Legislature(2017 - 2018)ADAMS ROOM 519
03/28/2018 01:30 PM FINANCE
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HOUSE BILL NO. 386 "An Act relating to abandoned and derelict vessels; relating to the registration of vessels; relating to certificates of title for vessels; relating to the duties of the Department of Administration; relating to the duties of the Department of Natural Resources; establishing the derelict vessel prevention program; establishing the derelict vessel prevention program fund; and providing for an effective date." 3:27:30 PM Co-Chair Foster discussed the schedule. 3:28:05 PM AT EASE 3:28:33 PM RECONVENED REPRESENTATIVE PAUL SEATON, SPONSOR, provided background information about the impetus for the bill. He stated that in 2012 there was an emergency, because someone had purchased two old boats, but could not put them in the water. He stated that those boats sank in the swamp. He stated that the clean up of the vessels was a long expensive process. He shared that it was a state responsibility, because it was difficult to determine who owned and who was responsible for the vessels. He stated that he had sponsored bill that said that if vessels were denied entry into harbor, they could not be stored in state waters for over two weeks without removing the hazardous waste from the vessels. He felt that the legislation was difficult to enforce. 3:33:50 PM Co-Chair Seaton continued to discuss the need for the bill. PATRICIA NICKELL-ZIMMERMAN, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE PAUL SEATON, provided a PowerPoint presentation titled "HB 386 Vessels: Registration/Titles; Derelicts" (copy on file). Ms. Nickell-Zimmerman moved to slide 3, "Title 05. Chapter 25. Watercraft: Undocumented Vessels: Adds Title requirement @20.00 for vessels that are: (AS 05.25.096(a)(6)) 20 feet or more; and commercially used (AS 05.25.056(g)) Increases boat registration fee to $30.00 [$24.00] for 3 years. (AS 05.25.096(a)(1)) List of exemptions to Title and Registration requirements. (AS 05.25.056), (AS 05.25.055(i)) Documented Vessels: No Title required (AS 05.25.055(i)(1)(c)) Adds Registration of $30.00 for 3 years. (AS 05.25.096(a)(1)) Barges Adds definition of barge (AS 05.25.100(16)) Adds Barge registration of $75.00 for 3 years. (AS 05.25.096(5)) 3:39:23 PM Ms. Nickell-Zimmerman turned to slide 4, "Title 30. Chapter 30. Abandoned and Derelict Vessels": ? Adds state or municipal property to areas that a person may not store a derelict vessel. AS 30.30.010 (a)(1) ? Amends statute upon conviction, increases fine to not less than 5K or more than 10K and/or not more than 90 days imprisonment and/or forfeiture of vessel. AS 30.30.010(e) ? Adds DNR duties and powers to establish and administer Derelict Vessel Prevention Program Fund. AS 30.30.095 and 096 ? Adds regulated process for impoundment, through notice and hearings prior to disposition. AS 30.30.040, 045, 055, 060, 065, 075 Ms. Nickell-Zimmerman addressed slide 5 titled "What is Derelict?": DERELICT VESSEL 30.30.090 Sunk or sinking, obstructing or endangering health, safety, or environment number obliterated Owner of record disclaims and current owner cannot be determined Moored, anchored, stored, abandoned (see definition) or left contrary to law No record of documentation or registration and ownership cannot be determined Moored, anchored, stored, abandoned (see definition) without authorization on private property. Expired registration or document number and owner no longer at address Ms. Nickell-Zimmerman moved to slide 6 titled "Process to Impoundment": 20 days prior to impoundment, written notice and posted on agencies website AS 30.30.040 Within 15 days after postmark on written notice, owner may request informal pre-impoundment hearing AS 30.30.040(c) 10 business days (or longer per request of owner) after receipt of written request by owner, jurisdiction schedules informal hearing. AS 30.30.040(d) Jurisdiction to provide written decision to owner, showing "substantial evidence that vessel is derelict". AS 30.30.040(f) If found to be derelict, jurisdiction may impound AS 30.30.055 Owner may take possession upon reimbursement to State or municipality of incurred costs. (notices costs, harbor fees, storage fees, etc.) AS 30.30.060 Jurisdiction may sell, donate or destroy if not repossessed within 30 days after postmark on written notice AS30.30.055(b) after posting disposition. AS 30.30.045 Ms. Nickell-Zimmerman addressed slide 7, "Appropriation of Title Fees and Barge Fees created through this legislation": Derelict Vessel Prevention Program Fund AS 30.30.096 Money is appropriated into the fund, no further appropriation is needed to move funds out. Appropriations do not lapse. 3:44:41 PM Representative Wilson MOVED to ADOPT the proposed committee substitute for HB 386, Work Draft 30-LS1475\D (Bruce, 3/21/18). There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Vice-Chair Gara supported the bill. He remarked on the short title of the bill, which he believed should be changed. Representative Kawasaki asked about the collection from people who had left derelict vehicles. Co-Chair Foster listed individuals available for questions. Co-Chair Seaton deferred to the Department of Law. 3:47:25 PM PETER CALTAGIRONE, ATTORNEY, CIVIL DIVISION, ENVIRONMENTAL SECTION, DEPARTMENT OF LAW (via teleconference), asked to hear the question. Representative Kawasaki wondered why it was difficult to prosecute the owner in removing their "junk." Mr. Caltagirone replied that the current penalty in statute was not very high. The bill as presented increased both the fines, and punishment as an unclassified misdemeanor. He remarked that the difficulty in removing the vessel was primarily the cost. He shared that the current statute gave the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the municipality the ability to take the vessel, but did not address the high cost. He shared that the current bill created a titling requirement, which would help tracking the owner. He furthered that even knowing the owner of the vessel did not guarantee removal of the vessel. He stated that there was a high cost to remove even a smaller vessel. 3:51:10 PM Representative Kawasaki asked about past legislation about derelict mining equipment on state lands. Mr. Caltagirone was not familiar with the mentioned legislation. Representative Guttenberg noted that the registration process sat on top of the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) process. He asked if there was a way for a party to take a vessel before it derelict and take ownership. Mr. Caltagirone replied in the negative. The current law as written did not allow it. There was no current titling requirement in Alaska. Representative Guttenberg asked if a person would have an opportunity to bid on the item. Mr. Caltagirone asked what Representative Guttenberg meant by his use of the word "you." Representative Guttenberg clarified. Mr. Caltagirone replied it would be his understanding. For the state to get involved he believed it would have to be on trespassing. 3:54:38 PM Co-Chair Seaton requested to hear about the process from his staff. Ms. Nickel-Zimmerman shared that one of the questions that had arisen when DMV had approached the sponsor was related to titling. Titling would be new for boat owners, and was proof of ownership. They had been told there would be another process for the potential of an affidavit. Representative Wilson asked for verification they were speaking about boats 20 feet or larger. Ms. Nickel-Zimmerman replied in the affirmative. HB 386 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further consideration. Co-Chair Foster reviewed the meeting schedule for the following day.