Legislature(2017 - 2018)SENATE FINANCE 532

05/08/2018 01:30 PM Senate FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
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= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 260(FIN) am                                                                                             
     "An  Act relating  to possession  of certain  licenses,                                                                    
     tags, and permits issued by  the Department of Fish and                                                                    
     Game; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                
2:16:22 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DAN SADDLER,  SPONSOR, introduced  the bill.                                                                    
He  indicated  that  HB  260   allowed  state  licenses  for                                                                    
hunting, fishing,  and trapping  to be displayed  on digital                                                                    
devices, as  well as in  paper form. He offered  that anyone                                                                    
who's  ever  tumbled into  a  stream  while landing  a  king                                                                    
salmon or sat  in the rain in a duck  blind knows that paper                                                                    
licenses can be damaged and  become worthless. He noted that                                                                    
the  state   currently  allowed  digital  versions   of  car                                                                    
insurance  as proof  and digital  versions of  minor offence                                                                    
citations  for court  purposes.  He listed  the benefits  of                                                                    
extending the  capability to outdoors  recreational licenses                                                                    
as follows:                                                                                                                     
     Make  it  easier  and   more  convenient  for  hunters,                                                                    
     fishers  and  trappers  to obtain  and  carry  required                                                                    
     Help entice  new participants  in these  activities, by                                                                    
     lowering one barrier to entry.                                                                                             
     Make Alaska  a more  attractive tourist  destination by                                                                    
     making it easier for visitors to get licenses.                                                                             
     Save money  for the state and  private license vendors,                                                                    
     by reducing or eliminating printing costs.                                                                                 
Representative  Saddler thought  that the  current committee                                                                    
substitute  (CS)  improved  the  bill by  offering  a  peace                                                                    
officer examining an electronic  device displaying a license                                                                    
with  immunity  from  liability for  damage  to  the  device                                                                    
resulting from  the inspection. He  added that HB  260 turns                                                                    
the citation  issued by a  peace officer into  a correctible                                                                    
or  "fix-it  ticket,"  whereby  a  person  can  nullify  any                                                                    
violation  for   failure  to  have   a  license   in  actual                                                                    
possession, by presenting a valid  license within 30 days. A                                                                    
provision was added  that required fur dealers  to possess a                                                                    
license. The bill did not  cover commercial fishing or paper                                                                    
harvest tags. However, he  believed that software developers                                                                    
were  currently inventing  smartphone-based  "apps" for  the                                                                    
items he  listed. He  concluded that the  "bill was  a small                                                                    
bill that provided big benefits at no costs to the state."                                                                      
2:18:55 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  requested that  Representative  Saddler                                                                    
present a Sectional Analysis.                                                                                                   
Representative  Saddler relayed  the Sectional  Analysis. He                                                                    
read the following from a  Summary of Changes (copy on file)                                                                    
     Sec. 1  Deletes proposed new section AS 16.05.348                                                                          
     o Inserts and amends AS 16.05.330(a)                                                                                       
     ? Includes  a permit as  an item a person  must possess                                                                  
     to  engage  legally  in   activities  allowed  in  this                                                                    
     ?  Deletes  fur  dealing from  AS  16.05.330(a)(2)  and                                                                  
     inserts it in AS 16.5.330(a)(4).                                                                                           
     ? Sec 2.    Deletes effective date  clause, and inserts                                                                    
     new subsection AS 16.05.330(f)                                                                                             
     ? Makes  failure to  possess a  license into  a "fix-it                                                                  
     ticket;" that  is, lets a person  nullify any violation                                                                    
     for  failure to  have  a license  in actual  possession                                                                    
     while  sportfishing,  taking  razor clams,  hunting  or                                                                    
     trapping, by  presenting a valid license  to the office                                                                    
     of the  arresting or  citing agency  within 30  days of                                                                    
     the citation.                                                                                                              
     ? Adds new subsection AS 16.05.330(g)                                                                                      
     o  Provides that  a  license in  possession  may be  in                                                                    
     paper or electronic form.                                                                                                  
     ? Adds new subsection AS 16.05.330(h)                                                                                      
     o  Provides a  peace  officer  examining an  electronic                                                                    
     device   displaying  a   license  with   immunity  from                                                                    
     liability for damage to the  device resulting from that                                                                    
     ? Sec.  3   Inserts  and amends AS 16.05.430(a)  to add                                                                    
     AS  16.05.330(f) and  AS 16.05.407(b)  to  the list  of                                                                    
     violations exempt from  general provisions establishing                                                                    
     violations of  state outdoor recreational  license laws                                                                    
     as misdemeanors                                                                                                            
     ? Sec.  4   Inserts  effective date clause,  making the                                                                    
     bill take effect July 1, 2018.                                                                                             
Representative  Saddler   elaborated  that  Section   1  was                                                                    
related to fur  dealing and added a  fur dealing requirement                                                                    
to taxidermy. He specified the  two exemptions in Section 3.                                                                    
The first  exemption was on  page 2,  line 12 that  added AS                                                                    
16.05.330(f) as  the fix-it provision  created in  Section 2                                                                    
and the other, AS 16.05.407(b)  was the provision related to                                                                    
a nonresident hunters' guide  requirement, under the penalty                                                                    
of perjury that remained a Class B felony.                                                                                      
2:20:48 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon requested  clarity  on use  of the  word                                                                    
"permit" on line 6 [Section 1] of the bill.                                                                                     
MORGAN  FOSS, LEGISLATIVE  LIAISON, DEPARTMENT  OF FISH  AND                                                                    
GAME,  explained that  the terms  "tag license"  or "permit"                                                                    
covered all  types of sport or  recreation fishing, hunting,                                                                    
or harvesting activities covered under the legislation.                                                                         
2:21:49 PM                                                                                                                    
AL  BARRETTE, TAXIDERMIST,  FAIRBANKS (via  teleconference),                                                                    
requested  an amendment,  which would  remove the  taxidermy                                                                    
license   portion.   He   related  that   approximately   56                                                                    
taxidermists were  licensed in  the state  and he  spoke for                                                                    
most  of them.  He felt  that the  annual $100  fee did  not                                                                    
benefit  the taxidermy  industry. The  license fee  that the                                                                    
Department of Fish and Game  (DFG) collected did not benefit                                                                    
the  licensee  and  was   very  "insignificant"  to  ADF&G's                                                                    
budget. He reported that taxidermists  were also required by                                                                    
law to  have a state  business license and some  cities also                                                                    
required a municipal business license.  He believed that the                                                                    
multiple  licensures  were  redundant and  unreasonable.  He                                                                    
furthered that  currently state  regulation required  that a                                                                    
taxidermist  was  licensed  to sell  an  unclaimed  finished                                                                    
product.  The  proposed  amendment   would  not  affect  the                                                                    
regulation, as per  state law, a taxidermist  must possess a                                                                    
state business  license and that satisfied  the requirement.                                                                    
He asked the committee to consider the amendment.                                                                               
Co-Chair MacKinnon CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                     
2:24:47 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Bishop addressed  the fiscal  note. He  reported                                                                    
that the zero fiscal note  for DFG, FN1 (DFG), was allocated                                                                    
to the Commissioner's  Office. He read from  the analysis on                                                                    
page 2 of the fiscal note:                                                                                                      
     This bill  describes how  a person  holding a  Fish and                                                                    
     Game  sport  fishing,  hunting,  trapping  license,  or                                                                    
     Permanent Identification Card may  display a valid copy                                                                    
     (a sport fishing, hunting, or  trapping license must be                                                                    
     signed in  order to  be considered  valid) in  paper or                                                                    
     electronic format  to an enforcement agent  as proof of                                                                    
     possession. The  department does  not foresee  that any                                                                    
     statute or  regulation currently restricts a  user from                                                                    
     displaying  the  actual  license  in  either  paper  or                                                                    
     electronic format, so long as  the license is valid and                                                                    
     Fish  and  Game  regulation 5  AAC  75.006(a)  requires                                                                    
     that, (1)  a nontransferable harvest record  must be in                                                                    
     possession  of  each  person  taking  and  retaining  a                                                                    
     finfish   for   which   an  annual   limit   has   been                                                                    
     established; for  a licensed  angler, a  harvest record                                                                    
     appears  on  the back  of  the  angler's sport  fishing                                                                    
     license,  a harvest  record  may  be obtained,  without                                                                    
     charge,  from department  offices  and fishing  license                                                                    
     vendors;  (2) immediately  upon landing  a finfish  for                                                                    
     which an annual limit  has been established, the angler                                                                    
     shall enter the date,  location (body of water fished),                                                                    
     and  species  of the  catch,  in  ink, on  the  harvest                                                                    
     Fish and  Game regulation  5 AAC 92.010  requires that,                                                                    
     (a)  the number  of  each harvest  ticket  issued to  a                                                                    
     hunter  must  be entered  on  the  hunter's license.  A                                                                    
     harvest ticket  issued the  previous calendar  year and                                                                    
     still  valid  must  also  be  entered  on  the  hunting                                                                    
     The   department   does    not   currently   have   the                                                                    
     technological  ability to  offer  digital recording  of                                                                    
     harvest  on  an  electronic  copy of  the  license.  An                                                                    
     electronic  copy  of  a valid  license  would  need  to                                                                    
     include the  Harvest Ticket  Number(s) on  the original                                                                    
     license prior to the creation  of that electronic image                                                                    
     if   the  user   were  to   legally  engage   in  those                                                                    
     activities. If the user intends  to exclusively use the                                                                    
     electronic copy of the valid,  signed license for sport                                                                    
     fishing  for  a  species  with  an  established  annual                                                                    
     limit,  the  user would  need  to  maintain a  separate                                                                    
     paper  copy of  a  harvest record  for  the purpose  of                                                                    
     immediately recording harvest of those species.                                                                            
Senator Micciche cautioned that  paper copies were necessary                                                                    
for harvest  tickets. In  addition, he  stated that  a phone                                                                    
did not work  properly in cold weather  and advised carrying                                                                    
paper  licenses unless  an individual  was engaged  in daily                                                                    
and  not multi-day  hunting or  fishing  activities or  when                                                                    
hunting or  fishing animals  that didn't  require a  tag. He                                                                    
asked DFG to confirm his conclusions.                                                                                           
2:29:03 PM                                                                                                                    
TOM BROOKOVER, DIRECTOR, SPORT  FISH DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF                                                                    
FISH  AND GAME  (via  teleconference),  agreed with  Senator                                                                    
Micciche's conclusions.  He exemplified  that in  areas that                                                                    
included   recording  requirements   like  Cook   Inlet  and                                                                    
Southeast Alaska where  King Salmon had an  annual limit the                                                                    
harvest  recording was  required on  the back  of the  paper                                                                    
license.  A sport  fisher in  those areas  that obtained  an                                                                    
electronic  license  would  also  need  a  paper  copy.  The                                                                    
department wanted to  implement electronic harvest recording                                                                    
but was  unlikely for at  least another year. He  added that                                                                    
King Salmon and other harvest  tags were printed as a number                                                                    
at the time the licensed  was purchased electronically so it                                                                    
was unnecessary to retain a paper  copy of a king salmon tag                                                                    
as    long   the    individual    purchased   the    license                                                                    
2:30:27 PM                                                                                                                    
BRUCE  DALE, DIRECTOR,  DIVISION  OF WILDLIFE  CONSERVATION,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT   OF   FISH   AND  GAME   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
introduced  himself  and   agreed  with  Senator  Micciche's                                                                    
comments. He  voiced that in  the near term paper  copies of                                                                    
licenses were  necessary for animals  that required  tags at                                                                    
the time it was hunted,  which also applied to federal water                                                                    
foul stamps.  He noted that provisions  existed allowing use                                                                    
of  harvest  recording  APPS,  which  were  currently  being                                                                    
developed but were not currently available.                                                                                     
2:32:13 PM                                                                                                                    
MAJOR  BERNARD  CHASTAIN,  DEPUTY DIRECTOR  OF  ENFORCEMENT,                                                                    
ALASKA WILDLIFE TROOPERS, DEPARTMENT  OF PUBLIC SAFETY, (via                                                                    
teleconference), relayed  that he  had discussions  with DFG                                                                    
regarding  electronic licensing.  Both  agencies shared  the                                                                    
same  concerns that  were expressed  during the  meeting. He                                                                    
was confident  that working together an  enforceable process                                                                    
to determine  the validity of licenses  electronically or in                                                                    
paper would be found.                                                                                                           
Vice-Chair  Bishop inquired  whether  a saved  photo of  the                                                                    
electronic  license was  sufficient  in  areas without  cell                                                                    
phone coverage.   Major Chastain replied  that currently the                                                                    
licensee was required  to have a signed copy  of the license                                                                    
and  at times  individuals  produced photos  of licenses  as                                                                    
evidence of  licensure. He hoped  that the bill  would allow                                                                    
electronic  licenses  and  DFG  would  allow  a  variety  of                                                                    
presentations including  an electronic  photograph. However,                                                                    
the  photograph did  not include  harvest  reporting and  he                                                                    
recommended taking  photos of the  harvest tag  or reporting                                                                    
each time an animal was harvested.                                                                                              
Senator Micciche  asked how Major  Chastain would  deal with                                                                    
the  "dead   battery  scenario"  for  individuals   using  a                                                                    
smartphone. Major  Chastain answered  that Section 2  of the                                                                    
bill addressed  the repercussions  if an individual  did not                                                                    
have  a  license  in their  possession  and  the  provisions                                                                    
regarding  a correctible  citation.  He  specified that  the                                                                    
trooper  would issue  a ticket  and if  a valid  license was                                                                    
presented  within 30  days the  ticket would  be voided  and                                                                    
would not show up on the person's record.                                                                                       
2:36:32 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator   Olson  wondered   whether  the   committee  should                                                                    
consider  the  taxidermists   testimony  and  eliminate  the                                                                    
license requirement. Representative  Saddler understood that                                                                    
DFG  wanted to  utilize  the information  received from  the                                                                    
licenses  to  assist  in  enforcement  against  poaching.  A                                                                    
poached  big   game  animal  would   likely  end  up   at  a                                                                    
taxidermist's establishment.  The permit  would be  one more                                                                    
tool available to law enforcement for use against poaching.                                                                     
Co-Chair MacKinnon  asked for  DFG's comments  regarding the                                                                    
taxidermists   licensing.  Ms.   Foss  indicated   that  DFG                                                                    
preferred to  maintain the  licensing provision  in statute.                                                                    
Currently,  the   statute  was   the  only   regulation  the                                                                    
department  had  over  the  industry  and  granted  DFG  the                                                                    
authority to  revoke licenses if illegal  activities such as                                                                    
poaching or transferring animal parts  were carried out by a                                                                    
2:38:49 PM                                                                                                                    
Major  Chastain agreed  with  DFG's  comments. However,  the                                                                    
wildlife   troopers  would   comply  with   the  enforcement                                                                    
measures  chosen by  the legislature.  He  pointed out  that                                                                    
taxidermy was  a commercial  endeavor and  wildlife troopers                                                                    
had  cited  taxidermists  for illegal  activity.  He  viewed                                                                    
licensing  as important  because  it allowed  the courts  to                                                                    
evoke the  privilege of performing  taxidermy as  a punitive                                                                    
measure against an individual who broke the law.                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon referred  to Major  Chastain's testimony                                                                    
regarding   some  barriers   in  the   code,  such   as  the                                                                    
requirement for  an ink  signature on  a license.  She asked                                                                    
whether the  issue was adequately  addressed in the  bill or                                                                    
if  the issue  was regulatory.  Major Chastain  replied that                                                                    
the provision  existed in regulation, not  statute. Co-Chair                                                                    
MacKinnon  remarked   that  the  administration   needed  to                                                                    
address the issue.                                                                                                              
Senator  Olson  deduced  that since  the  taxidermists  were                                                                    
licensed, the  board had investigators  that could  revoke a                                                                    
member's  license  engaged  in illegal  activity.  Ms.  Foss                                                                    
deferred the answer to Mr. Dale.                                                                                                
2:41:31 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Olson   repeated  his  question   concerning  Major                                                                    
Chastain's  view that  the licensing  provision in  the bill                                                                    
was a significant enforcement tool.  He wondered whether the                                                                    
licensing board  carried the enforcement weight  through its                                                                    
investigatory  arm. Mr.  Dale  responded  that the  business                                                                    
license was  not adequate and  lacked the  classification of                                                                    
taxidermy.  Senator  Olson felt  that  it  unusual that  the                                                                    
professional licensure was not able to revoke a license for                                                                     
illegal activity.                                                                                                               
Co-Chair MacKinnon announced that amendments were due by 12                                                                     
noon the following day.                                                                                                         
2:43:18 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Saddler deduced that the taxidermy business                                                                      
license merely regulated the practice.                                                                                          
CSHB 260(FIN)am was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 260 - Status of 50 states on Electronic Fish Game licenses mobile apps websites.pdf SFIN 5/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 260
HB 260 Testimony Barrette.pdf SFIN 5/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 260
HB260 Sponsor Statement 5.4.18.pdf SFIN 5/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 260
HB260 Letter of Support Residential Hunters AK Letter of Support HB 260.pdf SFIN 5/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 260
HB260 Letter of Support SouthEast Alaska Guides Organization.pdf SFIN 5/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 260
HB260 Summary of Changes - Version O to Version O.A.pdf SFIN 5/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 260