Legislature(2001 - 2002)

05/06/2002 10:35 AM RLS

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                    
                     SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                                                                                   
                           May 6, 2002                                                                                          
                           10:35 a.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Randy Phillips, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator John Cowdery, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                         
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Rick Halford                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 239                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to state employees  who are called to active duty                                                              
as reserve or auxiliary members of  the armed forces of the United                                                              
States; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                   
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 359                                                                                                             
"An   Act   relating   to   organization   grants   for   mergers,                                                              
consolidations, or unifications involving third class boroughs."                                                                
     ADOPTED A SENATE RULES COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE AND APPROVED FOR                                                               
     CALENDARING                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 206(RLS)                                                                                                  
"An Act  relating to a  vessel-based commercial fisheries  limited                                                              
entry system for  the Bering Sea Korean hair crab  fishery and for                                                              
weathervane   scallop  fisheries,   to   management  of   offshore                                                              
fisheries, and to  the definition of 'person' for  purposes of the                                                              
commercial  fisheries   entry  program;   and  providing   for  an                                                              
effective date."                                                                                                                
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 288(FIN) am                                                                                               
"An Act relating  to commercial fishing limited  entry permit buy-                                                              
back programs, to  a permit buy-back assessment,  and to voluntary                                                              
relinquishment  of   commercial  fishing  permits;   and  defining                                                              
'optimum number.'"                                                                                                              
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 262                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to accounting for  and appropriations of receipts                                                              
from  fees collected  by  the Department  of  Labor and  Workforce                                                              
Development for  certain inspections and for certain  plumbing and                                                              
electrical   worker  certificates   of  fitness;  establishing   a                                                              
building safety account; and providing for an effective date."                                                                  
     SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 36                                                                                             
Suspending  Rules 24(c), 35,  41(b), and  42(e), Uniform  Rules of                                                              
the  Alaska State  Legislature,  concerning  House  Bill No.  262,                                                              
relating  to accounting  for and appropriations  of receipts  from                                                              
fees  collected   by  the  Department   of  Labor   and  Workforce                                                              
Development for  certain inspections and for certain  plumbing and                                                              
electrical   worker  certificates   of  fitness,  establishing   a                                                              
building safety account, and providing for an effective date.                                                                   
     SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SB 239 - See  State Affairs minutes dated 1/24/02  and 1/31/02 and                                                              
Finance Report dated 4/25/02.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SB 359 -  See CRA minutes  dated 4/17/02 and Finance  Report dated                                                              
4/30/02.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HB 206 - See Resources minutes dated  3/20/02, 4/17/02 and 4/24/02                                                              
and Judiciary minutes dated 4/29/02.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HB 262 - See Labor and Commerce minutes dated 3/21/02, State                                                                    
Affairs minutes dated 4/2/02 and Finance Report dated 4/18/02.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB 288  - See Resources  minutes dated  4/8/02 and Finance  Report                                                              
dated 5/1/02.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                              
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mary Jackson                                                                                                                    
Staff to the Senate CRA Committee                                                                                               
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Explained and  stated support for Amendment 1                                                            
to SB 359.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mary McDowell                                                                                                                   
Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission                                                                                           
8800 Glacier Highway, Suite 109                                                                                                 
Juneau, AK 99801                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:   Explained  the intent  of CSHB 206(RLS)  and                                                            
CSHB 288(RLS).                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 02-12, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 001                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN RANDY PHILLIPS called the  Senate Rules Committee meeting                                                            
to order at  10:35 a.m. Senators Cowdery, Therriault  and Phillips                                                              
were present.   The  first order  of business  to come before  the                                                              
committee was SB 239.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY  moved to calendar  SB 239-STATE  EMPLOYEES CALLED                                                          
TO  MILITARY   DUTY  at   the  Chairman's   discretion  with   its                                                          
accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS announced  that with  no objection, the  motion                                                              
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY  moved to  calendar SB 359-MUNICIPAL  ORGANIZATION                                                          
GRANTS/LBC   STUDY  at   the   Chairman's   discretion  with   its                                                          
accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS  announced that  an  amendment  to SB  359  was                                                              
proposed.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY withdrew  his motion and then moved  to take up SB
359 for discussion.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  informed members  that Amendment 1  was labeled                                                              
"5302 Cook F.1" and moved its adoption.  He then asked Ms. Jackson                                                              
to testify.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MARY JACKSON,  staff  to the  Senate  Community and  Regional                                                              
Affairs  Committee,   explained  that  Amendment  1   deletes  the                                                              
language beginning  on page 1  and ending on  page 2, line  3. The                                                              
essence of that change is that there  will be one $200,000 payment                                                              
instead of  two. It was  suggested that  the amendment would  be a                                                              
bit more palatable.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS asked  if that change is agreeable  to the prime                                                              
sponsor of the bill.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. JACKSON said it is.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT moved to adopt Amendment 1.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  announced that  with no objection,  Amendment 1                                                              
was adopted.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY moved to calendar  CSSB 359(RLS) at the Chairman's                                                              
discretion with the accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS announced that  with no objection, CSSB 359(RLS)                                                              
would be calendared.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  announced the committee would take  up CSHB 206                                                          
(RLS)-LIMITED ENTRY FOR COMM. FISHERIES  and asked Ms. McDowell to                                                          
testify.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MARY   MCDOWELL,  Commercial   Fisheries  Entry   Commission,                                                              
explained that HB 206 began as a  generic bill to create a vessel-                                                              
based limited entry alternative.  Through the legislative process,                                                              
it was narrowed  down to authorizing a vessel-based  limited entry                                                              
alternative  for  the weathervane  scallop  and  Korean hair  crab                                                              
fisheries.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY moved to calendar  CSHB 206(RLS) at the Chairman's                                                              
discretion with the accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS announced  that with  no objection, the  motion                                                              
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  THERRIAULT  moved  to  calendar  CSHB  288(FIN)am-LIMITED                                                          
ENTRY  BUY-BACK PROGRAM/ASSESSMENT  at  the Chairman's  discretion                                                          
with its accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARY MCDOWELL,  Commercial Fisheries Entry  Commission (CFEC),                                                              
explained that this measure corrects  several flaws in the current                                                              
state permit buy-back program. One  of the main issues is that the                                                              
funding  mechanism  in  current  statute  has  been  found  to  be                                                              
unconstitutional,  like a dedicated  fund, because it  essentially                                                              
says the CFEC would declare a buy-back  program, tax fishermen and                                                              
the money  would go  straight into  the buy-back  fund to  buy out                                                              
permits and vessels. This bill creates  a mechanism similar to the                                                              
salmon enhancement  tax and the ASMI  tax in which the  CFEC would                                                              
declare a  buy-back program, the  money would be collected  out of                                                              
fish  tickets, and  fishermen's  earnings would  go  to the  state                                                              
general fund  and the legislature  may appropriate it back  to the                                                              
buy-back fund to buy out permits.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCDOWELL  explained that  current law  says that the  buy-back                                                              
program  funds could  be  used to  buy-back  permits, vessels  and                                                              
gear.   This bill  only allows the  funds to be  used to  buy back                                                              
permits, so the  money will go much further.  It  also removes the                                                              
mandate  that CFEC  initiate a  state-run buy-back  program if  an                                                              
outcome study determines  there are too many permits  in a fishery                                                              
and instead  allows CFEC  to do so. This  will allow  fishermen to                                                              
seek  other  ways of  consolidating  the  fleet, either  using  an                                                              
industry-run buy-back  program or  some other method.  It provides                                                              
CFEC with a tool  with which to do a study and  do a determination                                                              
about  what  number  of  permits would  be  defensible  under  the                                                              
Constitution and explore alternatives to the state run program.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCDOWELL said the bill contains  one other significant change.                                                              
Current law requires  CFEC to do a study of the  optimum number of                                                              
permits in a  fishery. That mandate implies that  CFEC determine a                                                              
perfect  number.  CSHB  288(FIN)am  allows CFEC  to  determine  an                                                              
optimum range,  so that CFEC  can take fluctuating  variables into                                                              
account.  She noted  CFEC  initially issues  a  certain number  of                                                              
permits  in  a  fishery  and, later  on,  if  permits  become  too                                                              
exclusive  CFEC   must  issue  more  permits;  for   the  opposite                                                              
scenario, CFEC can buy back permits.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  asked where  that provision  is located  in the                                                              
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCDOWELL  said it is in  Section 7. She informed  members that                                                              
this bill is  essentially a clean  up bill. CFEC has never  done a                                                              
buy  back but  this  bill  will make  a  buy back  functional  and                                                              
constitutional.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  asked, "Are  we going to  get sued on  this one                                                              
too?"                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCDOWELL said she believes CFEC  is more likely to get sued if                                                              
this bill doesn't pass.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  asked if  there were  any objections  to moving                                                              
the  bill  from  committee. There  were  none,  therefore  Senator                                                              
Therriault's motion carried.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS  announced  that   HB  262  would  be  held  in                                                              
committee  one more day  and that  HB 305  would be scheduled  the                                                              
next day. He then adjourned the meeting at 11:45 a.m.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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