Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 106

05/03/2005 08:00 AM House STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 283(STA) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 189(STA) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HB 189-COASTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS                                                                                            
8:58:56 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON announced that the  next order of business was HOUSE                                                               
BILL NO.  189, "An Act  relating to  an extension for  review and                                                               
approval of  revisions to the Alaska  coastal management program;                                                               
providing for  an effective date  by amending the  effective date                                                               
of sec.  45, ch.  24, SLA  2003; and  providing for  an effective                                                               
8:59:10 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON explained  that HB  189 is  sponsored by  the House                                                               
State  Affairs Standing  Committee  and was  heard  first by  the                                                               
House Community  and Regional Affairs Standing  Committee, during                                                               
which  time  "there  was some  frustration"  which  resulted  in,                                                               
basically,  a   "one-line  bill."    Chair   Seaton  assured  the                                                               
committee members  that the House Community  and Regional Affairs                                                               
Standing  Committee  fully  anticipates   that  the  House  State                                                               
Affairs Standing  Committee will make significant  changes to the                                                               
bill.  He said, "This isn't a fight between two committees."                                                                    
9:00:18 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO moved  to  adopt  the committee  substitute                                                               
(CS) for  HB 189, Version  24-LS0703\G, as  a work draft.   There                                                               
being no objection, Version G was before the committee.                                                                         
9:00:49 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON reviewed that the  committee had conducted a lengthy                                                               
meeting  on the  coastal  zone management  program, during  which                                                               
there  was discussion  surrounding the  sunsetting of  House Bill                                                               
191 and  districts that  didn't get  plans in by  July 1.   There                                                               
were problems in revising the  state standards necessary in order                                                               
for "them  to build their new  plans around."  He  said there was                                                               
dissention between  the federal approving agencies  and the state                                                               
regarding "what  those plans  could be  - whether  it could  be a                                                               
minor modification  or would have to  be a major amendment."   He                                                               
said, "Those  things are still  working through the system."   To                                                               
date, there  is still no  federal final approval  of regulations,                                                               
and coastal  districts are in  limbo as  to how to  rewrite their                                                               
plans in a way that will be consistent.                                                                                         
CHAIR  SEATON  pointed  out that  some  districts  along  Western                                                               
Alaska are widespread  with a lot of communities to  cover.  Part                                                               
of the process for having a  coastal management program is to get                                                               
local input  and knowledge  in the plans;  so, "the  timeframe of                                                               
constructing  a plan  is very  difficult if  you're going  to get                                                               
meaningful public input."                                                                                                       
CHAIR SEATON said [Version Y]  has been constructed to change the                                                               
date at which the state plan  has to be recognized by the federal                                                               
government, so  that the action of  House Bill 191 does  not take                                                               
effect and  kill the program  on July 1.   He said it  would also                                                               
have the  effect of sunsetting the  program in 2011, so  that the                                                               
legislature will have  to review the program to extend  it.  Also                                                               
included in Version  Y would be an extension of  six months after                                                               
approval by  federal office  of the  state's regulation,  so that                                                               
the  local districts  know in  entirety what  they have  to build                                                               
their  plans on.   He  said, "After  those state  regulations are                                                               
finalized, ...  adopted, and noticed,  then there is  a six-month                                                               
date in which  they have to revise their plans  and get them back                                                               
into the state.  And the  state then must finish ... [its] review                                                               
of those  plans and  certify those district  plans by  January 1,                                                               
2007."  He  said the state plan has to  have the federal approval                                                               
by March 1, [2006].                                                                                                             
9:05:32 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON,  in response  to  a  question from  Representative                                                               
Gardner, reviewed that the two firm  dates are March 1, 2006, and                                                               
January 1, 2007.                                                                                                                
9:07:29 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER asked  if there  is any  possibility that                                                               
what's needed  by March 1  may not  be available.   She explained                                                               
that  she doesn't  want to  set  a firm  date "if  we don't  have                                                               
control of all the  steps that lead up to that."   She asked what                                                               
would happen  if the federal  approval was not obtained  by March                                                               
9:07:46 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON responded that currently  the program ends on July 1                                                               
- when  the legislature is  not in session.   The proposal  is to                                                               
extend that to January 1, but  that, he explained, means that the                                                               
legislature would have no ability  "to influence and control that                                                               
decision."  The  March 1 date would give the  legislature 45 days                                                               
in which to act "if nothing has happened."                                                                                      
9:08:26 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER  clarified  that she  is  just  concerned                                                               
about  having something  in  legislation that  "all  hinges on  a                                                               
piece that we don't have any control over."                                                                                     
CHAIR  SEATON said  he agrees  with Representative  Gardner.   He                                                               
pointed out that  House Bill 191 had some dates  in it and "every                                                               
one of them turned out to be unrealistic."                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER replied,  "Exactly, and  I don't  want to                                                               
repeat that."                                                                                                                   
CHAIR SEATON said dates have "slipped"  before, and if they do so                                                               
again, at least the legislature would  be in session and "if both                                                               
houses  and  the administration  want  to,  if something  did  go                                                               
really crazy, we could extend."                                                                                                 
9:09:15 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER  said she  is  willing  to not  offer  an                                                               
amendment she had  thought to offer, in order that  the bill will                                                               
move  more quickly.   In  return,  she asked  for Chair  Seaton's                                                               
commitment "to help  with extending it if we need  to because the                                                               
other pieces  that we  don't control  haven't dropped  into place                                                               
next session."                                                                                                                  
9:09:40 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON gave her his commitment to do that.                                                                                
9:09:55 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  remarked that there  is only a  week to                                                               
go in the session  and asked if it will be  possible to "get this                                                               
thing through."                                                                                                                 
9:10:51 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON noted  that there is a bill on  the Senate side that                                                               
is similar.  He said he  has been in communication with the chair                                                               
of the Senate  State Affairs Standing Committee in  an attempt to                                                               
"go on a common path."                                                                                                          
9:11:17 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   asked  if  it  wouldn't   allow  more                                                               
breathing room to change March 1 to April 1, for example.                                                                       
9:11:46 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON  responded   that  the  March  1   date  gives  the                                                               
legislature 45 days, which he said  is adequate.  He said, "There                                                               
have been a  number of negotiations around that  date, and that's                                                               
about 30 days longer than ...  [we] were offered previously."  He                                                               
noted  that  the Senate  version  of  HB  189  is on  the  Senate                                                               
calendar today to be heard on the Senate floor.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  said, "So, what we're  doing is passing                                                               
this out so  that that can be then put  into the [House Resources                                                               
Standing Committee] directly."                                                                                                  
CHAIR SEATON answered that's correct.                                                                                           
The committee took an at-ease from 9:13:14 AM to 9:13:26 AM.                                                                
9:13:36 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON  said the bill on  the Senate side doesn't  have the                                                               
six-month  approval   time  after  federal  approval,   which  he                                                               
indicated  he thinks  is important.   In  response to  a question                                                               
from Representative  Gruenberg, he said that  language appears on                                                               
page 11, in Section 15.                                                                                                         
The committee took an at-ease from 9:14:19 AM to 9:14:56 AM.                                                                
CHAIR SEATON stated another consideration  is whether to put July                                                               
1, 2001, in the title of the bill.                                                                                              
9:15:34 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER moved  Amendment  1 to  add  "on July  1,                                                               
2001", after the title sentence.                                                                                                
9:15:59 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG objected.   He  explained, "Because  if                                                               
the vehicle  is the Senate  vehicle, they  have to add  that over                                                               
there [and]  we're going  to need a  concurrent resolution.   So,                                                               
you ought to be  sure that they do a floor  amendment to put that                                                               
in on the other bill."                                                                                                          
The committee took an at-ease from 9:16:20 AM to 9:16:50 AM.                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER [withdrew Amendment 1].                                                                                  
9:18:04 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER  moved  to   report  24-LS0307\Y  out  of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal notes.                                                                                                                   
9:18:36 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON  announced that the motion  to move the bill  out of                                                               
committee must be withdrawn in order to open public testimony.                                                                  
9:18:48 AM                                                                                                                    
MORRIS  NASSUK,   Director,  Bering  Strait   Coastal  Management                                                               
Program,  testified in  support of  "the extension  for the  OCRM                                                               
approval program changes"  and in opposition to  "the 2011 sunset                                                               
clause."  He  urged the committee to support  the extensions from                                                               
six months to a year.                                                                                                           
9:20:08 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON asked  Mr. Nassuk  how important  it is  for [those                                                               
managing the  Bering Strait Coastal  Management Program]  to know                                                               
what  the  final regulations  are  before  they are  required  to                                                               
finalize their plans.                                                                                                           
9:20:23 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  NASSUK   responded  that  it's  extremely   important.    He                                                               
explained  that  it's confusing  to  be  told to  follow  certain                                                               
guidelines   that  haven't   yet  met   with  federal   approval.                                                               
Currently,   the  program   is  in   limbo  because   of  unclear                                                               
9:20:58 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER asked if six  months would be adequate for                                                               
his program to  prepare his plan and submit it  once he knows the                                                               
state and federal plans.                                                                                                        
9:21:14 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. NASSUK  said [six  months] would be  an improvement  over the                                                               
present deadline of July 1.                                                                                                     
9:21:45 AM                                                                                                                    
MARV SMITH,  Community Development Coordinator, Lake  & Peninsula                                                               
Borough,  testified  in support  of  the  six-month extension  of                                                               
time, adding  that more time would  probably be needed.   He said                                                               
he has put  out plans for public review that  took three years to                                                               
develop, and  he has  received feedback from  many agencies.   He                                                               
said, "I've got  a lot of work  to get done."   He explained that                                                               
he found out there  are a lot of problems that  need to be worked                                                               
out with his contractor and  it's questionable whether everything                                                               
can be done by July 1.   He said, "I think the Coastal Management                                                               
Program is something that the  people of Alaska have something to                                                               
do  with."   He  stated  his  opposition  to the  sunset  clause,                                                               
scheduled for  2011, because, depending on  the administration in                                                               
office at the time, [the program] could possibly be eliminated.                                                                 
9:23:18 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON  said he  thinks developers would  hate to  see [the                                                               
program] ended, because  that would mean that they  would have to                                                               
go to  the boroughs for the  land use planning, to  the state for                                                               
state  standards, and  go separately  to the  federal government,                                                               
because there would be no consistency  review.  He asked the same                                                               
question of  Mr. Smith  as he  did of  Mr. Nassuk,  regarding how                                                               
important it is  to have the six-month extension  begin after the                                                               
final federal approval of the state regulations.                                                                                
9:24:18 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  SMITH   responded  that  he  cannot   emphasize  enough  how                                                               
important it is.                                                                                                                
9:25:18 AM                                                                                                                    
JOHN OSCAR, Program Director,  Cenaliulriit Lake Coastal Resource                                                               
Service  Area District  (CRSA),  said the  district includes  the                                                               
largest  area of  remote villages  in  the Yukon/Kuskokwim  Delta                                                               
region  of  Alaska,  with  Yupik Eskimo  spoken  as  the  primary                                                               
language at public meetings.  He  said ACMP has been a successful                                                               
part  of  the  communities  in Alaska  regarding  the  permitting                                                               
process.   He said  a one-year extension  would be  practical for                                                               
his  program.    He  thanked   the  committee  for  its  patience                                                               
regarding  the  extension  of  deadlines,  which,  he  indicated,                                                               
assists everyone -  the legislature, the state,  and the majority                                                               
of districts -  to comply with well-planned  revisions "with fair                                                               
support  from  our  constituency  in Alaska."    He  stated  that                                                               
although the  sunset of  date of July  1, 2011,  is discomforting                                                               
for  fear of  "losing  to the  federal  government agencies,"  he                                                               
stated his belief that it  will "offer some compromise to revisit                                                               
the ... success of any program at that time."                                                                                   
9:26:56 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON closed public testimony.                                                                                           
9:27:17 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG [moved Amendment 2] as follows:                                                                        
     Page 12, line 10:                                                                                                          
     Between "July 1," and "."                                                                                                  
     Delete "2011"                                                                                                              
     Insert "2015"                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG said  he is  offering the  amendment in                                                               
response to the public testimony.                                                                                               
9:28:41 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON  objected  to  Amendment  2.   He  noted  that  the                                                               
original  bill did  not have  a  sunset date,  but after  intense                                                               
negotiations between various entities  involved in the program, a                                                               
sunset date of 2011 was chosen.                                                                                                 
9:29:34 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG withdrew  Amendment  2.   He added,  "I                                                               
appreciate your efforts to get this extended."                                                                                  
9:29:50 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER moved  to  report CSHB  189, Version  24-                                                               
LS0703\Y,  Bullock,  5/2/05,  out of  committee  with  individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no objection  CSHB 189(STA) was  reported out of the  House State                                                               
Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                                     

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