Legislature(1995 - 1996)
02/13/1995 01:35 PM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE BILL NO. 102 4 "An Act extending the termination date of the Big Game Commercial Services Board." JEFF LOGAN, STAFF, HOUSE RESOURCES COMMITTEE testified in support of HB 102. He observed that HB 102 extends the Big Game Commercial Services Board whose duties are set forth in AS 08.54.300 - 330. He noted that the Board replaced the Big Game Guide Board as a result of legislation passed in 1989 (HB 112). The Board is the product of the Legislative Task Force on Guiding and Game which was commissioned to resolve conflicts between guides and outfitters. The Board is mandated to terminate its operation one year after its sunset date. He explained that unless the Legislature passes HB 102 this session the Board will be terminated. REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN testified in support of HB 102. He noted that he served two years on the Big Game Commercial Services Board. He noted that the Alaska Supreme Court determined that exclusive use of guide use areas is unconstitutional under the Common Use Clause. Statutes implemented by the Board restrict guides to three Guide Use Areas. Any guide can register for any area for a period of five years. At the end of five years the guide can re- register into another area. He asserted that the lack of control and chaos that would result from the Board's termination would be detrimental to the industry. Representative Mulder asked why the Board was not extended beyond one year during the last legislative session. Representative Ogan did not know. Representative Martin asked if the statutes pertaining to the Board's powers or duties were repealed. Representative Ogan replied that the statutes were not changed. Representative Ogan emphasized that the Board takes in more than it costs to run. He added that the Board plans to lower fees. He stressed that the Board pursues violators. Representative Martin expressed concern that fees might be lowered. He questioned the benefit, to the State, of harvesting the resource. Representative Ogan clarified that the license fee would be lowered. Out-of-state tag fees are not controlled by the Board. NEIL WEBSTER, GUIDE testified via the teleconference network from Anchorage. He testified that the changes implemented by the Board have allowed him to become involved in the guide industry. He spoke in support of retention of the Board. He maintained that the Board has been a gain for the overall industry. He noted that the current regulation 5 allows him to know what guides are using the areas adjacent to the Guide Use Area he is operating in. In response to a question by Representative Kohring, Mr. Logan explained that the revenue fluctuations indicated in the fiscal note reflect a two year licensing renewal of some licenses. KARL LUCK, DIRECTOR, OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT clarified that funding was not reduced for the Board in FY 95. He stressed that the Board's responsibilities have not been reduced. Funding for the Board was included in the FY 96 proposed budget. He further clarified that revenue reflected in the fiscal note is all general fund program receipts. The fiscal note reflects that there are greater program receipts in years that the two year licenses are renewed. The program receipts are added over the two year period and then divided in half to derive the Board's yearly budget. He noted that there is a $10.0 thousand dollar increase in FY 97 to accomplish a new statutory mandate. Representative Brown asked if AS 08.54310 (b)(1) is constitutional. Mr. Luck acknowledged that the statute is being challenged in Superior Court. Representative Navarre assured her that the law will be found constitutional. He emphasized, as a former member of the Legislative Task Force on Guiding and Game, that the legislation was designed to allow access. Representative Therriault cautioned that the Board will be asked to absorb the $10.0 thousand dollar increase from FY 96 to FY 97. He observed that there is also a $30.0 thousand dollar increase from FY 95 to FY 96. Mr. Luck noted that the Board is required by statute to charge licensing fees that are approximately equal to the cost of regulating the Board. He emphasized that the amount needed to run the Board depends on the number of licenses obtained. Mr. Luck reviewed personal services costs. There is one range 12 licensing examiner position which is dedicated solely to the Board. One range 12 licensing examiner position has some of its time dedicated to other boards. Positive time keeping is used to allocate the cost of the position to whichever board worked for at a particular time. He added that services provided by the Hearing Officer Unit, Investigative Unit, and any clerical support are also charged through positive time keeping. There is one investigator position which works solely on the Board's investigations. 6 (Tape Change, HFC 95-21, Side 1) Representative Mulder MOVED to report HB 102 out of Committee with individual recommendations and with the accompanying fiscal note. HB 102 was reported out of Committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with a fiscal impact note by the Department of Commerce and Economic Development, dated 2/8/95.