Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/30/2004 01:35 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          SENATE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                        
                         March 30, 2004                                                                                         
                           1:35 p.m.                                                                                            
TAPE 04-28                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Con Bunde, Chair                                                                                                        
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
Senator Bettye Davis                                                                                                            
Senator Hollis French                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ralph Seekins, Vice Chair                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Confirmation Hearing - Laura Plenert, Alaska State Personnel                                                                    
Board                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 409(FSH)                                                                                                  
"An Act relating to the maximum length of salmon seine vessels;                                                                 
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     MOVED CSHB 409(FSH) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 478                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to the issuance of commercial fishing interim-                                                                 
use permits; and providing for an effective date."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     MOVED HB 478 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 35(L&C)                                                                                       
Relating to bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as                                                                 
mad cow disease, and country-of-origin labeling for meat                                                                        
products.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     MOVED CSHJR 35(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
BILL: HB 478                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: COMMERCIAL FISHING INTERIM USE PERMITS                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) WILSON                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
02/16/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/16/04       (H)       FSH, RES                                                                                               
02/27/04       (H)       FSH AT 8:30 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
02/27/04       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/27/04       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
03/01/04       (H)       FSH AT 9:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
03/01/04       (H)       Moved CSHB 478(FSH) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/01/04       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
03/03/04       (H)       FSH RPT CS(FSH) 5DP 2NR                                                                                
03/03/04       (H)       DP: OGG, HEINZE, WILSON, SAMUELS,                                                                      
03/03/04       (H)       SEATON; NR: GARA, GUTTENBERG                                                                           
03/08/04       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
03/08/04       (H)       MINUTE (RES)                                                                                           
03/08/04       (H)       RES RPT 5DP 2NR                                                                                        
03/08/04       (H)       DP: LYNN, GATTO, STEPOVICH, DAHLSTROM,                                                                 
                         MASEK; NR: WOLF, GUTTENBERG                                                                            
03/22/04       (H)       Transmitted to (S)                                                                                     
03/22/04       (H)       Version: HB 478                                                                                        
03/24/04       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERALS                                                                         
03/24/04       (S)       L&C                                                                                                    
03/30/04       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 409                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SEINE VESSEL LENGTH                                                                                                
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) WILLIAMS BY REQUEST OF SALMON                                                                     
INDUSTRY TASK FORCE                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
01/28/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/28/04       (H)       FSH, RES                                                                                               
02/09/04       (H)       FSH AT 9:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
02/09/04       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/09/04       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
02/16/04       (H)       FSH AT 9:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
02/16/04       (H)       Moved CSHB 409(FSH) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/16/04       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
02/18/04       (H)       FSH RPT CS(FSH) 3DP 4NR                                                                                
02/18/04       (H)       DP: WILSON, HEINZE, GUTTENBERG;                                                                        
02/18/04       (H)       NR: GARA, OGG, SAMUELS, SEATON                                                                         
02/18/04       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
02/18/04       (H)       Moved CSHB 409(FSH) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/18/04       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/19/04       (H)       RES RPT CS(FSH) 5DP 1DNP 2NR                                                                           
02/19/04       (H)       DP: STEPOVICH, HEINZE, KERTTULA,                                                                       
02/19/04       (H)       GUTTENBERG, MASEK; DNP: WOLF;                                                                          
02/19/04       (H)       NR: LYNN, GATTO                                                                                        
02/26/04       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
02/26/04       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 409(FSH)                                                                                 
02/27/04       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/27/04       (S)       L&C, RES                                                                                               
03/11/04       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
03/11/04       (S)       <Above Bill Hearing Postponed>                                                                         
03/23/04       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
03/23/04       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/23/04       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/30/04       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HJR 35                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MAD COW DISEASE/COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELS                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) KERTTULA                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
02/05/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/05/04       (H)       L&C, RES                                                                                               
02/16/04       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
02/16/04       (H)       Moved CSHJR 35(L&C) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/16/04       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
02/18/04       (H)       L&C RPT CS(L&C) NT 5DP 1NR                                                                             
02/18/04       (H)       DP: CRAWFORD, LYNN, GATTO, DAHLSTROM,                                                                  
02/18/04       (H)       GUTTENBERG; NR: ANDERSON                                                                               
02/25/04       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
02/25/04       (H)       Moved CSHJR 35(L&C) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/25/04       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/26/04       (H)       RES RPT CS(L&C) NT 6DP 1NR 2AM                                                                         
02/26/04       (H)       DP: KERTTULA, GUTTENBERG, LYNN, HEINZE,                                                                
02/26/04       (H)       DAHLSTROM, MASEK; NR: WOLF; AM: GATTO,                                                                 
02/26/04       (H)       STEPOVICH                                                                                              
03/18/04       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
03/18/04       (H)       VERSION: CSHJR 35(L&C)                                                                                 
03/19/04       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/19/04       (S)       L&C, RES                                                                                               
03/30/04       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
                                                                                                                              
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Laura Plenert, nominee to the Alaska State Personnel Board                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Tim Barry                                                                                                                   
Staff to Representative Bill Williams                                                                                           
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on HB 409 for the sponsor.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Jerry McCune, Executive Director                                                                                            
United Fishermen of Alaska                                                                                                      
211 4th Street, Suite 110                                                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska  99801-1172                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Supports HB 409.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bill Williams                                                                                                    
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Supports HB 409.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Peggy Wilson                                                                                                     
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 478.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Beth Kerttula                                                                                                    
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HJR 35.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Aurora Hauke                                                                                                                
Staff to Representative Beth Kerttula                                                                                           
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on HJR 35 for sponsor.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
TAPE 04-28, SIDE A                                                                                                            
               CSHB 409(FSH)-SEINE VESSEL LENGTH                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
CHAIR CON  BUNDE called  the Senate  Labor and  Commerce Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order  at 1:35  p.m. Present  were Senators                                                               
Gary Stevens,  Bettye Davis, Hollis  French and Chair  Con Bunde.                                                               
The  first order  of business  to come  before the  committee was                                                               
CSHB 409(FSH).                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. TIM  BARRY, staff to  Representative Bill  Williams, sponsor,                                                               
noted  that a  member of  the United  Fishermen of  Alaska had  a                                                               
concern with this bill.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. JERRY MCCUNE, Executive Director,  United Fishermen of Alaska                                                               
(UFA), said he  talked to that person, Mr.  Larson, who disagrees                                                               
with changing the bill. However,  all 34-member groups of the UFA                                                               
voted in  support of  it. There  are about  2,000 seiners  in the                                                               
state. Mr.  Larson was concerned  that he would  be disadvantaged                                                               
because  he  had IfQs  in  halibut  and has  a  60  ft. boat  and                                                               
couldn't get a bigger boat than that.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
In response, though,  Mr. McCune pointed out  if Southeast Alaska                                                               
decided  to  change its  length  to  70  ft. they  couldn't  fish                                                               
halibut in his  area under class C and didn't  see how Mr. Larson                                                               
would be disadvantaged.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARRY added that the kinds  of arguments Mr. Larson is making                                                               
will  be discussed  before the  Board of  Fisheries in  the event                                                               
that it will  ever consider this kind of a  change. The intent of                                                               
this legislation  is to make  that the appropriate venue  for the                                                               
argument to be made.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HOLLIS FRENCH said the  original bill required two-thirds                                                               
of the permit  holders to approve a change, but  the bill doesn't                                                               
have that  provision now. He  asked what the thinking  was behind                                                               
the original idea and how it was changed.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARRY explained that this  legislation came out of the Salmon                                                               
Industry  Task Force  and required  changes to  be approved  by a                                                               
vote of  two-thirds plus  one of  the permit  holders in  a given                                                               
fishery. A  lot of permit  holders feel significant  changes need                                                               
strong  safeguards.  The  House Special  Committee  on  Fisheries                                                               
amended the legislation to remove  that requirement, which would,                                                               
in effect, leave the issue up to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCCUNE  added that the idea  that the board has  to listen to                                                               
all  public  members, whether  they  are  fishermen or  not,  was                                                               
perceived  as  putting a  restriction  on  making or  changing  a                                                               
regulation. Requiring  a two-thirds vote of  permit holders might                                                               
not be legal.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE asked if there was a legal opinion on it.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARRY  answered that  the Legislative  Council had  written a                                                               
letter and  the Commercial Fisheries Entry  Commission (CFEC) and                                                               
the  Alaska  Department  of  Fish   and  Game  (ADF&G)  expressed                                                               
concern.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BILL WILLIAMS commented,  but it was indiscernible                                                               
because of poor telephone reception.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY STEVENS  moved to pass CSHB  409(FSH) from committee                                                               
with  individual recommendations  and zero  fiscal note.  Senator                                                               
Gary Stevens, Bettye  Davis, Hollis French and  Chair Bunde voted                                                               
yea; and CSHB 409(FSH) moved from committee.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
^CONFIRMATION HEARING                                                                                                       
^ALASKA STATE PERSONNEL BOARD                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  BUNDE  announced  a confirmation  hearing  for  Ms.  Laura                                                               
Plenert, Personnel  Board. He asked her  if she wanted to  make a                                                               
statement.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. PLENERT said she wasn't prepared to make one at this time.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HOLLIS  FRENCH said  he had read  her resume',  but still                                                               
wanted to get a  feel for who she is and  what her interests are.                                                               
He asked why she was interested in serving on the board.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. PLENERT replied that she was  asked to serve and felt that it                                                               
would be something interesting to do.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH asked  if anything in her  background prepared her                                                               
to take this job.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. PLENERT  replied that  she worked  at McDonald's,  but hadn't                                                               
specifically worked  in the personnel department  there. However,                                                               
she followed personnel rules.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  asked if she  had any experience in  working with                                                               
state classification systems.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. PLENERT replied no.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH asked  if  she had  any  experience working  with                                                               
unions.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. PLENERT replied no.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH  asked  how  familiar  she  was  with  the  state                                                               
personnel system.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. PLENERT replied, "Not very. I'm hoping to learn as I go."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  asked if she  had ever  had to render  a decision                                                               
between two competing points of view.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. PLENERT replied, "No."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH asked her to tell him about her hobbies.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PLENERT replied  that she  loves to  work on  her house  and                                                               
likes to garden.  She also has several dogs that  she spends time                                                               
with.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH   asked  how  many   people  she   supervises  at                                                               
McDonald's.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PLENERT  replied  that she  generally  supervises  about  50                                                               
employees.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH asked if she is married and if she has a family.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. PLENERT replied, "No and no."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH  thanked  her  and  said  that  was  all  of  his                                                               
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE asked  if, as a part of her  job with McDonald's, she                                                               
is encouraged to be involved in public service.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. PLENERT replied, "Yes."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE asked her to share her volunteer experience.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PLENERT  replied that  she  had  served  on the  Chamber  of                                                               
Commerce and  participated in Junior Achievement.  She has served                                                               
on the  board of  the mall her  store is located  in and  she has                                                               
served with the local Republican party.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE asked if her service  on the Personnel Board falls in                                                               
line with what she considers community service.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. PLENERT replied, "Yes."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE  noted there  were no  further questions  and thanked                                                               
her for  being with  them this afternoon.  He said  the committee                                                               
would  forward her  name  to  the full  body,  but  that did  not                                                               
reflect  any  intent  by  members  to vote  for  or  against  any                                                               
nominee.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
         HB 478-COMMERCIAL FISHING INTERIM USE PERMITS                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE announced HB 478 to be up for consideration.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PEGGY WILSON, sponsor, said:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     In a  recent decision of  the Alaska Court  of Appeals,                                                                    
     they   held  that   the   Commercial  Fisheries   Entry                                                                    
     Commission  (CFEC)   lacked  the  authority   to  issue                                                                    
     interim use permits in fisheries  that they do not have                                                                    
     the  authority  to  limit.  So, this  bill  is  just  a                                                                    
     housekeeping measure that clarifies  that the CFEC does                                                                    
     have  the authority  to issue  interim  use permits  in                                                                    
     these  fisheries and  this clarification  is consistent                                                                    
     with  the original  intent and  purpose of  the current                                                                    
     statute and  is consistent with the  permitting actions                                                                    
     of the CFEC for the last 31 years....                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  BUNDE asked  if interim  use permits  are issued  in areas                                                               
without limited entry, but where permits are involved.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON replied that  is correct. In this instance,                                                               
fishermen  needed an  interim  use permit  if  they were  fishing                                                               
outside  the three-mile  limit,  but came  into  state waters  to                                                               
process and sell their fish.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY  STEVENS said  he assumed this  was an  extension of                                                               
CFEC's  responsibilities that  might require  a fiscal  note, but                                                               
noted  the fiscal  note is  zero  because nothing  is being  done                                                               
differently.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON agreed.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE noted  a letter of support from  the United Fishermen                                                               
of Alaska.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY  STEVENS moved  to pass HB  478 from  committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations   and  attached  zero   fiscal  note.                                                               
Senators  Hollis French,  Gary  Stevens, Bettye  Davis and  Chair                                                               
Bunde voted yea; and HB 478 moved from committee.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     CSHJR 35(L&C)-MAD COW DISEASE/COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELS                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CON BUNDE announced HJR 35 to be up for consideration.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BETH  KERTTULA,  sponsor,  said  this  resolution                                                               
supports country of original labeling  and what the Food and Drug                                                               
Administration  (FDA)  is doing  to  protect  citizens from  BSE,                                                               
otherwise known as mad cow disease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE noted that the last  case of mad cow disease occurred                                                               
in this  country and asked  how labeling country of  origin would                                                               
help us.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA replied that  she thought the U.S. should                                                               
label  its own  beef products  within the  country as  well. Some                                                               
states are turning in that direction for all products.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     So, if we  have problems within the U.S.,  I think that                                                                    
     we should  take care of  them and better  labeling will                                                                    
     help us do that. As  for other countries, it helps also                                                                    
     in terms of tracking.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
She noted  that recently  some tainted beef  came in  from Canada                                                               
and tracking  that was in  place helped  that instance. A  lot of                                                               
vegetables  are being  labeled  and she  thought  that NAFTA  had                                                               
caused that. This would be similar to that.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE  asked if she  had feedback from the  retail industry                                                               
as to the fiscal impact this might create for them.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA  said that  is  a  federal act  and  she                                                               
hadn't had any direct contact  with it. Her experience was mostly                                                               
with the FDA. She said there is  a two-year delay now and that is                                                               
why she is asking to speed it up.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. AURORA  HAUKE, staff to  Representative Kerttula,  added that                                                               
the  National  Farmers  Union   (167  agricultural  and  consumer                                                               
groups) strongly supported country  of origin labeling although a                                                               
little resistance is coming from the retailers.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  BUNDE asked  if the  Hangar  On The  Wharf restaurant  was                                                               
going to  have to use country  of origin labeling for  its ground                                                               
meat.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA replied  this bill  doesn't go  that far                                                               
and that the FDA requires the  person selling the product to have                                                               
the labeling already on it.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY STEVENS  moved to pass CSHJR  35(L&C) from committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations   and  attached  fiscal  notes.                                                               
Senators  Bettye Davis,  Gary Stevens,  Hollis  French and  Chair                                                               
Bunde voted yea; and CSHJR 35(L&C) moved from committee.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Bunde adjourned the meeting at 2:00 p.m.                                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects