Legislature(2011 - 2012)BUTROVICH 205

03/21/2011 03:30 PM RESOURCES


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 13 WAIVE PARK FEE FOR DISABLED VETERANS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= SB 42 POWER PROJECT; ALASKA ENERGY AUTHORITY TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 42(RES) Out of Committee
+ HJR 9 ENDORSING ANWR LEASING TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS CSHJR 9(RES) Out of Committee
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 21, 2011                                                                                         
                           3:31 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Joe Paskvan, Co-Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Thomas Wagoner, Co-Chair                                                                                                
Senator Bill Wielechowski, Vice Chair                                                                                           
Senator Bert Stedman                                                                                                            
Senator Lesil McGuire                                                                                                           
Senator Hollis French                                                                                                           
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
Senator Joe Thomas                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 42                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating  to the  procurement  of  supplies,  services,                                                               
professional  services, and  construction for  the Alaska  Energy                                                               
Authority;  establishing  the  Alaska Railbelt  energy  fund  and                                                               
relating  to the  fund; relating  to and  repealing the  Railbelt                                                               
energy fund;  relating to the quorum  of the board of  the Alaska                                                               
Energy Authority;  relating to  the powers  of the  Alaska Energy                                                               
Authority  regarding  employees  and   the  transfer  of  certain                                                               
employees of  the Alaska Industrial Development  Export Authority                                                               
to  the  Alaska  Energy  Authority;   relating  to  acquiring  or                                                               
constructing  certain projects  by the  Alaska Energy  Authority;                                                               
relating to the  definition of 'feasibility study'  in the Alaska                                                               
Energy Authority Act; and providing for an effective date."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSB 42(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 13                                                                                                              
"An Act providing  for the waiver of certain fees  and charges in                                                               
state parks for disabled veterans."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 9(RES)                                                                                        
Urging the  United States  Congress to  pass legislation  to open                                                               
the coastal plain  of the Arctic National Wildlife  Refuge to oil                                                               
and  gas exploration,  development, and  production; relating  to                                                               
oil and gas exploration,  development, production, and royalties;                                                               
and relating to renewable and alternative energy technologies.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SCS CSHJR 9(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  42                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: POWER PROJECT; ALASKA ENERGY AUTHORITY                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
01/19/11       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/19/11       (S)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
02/09/11       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/09/11       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/09/11       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/11/11       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/11/11       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/11/11       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/16/11       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/16/11       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/16/11       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/21/11       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/21/11       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/21/11       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/23/11       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/23/11       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/23/11       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
03/21/11       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  13                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: WAIVE PARK FEE FOR DISABLED VETERANS                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): FRENCH                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
01/19/11       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/7/11                                                                                
01/19/11       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/19/11       (S)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
03/21/11       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HJR  9                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ENDORSING ANWR LEASING                                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): PRUITT                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
01/18/11       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/18/11       (H)       RES                                                                                                    
02/23/11       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
02/23/11       (H)       Moved CSHJR  9(RES) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/23/11       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/25/11       (H)       RES RPT CS(RES) NT 9DP                                                                                 
02/25/11       (H)       DP: GARDNER, FOSTER, MUNOZ, DICK,                                                                      
                         P.WILSON, KAWASAKI, HERRON, SEATON,                                                                    
                         FEIGE                                                                                                  
02/28/11       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
02/28/11       (H)       VERSION: CSHJR 9(RES)                                                                                  
03/01/11       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/01/11       (S)       RES                                                                                                    
03/21/11       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SHARLA "KRIS" COOK, disabled veteran representing herself                                                                       
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 13.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
BEN ELLIS, Director                                                                                                             
Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation                                                                                        
Department of Natural Resources (DNR)                                                                                           
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 13.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LANCE PRUITT                                                                                                     
State Capitol Bldg.                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HJR 9.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
BERT KRAFT                                                                                                                      
Staff to Representative Pruitt                                                                                                  
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on HJR 9 for the sponsor.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:31:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR JOE PASKVAN called the Senate Resources Standing                                                                     
Committee meeting to order at 3:31 p.m. Present at the call to                                                                  
order were Senators French, Wielechowski, Stedman, Stevens, Co-                                                                 
Chair Wagoner and Co-Chair Paskvan.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
         SB  42-POWER PROJECT; ALASKA ENERGY AUTHORITY                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:32:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  PASKVAN announced  SB  42 to  be  up for  consideration                                                               
[CSSB 42 (RES),  27-GS1822\D, was before the  committee]. He said                                                               
the  title is  changed to  conform with  changes to  the original                                                               
bill. In  the original  version the Senate  sought to  modify the                                                               
state's procurement code. This  committee substitute (CS) deletes                                                               
that language so that there  are no statutory changes relating to                                                               
the Alaska  Energy Authority (AEA)  and procurement. The  CS also                                                               
makes changes to the Alaska  Railbelt Energy Fund, preserving the                                                               
legislature's   authority  to   appropriate.  Finally   and  most                                                               
significant, the  CS makes  changes relating  to the  creation of                                                               
subsidiaries  and  this  is  found   on  page  6;  it  makes  the                                                               
subsidiary  created by  this legislation  specific to  the Watana                                                               
Hydroelectric Power Project on the Susitna River.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
He said  the fiscal  note for  SB 42  is not  impacted by  any of                                                               
these  changes  and will  remain  the  same. These  changes  were                                                               
considered  after   going  through  the  committee   process  and                                                               
incorporating language advanced by  Mr. Brian Bjorkquist from the                                                               
Alaska Department of Law.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:34:30 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MCGUIRE joined the committee.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:35:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEDMAN   moved  to  adopt  Amendment   1,  labeled  27-                                                               
GS1822\D.11, as follows:                                                                                                        
                                                27-GS1822\D.11                                                                  
                                                        Kane                                                                    
                                                      3/21/11                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                          AMENDMENT 1                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     OFFERED IN THE SENATE                   BY SENATOR STEDMAN                                                                 
     TO:  CSSB 42(RES), Draft Version "D"                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, lines 1 - 10:                                                                                                      
          Delete all material.                                                                                                  
          Insert "An Act relating to a Susitna River                                                                          
      hydroelectric project and to the power of the Alaska                                                                    
      Energy Authority to apply for permits, licences, and                                                                    
     approvals; and providing for an effective date."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 12, through page 7, line 19:                                                                                  
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
        "* Section 1. AS 44.83.080 is amended to read:                                                                      
          Sec. 44.83.080. Powers of the authority. In                                                                         
     furtherance  of its  corporate purposes,  the authority                                                                    
     has  the  following powers  in  addition  to its  other                                                                    
     powers:                                                                                                                    
               (1)  to sue and be sued;                                                                                         
               (2)    to  have  a   seal  and  alter  it  at                                                                    
     pleasure;                                                                                                                  
               (3)    to  make  and  alter  bylaws  for  its                                                                    
     organization and internal management;                                                                                      
               (4)    to  adopt  regulations  governing  the                                                                    
     exercise of its corporate powers;                                                                                          
               (5)     to   improve,  equip,   operate,  and                                                                    
     maintain power  projects and  bulk fuel,  waste energy,                                                                    
     energy    conservation,    energy    efficiency,    and                                                                    
     alternative energy facilities and equipment;                                                                               
               (6)  to  issue bonds to carry out  any of its                                                                    
     corporate   purposes   and    powers,   including   the                                                                    
     establishment or  increase of reserves to  secure or to                                                                    
     pay the bonds  or interest on them, and  the payment of                                                                    
     all other  costs or expenses of  the authority incident                                                                    
     to  and  necessary  or  convenient  to  carry  out  its                                                                    
     corporate purposes and powers;                                                                                             
               (7)   to  sell,  lease as  lessor or  lessee,                                                                    
     exchange, donate, convey, or  encumber in any manner by                                                                    
     mortgage  or   by  creation   of  any   other  security                                                                    
     interest, real or personal property  owned by it, or in                                                                    
     which it has an interest,  when, in the judgment of the                                                                    
     authority,  the   action  is  in  furtherance   of  its                                                                    
     corporate purposes;                                                                                                        
               (8)  to accept gifts,  grants, or loans from,                                                                    
     and   enter  into   contracts  or   other  transactions                                                                    
     regarding them, with any person;                                                                                           
               (9)  to deposit  or invest its funds, subject                                                                    
     to agreements with bondholders;                                                                                            
               (10)    to  enter  into  contracts  with  the                                                                    
     United States  or any person  and, subject to  the laws                                                                    
     of the United States and  subject to concurrence of the                                                                    
     legislature, with  a foreign  country or  its agencies,                                                                    
     for   the  construction,   financing,  operation,   and                                                                    
     maintenance of  all or any  part of a power  project or                                                                    
     bulk  fuel, waste  energy, energy  conservation, energy                                                                    
     efficiency,   or  alternative   energy  facilities   or                                                                    
     equipment, either inside or outside  the state, and for                                                                    
     the sale  or transmission  of power  from a  project or                                                                    
     any right to the capacity of  it or for the security of                                                                    
     any bonds of  the authority issued or to  be issued for                                                                    
     the project;                                                                                                               
               (11)    to  enter  into  contracts  with  any                                                                    
     person and with  the United States [,]  and, subject to                                                                    
     the  laws  of the  United  States  and subject  to  the                                                                    
     concurrence of the legislature,  with a foreign country                                                                    
     or  its  agencies  for the  purchase,  sale,  exchange,                                                                    
     transmission, or  use of power  from a project,  or any                                                                    
     right to the capacity of it;                                                                                               
               (12)   to apply  to the  appropriate agencies                                                                    
     of the state, the United  States, and a foreign country                                                                    
     and any other proper  agency for the permits, licenses,                                                                    
     or approvals  as may be  necessary, to  maintain, [AND]                                                                
     operate,  acquire,  or   construct  power  projects  in                                                                
     accordance  with  the  licenses   or  permits,  and  to                                                                    
     obtain, hold, and  use the licenses and  permits in the                                                                    
     same manner as any other person or operating unit;                                                                         
               (13)   to enter into contracts  or agreements                                                                    
     with respect to the exercise  of any of its powers, and                                                                    
     do all things necessary or  convenient to carry out its                                                                    
     corporate purposes  and exercise the powers  granted in                                                                    
     this chapter;                                                                                                              
               (14)  to recommend to the legislature                                                                            
               (A)   the pledge of  the credit of  the state                                                                    
     to  guarantee  repayment  of  all  or  any  portion  of                                                                    
     revenue  bonds  issued  to assist  in  construction  of                                                                    
     power projects;                                                                                                            
               (B)  an appropriation from the general fund                                                                      
               (i)    for debt  service  on  bonds or  other                                                                    
     project purposes; or                                                                                                       
               (ii)  to reduce  the amount of debt financing                                                                    
     for the project;                                                                                                           
               (15)   to  carry  out the  powers and  duties                                                                    
     assigned to it under AS 42.45;                                                                                             
               (16)  to  make grants or loans  to any person                                                                    
     and   enter  into   contracts  or   other  transactions                                                                    
     regarding the grants or loans;                                                                                             
               (17)  to  promote energy conservation, energy                                                                    
     efficiency,  and  alternative energy  through  training                                                                    
     and public education;                                                                                                  
               (18)    to  acquire  a  Susitna  River  power                                                                
     project,  whether by  construction, purchase,  gift, or                                                                
     lease;                                                                                                                 
               (19)    to  perform feasibility  studies  and                                                                
     engineering and design with respect  to a Susitna River                                                                
     power project.                                                                                                         
        * Sec. 2. AS 44.83.396(a) is amended to read:                                                                         
          (a)  A power project that was acquired or                                                                             
      constructed under AS 44.83.080(18) or as part of the                                                                  
      former energy program for Alaska is owned, and shall                                                                      
     be administered, by the authority.                                                                                         
       * Sec. 3. This Act takes effect immediately under                                                                      
     AS 01.10.070(c)."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR PASKVAN objected for purposes of discussion.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEDMAN said  he has a lot of concerns  with the bill and                                                               
how  it interrelates  with  the other  utilities  in other  areas                                                               
around  the  state even  though  he  supports moving  ahead  with                                                               
Watana.  This amendment  removes  the split  of  AEA with  Alaska                                                               
Industrial  Development and  Energy Authority  (AIDEA). It  would                                                               
also  remove the  authorization  for AEA  to create  subsidiaries                                                               
(except for  the issue of  moving forward with Watana).  It would                                                               
create  a  new Alaska  Railbelt  Energy  Fund and  authorize  its                                                               
capitalization  and  it  would   remove  conditional  effects  in                                                               
notification language.  So, the  bill would  change its  focus on                                                               
planning  and  funding  for  large-scale  Railbelt  hydroelectric                                                               
projects and it  would allow the project to move  forward and the                                                               
legislature to work with the  administration to address secondary                                                               
issues  in the  future. He  said he  believed this  was the  best                                                               
approach  to moving  Watana forward  so they  are focused  on the                                                               
large  hydroelectric  project  for  the Railbelt  and  don't  get                                                               
derailed "into a litany of  other issues around the state dealing                                                               
with other smaller utilities and impacts on other communities."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEDMAN then withdrew Amendment 1.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR PASKVAN stated that they  now have CSSB 42(RES), version                                                               
D, before them.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  said didn't know  that it was  necessary to                                                               
have administrative  clerks, for instance, in  the exempt status,                                                               
but he  had decided to  not offer an  amendment at this  time and                                                               
would rather probably talk to the co-chair of Finance about it.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  PASKVAN  found no  further  comments  and said  he  was                                                               
satisfied with the work this committee has done on this bill.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  WAGONER moved  to report  CSSB  42(RES) from  committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal  note(s).                                                               
There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:39:22 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease from 3:39:22 PM to 3:42:15 PM.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:42:15 PM                                                                                                                    
          SB  13-WAIVE PARK FEE FOR DISABLED VETERANS                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER announced SB 13 to be up for consideration. He                                                                 
asked for a motion to bring the bill before the committee.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  PASKVAN  moved to  bring  SB  13, version  27-LS0097\A,                                                               
before the committee.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER objected for discussion purposes.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH, sponsor  of SB 13, said this  measure waives park                                                               
fees  for disabled  veterans. He  read the  sponsor statement  as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska's veterans  served our country with  pride. This                                                                    
     legislation shows a small token  of our appreciation by                                                                    
     providing  disable  veterans  in our  state  with  free                                                                    
     access to state park facilities.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Our parks provide all Alaskans  with the opportunity to                                                                    
     explore  and  recreate  in  Alaska's  wild  places.  To                                                                    
     provide these opportunities  to those with disabilities                                                                    
     many park facilities are  compliant with ADA standards.                                                                    
     Six cabins have been  modified to include features like                                                                    
     wheelchair  ramps. Two  boat launches,  14 campgrounds,                                                                    
     10  historic  sites and  dozens  of  day use  locations                                                                    
     provide handicap  accessible facilities.  Regardless of                                                                    
     disability, the system is truly open to all Alaskans.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     In 1991,  Alaska passed a  law which created  a special                                                                    
     disabled  veteran  camping permit,  providing  disabled                                                                    
     veterans with  free camping in state  park campgrounds.                                                                    
     SB 13 extends  this free benefit to  public use cabins,                                                                    
     boat ramps, RV facilities  and day parking. Please join                                                                    
     me and support this meaningful piece of legislation.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH said  the bill is easiest to understand  if you go                                                               
to page  3, section  4 that has  the meat of  the bill,  which is                                                               
this exception  in subsection  (f) to AS  41.21.026; it  says the                                                               
department may not  charge or collect a fee  under (a)(1), (6)(70                                                               
or (8),  (11) or (12)  of this section from  a resident who  is a                                                               
disabled veteran.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Section one adds:                                                                                                               
       (1) rental of public use cabins or other overnight                                                                       
       lodgings;" those aspects of state parks that would                                                                       
     free;                                                                                                                      
        (6) allows one to use a sewage holding tank dump                                                                        
     station;                                                                                                                   
      (7) admission to or guided tours of visitor centers                                                                       
     and historic sites;                                                                                                        
      (8) use of an improved boat ramp in a park facility                                                                       
     developed principally for boat launching;                                                                                  
      (11) use of a developed facility that has developed                                                                       
     parking and rest rooms;                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH said  state  parks are  "nickel  and diming  you"                                                               
every time  you turn around. If  they want to encourage  folks to                                                               
get  outside to  enjoy  the  wilderness and  what  Alaska has  to                                                               
offer, it strikes  him that disabled veterans should  not have to                                                               
shoulder this financial burden.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
He pointed out  that this doesn't just apply to  folks who are in                                                               
wheel chairs  and on  crutches. You could  be disabled  through a                                                               
traumatic  brain injury,  through post-traumatic  stress disorder                                                               
and lots of other different ways.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH said last year,  under the current exemption, 1600                                                               
park passes  were issued  to disabled  veterans and  he estimated                                                               
that  same  number would  be  using  cabins  and so  forth.  They                                                               
wouldn't get priority  use for the cabins, but the  basic idea is                                                               
to encourage  more use  of the  parks by  our veterans.  He added                                                               
that there is a definition of "disabled veteran."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:47:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR WAGONER opened public testimony.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SHARLA   "KRIS"  COOK,   a   disabled   veteran  from   Anchorage                                                               
representing  herself said  she  supports SB  13.  She said  that                                                               
Alaska  is  known  as a  very  veteran-friendly  state.  Disabled                                                               
veterans generally  earn less  than they  would have  before they                                                               
were disabled.  The certification is  already done for  the state                                                               
by the  Department of Veterans  Affairs; a regional office  is in                                                               
Anchorage  and those  who  are  not close  to  Anchorage can  get                                                               
certification through  the Veterans Affairs Central  Offices by a                                                               
phone call and then a letter.  The letter both certifies that the                                                               
person  is   a  veteran,  that  they   have  a  service-connected                                                               
disability  and provides  a specific  rating for  that disability                                                               
and specifies  whether the disability is  permanent or temporary.                                                               
The  disability  rating  is  through a  federal  process,  so  it                                                               
relieves the state of having to do that.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.   COOK  said   a  disabled   veteran  could   bring  in   his                                                               
certification  letter  and  present  it when  getting  a  parking                                                               
permit or renting a cabin in lieu of paying money.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  WAGONER, finding  no  further  public comments,  closed                                                               
public testimony.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR PASKVAN  asked if  anyone from DNR  was here  to explain                                                               
the fiscal note.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:51:11 PM                                                                                                                    
BEN ELLIS,  Director, Division of  Parks and  Outdoor Recreation,                                                               
Department of  Natural Resources  (DNR), said they  encourage the                                                               
use and  enjoyment of all the  state's parks by all  Alaskans and                                                               
especially   disabled  veterans.   They  support   the  idea   of                                                               
recognizing the service and sacrifice  made by them and emphasize                                                               
that any concern they may have  is largely of a fiscal nature. He                                                               
explained  that  any  time  they grant  fee  exemptions  it's  "a                                                               
double-edged sword"  in that revenue  is decreased  while greater                                                               
use is encouraged and this bill would be no exception.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
He said they currently provide  an exemption to disabled veterans                                                               
from paying fees for overnight  camping in state park facilities.                                                               
The  individual must  come in  to  a Fairbanks  or Anchorage  DNR                                                               
public  information center  in person  and  provide either  their                                                               
red, white and blue disabled veteran  I.D. card or the letter Ms.                                                               
Cook  referred to  from the  Veterans' Administration  confirming                                                               
their status.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. ELLIS  explained that  although the  statute provides  for an                                                               
annual pass  for disabled  veterans, the  current practice  is to                                                               
issue a  two-year pass.  For 2009/10,  they issued  1,616 camping                                                               
passes with a  combined value of approximately  $322,200. He said                                                               
it  would  be  relatively  straight-forward to  implement  a  fee                                                               
exemption to disabled veterans for  day use and boat launch fees.                                                               
There  are annual  passes available  to the  general public;  for                                                               
both of  these uses a  receipt code could be  set up so  the pass                                                               
could be  provided free of  charge to disabled  veterans. Without                                                               
knowing  exactly how  many would  apply, his  best guess  is that                                                               
they  would potentially  lose  $80,000-$160,000  in revenue  from                                                               
that access.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. ELLIS  said the  more difficult issue  to implement  would be                                                               
the  fee exemption  for  disabled veterans  on  public use  cabin                                                               
reservations.  Ninety-eight percent  of  those are  made via  the                                                               
state online system.  If a disable veteran were  required to make                                                               
their  cabin  reservations  in person,  either  in  Anchorage  or                                                               
Fairbanks,  it  would  be  putting  them  at  a  disadvantage  in                                                               
comparison to  the general  public. The  most popular  cabins are                                                               
generally  reserved  exactly  seven   months  in  advance.  State                                                               
residents have  seven months and if  you're out of state  you can                                                               
reserve them six months in advance.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
He  said there  is  a way  to allow  disabled  veterans the  same                                                               
access  to the  public use  cabins  as the  general public.  They                                                               
would need to  modify the online system. Contracting  out for the                                                               
design of  personal identification number for  a disabled veteran                                                               
to  use online  and  not be  charged would  cost  $10,000. It  is                                                               
difficult  to  determine how  much  the  disabled veterans  would                                                               
avail  themselves of  this program,  but  he used  the fees  from                                                               
their 2010  total to  get a  low, medium  and high  estimate. Ten                                                               
percent  of the  total would  be about  $30,700 that  wouldn't be                                                               
captured; a middle estimate is 20  percent that would amount to a                                                               
little over $61,000  and 30 percent of the high  end would amount                                                               
to about $92,000.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. ELLIS  said the  public use  cabins have  an over  90 percent                                                               
occupancy   rate.  There   are   some  considerations   regarding                                                               
providing exemptions  for public use cabin  fees. Currently, when                                                               
someone cancels  a reservation,  they are  issued a  credit which                                                               
they can  use for future  reservations. That allows  someone else                                                               
to take the use of their  cabin. Under this exemption there would                                                               
be  no incentive  to cancel  and it  could, therefore,  tie up  a                                                               
cabin  when  it wasn't  being  used  -  resulting again  in  lost                                                               
revenue. Due to  the remote location of some of  the areas, there                                                               
would  be a  lack of  enforcement and  it would  be difficult  to                                                               
ensure that the  disabled veteran whose exemption  was being used                                                               
was actually present in the group that was staying at the cabin.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
He  said  they have  73  public  use  cabins that  are  extremely                                                               
popular and  in 2010  they were used  7,452 nights  and generated                                                               
$307,335. There  are approximately  29 positions that  are either                                                               
fully  funded within  Parks using  general fund  program receipts                                                               
which this  money would be.  All of those positions  are involved                                                               
directly either  with enforcement  or management  of the  parks -                                                               
the park  ranger, the  park specialist  and the  natural resource                                                               
technicians. If  the program  receipts would  not be  replaced by                                                               
general funds, the revenue reduction  would have the potential to                                                               
result in the loss of three or more equivalent positions.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:58:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked how the  system works now for disabled                                                               
out-of-state veterans to apply for a cabin permit.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ELLIS  replied  that  non-residents  can  currently  reserve                                                               
cabins six months  in advance; so, they would have  to consider a                                                               
non-resident  disabled  veteran  having  a  cabin  available  six                                                               
months  in advance  figure out  some way  to deal  with them  not                                                               
coming in in person.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEDMAN asked  how many state cabins  and campgrounds are                                                               
in Southeast.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. ELLIS  replied that  he didn't have  those numbers  but would                                                               
get them.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEDMAN said one of  the concerns is with people securing                                                               
reservations  without paying  and  that could  be  dealt with  by                                                               
having a partial exemption instead of exempting the whole thing.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH said Southeast has  six state recreation sites and                                                               
seven  cabins.  He  pointed  out   that  an  article  in  today's                                                               
newspaper says that the Tri-care  insurance program that veterans                                                               
participate  in is  asking  for  a fee  increase  that would  put                                                               
increased  financial  pressure  on  our veterans.  And  from  his                                                               
calculations, almost 10 percent of  the park revenue in the state                                                               
is currently  generated from disabled veterans.  It's interesting                                                               
and  speaks to  the use  of  the parks  by our  veterans, but  he                                                               
thought they  could find a different  place to put the  burden of                                                               
operating our parks.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  WAGONER   held  SB   13  for   "the  next   meeting  of                                                               
opportunity."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:04:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                 HJR  9-ENDORSING ANWR LEASING                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER announced HJR 9 to be up for consideration.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  PASKVAN  moved  to  bring  CSHJR  9(RES),  labeled  27-                                                               
LS0379\I, before the committee. There were no objections.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:05:26 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LANCE PRUITT, sponsor of  HJR 9, said this measure                                                               
urges Congress to  pass legislation to open the  coastal Plain of                                                               
the  Arctic  National  Wildlife  Refuge (ANWR)  to  oil  and  gas                                                               
exploration and  development. The Alaska National  Interest Lands                                                               
Conservation  Act (ANILCA)  of 1998  prohibited leasing  or other                                                               
development  leading to  production of  oil and  gas in  ANWR. To                                                               
date,  the  domestic  demand  for oil  continues  to  rise  while                                                               
domestic crude production continues to  fall with the result that                                                               
the United  States imports additional  oil from  foreign sources.                                                               
New technology  has greatly reduced the  environmental impacts of                                                               
development on the  North Slope and if Prudhoe  were built today,                                                               
the footprint would be as small as 1526 acres.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
He said  that oil  and gas  development has  also proven  to have                                                               
successfully co-existed  in Alaska's  Arctic. The  Central Arctic                                                               
Caribou Herd  at Prudhoe Bay has  grown from 3,000 to  as high as                                                               
23,400  in  the last  22  years  alone.  HJR 9  mirrors  previous                                                               
legislative  resolutions and  includes  provisions for  renewable                                                               
and alternative  energy sources,  protection of wildlife  and the                                                               
use of directional drilling.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:06:55 PM                                                                                                                    
BERT KRAFT,  staff to Representative  Pruitt, said  the following                                                               
language was  added to  this resolution  since it  was introduced                                                               
related to oil and gas  exploration and development. In version I                                                               
the following language  was added to the title  paragraph on page                                                               
1, line  1: "relating  to oil  and gas  exploration, development,                                                               
production   and  royalties   and  relating   to  renewable   and                                                               
alternative energy technologies." This  change was made to better                                                               
reflect all language included in the entire resolution.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
"Any"  was removed  from  page  3, line  22,  because it  sounded                                                               
redundant and "an  alternative" was added on page  3, lines 23-24                                                               
and  page 4,  lines 5-6  because  it includes  sources of  energy                                                               
generation that "renewable" alone does not.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
The language,  "The Alaska State  Legislature urges that  oil and                                                               
gas  exploration and  development  and production"  was added  to                                                               
page 3,  line 28, for  clarification. "The nations" was  added to                                                               
page 2, line 6, to emphasize national security.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:08:17 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  FRENCH asked  if  the Senate  hadn't  recently passed  a                                                               
resolution urging Congress to open ANWR.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. KRAFT  answered that resolution  specifically dealt  with the                                                               
wilderness designation in the 1002 area.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH asked  on  page  2, line  18,  if  they are  only                                                               
concerned  about   Prudhoe  and   moved  a   friendly  conceptual                                                               
amendment [Amendment 1]  to change it the North  Slope to capture                                                               
more of the idea that they are aiming to communicate.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PRUITT said  he would accept that  as an amendment                                                               
because  they are  trying to  express  the decline  on the  North                                                               
Slope.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH said  he thought  substituting "North  Slope" for                                                               
"Prudhoe  Bay"  would  get  the   point  across.  There  were  no                                                               
objections and the amendment was adopted.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR PASKVAN  moved to  report CSHJR  9(RES) as  amended from                                                               
committee. There  were no objections  and therefore, SCS  CSHJR 9                                                               
(RES) moved from committee.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:10:38 PM                                                                                                                    
Finding  no  further  business, Co-Chair  Wagoner  adjourned  the                                                               
meeting at 4:10 PM.                                                                                                             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB013 Hearing Request.pdf SRES 3/21/2011 3:30:00 PM
SRES 1/23/2012 3:30:00 PM
SB 13
SB013 Sponsor Statement.pdf SRES 3/21/2011 3:30:00 PM
SRES 1/23/2012 3:30:00 PM
SB 13
SB013 Support Documents-State Parks ADA Facilities.pdf SRES 3/21/2011 3:30:00 PM
SRES 1/23/2012 3:30:00 PM
SB 13
SB013 Support Documents-Related Statutes.pdf SRES 3/21/2011 3:30:00 PM
SRES 1/23/2012 3:30:00 PM
SB 13
SB013 Support Documents-State Park Fees.pdf SRES 3/21/2011 3:30:00 PM
SRES 1/23/2012 3:30:00 PM
SB 13
SB013 ver A.pdf SRES 3/21/2011 3:30:00 PM
SRES 1/23/2012 3:30:00 PM
SB 13
SB013 Sectional Analysis.pdf SRES 3/21/2011 3:30:00 PM
SRES 1/23/2012 3:30:00 PM
SB 13
CSHJR 9 - 01 Hearing Request for Version I.pdf SRES 3/21/2011 3:30:00 PM
CSHJR 9 - 02 Sponsor Statement for Version I.pdf SRES 3/21/2011 3:30:00 PM
CSHJR 9 - 03 Summary of changes from Version A to I.pdf SRES 3/21/2011 3:30:00 PM
CSHJR 9 - 04 Version I.pdf SRES 3/21/2011 3:30:00 PM
CSHJR 9 - 05 Fiscal Note LEG 2-21-2011.pdf SRES 3/21/2011 3:30:00 PM
CSHJR 9 - 06 Rep. Young HR 49.pdf SRES 3/21/2011 3:30:00 PM
CSHJR 9 - 07 Arctic Power 49 ANWR bullet points.pdf SRES 3/21/2011 3:30:00 PM
SB13_Fiscal Note_DNR-PM-3-18-11.pdf SRES 3/21/2011 3:30:00 PM
SRES 1/23/2012 3:30:00 PM
SB 13
CSHJR 9 - 05 Fiscal Note LEG 2-21-2011.pdf SRES 3/21/2011 3:30:00 PM
SB 13
CS for SB 42 Version D_2-22-11.pdf SRES 3/21/2011 3:30:00 PM
SB 42