Legislature(1999 - 2000)

04/23/1999 08:07 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE BILL NO. 7                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to the University of Alaska and                                                                                
university land, and authorizing the University of                                                                              
Alaska to select additional state land."                                                                                        
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 7(RES)                                                                                                   
"An Act relating to the University of Alaska and                                                                                
university land, and authorizing the University of                                                                              
Alaska to select additional state land."                                                                                        
Senator Robin Taylor spoke to work draft version #1-                                                                            
LS0072\K, Luckhaupt, 3/24/99.  [Copy on File].  He                                                                              
explained the changes between that version and the one                                                                          
previously adopted in the Resources Committee.  Senator                                                                         
Taylor advised that the proposed version would be clearer                                                                       
and easier for everyone to follow.                                                                                              
MEL KROGSENG, Staff, Senator Robin Taylor, commented that                                                                       
Legal Counsel, Jerry Luckhaupt, had recommended the above                                                                       
mentioned changes.                                                                                                              
Senator Leman MOVED to adopt the "K" version as the                                                                             
working document before the Committee.  There being NO                                                                          
OBJECTION,  it was adopted.                                                                                                     
Co-Chair Torgerson advised that Amendments #1 and #2 had                                                                        
been incorporated into the new committee substitute.                                                                            
[Copies on File].                                                                                                               
Following discussion between Senator Donley and Co-Chair                                                                        
Torgerson, it was decided that only the bottom portion of                                                                       
Amendment #3 would be offered.  [Copy on File].  That                                                                           
language would insert: "Must be managed in a manner that                                                                        
permits the continuation of subsistence, sport hunting and                                                                      
sport fishing" to the maximum extent possible.                                                                                  
Senator Donley MOVED to adopt that language.  Senator Taylor                                                                    
explained the language had not been inserted because by                                                                         
listing specific activities, then others are then precluded.                                                                    
He recommended that rather than listing every conceivable                                                                       
match, it was the intent to remove specific designations and                                                                    
merely use;  "Continuation of traditional uses of the                                                                           
land", leaving the category broader.  He reiterated that                                                                        
the language had been intentionally left generic.                                                                               
Senator Donley agreed with Senator Taylor and suggested that                                                                    
the concern could be addressed by adding the language:                                                                          
"Including, but not limited to".                                                                                                
Senator Donley MOVED to WITHDRAW Amendment #3.  There being                                                                     
NO OBJECTION, Amendment #3 was withdrawn.                                                                                       
Senator Adams MOVED to adopt Amendment #4, 1-LS0072\I.2,                                                                        
Luckhaupt, 3/3/99.  [Copy on File].  He stated that there                                                                       
are statewide municipalities which have not completely                                                                          
selected their lands.                                                                                                           
Senator Taylor countered that there are municipalities                                                                          
around the State, which over the years have been precluded                                                                      
from making certain selections either by the Mental Health                                                                      
Trust Fund litigation or other factors.  He recognized that                                                                     
it is a problem.  He added that he was willing to work on a                                                                     
viable solution to address the concern.  Senator Taylor                                                                         
pointed out that Line #8 of the amendment, stipulates that                                                                      
the "guts" of the bill would only take effect if each                                                                           
municipality of the State was in existence on the effective                                                                     
date of that section. He recommended that a percentage                                                                          
number be added in order to make the selection process.  He                                                                     
reiterated that he was willing to work on that concern,                                                                         
however, he felt that the proposed language "went too                                                                           
Senator Adams MOVED to WITHDRAW Amendment #4.  There being                                                                      
NO OBJECTION, Amendment #4 was withdrawn.                                                                                       
Senator Adams MOVED to adopt Amendment #5.  [Copy on File].                                                                     
Co-Chair Torgerson OBJECTED for the purpose of discussion.                                                                      
Senator Adams stated that the amendment would clarify that                                                                      
if the University did not reimburse the Department for                                                                          
reasonable costs incurred in the selection, platting and                                                                        
surveying of the land, the Department could not convey the                                                                      
land to the University of Alaska.                                                                                               
Senator Taylor commented that the situation should be worked                                                                    
out between the University and the Department of Natural                                                                        
Resources. Senator Adams argued that the land would not be                                                                      
available if that portion of the Department of Natural                                                                          
Resources budget was not addressed for the current year                                                                         
budget.  He stressed the concerns of adequately funding the                                                                     
Lands Division in FY00.                                                                                                         
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
IN FAVOR:  Adams, Phillips, Donley                                                                                              
OPPOSED:  Leman, Wilken, P. Kelly, Torgerson                                                                                    
Senator Green and Senator Parnel were not present for the                                                                       
The MOTION FAILED (3-4).                                                                                                        
DICK MYLIUS, Resource Assessment & Development, Division of                                                                     
Lands, Department of Natural Resources, Anchorage,                                                                              
(Testified via Teleconference) offered to answer questions                                                                      
of the Committee.  He pointed out that the Department had                                                                       
previously testified in opposition to SB 7.                                                                                     
Mr. Mylius testified the Department's concerns are that the                                                                     
process for identifying the 250,000 acres would be time                                                                         
consuming, expensive and a contentious process.  He pointed                                                                     
out that the Department had difficulty in identifying land                                                                      
to constitute the Mental Health Trust and that there was                                                                        
much public opposition.  The Department estimates that it                                                                       
would cost over $1 million dollars per year to survey and                                                                       
transfer that land.  He reiterated that the Senate Finance                                                                      
Committee in this year's proposed budget had basically                                                                          
"gutted" the Division of Lands, the agency responsible to                                                                       
take the lead in providing this transfer.                                                                                       
Senator Phillips interjected that he "took exception" to                                                                        
this testimony.  Co-Chair Torgerson requested that Mr.                                                                          
Mylius restrict his testimony to the bill and not the                                                                           
budgetary actions.                                                                                                              
Mr. Mylius continued, the Department has concerned regarding                                                                    
the impact the proposed bill would have on the                                                                                  
municipalities because over 600,000 acres are currently owed                                                                    
to the municipalities.  The same lands that the University                                                                      
wants are the ones which municipalities also request.  Mr.                                                                      
Mylius concluded that this bill would create an uncertainty                                                                     
regarding land ownership in the State of Alaska.                                                                                
Senator Phillips questioned if zero dollars had been given                                                                      
to the Division of Lands.  Mr. Mylius replied that cuts to                                                                      
the Division of Lands were approximately at 17%.                                                                                
Senator Leman MOVED to report CSSB 7(FIN) out of Committee                                                                      
with individual recommendation and with the accompanying                                                                        
fiscal notes.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                     
CSSB 7(FIN) was reported out of Committee with a "do pass"                                                                      
recommendation and with fiscal notes by the Department of                                                                       
Natural Resources dated 3/5/99, the University of Alaska                                                                        
dated 1/22/99 and the Department of Fish and Game dated                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects