Legislature(1997 - 1998)

05/01/1998 03:40 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
              SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE                                       
                     May 1, 1998                                               
                      3:40 p.m.                                                
                                                                               
                                                                               
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                
                                                                               
Senator Robin Taylor, Chairman                                                 
Senator Drue Pearce, Vice-Chairman                                             
Senator Mike Miller                                                            
Senator Sean Parnell                                                           
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                           
                                                                               
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                 
                                                                               
All members present                                                            
                                                                               
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                             
                                                                               
SENATE BILL NO. 312                                                            
"An Act relating to animals, to food, to pest control, and to the              
Alaska Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act; and providing for an effective             
date."                                                                         
                                                                               
     - MOVED SB 312 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                           
                                                                               
SENATE BILL NO. 355                                                            
"An Act relating to the provision of electric utility service."                
                                                                               
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                          
                                                                               
CS FOR HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 34(L&C) am                              
Establishing a Joint Committee on Electric Utility Restructuring.              
                                                                               
     - MOVED CSHCR 34(L&C) am OUT OF COMMITTEE                                 
                                                                               
SENATE BILL NO. 138                                                            
"An Act relating to regulation of alcoholic beverages; relating to             
alcoholic beverage licenses and to regulation of alcoholic beverage            
licensees; relating to liability of a person who provides alcoholic            
beverages; and providing for an effective date."                               
                                                                               
     - MOVED CSSB 138(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                    
                                                                               
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 406(FIN) am(efd fld)                                     
"An Act authorizing the Board of Fisheries and the Board of Game to            
identify fish and game that are taken for subsistence and to                   
identify subsistence and nonsubsistence areas; relating to the                 
establishment of preferences for and to regulation of subsistence              
fishing and hunting; relating to advisory committees."                         
                                                                               
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                          
                                                                               
CONFIRMATION HEARINGS:  Alcoholic Beverage Control Board                       
                       Judicial Conduct                                        
                                                                               
PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                               
                                                                               
SB 312 - See Labor and Commerce minutes dated 3/10/98 and 4/7/98.              
                                                                               
SB 355 - See Labor and Commerce Committee minutes dated 4/21/98.               
                                                                               
HCR 34 - No previous action to record.                                         
                                                                               
SB 138 - No previous action to record.                                         
                                                                               
HB 406 - See Judiciary minutes dated 4/25/98.                                  
                                                                               
WITNESS REGISTER                                                               
                                                                               
Ms. Beth Hagevig                                                               
Staff to Senator Gary Wilken                                                   
State Capitol                                                                  
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented SB 312                                          
                                                                               
Ms. Janice Adair                                                               
Director, Enviornmental Health                                                 
Department of Enviornmental Conservation                                       
555 Cordova Street                                                             
Anchorage, AK 99501                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 312                                          
                                                                               
Mr. Eric Yula                                                                  
Executive Director                                                             
Alaska Rural Electric Cooperative Association                                  
703 West Tudor Road                                                            
Anchorage, AK                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 355, supported HCR 34                           
                                                                               
Mr. Don Edwards                                                                
Chugach Electric                                                               
5601 Minnesota Drive                                                           
Anchorage, AK                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 355                                           
                                                                               
Mr. Dave Carlson                                                               
City of Petersburg                                                             
P.O. Box 1232                                                                  
Petersburg, AK 99833                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 355, supported HCR 34                           
Mr. Rick Eckert                                                                
Homer Electric                                                                 
3977 Lake Street                                                               
Homer, AK 99603                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed SB 355, supported HCR 34                          
                                                                               
Mr. Thomas Stahr                                                               
167 W. Cityview                                                                
Homer, AK 99603                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed SB 355, supported HCR 34                          
                                                                               
Mr. Charles Walls                                                              
President                                                                      
Alaska Village Electric Cooperative                                            
4831 Eagle Street                                                              
Anchorage, AK 99503                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 355, supported HCR 34                           
                                                                               
Ms. MaryAnn Pease                                                              
Aurora Power                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 355                                          
                                                                               
Ms. Shirley Armstrong                                                          
Staff to the House Labor and Commerce Committee                                
State Capitol                                                                  
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HCR 34                                          
                                                                               
Ms. Myra Kohler                                                                
General Manager                                                                
Anchorage Municipal Light and Power                                            
1200 East 1st Avenue                                                           
Anchorage, AK 99501                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HCR 34                                          
                                                                               
Mr. Robert Wilkinson                                                           
Copper Vallley Electric Association                                            
P.O. Box 45                                                                    
Glenallen, AK 99588                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 355, supported HCR 34                           
                                                                               
Mr. Ron Defore                                                                 
Americans For Responsible Alcohol Access                                       
Emergency Nurses Association                                                   
Washington, D.C.                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 138                                       
                                                                               
Mr. J. Ross Runfola                                                            
Special Counsel                                                                
New York State Attorney                                                        
                                                                               
New York, NY                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 138                                       
                                                                               
Ms. Jan Wrentmore                                                              
Owner                                                                          
Red Onion Saloon                                                               
Skagway, AK 99840                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 138                                        
                                                                               
Mr. Chris Anderson                                                             
Owner                                                                          
Glacier Brew House                                                             
Anchorage, AK                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 138                                       
                                                                               
Mr. Doug Griffin                                                               
Alcoholic Beverage Control Board                                               
550 West 7th #350                                                              
Anchorage, AK 99501                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 138                                          
                                                                               
Mr. Bob Bailey                                                                 
Alaska Distributors                                                            
P.O. Box 91598                                                                 
Anchorage, AK 99515                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 138                                          
                                                                               
Mr. Richard Sassara                                                            
Railway Brewing Company                                                        
1964 Loussac                                                                   
Anchorage, AK 99517                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 138                                       
                                                                               
Mr. Gary Klopfer                                                               
Owner                                                                          
Snow Goose Restaurant                                                          
717 West 3rd                                                                   
Anchorage, AK 99501                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 138                                       
                                                                               
Ms. Ann Wilkas                                                                 
Moose's Tooth                                                                  
3400 Old Seward Highway                                                        
Anchorage, AK 99503                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 138                                       
                                                                               
Mr. Don Grasse                                                                 
K&L Distributors                                                               
4771 Southpark Bluff                                                           
Anchorage, AK 99518                                                            
                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 138                                       
                                                                               
Mr. Jim Jansen                                                                 
President                                                                      
Lynden Companies                                                               
Alaskans Together                                                              
1029 West 3rd                                                                  
Anchorage, AK 99501                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on HB 406                                       
                                                                               
Mr. Dick Bishop                                                                
Vice President                                                                 
Alaska Outdoor Council                                                         
Anchorage, AK                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on HB 406                                       
                                                                               
Mr. Donald Westlund                                                            
P.O. Box 871                                                                   
Ward Cove, AK 99928                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on HB 406                                       
                                                                               
Mr. Pete Amundson                                                              
918 Jackson Street                                                             
Ketchikan, AK 99901                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on HB 406                                       
                                                                               
Ms. Kay Andrew                                                                 
P.O. Box 7211                                                                  
Ketchikan, AK 99901                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on HB 406                                       
                                                                               
Mr. Robert Bosworth                                                            
Deputy Commissioner                                                            
Alaska Department of Fish and Game                                             
P.O. Box 25526                                                                 
Juneau, AK 99802-5526                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on HB 406                                       
                                                                               
Mr. Steve White                                                                
Assistant District Attorney                                                    
Department of Law                                                              
P.O. Box 110300                                                                
Juneau, AK 99811-0300                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on HB 406                                       
                                                                               
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                               
                                                                               
TAPE 98-36, SIDE A                                                             
Number 001                                                                     
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROBIN TAYLOR called the Judiciary Committee meeting to                
order at 3:40 p.m. and apologized for the delay.                               
                                                                               
MS. BETH HAGEVIG, staff to Senator Wilken presented SB 312. MS.                
HAGEVIG said this bill consolidates existing requirements for food             
production and service and clears up obsolete and contradictory                
provisions now existing in statute. MS. HAGEVIG explained that SB
312 will provide for more efficient administration of the food laws            
in Alaska.                                                                     
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS asked if the bill had any connection to food                     
irradiation and MS. HAGEVIG answered it did not.                               
                                                                               
MS. JANICE ADAIR, Director of Environmental Health for the                     
Department of Environmental Conservation, reiterated the comments              
of MS. HAGEVIG and expressed that the Department supports the bill.            
                                                                               
Number 075                                                                     
                                                                               
SENATOR MILLER moved SB 312 out of committee with individual                   
recommendations. Without objection, the bill was moved.                        
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR announced HCR 34 and SB 355 as the next order of               
business.                                                                      
         SB 355 - COMPETITIVE RETAIL SALES ELEC. POWER                         
       CSCR 34(L&C) - JT COM ON ELEC UTILITY RESTRUCTURING                     
                                                                               
MR. ERIC YULA, Executive Director of the Alaska Rural Electric                 
Cooperative Association, testified to his organizations strong                 
support for HCR 34. MR. YULA expressed opposition to SB 355,                   
primarily because of his preference for the process set forth in               
HCR 34. MR. YULA noted that there are several other pieces of                  
legislation dealing with deregulation pending in this Legislature              
and remarked they might all be better rolled into the subcommittee             
study proposed in HCR 34.                                                      
                                                                               
Number 162                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. YULA explained that Alaska is in a unique position in relation             
to the complex issue of deregulation and encouraged the passage of             
HCR 34.                                                                        
                                                                               
Number 171                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. DON EDWARDS, representing Chugach Electric, testified that SB
355 was a simple bill, intended only to apply to large, dense                  
systems such as Chugach and the ML&P system. He suggested the bill             
might be amended to exclude other systems that could accidentally              
be included. MR. EDWARDS said the bill would introduce competition             
to larger systems, but would have no impact outside of Anchorage.              
                                                                               
Number 200                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. EDWARDS testified that poll results have shown customer support            
for competition and cited a study by the Brookings Institute which             
concluded that with competition, customers benefit from better                 
service and reliability. MR. EDWARDS stated that other utilities               
oppose choice, but repeated that the legislation will not apply to             
anyone outside Anchorage.                                                      
                                                                               
Number 285                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. EDWARDS concluded his testimony by urging the committee to move            
SB 355.                                                                        
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR announced the Confirmation Hearing of MS. TONI                 
JACKSON to the Alcohol Control Board would be taken up at this                 
time. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR noted the committee had MS. JACKSON'S resume.            
SENATOR MILLER moved that MS. JACKSON'S name be forwarded to the               
full body. Without objection, it was so ordered.                               
                                                                               
Number 335                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. DAVE CARLSON, past mayor of Petersburg, testified his strong               
support for HCR 34 and strong opposition to SB 355. He requested               
careful consideration of restructuring and deregulation, as it is              
a complex issue.                                                               
                                                                               
Number 369                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. RICK EKHERT, manager of finance for Homer Electric, spoke from             
Homer, opposing SB 355 and supporting HCR 34.                                  
                                                                               
MR. THOMAS STAR, a ratepayer from Homer, also opposed SB 355 and               
supported HCR 34, saying SB 355 could result in wage increases by              
predatory utilities.                                                           
                                                                               
MR. WALTER SAP, President of the Board of Directors of the Kodiak              
Electric Association, testified in support of HCR 34 and in                    
opposition to SB 355. MR. SAP stated that the issue is complex and             
is best dealt with through the body that would be established under            
HCR 34.                                                                        
                                                                               
Number 411                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. CHARLES WALLS, President of the Alaska Village Electric                    
Cooperative, suggested that deregulation is not something to rush              
into. He stated support for HCR 34 and opposed SB 355.                         
                                                                               
MS. MARY ANN PEASE, representing Aurora Power, supported SB 355,               
citing a need for customer choice and the increased efficiency                 
competition brings. MS. PEASE remarked that the current system has             
a fundamental flaw: no incentive to be cost efficient. CHAIRMAN                
TAYLOR asked MS. PEASE if she supported the amendment referred to              
and MS. PEASE replied she does.                                                
                                                                               
Number 463                                                                     
                                                                               
MS. SHIRLEY ARMSTRONG, Staff to the House Labor and Commerce                   
Committee, reported that the Labor and Commerce Committee has                  
worked on this issue for many years and supports HCR 34.                       
                                                                               
MS. MYRA KOHLER, General Manager of Anchorage Municipal Light and              
Power, stated that retail competition in this arena would be                   
unprecedented. She reiterated the idea that this is a hugely                   
complex issue that includes concerns over liability, standards and             
reliability, universal costs and transmission. MS. KOHLER suggested            
that these issues should all be decided before deregulation takes              
place.                                                                         
                                                                               
MR. ROBERT WILKINSON, representing the Copper Valley Electric                  
Association, opposed SB 355 and urged the committee's support of               
HCR 34.                                                                        
                                                                               
Number 556                                                                     
                                                                               
SENATOR MILLER moved HCR 34 out of committee with individual                   
recommendations. Without objection, it was so ordered.                         
                                                                               
SENATOR PEARCE suggested that the Energy Council has been studying             
deregulation and gas restructuring for a number of years and has a             
great deal of knowledge that might be put to use when enacting HCR
34.                                                                            
                                                                               
Number 575                                                                     
                                                                               
                 SB 138 - REGULATION OF ALCOHOL                                
                                                                               
MR. RON DEFORE, representing the Americans for Responsible Alcohol             
Access and the Emergency Nurses Associations, expressed concern                
about toll free alcohol sales over the Internet.                               
                                                                               
TAPE 98-36 SIDE B                                                              
Number 001                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. DEFORE said these Internet sales represent a rapidly expanding             
underground economy that should be prevented. MR. DEFORE remarked              
that other states have criminalized this type of sale of alcoholic             
beverages and suggested Alaska should join them. MR. DEFORE                    
clarified that not only fine wines are available over the Internet,            
but cheap beer and hard liquor are also available and can be                   
delivered overnight.                                                           
                                                                               
MR. DEFORE did not oppose consumer access to these products, if                
underage purchase can be controlled. He said there is a process                
under development now where people could order their favorite                  
products and have them delivered to a local retailer, through a                
national locator system.                                                       
                                                                               
SENATOR PEARCE asked if the language before them would affect                  
auction sales of wine and spirits. MR. DEFORE replied he could not             
comment specifically on that, but reiterated that he opposed any               
direct shipment of alcohol to a person's doorstep, regardless of               
the manner of purchase.                                                        
                                                                               
MR. J. ROSS RANFOLO, Special Counsel to the New York State Attorney            
General, testified in support of the amendment to SB 138, also due             
to the possibility of underage purchase and consumption of alcohol.            
                                                                               
Number 500                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. RANFOLO reported to the committee the results of an                        
investigation of some Internet companies: 14 out of 14 illegal                 
liquor sales and shipments to underage buyers without any type of              
age verification. MR. RANFOLO added that some deliveries of alcohol            
were also made to dry towns, subverting the will of the local                  
electorate. He cited greed and a desire to escape state tax as the             
motive behind much Internet alcohol marketing. MR. RANFOLO                     
concluded by urging the adoption of the amendment.                             
                                                                               
MS. JAN WRENTMORE, owner of the Red Onion Saloon in Skagway,                   
supported the amendment.                                                       
                                                                               
MR. CHRIS ANDERSON, co-owner of the Glacier Brew House in                      
Anchorage, said the failure of this bill's passage has been a real             
problem and is hampering the growth of his business. MR. ANDERSON              
also expressed concern about losing his ability to provide                     
entertainment to his patrons and to sell "growlers" - half gallon              
bottles of beer he believes his establishment sells responsibly.               
MR. ANDERSON supported passage of the bill, with the proposed                  
amendments and the inclusion of the ability to sell growlers.                  
                                                                               
SENATOR PEARCE noted that the original version of the bill was                 
introduced at the request of the Alcohol Beverage Control Board.               
MR. ANDERSON commented that the bill represented a reasonable                  
consensus achieved between the board and industry representatives.             
SENATOR PEARCE asked what section precluded the sale of growlers               
and MR. ANDERSON pointed out page three, section four, line 21.                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR asked if the Glacier Brewpub holds a retail licence            
and MR. ANDERSON replied he did not. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR concluded that            
may be the problem. He surmised this was a question of competition             
brought up by the unique situation and licenses of brewpubs.                   
                                                                               
Number 255                                                                     
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS moved Amendment #1, labeled E-3. There was an                    
objection from SENATOR PEARCE who explained the amendment also                 
prohibited Internet sale and auction sales as well. SENATOR PEARCE             
said there was no concern about these issues from Alaska Law                   
enforcement. SENATOR ELLIS suggested the committee might modify the            
amendment to alleviate SENATOR PEARCE's concern and prevent the                
possibility of underage sale. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR suggested the                    
committee take testimony from the ABC Board to clarify the issue.              
                                                                               
MR. DOUG GRIFFIN, representing the ABC Board, said the amendment               
before them was not submitted by the Board. MR. GRIFFIN reviewed SB
138, identifying sections 1, 2, 3, 8, 10, 11, 13 and 16 as                     
housekeeping measures designed to deal with limited liability                  
companies (LLC).                                                               
                                                                               
Number 150                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. GRIFFIN stated that concerns about bootlegger liability have               
already been addressed in a bill passed in 1997 and section 15 of              
the bill is redundant and may be removed. MR. GRIFFIN remarked that            
the bill does provide for limited delivery of gift baskets                     
containing alcohol by package stores.                                          
                                                                               
Number 121                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. BOB BAILEY from Alaska Distributors testified from Anchorage in            
support of SB 138, especially the provision prohibiting direct                 
shipping. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR asked if this amendment was offered on               
MR. BAILEY's behalf and MR. BAILEY replied it was a consensus among            
wholesalers, retailers and concerned citizens. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR                 
asked if, under this provision, SENATOR PEARCE would be able to                
order products not available in state and have them shipped to her.            
MR. BAILEY stated the amendment as written is a complete ban on                
shipping but he feels the positive effects of the amendment                    
outweigh the negative effects.                                                 
                                                                               
Number 95                                                                      
                                                                               
MR. RICHARD SASSARU, testified from Anchorage on behalf of Railway             
Brewery Company in favor of SB 138 generally but specifically                  
opposed the limitation on the number of gallons that a brewpub can             
produce, the elimination of growlers, and the prohibition on                   
entertainment. MR. SASSARU concluded by changing his support of the            
bill to opposition, saying he preferred the status quo until these             
problems could be worked out.                                                  
                                                                               
MR. GARY KLOPFER, owner of the Snow Goose Restaurant, apologized to            
all parties involved, saying he and his partner started the brewpub            
fracas in the first place.                                                     
                                                                               
TAPE 98-37, SIDE A                                                             
Number 001                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. KLOPFER commented that he spent more than two million dollars              
on his establishment and although he runs a pub, more than 75% of              
his sales are food. He feels people are biased against brewpubs and            
if the clause prohibiting entertainment was passed in SB 138, his              
establishment would no longer be able to be host to the Fur                    
Rendezvous "Melodrama." MR. KLOPFER also repeated the idea that                
growlers are a very valuable marketing tool. He concluded that he              
did not support the bill in its present form.                                  
                                                                               
MS. ANN WILKAS, representing the Moose's Tooth Brewing Company and             
the Moose's Tooth Pub and Pizzeria opposed SB 138 and the                      
amendments proposed. MS. WILKAS agreed with previous testimony from            
Anchorage breweries saying this bill needs work. MS. WILKAS                    
recommended the committee not pass SB 138.                                     
                                                                               
Number 165                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. DON GRASSE, General Manager of KML Distributors, clarified that            
the proposed amendment would not allow for catalog or auction sales            
of fine wines. MR. GRASSE recognized this as a problem.                        
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS interjected that his primary concern was shipment of             
alcoholic beverages to underage people. SENATOR ELLIS added he                 
would be happy to make conceptual changes to the Amendment to                  
accommodate SENATOR PEARCE's ideas. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR affirmed that              
it is already illegal to sell, deliver or convey alcohol to minors             
and the problem exists with enforcement.                                       
                                                                               
Number 240                                                                     
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS withdrew Amendment #1.                                           
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR declared Amendment #2 would not be offered.                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR brought up Amendment #3, which would change the                
number of dispensary licenses in a community by limiting the award             
of new licences to facilities with 35 rooms. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR asked             
Doug Griffin for comments on this amendment.  MR. GRIFFIN relied               
that the board had no official position on this issue but is                   
sensitive to the intent behind it.                                             
                                                                               
SENATOR PEARCE offered Amendment #3. Without objection, the                    
amendment was adopted.                                                         
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR addressed Amendment #4 as the next order of                    
business.                                                                      
                                                                               
Number 350                                                                     
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS explained that this amendment (#4) is, in the advice             
of the drafter, the cleanest way to extend the life of existing                
brewpubs by canceling the old brewpub arrangement and instituting              
a new one. SENATOR ELLIS stated that amendment #4 is the only way              
the Moose's Tooth can stay in business. MR. GRIFFIN added that the             
Moose's Tooth is in a unique situation and the board's proposal                
does not allow for them.                                                       
                                                                               
MR. GRIFFIN remarked that the board was uncomfortable with broad               
language that grandfathers in existing businesses. He said as the              
brewpub situation exists, brewpubs (restaurant/breweries) can                  
bottle and sell their beer via wholesalers, but they are limited to            
75,000 gallons unless they receive permission from the board to                
exceed that cap.                                                               
                                                                               
Number 494                                                                     
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS moved Amendment #4 and without objection, the                    
amendment was adopted.                                                         
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR offered Amendment #1 and on a roll call vote of                
three yeas and two nays the amendment was adopted.                             
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS proposed a conceptual amendment (Amendment #5) to                
allow the continuation of the sale of growlers. Without objection,             
it was so ordered.                                                             
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR also proposed (Amendment #6) to delete all of                  
section 15, which has been made redundant by a bill passed by                  
Representative Ivan Ivan in 1997. Without objection, Amendment #6              
was adopted.                                                                   
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS moved SB 138 out of committee with individual                    
recommendations. Without objection, it was so ordered.                         
           HB 406 - SUBSISTENCE USES OF FISH AND GAME                          
                                                                               
MR. JIM JANSEN, President of the Lynden Companies and representing             
Alaskans Together, spoke in support of doing whatever necessary to             
avert a federal takeover. MR. JANSEN voiced his opinion that we                
have one opportunity to keep the feds out and we need to take it.              
MR. JANSEN declared a federal takeover would negatively affect all             
resource-based industries in the state and federal management of               
fish and game would be unacceptable.                                           
                                                                               
TAPE 98-37, SIDE B                                                             
Number 560                                                                     
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR questioned MR. JANSEN about his testimony, asking              
what benefit would be derived from passing a constitutional                    
amendment to comply with the federal law. MR. JANSEN said state                
management would allow Alaskans to keep their concerns and problems            
within the state.                                                              
                                                                               
MR. DICK BISHOP, representing the Alaska Outdoor Council, testified            
to his organization's support of the concepts within HB 406. MR.               
BISHOP suggested that with some amendments, the bill could improve             
management of subsistence uses of fish and game under state law.               
MR. BISHOP indicated relating an individual priority to the                    
reliance on food is the right way to go. He said the Outdoor                   
Council has maintained that a subsistence priority in law is not               
necessary to properly provide for subsistence uses, but if a                   
priority is to remain in law, it should be based on "how you live,             
not where you live."                                                           
                                                                               
MR. BISHOP agreed that the ability to take fish and game for food              
is a basic human right, as enunciated by the Alaska Native                     
subsistence summit and the Republican Party. MR. BISHOP said the               
Alaska Supreme Court had also validated this idea in their decision            
that said the common use of fish and game to meet the basic                    
necessities of life is a "highly important interest, running to                
each person in the state." MR. BISHOP asked how anyone can advocate            
discrimination against others if we all agree that subsistence is              
a basic human right. He recounted testimony on the House floor by              
members who pointed out that the Alaska Constitution protects                  
against discrimination. He quoted Representative Ethan Berkowitz               
who spoke of the sanctity of the  Constitution and its moral                   
imperative to treat all Alaskans as Alaskans. MR. BISHOP also                  
recalled members extolling the virtue of maintaining Alaska's                  
sovereignty.                                                                   
                                                                               
MR. BISHOP said HB 406 avoids moral and civil rights travesties by             
preserving the emphasis on the importance of Alaskans to maintain              
the ability to harvest fish and game regardless of where they live.            
He suggested this value is paramount and cuts across cultural,                 
ethnic, racial and geographic lines.                                           
                                                                               
MR. BISHOP said the criticism that HB 406 does not comply with                 
ANILCA is "just so much rhetoric." MR. BISHOP stated ANILCA is not             
a standard to aspire to; he said it institutionalizes                          
discrimination among Alaskans, compromises sound fish and game                 
management and abrogates the state's rights. MR. BISHOP explained              
that conforming to ANILCA, especially as it was amended last Fall,             
would leave the state without a legal leg to stand on in defending             
its rights afforded by statehood.                                              
                                                                               
MR. BISHOP argued the priority demanded by ANILCA is not triggered             
by a shortage and would be there all the time, mandating the                   
elimination of other uses should it be necessary to accommodate                
customary and traditional subsistence uses. MR. BISHOP also                    
reported that the need for food is not the standard in ANILCA, and             
the sale and barter of food taken for subsistence is protected in              
ANILCA. If the state agrees to ANILCA, the federal courts will                 
enforce their interpretation of that law and the manner in which               
the state administers it. This would not amount to the state                   
regaining management, according to MR. BISHOP. MR. BISHOP concluded            
that the Outdoor Council recommends that the legislature stick to              
the principles in HB 406, consider some refinements to the bill,               
and go on to seek the necessary changes to ANILCA, where the real              
problem lies.                                                                  
                                                                               
SENATOR WARD asked MR. BISHOP what he thinks will happen if the                
state does not change its Constitution. MR. BISHOP replied that                
will depend on what the legislature does between now and then and              
how the Congressional delegation and the Secretary of the Interior             
respond to it. MR. BISHOP added if we put forward a good bill, we              
will have a good argument toward changes in ANILCA. MR. BISHOP said            
if nothing changes, he has no doubt the feds will begin propagating            
their own regulations on fish and game. MR. BISHOP also answered               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR's question about the difference between state or               
federal management under ANILCA. He said there really is no                    
difference and he would characterize it as "shot or hung." Under               
federal management, we will have a "zip code rural priority"                   
statewide. This will be the same under the state plan, according to            
MR. BISHOP. He went on to illustrate how state and federal                     
management will amount to essentially the same thing. He added that            
federal court enforcement will be the last word in all these cases.            
                                                                               
MR. BISHOP said a federal takeover will leave us with unresolved               
legal questions surrounding fish and game management and the end of            
Alaska's constitutional protection of common use and equal access              
to fish and game uses. MR. BISHOP said the state would also cede               
any future arguments on these issues.                                          
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR commented that he has been asking these same                   
questions for years and a big part of his frustration is the idea              
people have that the state will be able to retain some sort of                 
management rights and make certain amendments to ANILCA. CHAIRMAN              
TAYLOR said his reading of the bill shows we won't be able to do               
anything.                                                                      
                                                                               
SENATOR WARD said this is a very important issue to him and he is              
bothered by how some people within the media and government treat              
it. He reiterated that Senator Murkowski has said he will begin                
hearings on this issue as soon as we can present him with an                   
"Alaskan solution." SENATOR WARD noted this solution does not have             
to be a constitutional amendment, and we don't have to buy into                
that rhetoric. He concluded by saying he truly believes that if we             
do not come up with an Alaskan solution, "the commercial fishing               
industry as we know it in Alaska will be gone."                                
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR said if the state does not surrender to the federal            
mandate and comply with ANILCA, wouldn't we retain management of               
fish and game on state and private lands, more than 150 million                
acres. MR. BISHOP replied this is correct and the federal                      
government was authorized to manage for subsistence only on federal            
lands, however, the  rules recently proposed would extend this                 
authority to make regulations off federal lands if necessary to                
protect the subsistence priority. MR. BISHOP said this authority,              
if held up under review, would impinge on the authority of the                 
state.                                                                         
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR advised, "if the state surrenders its sovereignty,             
complies with the federal law, amends its constitution, then we've             
handed over all of the rest of the statehood lands and all of the              
private lands in the state - we've handed those over to be                     
regulated under the federal standard and available to the federal              
courts for oversight."  So in fact, if we do not comply with the               
Babbitt-Knowles plan we at least retain our rights on our state and            
private lands, according to CHAIRMAN TAYLOR.  MR. BISHOP said that             
is correct, and that is a good additional comparison to make.                  
                                                                               
Number 278                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. DONALD WESTLUND, testifying from Ketchikan, agreed with SENATOR            
WARD, saying we should not give away any sovereign rights or we                
risk becoming a territory again. MR. WESTLUND read a summary from              
a document entitled "An Examination of Federal Authority to Manage             
Fish and Game in Alaska". MR. WESTLUND concluded that the                      
Legislature should not pass a constitutional amendment regarding               
subsistence on the basis of the argument that the state, as a                  
trustee, may not appropriate a trust asset to one class of citizens            
to the exclusion of others.                                                    
                                                                               
Number 135                                                                     
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR asked MR. WESTLUND if he supports the lawsuit filed            
by the Legislative Council. MR. WESTLUND indicated he does.                    
                                                                               
MR. PETE AMUNDSON testified from Ketchikan and urged the committee             
not to compromise on the subsistence issue and create another                  
Washington D.C. in Alaska. MR. AMUNDSON informed the committee he              
did not wish to be classed nor to be included in anything not                  
allowed by the State Constitution.                                             
                                                                               
MS. KAY ANDREW agreed with the previous speaker and encouraged the             
committee to enforce the position taken by Mr. Ralph Seekins                   
through support of the Legislative Council's lawsuit.                          
                                                                               
TAPE 98-38, SIDE A                                                             
Number 001                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. ROB BOSWORTH, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Fish and            
Game (ADF&G), outlined problems the department sees with HB 406.               
First, the bill will not avert a federal takeover. Second, HB 406              
will not protect subsistence uses in Alaska, as the standard for a             
non-subsistence economy requires a cash based economy, present in              
many rural areas. For example, under this bill Bristol Bay and the             
North Slope would not be considered subsistence areas. Third, MR.              
BOSWORTH said HB 406 would be enormously costly and nearly                     
impossible for ADF&G to manage. MR. BOSWORTH concluded that the                
concept of identifying users dependent on subsistence is attractive            
but unworkable.                                                                
                                                                               
Number 100                                                                     
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR asked MR. BOSWORTH how subsistence could be                    
structured without violating Alaska's Constitution. MR. BOSWORTH               
replied that he is working with his fourth Governor on this issue              
and there really is nothing new under the sun. He has concluded                
that the rural distinction works.                                              
                                                                               
Number 153                                                                     
                                                                               
SENATOR WARD remarked that he has a problem with the zip code                  
approach which will take hunting and fishing rights from one half              
of Alaska natives. MR. BOSWORTH responded that access would be                 
impaired only in times of shortage. SENATOR WARD stated that a                 
rural preference would still be unfair to people like him, around              
whom Anchorage grew up; he suggested the Governor should instead               
pursue the lawsuit filed by the Legislative Council.                           
                                                                               
Number 219                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. BOSWORTH conceded that the rural preference plan is imperfect.             
The plan is both over inclusive and under inclusive in regard to               
people who should receive subsistence rights in times of shortage.             
He maintained that the plan is the best compromise.                            
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR asked if there wasn't a third plan, allowing the               
feds to take over federal lands and leaving state managers to                  
manage state and private lands. MR. BOSWORTH agreed this was                   
possible with some qualifications.                                             
                                                                               
Number 347                                                                     
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR cited some examples in which federal regulations               
would supersede state management even if Alaska did change the                 
constitution. MR. BOSWORTH remarked that a state regional council,             
much like the federal regional council, would be used under the                
task force proposal. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR argued that any challenges to             
the state board would be taken to a federal judge. MR. BOSWORTH                
insisted that management by the state's expert biologists could be             
supported in court and is preferable to management from outside.               
                                                                               
Number 411                                                                     
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR thanked MR. BOSWORTH for his help and invited his              
further input on amending HB 406.                                              
                                                                               
MR. STEVE WHITE, Assistant District Attorney for the Department of             
Law, testified that the vast majority of subsistence challenges                
stay in state court. MR. WHITE also observed that the amendments               
proposed bring ANILCA closer to state law and in fact benefit                  
Alaska.                                                                        
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR expressed his concern for the sustainability of the            
resource. MR. WHITE said that the state board is a multi-user board            
and will be able to manage for multiple use. He feared the federal             
government may not have the concern nor the resources to manage for            
multiple use. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR interjected that the feds only have              
the authority to manage for subsistence and MR. WHITE replied that             
is true but this management will also affect other uses. CHAIRMAN              
TAYLOR countered that if the last person up the stream attempting              
to get at the resource is unsatisfied, they can go to federal court            
and the court will regulate all other users in an attempt to                   
satisfy that one person. MR. WHITE concluded that he has confidence            
in state management and fears federal management. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR              
expressed his interest in working further on HB 406. He asked MR.              
WHITE for his continued help.                                                  
                                                                               
TAPE 98-38, SIDE B                                                             
Number 001                                                                     
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR asked if there was anyone else wishing to testify              
on HB 406. Hearing none, CHAIRMAN TAYLOR adjourned the meeting at              
7:30 p.m.                                                                      
                                                                               
                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects