Legislature(1999 - 2000)
03/21/2000 02:00 PM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE BILL NO. 7 An Act relating to the University of Alaska and university land, and authorizing the University of Alaska to select additional state land. Co-Chair Therriault MOVED to ADOPT Amendment #1, 1- LS0072\W.1, Luckhaupt, 3/21/00. [Copy on File]. Representative J. Davies OBJECTED for the purpose of discussion. MIKE TIBBLES, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE GENE THERRIAULT, distributed language that would help clarify the amendment. [Copy on File]. He noted that there had been a question regarding when the land could be selected and explained it could be chosen if it was not being used. The additional language speaks to the role of the municipality. Co-Chair Therriault clarified that the University and the municipality would be on the same "footing". Representative J. Davies questioned the clause in the addendum that "the University may not select the land". WENDY REDMAN, VICE PRESIDENT, STATEWIDE PROGRAMS, UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA, FAIRBANKS, recommended that a comma replace the semicolon. Representative J. Davies WITHDREW his OBJECTION to the amendment. There being NO further OBJECTION, Amendment #1 was adopted. Co-Chair Therriault WITHDREW Amendment #2, 1-LS0072\W.2, Luckhaupt, 3/21/00. [Copy on File]. Co-Chair Therriault MOVED to adopt Amendment #3, 1- LS0072\W.3, Luckhaupt, 3/21/00. [Copy on File]. There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment #3 was adopted. Representative J. Davies stated that Amendment #2 would "fix" the logic of Subsection M. He suggested that the language in that section does not make sense without the amendment. Co-Chair Therriault requested Ms. Redman to explain that language. Ms. Redman replied that the language that exists in the draft bill W.2, all conveyances of land come to the University with the existing easement rights-of-way. Ms. Redman noted that the University is interested in receiving reasonable protection. Vice Chair Bunde speculated that if the amendment were offered, it would put pressure on the Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources to speed up easements on the right-of-ways. Representative J. Davies requested to modify Amendment #2 by placing it in the positive. On Line 3, delete "may not conveying" and insert "when conveying"; Line 4, delete "reserves" and insert "shall reserve". JIM POUND, STAFF, SENATOR ROBIN TAYLOR, noted that language would work well. Representative J. Davies MOVED to adopt the amended Amendment #2. There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted. Representative J. Davies MOVED to adopt an amendment on Page 12, Line 19, deleting "may" and inserting "shall". Co-Chair Therriault OBJECTED. Representative J. Davies explained that the change would illustrate the concept of the University "demonstration forest". He thought that using "may" would leave a possibility that nothing would happen. If "shall" is used, it is guaranteed that there will be action. Co-Chair Mulder asked if Representative J. Davies believed that the demonstration forest would make money for the University. Representative J. Davies stated it would. Ms. Redman argued that she did not know. She believed that the primary purpose of a demonstration forest would not be to maximize income but to act as laboratory for forestry practices. Co-Chair Mulder understood that the purpose of the bill was to attempt to make the University "whole" from possible income generated. He voiced concern that it could become a "money looser" rather than a "money maker". Representative J. Davies argued that there has been resistance to developing the forestlands. He commented that Alaska has not moved into the modern age of how to manage forests. He stressed the language change would allow more economic development. Vice Chair Bunde complained that "shall" would make for micro-management. Co-Chair Therriault agreed. Inclusion of "shall" indicates that the Legislature would like to see something happen on the land but are not mandating it. Representative G. Davis pointed out that there are many "shalls" included in the same section of the bill. He asked if there would be an opportunity for grants if the University had established the demonstration project. A roll call vote was taken on the motion. IN FAVOR: Grussendorf, Moses, Phillips, J. Davies OPPOSED: Austerman, Bunde, G. Davis, Foster, Mulder, Therriault Representative Moses was not present for the vote. The MOTION FAILED (4-6). Ms. Redman noted that the University's fiscal note should be in sink with Department of Natural Resources. The University would be spending all non-general funds. CAROL CARROLL, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES, interjected that the Department of Natural Resources will provide a revised fiscal note indicating interagency receipts. Representative J. Davies asked the assumption in making the additional increment of $600 thousand dollars. Ms. Carroll replied that on bigger sections of land, the cost is less to survey. She emphasized that the Department will only be paid for the work that they do. Representative J. Davies inquired if the legislation was approved, could an RPL be developed if there was a need. Co-Chair Therriault agreed, noting that it is important that the Legislature take a "guess" as to what it is going to be. Co-Chair Therriault asked if the legislation were to come into law, how quickly would the University be incurring some of these costs. Ms. Redman responded that the University would be able to be back the first year with some small sections of lands. There has been discussion with some municipalities of undertaking some shared development. She anticipated needing the full ten years for the amount of land. Co-Chair Therriault recommended that the amount should be estimated. He questioned if there needed to be a change to the note. Ms. Redman did not anticipate that, however asked to check with the University's financial division. Co-Chair Therriault questioned why the dollar amount did not match with the Department. Ms. Carroll noted that the note from the Department should reflect the "House Resources Committee" version of the bill. Ms. Redman added that the corrected fiscal notes would be available tomorrow. Ms. Redman commented that there was nothing in the bill that would require them to give money to the Department of Fish and Game. Ms. Redman stated that the Commissioner of Department of Natural Resources in collaboration with the Commissioner of Department of Fish and Game would make that determination. Ms. Carroll asked for clarification whether it was anticipated that Department of Natural Resources would be collecting for the Department of Fish and Game. DICK MYLIUS, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), RESOURCE ASSESSEMENT DEVELOPMENT SECTION of LAND, MINE AND WATER, DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOUCRS, stated that the Department's fiscal note did not include Department of Fish and Game costs. That Department would be reviewing selections from a wildlife point of view, which was not factored into the costs for the Department of Natural Resources. Co-Chair Therriault noted that the fiscal notes would be adjusted so that the dollar amount was in sink. Representative Austerman asked to change the Department of Fish and Game fiscal note to reflect interagency receipt money coming from the University. Ms. Redman stated that the University would not be purchasing services from Department of Fish and Game. Representative Austerman asked if the Department of Fish and Game fiscal note was erroneous. Co-Chair Therriault stated that the Department of Fish and Game would be offering an opinion with dispositions of State lands. Ms. Carroll believed that Department of Fish and Game's note was written in reference to Page 6, Lines 22-25. She believed that it would create a lot of work. Representative Phillips suggested that the fiscal note be changed to interagency receipts to Department of Natural Resources rather than to the University. Representative Austerman stated that he did not want to see more work for the Department without funding. Somewhere along the way, the Department will need to be paid. Ms. Redman supported the idea presented by Representative Phillips. She noted that she did not anticipate the Department of Fish and Game being impacted, however, the University would compensate that Department for the seal of approval on the lands. She recommended that be incorporated through interagency receipts. Ms. Redman noted that the Department of Natural Resources fiscal note would be handled separately. Representative J. Davies MOVED to report HCS CS SB 7 (FIN) out of Committee with individual recommendations and with the attached fiscal notes. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. HCS CS SB 7 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with new fiscal notes by the Department of Fish and Game, the University of Alaska and Department of Natural Resources.