Legislature(2009 - 2010)BARNES 124

04/07/2009 08:00 AM COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 3 CFEC AS INFORMATION RESOURCE TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
*+ HB 208 CRUISE SHIP GAMBLING TAXES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HB 208-CRUISE SHIP GAMBLING TAXES                                                                                             
                                                                                                                              
8:19:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MUNOZ announced  that the final order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO.  208, "An  Act relating  to taxes  for certain                                                               
activities  on  large  passenger  ships;  and  providing  for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:19:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   HARRY   CRAWFORD,  Alaska   State   Legislature,                                                               
speaking  as  the sponsor  of  HB  208,  began by  reminding  the                                                               
committee  that   Alaska  has  chosen  not   to  allow  gambling.                                                               
However, the 2006 Cruise Ship  Initiative seems to provide a back                                                               
door to allow  gaming in the state by way  of taxing the gambling                                                               
that  occurs on  cruise  ships  in state  waters.    In 1995  the                                                               
legislature banned  Monte Carlo  nights, which  were viewed  as a                                                               
back door attempt  to [allow] Indian gaming, Class 2  and Class 3                                                               
gaming.   Representative Crawford then directed  attention to the                                                               
document entitled, "Why  We Need HB 208; A  Brief Legal History,"                                                               
and from it read the following [original punctuation provided]:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     In the  section of  the IGRA [Indian  Gaming Regulatory                                                                    
     Act of 1988] dealing with  Class 3 gaming, it specifies                                                                    
     that  a state-tribal  compact must  allow a  particular                                                                    
     sort of gambling if the  state "permits such gaming for                                                                  
     any purpose  by any  person, organization,  or entity."                                                                  
     This  language  was  used by  the  Mashantucket  Pequot                                                                    
     Tribe of Connecticut, who in  1992 expanded their small                                                                    
     bingo hall  into the Foxwoods Casino.   Connecticut, at                                                                    
     the  time,  allowed  non-profit "Monte  Carlo  Nights."                                                                    
     Foxwoods is now the third largest casino in the world.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     In  1995,  the  Alaska  Legislature  banned  non-profit                                                                    
     "Monte Carlo Nights," largely in  fear of the same sort                                                                    
     of  development here.   Fur  Rendezvous had  previously                                                                    
     run a large Monte Carlo night as a fundraiser.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     With the  exception of cruise ships  operating offshore                                                                    
     under federal law, there is  no legal authority for any                                                                    
     casino-style gambling in  Alaska, whether for-profit or                                                                    
     non-profit.    The  state's  taxation  of  cruise  ship                                                                    
     gambling creates a potentially dangerous loophole.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD  acknowledged  that taxing  cruise  ship                                                               
gambling, per the  initiative, would bring in  $6.2 million worth                                                               
of revenue  to the state.   However,  he related his  belief that                                                               
even  the  sponsors of  the  initiative  didn't think  about  the                                                               
ramifications  of it.    Furthermore, he  opined  that the  state                                                               
simply can't afford to allow gambling in the state.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:23:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT related  her  understanding  that HB  208                                                               
addresses an initiative approved by the people.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD confirmed  that to  be the  case, adding                                                               
that since  it was an initiative  he waited the two  years before                                                               
trying to change anything in the initiative.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT  recalled that  the proposed change  in HB
208 would be the fourth change  to the initiative.  She specified                                                               
that the following portions of  the initiative have been changed:                                                               
the  Ocean   Ranger  program,  disclosures,  gambling   tax,  and                                                               
discharge.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:24:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KEN  ALPER, Staff,  Representative Harry  Crawford, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  specified that  the only  legislation changing  the                                                               
initiative  that has  passed was  House Bill  217 in  2008.   The                                                               
other three proposed  changes to the initiative  are pending, but                                                               
could result in substantial changes.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:25:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT inquired  as  to  the sponsor's  thoughts                                                               
regarding  whether  initiatives  are properly  vetted  and  allow                                                               
enough  open dialogue.    She recalled  that  the initiative  was                                                               
about a head tax.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  remarked that  the initiative  was about                                                               
more than a head tax as it  had six major provisions.  He further                                                               
remarked   that  although   he   believes   in  initiatives,   he                                                               
acknowledged  that  some  initiatives  are  written  better  than                                                               
others.   Therefore,  the two-year  ban  on changing  initiatives                                                               
affords the ability  to see how the initiative  works after which                                                               
necessary changes can be proposed.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:27:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   MILLETT   surmised  then   that   Representative                                                               
Crawford  supports changing  initiatives through  the legislative                                                               
process after two years.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  responded, "If they need  to be changed;                                                               
... that's  what the two-year trial  run is about is  ... putting                                                               
it  into effect  and seeing  if it,  in fact,  does work  the way                                                               
people   intended."     He  reminded   the  committee   that  the                                                               
legislature  passes   laws  that  have   unintended  consequences                                                               
requiring the passage of more legislation to address those.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:27:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT  inquired as to whether  the sponsor would                                                               
support   a  more   public  process   with  hearings,   including                                                               
legislative hearings.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD related  his experience with initiatives,                                                               
and  noted  that he  has  always  introduced legislation  on  the                                                               
initiative topic in order to  have hearings.  However, he pointed                                                               
out that most  often the legislature hasn't  granted hearings for                                                               
his legislation.   Therefore, the initiative  process allows good                                                               
ideas to move  forward and not become embroiled  in a legislative                                                               
process  [in  which]  corporate  interests  place  an  inordinate                                                               
amount of power and pressure on the legislature.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:29:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT noted  her agreement  that there  is much                                                               
influence on  initiatives, and therefore suggested  that it would                                                               
be  best  to   have  more  public  disclosure   and  meetings  on                                                               
initiatives.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  clarified that  he was referring  to the                                                               
inordinate   amount   of   pressure  companies   place   on   the                                                               
legislature.  However,  when one is discussing  the entire state,                                                               
the power of  the corporate entity is diffused and  the people of                                                               
the state can act through initiatives.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:30:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  requested that the discussion  be kept to                                                               
the topic of HB 208.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:30:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   MILLETT   surmised  then   that   Representative                                                               
Crawford  believes  that  there aren't  corporate  influences  on                                                               
initiatives, but there are on legislation.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  reminded the committee  that initiatives                                                               
come from the people versus corporations.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:31:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HARRIS recalled  passed legislation  sponsored by                                                               
Senator  Elton  that  exempted  smaller  cruise  ships  from  the                                                               
original 2006 initiative.  He  related his understanding that the                                                               
sponsor is concerned that any  indication that the state supports                                                               
gaming  would  lead  the  federal  courts to  rule  in  favor  of                                                               
allowing organized gaming in the state.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD  replied  yes,  adding  that  there  are                                                               
several instances  in which states  that barely cracked  the door                                                               
to gaming ultimately  ended up with Indian casinos.   He provided                                                               
an example of such in Louisiana.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:34:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS  related his  understanding that  there are                                                               
three entities in the state that  are classified as tribes and as                                                               
such would  qualify for Indian  gaming, as  is the case  in other                                                               
states.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD deferred  to Mr.  Alper, but  noted that                                                               
the Eklutna Indians  have applied for status to have  a casino on                                                               
its land  outside of Anchorage.   He suggested that  perhaps they                                                               
applied to the federal government for that status.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. ALPER opined that the  definition is potentially much broader                                                               
[than  only those  tribal  entities]  as it  refers  to any  land                                                               
that's held  communally by a  tribal entity  and in trust  by the                                                               
federal government.   In the Lower 48,  the aforementioned mainly                                                               
applies to  reservations.   However, in Alaska  there's a  lot of                                                               
Indian Reorganization  Act (IRA)  owned land that  could possibly                                                               
fit into this.  The limitation is  that any Class 3 gaming has to                                                               
fall under state tribal compact  and there are requirements as to                                                               
what  has to  be  included  in those  compacts.   Because  Alaska                                                               
doesn't allow slots  and casino-type gambling in  any other form,                                                               
there hasn't yet been a legal  precedent to force anyone to allow                                                               
any of these  casinos to enter Alaska.  The  concern, he related,                                                               
is that by  taxing gambling on cruise ships  [in Alaska's waters]                                                               
that  it  could  be  interpreted that  the  state  is  indirectly                                                               
allowing,  permitting, or  accepting gambling.   He  acknowledged                                                               
that  Alaska does  allow the  Nenana Ice  Classic and  other such                                                               
gaming, and  under the  gaming for any  purpose or  person clause                                                               
theoretically one could  open a casino where  nothing but betting                                                               
on vegetable size would occur.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:37:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HERRON  inquired as  to whether  the initiative  had any                                                               
[out-of-state] influences.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD,  clarifying that  he wasn't part  of the                                                               
initiative,  said  that he  wasn't  aware  of any  [out-of-state]                                                               
backers.   He recalled that  the sponsors of the  initiative live                                                               
in Juneau and Haines.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HERRON  recalled that  the focus  of the  initiative was                                                               
the  head tax  and the  discharge  aspect.   Therefore, he  asked                                                               
whether  Representative  Crawford  was   aware  of  the  gambling                                                               
provision in the initiative at the time [of the initiative].                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD replied yes.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HERRON  surmised then  that  this  legislation is  pre-                                                               
emptive in  that it  seeks to  close a loophole  due to  the fear                                                               
that the gambling  provision will lead to a Class  3 casino being                                                               
opened  in  the  state.    He asked  if  any  interest  has  been                                                               
expressed in such, beyond that expressed by Eklutna.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD confirmed that  he had heard that Eklutna                                                               
was interested  in gambling.  He  then related that he  has heard                                                               
rumors that Metlakatla  may be interested [in  gambling] as well.                                                               
He  reiterated  that this  legislation  is  similar to  the  1995                                                               
legislation that closed the door on Monte Carlo nights.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:39:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS  relayed that  Metlakatla may  be [allowing                                                               
gambling] now.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  said that  he has heard  that Metlakatla                                                               
has video machines, but they're not open to the public.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:40:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HERRON inquired as to  the danger of [taxing gambling on                                                               
cruise ships in Alaska's waters].   He further inquired as to the                                                               
social ills HB 208 will prevent.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD answered  that  [one of  the dangers  of                                                               
gambling] is suicide.  He  related that where there is for-profit                                                               
gambling,  the  statistics  increase for  suicide,  foreclosures,                                                               
bankruptcies,  alcoholism, child  abuse,  etc.   He informed  the                                                               
committee that a  few studies in South Dakota  and South Carolina                                                               
have found  that for  every $1 collected  in gambling  taxes, the                                                               
state spends  $3 on social  ills.  Only Las  Vegas and a  town in                                                               
south Mississippi  make a net  profit from gambling.   He related                                                               
the  situation in  Shreveport, Louisiana,  where casinos  came in                                                               
and said  they would provide a  tax base after the  factories had                                                               
left.   However,  after the  casinos  had been  in operation  for                                                               
about 10  years, they  requested their  taxes be  cut in  half or                                                               
they would  have to leave.   The city cut  the taxes in  half for                                                               
the casinos.   Representative Crawford indicated  his belief that                                                               
the casinos would  likely request taxes be cut in  half again, in                                                               
the  near  future.    "It's  a  fool's  paradise  opening  up  to                                                               
gambling," he opined.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:43:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA  recalled  that  a  number  of  pieces  of                                                               
legislation   related  to   the  excise   tax  on   [cruise  ship                                                               
passengers].     Therefore,   when  the   initiative  came   into                                                               
existence, the  excise tax and  discharge standards were  the two                                                               
aspects  of  the initiative  that  she  noticed rather  than  the                                                               
portion  of   the  initiative  related   to  the   gambling  tax.                                                               
Representative  Cissna  indicated  concern  with  regard  to  the                                                               
possible behavioral  impacts of gambling, which  are particularly                                                               
important  to   consider  in  terms   of  the   current  economic                                                               
situation.  She  said she is opposed to gambling  and would favor                                                               
something similar to  HB 208.  She then asked  if the sponsor has                                                               
heard from  folks who were aware  of the gambling portion  of the                                                               
initiative.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  recalled that it was  a little discussed                                                               
provision of the  initiative.  He suggested that  the majority of                                                               
Alaskans thought the  initiative was only about the  head tax and                                                               
ocean  rangers  since   those  were  the  major   issues  in  the                                                               
headlines.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:47:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  MUNOZ  asked if  the  original  sponsors recognize  the                                                               
gambling provision as a flaw.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD, recalling  a conversation  with one  of                                                               
the sponsors,  related that the  thought of the sponsor  was that                                                               
the  gambling  provision  wouldn't be  problematic  because  it's                                                               
under federal law.  However,  Representative Crawford opined that                                                               
he's concerned because it's a gray area.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. ALPER  pointed out  that if the  majority of  the legislature                                                               
and the governor wanted to allow  casino gambling, it could.  The                                                               
situation in  Connecticut was  one in  which the  legislature was                                                               
preempted by a  lawsuit based upon a minor loophole  having to do                                                               
with a charitable  event.  The legislation  before the committee,                                                               
HB 208, attempts to close  the possibility of the aforementioned.                                                               
"It seems reasonable that this  loophole is large enough to allow                                                               
such a  thing, and  why would  you take that  sort of  power away                                                               
from yourselves and subject Alaska  to something unknown when its                                                               
sort of slipped in that way," he said.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:48:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  MUNOZ  inquired  as  to whether  the  sponsors  of  the                                                               
initiative support the direction of HB 208.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  related that  the sponsors have  said to                                                               
go ahead with HB 208 and that they wouldn't try and change it.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:48:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HERRON inquired as to  what happens to casino facilities                                                               
on ships without a tax generator in the statutes.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD  answered  that  those  facilities  will                                                               
continue  as  they did  prior  to  the  initiative.   In  further                                                               
response to  Co-Chair Herron, Representative Crawford  likened HB
208 to the  1995 legislation closing the loophole  on Monte Carlo                                                               
nights.   He  expressed the  need  to close  the loophole  before                                                               
something happens.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ALPER informed  the  committee  that a  proposal  to open  a                                                               
casino  in  Klawock  was  dropped   after  passage  of  the  1995                                                               
legislation banning Monte Carlo nights.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:50:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT asked  if HB  208 will  close the  gaming                                                               
loophole  or  only the  collection  of  tax  on gaming  in  state                                                               
waters.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD clarified that  HB 208 addresses only the                                                               
tax  collection  portion  because  gambling on  state  waters  is                                                               
allowed  under federal  law.   The legislation  would remove  the                                                               
collection of  the tax  in order  to close  the loophole  for any                                                               
expansion throughout the state.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLET  surmised then that gaming  in state waters                                                               
can still  occur; HB  208 would  only end  the collection  of the                                                               
tax.    She  asked  if   the  aforementioned  is  because  of  an                                                               
overriding federal law regarding gaming in state waters.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD noted his agreement.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:52:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER  opined  that the  cruise  ship  industry                                                               
should support  HB 208  because it  doesn't impact  their current                                                               
operations and  they can  keep the funds  rather than  pay taxes.                                                               
She inquired  as to  why the cruise  ship industry  isn't present                                                               
testifying on this legislation.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD  said that  he  hasn't  talked with  the                                                               
cruise ship industry.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:52:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS opined  that the worst ill  in this country                                                               
is alcoholism.  Furthermore, the  reality in Alaska is that there                                                               
is  already  an awful  lot  of  illegal  gambling in  the  state,                                                               
gambling from  which the  state just doesn't  receive taxes.   He                                                               
then highlighted  that gaming  was once a  large part  of Alaska.                                                               
Representative Harris  discussed situations when jobs  are needed                                                               
and people  who have money  are willing  to spend it,  and opined                                                               
that  in  such situations  [jobs  such  as  those in  the  gaming                                                               
industry  are  created].   He  pointed  out  that if  gaming  was                                                               
eliminated  in  Nevada,  unemployment  would  be  huge  as  would                                                               
foreclosures and many  other issues.  He  acknowledged that there                                                               
are  ills  with gaming,  but  opined  that  there are  ills  with                                                               
everything.   If  the attitude  reaches  the point  of no  gaming                                                               
anywhere,   there   will   be  large   unemployment   and   other                                                               
ramifications.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:57:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA  highlighted   that  Alaska  is  currently                                                               
dependent on  oil and gas  and thus  impacted by the  decrease in                                                               
price and  production of oil  and gas.   She stressed  that there                                                               
are lots of  other ways to make money  besides gambling, although                                                               
it takes creativity  to do so.   Representative Cissna challenged                                                               
the negative ways in which the  state and its citizens earn money                                                               
and encouraged  focus on more positive  ways to earn money.   "We                                                               
don't need to make our money  off the misfortunes of others," she                                                               
opined.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:01:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHANNA BALES,  Deputy Director, Anchorage Office,  Tax Division,                                                               
Department  of Revenue,  informed  the committee  that when  this                                                               
initiative  passed  in  2006, the  Department  of  Revenue  (DOR)                                                               
discussed the gaming  issue with the Department of Law.   At that                                                               
time,  DOR  didn't  believe  that  the mere  fact  of  taxing  an                                                               
activity made it  legal.  For instance,  although prostitution is                                                               
illegal in  most states, the  Internal Revenue System  (IRS) will                                                               
tax  income from  that  activity.   Still,  taxing that  activity                                                               
doesn't make it legal, she said.   Ms. Bales offered to work with                                                               
the sponsor  in order  to ensure that  DOR's research  is current                                                               
and that  there are no  court cases that  would open the  door to                                                               
gambling in  Alaska by virtue of  taxing it.  She  then explained                                                               
that  although federal  law recognizes  that  Alaska law  doesn't                                                               
permit gambling  in the state,  for certain vessels  Alaska isn't                                                               
allowed  to make  gambling illegal.    Furthermore, the  gambling                                                               
activities  can't be  conducted  within three  miles  of a  port.                                                               
Recalling  discussions with  the  initiative  sponsors after  its                                                               
passage, she  came to  understand they  were concerned  that some                                                               
vessels in Alaska  aren't allowed to conduct  gambling while out-                                                               
of-state  vessels  stopping  in  Alaska's ports  are  allowed  to                                                               
conduct gambling.   Therefore, the initiative  sponsors wanted to                                                               
tax that gambling  activity.  She closed by stating  that DOR and                                                               
the   Department  of   Law  are   both  willing   to  work   with                                                               
Representative Crawford.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:04:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD remarked,  "The  court  case that  we're                                                               
most worried about  is the one that hasn't happened  yet and that                                                               
might happen  because of this situation  that we have here."   He                                                               
echoed   his  earlier   statement  that   the  [taxing   gambling                                                               
provision]  is a  grey area  that a  few entities  have expressed                                                               
interest in having  a decision in the courts.   He reiterated his                                                               
desire to  close the loophole.   In  the two areas  where revenue                                                               
generated  from gambling  has produced  a net  gain it's  because                                                               
there is a  large influx of people who come  to gamble.  However,                                                               
in  other areas  with gambling,  such as  Shreveport, the  locals                                                               
gamble,  the local  economy declines,  and the  revenue generated                                                               
from  gambling  produces a  net  loss.   Representative  Crawford                                                               
stressed that he will fight as long  as he can to ensure there is                                                               
no  expansion  of gambling  in  Alaska  because the  state  can't                                                               
afford it.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:07:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS  asked if manufacturing in  Shreveport left                                                               
because gaming came in.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD   replied  no,  adding   that  telephone                                                               
manufacturing and steel manufacturing  left Shreveport because it                                                               
could  have  its  work  done   more  cheaply  [elsewhere  in  the                                                               
country).  Industries related to the  steel mill left and oil and                                                               
gas was becoming depleted.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HARRIS surmised  then that  things would've  been                                                               
much worse in Shreveport without gaming.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD answered  that if nothing had  come in to                                                               
Shreveport, then  people would've  continued to leave.   Gambling                                                               
was brought  in because the industry  was eager to come  in.  For                                                               
the time  of construction,  the economy  expanded.   However, now                                                               
that no construction  is occurring, the economy  is shrinking and                                                               
gambling  is  taking  all  the disposable  income  of  the  area.                                                               
Therefore, the area is becoming more depressed.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:10:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MUNOZ  informed the committee  that the  co-chairs would                                                               
like to  continue working on  HB 208,  and there will  be another                                                               
hearing  next week.   Co-Chair  Munoz encouraged  the sponsor  to                                                               
consult with DOR and DOL, per Ms. Bales' suggestion.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:10:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HERRON  characterized it as interesting  that initiative                                                               
sponsors aren't present.   He expressed concern  with closing the                                                               
revenue stream in place for gambling  on board cruise ships.  Co-                                                               
Chair  Herron  then questioned:    "Are  we playing  around  with                                                               
initiatives?"   With regard  to whether  the provision  creates a                                                               
loophole, Co-Chair  Herron opined that  a loophole can  always be                                                               
found.   He then posed  the possibility that perhaps  gambling is                                                               
an alternative for Alaskans.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:13:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD   stressed  that  HB  208   isn't  about                                                               
initiatives, rather it's  only closing a loophole.   He then said                                                               
that  if  there's  the  desire to  have  for-profit  gambling  in                                                               
Alaska,  then legislation  to that  effect should  be introduced.                                                               
He reiterated  that he didn't  believe those voting for  the 2006                                                               
initiative were  voting for an  expansion of  for-profit gambling                                                               
in Alaska.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:14:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MUNOZ  announced that HB  208 would be held  and further                                                               
discussion would occur next week.                                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB3--3.31.09Packet.PDF HCRA 4/7/2009 8:00:00 AM
HFSH 3/31/2009 10:15:00 AM
SB 3
HB208-DOR-TAX-04-04-09.pdf HCRA 4/7/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 208
HB 208 Sponsor Statement & Sectional on Repealers.doc HCRA 4/7/2009 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 2/16/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 208