Legislature(2009 - 2010)BARNES 124


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Moved Out of Committee
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SB 3-CFEC AS INFORMATION RESOURCE                                                                                             
8:04:33 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR MUNOZ announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be  SENATE BILL  NO. 3,  "An Act  authorizing an  Alaska regional                                                               
development organization  to use the Alaska  Commercial Fisheries                                                               
Entry Commission as an informational resource."                                                                                 
8:05:04 AM                                                                                                                    
TIM  BENINTENDI,   Staff,  Senator  Donny  Olson,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, speaking  on behalf  of the sponsor,  explained that                                                               
SB   3   would   benefit   the   state's   economic   development                                                               
organizations,   Alaska    Regional   Development   Organizations                                                               
(ARDORs), by  simply allowing them  to obtain  public information                                                               
from  the  Commercial Fisheries  Entry  Commission  (CFEC).   The                                                               
intent  of  SB 3  is  to  simply  provide CFEC  available  public                                                               
information without charge.  Under  AS 16.05.815, no confidential                                                               
information would be made available.   Mr. Benintendi highlighted                                                               
that the  information would  be of special  benefit to  the eight                                                               
ARDORs for which commercial fishery  activities are a significant                                                               
portion  of their  economy.   Furthermore, the  information would                                                               
help these  eight ARDORs anticipate regional  economic trends and                                                               
development opportunities.   The CFEC supports SB  3 and believes                                                               
the loss  of fees is  negligible.   The legislation has  two zero                                                               
fiscal notes, he noted.                                                                                                         
8:06:31 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER questioned  whether  the intent  of SB  3                                                               
requires legislation or is just a  policy call for the CFEC.  She                                                               
then related her understanding that  all the information the CFEC                                                               
gathers is public information.                                                                                                  
MR. BENINTENDI  explained that  by law  agencies are  required to                                                               
charge  fees   for  certain  public  documents,   and  thus  it's                                                               
necessary to do this in statute in  order for the CFEC to be able                                                               
to give  away information.  Furthermore,  everything contained in                                                               
CFEC  isn't public  information as  some issues,  such a  fishery                                                               
information from specific permit  holders, would include personal                                                               
information of a particular fisherman.                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER then  asked  if  the CFEC's  information,                                                               
beyond the confidential information, is public information.                                                                     
MR. BENINTENDI  deferred to other  witness, and pointed  out that                                                               
SB  3  only  allows  the ARDORs  to  receive  public  information                                                               
without paying a fee because of tight budgets.                                                                                  
CO-CHAIR HERRON,  noting that  the backup refers  to the  fees as                                                               
negligible, inquired as to what is negligible.                                                                                  
MR. BENINTENDI  answered that he has  been told by CFEC  that the                                                               
fees amount to less than $10,000 per year.                                                                                      
8:09:25 AM                                                                                                                    
FRANK  HOMAN, Chairman/Commissioner,  Commercial Fisheries  Entry                                                               
Commission,  Alaska Department  of Fish  & Game  (ADF&G), related                                                               
support for SB 3.   He explained that SB 3  is necessary in order                                                               
to get around  the statute specifying that  agencies shall charge                                                               
a fee for the production of  information.  The ARDORs, he further                                                               
explained, were created to help  stimulate business in the region                                                               
and most often operate on a  shoe string.  This legislation would                                                               
provide  ARDORs  with  available  public  information  from  CFEC                                                               
without charge.   Typically, ARDORs  have requested  sorting data                                                               
in a  manner that's specific  to the ARDOR's region,  which would                                                               
require  an  analyst   or  programmer  to  sort   out  the  data.                                                               
Therefore,  the  request  could  cost  a few  hundred  to  a  few                                                               
thousand  dollars   depending  on  the  depth   of  the  request.                                                               
However,  since there  are only  about  a dozen  ARDORs and  only                                                               
eight  to  nine   of  them  are  coastal,   CFEC  doesn't  expect                                                               
[providing this  information for  free] to  be a  major financial                                                               
burden.   He  clarified that  the CFEC  doesn't perform  economic                                                               
analysis for  the ARDOR,  it merely  provides the  information on                                                               
the ARDOR's region.                                                                                                             
8:13:07 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS  related his understanding that  ARDORs and                                                               
CFEC are both sanctioned or authorized by the state.                                                                            
MR. HOMAN  noted his agreement,  adding that both ARDORs  and the                                                               
CFEC are established by the  legislature.  In further response to                                                               
Representative Harris,  Mr. Homan related his  understanding that                                                               
ARDORs  receive  some state  funding  each  year while  the  CFEC                                                               
receives  funding from  licensing fees,  which are  authorized by                                                               
the legislature.                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HARRIS  characterized what  SB  3  proposes as  a                                                               
common sense matter.  He asked if it's the fee that's the issue.                                                                
MR. HOMAN  responded that's essentially correct,  reiterating the                                                               
existence of  the statute that  specifies agencies will  charge a                                                               
fee for information they have to develop.                                                                                       
8:15:32 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  HOMAN reiterated  that SB  3  doesn't allow  any release  of                                                               
confidential information from individual fish tickets.                                                                          
8:16:43 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR MUNOZ, upon  determining no one else  wished to testify,                                                               
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
8:16:52 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HERRON moved  to  report  SB 3  out  of committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             

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