Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/13/1995 01:35 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  HOUSE BILL NO. 102                                                           
       "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                 
  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                 
  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                 
  (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                 

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