Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

02/14/2017 10:00 AM House FISHERIES

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10:08:06 AM Start
10:09:27 AM HB87
10:55:56 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHB 87(FSH) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
         HB 87-CONFLICT OF INTEREST: BD FISHERIES/GAME                                                                      
10:09:27 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR STUTES announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO.  87, "An Act relating to  participation in matters                                                               
before  the Board  of  Fisheries and  the Board  of  Game by  the                                                               
members of the respective boards;  and providing for an effective                                                               
10:09:51 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   CHENAULT  moved   Amendment   1,  labeled,   30-                                                               
LS0376\U.1, Bruce/Bullard, 2/9/17, which read as follows                                                                        
     Page 1, line 1, following "Act":                                                                                         
          Insert "relating to meetings of the Board of                                                                        
     Fisheries; and"                                                                                                          
     Page 1, following line 3:                                                                                                  
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
       "* Section 1. AS 16.05.251 is amended by adding a                                                                      
     new subsection to read:                                                                                                    
     (j)  The  board shall  meet  on  a five-year  cycle  to                                                                    
     consider  regulatory  proposals  for  management  of  a                                                                    
     specific fishery.  The board shall rotate  the location                                                                    
     of a  meeting cycle for  a specific fishery  under this                                                                    
     subsection   between    at   least    three   different                                                                    
     communities with  populations of  4,000 or  more within                                                                    
     the applicable fishery."                                                                                                   
     Page 1, line 4:                                                                                                            
     Delete "Section 1"                                                                                                       
     Insert "Sec. 2"                                                                                                          
CHAIR STUTES objected for discussion.                                                                                           
10:10:02 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE CHENAULT  explained that  Amendment 1  will change                                                               
the current  three year board  cycle to a  five year cycle.   The                                                               
reason to take that action is  to align with the fish life cycle,                                                               
and to allow  information/regulations to be predicated  in a more                                                               
useable time frame.   The amendment also specifies  that Board of                                                               
Fisheries  (BOF)  meetings  will  be  held  in  communities  with                                                               
population  of 4,000  or  more, in  proximity  to the  applicable                                                               
10:11:22 AM                                                                                                                   
The committee took a brief at-ease at 10:11 a.m.                                                                                
10:11:39 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN asked  about the  current locale  choices                                                               
for convening BOF meetings.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE   CHENAULT  reported   that  board   meetings  are                                                               
routinely held  in the Wasilla,  Anchorage, and Lower  Cook Inlet                                                               
areas.  He  said the community where he resides  doesn't meet the                                                               
current standard  to host meetings.   The  Upper Cook Inlet  is a                                                               
contentious fishery  and interested  residents shouldn't  have to                                                               
foot the travel  costs to present their issues  before the board,                                                               
he opined.                                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  questioned the purpose for  extending the                                                               
meeting cycle from three to the five years.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  CHENAULT  suggested  that a  longer  cycle  would                                                               
provide  better information,  and  said a  three year  management                                                               
plan doesn't  provide adequate comprehensive  data.  A  five year                                                               
cycle  would   also  result  in  fewer   meetings,  which  should                                                               
represent a cost savings to the state, as well.                                                                                 
10:14:41 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS agreed with  the intended merits of                                                               
Amendment 1, and  said there may be other cost  saving options to                                                               
consider as well.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE FANSLER asked what  impacts this measure will have                                                               
on the Board of Game (BOG), if any.                                                                                             
CHAIR STUTES  confirmed that  it applies to  both boards,  as BOF                                                               
and BOG are governed under the same statute.                                                                                    
10:16:29 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE CHENAULT  added that  Amendment 1 only  relates to                                                               
the BOF.                                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE FANSLER  questioned why  it should not  also apply                                                               
to the BOG.                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CHENAULT  said the  BOG has  not been  reviewed to                                                               
ascertain  whether it  would  be benefited  by  inclusion in  the                                                               
10:17:12 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  STUTES   maintained  her  objection  and   suggested  that                                                               
Amendment 1 would be better applied to HB 88.                                                                                   
10:17:44 AM                                                                                                                   
A  roll  call  vote  was taken.    Representatives  Chenault  and                                                               
Eastman voted  in favor  of Amendment  1.   Representatives Tarr,                                                               
Fansler  and Stutes  voted against  it.   Therefore, Amendment  1                                                               
failed by a vote of 2-3.                                                                                                        
10:18:34 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR   STUTES  moved   Amendment   2,  labeled,   30-LS0376\U.6,                                                               
Bruce/Bullard, 2/13/17, which read as follows                                                                                   
     Page 2, line 6:                                                                                                            
     Delete "substantial"                                                                                                       
10:18:54 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TARR objected for discussion.                                                                                    
10:18:58 AM                                                                                                                   
REID HARRIS,  Staff, Representative  Louise Stutes,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, presented  Amendment 2,  and said  the intent  is to                                                               
place on  the record  the definition  of the  term "substantial,"                                                               
and  referring  to  BLACK'S LAW  DICTIONARY,  8th  Edition,  West                                                             
Publishing  Company,  2006,   he  read:    "Of   real  worth  and                                                               
importance;  of considerable  value; or  valuable."   He reminded                                                               
the  committee that  the BOF  executive  director, Glenn  Haight,                                                               
testified on  members declaring  conflicts, which  are recognized                                                               
but  not  always  considered substantial  enough  to  recuse  the                                                               
member from participation in deliberations and voting.                                                                          
CHAIR STUTES withdrew Amendment 2.                                                                                              
10:21:00 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   EASTMAN   moved   Amendment  4,   labeled,   30-                                                               
LS0376\U.2, Bruce/Bullard, 2/10/17, which read as follows:                                                                      
     Page 1, line 5:                                                                                                            
     Delete "personal or"                                                                                                       
CHAIR STUTES objected for discussion.                                                                                           
10:21:31 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN explained  that Amendment  4 removes  the                                                               
term "personal  or" to ensure  against its use being  confused or                                                               
related to  application of  the term in  context with  a personal                                                               
use fishery.                                                                                                                    
10:22:43 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  HARRIS said  the sponsor  recommends retaining  the original                                                               
language of  the bill,  and concurred that  the use  of "personal                                                               
or," in  the context  of HB  87, does not  relate to  language in                                                               
other contexts addressing a personal use fishery.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN withdrew Amendment 4.                                                                                    
10:24:16 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   EASTMAN   moved   Amendment  3,   labeled,   30-                                                               
LS0376\U.5, Bruce/Bullard, 2/10/17, which read as follows:                                                                      
     Page 1, line 12, following "subsection,":                                                                                  
     Insert "(1)"                                                                                                               
     Page 1, line 13:                                                                                                           
     Delete "(1)"                                                                                                               
     Insert "(A)"                                                                                                               
     Page 1, line 14:                                                                                                           
     Delete "(2)"                                                                                                               
     Insert "(B)"                                                                                                               
     Page 2, line 2:                                                                                                            
     Delete "(3)"                                                                                                               
     Insert "(C)"                                                                                                               
     Page 2, line 4:                                                                                                            
     Delete "(A)"                                                                                                               
     Insert "(i)"                                                                                                               
     Page 2, line 5:                                                                                                            
     Delete "(B)"                                                                                                               
     Insert "(ii)"                                                                                                              
     Page 2, line 6:                                                                                                            
     Delete "(C)"                                                                                                               
     Insert "(iii)"                                                                                                             
     Following "member":                                                                                                        
     Insert ";                                                                                                                  
     (2)  "personal or  financial interest" does not include                                                                    
     the  involvement of  a member,  or an  immediate family                                                                    
     member  of  a  member,  in  personal  use  fishing,  as                                                                    
     defined in AS 16.05.940"                                                                                                   
CHAIR STUTES objected for discussion.                                                                                           
10:24:26 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN   said  Amendment  3  would   prevent  an                                                               
unintended  consequence and  said, "Someone  who participates  in                                                               
personal use fisheries would unfortunately  be wrapped up in this                                                               
... so this language would make sure that that never happens."                                                                  
10:25:32 AM                                                                                                                   
GLENN HAIGHT, Executive Director, Board of Fisheries, Boards                                                                    
Support Section, Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), said                                                                      
anyone  can  participate  in  a  personal  use,  or  subsistence,                                                               
fishery  and   that  participation  doesn't  rise   to  the  same                                                               
threshold of conflicts  that causes board members  to be recused.                                                               
He deferred to the Department of Law (DOL) for further comment.                                                                 
10:27:00 AM                                                                                                                   
CHERYL  BROOKING, Assistant  Attorney General,  Natural Resources                                                               
Section,  Department  of Law  (DOL),  agreed  with the  executive                                                               
director's  explanation and  said  that,  although the  amendment                                                               
language would  eliminate the possibility of  confusion, there is                                                               
none  initially, based  on  the existing  statute.   The  general                                                               
applicability  of  a  law  allows that  the  activity  would  not                                                               
require a board  member be recused from participation  or a vote,                                                               
as the personal use fishery statute applies to all residents.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN  maintained  that  introducing  the  term                                                               
"personal or financial," into statute  could result in confusion,                                                               
which Amendment 3 serves to clarify.                                                                                            
CHAIR STUTES maintained her objection.                                                                                          
10:29:01 AM                                                                                                                   
The committee took an at-ease from 10:29 a.m. to 10:32 a.m.                                                                     
10:32:47 AM                                                                                                                   
A  roll  call  vote  was  taken.    Representatives  Eastman  and                                                               
Chenault voted  in favor of  Amendment 3.   Representatives Tarr,                                                               
Fansler, and  Stutes voted  against it.   Therefore,  Amendment 3                                                               
failed by a vote of 2-3.                                                                                                        
The committee took a brief at-ease at 10:34 a.m.                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES opened public testimony.                                                                                           
10:35:08 AM                                                                                                                   
WES HYUMBYRD,  expressed concern regarding the  level of conflict                                                               
that exists  on both the BOF  and the BOG, and  opined that every                                                               
sitting member  is conflicted.   Three years  ago, the  BOF began                                                               
generating  and  introducing   proposals,  which  represented  an                                                               
illegal  action, he  said.   The local  advisory boards  consider                                                               
this  a circumventing  of  the  process, and  asked  that DOL  be                                                               
10:36:52 AM                                                                                                                   
DUNCAN  FIELDS,  Representative,   Cape  Barnabas,  Inc.,  stated                                                               
support for HB 87 and said  it would resolve some of the concerns                                                               
that have existed for a  number of years.  "Substantial financial                                                               
interest" was well defined by  the use of BLACK'S LAW DICTIONARY,                                                             
however,  regarding   immediate  family   members,  use   of  the                                                               
terminology  as a  qualifier, should  be further  addressed.   He                                                               
suggested that  clarification of  the committee's intent  for how                                                               
this  language  applies  directly  to a  board  member  would  be                                                               
10:39:26 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   KREISS-TOMKINS   established  that   calibrating                                                               
"substantial financial interest" to apply  the same for the board                                                               
member as  it applies for an  immediate family member would  be a                                                               
positive change to the bill.                                                                                                    
MR.  FIELDS replied  yes, and,  without clarity,  there could  be                                                               
ambiguity  that  allows  a board  chairman  latitude  beyond  the                                                               
intent of  the committee.  It  may not be necessary  to calibrate                                                               
the two  entities exactly, but  some legislative  intent language                                                               
could prove helpful, he opined.                                                                                                 
10:40:58 AM                                                                                                                   
JACK HOPKINS stated  opposition to Amendment 1,  opining that the                                                               
five  year  cycle  would  represent   a  detrimental  action  and                                                               
limiting meetings to locales with  populations in excess of 4,000                                                               
would be unacceptable.                                                                                                          
10:42:16 AM                                                                                                                   
ANDREW   SMALLWOOD  stated   opposition  to   Amendment  1,   and                                                               
acknowledged  that it  did  not pass;  however,  he opined,  that                                                               
consideration of  a five  year cycle to  save the  state $100,000                                                               
annually, would be detrimental to  management procedures that are                                                               
considered the best  in the world, and which serve  to preserve a                                                               
billion dollar  fishing industry.   A shortened cycle  would also                                                               
serve to limit public access to the board process.                                                                              
10:43:45 AM                                                                                                                   
MARK  RICHARDS,   Resident  Hunters  of  Alaska   (RHAK),  stated                                                               
opposition to HB  87, and referred to the  RHAK detailed position                                                               
statement contained  in the committee packet  [dated 2/13/17, two                                                               
pages], to  briefly review the contents.   He added the  bill may                                                               
work for the fisheries, but both  boards should strive to be more                                                               
transparent.   He  expressed concern  that the  bill would  allow                                                               
those with conflicts  to participate, and suggested  that the BOG                                                               
be removed from the bill.                                                                                                       
10:45:54 AM                                                                                                                   
NATHANIEL ROSE stated support for HB  87 and said it allows those                                                               
with experience to participate which  could be helpful especially                                                               
around highly contentious, fisheries issues.                                                                                    
CHAIR STUTES closed public testimony.                                                                                           
10:47:24 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN referred  to the  RHAK written  testimony                                                               
and  opined  that it  makes  a  valid point  regarding  statutory                                                               
application.   He suggested constructing an  amendment to resolve                                                               
the concerns held by the organization.                                                                                          
CHAIR  STUTES  requested  the attorney  respond  to  the  statute                                                               
question  and  why AS  39.52.120  versus  AS 39.52.220  is  being                                                               
applied for this purpose.                                                                                                       
10:48:08 AM                                                                                                                   
LINDA  BRUCE, Attorney,  Legislative Legal  Services, Legislative                                                               
Affairs Agency, said  the bill outlines a  separate procedure for                                                               
conflicts from the procedure outlined  under AS 39.52.220.  Thus,                                                               
it wouldn't  be appropriate,  given the  current language  of the                                                               
bill, to place it within AS 39.52.220.                                                                                          
10:49:05 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN pointed  out  the RHAK  concern that  the                                                               
bill   language   supersedes   the  currently   held   disclosure                                                               
requirements  and  activities  such  as serving  on  [boards]  of                                                               
outside, organized interests.                                                                                                   
MS.  BRUCE  said  that  HB 87  supersedes  existing  statute  and                                                               
creates a separate procedure.                                                                                                   
10:50:07 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE FANSLER voiced support for  the bill and said it's                                                               
important  to have  boards that  operate  to the  benefit of  all                                                               
concerned and  embrace all  user types.   Having  a voice  at the                                                               
table  is  important and  this  bill  will allow  for  additional                                                               
insights, without suppressing appropriate conflicts of interest.                                                                
10:51:56 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR STUTES concurred and said  the intent of the legislation is                                                               
to acknowledge  conflict while allowing participation  by members                                                               
with specific knowledge.                                                                                                        
10:52:15 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  expressed  support  for  HB  87,  and  said                                                               
comfort can  be found  in the fact  that statutes  are available,                                                               
which  can  be  invoked  should  ethical  expectations  become  a                                                               
10:53:04 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN  said  testimony  indicates  that  HB  87                                                               
language  will supersede  other  statutes, and  the committee  is                                                               
specifically  designed   to  deal   with  fisheries.     The  BOG                                                               
stakeholders  have an  interest  to not  have  its board  process                                                               
changed due to  these actions.  He  said it would be  good to see                                                               
statute  reflect the  overlap and  not inadvertently,  negatively                                                               
impact the BOG.                                                                                                                 
10:54:20 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE FANSLER  moved to  report the  proposed CS  for HB
87, Version  30-LS0376\U, Bruce/Bullard, 2/9/17, as  amended, out                                                               
of   committee   with    individual   recommendations   and   the                                                               
accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                                                      
10:55:05 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN objected.                                                                                                
10:55:08 AM                                                                                                                   
A roll  call vote  was taken.   Representatives  Fansler, Kreiss-                                                               
Tomkins,   Tarr,  and   Stutes   voted  in   favor   of  HB   87.                                                               
Representatives   Eastman   and   Chenault  voted   against   it.                                                               
Therefore, CSHB  87(FSH), was reported  out of the  House Special                                                               
Committee on Fisheries by a vote of 4-2.                                                                                        

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB087 Amend #1 Chenault.pdf HFSH 2/14/2017 10:00:00 AM
HB 87
HB087 Amend #2 Stutes.pdf HFSH 2/14/2017 10:00:00 AM
HB 87
HB087 Support SPC.pdf HFSH 2/14/2017 10:00:00 AM
HRES 3/13/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/14/2017 3:00:00 PM
HRES 3/15/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/20/2017 7:00:00 PM
HB 87
HB087 Oppose RHAK.pdf HFSH 2/14/2017 10:00:00 AM
HB 87
HB087 Support PVOA.pdf HFSH 2/14/2017 10:00:00 AM
HRES 3/20/2017 7:00:00 PM
HB 87
HB087 Amend #3 Eastman.PDF HFSH 2/14/2017 10:00:00 AM
HB 87
HB087 Amend #4 Eastman.PDF HFSH 2/14/2017 10:00:00 AM
HB 87
HB087 Support CDFU.pdf HFSH 2/14/2017 10:00:00 AM
HRES 3/13/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/14/2017 3:00:00 PM
HRES 3/15/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/20/2017 7:00:00 PM
HB 87