Legislature(2005 - 2006)SENATE FINANCE 532

04/27/2005 09:00 AM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved SCS CSHB 76(FIN) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
Moved HB 102 am Out of Committee
Moved CSSB 124(L&C) Out of Committee
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
     CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 76(FIN) am                                                                                           
     "An Act relating to  the Big Game Commercial Services Board and                                                            
     to   the  regulation   of  big   game  hunting   services   and                                                            
     transportation services;  and providing for an effective date."                                                            
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
HENRY  WEBB,  Staff to  Representative  Ralph  Samuels,  the  bill's                                                            
sponsor,  explained that  this bill  would re-establish  a Big  Game                                                            
Commercial  Services  Board  within  the  Division  of Occupational                                                             
Licensing,   Department   of  Commerce,   Community   and   Economic                                                            
Development,  to oversee the professional  hunting and transporting                                                             
industry. When the previous  such Board terminated in the mid 1990s,                                                            
its powers had  been transferred to the Division.  In the year 2003,                                                            
both a Legislative  Budget & Audit report, Audit Control  Number 08-                                                            
30025-03, dated October  16, 2003 [copy on file] and a letter, dated                                                            
March  18, 2003 [copy  on file]  from the  Board of  Game to  Senate                                                            
President Gene  Therriault and House Speaker Pete  Kott, pointed out                                                            
many of the problems  facing the industry. The Audit  suggested that                                                            
the Legislature  re-establish  the Board. While  a similar  bill had                                                            
passed  the Senate  the previous  Legislative  Session,  it had  not                                                            
progressed   through  the   committee  process   of  the  House   of                                                            
Representatives.  "Extensive work" has been conducted  on this bill,                                                            
which balances  the concerns  of the industry,  the public,  and the                                                            
agencies  that manage the  resources. The  majority of this  29-page                                                            
bill relates to transferring  the authority from the Division to the                                                            
9:09:13 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Webb  stated  that the  differences  in  the  bill  before  the                                                            
Committee  and the bill  that passed  the Senate  the previous  year                                                            
would include  increasing the membership of the Board  from seven to                                                            
nine members;  requiring that the  Board issue a license  to someone                                                            
who satisfied  license requirements,  and increasing the  level of a                                                            
fine that  would have  precluded an  individual  from being able  to                                                            
receive or  renew a guide or transfer  license for a violation  of a                                                            
hunting,  guiding, or transporting  statute  or regulation  that had                                                            
been  received  in the  previous  twelve  month period  from  $1,000                                                            
Co-Chair Wilken moved to  adopt the committee substitute Version 24-                                                            
LS0332\Y as the working document.                                                                                               
There being no  objection, the Version "Y" committee  substitute was                                                            
ADOPTED as the working document.                                                                                                
Mr. Webb  noted  that one  of the three  differences  between CS  HB
76(FIN)  am, Version  24-LS0332\F.A  and the  Version "Y"  committee                                                            
substitute  is the  elimination of  the requirement  that the  Board                                                            
must award a license  at their next meeting. This  change, which was                                                            
suggested by the  Division of Occupational Licensing,  would provide                                                            
some  flexibility  to the  Board  and the  Department  of  Commerce,                                                            
Community and Economic Development.                                                                                             
9:12:01 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Green  understood therefore that the phrase  "first meeting                                                            
of the  Board" had  been eliminated  from language  in Version  "Y",                                                            
Sec. 4((a)(2)  beginning on  line four, page  three, which  reads as                                                            
     (2) authorize the issuance of [ISSUE] registered guide-                                                                
     outfitter [GUIDE], class-A assistant guide, assistant guide,                                                             
     and transporter licenses after the applicant for the license                                                             
     satisfies the requirements of the license;                                                                               
     New Text Underlined [DELETED TEXT BRACKETED]                                                                             
Mr. Webb affirmed.                                                                                                              
Mr. Webb continued that  the second change that would be implemented                                                            
by the Version  "Y" committee substitute  would be the inclusion  of                                                            
the phrase  "an unsuspended  fine" in Sec.  6(a)(1)(ii), (iii),  and                                                            
(iv), lines 23, 25, and  27 respectfully. This language was included                                                            
at the suggestion of the Department of Public Safety.                                                                           
9:12:39 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Green  asked whether the  levels of the fines specified  in                                                            
those sections were new.                                                                                                        
Mr. Webb stated  that the fine levels were included  in the previous                                                            
version of the bill, Version "F.A".                                                                                             
Co-Chair Green  clarified therefore  that the inclusion of  the term                                                            
"unsuspended fine" was the issue at hand.                                                                                       
Mr. Webb concurred.                                                                                                             
Mr. Webb stated  that the third change  included in Version  "Y" was                                                            
the expansion  of  some of  the criteria  that must  be included  in                                                            
guide and transport contracts.  The new language is included in Sec.                                                            
17(c) beginning  on line 26, page  11 of the bill; specifically  the                                                            
language reflected on lines six through 19 on page 12.                                                                          
Mr. Webb  stated that this  criterion was  not exclusive; the  Board                                                            
could develop additional criteria "as they deemed appropriate".                                                                 
9:13:41 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Green  recalled that a vast  amount of time had  been spent                                                            
discussing  this legislation the previous  year. To that  point, she                                                            
asked  for confirmation  that  other  than the  language  identified                                                            
today, the remainder  of the language mirrored that  of the previous                                                            
Session's bill.                                                                                                                 
Mr. Webb affirmed.                                                                                                              
Senator Dyson  asked permission to  abstain from voting on  the bill                                                            
due to a conflict  of interest. The bill would affect  his business.                                                            
Co-Chair Green overruled the request.                                                                                           
Senator  Dyson noted  that while  the bill  might "make  his life  a                                                            
little more miserable", he would probably vote in favor of it.                                                                  
9:14:50 AM                                                                                                                    
BOBBY   FITHIAN,   Representative,   Alaska   Professional   Hunters                                                            
Association, testified  via teleconference from Anchorage and stated                                                            
that this  bill "is supported  by every State,  federal, or  private                                                            
entity that has  any stewardship" involving such things  as wildlife                                                            
or  wildlife  resources.  It  would  enhance  "proper  stewardship,                                                             
accountability,  and sustainability"  to one of the State's  "oldest                                                            
and most recognized  industries". A tremendous amount  of discussion                                                            
has transpired  in regards  to this  issue, and  he appreciated  the                                                            
Committee's attention to the bill.                                                                                              
RICK THOMPSON,  Resource Manager,  Department of Natural  Resources,                                                            
testified   via  teleconference  from   Anchorage,  to  notify   the                                                            
Committee of the Department's support of the bill.                                                                              
Co-Chair  Wilken  moved  to report  the  committee  substitute  from                                                            
Committee with  individual recommendations  and accompanying  fiscal                                                            
There being  no objections,  SCS CS  HB 76 (FIN)  was REPORTED  from                                                            
Committee with zero Fiscal  Note #1, dated February 4, 2005 from the                                                            
Department of Fish and  Game, zero Fiscal Note #2, dated February 4,                                                            
2005 from  the Department  of Public  Safety, zero  Fiscal Note  #4,                                                            
dated February  11, 2005 from the  Department of Natural  Resources,                                                            
and  $20,000  Fiscal Note  #5,  dated  February  11, 2005  from  the                                                            
Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.                                                                     
9:18:02 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE: 9:18:08 AM / 9:18:30 AM                                                                                            

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