Legislature(2019 - 2020)

2020-02-19 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

2020-02-19                     Senate Journal                      Page 1786
SB 204                                                                                                                        
SENATE BILL NO. 204 BY THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                                                                               
BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR, entitled:                                                                                           
       "An Act relating to state lands; relating to the authority of                                                            
       the Department of Natural Resources over state owned                                                                     
       lands; relating to the disposal of state land; relating to the                                                           
       leasing and sale of state land for commercial or industrial                                                              
       development; repealing establishment of recreation rivers                                                                
       and recreation river corridors; and providing for an                                                                     
       effective date."                                                                                                         
was read the first time and referred to the Resources and Finance                                                               

2020-02-19                     Senate Journal                      Page 1787
The following fiscal information was published today:                                                                           
 Fiscal Note No. 1, Department of Natural Resources                                                                             
 Fiscal Note No. 2, indeterminate, Department of Transportation                                                                 
  and Public Facilities                                                                                                         
Governor's transmittal letter dated February18:                                                                                 
Dear President Giessel:                                                                                                         
Under the authority of Article III, Section 18, of the Alaska                                                                   
Constitution, I am transmitting a bill clarifying the State's role in                                                           
management of state land, removing barriers or obstacles in the state                                                           
land sales process, allowing for the lease of state lands for economic                                                          
or industrial development, and repealing statutes that have created land                                                        
use or management problems for the State.                                                                                       
This bill would make land managed by the Department of Natural                                                                  
Resources -- including Mental Health Trust land, parks and recreation                                                           
areas, refuges, and habitat areas -- subject to the Department of                                                               
Natural Resources’ platting authority, regardless of where the land is                                                          
situated. Under current law, plats for subdivisions of state lands for                                                          
disposal of sale must be approved by a municipality exercising its                                                              
platting authority. Obtaining this approval delays the platting process                                                         
and slows state land sales.                                                                                                     
To make the most of all avenues available to encourage land use for                                                             
the benefit of the public, this bill includes a new statute for leasing                                                         
state lands for commercial or industrial development. Under this new                                                            
statute, the State can lease and sell lands situated within federally                                                           
designated Qualified Opportunity Zones, or nominated and assessed                                                               
by the state as appropriate for commercial development. The statute                                                             
includes a process for requesting proposals from prospective lessees,                                                           
for accepting bids, and for entering a contract to lease. This statute will                                                     
allow the lessee to apply to purchase the leased land at any time during                                                        
the term of the lease if the department determines the lessee has used                                                          
the land for commercial development consistent with their proposal.                                                             

2020-02-19                     Senate Journal                      Page 1788
Further, this bill clarifies the state land sale bidding process by                                                             
requiring an earnest money deposit, increasing the term of a contract                                                           
for sale, and granting the state greater discretion as far as when to                                                           
construct access roads related to state land sales.                                                                             
This bill also repeals the establishment of recreational rivers and                                                             
corridors. These statutes have created management problems for the                                                              
State and through this bill we can end those management issues,                                                                 
maintain public use, and allow the State to consider the disposal of                                                            
some of those state lands.                                                                                                      
In order to make the best use of our state land for all citizens, I urge                                                        
your prompt and favorable action on this measure.                                                                               
Mike Dunleavy