Legislature(2009 - 2010)SENATE FINANCE 532

04/13/2009 09:00 AM FINANCE

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Recessed to 1:30 pm --
Scheduled But Not Heard
Heard & Held
Moved CSSB 133(HSS) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
SENATE BILL NO. 177                                                                                                           
     "An  Act  repealing  the termination  of  licensing  and                                                                   
     regulation of sport fishing  operators and sport fishing                                                                   
     guides and  licensing and registration of  sport fishing                                                                   
     vessels; and providing for an effective date."                                                                             
1:42:43 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Meyer  introduced SB 177. This  legislation addresses                                                                   
the licensing  and regulation of sport fishing  for operators                                                                   
and  guides. The  bill provides  oversight  of sport  fishing                                                                   
operators  and  guides.  For the  protection  of  guides  and                                                                   
clients, some minimum standards  are necessary. The licensing                                                                   
and  reporting  program  is  beneficial  to  both  the  sport                                                                   
fishing  industry  and  its  resource  managers.  Legislation                                                                   
authorizing this  program passed in  2004 with the  intent of                                                                   
giving  the Department  of Fish and  Game more  comprehensive                                                                   
and  credible  information  on  the  guide  and  the  guiding                                                                   
activities.  A need to  create a  basic standard existed  for                                                                   
sport fish business operators  and guides including liability                                                                   
insurance, first  aid, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation  (CPR),                                                                   
and in some cases, United State's  Coast Guard licensing. The                                                                   
program increased the level of  professionalism for the sport                                                                   
fishing industry across the state.                                                                                              
1:44:52 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Hoffman  MOVED to adopt  work draft LS0832\E,  Kane,                                                                   
Co-Chair Stedman OBJECTED.                                                                                                      
DARWIN   PETERSON,   STAFF,   CO-CHAIR   STEDMAN,   gave   an                                                                   
explanation  of   the  Committee  Substitute  (CS).   The  CS                                                                   
addresses  the need for  in-season replacement  of a  fishing                                                                   
guide  within  the  Kenai  River   special  management  area.                                                                   
Currently, in order to guide on  the Kenai River a guide must                                                                   
have current first aid certification,  a coast guard license,                                                                   
current Alaska sport fishing license,  proof of enrollment in                                                                   
an approved drug  testing program, park use  permit, and must                                                                   
pass the  Kenai River  Guide Academy.  This guide academy  is                                                                   
administered by  the Department  of Natural Resources  and is                                                                   
offered  through  the  Kenai  Peninsula  College.  The  guide                                                                   
academy was  created to educate  fishing guides in  the areas                                                                   
of habitat protection, state and  federal fishing laws, river                                                                   
etiquette,  etc. The  CS  addresses the  problem  of a  sport                                                                   
fishing  business losing  an  employee midseason.  The  guide                                                                   
academy   is  not  offered   during  the   summer,  as   most                                                                   
instructors are  professional guides themselves.  The problem                                                                   
arises  when a  guide  is terminated  for  misconduct, or  is                                                                   
unable  to finish  the sport fishing  season  due to a  major                                                                   
medical  situation.  A  business cannot  hire  a  replacement                                                                   
guide unless the person passes  the academy, which can result                                                                   
in  tremendous  economic hardship  to  the business.  The  CS                                                                   
allows the State  Division of Parks a replacement  waiver for                                                                   
a business  that loses a guide  in season, allowing  the hire                                                                   
of another  guide on an  emergency basis without  meeting the                                                                   
guide   academy  requirement.   The   intent   is  that   the                                                                   
replacement  guide  enroll  in  the guide  academy  at  first                                                                   
available opportunity,  otherwise the  guide may not  work in                                                                   
the  subsequent season  as  the waiver  only  applies to  the                                                                   
sport fishing season in which it was issued.                                                                                    
1:47:48 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Huggins asked  if a guide  was qualified  but  had a                                                                   
medical problem that put him out  of work for one year, would                                                                   
the  waiver  pertain  to  the  remainder  of  the  year.  Mr.                                                                   
Peterson answered  that the  replacement guide must  graduate                                                                   
from the academy  if he or she wished to guide  the following                                                                   
Senator Thomas  asked a  question regarding the  requirements                                                                   
of the waiver. Mr. Peterson answered  that requirements apply                                                                   
only  to the  academy. The  requirements other  than that  of                                                                   
attending  the  academy such  as  CPR, coast  guard  license,                                                                   
first aid, park permit, etc still  stand as requirements. The                                                                   
potential guide may only obtain  employment midseason without                                                                   
graduation from the guide academy.                                                                                              
Senator  Thomas  clarified  the  graduation  from  the  guide                                                                   
academy  is the  single  issue.  Mr. Peterson  answered  yes,                                                                   
because all other requirements  are available to the employee                                                                   
through  the  various  divisions or  departments  except  the                                                                   
academy because the course is  not offered during the summer.                                                                   
1:50:09 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Hoffman  asked about  the fiscal  note and  the $344                                                                   
thousand allocated  for personnel services. He  asked to know                                                                   
which  positions  are  listed.   Mr.  Peterson  deferred  the                                                                   
question to the sponsor.                                                                                                        
Co-Chair Stedman removed his OBJECTION                                                                                          
Version E of the work draft was ADOPTED                                                                                         
CHARLES   SWANTON,   DIRECTOR,   DIVISION  OF   SPORT   FISH,                                                                   
DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME, answered  the question about the                                                                   
fiscal note.  He stated  that there was  no reference  to the                                                                   
number of positions  for personal services. He  believed that                                                                   
eight  or nine  positions  are required  for  data entry  and                                                                   
program managers.                                                                                                               
Senator  Thomas asked  for the  current fees  for fish  guide                                                                   
licensing  as   compared  to  hunting  guides.   Mr.  Swanton                                                                   
answered  that he  was  not aware  of  the  current fees  for                                                                   
hunting guides. The fee for owner  operator guide among sport                                                                   
fishing is  $100 and for  guides only $50. Approximately  $10                                                                   
dollars  of  the $100  of  the  guide owner/operator  fee  is                                                                   
collected for licensing, while  the remainder is utilized for                                                                   
the  log book  or data  collection program.  For the  guides,                                                                   
$4.50 is  allocated toward licensing  fees and  the remainder                                                                   
toward logbook and data recording.                                                                                              
Senator Huggins asked  about the logbooks and  whether or not                                                                   
the   department  uses   the   data  for   better   fisheries                                                                   
Mr.  Swanton   stated  that  he   required  a   more  precise                                                                   
definition of "better fisheries management."                                                                                    
1:53:58 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Huggins clarified his  interest in enhancing the fish                                                                   
population.  Mr.  Swanton  responded   that  previous  venues                                                                   
listed the  methods to utilize  data. The information  needed                                                                   
has not been  collected by the department for  this period of                                                                   
time.  This  remains the  only  means  by which  the  harvest                                                                   
information is collected.                                                                                                       
Senator Huggins  asked when enough  data is anticipated.  Mr.                                                                   
Swanton answered  that the anticipation is  difficult because                                                                   
a wide array  of applications for the information  exist from                                                                   
stocks that may or may not be  heavily exploited. He admitted                                                                   
reticence about answering the  question of an exact amount of                                                                   
necessary data  required to make  good decisions  in managing                                                                   
fisheries.  He  opined  that   increased  data  enriches  the                                                                   
fisheries management decision making process.                                                                                   
Co-Chair Stedman  asked if the department supports  the bill.                                                                   
Mr. Swanton answered yes.                                                                                                       
1:56:49 PM                                                                                                                    
GARY   TURNER,   CHAIR,   KENAI    COLLEGE   (testified   via                                                                   
teleconference).  He   explained  that  there   is  unanimous                                                                   
support for  the change among  the Kenai River  Academy board                                                                   
BEVERLY  MINN,   SELF  (testified  via  teleconference),   in                                                                   
opposition to SB  177. She stated that she would  like to see                                                                   
the fees sunset or reduced considerably.                                                                                        
MELVIN GROVE, MATSU, SELF (testified  via teleconference), in                                                                   
support of  SB 177. He stated  that he was in support  of the                                                                   
legislation. He  asked for data regarding restocks  to reduce                                                                   
long  lining near  shore  water. Data  is  not available.  He                                                                   
opined that the  fees must come from the fishing  licenses as                                                                   
opposed to the captain's pocket.                                                                                                
2:02:34 PM                                                                                                                    
ANDY SZCZESNY, OWNER ALASKA FISH  AND FLOAT, KENAI, testified                                                                   
in support of SB  177. He informed that he worked  as a guide                                                                   
on the  upper Kenai  River. He noted  the importance  of data                                                                   
collection. He expected the agencies  to employ the collected                                                                   
REUBEN  HANKE, SELF,  SOLDOTNA,  testified in  support of  SB
177. He  spoke about the  CS and the  original task  force by                                                                   
the  Commissioner of  DNR.  He worked  as  a charter  fishing                                                                   
guide.  He  thought  that  the   information  gathered  would                                                                   
provide  a spring  board for  decision  making processes.  He                                                                   
understood  that there  were difficulties  with the  original                                                                   
collection process. He believed  that the data was helpful to                                                                   
the Board  of Fisheries. He spoke  in favor of the  CS and SB
2:05:52 PM                                                                                                                    
STEVE MCCLURE, SELF,  KENAI, testified in support  of SB 177.                                                                   
He thought it beneficial to gather  more data. He stated that                                                                   
the board of  directors for the guide academy  were surprised                                                                   
to learn  that the  absent guide  issue was  not covered.  He                                                                   
stated  that   the  guide  academy   board  taught   him  the                                                                   
importance  of  the  academy's  classes, but  if  a  position                                                                   
remains vacant the business suffers.                                                                                            
DAVID  GOGGIA,  SELF, testified  in  support  of SB  177.  He                                                                   
stated  that there  are  many hazards  present  in the  sport                                                                   
fishing job,  occasionally necessitating replacement  guides.                                                                   
He spoke in support of the CS and SB 177.                                                                                       
2:08:51 PM                                                                                                                    
RICKY GEASE,  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,  KENAI RIVER SPORT  FISHING                                                                   
ASSOCIATION,  testified  in support  of  the legislation.  He                                                                   
stated that the guiding profession  is risky. Emergencies are                                                                   
possible  and substitute  guides  are occasionally  required.                                                                   
The  current law  book program  exempts Alaska  from the  new                                                                   
salt water angler  registry. He stated the importance  of the                                                                   
emergency  language.  He  spoke  in favor  of  extending  the                                                                   
sunset.   He    believed   in   insurance,    licensing   and                                                                   
certification standards.                                                                                                        
2:10:53 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Huggins asked  about  the cost  of  a sport  fishing                                                                   
license.  He understood  that the cost  of business  licenses                                                                   
was reduced.                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Gease answered  that  the  price reductions  applied  to                                                                   
general business  licenses. A portion of the  license cost is                                                                   
used  for  electronic  data entry.  He  understood  that  the                                                                   
backlog  a  result of  data  input  in paper  fashion  versus                                                                   
electronic data  entry. He  stated the frustration  addressed                                                                   
was that the format was not user  friendly. The log books can                                                                   
limit people's  collection so that  it is real time  data. An                                                                   
efficient method of data collection and input is necessary.                                                                     
Senator  Huggins commented  that he  liked the  data and  the                                                                   
process, but "state government  can always find a reason that                                                                   
they   need   local   citizen's   money   to   manage   their                                                                   
2:13:47 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stedman commented  on  the fiscal  note for  $462.2                                                                   
thousand, which exists in the Governor's FY10 budget.                                                                           
Senator Meyer noted support of the CS.                                                                                          
Co-Chair  Stedman commented  that  the committee  was in  the                                                                   
process of  creating with the  Department of Fish and  Game a                                                                   
recording mechanism allowing the  guiding industry to provide                                                                   
timely and usable  data. He suggested that Alaska  may end up                                                                   
like Oregon and Washington without  the accurate reporting of                                                                   
data. He  stated that  the committee did  not want  to burden                                                                   
the  populous  with  undue  charges,  but  without  the  data                                                                   
regarding the fish caught in Alaska,  the state may encounter                                                                   
an irreversible problem.                                                                                                        
SB  177  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in  Committee   for  further                                                                   
2:15:35 PM                                                                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Articles.pdf SFIN 4/13/2009 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/12/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 110
Amendment_Explanation_CSSB 133(HSS).doc SFIN 4/13/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 133
SB 171 Supt email Palmer.pdf HFIN 2/12/2010 1:30:00 PM
SFIN 4/13/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 171
CSSB 171 Memo on changes 04072009.pdf HFIN 2/12/2010 1:30:00 PM
SFIN 4/13/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 171
SB 171 Supt email Kajikawa.pdf HFIN 2/12/2010 1:30:00 PM
SFIN 4/13/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 171
SB 171 Support Article JNU Empire.pdf HFIN 2/12/2010 1:30:00 PM
SFIN 4/13/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 171
CSSB 171 Memo on changes 04092009.pdf SFIN 4/13/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 171
CSSB171(STA)-DOR-PFD-04-09-09.pdf SFIN 4/13/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 171
CSSB 171 CS Draft for Senate Finance.pdf SFIN 4/13/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 171
CSSB 133(HSS) - Amendment - 26-LS0489-P.2.pdf SFIN 4/13/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 133
SB 133 - Revised Fiscal Note - 4-10-09.pdf SFIN 4/13/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 133
CS SB 177 Version E.pdf SFIN 4/13/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 177
SB 171 Supt email Smith.pdf HFIN 2/12/2010 1:30:00 PM
SFIN 4/13/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 171
SB 171 Supt Ltr Mason.pdf HFIN 2/12/2010 1:30:00 PM
SFIN 4/13/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 171
SB 171 Supt Ltr Neher.pdf HFIN 2/12/2010 1:30:00 PM
SFIN 4/13/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 171
SB 177 Sponsor Statement.pdf SFIN 4/13/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 177
SB 177 Supt Ltr KRSA.pdf SFIN 4/13/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 177
SB 177 Supt Ltr PCBA.pdf SFIN 4/13/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 177
SB 177 Supt Ltr SEAGO.pdf SFIN 4/13/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 177
SB110 Sectional Analysis.pdf SFIN 4/13/2009 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/12/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 110
SB110 Sponsor Statement.pdf SFIN 4/13/2009 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/12/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 110
SB177 Support Resolution.pdf SFIN 4/13/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 177