Legislature(1997 - 1998)

04/07/1997 03:38 PM Senate RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
             HB  25 FISH & GAME:LICENSES & RESIDENCY                           
Number 001                                                                     
CHAIRMAN HALFORD called the Senate Resources Committee meeting to              
order at 3:38 p.m. and announced HB 25 to be up for consideration.             
REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN, sponsor, said he was inspired to                    
introduce this legislation because of a situation regarding a                  
neighbor of his who had never established residency in the State,              
but every year came up and hunted on a resident hunting and fishing            
license.  He maintained what was called the current place of abode,            
a cabin and a post office box.  After several discussions with Fish            
and Wildlife Protection he found he couldn't do anything about it.             
So HB 25 tries to fix that by changing the word "abode" to                     
"domicile" as defined in Black's Law Dictionary.  It also                      
distinguishes that having an interest in a partnership or                      
association of companies does not qualify a person as a resident.              
It prohibits persons who are claiming residency in another state,              
country or territory as qualifying as a resident.  The bill adds               
members of the Coast Guard to the other military services, in terms            
of resident fishing licenses, because in the past they were                    
considered sort of military, but this makes it clear.                          
Number 72                                                                      
SENATOR SHARP asked if we weren't giving the military as liberal               
benefits as in the Permanent Fund.  REPRESENTATIVE OGAN replied no             
and they are only codifying what was current practice with the                 
Coast Guard.  They aren't touching the other military services at              
SENATOR TAYLOR said last year they adopted an amendment which                  
precluded those people who are claiming residency status in another            
State for purposes of an economic benefit from receiving a                     
residency hunting privilege and asked if that was in this bill.                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN replied no.                                                
SENATOR TAYLOR asked why.  REPRESENTATIVE OGAN explained that                  
provision was problematic on the House floor last year.                        
CHAIRMAN HALFORD said he thought that concept was included in the              
section on claiming residence in another state, territory or                   
country on page 2, lines 4 and 31.  REPRESENTATIVE OGAN pointed out            
that section had to do with remuneration for moving expenses and               
the concern on the House floor was that it could include oil                   
executives whose houses are often bought if they move out-of-State.            
He said he had a legal opinion that said it was somewhat                       
questionable whether or not it was constitutional.  SENATOR TAYLOR             
said he thought there was a need to have different language and he             
thought the problem fell within the term of residency.  He said                
there are all kinds of loopholes.  He used the example of a federal            
employee who moves from Wisconsin to Alaska which is still treated             
like a territory by the federal government.  The person is given a             
round trip air fare back to their "home" every two years.  He said             
residency for voting is 30 days; residency for a hunting license is            
one year.  CHAIRMAN HALFORD said he was sympathetic to what Senator            
Taylor was trying to do, and he had the language he was looking                
for, but he thought the way its drafted it's arguable as to whether            
it's already in there.                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said he had a legal opinion from Tam Cook that             
suggested that amendment was unconstitutional.  CHAIRMAN HALFORD               
said he thought the question should be heard out.  He thought the              
bill before them was a significant step in the right direction and             
he didn't want to bog it down with anything restrictive.                       
SENATOR TAYLOR said sooner or later we were going to have to figure            
out what it is to be an Alaskan resident.  There was a definition              
set up for the Permanent Fund that was very specific and now they              
are trying to be specific here and the two don't match.                        
SENATOR GREEN said she didn't understand what they are trying to               
do.  CHAIRMAN HALFORD explained that they way the bill works, if               
you're claiming a benefit from a government outside of the State               
for residency within that government's jurisdiction, you can't get             
a benefit in this State.  He thinks what Senator Taylor is saying              
is that if you're receiving a benefit for being a non-resident from            
any other entity (government or not), you can't turn around and                
claim residence and get the lower price license inside the State of            
Alaska.  SENATOR TAYLOR said that is what he is saying.                        
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said the new section of the bill says that you             
have to be physically present in the State with the intent to                  
remain indefinitely and make a home in the State.  You have to                 
maintain a domicile which means your main residence.                           
CHAIRMAN HALFORD commented that the other bottom line is if you are            
on a two year rotation in Alaska, it's pretty hard to sign a                   
statement that says you intend to remain here indefinitely.                    
SENATOR TAYLOR added that you can never enforce that because it's              
prospective and they may intend, the day they sign it, to stay here            
for ever.                                                                      
SENATOR TAYLOR asked what other changes there were from last year's            
bill other than deleting that amendment.  REPRESENTATIVE OGAN                  
replied that the only changes they made was from "maintaining the              
person's domicile in the State for the preceding consecutive                   
months" to "the twelve consecutive months immediately preceding" on            
the recommendation of the drafter.  It also makes it clear that the            
definition of residency being established is solely for qualifying             
for hunting, fishing and trapping licenses, and adds territory to              
include such places as Guam and Puerto Rico.  He noted that the                
Coast Guard was in last year's bill.                                           
SENATOR GREEN moved to pass CSHB 25(RES) from committee with                   
individual recommendations and the accompanying $0 fiscal notes.               
There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                

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