Legislature(2005 - 2006)SENATE FINANCE 532

05/03/2006 09:00 AM Senate FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved SCS CSHB 441(FIN) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
Moved CSHB 420(FSH) Out of Committee
Moved SCS CSHB 218(FIN) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                  
                          May 3, 2006                                                                                         
                           9:13 a.m.                                                                                          
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                               
Co-Chair  Lyda  Green  convened   the  meeting  at  approximately                                                               
9:13:13 AM.                                                                                                                   
Senator Lyda Green, Co-Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Gary Wilken, Co-Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Con Bunde, Vice Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Fred Dyson                                                                                                              
Senator Bert Stedman                                                                                                            
Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                           
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Also Attending:   REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN  ROKEBERG; REPRESENTATIVE                                                             
REGGIE JOULE; HEATHER NOBREGA,  Staff to Representative Rokeberg;                                                               
SUSAN  PARKES,   Deputy  Attorney  General,   Criminal  Division,                                                               
Department  of Law;  BEN MULLIGAN,  Staff to  Representative Bill                                                               
Stoltze;  IAN FISK,  Staff to  Representative Bill  Thomas; LINDA                                                               
MILLER,  Staff  to  Representative  Peggy  Wilson;  FRANK  HOMAN,                                                               
Commercial  Fisheries  Entry  Commission; LINDA  HALL,  Director,                                                               
Division  of Insurance,  Department  of  Commerce, Community  and                                                               
Economic Development;                                                                                                           
Attending  via Teleconference:   From  Anchorage: MIKE  ERICKSON,                                                             
Alaska ATV  Club; ERIC UHDE,  Alaska Center for  the Environment;                                                               
TODD  CLARK,  Alaska  Outdoor Access  Alliance;  From  an  offnet                                                               
location: CARRIE  GRAY-WOLFE; BRITT LIVELY, Butte  Area Residents                                                               
Civic  Organization; DICK  MYLIUS, Acting  Director, Division  of                                                               
Mining, Land  and Water, Department  of Natural  Resources; MARTY                                                               
FREEMAN, Forest Resources Program  Manager, Division of Forestry,                                                               
Department  of  Natural  Resources;   GLEN  JUDAY,  Professor  of                                                               
Forestry,  School of  Natural  Resources,  University of  Alaska,                                                               
Fairbanks; BOB  SWENSON, Acting Director, Division  of Geological                                                               
and Geophysical  Surveys, Department  of Natural  Resources; MARK                                                               
FOSTER,  Registered  Professional  Engineer; From  Mat-Su:  CLIFF                                                               
JUDKINS,  Alaska Boating  Association; CECILY  FRITZ, Knik  River                                                               
Watershed  Group; ROD  ARNO, Executive  Director, Alaska  Outdoor                                                               
Council;  LYNN  WOODS,  Assembly  Member,  Mat-Su  Borough;  GENE                                                               
KISSEE;  From Sitka:  PETER  ESQUIRO,  General Manager,  Northern                                                               
Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association                                                                                      
SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                                                                         
HB 441-THERAPEUTIC COURT FOR DUI                                                                                                
The Committee  heard from the  sponsor. An amendment  was adopted                                                               
and the bill was reported from Committee.                                                                                       
HB 307-KNIK RIVER PUBLIC USE AREA                                                                                               
The Committee  heard from the  sponsor, user  organizations, area                                                               
residents and other  members of the public. The bill  was held in                                                               
HB 218-PRIVATE HATCHERY COST RECOVERY FISHERIES                                                                                 
The   Committee  heard   from   the  sponsor   and  an   industry                                                               
organization.  Two  amendments  were  adopted and  the  bill  was                                                               
reported from Committee.                                                                                                        
HB 420-FOREST RESOURCES & PRACTICES STANDARDS                                                                                   
The Committee heard from the  Department of Natural Resources and                                                               
the bill was reported from Committee.                                                                                           
HB 484-FISHERY ASSOCIATION REIMBURSEMENT                                                                                        
The  Committee   heard  from  the  sponsor   and  the  Commercial                                                               
Fisheries Entry Commission. The bill was held in Committee.                                                                     
HCR 30-AK CLIMATE IMPACT ASSESSMENT COMMISSION                                                                                  
The Committee heard  from the sponsor, the  Department of Natural                                                               
Resources, a  scientific expert, and a  professional engineer. An                                                               
amendment was adopted and the resolution was held in Committee.                                                                 
9:13:36 AM                                                                                                                    
     SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 441(JUD)                                                                               
     "An Act relating to criminal sentencing; relating to                                                                       
     operating or driving a motor vehicle, aircraft, or                                                                         
    watercraft while under the influence; relating to court-                                                                    
     ordered treatment programs for certain offenders and                                                                       
     offenses; amending Rule 35, Alaska Rules of Criminal                                                                       
     Procedure; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           
This was  the first hearing for  this bill in the  Senate Finance                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE   NORMAN   ROKEBURG,   sponsor   of   this   bill,                                                               
characterized  it  as  a compilation  of  the  therapeutic  court                                                               
9:14:57 AM                                                                                                                    
Amendment  #1:   This  amendment   inserts  "as  defined   in  AS                                                               
28.35.028(h)" to  AS 12.55.155(d)(17),  amended in Section  1, on                                                               
page 1, line 11. The amended language reads as follows.                                                                         
               (17) except in the case of an offense defined by                                                                 
     AS 11.41  or AS  11.46.100, the [OR  A] defendant  [WHO] has                                                             
     [PREVIOUSLY] been  convicted of a  class B or C  felony, and                                                           
     [THE  DEFENDANT], at  the time  of sentencing,  [IS ACTIVELY                                                               
     PARTICIPATING IN OR] has successfully completed a court-                                                                 
     ordered [STATE-APPROVED] treatment program as defined in AS                                                            
     28.35.028(h) that [IS RELEVANT TO THE OFFENSE AND THAT] was                                                              
     begun after the offense was committed;                                                                                     
     New Text Underlined [DELETED TEXT BRACKETED]                                                                             
Co-Chair Green moved for adoption.                                                                                              
HEATHER  NOBREGA,  Staff  to Representative  Rokeberg,  explained                                                               
this  amendment provides  a technical  reference  to the  program                                                               
Without objection the amendment was ADOPTED.                                                                                    
9:15:56 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Bunde  assumed  that the  fiscal  note  indicating  this                                                               
legislation would incur no additional  cost to the State is based                                                               
on the premise that those  participating in the therapeutic court                                                               
program would have otherwise been  processed in the regular court                                                               
9:16:28 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Rokeberg  clarified that  the State  would receive                                                               
an additional $669,000 in federal  "highway funding", as a result                                                               
of  passed legislation  sponsored  by Senator  Bunde relating  to                                                               
seatbelt   use.  This   funding   has  been   allocated  to   the                                                               
establishment  of therapeutic  courts  located  in Ketchikan  and                                                               
Fairbanks,  and to  expand  capacity of  the  Juneau program  and                                                               
others in the state.                                                                                                            
Representative  Rokeberg spoke  to  the fiscal  benefits of  this                                                               
program. Outside  consultants have  testified to  the legislature                                                               
about the  one-to-ten ratio of  savings for each  dollar invested                                                               
in  this  program.  The  benefits of  this  program  are  reduced                                                               
recidivism and "actually rescuing people's lives."                                                                              
9:18:43 AM                                                                                                                    
SUSAN  PARKES,   Deputy  Attorney  General,   Criminal  Division,                                                               
Department of Law, was available to respond to questions.                                                                       
9:18:59 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Green asked  the effect of this  legislation; whether it                                                               
would  expand  the  therapeutic  court  program,  codify  certain                                                               
practices, or have other impacts.                                                                                               
Representative  Rokeberg  replied  that this  bill  conforms  the                                                               
provisions of  two separate statutes. The  first statute pertains                                                               
to the initial pilot program  addressing felony driving under the                                                               
influence  (DUI) charges.  The other  statute was  enacted making                                                               
the  program  permanent.  The  differing   language  in  the  two                                                               
statutes  inadvertently  created  a two-tier  system.  This  bill                                                               
would make the necessary technical  changes for the program to be                                                               
9:20:05 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Nobrega noted  that  the pilot  program  was established  in                                                               
uncodified law.                                                                                                                 
9:20:30 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Green  verified this legislation would  make the program                                                               
Representative Rokeberg affirmed.                                                                                               
Co-Chair Green  asked if this  legislation would have  the effect                                                               
of  increasing  the  number of  offenders  participating  in  the                                                               
therapeutic court system.                                                                                                       
Representative Rokeberg answered it  would not. He explained that                                                               
the Public Defenders  Agency (PDA) and the  prosecutor must agree                                                               
whether  an offender  could enter  the program.  This legislation                                                               
would  ensure smoother  operation  of the  program  and that  all                                                               
positions were funded.                                                                                                          
9:22:05 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Wilken  offered a motion to  report CS HB 441  (FIN), as                                                               
amended,  from  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and                                                               
accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                                                      
There was  no objection  and SCS  CS HB  441(FIN) was  MOVED from                                                               
Committee  with zero  fiscal  notes: #1  from  the Department  of                                                               
Administration,  Office of  Public Advocacy;  #2 from  the Alaska                                                               
Court  System;  #3  from  the  Department of  Law;  #4  from  the                                                               
Department  of Administration,  PDA;  #5 from  the Department  of                                                               
Corrections;  #6  from  the  Department   of  Health  and  Social                                                               
Services; and #7 from the Department of Public Safety.                                                                          
9:22:25 AM                                                                                                                    
     CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 307(RES)                                                                                             
     "An Act creating the Knik River Public Use Area."                                                                          
This was  the first hearing for  this bill in the  Senate Finance                                                               
Co-Chair Green  announced that the  Committee was operating  on a                                                               
limited time schedule.  She directed those present  at the Mat-Su                                                               
Legislative  Information  Office  to  select  amongst  themselves                                                               
three people  to testify  in support  of this  bill and  three to                                                               
speak in opposition.                                                                                                            
9:24:07 AM                                                                                                                    
BEN  MULLIGAN, Staff  to Representative  Bill Stoltze,  testified                                                               
that  this bill  was introduced  the previous  year to  allow the                                                               
public an  extended period in  which to  speak on the  issue. Two                                                               
hearings were held  at a school located near  the affected public                                                               
use area and extensive public comments were given.                                                                              
Mr. Mulligan  explained that this  legislation would  establish a                                                               
public use  area, which would  enact specific guidelines  for the                                                               
management of  the area. Management  would address fish  and game                                                               
habitat, allowable uses and incompatible uses.                                                                                  
Mr.  Mulligan noted  the House  Resources  Committee amended  the                                                               
bill to  insert language pertaining  to enforcement of  the rules                                                               
established for the public use  area by the Department of Natural                                                               
9:25:33 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Hoffman  asked the  number of acres  and location  of the                                                               
proposed public use area.                                                                                                       
Mr.  Mulligan  responded  the  public   use  area  would  contain                                                               
approximately 262,000 acres.                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Green stated the land is  located in the "Butte area" of                                                               
the Matanuska and Susitna valleys.                                                                                              
Mr. Mulligan furthered the location is  the valley to the east of                                                               
the butte  area and  the boundary would  include a  riverbed, the                                                               
mountains to  the north, to the  glacier, and to the  edge of the                                                               
Chugiak State Park to the south.                                                                                                
9:26:15 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Bunde noted  the cost to establish and  manage the public                                                               
use area  is over  one-half million  dollars annually.  User fees                                                               
have been considered  to offset these costs  at other State-owned                                                               
parks. He asked if user fees were considered for this site.                                                                     
9:26:56 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Mulligan answered that user  fees were not considered. Public                                                               
use areas are usually managed  "openly for everyone to use". User                                                               
fees  are  normally established  for  State  recreation areas  to                                                               
restrict and  regulate heavy use. The  intent of this bill  is to                                                               
allow  for  multiple  uses  in   the  public  use  area.  Further                                                               
consideration of a  user fee would be given by  the Department of                                                               
Natural  Resources  in  its  management of  the  area  if  deemed                                                               
9:27:22 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Green remarked  that  the amount  of  activity in  this                                                               
region has  increased to a  "crisis level"  with much of  the use                                                               
from residents outside the local  vicinity. The area is vast with                                                               
abandoned  vehicles, discharge  of firearms  and other  nuisances                                                               
resulting in  enforcement and liability  disputes. The  intent of                                                               
this bill is  to provide an emphasis on education  of proper uses                                                               
rather than armed enforcement.                                                                                                  
Co-Chair  Green acknowledged  a successful  solution is  unknown,                                                               
but that this represents an  attempt to address the problems. She                                                               
would not oppose  user fees and would support the  inclusion of a                                                               
letter of  intent by  the Committee to  direct the  Department to                                                               
research the feasibility.                                                                                                       
9:29:35 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Bunde   surmised  the  educational  emphasis   would  be                                                               
somewhat  feeble and  that armed  enforcement personnel  would be                                                               
necessary. He understood the apprehension  an official would have                                                               
in  approaching  a large  party  to  inform  the people  were  in                                                               
violation of  the law. Those who  do recreate in the  area should                                                               
bear  partial  responsibility  for  the cost  of  management  and                                                               
enforcement.  He  would   draft  a  letter  of   intent  for  the                                                               
implementation of user fees.                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Green  asked if this  issue had been discussed  in other                                                               
committees hearing the bill.                                                                                                    
Mr. Mulligan  answered it had not.  He would need to  discuss the                                                               
matter  with the  bill's sponsor,  Representative Stoltze  before                                                               
offering a position.                                                                                                            
Senator  Bunde  predicted  the   sponsor  would  support  limited                                                               
government spending.                                                                                                            
Co-Chair Green agreed a solution could be reached.                                                                              
Mr. Mulligan pointed out that the  area has no gateway or primary                                                               
access routes.  The area  is entered from  many places  along the                                                               
highway.  A user  fee system  could require  the construction  of                                                               
parking lots  and fee  collection stations.  This could  create a                                                               
burden in collection and enforcement of fees.                                                                                   
9:31:58 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Green stated  that  a letter  of  intent could  address                                                               
these concerns.                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair  Green  pointed  out  the fiscal  note  was  updated  to                                                               
provide funding for  three positions to provide  oversight of the                                                               
proposed public  use area. The  intent is  to assure the  area is                                                               
safe for residing and recreating.                                                                                               
9:33:06 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Bunde shared  that he had received a letter  dated May 5,                                                               
2006, from the  chair of the Knik River Watershed  Group [copy on                                                               
file] expressing general  support for the creation  of the public                                                               
use  area,  but  also  voicing some  concerns.  Given  some  past                                                               
occurrences, the  presence of one  unarmed official  would likely                                                               
be ineffective.                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair  Green  understood this  group  is  actively working  to                                                               
achieve a solution and to allow multiple uses of the area.                                                                      
9:34:15 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Olson asked  the sponsor's  view on  the presence  of an                                                               
unarmed  enforcement officer  confronting users  in violation  of                                                               
the law who themselves may be armed.                                                                                            
9:34:27 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Mulligan   responded  that   the  positions  would   not  be                                                               
enforcement  but rather  area  management.  These officers  would                                                               
have authority  to issue citations.  Department of Fish  and Game                                                               
personnel  have   similar  authority   to  issue   citations  for                                                               
noncompliance with hunting and fishing laws and regulations.                                                                    
9:35:06 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Green  understood provisions  in this  legislation would                                                               
allow the Department of Natural  Resources to contract with other                                                               
agencies to perform these duties.                                                                                               
Mr. Mulligan  affirmed the Department  could contract  the duties                                                               
to the  Alaska State Troopers,  Fish and Wildlife  Protection, or                                                               
the Division of Parks within the agency.                                                                                        
Co-Chair  Green  commented  that  potential  offenders  would  be                                                               
uncertain of  which officials would  be patrolling the area  at a                                                               
given time. Users  would be less aware of  whether personnel with                                                               
enforcement  authority in  addition to  citation authority  could                                                               
confront them.                                                                                                                  
AT EASE 9:36:11 AM                                                                                                            
9:39:33 AM                                                                                                                    
MIKE  ERICKSON, Alaska  ATV  Club,  testified via  teleconference                                                               
from  Anchorage that  the organization  conducts annual  clean-up                                                               
events in the area. The Club's  primary concern was that the area                                                               
would be closed to motorized  vehicles, given the already limited                                                               
locations available. Most other  areas open to off-road motorized                                                               
vehicle access  are restricted  to one  trail. The  Knik location                                                               
has many trails, which are  mostly former timber and mining roads                                                               
and  their  use  causes  no environmental  damage.  It  has  been                                                               
featured in magazine articles and  television programs as an all-                                                               
terrain vehicle (ATV) recreational area and tourist destination.                                                                
Mr.  Erickson deemed  it unfair  to impose  a fee  for ATV  users                                                               
simply for using  a parking lot, while horseback  riders would be                                                               
levied no fee.                                                                                                                  
9:44:20 AM                                                                                                                    
CARRIE  GRAY-WOLFE testified  via teleconference  from an  offnet                                                               
location  in  the Knik  area,  that  this  area is  plagued  with                                                               
excessive  vandalism and  other  problems.  The proposed  funding                                                               
amount  would be  inadequate  and an  unarmed  official would  be                                                               
unable  to address  all  the issues  arising  from 3,000  weekend                                                               
recreators.  Environmentalists are  not attempting  to "lock  up"                                                               
the area, but rather to  ensure the environment and wildlife were                                                               
not adversely  impacted. She  supported the  creation of  a state                                                               
recreational area.                                                                                                              
9:47:00 AM                                                                                                                    
BRITT LIVELY, Butte Area  Residents Civic Organization, testified                                                               
via  teleconference  from  an  offnet   location  in  Butte  that                                                               
previous  efforts to  manage this  area  have been  insufficient.                                                               
This  legislation would  help  but would  not  fully address  the                                                               
situation.  She  requested  armed  enforcement. She  told  of  an                                                               
instance in which  fire and rescue crew were unable  to enter the                                                               
area to  provide aid to  injured child  due to the  vast shooting                                                               
ongoing.  She  supported a  user  fee  structure, surmising  that                                                               
recreators would  be willing to pay  a small amount and  that the                                                               
local community would benefit from  the revenue. Users should not                                                               
have  the right  to  conduct  any behavior  that  is not  allowed                                                               
9:52:24 AM                                                                                                                    
ERIC  UHDE,  Alaska Center  for  the  Environment, testified  via                                                               
teleconference from Anchorage,  that the grass-roots conservation                                                               
organization  makes  efforts  to   protect  recreation  lands  in                                                               
Alaska.  Local residents  must contend  with excessive  shooting,                                                               
vandalism and other problems. While  the language of this bill is                                                               
strong, it does not provide  for enforcement. Many situations are                                                               
too dangerous  for one unarmed  official to handle.  He supported                                                               
the user fee proposal.                                                                                                          
9:54:57 AM                                                                                                                    
TODD  CLARK,  Alaska  Outdoor   Access  Alliance,  testified  via                                                               
teleconference  from  Anchorage   that  the  Alliance  represents                                                               
motorized  vehicle recreators.  Much of  the use  of the  area is                                                               
with ATVs. While the Alliance  does not represent the vandals and                                                               
other lawbreakers, it attempts to  align users, clean up the area                                                               
and  promote  lawful  behavior. This  legislation  would  further                                                               
these efforts.                                                                                                                  
Mr. Clark stated that a user  fee would be difficult to implement                                                               
given  the multiple  access points.  This  area deserves  special                                                               
9:59:11 AM                                                                                                                    
CLIFF   JUDKINS,  Alaska   Boating  Association,   testified  via                                                               
teleconference from  Mat-Su that two years  ago several motorized                                                               
vehicle organizations  formed the Alaska Outdoor  Access Alliance                                                               
to  address efforts  to restrict  motorized use.  Motorized users                                                               
are  blamed for  many things,  including vandalism.  The Alliance                                                               
cleans  up  areas.  This  area traditionally  has  had  few  non-                                                               
motorized users. Trash  is a major problem in the  area and group                                                               
tries  to  clean it  up,  but  needs assistance.  The  additional                                                               
enforcement would be appreciated whether armed or not.                                                                          
Mr.  Judkins  reported that  the  swan  population has  increased                                                               
four-to-five fold in  the past several years.  Boaters avoid them                                                               
and observe  their activities. Salmon,  sheep and  other wildlife                                                               
are not harmed by the human presence.                                                                                           
10:03:10 AM                                                                                                                   
CECILY  FRITZ,   Knik  River   Watershed  Group,   testified  via                                                               
teleconference  from Mat-Su  in  appreciation  of the  additional                                                               
management oversight.  This legislation  could be  successful and                                                               
she  requested   input  from  public  safety   officials  on  the                                                               
projected results. She supported the concept of user fees.                                                                      
Ms. Fritz  suggested adding a  subparagraph to subsection  (d) of                                                               
Sec. 41.23.200.  Incompatible uses.,  added in  Section 1  of the                                                               
bill on page 3, following line 12 to read as follows.                                                                           
               (2) as compatible with the purposes identified in                                                                
     AS  41.23.180,  the  commissioner shall  recognize  existing                                                               
     off-road motor  vehicle trails and  the access  those trails                                                               
     provide,  and maximize  off-road motor  vehicle options  and                                                               
     general public  recreation opportunities  in the  Knik River                                                               
     Public Use Area."                                                                                                          
Ms.   Fritz  stated   this  language   would  provide   a  better                                                               
10:05:26 AM                                                                                                                   
ROD ARNO,  Executive Director, Alaska Outdoor  Council, testified                                                               
via  teleconference  from  Mat-Su  in support  of  the  committee                                                               
substitute as written. The sponsors  of this legislation would be                                                               
considered heroes  for their efforts  to establish  this personal                                                               
use area for hunting, fishing  and recreating. Vandals, arsonists                                                               
and drunks  could be levied fines,  but other uses should  not be                                                               
assessed fees.                                                                                                                  
10:07:33 AM                                                                                                                   
CHARLOTTE SARTOR  testified via  teleconference from  Mat-Su that                                                               
this  legislation is  good compromise.  She requested  a citizens                                                               
advisory group be established to  provide input on the management                                                               
of the  area. She appreciated  the funding to  increase oversight                                                               
to  three positions  but remained  concerned  that the  officials                                                               
would be unarmed. From her  home she regularly hears shooting and                                                               
motorized  vehicles. She  participates in  many cleanup  efforts.                                                               
She did  not oppose  user fees. She  disputed the  statement that                                                               
off-road  vehicles are  only used  on logging  and mining  roads,                                                               
remarking  that many  new ATV  trails have  been "blazed".  While                                                               
Alaska  State Troopers  would have  the authority  to patrol  the                                                               
area,  too few  officers  are  stationed in  the  region and  are                                                               
10:10:12 AM                                                                                                                   
LYNN  WOODS,  Assembly  Member,  Mat-Su  Borough,  testified  via                                                               
teleconference from Mat-Su, that  she holds the seat representing                                                               
the  Knik area.  She supported  an immediate  management plan.  A                                                               
dire need exists for sanitation  and rest room facilities. Alaska                                                               
State Troopers  are busy  and have  several competing  demands on                                                               
their time. More officers are needed in the Borough.                                                                            
10:11:43 AM                                                                                                                   
GENE  KISSEE   testified  via  teleconference  from   Mat-Su  and                                                               
expressed  concern that  most uses  of this  area are  motorized.                                                               
Fewer areas  are available  in the  Anchorage area  for motorized                                                               
recreation. Development has reduced  the ability to backpack into                                                               
areas  for  camping  necessitating   off  road  vehicle  use.  He                                                               
acknowledged that a  few users cause many  problems and predicted                                                               
this legislation would address those issues.                                                                                    
10:13:14 AM                                                                                                                   
DICK  MYLIUS,  Acting  Director,  Division of  Mining,  Land  and                                                               
Water,   Department   of   Natural   Resources,   testified   via                                                               
teleconference from  an offnet location.  He defined  "public use                                                               
area"  as an  area  retained  for multiple  public  uses and  not                                                               
disposed   to  private   individuals   or  municipalities.   This                                                               
legislation would require the Department  to develop a management                                                               
plan for  the area and would  include a public process  to do so.                                                               
The  Department  would  be   granted  enforcement  authority  for                                                               
regulations it could adopt pertaining to lawful use of the area.                                                                
Mr.  Mylius told  of an  existing  regulation limiting  overnight                                                               
camping in  any one  area to 14  days. Currently,  the Department                                                               
has  no  authority  to  enforce  this  rule  and  officials  must                                                               
photograph the campsite of a  violator, submit the information to                                                               
the Attorney General  who mails a notification  of the infraction                                                               
to the  offender. This legislation  would permit a  Department of                                                               
Natural Resources official to issue a citation on-site.                                                                         
Mr.  Mylius assured  that the  officials  would not  be armed  or                                                               
trained for  enforcement of regulations  other than those  of the                                                               
Department of Natural Resources.  Education efforts would include                                                               
identifying  private  property  boundaries,  as  many  users  are                                                               
unaware they are trespassing.                                                                                                   
10:17:45 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr.  Mulligan requested  that  Mr. Mylius  address  the user  fee                                                               
Mr. Mylius informed that the  Division of Parks assesses fees for                                                               
campground use, but that the  Division of Mining, Land and Water,                                                               
which would manage the proposed  public use area has no structure                                                               
for  such  activities. Collecting  fees  in  this area  would  be                                                               
difficult because  of the many  access points. If the  State were                                                               
to later  provide parking, campgrounds and  other infrastructure,                                                               
a fee  could be  accessed. However, these  fees rarely  cover the                                                               
maintenance and operation costs.                                                                                                
10:19:29 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator  Dyson  asked  how  this  bill was  modified  to  have  a                                                               
negative impact on ATV users as suggested in testimony.                                                                         
10:19:49 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr.  Mulligan  explained that  language  in  the House  Resources                                                               
committee  substitute  before  this Committee  includes  language                                                               
intended to  maintain ATV use  in the area while  also addressing                                                               
habitat  degradation.  As  an  example   of  how  this  would  be                                                               
implemented,  he stated  that  if  a trail  crossed  a stream  or                                                               
otherwise  harmed habitat,  the Department  would be  responsible                                                               
for providing  an alternative route.  Such remediation  would not                                                               
negatively  impact ATV  use, but  rather  ensure that  activities                                                               
could continue.                                                                                                                 
10:20:59 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Dyson understood from public  testimony that the bill was                                                               
amended and that the original version was preferable.                                                                           
10:21:15 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr.  Mulligan  stated  that  the   original  version  would  have                                                               
"grandfathered"  all  existing  trails.  The  user  organizations                                                               
reached consensus with the amended language.                                                                                    
10:21:44 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Green announced  that a  letter of  intent relating  to                                                               
user fees was being drafted.                                                                                                    
10:21:51 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Stedman clarified  that the bill itself  would contain no                                                               
requirement for user fees. He  did not support the implementation                                                               
of user  fees and intended to  discuss the issue when  the letter                                                               
of intent was brought forth for consideration.                                                                                  
Co-Chair Green commented that if  revenues from the proposed fees                                                               
were used  for no other  purpose than  cleaning up the  area, she                                                               
would  still support  their implementation.  Local residents  are                                                               
not the primary users of the area; however, they are impacted.                                                                  
The bill was HELD in Committee.                                                                                                 
10:22:54 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE to 10:24:26 AM                                                                                                        
     SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 218(RES)                                                                               
     "An Act relating to cost recovery fisheries for private                                                                    
     nonprofit hatchery facilities."                                                                                            
This was the  second hearing for this bill in  the Senate Finance                                                               
IAN FISK,  Staff to  Representative Bill  Thomas, noted  the bill                                                               
was  heard in  this Committee  then returned  to the  Senate body                                                               
with a recommendation for a  Senate Resources Committee referral.                                                               
That Committee  held hearings and  amended the bill.  The changes                                                               
improved the  language and the  sponsor maintains his  support of                                                               
the legislation.                                                                                                                
Mr. Fisk testified  that hatcheries contract with  a small number                                                               
of fishing  vessels to  harvest salmon returning  to the  site of                                                               
the hatchery. The revenue generated  from these contracts is used                                                               
to offset  maintenance and  operation expenses.  This legislation                                                               
would provide an alternative that  would allow all permit holders                                                               
in the area  access to this resource with 50  percent of the sale                                                               
of these fish paid to  the hatcheries. The hatchery program would                                                               
remain financially user-supported.                                                                                              
10:26:36 AM                                                                                                                   
[Note Amendment #1 was not distributed]                                                                                         
Amendment #2:  This amendment deletes "annually"  and inserts "by                                                               
a  majority  vote  of  the  membership  of  the  hatchery  permit                                                               
holder's  board," to  subsection (b)  of Sec  16.10.455. Cost  of                                                               
recovery  fisheries.,  added  in   Section  1  of  the  committee                                                               
substitute  on page  1, line  11. The  amended language  reads as                                                               
          (b) A hatchery permit holder may by a majority vote of                                                                
     the membership of the hatchery  permit holder's board, elect                                                               
     to  harvest  surplus salmon  produced  at  a facility  in  a                                                               
     terminal harvest area established  for that facility through                                                               
     the common property fishery. …                                                                                             
This  amendment   also  inserts  language  following   "area"  in                                                               
subsection (b) on page 2, line 7 to read as follows.                                                                            
     Following adoption  of regulations  by the  department, each                                                               
     year before March 1, the  hatchery permit holder's board, by                                                               
     a  majority vote  of the  board's membership,  may determine                                                               
     whether  the hatchery  will  operate  under the  regulations                                                               
     adopted under  this subsection  during the  current calendar                                                               
     year,  and  shall  notify the  department  if  the  hatchery                                                               
     intends to operate under the  regulations adopted under this                                                               
Senator Stedman  moved for  adoption and  objected to  provide an                                                               
Senator Stedman  stated this amendment clarifies  that a majority                                                               
vote of the  hatchery permit holder's board would  be required to                                                               
implement this option.                                                                                                          
Senator Stedman  pointed out that this  cost recovery methodology                                                               
is  significantly different  than the  current funding  mechanism                                                               
for the  hatcheries and has  different risks associated  with it.                                                               
The provisions of this amendment  would ensure that the board had                                                               
considered these risks and the anticipated recovery.                                                                            
Senator  Stedman removed  his objection  to the  adoption of  the                                                               
There being no further objection the amendment was ADOPTED.                                                                     
10:29:17 AM                                                                                                                   
PETER  ESQUIRO,  General  Manager,  Northern  Southeast  Regional                                                               
Aquaculture Association, testified  via teleconference from Sitka                                                               
in  appreciation   of  the  adoption  of   the  amendment,  which                                                               
addresses  concerns  of the  Association.  He  informed that  the                                                               
Association meetings normally are held  within the first ten days                                                               
of  each  March  in  accordance  with the  bylaws.  The  March  1                                                               
deadline to select  this option would require the  board to reach                                                               
a  decision  before  the  meetings. He  requested  that  date  be                                                               
changed to March 10.                                                                                                            
10:30:59 AM                                                                                                                   
Amendment #3:  This conceptual amendment changes  the deadline in                                                               
which a  determination must be  made regarding this  program from                                                               
March 1, as stipulated in Amendment #1, to March 10.                                                                            
Senator Stedman moved for adoption.                                                                                             
The amendment was ADOPTED without objection.                                                                                    
10:31:29 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Wilken  offered a motion  to report SCS CS  HB 218(RES),                                                               
as amended,  from Committee  with individual  recommendations and                                                               
new fiscal notes.                                                                                                               
There was  no objection and  SCS CS HB  218 (FIN) was  MOVED from                                                               
Committee  with   zero  fiscal  notes  from   the  Department  of                                                               
Commerce, Community  and Economic  Development dated  4/3/06, the                                                               
Department of Fish  and Game dated 4/4/06, and  the Department of                                                               
Public Safety dated 4/6/06 and  an indeterminate fiscal note from                                                               
the Department of Revenue dated 4/4/06.                                                                                         
10:31:46 AM                                                                                                                   
     CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 420(FSH)                                                                                             
     "An  Act  relating  to  riparian  protection  standards  for                                                               
     forest  resources  and  practices;   and  providing  for  an                                                               
     effective date."                                                                                                           
This was  the first hearing for  this bill in the  Senate Finance                                                               
MARTY  FREEMAN, Forest  Resources  Program  Manager, Division  of                                                               
Forestry,   Department  of   Natural  Resources,   testified  via                                                               
teleconference  from an  offnet location  reading a  statement as                                                               
     I was  the co-chair of  the Science and  Technical Committee                                                               
     and the  Implementation Group that developed  this bill, and                                                               
     I serve as the Division's liaison to the Board of Forestry.                                                                
     This is the third and last  piece of an effort to review and                                                               
     update the Riparian Management  Standards, the standards for                                                               
     forest  management along  streams throughout  the state.  We                                                               
     previously completed reviews,  which cumulated in amendments                                                               
     to the  Forestry Resources and  Practices Act for  Region I,                                                               
     which  is  Coastal  Alaska,  in 1999  and  for  Region  III,                                                               
     Interior Alaska, in 2003.                                                                                                  
     This  bill  is  focused  just  at  Region  II,  Southcentral                                                               
     Alaska.  [Witness indicates  location on  a map,  a copy  of                                                               
     which is on  file.] This bill is designed to  meet the goals                                                               
     of  the  Forestry Resources  and  Practices  Act to  provide                                                               
     adequate protection  of fish habitat  and water  quality and                                                               
     to support healthy timber and fishing industries.                                                                          
     It also  helps to ensure  that the Forestry  [Resources and]                                                               
     Practices Act  continues to satisfy federal  Clean Water Act                                                               
     and  Coastal Zone  Management Act  requirements  so that  it                                                               
     provides  one-stop shopping  for  the  timber industry  with                                                               
     respect to State and federal  non-point source pollution and                                                               
     coastal management standards.                                                                                              
     To develop  this bill,  we first worked  with a  science and                                                               
     technical  committee  that  recommended  changes  needed  to                                                               
     provide  adequate  protection  for fish  habitat  and  water                                                               
     quality.  Their recommendations  were  then  reviewed by  an                                                               
     implementation group, which  represented affected interests.                                                               
     That  group was  charged with  determining how  to make  the                                                               
     scientists'  recommendations   work  on  the  ground   in  a                                                               
     practical   way.    That   group's    recommendations   were                                                               
     incorporated into this  bill and reviewed with  the Board of                                                               
     This bill  classifies water bodies  that have  anadromous or                                                               
     high-value  resident fish:  those high  value resident  fish                                                               
     populations  that people  are actually  using and  catching.                                                               
     [Indiscernible]  classifies  those  water bodies  into  four                                                               
     types  and it  sets riparian  management standards  for each                                                               
     These standards  are tailored to the  specific conditions in                                                               
     Region  II. Compared  to  other areas,  Region  II has  more                                                               
     large  dynamic rivers  where  they  have shifting  channels,                                                               
     like the Susitna River and the  Copper River - more of those                                                               
     dynamic  rivers in  areas  that are  forested  and could  be                                                               
     harvested.  There are  also lower  timber  volumes per  acre                                                               
     compared  to either  of the  other  regions and  there is  a                                                               
     higher  proportion  of   deciduous  trees.  These  deciduous                                                               
     trees, when they  fall into a river and  provide large woody                                                               
     debris for  fish habitat, don't  last as long in  the river.                                                               
     They decay faster.                                                                                                         
     There is  also a wider  distribution of anadromous  and high                                                               
     value resident  fish in Region  II and  a disproportionately                                                               
     high-use of  fish and value from  that fishery, particularly                                                               
     for sport fishing.  For example, Region II is  only about 11                                                               
     percent of the land area in the  state but it makes up 30 to                                                               
     50 percent of the recreational fishing in the state.                                                                       
     The buffers that are recommended  in this bill for the large                                                               
     dynamic rivers are wider  than the [indiscernible] standards                                                               
     that we've  been working  under and  narrower for  the small                                                               
     streams.  There are  many of  these  small streams;  they're                                                               
     often  unnamed and  unmapped,  but there  are  many of  them                                                               
     throughout the forested area in  Region II. There is similar                                                               
     width  for the  other streams,  which include  stable rivers                                                               
     and lakes.                                                                                                                 
     This  process was  based on  the  best available  scientific                                                               
     information. It  was open  to the public  and it  involved a                                                               
     wide range of interests:  scientists, the timber and fishing                                                               
     industries,   Native  corporations,   municipalities,  State                                                               
     trust land  managers, environmental interests, the  Board of                                                               
     Forestry and experienced field staff  and State agencies. We                                                               
     are pleased to  report that this bill has  broad support and                                                               
     there is a zero fiscal note attached to the bill.                                                                          
10:35:51 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Green asked  the length of time taken in  the process to                                                               
develop these recommendations.                                                                                                  
Ms. Freeman  replied that determination of  the science findings,                                                               
the  implementation group  activities, and  consideration by  the                                                               
Board of Forestry  took about two years to  complete. The project                                                               
began  with  scientific  review   of  all  available  information                                                               
relevant to  the topic. This  portion consisted of  a significant                                                               
portion of the total time spent.                                                                                                
10:36:17 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Green  asked if all parties  generally reached agreement                                                               
on the provisions contained in this legislation.                                                                                
Ms. Freeman answered in the affirmative.                                                                                        
10:37:25 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Hoffman asked how the no  harvest buffer zone of 300 feet                                                               
was determined.                                                                                                                 
Ms. Freeman  clarified the no  harvest zone is not  actually that                                                               
distance. Large dynamic rivers would  have a basis buffer zone of                                                               
150 feet  with a  provision for  a wider zone  in places  with an                                                               
actively eroding bank. Stable rivers,  smaller dynamic rivers and                                                               
lakes would  have a no harvest  buffer zone of 100  feet. Smaller                                                               
streams would have a 50-foot buffer zone.                                                                                       
10:37:52 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator  Hoffman asked  if the  standards would  be the  same for                                                               
timber harvesting activities on private as well as public lands.                                                                
Ms. Freeman responded that in  "this case" the standards would be                                                               
the  same.  Additional  provisions  would  apply  to  a  "special                                                               
management  zone"  on  public  lands. This  would  not  apply  to                                                               
private lands.                                                                                                                  
10:38:06 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Green  asked where Senator Hoffman  obtained information                                                               
indicating a 300-foot buffer zone requirement.                                                                                  
Senator  Hoffman cited  the sectional  analysis  provided by  the                                                               
Department of  Natural Resources [copy on  file]. The explanation                                                               
of Section 3 of the bill reads as follows.                                                                                      
     Section 3: AS 41.17.118 -  State land. Section sets riparian                                                               
     standards for state land along  water bodies with anadromous                                                               
     or  high-value resident  fish in  Region II.  The no-harvest                                                               
     buffers would be the same as  those set for private land. In                                                               
     addition, on  state land only, harvesting  from the landward                                                               
     boundary  of the  no-harvest  buffer to  300  feet from  the                                                               
     water  body  may  occur  by   must  be  consistent  wit  the                                                               
     maintenance or enhancement of wildlife habitat.                                                                            
10:38:33 AM                                                                                                                   
Ms.  Freeman  explained  the  300-foot  zone  referenced  in  the                                                               
sectional  analysis   pertains  to  a  special   management  zone                                                               
provided  for  in the  Forest  Resources  and Practices  Act  and                                                               
unchanged  in this  legislation. Consideration  must be  given on                                                               
State-owned land for important wildlife  habitat concerns as well                                                               
as fish habitat concerns. This  legislation would clarify support                                                               
for habitat enhancement  activities in these zones.  It would not                                                               
classify the areas as a no-harvest zone.                                                                                        
10:39:12 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Green  asked  if  this is  addressed  in  the  proposed                                                               
amendment to AS 41.17.118(a)(1)(B) contained  in Section 3 of the                                                               
Ms. Freeman affirmed.                                                                                                           
10:39:20 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator  Stedman  commented on  the  differences  of terrain  and                                                               
river patterns  between the coastal regions  of Southeast Alaska,                                                               
the  areas  including Anchorage  and  Palmer  of Region  II,  and                                                               
Interior Alaska.                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Green  agreed  the   differences  are  interesting,  if                                                               
laborious to  decipher and understand.  Qualifiers must  vary for                                                               
each   region  and   changing   interests   must  be   considered                                                               
periodically as well.                                                                                                           
10:40:24 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Wilken  offered  a  motion  to  report  the  bill  from                                                               
Committee with individual  recommendation and accompanying fiscal                                                               
Without objection CS  HB 420 (FSH) was MOVED  from Committee with                                                               
a zero fiscal note #1 from the Department of Natural Resources.                                                                 
10:40:41 AM                                                                                                                   
     CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 484(FSH)                                                                                             
     "An Act allowing for revenue received from issuance of                                                                     
     additional   entry   permits    to   be   appropriated   for                                                               
     reimbursement to salmon fishery associations."                                                                             
This was the first hearing for this bill in the Senate Finance                                                                  
Co-Chair Green announced that Representative Peggy Wilson,                                                                      
sponsor of the bill, was called to the chambers of the House of                                                                 
10:40:58 AM                                                                                                                   
LINDA MILLER, Staff to Representative Wilson, read the sponsor                                                                  
statement into the record as follows.                                                                                           
     In  2002,  the  Alaska legislature  created  salmon  fishery                                                               
     associations (AS 16.40.250) to  encourage fleet reduction in                                                               
     the  Alaska salmon  fisheries.  Salmon fishery  associations                                                               
     may be  formed in salmon  fisheries throughout the  state to                                                               
     facilitate a permit buyback program.                                                                                       
     CS  HB 484  is a  housekeeping measure  to clarify  what may                                                               
     happen to  the revenue  if the Commercial  Fisher[ies] Entry                                                               
     Commission  should decide  to sell  (re-issue) permits  that                                                               
     have been relinquished under  the buyback program authorized                                                               
     under AS 16.40.250.                                                                                                        
     The  state (CFEC)  has the  responsibility  to monitor  each                                                               
     limited  entry fishery.  CS  HB 484  clarifies  that in  the                                                               
     event the  CFEC determines  more permits  are needed  in the                                                               
     same  fishery  in  which the  fleet  reduction  program  was                                                               
     implemented, either through  an optimum number determination                                                               
     or  court  action, the  Association  that  paid or  borrowed                                                               
     money  to remove  the permit  from the  market in  the first                                                               
     place may have money returned to  them if [a] permit is sold                                                               
     Under  CS  HB  484  a  future  Legislature  may  appropriate                                                               
     revenue from  the permit sale (re-issue)  to the Association                                                               
     that paid money  or incurred debt to remove  the permit from                                                               
     the market in the first place.                                                                                             
10:44:01 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Green asked if this option would expire at a certain                                                                   
10:44:07 AM                                                                                                                   
Ms. Miller  replied that  the language  of this  legislation does                                                               
not stipulate an expiration date.                                                                                               
10:44:12 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Green  was unsure  if the State  would be  "inclined" to                                                               
appropriate funds for this purpose in the future.                                                                               
10:44:31 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator   Stedman  reported   the   Senate  Resources   Committee                                                               
discussed this issue.                                                                                                           
10:44:45 AM                                                                                                                   
FRANK  HOMAN, Commercial  Fisheries Entry  Commission, testifying                                                               
in Juneau, characterized  this bill as an  insurance provision of                                                               
the  Commission.  It would  only  apply  in  the event  that  the                                                               
Commission  in the  future  was  to sell  permits  back into  the                                                               
fishing industry. Revenue from those  sales could be appropriated                                                               
by  the legislature  to the  commercial fishing  association that                                                               
had initially  expended funds  or incurred  debt in  the original                                                               
buyback of the permits.                                                                                                         
Mr.  Homan explained  the  proposed option  does  not include  an                                                               
expiration date and  that exercise of the option would  be a one-                                                               
time occurrence. The possibility of  such reissuing of permits is                                                               
unlikely.  This legislation  is necessary  in the  event a  court                                                               
ruling found that  a fishery was too exclusive  and directed that                                                               
more permits be sold.                                                                                                           
10:47:43 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Green ordered the bill HELD in Committee.                                                                              
10:47:53 AM                                                                                                                   
     CS FOR HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 30(FIN) am                                                                          
    Creating an Alaska Climate Impact Assessment Commission.                                                                    
This was  the first hearing for  this bill in the  Senate Finance                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE REGGIE JOULE, sponsor  of the resolution posed the                                                               
question of  why an Alaska  Climate Impact  Assessment Commission                                                               
should be  formed to  consider the issue  of climate  changes. He                                                               
remarked on the  reports of the changing  weather patterns around                                                               
the  globe  and  within  the   state.  These  changes  have  been                                                               
exemplified  in   changing  ice  conditions,  melting   sea  ice,                                                               
permafrost reductions  and glacial movements. Spruce  bark beetle                                                               
infestations  and other  vegetation changes,  lengthened wildfire                                                               
seasons,  eroding shorelines  that  threaten villages,  potential                                                               
impacts  on wildlife  and fish,  as well  as economic  impacts on                                                               
existing infrastructure,  including highways, oil and  gas, and a                                                               
potential natural  gas pipeline, are  evidence of the  impacts of                                                               
the changing climate.                                                                                                           
Representative  Joule  stated  that  new  technologies  would  be                                                               
required to construct infrastructure  in the changing conditions,                                                               
which would  impact resource  development. Revisions  of forestry                                                               
management  practices  could  be  necessary.  Fish  and  wildlife                                                               
management may need to take into account changing habitat.                                                                      
Representative  Joule  remarked,  "We  may need  a  blueprint  of                                                               
possible changes to  be able to adequately plan  for the future."                                                               
Additionally,  the  costs  must  be understood  to  allow  for  a                                                               
proactive approach.                                                                                                             
Representative  Joule  answered  his  earlier  question,  that  a                                                               
commission is necessary for the aforementioned reasons.                                                                         
Representative  Joule noted  the  11-member  commission would  be                                                               
comprised  of Alaskan  residents with  four seats  designated for                                                               
10:51:17 AM                                                                                                                   
GLEN JUDAY,  Professor of Forestry, School  of Natural Resources,                                                               
University  of Alaska,  Fairbanks,  testified via  teleconference                                                               
from  an  offnet  location  on  his  own  behalf.  Using  30-year                                                               
averages as a standard, the temperature  in Alaska is 2.5 to four                                                               
degrees warmer  than the  previous decade.  The reasons  for this                                                               
are being  studied, although results  to date support  the theory                                                               
that  global  warming  is  the cause.  Clear  evidence  of  human                                                               
influences has been  found; pattern changes of the  last 50 years                                                               
could not be explained as natural processes alone.                                                                              
Mr. Juday  told of  efforts underway to  identify the  impacts of                                                               
the  global warming  patterns.  The ultimate  result  of all  the                                                               
glaciers  located in  Alaska would  be a  change in  mass of  ice                                                               
equivalent to 50 feet of water  moving from land to sea. The rate                                                               
of melting arctic sea ice set  records each month during the past                                                               
winter. Lakes in Interior Alaska  have been drying and permafrost                                                               
is warming  and beginning to  thaw in some areas.  Several forest                                                               
fire records have been set.                                                                                                     
Mr. Juday relayed that the  scientific community is interested in                                                               
collaborating with  policy makers  and professional  engineers in                                                               
Alaska  to  determine how  the  State  should prepare  for  these                                                               
10:56:00 AM                                                                                                                   
BOB  SWENSON,   Acting  Director,  Division  of   Geological  and                                                               
Geophysical Surveys,  Department of Natural  Resources, testified                                                               
via teleconference  from an offnet location  that this resolution                                                               
is timely.  Data shows a change  in climate. The creation  of the                                                               
proposed  commission would  allow Alaska  to be  proactive rather                                                               
than reactive to the impacts.                                                                                                   
Mr.  Swenson  noted the  resolution  does  not currently  specify                                                               
participation of the Department.  However, any recommendations of                                                               
the  proposed   commission  could  involve  the   Department  and                                                               
therefore,  a fiscal  note in  an indeterminate  amount has  been                                                               
10:57:39 AM                                                                                                                   
MARK  FOSTER,  Registered  Professional Engineer,  testified  via                                                               
teleconference from an  offnet location in support  of passage of                                                               
the  resolution.  As  a business  consultant,  he  is  witnessing                                                               
impacts of the changing climate  on the foundations of pipelines,                                                               
water  and   wastewater  facilities.   These  issues   should  be                                                               
addressed and prepared for the future.                                                                                          
10:59:11 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Green  indicated  surprise   at  the  interest  in  the                                                               
formation of this commission.                                                                                                   
10:59:20 AM                                                                                                                   
LINDA  HALL,  Director,  Division  of  Insurance,  Department  of                                                               
Commerce,  Community  and   Economic  Development,  testified  in                                                               
Juneau, that  she has  received feedback on  the issue  of global                                                               
warming from the regulatory insurance  industry. A number of task                                                               
forces  have  been formed  within  the  industry to  address  the                                                               
affects of  climate change.  Insurance companies  are withdrawing                                                               
coverage in  some areas  because of  the increased  risk. Climate                                                               
change is impacting the availability of insurance.                                                                              
11:01:02 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Green  pointed out  that the  fiscal note  estimates the                                                               
cost of implementing  this legislation based on  membership of 15                                                               
seats on the  proposed task force. She understood  that the House                                                               
Resources Committee  would staff  the meetings  and asked  if the                                                               
fiscal note could  be reduced from $80,000 to  $65,000 to reflect                                                               
an 11-member committee.                                                                                                         
Representative Joule  agreed to the  reduction, as he  was unsure                                                               
the exact amount  that would be required. The  initial amount was                                                               
calculated to fund at least four meetings.                                                                                      
11:02:07 AM                                                                                                                   
Amendment  #1:  This  amendment   inserts  language  on  page  3,                                                               
following line 7 of the committee substitute to read as follows.                                                                
          FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force shall select a                                                                   
     chairperson from among members of the legislature.                                                                         
Senator Olson moved for adoption.                                                                                               
Co-Chair Green objected for an explanation.                                                                                     
Senator Olson stated  this amendment would provide  that a member                                                               
of the legislature serving on  the proposed task force would hold                                                               
the chair position. Legislators would hold four seats.                                                                          
Co-Chair  Green  withdrew her  objection  and  the amendment  was                                                               
ADOPTED without further objection.                                                                                              
11:03:01 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Green referenced  language on  page  3, lines  8 -  11,                                                               
which reads as follows.                                                                                                         
          FURTHER RESOLVED that the public members of the                                                                       
     commission  may   receive  compensation  for  per   diem  or                                                               
     reimbursement  for travel  and  other  expenses incurred  in                                                               
     serving on the commission; …                                                                                               
Co-Chair Green asked  if this is standard  language pertaining to                                                               
compensation of public members  serving on State-sponsored boards                                                               
and commissions.                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Wilken indicated it was.                                                                                               
11:03:37 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Wilken characterized  this  resolution  as "feel  good"                                                               
legislation. The legislature does not  play a role in this issue.                                                               
The  State already  operates many  boards  and commissions.  This                                                               
task  force  would  incur considerable  expense  just  to  gather                                                               
parties  together to  reach an  "obvious conclusion."  Others are                                                               
already  undertaking  this  effort, including  universities.  The                                                               
funds should be appropriated to those activities.                                                                               
11:05:48 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Bunde  shared opposition to  this resolution. He  told of                                                               
his past  servitude on a  commission, which issued a  report that                                                               
"sat on  the Governor's  shelf" and was  never consulted  and the                                                               
recommendations never  implemented. Therefore, he  questioned the                                                               
positive effectiveness of this task  force. Instead results could                                                               
include restrictions  against the  construction of a  natural gas                                                               
pipeline,  use of  automobiles,  and  increased insurance  rates.                                                               
Support for those efforts should not be provided in this manner.                                                                
11:07:18 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator  Stedman  suggested  Co-Chair Wilken  and  Representative                                                               
Joule work on an alternative.                                                                                                   
11:07:40 AM                                                                                                                   
Representative  Joule appreciated  the comments.  Co-Chair Wilken                                                               
was  correct that  many experts  and  organizations are  studying                                                               
this  issue and  the impacts  to the  state. These  professionals                                                               
could  provide recommendations  to guide  the legislature  in the                                                               
future.  The  intent  is  not  to assign  blame,  but  rather  to                                                               
determine potential  impacts for consideration by  policy makers.                                                               
Compiled data would be more  beneficial than sporadic independent                                                               
11:09:36 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator  Dyson had  followed  the debate  on  global warming  and                                                               
climate  changes.   Although  the  long-term   consequences  were                                                               
debatable,  the  impact  to  the  state is  not.  Tree  lines  on                                                               
mountains are higher and farther  north than before. Temperatures                                                               
in  the  Bering Sea  are  two  to  four  times warmer  than  ever                                                               
recorded previously.  Structural failures  are occurring  in high                                                               
temperature permafrost areas.                                                                                                   
Senator Dyson expressed he would support this resolution.                                                                       
11:10:42 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Green ordered the resolution  HELD in Committee to allow                                                               
an agreement to be reached.                                                                                                     
Co-Chair Lyda Green adjourned the meeting at 11:10:51 AM                                                                      

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