Legislature(2017 - 2018)ADAMS ROOM 519

04/04/2018 01:30 PM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 398 CORP TAX:PUBLIC UTILITY INCOME ALLOCATION TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 398 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ HB 399 CORP. TAX: REMOVE EXEMPTIONS/CREDITS TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
<Pending Referral>
-- Public Testimony --
+= HB 277 BROADBAND INTERNET: NEUTRALITY/REGULATION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 129 FISH & GAME: OFFENSES;LICENSES;PENALTIES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
HOUSE BILL NO. 129                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act   relating  to  sport  fishing,   hunting,  or                                                                    
     trapping  licenses,  tags,   or  permits;  relating  to                                                                    
     penalties  for  certain  sport  fishing,  hunting,  and                                                                    
     trapping license  violations; relating  to restrictions                                                                    
     on  the   issuance  of  sport  fishing,   hunting,  and                                                                    
     trapping  licenses;  creating violations  and  amending                                                                    
     fines  and  restitution  for   certain  fish  and  game                                                                    
     offenses;  creating   an  exemption  from   payment  of                                                                    
     restitution for  certain unlawful  takings of  big game                                                                    
     animals;  relating  to commercial  fishing  violations;                                                                    
     allowing lost  federal matching funds from  the Pittman                                                                    
     -   Robertson,  Dingell   -  Johnson/Wallop   -  Breaux                                                                    
     programs  to be  included in  an order  of restitution;                                                                    
     adding   a  definition   of   'electronic  form';   and                                                                    
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:51:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR   BERNARD   CHASTAIN,    ALASKA   WILDLIFE   TROOPERS,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY (via teleconference), read from                                                                     
prepared remarks. He read the sectional analysis.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Summary:  This  legislation  will  provide  the  Alaska                                                                    
     Wildlife Troopers the authority to issue                                                                                   
     correctable citations,  similar to those  available for                                                                    
     driver's  licenses. This  bill will  prohibit a  person                                                                    
     from receiving  a sport  fishing, hunting,  or trapping                                                                    
     license  in  Alaska  if   their  privileges  have  been                                                                    
     suspended  or revoked  in this  or another  state. This                                                                    
     bill  increased the  restitution for  animals harvested                                                                    
     illegally  and  provided  an additional  tool  for  the                                                                    
     Alaska   Wildlife   Troopers  in   charging   wildlife,                                                                    
     fisheries,  and habitat  crimes  by  allowing for  some                                                                    
     offenses  to be  reduced  to  violations. Finally,  the                                                                    
     bill  allows  for  the  display  of  a  license  in  an                                                                    
     electronic  format  to  reflect  modernization  efforts                                                                    
     made to the fish and game licensing program.                                                                               
     Section  1  This  section  amends  AS  16.05.330(a)  to                                                                    
     include  "permit" in  addition to  "license" and  "tag"                                                                    
     for  purposes   of  clarifying  the  proper   types  of                                                                    
     documentation  a  person  must  have  in  their  actual                                                                    
     possession  when  engaging  in certain  activities  and                                                                    
     reorders   the  activities   of  "trapping"   and  "fur                                                                    
     dealing"   to  exclude   the   latter   from  being   a                                                                    
     correctable citation.                                                                                                      
     Under AS 16.05.330, a person  engaged in the activities                                                                    
     listed  in  1-5 in  section  one,  must have  in  their                                                                    
     actual possession  a license, tag or  permit to legally                                                                    
     engage  in that  activity.  Section  one re-orders  the                                                                    
     activities into  two separate categories;  1 and  2 are                                                                    
     considered  sport  activities  and   3,  4  and  5  are                                                                    
     considered commercial activities.  The purpose for this                                                                    
     is contained in section three of this bill                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:54:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Major Chastain continued with Section 2.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2  This section amends AS  16.05.330(d) to make                                                                    
     it unlawful  for a  person to  obtain a  sport fishing,                                                                    
     hunting, or trapping license if  the person's rights to                                                                    
     engage in  those activities is revoked  or suspended in                                                                    
     Alaska.                                                                                                                    
     Section 3  This section  amends AS 16.05.330  by adding                                                                    
     three subsections:                                                                                                         
     (f)  provides that  a person  charged  with failing  to                                                                    
     have   the  appropriate   sport  fishing,   hunting  or                                                                    
     trapping license in their actual  possession may not be                                                                    
     convicted if  the person produces a  license previously                                                                    
     issued to the person that was  valid at the time of the                                                                    
     offense not  later than 30  days after the  issuance of                                                                    
     the citation.                                                                                                              
     (g) allows  that a license  or permit may be  in actual                                                                    
     possession in paper or electronic form.                                                                                    
     (h)The third  subsection specifically states  any peace                                                                    
     officer presented with an  electronic device under this                                                                    
     section shall  be immune  from any  liability resulting                                                                    
     from damage to the device.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:56:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Major Chastain moved to Section 4 that had been added in a                                                                      
previous committee:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Section 4 This  section amends AS 16.05.340  (a) (6) to                                                                    
     require  a person  paying  the reduced  fee  for a  low                                                                    
     income  resident hunting,  trapping, and  sport fishing                                                                    
     license to provide proof of  eligibility at the time of                                                                    
     purchase.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Section 5  Under AS 16.05.430 fish  and game penalties,                                                                    
     this   section  increases   the   specific  fines   and                                                                    
     penalties associated  with an  unclassified misdemeanor                                                                    
     and replaces it with a class A misdemeanor.                                                                                
     Section   5   specifically  exempts   the   correctable                                                                    
     citation  section   16.05.330(f)  from   the  penalties                                                                    
     portion  of the  statute.  Additionally,  it makes  the                                                                    
     crimes listed a class A misdemeanor.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Major Chastain  listed Sections  5, 12, 21,  25, and  27 and                                                                    
explained that  they were amended  by a  previous committee.                                                                    
He read  from a  description of  the amendment  that altered                                                                    
the sections. He delineated that  the amendment was designed                                                                    
to  limit the  fines on  some of  the offenses  in Title  16                                                                    
which  was amended  by  HB 129.  The  amendment removed  the                                                                    
general reference to AS.12.55  in many places and reinstated                                                                    
the specific  incarceration penalties from current  law. The                                                                    
amendment left  references to Class A  misdemeanors in areas                                                                    
where  the  specific  penalties  were  reinstated.  Class  A                                                                    
misdemeanors  had a  specific  meaning in  the  law and  the                                                                    
penalties  were contained  in  AS.12.55.  The Department  of                                                                    
Public Safety  (DPS) recommended  removing the  reference to                                                                    
Class  A and  changing  to  non-classified misdemeanors.  He                                                                    
voiced that the  change was consistent with  current law. He                                                                    
reported  that  the representative  [Representative  Ledoux]                                                                    
who  offered the  amendment concurred  with the  recommended                                                                    
change.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:59:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Major Chastain addressed Sections 6 through 8:                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Section 6  Related to  section 5,  this section  adds a                                                                    
     new subsection  and creates the ability  to charge some                                                                    
     offenses as violations that  are currently only allowed                                                                    
     to be  charged as  misdemeanors. It also  addresses the                                                                    
     Pittman-Robertson  act  and  federal  matching  dollars                                                                    
     lost  by  the  State  of   Alaska  when  the  state  is                                                                    
     defrauded  by a  defendant  who does  not purchase  the                                                                    
     proper  license  and/or  tag  as  required  by  law  to                                                                    
     participate in a given hunt or fishery.                                                                                    
     Section  6 of  this  bill creates  two new  subsections                                                                    
     within AS 16.05.430:                                                                                                       
     Subsection  (c)  establishes  that   a  person  may  be                                                                    
     charged  with  the violation  offence  if  there is  no                                                                    
     culpable mental state established.                                                                                         
     Subsection (d)  provides the court with  the ability to                                                                    
     impose additional  restitution to  the state  of Alaska                                                                    
     equal  to the  amount  of lost  federal matching  funds                                                                    
     from  the   Pittman-Robertson  /  Johnson/Wallop-Breaux                                                                    
     programs  when the  state is  defrauded by  a defendant                                                                    
     who does  not purchase  the appropriate license  or tag                                                                    
     or claims  residency when they  are not a  resident. If                                                                    
     the   court  decides   to   implement  the   additional                                                                    
     restitution for  the loss of  federal funds,  the court                                                                    
     will be instructed to deposit  the restitution into the                                                                    
     fish and game fund.                                                                                                        
     Section  7 This  section  raises  the strict  liability                                                                    
     commercial  fishing violation  fines  from the  amounts                                                                    
     established in 1988, when this  section was enacted, to                                                                    
     the  same  amount  adjusted  for  inflation.  The  fine                                                                    
     increase will  serve as both  a deterrent and  tool for                                                                    
     Alaska  Wildlife Troopers  to  effectively enforce  the                                                                    
     states most important fisheries.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Section  8 This  section requires  the court  system to                                                                    
     transmit notice  of all convictions under  this section                                                                    
     to  the Commercial  Fisheries Entry  Commission (CFEC).                                                                    
     Commercial  fishers  are   applied  points  similar  to                                                                    
     driver's  licenses  when  a   person  is  convicted  of                                                                    
     certain commercial fishing offenses.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:00:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Major Chastain addressed Sections 9 and 10:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 9  Amends AS 16.05.782 and  removes the penalty                                                                    
     section  from (a)  which cleans  up the  subsection and                                                                    
     makes it  clearer. This section  makes it clear  that a                                                                    
     person  may not  take a  brown or  grizzly bear  within                                                                    
     one-half mile  of a solid waste  disposal facility. The                                                                    
     penalties  for  this  section  will  now  be  contained                                                                    
     within sections 10 and 11.                                                                                                 
     Sectional Analysis CSHB129 (JUD) FISH & GAME:                                                                              
     OFFENSES;LICENSES;PENALTIES Page 3 of 5                                                                                    
     Section 10  Related to section 9,  this section removes                                                                    
     the unnecessary reference to  section (a) and maintains                                                                    
     the  additional penalties  of  an  additional fine  for                                                                    
     failing  to salvage  the hide  and skull  of the  Brown                                                                    
     Bear.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Major  Chastain detailed  that the  sections cleaned  up the                                                                    
statutes and established Class A  misdemeanors as a standard                                                                    
for  the offenses  but also  allowed charging  for violation                                                                    
offenses  therefore,  many   sections  contain  a  violation                                                                    
offense and the standardized misdemeanor offense.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:01:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Major Chastain read a  summary of Sections 11 through 16:                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Sections 11-16  generally standardize penalties  in the                                                                    
     statutes listed  by providing  an additional  option of                                                                    
     charging  a  person  with   a  violation  offense  when                                                                    
     appropriate.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Major Chastain highlighted Sections 17 and 18:                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Section  17  Under AS  16.05.901  a  new subsection  is                                                                    
     added in this section  to provide for charging offenses                                                                    
     committed   under  AS   16.05.871-AS  16.05.896   as  a                                                                    
     violation offence punishable as provided in AS 12.55.                                                                      
     Section   18   Under    AS   16.05.925   "Penalty   for                                                                    
     violations",  subsection  (a)  is  amended  to  provide                                                                    
     consistency  in  the  penalties as  provided  under  AS                                                                    
     12.55 and  provides an exemption  for a  new subsection                                                                    
     added under (c).                                                                                                           
     Under AS  16.05.925 (b),  this subsection  provides for                                                                    
     restitution  amounts  that  the court  may  impose  for                                                                    
     illegally  taken  big  game  animals  in  Alaska.  This                                                                    
     section increases  the restitution amounts by  at least                                                                    
     50% that  a person  convicted of unlawfully  taking big                                                                    
     game may have  to pay to the state if  the court choses                                                                    
     to implement restitution. Alaska's  game belongs to all                                                                    
     of us collectively. When a                                                                                                 
     big game  animal is unlawfully  taken, it  defrauds the                                                                    
     state  of the  value of  that animal  to its  citizens.                                                                    
     This value  varies greatly depending on  the species of                                                                    
     animal, the location  of the take, the  social value of                                                                    
     the animal,  the economic value  of the animal  and the                                                                    
     food source  value to  the people  of the  state. These                                                                    
     restitution values may  be imposed by the  court if the                                                                    
     case warrants  applying restitution. In most  cases, it                                                                    
     does not  make the  state "whole" for  the loss  of the                                                                    
     animal but  helps pay  the state  back for  the illegal                                                                    
     take.                                                                                                                      
     Current restitution  amounts were  enacted in  1984 and                                                                    
     have gone untouched since then.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     This  section  adds  a  provision  that  refers  to  an                                                                    
    inflation adjustment provision added in section 19.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:02:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Major Chastain moved to Section 19:                                                                                             
     Section  19 Under  AS 16.05.925  a  new subsection  was                                                                    
     added  relating  to   subsection  (b).  Subsection  (c)                                                                    
     establishes that a defendant may  not be ordered to pay                                                                    
     restitution to the state under this section if:                                                                            
     (1)  as  soon  as reasonably  practicable,  voluntarily                                                                    
     reports the  taking to  the department  of a  state law                                                                    
     enforcement  officer  engaged   in  fish  and  wildlife                                                                    
     protection; and                                                                                                            
     (2) Surrenders to the  department all salvaged portions                                                                    
     of the  animal including  the horns, antlers,  hide and                                                                    
     skull as applicable.                                                                                                       
     This subsection  will provide an incentive  for persons                                                                    
     who have  unlawfully taken a  big game animal  and wish                                                                    
     to turn  themselves in. This protects  hunters who want                                                                    
     to   do  the   right  thing   from  paying   additional                                                                    
     restitution amounts.                                                                                                       
     A new  subsection (d) provides for  restitution amounts                                                                    
     under this  section to be adjusted  for inflation every                                                                    
     5 years, beginning in 2023.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:03:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Major Chastain reviewed Section 20 through 24:                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Section 20 Under AS 16.05.940  (38) a new definition is                                                                    
     added. This  paragraph defines "electronic form"  as it                                                                    
     pertains  to  section  3   under  AS  16.05.330(g).  It                                                                    
     provides  for   display  of  [license]  images   on  an                                                                    
     electronic device  such as  a mobile  telephone, tablet                                                                    
     or computer  that will satisfy  the display  of fishing                                                                    
     and hunting licenses.                                                                                                      
     Section 21  Under AS 16.10.030 "penalty  for violations                                                                    
     of  AS  16.10.010-AS   16.10.050"  this  subsection  is                                                                    
     amended  to  provide  that a  person  who  violates  AS                                                                    
     16.10.010 through AS  16.10.050 is guilty of  a Class A                                                                    
     misdemeanor  and  increases   the  associated  specific                                                                    
     penalty.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Section   22   Under   AS  16.10.030   "penalties   for                                                                    
     violations"   and   relating   to  section   20,   this                                                                    
     subsection  provides  for  a  person  who  violates  AS                                                                    
     16.10.030  through AS  16.10.050  without any  culpable                                                                    
     mental  state  is  guilty of  a  violation  offense  as                                                                    
     provided in AS 12.55.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 23 Under AS  16.10.090 "penalties for violation                                                                    
     of AS  16.10.070", this section  is amended  to reflect                                                                    
     that a person who violates  AS 16.10.070 is guilty of a                                                                    
     Class A misdemeanor as provided in AS 12.55.                                                                               
     Section 24 Under AS  16.10.090 "penalties for violation                                                                    
     of AS 16.10.070", this section  provides that a person,                                                                    
     who  without  any  culpable mental  state  violates  AS                                                                    
     16.10.070 is guilty of a  violation offence as provided                                                                    
     in AS 12.55                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:04:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Major  Chastain  summarized  that  Sections  25  through  28                                                                    
established  violation  offenses and  standardized  offenses                                                                    
within the statute.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Major Chastain continued with Sections 29 and 30:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Section 29  This section amends  the uncodified  law of                                                                    
     Alaska  to  make  it  clear that  the  act  applies  to                                                                    
     offenses that occur  on or after the  effective date of                                                                    
     the Act.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Section 30 Provides an effect July 1, 2018.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:05:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson asked  if  the  Department of  Public                                                                    
Safety had concerns  about the changes made  in the previous                                                                    
committee. Major Chastain answered  that DPS favored most of                                                                    
the  changes  but  recommended modifying  the  penalties  to                                                                    
comply with AS.12.55.  He deferred to the  Department of Law                                                                    
(DOL) to answer the question.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson asked to hear from DOL.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
AARON  PETERSON,   CRIMINAL  DIVISION,  OFFICE   OF  SPECIAL                                                                    
PROSECUTION,   DEPARTMENT  OF   LAW  (via   teleconference),                                                                    
responded  that some  of  the changes  referred  to Class  A                                                                    
misdemeanors, but the original  bill took specific penalties                                                                    
that  were listed  and  changed the  penalty  to a  standard                                                                    
Class  A  misdemeanor. He  exemplified  Section  5 Under  AS                                                                    
16.05.430  of  the  bill  that  specified  a  non-classified                                                                    
misdemeanor  was  a   fine  of  not  more   than  $1,000  or                                                                    
imprisonment of not  more than 6 months or  both and changed                                                                    
the  penalty   to  a  standard   Class  A   misdemeanor.  He                                                                    
elaborated that  the original bill changed  the several non-                                                                    
classified  misdemeanors  throughout  Title  16  to  achieve                                                                    
uniformity  with charging  under Title  12 and  the criminal                                                                    
code in  Title 11. The  current version referred to  Class A                                                                    
misdemeanors but  created certain  fine amounts  and maximum                                                                    
incarceration  periods that  were not  uniform with  Class A                                                                    
misdemeanors under  Title 12,  which could  create confusion                                                                    
regarding  maximum  sentencing.  He  related  that  he  just                                                                    
received  an email  that  indicated  the representative  who                                                                    
offered  the  amendment  in the  previous  committee  [House                                                                    
Judiciary  Committee]  would  not  support  changes  to  the                                                                    
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:09:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton requested  more background  information. He                                                                    
asked  DOL  to  provide   written  information  regarding  a                                                                    
spreadsheet defining Class A penalties  in other sections of                                                                    
statute and how  they were related to sections  in the bill.                                                                    
He  wanted to  determine  how the  same  penalties could  be                                                                    
applied across  the board. He  pointed to Section 21  of the                                                                    
sectional analysis reading "a person  is guilty of a Class A                                                                    
misdemeanor and increases  the associated specific penalty."                                                                    
He was  uncertain how the  language worked. He  requested an                                                                    
explanation in writing  from DOL. Mr. Peterson  did not hear                                                                    
the  questions. Co-Chair  Seaton  restated  his request  and                                                                    
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:13:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Peterson  responded  that under  AS  12.55.355(b)(1)  a                                                                    
Class A  misdemeanor was punishable by  a fine of up  to $25                                                                    
thousand. The  original version  of HB  129 changed  all the                                                                    
non-classified  misdemeanors in  Title  16  and removed  the                                                                    
reference to  specific penalties (  a fine of not  less than                                                                    
$100 or  more than $500) and  replaced it with "guilty  of a                                                                    
Class  A misdemeanor  punishable under  AS 12.55".  The goal                                                                    
was  to make  Class  A misdemeanors  uniform throughout  the                                                                    
criminal code.  He detailed that  all the offenses  in Title                                                                    
11  referred  to  sentencing  in   Title  12.  The  previous                                                                    
committee had  added a new  maximum crime of  $1000 removing                                                                    
the  standardization  that  would  have been  in  place.  He                                                                    
reiterated  that the  goal was  to  provide uniformity.  Co-                                                                    
Chair  Seaton  requested  the  information  in  writing.  He                                                                    
wanted to compare other Class A misdemeanors as well.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:16:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Tilton pointed to  Section 18 that related to                                                                    
penalties  for  a  violation and  heard  that  Mr.  Peterson                                                                    
stated that  some penalties for  violations increased  by 50                                                                    
percent.  She  wondered  if  a  formula  had  been  used  to                                                                    
determine  the  increases.   Major  Chastain  answered  that                                                                    
Section 18 dealt  with restitution for big  game animals. He                                                                    
explained that Section 18 was  enacted in 1984 and had never                                                                    
been  adjusted for  inflation. The  original  fine had  been                                                                    
$2,016 and  the bill assessed  a 50 percent  increase across                                                                    
the board. Some of the  amounts were higher than 50 percent,                                                                    
which  reflected  a  previous committee's  belief  that  the                                                                    
animals were  worth more. Representative Tilton  asked about                                                                    
the electronic  license form. She wondered  whether a person                                                                    
would  be required  to have  a  license with  them on  their                                                                    
device if  electronic licensing was adopted.  Major Chastain                                                                    
answered  in   the  affirmative.   He  clarified   that  the                                                                    
electronic licensing format was  under development. The bill                                                                    
allowed for  individuals to carry an  electronic license. He                                                                    
furthered that  when the Department  of Fish and  Game (DFG)                                                                    
had  the  ability to  create  the  electronic licensing  the                                                                    
provision in HB 120 would apply.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:19:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  asked  why  she  could  not  take  a                                                                    
picture  of  her  license  and count  it  as  an  electronic                                                                    
version.  Major   Chastain  answered  that  it   may  be  an                                                                    
acceptable option in the future.  The problem was related to                                                                    
hunting and  fishing tags that  needed to be written  on the                                                                    
back  of  licenses.  The recording  requirements  determined                                                                    
whether  the individual  complied with  the law  and changes                                                                    
could  be   problematic.  Representative  Wilson   asked  if                                                                    
recording requirements  were not required  would individuals                                                                    
have to  wait for regulations to  be written to find  out if                                                                    
photographs  of  licenses  were acceptable.  Major  Chastain                                                                    
answered that  licensing was developed  by DFG  and whatever                                                                    
format was chosen was acceptable  to DPS. If a photograph of                                                                    
the  license was  acceptable for  fishing without  reporting                                                                    
requirements it would be satisfactory for enforcement.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:21:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Tilton  asked   about  the   effective  and                                                                    
applicability  date  of July  1,  2018  in relation  to  the                                                                    
increase in fines.  Major Chastain answered that  the July 1                                                                    
timeframe was to get the  provisions implemented. He offered                                                                    
that  many changes  were simple  and for  the most  part all                                                                    
the changes could  be implemented by the July  1 date except                                                                    
for two pieces:  Section 4 relating to  proof of eligibility                                                                    
for  a Class  5a license.  The other  related to  electronic                                                                    
licensing.  He  restated  that the  bill  provided  a  legal                                                                    
mechanism for  electronic licenses to be  available once DFG                                                                    
developed them.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  appreciated the bill. He  had two concerns.                                                                    
He  asked  if the  bill  addressed  subsistence permits.  He                                                                    
thought  it could  be a  crime if  a subsistence  permit was                                                                    
left  at home.  Major Chastain  answered that  a subsistence                                                                    
permit  was  not  a  sport  fishing,  hunting,  or  trapping                                                                    
license.   He  delineated   that  subsistence   permits  had                                                                    
reporting requirements  on the  permit and must  be reported                                                                    
before leaving the fishing sight.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:24:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara stated that a  mistake was a mistake. He did                                                                    
not  like making  something  that was  an  honest mistake  a                                                                    
crime.  He  announced his  other  issue  with the  bill.  He                                                                    
recalled  that  a  violation  was  recorded  on  a  person's                                                                    
record,  whereas a  fine was  not. He  wondered whether  DPS                                                                    
agreed with changing the violations  to fines. He emphasized                                                                    
that forgetting a  permit at home was an  honest mistake and                                                                    
a  violation made  the mistake  appear like  a crime.  Major                                                                    
Chastain  replied   that  violations  were  recorded   as  a                                                                    
violation, like  a speeding ticket. He  commented that there                                                                    
were a variety of items that  could be seen and showed up on                                                                    
Court View like a  speeding ticket. Violations were distinct                                                                    
from  misdemeanors and  had less  penalties associated  with                                                                    
them. He  mentioned that it  would be a policy  call whether                                                                    
the  legislature chose  to change  the  category of  offense                                                                    
from a violation to a fine  however, it was still a criminal                                                                    
offense. He deferred to Mr. Peterson.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Peterson elaborated  that  minor  fishing offenses  had                                                                    
been   described  by   Alaskan  courts   as  "quasi-criminal                                                                    
offenses to  non-criminal violations". A violation  was only                                                                    
punishable  by a  fine  under  AS 12.53.505  of  up to  $500                                                                    
unless  the statute  had a  specified fine.  Under 12.55.135                                                                    
related  to sentences  of  imprisonment  the statute  stated                                                                    
that there was  no term of imprisonment for  a violation. He                                                                    
noted  that  part of  the  bill's  action created  a  second                                                                    
level, lower-level  offense so  a person  did not  receive a                                                                    
criminal conviction  for a misdemeanor and  received a minor                                                                    
offense which was equivalent to a traffic infraction.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:28:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara did  not believe  it was  quasi-criminal to                                                                    
forget a license at home.  He asked whether an infraction or                                                                    
fine  was  the term  for  an  offense  that was  not  quasi-                                                                    
criminal. Mr. Peterson  answered he was not  familiar with a                                                                    
term  that  would  be  used   in  criminal  law  other  than                                                                    
violation.  He  understood  that  a  quasi-criminal  offense                                                                    
could  carry  a negative  connotation  because  of the  word                                                                    
criminal, but, a speeding ticket  was a criminal offense and                                                                    
was a more  accurate equivalent. He remarked that  a "fix it                                                                    
ticket" was a possibility. Vice-Chair  Gara found the fix it                                                                    
ticket  idea  more  appealing.  He  asked  for  details  and                                                                    
whether  the ticket  disappears from  records once  proof of                                                                    
the license was produced.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Major Chastain responded  that the fix it  ticket idea would                                                                    
allow a person to present the  license within 30 days and it                                                                    
would not be on their  record; there was no associated fine.                                                                    
He delineated that there  were requirements under regulation                                                                    
that   the  Board   of  Fish   had  enacted   for  recording                                                                    
requirements and  varied among the different  permits handed                                                                    
out by  DFG. There were  30,000 people participating  in dip                                                                    
netting  across the  state. Some  of the  individuals forgot                                                                    
their  permits.  The  fishers were  required  to  carry  the                                                                    
license  while  fishing  and  record  their  fish  prior  to                                                                    
leaving  the fishing  sight. Wildlife  enforcement officer's                                                                    
carryout enforcement according to regulation.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:32:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  asked if Section  3 allowed for  the chance                                                                    
to produce  the license  within 30 days  and the  record was                                                                    
erased. Major  Chastain answered  that Section 3  provided a                                                                    
mechanism  for  an  Alaskan  Wildlife   Trooper  to  make  a                                                                    
correctable citation for not having  a hunting, trapping, or                                                                    
sport  fishing license  in one's  possession and  was erased                                                                    
with  proof   and  it   became  an   officially  correctable                                                                    
citation. The  troopers had been operating  under the quasi-                                                                    
legal   mechanism  of   unofficially  allowing   correctible                                                                    
citations  over the  years. He  indicated  that DOL  advised                                                                    
that the  action was not  legal. The section provided  for a                                                                    
legal  mechanism  for   correctible  citations  for  certain                                                                    
offenses.  Vice-Chair Gara  had  a problem  with the  30-day                                                                    
timeframe.   He  asked what  constituted a  violation. Major                                                                    
Chastain responded that  30 days was the  standard for other                                                                    
correctible citations  like motor  vehicle insurance  and if                                                                    
proof  was   not  presented  after   30  days  it   was  not                                                                    
correctable.                                                                                                                    
2:35:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara asked  if the offense became  a violation if                                                                    
the  individual  failed to  provide  proof  within 30  days.                                                                    
Major  Chastain  responded that  it  would  be considered  a                                                                    
violation  offense. Vice-Chair  Gara appreciated  Section 3,                                                                    
but it did  not address the subsistence  problem. He related                                                                    
that many  people hunt  or fish in  the wilderness  for more                                                                    
than  30  days  and  the  limit  was  burdensome  for  rural                                                                    
residents. He believed that people were being punished.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:37:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg asked  what  went  on a  person's                                                                    
record  that did  not produce  the license  within 30  days.                                                                    
Major  Chastain  responded that  the  record  appeared as  a                                                                    
violation offense. He explained  that the violation appeared                                                                    
on the  DPS record system, Alaska  Public Safety Information                                                                    
Network (APSIN)  and showed up  in the  non-criminal section                                                                    
as a violation  offense. The DFG offenses  was separate from                                                                    
the criminal  section and  would not show  up on  a criminal                                                                    
record. In addition, it would  be portrayed on Court View as                                                                    
a   violation  offense   with  the   amount  of   the  fine.                                                                    
Representative   Guttenberg   indicated   he  had   had   an                                                                    
experience  when dip  netting which  he relayed.  He relayed                                                                    
that  one of  the  people  he was  fishing  with forgot  his                                                                    
wallet  and  his license  could  have  been retrieved  in  5                                                                    
minutes.  The   enforcement  officer   wanted  to   write  a                                                                    
citation. He  asked whether a  ticket could be negated  if a                                                                    
person  quickly  produced  the  license  after  receiving  a                                                                    
ticket. Major  Chastain replied that  currently the  law did                                                                    
not allow for  correctable citation for a  few offenses like                                                                    
not having a hunting, fishing,  or trapping license in one's                                                                    
possession.   In  the   scenario  that   the  representative                                                                    
presented  he  reported  that   Board  of  Fish  regulations                                                                    
required possession,  immediate record keeping,  and cutting                                                                    
the fish's  tail for dip  netting. He hoped a  trooper would                                                                    
use common sense  and wait for the evidence and  not issue a                                                                    
citation.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:41:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster OPENED Public Testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:41:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARTIN  STEPETIN, SELF,  JUNEAU, reported  that he  had been                                                                    
pulled over  a couple  of times  where he  did not  have his                                                                    
insurance card with him but was  able to offer proof. He was                                                                    
trying  to become  a  member  of the  National  Guard and  a                                                                    
violation would  make his acceptance  into the  guard almost                                                                    
impossible. He supported the fix it ticket provision.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:43:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:43:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki  referred to  the bill related  to a                                                                    
$5  fee  applied  to low  income  residents  and  additional                                                                    
reduced fee  language in Section  4. He  referenced language                                                                    
regarding  proof  of  eligibility before  purchasing  a  low                                                                    
income  license in  Section 5.  He  asked where  individuals                                                                    
purchased a license.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BRUCE  DALE, DIRECTOR,  DIVISION  OF WILDLIFE  CONSERVATION,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT    OF    FISH    AND   GAME,    ANCHORAGE    (via                                                                    
teleconference),  answered that  currently  a person  merely                                                                    
had to check  a box on the form and  provide a signature for                                                                    
eligibility, which  could be  proven later  by a  trooper or                                                                    
interested  party. He  explained that  proof of  eligibility                                                                    
was  added in  a  previous committee  due  to suspicions  of                                                                    
abuse. The department had discovered  that the proportion of                                                                    
purchases  for the  $5 license  reflected the  proportion of                                                                    
the   public  receiving   some  type   of  assistance.   The                                                                    
department did  not believe  that wide  spread abuse  of the                                                                    
low-income  license was  happening. Representative  Kawasaki                                                                    
asked whether  a store like  Fred Meyer selling  the license                                                                    
would  need some  proof of  eligibility  for the  low-income                                                                    
license.  Mr.  Dale answered  that  DFG  also had  the  same                                                                    
question regarding the amendment.  He was uncertain what the                                                                    
proof  would look  like and  the amendment  did not  specify                                                                    
what was acceptable proof.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  set an amendment  deadline of 5:00  p.m. on                                                                    
Friday.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HB  129  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 277 Opposition letter .pdf HFIN 4/4/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 277
HB 277 ATT Opposition 4.2.18.pdf HFIN 4/4/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 277
HB 398 Additional Documents - 2015 Indirect Expenditure Report-Public Utility Exemption.pdf HFIN 4/4/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 398
HB 398 Sponsor Statement 4.3.18.pdf HFIN 4/4/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 398
HB 398 Additional Documents - Legisative Legal Opinion.pdf HFIN 4/4/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 398
HB 398 Sectional Analysis v.D 4.3.18.pdf HFIN 4/4/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 398
HB 398 Additional Documents - Dept. of Revenue Letter of Explaination 4.3.18.pdf HFIN 4/4/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 398
HB 277 Letters of Support.pdf HFIN 4/4/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 277
HB277 Letter of Opposition - House Finance.pdf HFIN 4/4/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 277