HJR 13: Urging the United States Congress to exempt cruise ships from certain provisions of the Passenger Vessel Services Act and other applicable provisions of federal law for the period during which Canadian ports are closed to cruise ships carrying more than 100 people; and urging the President of the United States not to fine or take actions against cruise ships sailing to the state.
00 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 13 01 Urging the United States Congress to exempt cruise ships from certain provisions of the 02 Passenger Vessel Services Act and other applicable provisions of federal law for the 03 period during which Canadian ports are closed to cruise ships carrying more than 100 04 people; and urging the President of the United States not to fine or take actions against 05 cruise ships sailing to the state. 06 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 07 WHEREAS more than 2,260,000 visitors traveled to the state in 2019; and 08 WHEREAS, in 2019, approximately 1,331,600 people visited the state by cruise ship, 09 accounting for 90 percent of the visitors to Southeast Alaska; and 10 WHEREAS, each year, the tourism industry generates more than $214,000,000 in 11 state and municipal revenue, more than $1,400,000,000 in payroll, and $2,200,000,000 of 12 visitor spending; and 13 WHEREAS, on average, the tourism industry creates 8,394 jobs annually, generating 14 $271,600,000 in wages and earnings for Southeast Alaska each year; and 15 WHEREAS, in 2020, the diminished tourism season resulting from the COVID-19
01 pandemic contributed to an increase in statewide unemployment from 6.2 percent to 11.0 02 percent; in Southeast Alaska, unemployment increased from 4.7 percent to 11.3 percent, 03 which equates to a loss of 17 percent of all jobs in the region; and 04 WHEREAS state residents are being vaccinated against COVID-19 at the highest rate 05 per capita in the country, with 15 percent of state residents having been vaccinated; and 06 WHEREAS, on October 30, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 07 issued a Framework for Conditional Sailing Order, which allows cruise ships to resume 08 sailing with mitigation plans for crews, passengers, and people in port communities and 09 includes requirements for increased testing, additional crew safeguards, simulated voyages, 10 and certification of mitigation plans; and 11 WHEREAS, on February 3, 2021, Canada extended until February 2022 a ban 12 preventing cruise ships carrying more than 100 people from sailing through Canadian waters; 13 and 14 WHEREAS 46 U.S.C. 55103 (Passenger Vessel Services Act) requires certain cruise 15 ships to stop at a Canadian port in order to sail to the state; and 16 WHEREAS other federal laws may interfere with the ability of certain ships to hire 17 and retain crews on routes to the state that do not include a stop in Canada; and 18 WHEREAS small business owners, families, and young people in the state depend on 19 tourism jobs for their livelihoods, and a missed cruise season could cause irreparable 20 economic harm; 21 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the United States 22 Congress to exempt certain cruise ships sailing to the state from provisions of the Passenger 23 Vessel Services Act and other federal laws that require cruise ships to stop at a Canadian or 24 other foreign port in order to operate in the state for the period during which Canadian ports 25 are closed to cruise ships carrying more than 100 people; and be it 26 FURTHER RESOLVED that, if the United States Congress does not exempt cruise 27 ships from the requirements of the Passenger Vessel Services Act, the Alaska State 28 Legislature urges the President of the United States not to fine or take other enforcement 29 actions against cruise ships sailing to the state for the period during which Canadian ports are 30 closed to the cruise ships. 31 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Joseph R. Biden, President
01 of the United States; the Honorable Kamala D. Harris, Vice President of the United States and 02 President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the Honorable Dan Sullivan, 03 U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska 04 delegation in Congress; and all other members of the 117th United States Congress.