
chapter  to  make  it  relevant  to  homeland  security;  it                                                                    
specifies that  DMVA shall coordinate homeland  security and                                                                    
civil defense  functions in the  state, in  cooperation with                                                                    
and with  assistance from  other state  agencies.   It would                                                                    
authorize the  DMVA to  undertake certain  homeland security                                                                    
planning and  preparedness activities,  and it  also repeals                                                                    
obsolete and  potentially far-reaching civil  defense powers                                                                    
and requirements  existing today.  The  bill would authorize                                                                    
the  governor  to  declare  an  emergency  and  to  exercise                                                                    
specified  emergency  powers in  the  event  of a  terrorist                                                                    
attack  or  a credible  threat  of  imminent attack  in  the                                                                    
state.  Mr.  Cramer explained that in order  for a situation                                                                    
to  be  considered  a  credible  threat,  it  would  require                                                                    
certification by  the commissioner of DMVA,  in consultation                                                                    
with  the commissioner  of the  Department of  Public Safety                                                                    
(DPS), based  on specific,  reliable information  that there                                                                    
is a high probability of an  attack in the near future.  The                                                                    
bill  would  also  authorize  the   governor  to  declare  a                                                                    
disaster, and exercise his/her disaster  powers in the event                                                                    
of an  attack or imminent  threat of attack, or  an outbreak                                                                    
of disease  or an  imminent threat of  an outbreak  - again,                                                                    
requiring certification of  the threat.  He  noted that such                                                                    
declarations would  be effective for  a maximum of  30 days,                                                                    
and  the   legislature  may  also  terminate   the  declared                                                                    
emergency or disaster at any time.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0749                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRED  DYSON, Alaska State  Legislature, as  chair of                                                                    
the Senate  Health, Education  and Social  Services Standing                                                                    
Committee  ("SHES"),  sponsor  of  SB 385,  noted  that  the                                                                    
fundamental  change  [proposed  via  SB  385]  reflects  the                                                                    
difference of the  threats that are faced in  what he termed                                                                    
"asymmetrical warfare,"  where there  is no  clearly defined                                                                    
enemy from  a specific location.   He opined that it  may be                                                                    
necessary  to intervene  before an  attack happens,  and the                                                                    
bill  would  allow  the  department   and  the  governor  to                                                                    
initiate  action  when there  is  a  credible threat  of  an                                                                    
imminent terrorist  attack.  He described  preparations that                                                                    
had been  made during a  recent threat of attack  on Valdez,                                                                    
Alaska,  to   protect  the  area,   though  no   attack  was                                                                    
forthcoming.   He  indicated that  the reason  for that  may                                                                    
have been that "the bad  guys saw the preparation and quit,"                                                                    
or  it may  have  been that  the  information regarding  the                                                                    
threat may not have been  accurate.  However, the bill would                                                                    
authorize what  the department thinks  needs to be  done and                                                                    
what was done at the time [of the threat to Valdez].                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON noted  that the bill also  addresses the issue                                                                    
of  roadblocks.     He  said  it  would   allow  people  the                                                                    
opportunity to turn around if  they come across a roadblock.                                                                    
He reiterated some of the  other changes that Mr. Cramer had                                                                    
previously  reviewed.    He  stated   his  belief  that  the                                                                    
government needs  to have the  option of acting ahead  of an                                                                    
attack.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0735                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON emphasized the  importance of maritime safety.                                                                    
He noted, "Ninety-five  percent of our freight  moves ... by                                                                    
boat and without that we're in  trouble."  He said there are                                                                    
a  lot  of  hazardous  materials that  come  out  of  Prince                                                                    
Rupert, Canada.   He also noted that 600,000  people come by                                                                    
cruise ship, and mentioned the oil  out of Valdez.  He said,                                                                    
"Those things move us up  on the probable targets that would                                                                    
attract  terrorist  attention."   He  indicated  that a  big                                                                    
impact would  be made in  just 3.5 days without  the ability                                                                    
to ship oil to the Lower 48.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DYSON reminded  members  that he  is  on the  Joint                                                                    
Armed Services  Committee, and on the  Military and Veterans                                                                    
Affairs finance subcommittee.  He continued as follows:                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     I did not  want to ask the  Department of Military                                                                         
     &   Veterans'   Affairs  questions   about   their                                                                         
     preparedness  in open  meetings,  because I  would                                                                         
     not want our  enemies to know even  the little bit                                                                         
     that I know, let  alone the embarrassing questions                                                                         
     that  I  might want  to  be  asking these  fellows                                                                         
     about   their   preparedness.     So   this   bill                                                                         
     authorizes a  vetted subcommittee of  military and                                                                         
     veterans' affairs  who must  pass a  security test                                                                         
     [and] sign  an agreement on confidentiality  to be                                                                         
     insiders and  be ...  the legislature's  audit and                                                                         
     oversight.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0864                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG,  regarding Senator  Dyson's  last                                                                    
point, noted  that the House  Special Committee  on Military                                                                    
and  Veterans' Affairs  would  normally  have oversight  "on                                                                    
that and  on this bill."   He asked how Senator  Dyson would                                                                    
feel about having that committee involved.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON replied, "I'm not sure that's precluded."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said he would  like to see that put                                                                    
in the bill, because normally  those on that committee would                                                                    
have jurisdiction over the department.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON  responded, "The way it's  set up now is  as a                                                                    
subcommittee  of  that,  and  if you  have  members  of  the                                                                    
special committee that  are also ... [members]  of the joint                                                                    
committee,  they could  certainly  be  a part  of  it."   He                                                                    
cautioned that adding  an amendment so late  in this process                                                                    
may complicate matters.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said he  doesn't want to jeopardize                                                                    
the bill, but he thinks it's a good idea.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0980                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON stated  that a fair amount of  effort was made                                                                    
to "get  everybody on  board," including  maintaining active                                                                    
communication  with   the  [Alaska  Civil   Liberties  Union                                                                    
(AkCLU)].                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1007                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JAMES  N. BUTLER  III, Attorney  at Law,  Baldwin &  Butler,                                                                    
LLC, informed the  committee that most of  his work involves                                                                    
oil  companies and  public  sector clients  in  the area  of                                                                    
incident    management,   and    emergency   response    and                                                                    
preparedness.      He  noted   that   he   has  served   for                                                                    
approximately one  year as the public  representative on the                                                                    
State Emergency  Response Commission  (SERC), and  that SERC                                                                    
has  not had  a  chance to  take a  formal  position on  the                                                                    
proposed legislation.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. BUTLER stated that he  is in complete agreement that the                                                                    
proposed authorities  to act and  take what  are anticipated                                                                    
to be fairly new powers -  such as limiting public access to                                                                    
open areas  - is  an important step  forward.   He expressed                                                                    
concern, however, that there is  more complexity to the bill                                                                    
than seems  to be suggested.   He illustrated that  it's not                                                                    
crystal clear  who, specifically,  at the state  agency will                                                                    
be in  charge of these  events.   Noting that the  bill uses                                                                    
the term "coordination" a lot,  he warned that providing for                                                                    
a  unified  command  structure  should  be  a  part  of  the                                                                    
planning process.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BUTLER said  he  hopes  that the  committee  has had  a                                                                    
chance to  review administrative  order 170 (AO  170), which                                                                    
he said was developed years ago  as an attempt to develop an                                                                    
actual standardized  system to manage the  resources used in                                                                    
emergency management in Alaska.  He stated:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Recognizing  that  the homeland  security  threats                                                                         
     are,  in  many  cases,  almost more  of  a  police                                                                         
     function than an  emergency management function, I                                                                         
     think that ... we  might be missing an opportunity                                                                         
     to make sure that Alaska  - like many other states                                                                         
     - has a system that  is required to be followed in                                                                         
     order  to  get  some  of  the  pass-through  money                                                                         
     ensuring  standardization and  more effective  use                                                                         
     of limited resources.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. BUTLER  directed attention to  page 19, Section 14.   He                                                                    
said  he's heard  a  lot of  testimony  regarding issues  of                                                                    
borders, oil terminals, marine trade,  and cruise ships.  He                                                                    
said  he  thinks  it's  important  to  understand  that  the                                                                    
requirements of  the chapter  may not apply  to many  of the                                                                    
examples  that  have  been  used,   because  most  of  those                                                                    
facilities are already subject  to federal homeland security                                                                    
requirements.  He  stated that he thinks this  is an example                                                                    
of why  it's so  important to understand,  holistically, how                                                                    
this "fix"  is going to fit  in to that federal  system.  He                                                                    
said  he's aware  that the  both DPS  and the  Department of                                                                    
Transportation &  Public Facilities (DOT&PF) have  the right                                                                    
to limit access to roads.  He continued as follows:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     I think  it's important for the  committee to look                                                                         
     at the  section that  describes the power  of this                                                                         
     new  division, and  understand what  it is  doing.                                                                         
     It's creating  a police function  authority within                                                                         
     the  division to  investigate  and assess  threats                                                                         
     from  attack.    It's looking  at  organizing  the                                                                         
     chains of  command and, in fact,  coordinating the                                                                         
     deployment of  the state militia.   While  I don't                                                                         
     have a  problem with that, necessarily,  I want to                                                                         
     make   sure   that   the   legislature   has   the                                                                         
     opportunity  to clearly  understand that  we'll be                                                                         
     relying on  future plans and,  to the  extent that                                                                         
     there's assumptions  in those plans, I  think none                                                                         
     of us want to see that happen.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. BUTLER stated that while  he applauded the legislature's                                                                    
interest to  monitor and keep  track of the  developments in                                                                    
"this particular area," he is  concerned that more levels of                                                                    
oversight  would   be  created,  which  would   create  more                                                                    
potential for  confusion over who  is responsible  for what.                                                                    
He  suggested that  the committee  get information  on SERC,                                                                    
which  has  many  of the  same  responsibilities  that  this                                                                    
committee would  have regarding the response  to a disaster.                                                                    
He   indicated  he   understands  that   the  committee   is                                                                    
considering  the  issues  revolving around  pre-disaster  or                                                                    
pre-attack.   He said, "So,  it's adding more pieces  to the                                                                    
equation  that might  be a  net  benefit, but  I think  that                                                                    
before we  create committees that have  requirements to meet                                                                    
in  secret to  talk about  how planning  occurs, I  think we                                                                    
should tread cautiously."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH announced that SB 385 would be held over.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SB 354-HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION PROCEDURES                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1330                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  announced that the  last order  of business                                                                    
would be  CS FOR SENATE  BILL NO. 354(STA) am(efd  fld), "An                                                                    
Act relating  to complaints filed with,  and investigations,                                                                    
hearings,  and orders  of, the  State  Commission for  Human                                                                    
Rights; and making conforming amendments."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1360                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LISA M.  FITZPATRICK, Esq., Chair, Human  Rights Commission,                                                                    
Office  of  the  Governor,  said  she  would  focus  on  the                                                                    
provisions of the bill that  contain the remedies that would                                                                    
be available to the commission in  the event that there is a                                                                    
finding   of  discrimination.     She   reported  that   the                                                                    
commission   is   contacted   annually   by   thousands   of                                                                    
individuals  looking for  information and  relief.   Many of                                                                    
those  cases are  not limited  by jurisdiction,  and so  the                                                                    
commission actually  ends up opening files  on approximately                                                                    
450 cases annually.   Of those cases,  Ms. Fitzpatrick said,                                                                    
most are resolved short of investigation and litigation.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FITZPATRICK said  that historically,  when  there is  a                                                                    
finding   of  discrimination,   the   commission  has   been                                                                    
authorized to put the individual  who has been discriminated                                                                    
against back in  the same state that he/she  would have been                                                                    
[in]  before  the  alleged  discrimination  occurred.    She                                                                    
mentioned language in statute  that allows the commission to                                                                    
award any appropriate  relief.  She noted  that the language                                                                    
says,  "including   but  not  limited   to"  and   then  she                                                                    
enumerated several forms of relief.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FITZPATRICK   said  that  SB  354   would  modify  that                                                                    
[statute] by  allowing the  commission to  only award  a few                                                                    
limited types of  relief, which would include  "back pay and                                                                    
front  pay."   She  said  the  commission agrees  those  are                                                                    
important  forms  of  relief,  but not  the  only  forms  of                                                                    
economic  relief that  an  individual ought  to  be able  to                                                                    
obtain   if   he/she   goes  to   the   commission   for   a                                                                    
determination.   The  commission  would also  be allowed  to                                                                    
order  an  employer  to  reinstate  an  employee,  which  is                                                                    
historically  one  of  the mainstay  forms  of  relief  that                                                                    
people are afforded.  She continued as follows:                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     If  you   have  an   individual  who   requires  a                                                                         
     reasonable accommodation for  their disability, it                                                                         
     does  not  specifically  allow the  commission  to                                                                         
     authorize  and  order a  reasonable  accommodation                                                                         
     for the person  with the disability.   It does not                                                                         
     require  the payment  of retirement  benefits, for                                                                         
     example, if an individual  has been discharged for                                                                         
     discriminatory  reasons.    It doesn't  allow  for                                                                         
     lost  benefits that  would have  been included  in                                                                         
     the paycheck.   So,  for example,  if you  have an                                                                         
     individual who is  hired to work in  a remote site                                                                         
     and housing  is a  part of their  ... compensation                                                                         
     package but,  as a  result, their  actual monetary                                                                         
     paycheck  is  reduced,  it does  not  specifically                                                                         
     allow  the commission  to  award compensation  ...                                                                         
     that would make up the difference. ...                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     And there are ...  varying situations under which,                                                                         
     ...  if an  individual is  discharged, they  would                                                                         
     lose  their benefits  of  health  insurance.   But                                                                         
     [also] there  are actually instances where  we are                                                                         
     aware of an employer  ... keeping an employee, but                                                                         
     taking  away  their  medical  benefits  when  they                                                                         
     became  aware that  the  individual was  pregnant.                                                                         
     And it's hard to  conceive of a justification that                                                                         
     would  be nondiscriminatory  for that  kind of  an                                                                         
     action, but  the result is that  then the employee                                                                         
     is not covered by insurance  and is in a situation                                                                         
     of  ...  having   to  subsidize  their  pregnancy-                                                                         
     related costs out of their  own pocket.  And under                                                                         
     the present  statutes it's not clear  that ... the                                                                         
     commission  could  do   anything  to  assist  that                                                                         
     individual under those circumstances.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     There are other instances,  as well.  For example,                                                                         
     ...  if an  individual  has  been discharged,  the                                                                         
     absence of  any relief pertaining to  vesting in a                                                                         
     retirement plan  or bonus,  ... vacation  pay, ...                                                                         
     or  restoration [of]  seniority, reimbursement  of                                                                         
     other   medical  costs   or  other   out-of-pocket                                                                         
     expenses  are not  addressed in  this  bill.   And                                                                         
     these are all forms  of relief that the commission                                                                         
     has  historically awarded  individuals in  varying                                                                         
     forms.  Obviously,  in any one of  these there's a                                                                         
     duty  on the  part of  the individual  to mitigate                                                                         
     their  damages, to  try to  offset any  costs that                                                                         
     they   might  incur   or  have   incurred.     But                                                                         
     [historically] the commission  has been enabled to                                                                         
     ...  [make] these  individuals ...  whole, and  we                                                                         
     are  concerned that  by taking  away that  form of                                                                         
     relief,  ... these  individuals  are  going to  be                                                                         
     coming up short and  that there's realistically no                                                                         
     other form [of relief] available to them.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     The Department of Law has  argued in the past that                                                                         
     these individuals can just go  to the court system                                                                         
     and file  a case,  and in  some instances  that is                                                                         
     correct.    But  in  the  general  run-of-the-mill                                                                         
     case, there are a number  of reasons why it is not                                                                         
     a  realistic  alternative for  these  individuals.                                                                         
     First off,  the average  case that  the commission                                                                         
     handles where  it makes  a finding  of substantial                                                                         
     evidence  that   there  has   been  discrimination                                                                         
     involves a small amount of  money in the scheme of                                                                         
     cases ...                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH interjected to  request that Ms. Fitzpatrick                                                                    
continue with her testimony at a future meeting.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1650                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GRETCHEN  GUESS, Alaska State Legislature,  spoke as                                                                    
a member  of the  Senate Rules Standing  Committee ("SRLS"),                                                                    
sponsor by request of the governor.   She stated that she is                                                                    
"fairly passionate  about this  bill" and some  changes that                                                                    
she would like considered.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS directed  attention to Section 4,  which is in                                                                    
regard to  "Dismissal of  complaint without  prejudice", and                                                                  
said  she  is concerned  about  the  broad authorization  it                                                                    
would  give to  any executive  director to  dismiss a  case.                                                                    
She said  she knows that  the commission is  overwhelmed and                                                                    
needs to start being able  to dismiss cases without going to                                                                    
full hearings.   Notwithstanding that, she  pointed out that                                                                    
there is not  concurrence with the commission on  any of the                                                                    
dismissals,  so it  would give  the executive  director full                                                                    
authority  to  dismiss  cases, without  any  concurrence  or                                                                    
review  by the  commission.   The  specific dismissals  that                                                                    
Senator  Guess said  were of  concern to  her are  listed on                                                                    
page  3:   [subsection (a),  paragraphs] (4),  (6), (8)-(9).                                                                    
Paragraph (4)  read:   "(4) a hearing  will not  benefit the                                                                    
complainant".  Paragraph (6) read:   "(6) A hearing will not                                                                    
represent the best use of  commission resources".  Paragraph                                                                    
(8) read:  "(8) the  probability of success of the complaint                                                                    
on  the  merits  is  low".     Paragraph  (9)  read:    "(9)                                                                    
proceeding  to   a  hearing  will   not  serve   the  public                                                                    
interest".                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS offered her  understanding that paragraphs (4)                                                                    
and (8)  deal in prejudging the  situation, while paragraphs                                                                    
(6) and  (9) are very  subjective statements for  one person                                                                    
to make about  an important issue.  She  asked the committee                                                                    
to consider whether  it wants an executive  director to have                                                                    
that much authority  in statute, noting that  the reason for                                                                    
the  proposed dismissals  are that  [the commission]  is too                                                                    
overwhelmed.    However,  from  a  policy  perspective,  she                                                                    
stated  that  she is  not  sure  why  the bill  doesn't  "go                                                                    
towards prioritizing versus dismissing."   She clarified, "I                                                                    
don't  mind  a  prioritization   if  we  don't  have  enough                                                                    
resources,  but  I'm  a  little   concerned  when  we  start                                                                    
dismissing cases."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1807                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS directed  attention to  some of  the language                                                                    
being  added to  page  4,  lines 17-18,  which  read:   "The                                                                
commission  may  not  order   an  award  of  noneconomic  or                                                                
punitive  damages  in  any  case".    She  stated  that  the                                                                
withdrawing  of noneconomic  and  punitive damages  prevents                                                                    
the commission  from considering creative  alternatives that                                                                    
would hopefully  stop complaints  in the  future.   She said                                                                    
she  thinks the  commission has  done  a good  job at  being                                                                    
creative  about solutions,  "both to  make the  person whole                                                                    
and,  hopefully, helping  that employer  so there's  no more                                                                    
complaints in the situation."  She continued as follows:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     I  [understand] wanting  to make  it clear  to the                                                                         
     public  ... [that]  it  can't  think that  they're                                                                         
     going to  come and  get a  million-dollar judgment                                                                         
     from [the] Human Rights Commission.   On the other                                                                         
     hand, I  don't know if limiting  the commission is                                                                         
     the way  to achieve that  - if having  very strict                                                                         
     policy and  regulations around that is  the way to                                                                         
     achieve it.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1887                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS turned  to the  issue  of front  pay and  the                                                                    
proposed  limits on  such.   She noted  that it  used to  be                                                                    
unlimited front  pay, and explained  that means that  if she                                                                    
were discriminated  against at the beginning  of the process                                                                    
by   never   being  hired,   and   it   was  found   to   be                                                                    
discrimination, the front  pay would be what  she would have                                                                    
been paid.   She  mentioned a  considered compromise  in the                                                                    
Senate of going  to two years, the average length  of one of                                                                    
the  cases, and  remarked that  she  is not  certain how  it                                                                    
ended up  being one year,  but surmised that there  wasn't a                                                                    
lot of thought  put into it and she just  happened not to be                                                                    
in committee that  day.  She indicated that  this is another                                                                    
issue for the committee to consider.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 1929                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS,  in  response to  a  question,  offered  her                                                                    
understanding  that back  pay  exists only  if  a person  is                                                                    
hired and  then fired.   She indicated  that the  Senate had                                                                    
not been able  to "flesh that out" and  the commission still                                                                    
"had some problems with it."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON responded, "But  if the question comes                                                                    
down  that after  determination is  made, everything  beyond                                                                    
that  would  have  been  considered back  pay,  and  we  are                                                                    
talking  about  a year  in  the  future,  you don't  have  a                                                                    
problem with that?"                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS  answered no.   She said  she thinks  that's a                                                                    
reasonable  policy.     She  said,  "It's   having  a  clear                                                                    
definition, which, on the Senate side, it wasn't."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
[SB 354 was held over.]                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1966                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
The meeting  was recessed  at 10:18  a.m. to  a call  of the                                                                    
chair.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1970                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  called the  meeting back  to order  at 1:06                                                                    
p.m.      Present  at   the   call   back  to   order   were                                                                    
Representatives Holm, Seaton, and Weyhrauch.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further  business before the  committee, the                                                                    
House   State  Affairs   Standing   Committee  meeting   was                                                                    
adjourned at 1:06 p.m.   [Due to technical difficulties, the                                                                    
adjournment was not recorded.]                                                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects