Legislature(1999 - 2000)
02/09/2000 01:10 PM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE February 9, 2000 1:10 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Bill Hudson, Co-Chair Representative Beverly Masek, Co-Chair Representative John Cowdery, Vice Chair Representative John Harris Representative Carl Morgan Representative Ramona Barnes Representative Jim Whitaker Representative Reggie Joule Representative Mary Kapsner MEMBERS ABSENT All member present COMMITTEE CALENDAR HOUSE BILL NO. 116 "An Act relating to the Board of Agriculture and Conservation, to the agricultural revolving loan fund, to the disposal of state agricultural land, and to the Alaska Natural Resource Conservation and Development Board; and providing for an effective date." - MOVED CSHB 116(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 7(FIN) am "An Act relating to the University of Alaska and university land, and authorizing the University of Alaska to select additional state land." - MOVED HCS CSSB 7(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE BILL NO. 206 "An Act relating to the migratory game bird conservation tag, to a nonresident combined sport fishing and hunting license, to the nonresident military small game and sport fishing license, to applications for certain licenses, tags, and permits issued by the Department of Fish and Game, and to duplicate crewmember licenses." - BILL HEARING POSTPONED PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 116 SHORT TITLE: BOARD OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSERVATION Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action 2/26/99 324 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 2/26/99 324 (H) RES, FIN 3/10/99 418 (H) COSPONSOR(S): HARRIS 4/14/99 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 4/14/99 (H) HEARD AND HELD 4/14/99 (H) MINUTE(RES) 4/21/99 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 4/21/99 (H) HEARD AND HELD 4/21/99 (H) MINUTE(RES) 1/24/00 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 1/24/00 (H) Heard & Held 1/24/00 (H) MINUTE(RES) 1/31/00 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 1/31/00 (H) <Bill Postponed> 2/09/00 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: SB 7 SHORT TITLE: INCREASE LAND GRANT TO UNIV. OF ALASKA Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action 1/08/99 14 (S) PREFILE RELEASED - 1/8/99 1/19/99 15 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 1/19/99 15 (S) RES, FIN 1/25/99 (S) RES AT 3:00 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 1/25/99 (S) HEARD AND HELD 1/25/99 (S) MINUTE(RES) 2/01/99 (S) RES AT 3:00 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 2/01/99 (S) SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD 2/01/99 (S) MINUTE(RES) 2/03/99 (S) RES AT 3:00 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 2/03/99 (S) MOVED CS OUT OF COMMITTEE 2/03/99 (S) MINUTE(RES) 2/05/99 165 (S) RES RPT CS 4DP 3NR SAME TITLE 2/05/99 165 (S) DP: MACKIE, TAYLOR, GREEN, PETE KELLY 2/05/99 165 (S) NR: HALFORD, PARNELL, LINCOLN 2/05/99 165 (S) FN TO SB (DNR), FNS TO SB & CS (UA, F&G) 2/05/99 165 (S) FN TO CS (DNR) 2/25/99 (S) FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532 2/25/99 (S) <BILL POSTPONED> 3/04/99 (S) FIN AT 8:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532 3/04/99 (S) HEARD AND HELD 3/04/99 (S) MINUTE(FIN) 4/23/99 (S) FIN AT 8:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532 4/23/99 (S) MOVED CS(FIN) OUT OF COMMITTEE 4/23/99 (S) MINUTE(FIN) 4/24/99 (S) FIN AT 10:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532 4/24/99 (S) -- MEETING CANCELLED -- 4/26/99 (S) RLS AT 12:00 PM FAHRENKAMP 203 4/26/99 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 4/26/99 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 4/26/99 1085 (S) FIN RPT CS 5DP 2NR SAME TITLE 4/26/99 1086 (S) DP: TORGERSON, WILKEN, LEMAN, DONLEY, 4/26/99 1086 (S) PETE KELLY; NR: PHILLIPS, ADAMS 4/26/99 1086 (S) PREVIOUS FNS (DNR, UA, F&G) 5/03/99 1202 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR AND 1 OR 5/3/99 5/03/99 1203 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 5/03/99 1203 (S) FIN CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 5/03/99 1203 (S) AM NO 1 ADOPTED Y11 N9 5/03/99 1204 (S) AM NO 2 ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 5/03/99 1204 (S) AM NO 3 ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 5/03/99 1205 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 5/03/99 1205 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME CSSB 7(FIN) AM 5/03/99 1205 (S) COSPONSOR(S): PEARCE, MACKIE, WARD 5/03/99 1206 (S) PASSED Y15 N5 5/03/99 1206 (S) ELLIS NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION 5/04/99 1239 (S) RECONSIDERATION NOT TAKEN UP 5/04/99 1239 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 5/05/99 1175 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 5/05/99 1175 (H) RES, FIN 5/05/99 1187 (H) CROSS SPONSOR(S): HALCRO 5/12/99 (H) RES AT 1:30 PM CAPITOL 124 5/12/99 (H) HEARD AND HELD 5/12/99 (H) MINUTE(RES) 5/14/99 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 5/14/99 (H) FAILED TO MOVE OUT OF COMMITTEE 5/14/99 (H) MINUTE(RES) 5/18/99 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 5/18/99 (H) MEETING CANCELED 2/07/00 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 2/07/00 Text (H) Heard & Held 2/07/00 Text (H) MINUTE(RES) 2/09/00 Text (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 WITNESS REGISTER REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 102 Juneau, Alaska 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as the sponsor of HB 116. PETE FELLMAN, Legislative Aide for Representative John Harris Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 110 Juneau, Alaska 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information on the proposed CS for HB 116. BILL WARD Ward Farms P.O. Box 1087 Delta Junction, Alaska 99737 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of the proposed CS for HB 116. ROB WELLS, Director Division of Agriculture Department of Natural Resources 1800 Glenn Highway, Suite 12 Palmer, Alaska 99645 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on behalf of the Division of Agriculture and the Department on Natural Resources on the proposed CS for HB 116. CAROL CARROLL, Director Division of Support Services Department of Natural Resources 400 Willoughby Avenue Juneau, Alaska 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on behalf of the Department of Natural Resources the proposed CS for HB 116. SIG RESTAD HC03 Box 9571 Palmer, Alaska 99645 POSITION STATEMENT: Explained concerns and testified in support of the proposed CS for HB 116. LORALI MEIER, Staff to Representative Beverly Masek Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 126 Juneau, Alaska 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: As committee aide for the House Resources Standing Committee, explained the changes in HCS CSSB 7(RES), Version V. JIM POUND, Legislative Aide for Senator Robin Taylor Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 30 Juneau, Alaska 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Briefly discussed SB 7 on behalf of the prime sponsor. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 00-8, SIDE A Number 0001 CO-CHAIR MASEK called the House Resources Standing Committee meeting to order at 1:10 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Hudson, Masek, Cowdery, Harris, Morgan, Barnes, Whitaker, Joule and Kapsner. HB 116 - BOARD OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSERVATION Number 0116 CO-CHAIR MASEK announced the first order of business would be HOUSE BILL NO. 116, "An Act relating to the Board of Agriculture and Conservation, to the agricultural revolving loan fund, to the disposal of state agricultural land, and to the Alaska Natural Resource Conservation and Development Board; and providing for an effective date." Number 0162 REPRESENTATIVE JEANETTE JAMES, Alaska State Legislature, sponsor of HB 116, reported that some of the concerns that were brought up in the last meeting had been resolved. She indicated she had worked with the Division of Agriculture to try to resolve any disputes. She noted that the proposed committee substitute (CS) for HB 116 before them is version 1-LS0407\XXX, Cook, 2/9/00. She explained that the big focus was simply to put in a Board of Agriculture and Conservation that would consist of people who have direct knowledge of agricultural interests, and to have them be in charge of the policies and regulations which they work under with continuity from administration to administration. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES emphasized the word "conservation" in the board's name, in order to tell the world that they are not just users of the land but are also taking care of the land in the process. She stated that the crux of the whole bill is to be able to have the Board of Agriculture and Conservation hire the director of the Division of Agriculture; therefore, there wouldn't be any break in the continuity of the policies within administrations. Number 0378 CO-CHAIR HUDSON made a motion to adopt the proposed CS for HB 116, version 1-LS0407\XXX, Cook, 2/9/00, as a work draft. There being no objection, Version XXX was before the committee. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES explained that there needs to be a nexus between the Board of Agriculture and Conservation and the administration, principally the commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR); therefore, they put that back in the bill. The commissioner of DNR is added as a board member, and legislative confirmation of the board is not required anymore; however, the governor can remove a board member only for cause. The sole authority for the Board of Agriculture and Conservation to make decisions on Title 38 lands, agricultural lands, has been removed and left with the Division of Mining, Land and Water; however, the board must be consulted prior to any such decisions. REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY requested clarification on the makeup of the board and wondered what is meant by, "Four from different enterprises in commercial production agriculture." REPRESENTATIVE JAMES explained that it would be someone from one of the agricultural activities. Be it someone who raises carrots or cows, it would be someone who is familiar with the needed regulations and policies. She further stated that the board is going to be making decisions on the Agricultural Revolving Loan Fund (ARLF) applicants; whether or not the interest rate should be changed; and those types of decisions. Since they are pulling from a small pool of possible applicants, it is likely that some of them already have an ARLF [loan] or have a contract to purchase land from the state, for example. She pointed out that it would really reduce the pool of possible applicants if they eliminated anyone who had those existing obligations, and [would be] a disadvantage to the bill. This is a compromise. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES drew attention to the sectional analysis. Under Section 1 it reads: A person may be appointed to the board even though that person or an immediate family member has an existing lease, permit, or loan for which the board is responsible, but that person may not participate in any board action that directly affects that lease, permit, or loan. While serving on the board, and for one year after leaving that office, a board member or an immediate family member of a board member may not obtain a new lease, permit, or loan for which the board is responsible. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES indicated she believes it really closes the door to the ethics issue in a way that is meaningful and measurable. She added that the board's authority to hire the director of the Division of Agriculture is unchanged, and that is the one remaining dispute with the Administration. The Administration's recommendation was to have the Board of Agriculture and Conservation suggest three names for them to choose from and let them appoint the director of the Division of Agriculture. She emphasized that it would totally undo the purpose of HB 116, which is to keep long-term continuity in DNR between administrations. Number 0833 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES referred to Sections 4, 6 and 7 of the sectional analysis. She asked Representative James to explain how she is amending the existing interest rates on the farm loans. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES responded that she believes the interest rate is at 8 percent on the ARLF loans. The purpose is that an interest rate over time is not necessarily always representative of the current situation out there in the public; when the interest is too high, no one borrows any money, and the ARLF does make money from loaning money. Therefore, the ARLF makes more money if there is an interest rate that is competitive with other farm loan entities that give loans. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES pointed out that in the sectional analysis under Section 6 it reads, "... amends existing statute, making the interest rate on farm development, chattel, or irrigation loans comparable to that charged by other agricultural lending institutions in the state." She wondered what other agricultural lending institutions in the state are comparable to the ARLF. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES replied that there is the Farm Service Agency, an old federal program that is not financed by the federal government anymore. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES stressed that if, in fact, they are lowering the interest rates, then she is not going to support the bill, because she is sick of all the money that they have pumped into the farms. Although she supports farming, a lot of money has been spent on farming in the state, and if the interest rate is being changed, then she wants to know it. Number 1139 PETE FELLMAN, Legislative Aide for Representative John Harris, Alaska State Legislature, pointed out that the Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corporation (ARRC) and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) are the current lending corporations in Alaska. The AARC determines its interest rates based on whether the loan is a short-term or long-term loan. By making the interest rate comparable to those available through other agricultural lending institutions, the interest rate may go up. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES asked why, if another lending institution can give a loan for less money, someone would borrow money from the ARLF. MR. FELLMAM replied that it is an option for anyone who wants to borrow money for a farming operation. He explained that what they are trying to accomplish is to make the ARLF more competitive, because the Division of Agriculture is funded solely by the ARLF. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES reiterated that every dime that is in the ARLF belongs to Alaska and its people, and to have a board that is not confirmed by the legislature or appointed by the governor controlling the money and establishing interest rates is totally beyond her. Number 1268 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES explained that the board is appointed by the governor on a revolving basis. She said she understands Representative Barnes' concerns and the trauma that she went through during that process of spending a lot of money to create an agricultural situation that was unrealistic. However, as a result of that, there are farmers now on land that they have purchased, and they are the survivors. The industry has the potential to be healthy; there are weeds growing on land that could be in production if there were a system to do it. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES pointed out that the issue of the Division of Agriculture's being supported out of the ARLF is - and Representative Barnes is correct - state money that was put in there for that purpose; however, it is not now considered to be general funds, and for the last few years the entire Division of Agriculture has been funded by the ARLF. If the ARLF can continue to make money and fund the Division of Agriculture, it eliminates the ability to take new funds to support the division. She pointed out that the big fear is that if they did have to come up with new funds to support the Division the Agriculture, the division would disappear, and there does need to be a Division of Agriculture, because there need to be regulatory policies in order to have successful agricultural occupations in the state. The whole idea is to extend the ARLF to take care of the Division of Agriculture so that it is making its own way; with its being managed by people directly involved in agriculture, they can support themselves over the long term. Number 1476 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES reiterated that every dime in the ARLF comes from general fund dollars. She also said the farmers are not a new generation of farmers; they are the same farmers that have been borrowing money since the land was disposed of in Big Delta. She referred to Senator Lyda Green's bill and said they had worked on it and tried to iron out the problems so that farmers could go to the banks and borrow money, and she supported it. However, she does not support taking state money and making it any less viable for those farms to get those loans. She stated that she supports the virus-free potatoes and the exports, but that there does need to be some control over the loans - and she believes that all controls are being removed. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES disagreed that the controls are being removed. She said that she believes more control and more options are being given for the ARLF to be a more successful loan program so that it is competitive. The hope is that they will be able to sustain the income of the ARLF to continue to support the Division of Agriculture and not have to come back and beg for any money. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES indicated she hopes that is the case. She pointed out the history: when controls and oversight are removed, and when the money is gone, they are back asking for a handout. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES explained that the money that is used out of the ARLF still has to be appropriated by the legislature. She said that she understands that it is specific language that Representative Barnes is distressed with, because setting an interest rate in statute has more credibility than having a floating rate that makes it be competitive with other areas. She indicated that the only change in the overall picture is going from a governor-appointed political appointee to determining what the policies are and having a board whom they believe would be more conservative and more realistic on the decision-making process. The debate is over whether the ARLF should be made competitive or should be left in statute as it is, and whether that is good or bad for tomorrow. She added that she believes it should be made competitive. Number 1755 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES asked what the purpose is of Section 13 of the sectional analysis, where it reads, "A loan may not be made without the approval of a majority of the board, except that emergency loans up to $50,000 may be approved by majority vote of a committee composed of the board chair, another board member, and the director." REPRESENTATIVE JAMES pointed out that there may be emergency loans necessary. This way, they would not have to call all of the board members together, with the extra expense and [concerns about] timing. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES referred to Section 14 of the sectional analysis, where it exempts the new board from a public meeting requirement. She asked what the thinking is on that. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES stated that it is referring to the notice requirement for the meeting. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES pointed out that it says "public meeting requirements." She said that she assumes that could be almost anything. Number 1900 REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY requested clarification on the interest rate. He pointed out that farmers are going to want to know the total cost of the loan, which would be difficult to know if there were a fluctuating rate. He asked whether he was correct in thinking that. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said they are not advocating for a floating rate. They are advocating that there be a rate established at the time the loan is made which is a binding interest rate unless there is some subsequent reason why it should be changed. REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY pointed out that at the time the loan is made, the interest rate would be whatever the competitive rate is at the time; it is not actually a fixed rate. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said that is correct. I would be fixed by the policy at this time, but it could be changed. REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY indicated that he is glad to hear that it is flexible. Number 2177 REPRESENTATIVE WHITAKER wondered if it is a subsidized loan program that is being considered. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES replied no. REPRESENTATIVE WHITAKER asked if there was any consideration of newly allocated state general funds. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES replied no. REPRESENTATIVE WHITAKER wondered if it is fair to say that commercial lenders in Alaska would find it difficult to lend to the agricultural sector. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES responded that in the kind of loans that they give. the answer is yes, but in real estate loans they can probably get (indisc.--coughing). REPRESENTATIVE WHITAKER replied that it is because these loans are short-term, special loans. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES answered yes. REPRESENTATIVE WHITAKER pointed out that given that there are few and limited borrowing alternatives, farmers really do not have a choice. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES explained that it is a real lifesaver for the "little person." REPRESENTATIVE WHITAKER pointed out that since no alternative exists for the little person and there is no additional cost to the state, what Representative James is proposing might be reasonable in that it provides competitive agricultural lending. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES indicated that she believes it does. REPRESENTATIVE WHITAKER wondered if that is the basic premise of the bill. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES clarified that the basic premise of the bill is [having] the board of directors manage the money. But in order for them to have the tools to make intelligent decisions, they have to have the authority. REPRESENTATIVE WHITAKER concluded that it seems reasonable. Number 2314 CO-CHAIR HUDSON wondered how much money is currently available in the ARLF. MR. FELLMAN responded that it is $6 million. CO-CHAIR HUDSON wondered if that is the entire corpus of the fund or just the interest that is available. MR. FELLMAN responded that it is the entire corpus of the fund. CO-CHAIR HUDSON wondered what the interest rate is for other active institutions that loan money for this purpose. MR. FELLMAN said it varies and is determined by the type of loan. CO-CHAIR HUDSON requested clarification that the interest rate is set in statute now at 8 percent, but that there are other rates out there, so it should be done on some sort of comparative [basis], at the determination of the board. He wondered if anyone else can make that determination, like a quorum of the board members. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said that is correct. A quorum of the board, which includes the commissioner of DNR, can make that determination. CO-CHAIR HUDSON requested clarification that the commissioner is a voting member of the board. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES affirmed that. CO-CHAIR HUDSON said that presumably the Administration would have a voice there. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES replied yes. CO-CHAIR HUDSON asked what is being said in Section 23 of the bill. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES pointed out that in Section 23 they are not changing any law. They are inserting the Board of Agriculture and Conservation as the advisor to the process. Number 2539 BILL WARD, Ward Farms, testified via teleconference from Delta Junction, where he is a farmer. He said he has supported the bill in the past but has some additional testimony. He informed the committee that the Administration has been actively involved in the bill ever since its inception in 1996. He pointed out that Commissioner John Shively and the director of the Division of Agriculture have been involved in this ever since the beginning, and they have had the opportunity to look at it. MR. WARD said that with regard to having the board hire the director of the [Division] of Agriculture, he believes that there should be some continuity with the director from administration to administration. He explained that one of the reasons this legislation came forward is that the people involved in agriculture have been given the message from the legislature that the general fund will not be available to run the division; the only funds available are those appropriated from the ARLF account, and when those funds run out, the division may expire. MR. WARD pointed out that the other message they have been given is from the Administration: they will not actively pursue general funding for the Division of Agriculture unless the legislature gives it to them, which they've said they will not. He said that they are left looking at a dwindling corpus of the fund; therefore, they will be able to do an adequate job protecting the ARLF, because they know that it is the last pot of money from which to draw. He added that he supports the proposed CS for HB 116 and still feels that it is a good bill, even though it has been watered down, picked at, and pulled apart. Number 2905 ROB WELLS, Director, Division of Agriculture, Department of Natural Resources, testified via teleconference from Palmer. He said that Representative James did a good job of pointing out the concerns that the Administration has with the bill. TAPE 00-8, SIDE B Number 2915 MR. WELLS offered to answer questions, noting that cash reserves of $6,700,000 are available for lending at this point. Total value of the fund is at $28 million, which includes outstanding loans and assets in possession, such as farms that they have received back through foreclosures. CO-CHAIR HUDSON remarked that he finds it refreshing to see the amount and the diversity of agricultural activity that is going on in the state. He said he supports anything that will elevate agriculture and in-state production. He wondered if there is any diminishment in the bill of the state's loan management activities. MR. WELLS responded that a legislative audit done on the ARLF was released, and it pointed out a few areas of improvement. He indicated that the audit reflects that the ARLF is being managed conservatively by the existing board members and director. He confirmed that there is concern in the industry with the lack of general funding, and once they run out of the assets that they can sell to keep the fund balance where it is, it is possible that the fund's cash reserves will be gone and the Division of Agriculture will not be able to operate anymore. MR. WELLS said they don't necessarily have any problems with letting the interest rate not be fixed at 8 percent. He pointed out their "good borrower credit," which allows the director, on an annual basis, to give up to a 2 percent interest rate reduction; however, whenever issuing a new loan, they want it to be at a fixed rate so that they don't have to hire additional staff to manage moveable-rate loans. He explained that the real issues that they have concerns about .... [Testimony was cut off due to a teleconference malfunction.] Number 2630 CAROL CARROLL, Director, Division of Support Services, Department of Natural Resources, stated that they have been working with Representative James to try to come to an agreement; however, they are still in a disagreement on the function of the board in hiring the director and what kind of relationship the department would have with that. She indicated DNR does not support the construction of the board. Commissioner John Shively has been interested in the development of the board, and the department has played a part in the development of the bill. Ms. Carroll pointed out that when they saw the last rendition of the bill, they thought perhaps they could get involved, because it looked like they may be able to come to some agreement that would be good for agriculture in the state. [Part of her testimony was lost due to teleconference malfunction.] Number 2482 CO-CHAIR HUDSON pointed out that somewhere along the line, they have to trust the people who have a vested interest in the state. He said that he believes it is a constructive bill, and he does not think that it is trying to shut the Administration out of the policy-making process. MS. CARROLL responded that it isn't that they don't trust people; it is the ability for an Administration to have some sort of discretion over policy. She pointed out that Commissioner John Shively was not averse to having the board act like the Board of Forestry, which interviews candidates for the job and makes "picks" for the commissioner, who then chooses from that pool of candidates. CO-CHAIR HUDSON stressed the need to let the industry have a stronger say regarding how they will rehabilitate the industry. Number 2299 REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS agreed with Representative Hudson. He pointed out that part of what the agricultural community is calling for is a continuity over the years from administration to administration. He pointed out that the intent of the board is to provide some of that, and he does not understand why the DNR is so concerned with losing some control. MS. CARROLL replied that she understands his point, but that the department does not think, philosophically, that it will work. Number 2125 SIG RESTAD testified via teleconference from Palmer. He said that he is affiliated with the grange. He stated that he has no objection to the way the bill is written at the present time. CO-CHAIR MASEK closed public testimony. Number 2012 REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY made a motion to move CSHB 116, version 1- LS0407\XXX, Cook, 2/9/00, out of committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes. There being no objection, CSHB 116(RES) moved from the House Resources Standing Committee. SB 7 - INCREASE LAND GRANT TO UNIV. OF ALASKA Number 1955 CO-CHAIR MASEK announced that the next order of business would be CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 7(FIN) am, "An Act relating to the University of Alaska and university land, and authorizing the University of Alaska to select additional state land." Number 1933 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES made a motion to adopt proposed HCS for CSSB 7(RES), version 1-LS0072\V, for discussion. There being no objection, it was so ordered and Version V was before the committee. LORALI MEIER, Staff to Representative Beverly Masek, Alaska State Legislature, serving as committee aide for the House Resources Standing Committee, explained that Version V incorporates Representative Masek's amendment offered in the meeting of February 7, 2000. The new language is on page 4, and two other changes simply make the rest of the bill conform to the changes made on page 4. On page 4, line 26, it read: A list of selections submitted may not be considered approved for conveyance to the University of Alaska unless the legislature acts to approve the list during the legislative session during which the list was submitted. MS. MEIER noted that the cleanup language appears on page 8. On line 13, "of the later" was removed. On line 14, "or the adjournment of the legislative session during which the list containing the land was not disapproved by the legislature" was removed. On line 19, "of the later" was removed. And on lines 20-22, the language was removed that read "or the adjournment of the legislative session during which the list containing the land was not disapproved by the legislature." Number 1562 JIM POUND, Legislative Aide for Senator Robin Taylor, Alaska State Legislature, testified briefly on behalf of Senate Taylor, the prime sponsor. He indicated Senator Taylor will work with both sides on the matter to achieve a university land bill that everyone can be proud of. He explained that the goals are to transfer the selection process of state land for the University of Alaska and to show good faith to Congress. He urged members to move HCS CSSB 7(RES), Version V, from committee. Number 1444 REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY made a motion to move HCS CSSB 7(RES), version 1-LS0072\V, from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes. REPRESENTATIVE JOULE objected and stated that he has some concerns with the bill as it relates to the other boroughs involved. A roll call vote was taken. Representatives Whitaker, Harris, Cowdery, Hudson and Masek voted in favor of moving the bill. Representatives Morgan, Barnes, Joule and Kapsner voted against it. Therefore, HCS CSSB 7(RES) moved from the House Resources Standing Committee by a vote of 5-4. Number 1264 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES commented that she believes in the disposal of state lands, but that in the disposal of state lands they have to be careful in how they are disposing of it so that the returns come to the state. She added that she has always had concerns with the bill. [HCS CSSB 7(RES) was moved from committee.] ADJOURNMENT Number 1172 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK adjourned the House Resources Standing Committee meeting at 2:30 p.m.