Legislature(2017 - 2018)BUTROVICH 205
03/01/2017 03:30 PM Senate RESOURCES
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SB 60-FISH & GAME: OFFENSES;LICENSES;PENALTIES 3:30:43 PM CHAIR GIESSEL announced consideration of SB 60 and opened public testimony. She said SB 60 was proposed by the State Troopers, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement, and Alaska Department of Fish and Game. It would increase the fines for violations. DICK ROHRER, representing himself, Kodiak, Alaska, supported SB 60. However he questioned if a violation in other countries like Mexico and Canada should be included in section 2. He liked the opportunity in section 3 for someone to be able to show their license later when they don't have it on them. He fully supported the increased fees in section 17 and especially the qualifier in section 18 where if a person makes a mistake and turns it in immediately they are not subject to those fines. CHAIR GIESSEL thanked him and noted that the bill has another referral to the Judiciary Committee, and three of those members are on this committee and they will take his comments forward. AL BARRETTE, representing himself, Fairbanks, Alaska, supported SB 60, adding that all of his questions were answered by Major Chastain. However, he asked the committee to consider removing the taxidermy license requirement on page 2, line 6. He is not opposed to licenses, but he is opposed to redundant licensing. He has a business license for a fur tannery and now he is also now being required to have this taxidermy license, which is a duplicate of the ADF&G license and costs $100 a year. He doesn't know where that money goes or what it is used for. He knows it doesn't directly affect any taxidermist or the industry in this state. He suggested they contact other taxidermists to get support for that amendment. CHAIR GIESSEL thanked him and said she hadn't heard from any other taxidermists. She asked Mr. Dale to respond to the comments about the taxidermy license. 3:35:04 PM BRUCE DALE, Director, Division of Wildlife Conservation, Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), Palmer, Alaska, answered that they did some research on the taxidermy license and found that the money goes to the general fund and is not directly returned to the department for any special purpose. The licensing requirement provides a statutory basis for regulations relative to taxidermy and taxidermists. At this time those regulations say that sale of game trophies is illegal. However, licensed taxidermists can get a permit from the department - if they can show they have tried to contact the owner if he hasn't paid for it or picked it up after six months - to sell the trophy which they otherwise wouldn't be able to do. This type of permit is used 9 or 10 times a year by licensed taxidermists and involves a pretty insignificant amount of time, about a day or a day and a half. MR. DALE said the taxidermist license is $200 every two years and the program takes in about $13,000 annually (to the general fund). The amount of the licensing is more than what it costs to administer the regulations. But the license itself does provide the basis by which the board or commissioner can make regulations for taxidermy. CHAIR GIESSEL thanked him and reiterated that the bill will move to the Judiciary Committee where the chair, Senator Coghill, would address the issue. SENATOR COGHILL said he would probably look at it in the context of what other places have a permit or licensing requirement and still have to get a business license. CHAIR GIESSEL, finding no further comments, closed public testimony. SENATOR STEDMAN said it seems like the double increase in fines might be justified by inflation since they were last set in 1988, but doubling them will not stop commercial fishermen from violating. It seems to be just another penalty added to a long list of other actions that can be taken against them. He wanted the Judiciary Committee to look at the impact of these fines on everyone, especially commercial fishermen. CHAIR GIESSEL said along with that issue, they talked about the discretion given to the prosecutor in terms of the level of discipline. That is also a Judicial Committee issue. MAJOR BERNARD CHASTAIN, Deputy Director, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), Anchorage, Alaska, said he would be happy to talk to the Judiciary Committee about the commercial fishing strict liability penalties and with Senator Stedman if he has additional questions. 3:41:34 PM SENATOR COGHILL moved to report SB 60, version A, from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s). There were no objections and it was so ordered.