Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124

04/12/2018 01:15 PM House TRANSPORTATION

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01:54:26 PM Start
01:55:02 PM HB263
02:03:37 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 1:45 pm --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 263 Out of Committee
           HB 263-TRANSPORTATION SERVICES FOR HUNTERS                                                                       
1:55:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR STUTES announced  that the only order  of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE BILL  NO. 263,  "An  Act exempting  certain water  taxi                                                               
operators from  regulation as transportation services  by the Big                                                               
Game Commercial  Services Board;  and providing for  an effective                                                               
1:56:00 PM                                                                                                                    
JAYME  JONES,  Staff,  Representative Gary  Knopp,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, introduced herself.                                                                                                
1:56:12 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARY KNOPP, Alaska  State Legislature, speaking as                                                               
prime sponsor of HB  263, said the intent of HB  263 was to apply                                                               
the same exemption to water  taxi operators that currently exists                                                               
in  statue for  air  taxi  operators.   The  exemption has  three                                                               
requirements; first,  transporting hunters or their  gear must be                                                               
incidental  to the  main business;  second,  the operator  cannot                                                               
charge  a  premium for  that  service;  and third,  the  operator                                                               
cannot  advertise  that  service  without  having  a  transporter                                                               
license.  He stated that this  bill was requested by a water taxi                                                               
operator in  Kachemak Bay.   He offered  his belief that  this is                                                               
equitable and  has minimal impact.   Water taxis  businesses seem                                                               
to be  more prevalent in  Southeast Alaska than  in Southcentral,                                                               
Southwest Alaska, or other parts of the state.                                                                                  
1:57:30 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  asked for clarification that  HB 263 would                                                               
not  reduce   the  United  States  Coast   Guard  boating  safety                                                               
requirements for someone with a  transporter's license who caters                                                               
to hunter.3                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP answered no.                                                                                               
1:58:09 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  JONES,  on  behalf  of the  sponsor,  Representative  Knopp,                                                               
stated  that the  business must  still comply  with all  US Coast                                                               
Guard  and federal  regulations just  as an  airplane pilot  must                                                               
follow  FAA [Federal  Aviation  Administration] regulations  even                                                               
when they  are flying under  this exemption.   She stated  that a                                                               
water taxi business  would still need to have  a "six-pack" [USCG                                                               
Operator's License].                                                                                                            
1:58:43 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN related  his  understanding  a water  taxi                                                               
transports someone  by boat to  go hunting.   He asked  whether a                                                               
person  can currently  transport someone  by boat  to go  hunting                                                               
without a transporter's license.                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP answered  he  thought that  was  true.   He                                                               
stated  if someone  operates a  water taxi  business, the  person                                                               
would   be  prohibited   from  assisting   hunters  without   the                                                               
exemption.   He related his  understanding that the  statute does                                                               
not currently  apply to  water taxis, which  means that  a person                                                               
operating  a  water  taxi  would  be  banned  from  transporting,                                                               
assisting, or renting them boats or  cabins to hunters.  It would                                                               
be a prohibition without this exemption, he said.                                                                               
2:00:10 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND moved  to report HB 263  out of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
2:00:24 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND withdrew  the motion  in order  to allow                                                               
for public testimony.                                                                                                           
2:00:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR STUTES opened public testimony on HB 263.                                                                              
2:01:04 PM                                                                                                                    
MAKO HAGGERTY, Owner, Mako's Water  Taxi, stated he was the owner                                                               
and operator  of Mako's  Water Taxi.   He  thanked Representative                                                               
Knopp for  bring this bill forward.   He offered his  belief that                                                               
water taxis  were not  included with  air taxis,  perhaps because                                                               
there were  not many water  taxis in operation  at the time.   He                                                               
stated that his  water taxi business takes people  across the bay                                                               
to go  to the [Kachemak  Bay State Park].   His service  does not                                                               
delineate  between a  hiker, a  kayaker or  a hunter  since these                                                               
people  seek  transportation.    He  was  unsure  why  the  state                                                               
requires  a  different  permit   for  water  taxis  to  transport                                                               
hunters,  since as  far as  he is  concerned a  hunter is  just a                                                               
camper with a gun.  He  offered his belief that believes that the                                                               
language  in  statute needed  to  be  cleaned  up, and  he  fully                                                               
supports the bill.                                                                                                              
2:02:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  STUTES,  after  first  determining  no  one  wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on HB 263.                                                                                     
2:03:08 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND moved  to report HB 263  out of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.   There being no objection,  HB 263 was reported  from the                                                               
House Transportation Standing Committee.                                                                                        

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