Legislature(1993 - 1994)
04/18/1994 03:35 PM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE RESOURCES COMMITTEE April 18, 1994 3:35 P.M. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Mike Miller, Chairman Senator Loren Leman, Vice Chairman Senator Steve Frank Senator Drue Pearce Senator Al Adams Senator Dave Donley Senator Fred Zharoff MEMBERS ABSENT None COMMITTEE CALENDAR HOUSE BILL NO. 191 "An Act relating to cost recovery by contractors who operate state-owned hatcheries." SENATE BILL NO. 341 "An Act extending the termination date of the Alaska Tourism Marketing Council; and providing for an effective date." SENATE BILL NO. 193 "An Act relating to unfair discrimination under group disability insurance; and providing for an effective date." SCR 20 REOPENING ALASKA-JUNEAU MINE SCHEDULED, BUT NOT HEARD THIS DAY PREVIOUS ACTION HB 191 - No previous action to record. SB 341 - See Labor & Commerce minutes dated 3/10/94. SB 193 - See Labor & Commerce minutes dated 3/24/94 and 3/28/94. WITNESS REGISTER Bruce Bachen Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association 1308 Sawmill Creek Rd. Sitka, Ak. 99835 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 191. Jeff Olsen, Operations Manager Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation P.O. Box 1110 Cordova, Ak. 99574 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 191. Jerry McCune, President United Fishermen of Alaska Juneau, Ak. 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 191 and HB 398. Ron Swanson, Director Division of Lands P.O. Box 107005 Anchorage, Ak. 99510-7005 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 398. Lee Sharp Aleutian East Borough 426 L Street Anchorage, Ak. 99501 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 398. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 94-37, SIDE A Number 001 CHAIRMAN MILLER called the Resources Committee meeting to order at 3:35 p.m. and announced HB 191 (CONTRACTOR OPERATED STATE HATCHERIES) to be up for consideration. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS, sponsor, said many aquaculture associations have been cooperative about operating many hatcheries under contract rather than see them close down for lack of state funding. The language in current law has caused some logistical and financial problems for the contractors which has made it unfeasible to get some of the state's hatcheries under contract. The law only allows cost recovery funds generated at the state owned hatchery to be used for the operation of that facility, so the funds cannot go to other facilities, if they have a bad year. This places an unfair financial risk on groups we are trying to convince to accept the responsibility of running our state hatcheries, REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS said. Under this bill cost recovery money can flow in both directions between the contractors who own the facilities and those contracted to run facilities for the state. This bill is supported by the aquaculture associations, the UFA, and the ADF&G. No one has expressed opposition to the bill, he concluded. Number 80 BRUCE BACHEN, Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association, supported HB 191, because it allows them to have a single financial plan for the corporation. The strength of the overall program is enhanced by diversification of all of the species that they raise and all the sites they operate. It's healthy to allow one project to depend on another because of the fluctuations in the market. Allowing revenues generated by cost recovery to be used for capital construction is another good point of the bill, he said. JEFF OLSEN, Operations Manager, Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation, read a letter from the Corporation in support of HB 191. JERRY MCCUNE, President, United Fishermen of Alaska, supported HB 191. He said one of the problems is that Gulkana hatchery has no cost recovery, so they have to take funds out of the existing hatchery. This way they could move funds from hatchery to hatchery. Number 173 SENATOR ADAMS moved to pass HB 191 from committee with individual recommendations. There were no objections and it was so ordered. SENATOR MILLER announced SB 341 (EXTEND TOURISM MARKETING COUNCIL) ) to be up for consideration. SENATOR ADAMS asked why there was a CS, since at the last meeting they were just going to extend the date of the Tourism Marketing Association. SENATOR MILLER explained that the 25% was added, because he and other people felt that the industry needed to do more in contributing into the marketing programs, especially in a time of declining revenues. SENATOR ADAMS said he did not support that increase, but he did support the extension of the Council. SENATOR LEMAN moved to adopt the CS to SB 341. SENATOR ADAMS objected. SENATORS MILLER, LEMAN, FRANK, and PEARCE voted yes; SENATOR ZHAROFF and ADAMS voted no; and the CS was adopted. SENATOR ZHAROFF noted that there was a two year extension instead of four. SENATOR MILLER said that this was so the legislature could timely review their progress. KAREN COWARD, Executive Director, Alaska Visitors Association, supported the Alaska Tourism Marketing Council and did not support the CS to SB 341. The Council markets Alaska as a destination to the Unites States and Canada. Advertising rates in the Vacation Planner have increased across the Board almost every year. If they continue to raise rates, some businesses have indicated they will no longer be able to participate in the state's cooperative marketing program. It's in the best interest of the state and the population of Alaska to continue funding the Tourism Marketing. SENATOR FRANK said he thought the match was budgeted at 22%. MS. COWARD said the match was budgeted at 20%. This was based on a $7 million state program for last year. This fiscal year it is $4.492 million. She explained as the industry dollars go down, the program becomes less effective and their ability to attract advertisers in the Vacation Planner will go down. Advertising is where they get their matching money. SENATOR PEARCE asked her to explain why Holland America was so far out of line. MS. COWARD said they often take 300 - 500 travel agents through an inside passage trip. They bring people up to market Alaska generically, not just their tours. Number 310 SENATOR LEMAN moved to discharge CSSB 341 (RES) with individual recommendations. SENATOR ADAMS objected. SENATORS MILLER, LEMAN, PEARCE, and FRANK voted yes; SENATOR DONLEY, ADAMS, and ZHAROFF voted no, and the bill passed from committee. SENATOR MILLER announced HB 398 (LAND CONVEYED TO & FROM MUNICIPALITIES) to be up for consideration. DAVE KAMRATH, Legislative Aide to Representative Harvey Olberg, read a sponsor statement. RON SWANSON, Director, Division of Land, supported the concepts embodied in this bill. SENATOR DONLEY asked when the options occur if there was a mandated conveyance. MR. SWANSON said he understands that when the four conditions have been met, the Commissioner has no authority, but to convey to the municipality. To eliminate a conflict, if there is a greater public interest, he suggested using "may" instead of "shall." SENATOR DONLEY said he supported using "may." SENATOR PEARCE asked how many other situations exist that he knows of where this bill could help. MR. SWANSON said that Skagway is the only one he is aware of. SENATOR ADAMS mentioned one other place. He said he has an amendment requiring public hearings, making it optional, having it be in the best interests of our state, and having no critical habitat in it. LEE SHARP, Aleutian East Borough, supported HB 398. JERRY MCCUNE, representing himself, said he is interested in this bill because of the way it affects the small house owner where they have built a little bit over, or the surveyors made a mistake and their house is on state land by 2 or 3 inches or a couple feet. This would give the municipalities a way to trade that land and solve some problems for the home owner who can't get title to their property right now and close their loans. SENATOR DONLEY commented that it was a pretty big leap from not being able to transfer to being mandated to transfer when conditions are met, whether or not it's in the public interest. SENATOR MILLER noted that Senator Adams was working with that issue before bringing the bill up again. SENATOR MILLER adjourned the meeting at 4:15 p.m.