Legislature(2003 - 2004)

02/16/2004 03:36 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                       February 16, 2004                                                                                        
                           3:36 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
TAPE(S) 04-9                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Scott Ogan, Chair                                                                                                       
Senator Thomas Wagoner, Vice Chair                                                                                              
Senator Fred Dyson                                                                                                              
Senator Ralph Seekins                                                                                                           
Senator Kim Elton                                                                                                               
Senator Georgianna Lincoln                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ben Stevens                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
SENATE BILL NO. 190                                                                                                             
"An Act  adding certain state-owned  land and water to  the Kenai                                                               
River Special Management Area; relating  to the mineral estate of                                                               
the  state-owned  land  and  water in  the  Kenai  River  Special                                                               
Management Area;  relating to the Kenai  River Special Management                                                               
Area advisory board; and providing for an effective date."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 271                                                                                                             
"An  Act  amending   the  purpose  of  the   Alaska  Natural  Gas                                                               
Development   Authority   to    include   planning,   developing,                                                               
constructing, managing,  or operating an economically  viable gas                                                               
pipeline project from  the North Slope of Alaska by  a route that                                                               
parallels  the  Trans  Alaska  Pipeline   System  or  the  Alaska                                                               
Highway;  authorizing  evaluation  of opportunities  for  private                                                               
sector involvement in the  project; amending requirements related                                                               
to  the  Authority's  preparation  of  a  development  plan;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     MOVED SB 271 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
BILL: SB 190                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: KENAI RIVER SPECIAL MANAGEMENT AREA                                                                                
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) WAGONER                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
04/16/03       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/16/03       (S)       STA, RES                                                                                               
01/20/04       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               

01/20/04 (S) Moved CSSB 190(STA) Out of Committee

01/20/04 (S) MINUTE(STA)

01/21/04 (S) STA RPT CS 3DP 1NR NEW TITLE

01/21/04 (S) DP: STEVENS G, COWDERY, STEDMAN;

01/21/04 (S) NR: GUESS 02/16/04 (S) RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205 BILL: SB 271 SHORT TITLE: NATURAL GAS DEVEL AUTHORITY PROJECTS SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) OGAN

01/21/04 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS

01/21/04 (S) RES, FIN

01/26/04 (S) RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205

01/26/04 (S) Heard & Held

01/26/04 (S) MINUTE(RES) 02/16/04 (S) RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205 WITNESS REGISTER Ms. Amy Seitz Staff to Senator Thomas Wagoner Alaska State Capitol Juneau, AK 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 190 for sponsor. Mr. Pete Panarese Field Operations Division of Parks and outdoor Recreation Department of Natural Resources 400 Willoughby Ave. Juneau, AK 99801-1724 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 190. Ms. Janet Burleson-Baxter, Legislative Liaison Department of Natural Resources 400 Willoughby Ave. Juneau, AK 99801-1724 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 190. Mr. Robert Valdatta Municipal Advisory Panel on Stranded Gas Seward AK POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 190 and SB 271. Mr. Harold Heinze, CEO Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority Department of Revenue (DOR) PO Box 110400 Juneau, AK 99811-0400 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 271. Mr. Steven Porter, Deputy Commissioner Department of Revenue PO Box 110400 Juneau, AK 99811-0400 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 271. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 04-9, SIDE A SB 190-KENAI RIVER SPECIAL MANAGEMENT AREA CHAIR SCOTT OGAN called the Senate Resources Standing Committee meeting to order at 3:36 p.m. Present were Senators Thomas Wagoner, Fred Dyson, Kim Elton, Georgianna Lincoln and Chair Scott Ogan. Senator Ralph Seekins arrived at 3:37 and Senator Ben Stevens was excused. The first order of business to come before the committee was SB 190. MS. AMY SEITZ, Staff to Senator Thomas Wagoner, sponsor, explained that the two main purposes of SB 190 are to transfer lands to the Kenai River Special Management Area (KRSMA) and to change the makeup of the advisory board. The new lands would be put into KRSMA so they can be managed by people who focus on maintaining the Kenai River system, an important resource for the whole state. She related that the KRSMA was established in 1984 to protect the Kenai River system and covers about 105 million square miles. SB 190 adds 536 acres of land acquired from funds from the Exxon Valdez oil spill settlement and a few parcels that were left out of the original 1984 bill. MS. SEITZ said SB 190 would change the makeup of the advisory board to be more of a citizen's board by changing the state and federal agency members to ex-officio members. CHAIR OGAN asked her if anyone hates this bill. MS. SEITZ replied that she didn't think anyone hated it. SENATOR THOMAS WAGONER said that various quarters have resisted adding acreage, but these lands are important at this time. Other bills might add more acreage later if enough public support could be mustered. SENATOR RALPH SEEKINS asked which activities would not be allowed on this land under this bill. He thought that it removed the mineral estate, like gold mines and gravel pits. He wondered what would be protected. MS. SEITZ responded that those activities are not allowed currently under the Exxon Valdez Oil Settlement (EVOS). SENATOR WAGONER observed that putting lands into the state park is the ultimate protection next to proclaiming it a wilderness area. Some of the parcels are down-river where a boat ramp has been considered. Putting in a boat ramp would be tougher to do on park land. CHAIR OGAN asked if he is talking about a park, because the bill refers to the Kenai River Special Management Area. MS. SEITZ clarified that KRSMA is managed though the Division of Parks in the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). SENATOR SEEKINS said he wanted to make sure there were no unintended consequences. SENATOR WAGONER didn't see any unintended consequences at this time. CHAIR OGAN asked if the land that was purchased with EVOS money was mostly privately held. SENATOR WAGONER responded that these lands were proposed additions in the original bill from three years ago. MS. SEITZ affirmed that all the properties acquired through EVOS were state lands. SENATOR LINCOLN asked Senator Wagoner to expand on the reasoning behind going to a more public membership board. She noted an article in which a member disagreed with the proposed makeup due to his concern about special interest groups controlling the board. SENATOR WAGONER responded that, due to lack of participation through absentees or whatever on this board, the only special interests are the agency representatives. The agencies should continue to attend and have input, but that's their job; it's the citizens' job to have the final vote and the final say. He professed: That board will represent the three municipalities that are on the river - basically the Kenai Peninsula Borough, the City of Kenai and the City of Soldotna. Other members are members at large - members of the guide industry, members of the commercial fishing industry. I just feel more comfortable with that board and them having the say, not the agencies. I see too many times, the agencies tend to dominate meetings and dominate the outcome. SENATOR LINCOLN followed up saying that she had heard criticism that there are no municipal representatives currently on the board from Seward, Homer or Anchorage, but that membership would be confined to adjacent management areas. She asked if those people are precluded from serving on the board. SENATOR WAGONER responded that he didn't quite understand her question, but stated that Seward, Homer and Anchorage are not on the Kenai River; and the City of Soldotna, the City of Kenai and the Borough are the municipalities that are adjacent to the river and the properties. He claimed further: We didn't see any great need for them to have the voting representation. Seward would have representation through the borough-appointed representative - and so would, basically, Homer, but Homer is about 72 miles from the Kenai River and these properties. SENATOR LINCOLN had information indicating that adjacent to these waters are 15 state parks, subunits, lands owned by the cities, the borough and the federal government and private Native lands. She asked how many members are on the board and how would one go about becoming a member of it. SENATOR WAGONER answered that the board membership rotates every two years. He offered the name of current members and a brief comment about each. Joe Connors, who used to teach at Anchorage Community College, is now a guide and was a commercial fisherman in Cook Inlet for years. Ted Wellman is an attorney from Anchorage and a very active member on the board. Paul Shadura is a commercial fisherman and Native leader. Jim Golden is an outfitter using the Kenai River. David Westerman is from Cooper Landing. Roland Maw is the Executive Director of United Cook Inlet Drift Association. Ken Lancaster, the representative who started this bill four years ago, is a past mayor of the City of Soldotna. Jeff King is a life-long Alaskan sport fishing guide on the Kenai River. He didn't know Richard Hahn. SENATOR ELTON asked if there were restrictions now on the use of EVOS lands and were they open to oil and gas leasing, for instance. MR. PETE PANARESE, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, DNR, answered that section 3 amends AS 41.21.502(c) referring to the Kenai River Special Management Area. The EVOS lands that are currently outside the management area are not available for oil and gas exploration. When they are included in KRSMA, they fall under its umbrella. SENATOR ELTON clarified that those lands are currently not open to oil and gas leasing, but if they were added to the special management area, they would be. MR. PANARESE affirmed that. SENATOR ELTON said it seemed to him that changing the makeup of the board is a rather substantive change, because it makes some government members ex-officio while municipal government members retain their ability to vote. Even more to the point, section 4, which says a majority of the voting members of the advisory group shall be residents of the Kenai Peninsula Borough, is creating a couple of classes of people. For instance, some fisheries guides that operate on the river live in Anchorage and it seems that a majority of the users of the river are probably from outside the borough. Also, when the majority of voting members have to be residents of the borough a second class of user is created. He asked what is envisioned by creating those different classes of people. SENATOR WAGONER answered that that language is already in statute. SENATOR ELTON granted that that language is already in statute, but pointed out that it is being perpetuated here. It just seems to me that you are disenfranchising river guides that live in Anchorage or that live elsewhere outside of the borough and you're disenfranchising many of the users of the Kenai River, those people who live outside the borough who come down to enjoy one of the natural wonders of your area. SENATOR WAGONER responded: We don't preclude them from serving. We just say a majority of them will be from the Kenai Peninsula. That doesn't exclude them from serving in one of the seats that's not on the Kenai Peninsula.... I do believe in local control - as much as you can get to local control. Those people that live on the Peninsula have a vested interest - a lot of them a lot longer than any other people around and especially the cities and municipalities have a vested interest in the business people in Soldotna and Kenai. That's the lifeblood of a lot of businesses. It's not the lifeblood of a lot of beds and breakfasts in Anchorage or the Mat Valley or any other place, but it is the lifeblood of a lot of bed and breakfasts and guide businesses in Kenai. I don't think you'll find that there are a lot of guides that guide in the Kenai River that live in Anchorage - not nearly as many as you might think. SENATOR SEEKINS said it looked like the attempt was to add acreage to the already existing management area. He asked, if those lands are open to oil and gas leasing, are there setbacks or other statutory requirements that would apply to those activities for reasonable protection of the river. CHAIR OGAN replied that state law already delineates 500 ft. setbacks from rivers and lakes; mitigation measures are in every plan of operation that is reviewed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Department of Conservation (DEC) and Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G). SENATOR ELTON said he wanted to make sure that when EVOS purchased the land there weren't stipulations in the contract that are being set aside by opening up that land to oil and gas leasing. MR. PANARESE answered that he wasn't clear on that and would have to get back to him on it. SENATOR ELTON said he wanted to know what the conditions of purchase were and what is really allowed in section 3. CHAIR OGAN said he also had a question about section 3 and interpreted it to mean the land would be open for oil and gas leasing, but not for mining. MR. PANARESE replied that was his understanding, also. He thought the Legislature had the use of directional drilling in mind, not actually putting facilities on park land. SENATOR LINCOLN asked if Senator Wagoner was anticipating having no travel costs for the citizen advisory boards. SENATOR WAGONER replied that had not been the case in the past and he didn't foresee that changing. SENATOR LINCOLN responded that the reason that hasn't been the case in the past is because the agencies have paid for it, but it's different when it's applied to a citizen group, which is why she questioned it. She asked if there were any letters of support. MS. SEITZ replied that they didn't really ask for letters of support, but they have one from the Kenai Peninsula Borough that supports the bill and opposes adding any other land to KRSMA. SENATOR ELTON asked how people were chosen for the current board. MS. SEITZ answered that the commissioner of DNR appoints them from names that are submitted. SENATOR ELTON asked if there are designated seats for guides and sport fishermen, etc. MS. SEITZ replied that there weren't designated seats. MR. PANARESE added that the by-laws of the board require the board to propose three names. The public member nominees submit a short resume' to the commissioner of DNR and perhaps indicate their preference. The commissioner then appoints one of them. The government members would be appointed by the commissioners of the departments they represent. The Fish and Wildlife Service and Forest Service would each appoint their representative, as would the other three branches of government local to the Kenai Peninsula. SENATOR ELTON said it would be helpful to get a copy of the by- laws. He wanted to be sure they would not end up with municipality people precluding the recreational users of the river from being fully represented. MR. ROBERT VALDATTA, member of the Municipal Advisory Panel on Stranded Gas in Soldotna, said that the bridge is the main concern. CHAIR OGAN asked him how that issue is relevant to the present bill. SENATOR WAGONER asked him if he was talking about the proposed bridge between Sterling and Funny River and the boat ramp that is a part of that project. MR. VALDATTA replied yes and added that it was being discussed 20 years ago. SENATOR WAGONER illuminated him saying that it is still being discussed. He thought a lawsuit was being filed by some people who live in a couple of subdivisions on the road that was chosen as the preferred site. However, he didn't think this bill was relevant to those lands. CHAIR OGAN thanked everyone for their comments and said SB 190 would be held for further work. 4:15 p.m. - 4:17 p.m. - at ease SB 271-NATURAL GAS DEVEL AUTHORITY PROJECTS CHAIR SCOTT OGAN announced SB 271 to be up for consideration. MR. HAROLD HEINZE, CEO, Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority (ANGDA), noted the current zero fiscal note. He informed the committee that to stay involved in the project, he had written a letter to the two different applicant groups under the Stranded Gas Act. He could live with a zero fiscal note for the present, but if ANGDA's involvement became serious in the future, it would need additional support. CHAIR OGAN asked if he had received a response to the letters. MR. HEINZE replied that he only wrote the letters last week and, therefore, it was a little early. SENATOR ELTON asked if he had any discussion with the Department of Revenue (DOR) on protocol when he wrote the letters. MR. HEINZE replied that since the last hearing, he had numerous discussions with Deputy Commissioner Porter on their relationship. He summarized the discussions saying that the Authority is prepared to work diligently as a major element of the team to assure that the stranded gas applications receive all the consideration possible. He wrote the letters because he wanted both applicants to understand that the authority had certain abilities that were very unique to it as a public corporation. SENATOR ELTON was concerned that the applicants know there is only one point of access to negotiate their contracts and he wanted it to be through the governor's negotiating team. MR. HEINZE responded that the Authority has nothing to do with the negotiations that will take place, but it does help the project move along to becoming a commercial reality. SENATOR ELTON continued to voice his concern that ANGDA express itself through the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the governor's negotiating team. CHAIR OGAN chimed in to say that ANGDA has nothing to do with the TransCanada pipeline project; its scope is Prudhoe Bay to Valdez. But, the Authority's tax-free status might be of interest to the applicants [the producers] and requiring it to review the state's involvement in the pipeline is important, because it uses more of a private sector approach. MR. HEINZE pledged: If it is the desire of the State of Alaska, as a matter of policy, that the Authority not look at the fact that we share the first 530 in common with moving gas from the North Slope down the highway or wherever it goes, if we're not supposed to look at that in a commercial way - we might combine our efforts with each of the sponsor groups - then, I think we need to know that. It is certainly the view of the Authority, and we have maintained this position throughout, we will work with any legitimate project sponsor in any way, shape or form...[END OF TAPE]. TAPE 04-9, SIDE B SENATOR ELTON said he didn't know the tenor of the letters and asked if Mr. Heinze could send a copy to the chair. MR. HEINZE apologized that that hadn't been done and said he would. SENATOR ELTON expanded on his concern saying that DOR had the responsibility to share appropriate information with ANGDA and that ANGDA should share information with DNR, also. Letters that go out should be funneled through one place. MR. HEINZE offered to send copies of all his letters to the committee and to send them through whomever they direct him to send them through. MR. STEVEN PORTER, Deputy Commissioner, DOR, inserted that there is a single contact point for negotiations and both Exxon/ConocoPhillips/BP [the Producers] and MidAmerica know who they are negotiating with and how to distinguish between the Authority and negotiations with the state under the Stranded Gas Act. He affirmed that there are two applications under the Stranded Gas Act and that he intends to negotiate with them simultaneously. He used a truckers analogy to expand on his explanation. Basically, the State of Alaska is the owner of a field; the industry leased the field and produced a harvest. The harvest can go to market one of three ways. Industry can do it themselves; the state can buy its own trucking line and independents can bring the product to market. Often, a trunk line goes from L.A. to Chicago and the little cities in between don't get serviced unless the independents service them. He sees the Authority complementing the trunk line by focusing on in- state gas benefits (like spur lines to smaller communities). SENATOR ELTON took a line out of one of the letters to ConocoPhillips/BP and ExxonMobil [the Producers] that read: Your Beaufort Sea alternative route might become possible if North Slope gas was available to Alaskans as provided for in our project and we would also welcome the opportunity to discuss your cooperation toward that objective. He asked if that letter had been vetted by Mr. Porter, would that line have been in it. MR. PORTER answered that ANGDA reports through DOR and the governor's position has not changed on that issue. The primary goal [of the letter] is gas to market and in-state gas benefits. Mr. Heinze brought forward the secondary issue of the Beaufort Sea route as a future possibility and Senator Elton would have to ask him what his intent was. SENATOR ELTON said he didn't want anyone to suggest that the Beaufort Sea alternative route might become possible if North Slope gas was available to Alaskans. This sentence seems to him to illustrate why the administration should be speaking to the applicants with one voice. MR. PORTER retorted that the administration is speaking with one voice in its negotiations with the applicants. SENATOR ELTON insisted that his point is that another state entity is also speaking with one clear voice. "I want to make sure the clear voices are saying the same thing." CHAIR OGAN said Senator Elton's point is well taken and that he shared his concern with the language mentioning the Beaufort Sea route. He thought it sent mixed signals to the industry. MR. HEINZE vouched that the application filed by the producers clearly states that it is not route specific and proposes two routes. That is what he was responding to. ANGDA would share the first 530 miles of the first alternative, the highway route, and something there might be beneficial to both projects. The second alternative, the over-the-top route, is not abandoned in their application. SENATOR SEEKINS said he wasn't aware of anything in ANGDA that says their CEO cannot communicate however he wants to. CHAIR OGAN said he was correct and that it was a matter of judgment. SENATOR LINCOLN said the Legislature is expanding the responsibilities of the Authority and she is uncomfortable because she senses it does not have the complete blessing of the administration. The current fiscal note is zero through 2010 and the second paragraph says explicitly that to reduce duplication, the state will coordinate research on all gas pipeline options and provide ANGDA with any research it develops that may assist ANGDA in the fulfillment of its obligations. There may also be research that is appropriate for ANGDA to conduct and to provide that information to the State of Alaska. She cautioned: It doesn't sound to me that that coordination is there and when we're talking about the Authority taking on additional responsibilities of evaluation of opportunities for private sector involvement in the planning, development, construction, management and operations of the gas transmission pipeline project, I don't know how that can be a zero. And that report has to come back to us within a year, before January of '05 - that report including the new task we gave them has to be before us in less than a year and yet we still have a zero fiscal note.... I don't want the Authority coming back and saying we don't need more money because SB 271 gave us additional responsibilities to handle.... CHAIR OGAN compared SB 271 to, "...putting our bait in the water. We want to attract a strike." If companies express an interest, he'd get the checkbook out and write a check. However, they might not express interest and this won't do anything. He asked Mr. Heinze if that was a fair assessment. MR. HEINZE replied that he has looked at the Authority's ability under several different scenarios and the supplemental request of $2.5 million will allow it to pursue any of the projects. However, he doesn't have a good sense of how long the state will pursue the stranded gas application process and said: I'm happy at this point to leave it at a zero fiscal note. I do not believe I could probably promise Senator Lincoln that under all circumstances I wouldn't need additional funding.... SENATOR LINCOLN said he was assuming that the Authority's $2.5 million request would be fully funded. If it isn't, she suggested that he rethink his reply in regards to SB 271. MR. HEINZE replied that if the funding situation changed substantially, he would have to rethink the whole relevance of the Authority and what SB 271 was asking ANGDA to do. CHAIR OGAN said that SB 271 goes to Finance next and he hoped to get it there so it could be considered along with the bill requesting the supplemental funding. MR. PORTER enlightened the committee with his explanation of the indeterminate fiscal note saying that the key is to assume the present law is fully funded and go from there. Some information may become available to ANGDA in such a way that may save money on the original plan; it could easily be a wash. "We do not believe this will incrementally cost the state additional funds at this present time." CHAIR OGAN asked if he thought this was an important tool to have - that may or may not work for this project. MR. PORTER replied with a question. If proposition 3 didn't exist and the Legislature decided to create an entity, what responsibilities would it give it over Alaska gas? He thought evaluating the TransCanada pipeline and how it complements their mission was a fair use of ANGDA's time and he recommended broadening their responsibility to include it. SENATOR SEEKINS said proposition 3 passed because of frustration over the lack of action and he encouraged every entity, including ANGDA, to try to help the state and the Legislature find ways to get the gas to market as economically and quickly as possible. SENATOR ELTON noted that the title of SB 271 gives ANGDA authority to evaluate opportunities for private sector involvement in the project, but page 2, line 13, says: (C) to authorize as part of the Authority's development planning, evaluation of opportunities for private sector involvement in the planning, development, construction, management, and operation of the project. He asked if this authority gives ANGDA a seat at the table as the state evaluates the MidAmerica application that envisions private sector involvement. CHAIR OGAN pointed out that he was reading intent language. SENATOR ELTON maintained that the lines he referenced "authorized" ANGDA's participation in evaluation of private sector involvement. He rephrased his question and asked if Mr. Porter took this as a legislative directive to have ANGDA involved at the table in the review of the MidAmerica application. MR. PORTER answered no. MR. HEINZE further answered: I felt that language was an instruction to the Authority that we should include in any of our thinking ways that private individuals and other investors, frankly, could become involved in the project if they wished in whatever we did. CHAIR OGAN said he didn't have any problem with taking the intent language out. MR. PORTER expanded his answer saying it is not the intent to have ANGDA sit at the table with the state in negotiating with MidAmerica. However, he felt that both the state and the Authority are committed to in-state gas benefits from local hire and contracting, including participation in ownership of the pipeline. MR.HEINZE said he found the language in SB 271 helpful because it added consideration of a special offering to Alaskans to whatever ANGDA developed in the way of a funding plan. SENATOR DYSON echoed Senator Seekins' comment about voter frustration and wanting to see things move. He has respect for Mr. Heinze and hears him saying ANGDA wants to be very useful in collecting needed information to make informed decisions. Expanding its ability to look at the possibility of a shared portion of the pipeline is very useful. MR. ROBERT VALDATTA, member of the Municipal Advisory Panel on Stranded Gas, Seward, supported SB 271, because it would put Alaskans to work. SENATOR WAGONER moved to pass SB 271 from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note. SENATOR ELTON objected saying, while he intends to vote for passage of SB 271 and supports the $2.5 million request so the state can have every tool it needs: We have to carefully parse, kind of, the testimony from the department whether they are supportive of $2.5 million or how does this work with ANGDA. And, while I agree that all the tools ought to be there, we ought to have a good understanding of who is using the tools and what the tools are meant to accomplish. And, I'm not quite there, yet. So, I think that puts a little bit of responsibility on the Department of Revenue and on ANGDA to develop those protocols so that we understand and we're comfortable with the process - because I do believe that we are at a very delicate stage right now. I don't want the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing as potential contracts that are going to be presented to the whole body, hopefully in a timely manner, come up.... I'm going to be a no-rec on the bill. I think it's important to move it forward so that we can keep some momentum behind this.... It would sure be helpful if we knew what those protocols were before we finally vote. CHAIR OGAN responded that his points are well taken. He has been told that the state often sends a very mixed, and somewhat dysfunctional, message to the market. SENATOR ELTON removed his objection. CHAIR OGAN announced that SB 271 passed from committee. There being no further business to come before the committee, he adjourned the meeting at 5:05 p.m.

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