Legislature(2017 - 2018)HOUSE FINANCE 519

02/19/2018 01:30 PM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 197 COMMUNITY SEED LIBRARIES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ HB 216 TRANSFERS FROM DIVIDEND FUND; CRIMES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 79 OMNIBUS WORKERS' COMPENSATION TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 79(FIN) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HOUSE BILL NO. 197                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to the duties of the commissioner of                                                                      
     natural resources; relating to agriculture; and                                                                            
     relating to community seed libraries."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:03:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JENNIFER  JOHNSTON,   SPONSOR,  provided  an                                                                    
explanation of the bill:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Mr.  Chairman  and  members of  the  Finance  committee                                                                    
     thank you for taking the  time in your busy schedule to                                                                    
     hear  HB  197,  a   bill  relating  to  Community  Seed                                                                    
     Libraries.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     This bill came from members of my community, as a way                                                                      
     to legalize the sharing of small amounts of seeds.                                                                         
     Currently, a seed cannot be  sold, shared, or exchanged                                                                    
    without going through costly testing and labeling.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Seed  sharing  and  libraries  have  the  potential  to                                                                    
     contribute   significant  value   to  the   health  and                                                                    
     heritage  in our  communities by  providing a  place to                                                                    
     share  regionally-adapted  and  heirloom  seeds  as  an                                                                    
     alternative to outside  genetically modified seeds, and                                                                    
     will   help   to   increase  biodiversity   and   plant                                                                    
     resilience in our state.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Seed  libraries  have   been  sprouting  up  throughout                                                                    
     Alaska  and  this  bill  will  allow  them  to  operate                                                                    
     legally without  burdensome and  unnecessary government                                                                    
     regulation.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     This bill will help grow  an organic sense of community                                                                    
     and increase Alaskan food security.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH REXFORD, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE JENNIFER JOHNSTON,                                                                     
read from prepared remarks:                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Thank you,  chairmen and members  of the  house finance                                                                    
     committee, for hearing HB 197.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     HB   197   reduces   onerous   labeling   and   testing                                                                    
     regulations for  small batches of  noncommercial seeds.                                                                    
     Currently, all  seeds in  Alaska fall  under commercial                                                                    
     regulations,  including  the   seeds  that  are  traded                                                                    
     amongst  friends   or  saved  from  the   prior  year's                                                                    
     harvest.  This  bill  will change  this,  allowing  the                                                                    
     Alaskan   gardening   and   farming   communities   the                                                                    
     opportunity to continue  expanding seed sharing without                                                                    
     breaking the law.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     The new labeling guidelines would require 5 sections:                                                                      
         the seeds' species and variety,                                                                                     
         name and address of seed library                                                                                    
         year the seed was packaged                                                                                          
         the weight of the packaged contents                                                                                 
         and the statement, "Not authorized for commercial                                                                   
          use and not classified, graded, or inspected by                                                                       
          the State of Alaska."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     While this  may seem  like overkill  for a  small local                                                                    
     seed exchange,  five requirements for labeling  is less                                                                    
     than the  two pages of requirements  we currently have.                                                                    
     Because of the way the  current statute is written, any                                                                    
     seed that is  used at any capacity in the  state has to                                                                    
     go   through  the   commercial  process   of  extensive                                                                    
     testing, germinating percentages and  labeling.  In the                                                                    
     scale of  things, the new requirements  would be pretty                                                                    
     limited.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     This  bill   also  broadens  the  duties   of  the  DNR                                                                    
     Commissioner to allow the  department to administer and                                                                    
     promote  the creation  of community  seed libraries.  A                                                                    
     community  seed library  is  not  currently defined  in                                                                    
     statute, so  this bill  carves out  a space  in statute                                                                    
     and  says that  seed libraries  can exist  and provides                                                                    
     guidelines. Alaska has been  experiencing a severe food                                                                    
     security challenge, where residents  now spend close to                                                                    
     $2 billion each year  buying food produced from outside                                                                    
     of  the  state.   Community  seed  libraries  encourage                                                                    
     self-sufficiency  and preserve  agricultural knowledge.                                                                    
     Now that  we have planted  the seed, please join  us in                                                                    
     supporting HB  197.   Rob Carter,  whom is  the state's                                                                    
     plant  materials  center manager,  is  on  the line  to                                                                    
     answer any  questions.  Thank  you for taking  the time                                                                    
     to hear the bill.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:06:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki   stated  there  were   letters  in                                                                    
members' packets  from individuals  who were  currently part                                                                    
of the seed library in Alaska.  He asked if the bill sponsor                                                                    
was saying the individuals were running illegal operations.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Johnston  answered "quietly." The  bill would                                                                    
help  the individuals  do the  work  on a  more orderly  and                                                                    
legal basis.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki  stated that based  on conversations                                                                    
with  individuals  with  seed  libraries,  the  bill  looked                                                                    
onerous  for people  with noncommercial  seed libraries.  He                                                                    
asked for detail.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Johnston   deferred  the  question   to  the                                                                    
Department of Natural Resources (DNR).                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki  repeated   his  question.  He  was                                                                    
trying  to  determine  whether it  was  not  acceptable  for                                                                    
individuals  to  operate  seed  libraries  without  enabling                                                                    
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROB  CARTER, MANAGER,  PLANT MATERIALS  CENTER, DIVISION  OF                                                                    
AGRICULTURE,   DEPARTMENT   OF    NATURAL   RESOURCES   (via                                                                    
teleconference),    answered   that    current   regulations                                                                    
prohibited all  seed sales and transportation  being offered                                                                    
for  sale in  Alaska.  The  operations had  to  meet a  very                                                                    
defined set of testing  and labeling requirements. Currently                                                                    
all of  the individuals operating seed  libraries, including                                                                    
anyone   sharing   or   transporting  seed,   for   personal                                                                    
noncommercial  use, were  breaking  current regulations.  He                                                                    
explained that  if DNR  went to  a seed  library to  issue a                                                                    
notice of violation or an  order and the seed library failed                                                                    
to  follow through,  under AS  03.05.090 a  person violating                                                                    
one of  the provisions was  guilty of a Class  A misdemeanor                                                                    
and  a fine  of  up to  $500 for  each  violation. He  noted                                                                    
violations  could get  expensive  if a  library contained  a                                                                    
couple hundred packets of seed.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki  asked  if  the  requirements  were                                                                    
statutory or regulatory.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:10:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Carter  responded that the requirement  was currently in                                                                    
regulation  under the  duties of  the commissioner.  Statute                                                                    
currently allowed DNR's Division  of Agriculture to regulate                                                                    
the  sale, transport,  importation, or  exportation of  seed                                                                    
within the state.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki remarked  on current regulation that                                                                    
gave DNR  and the commissioner  the ability to  regulate. He                                                                    
asked if  it was possible  to amend regulation to  allow DNR                                                                    
to regulate  seed libraries or  transfers of seed  grown and                                                                    
traded in the state.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Carter   replied  it  could  be   effective  to  change                                                                    
regulation  to allow  for personal  use, noncommercial  seed                                                                    
distributions  or  transportations   around  the  state.  He                                                                    
observed that regulations could  be changed much easier than                                                                    
statute. To  protect the industry  in perpetuity  having the                                                                    
requirement  in  statute  was   beneficial  because  of  the                                                                    
protection  it would  provide to  Alaska's small  and larger                                                                    
personal  use seed  exchanges or  transportations. Currently                                                                    
it  was not  in the  best interest  of the  division or  the                                                                    
state for food security and  biodiversity reasons for DNR to                                                                    
issue notices of violation for  non-commercial seed use, but                                                                    
that was  because it was  the way he operated  the division.                                                                    
Knowing  that regulations  could be  changed by  whoever was                                                                    
sitting in  his position (with  a lengthy process  of public                                                                    
scoping  and  through  the  Department  of  Law  (DOL)),  he                                                                    
believed  for long-term  food  security and  sustainability,                                                                    
establishing  statute  would   protect  seed  libraries  and                                                                    
noncommercial seed trading.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:13:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grenn  pointed to  page 3 of  the legislation                                                                    
pertaining to  community seed  libraries [subsection  (c) at                                                                    
the bottom of  the page] "Seed given,  exchanged, or offered                                                                    
for giving  or exchange  under (b) of  this section  must be                                                                    
packaged  for sale  and labeled."  He  noted the  subsection                                                                    
listed several  things that  needed to be  on the  label. He                                                                    
asked for  verification that someone  still needed  to label                                                                    
their seeds  if they  were giving  them away  versus selling                                                                    
them.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Johnston replied,  "currently yes." She noted                                                                    
that  the labeling  could be  merely having  a label  on the                                                                    
table or next  to the seeds suggesting what  the seeds were;                                                                    
it did not have to be for each individual packaging.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Grenn   asked  for  verification   that  the                                                                    
requirement to package and label was not per package.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Johnston replied in the affirmative.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Grenn  referenced page  4  of  the bill  and                                                                    
asked why there was a one-pound limitation.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Johnston deferred to DNR.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Carter replied  that the  issue had  been discussed  at                                                                    
length  -  it  had  initially  been  a  smaller  weight.  He                                                                    
reported that the industry had  reached out and communicated                                                                    
that the weight  was too small. He did not  believe it was a                                                                    
benefit  or   hurdle  for  anyone  sharing   seed.  He  used                                                                    
cauliflower as  an example and  specified there  were 70,000                                                                    
seeds   per   pound.  He   believed   it   was  plenty   for                                                                    
noncommercial  use.  He  thought   that  if  people  started                                                                    
noncommercial sharing  of cereal  grains or larger  seed, it                                                                    
may become  a burden,  but he believed  the weight  limit in                                                                    
the bill was per package.  He elaborated that a person could                                                                    
easily  write  "not authorized  for  commercial  use in  the                                                                    
state of Alaska" on the  packages and could follow the other                                                                    
labeling requirements to overcome the hurdle.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grenn  asked for  verification that  he would                                                                    
need five separate, one-pound bags  if he wanted five pounds                                                                    
of  one  type  of  seed. He  thought  a  limitation  sounded                                                                    
strange for community sharing.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Carter answered  there  was a  reasonable  way to  work                                                                    
around the  issue. The  intent behind the  bill was  to make                                                                    
sure  the use  was  noncommercial. He  elaborated that  seed                                                                    
laws  existed   to  protect  individuals  who   based  their                                                                    
livelihood on  the quality  of the  seed. Federal  and state                                                                    
seed laws regulated  the quality of seeds  farmers needed or                                                                    
purchased because  their business operations depended  on it                                                                    
- that  was where labeling requirements  for germination and                                                                    
purity came  into play  as a  protection for  farmers. There                                                                    
were many  workarounds to  ensure individuals  sharing seeds                                                                    
could do so easily.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:18:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg referenced  two emails in members'                                                                    
packets  sent  to his  staff  the  previous year  [email  of                                                                    
opposition from  P.S. Holloway sent  on April 7,  2017 (copy                                                                    
on file)].  He detailed  that the author  of the  email, Dr.                                                                    
Holloway  was  the retired  director  of  the University  of                                                                    
Alaska  experimental farm.  He  emphasized that  no one  had                                                                    
been  more active  in promoting  agriculture in  Alaska than                                                                    
Dr.  Holloway.   He  explained  that  in   addition  to  her                                                                    
cynicism, Dr.  Holloway did  not get  the bill.  He detailed                                                                    
that Dr.  Holloway was in  the middle of the  commercial and                                                                    
free trade of  seeds and plants and was still  active at the                                                                    
University's  experimental  farm.  He   asked  if  the  bill                                                                    
addressed  the concerns.  He referred  to DNR's  zero fiscal                                                                    
note. He  commented that  DNR's budget  was strapped  and he                                                                    
questioned where  the money would  come from to  oversee the                                                                    
changes made by the bill.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Johnston answered  that the  email had  been                                                                    
sent on April  7 [2017]. The concerns had  been addressed by                                                                    
the  House Resources  Committee in  an amendment  process on                                                                    
April 28 [2017].                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative    Guttenberg   referenced    the   one-pound                                                                    
limitation and  the fact  that noncommercial  seed libraries                                                                    
would  still  be regulated.  He  mentioned  the ability  for                                                                    
people to swap seeds. He thought  it appeared the bill did a                                                                    
substantial amount  without a fiscal  note. He saw  the bill                                                                    
as a  tamping down of  people's ability  to sell seeds  at a                                                                    
farmer's  market or  other. He  stressed the  state did  not                                                                    
have enough  agriculture at present  to dictate  that people                                                                    
could not experiment and if  they did experiment they had to                                                                    
label  and  have  accurate accounting  for  what  they  were                                                                    
doing. He  was concerned the  bill would do the  opposite of                                                                    
enhancing.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:22:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Johnston replied  that Alaska  would be  the                                                                    
fifth or  sixth state  to do  the work.  She stated  that it                                                                    
appeared  to be  making things  more difficult;  however, it                                                                    
would bring  the business of  seed exchange into a  place of                                                                    
respect and biodiversity, where it  would be possible to buy                                                                    
seeds from  local people  at a  farmer's market.  She stated                                                                    
that while  it seemed  cumbersome to  some, she  believed it                                                                    
would  be  better  to legitimize  the  activity  by  passing                                                                    
statute.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Guttenberg  asked   how  DNR   expected  to                                                                    
implement the  bill without  a fiscal  note. He  stated that                                                                    
normally  there was  a fiscal  note when  writing regulation                                                                    
was required.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:23:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Carter  replied that  nowhere  in  the bill  was  there                                                                    
language specifying  someone "shall" do  something, whereas,                                                                    
there   were  numerous   provisions   specifying  that   the                                                                    
department "may" do something if  it chose. The division was                                                                    
currently  reviewing its  seed regulations.  If the  statute                                                                    
moved forward during its next  regulation process, DNR would                                                                    
make sure it addressed the  community seed libraries and the                                                                    
personal   noncommercial  transfer   of   seed  within   the                                                                    
regulations.  He  noted  that   DNR's  current  purview  was                                                                    
commercial only.  He cited the department's  belief it would                                                                    
not have  to regulate the issue  as its reason for  the zero                                                                    
fiscal note.  He elaborated  there would not  be a  need for                                                                    
another  staff. There  may be  some education  and the  bill                                                                    
provided  the opportunity  for DNR  to create  an additional                                                                    
webpage; however,  the department already had  a website. He                                                                    
did not believe the additional  work in the bill would place                                                                    
an undue burden  on the division or  department. At present,                                                                    
if  the  bill passed,  DNR  would  not  have to  police  the                                                                    
noncommercial seed  sharing activities; it would  reduce any                                                                    
work  hours,  trips,  or inspections  the  department  would                                                                    
currently have  to do if  someone brought  noncommercial use                                                                    
to its attention via a complaint.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  believed  there  were  too  many                                                                    
contradictions associated with the bill.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  asked if Mr. Carter  had participated                                                                    
in the  House Resources  Committee meetings the  past April.                                                                    
Mr. Carter answered in the affirmative.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  asked if  Mr.  Carter  had told  the                                                                    
House Resources  Committee that the issue  was in regulation                                                                    
and DNR could choose to make changes.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Carter replied  that he  believed so.  He believed  the                                                                    
concerns could be addressed through  a regulation change. He                                                                    
was uncertain  it would provide longevity  and protection to                                                                    
the noncommercial seed sharing  activities in Alaska, but it                                                                    
very well could be done.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson asked why  the department had not done                                                                    
anything  in regulation.  She surmised  that the  department                                                                    
could  have   elected  to   implement  regulation   and  the                                                                    
legislature could have changed it  via statute if it did not                                                                    
like the outcome.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:27:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Carter  replied that the  duties of the  commissioner of                                                                    
DNR under  AS 03.05.010  pertained to  the development  of a                                                                    
commercial agriculture industry. The  department did not see                                                                    
the  noncommercial seed  sharing  activities as  commercial;                                                                    
therefore,  it did  not see  the  noncommercial activity  as                                                                    
falling under its purview at present.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  stated that Mr. Carter  had testified                                                                    
that  DNR wrote  regulations  and could  change  them if  it                                                                    
chose to.  She thought  he was  now saying  that DNR  had no                                                                    
legal authority to write  regulations for noncommercial seed                                                                    
sales or trade.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Carter  confirmed that DNR  did not have the  purview of                                                                    
noncommercial use,  but it did  have purview to  protect and                                                                    
enhance  an   agricultural  industry   in  the   state.  The                                                                    
regulations  that  were likely  last  updated  in the  1980s                                                                    
oversaw and  regulated all seed throughout  the state, which                                                                    
included personal use.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson asked how DNR  was enhancing if it was                                                                    
not allowing.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.   Carter   clarified   the  department   was   enhancing                                                                    
commercial   industry.  He   detailed  the   department  was                                                                    
providing seed  testing and sampling and  was regulating the                                                                    
control, transport, and seeds being  offered for sale to the                                                                    
commercial  industry within  the state.  The department  was                                                                    
not enhancing noncommercial use at present.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson pointed  to page 5, lines  18, 19, 23,                                                                    
and  24 pertaining  to  the duties  of  the department  with                                                                    
respect to agriculture. She asked  if the language read "the                                                                    
Department  of  Natural  Resources  shall  not  control  and                                                                    
regulate  the  entry  and  transportation  of  noncommercial                                                                    
seeds, plants, and other  horticulture products," whether it                                                                    
would  take  care of  the  problem  that  DNR would  not  be                                                                    
regulating the noncommercial industry.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Carter asked for clarification on the line numbers.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson replied  that page 5, lines  18 and 19                                                                    
designated that  DNR shall do  certain things. Lines  23 and                                                                    
24  currently  read  "control and  regulate  the  entry  and                                                                    
transportation  of  seeds,  plants, and  other  horticulture                                                                    
products."  She  believed Mr.  Carter  was  saying that  the                                                                    
language pertained to commercial  activity only and that DNR                                                                    
should  not be  regulating noncommercial.  She asked  if the                                                                    
legislature  wanted   to  ensure  DNR  was   not  regulating                                                                    
noncommercial activity, it should be clarified in statute.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Carter   believed  it  would   be  a  way   to  address                                                                    
noncommercial seed distribution within the state.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:31:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Johnston thought  Representative Wilson  had                                                                    
an  excellent  point. The  mission  of  the division  was  a                                                                    
commercial  one.  She  spoke to  the  discussion  about  the                                                                    
weight  limit  discussion  (i.e.  one to  five  pounds)  and                                                                    
reasoned it  brought up  what constituted  commercial versus                                                                    
noncommercial.  She believed  it  was important  to keep  in                                                                    
mind the intent of the  division to protect commercial while                                                                    
not standing in the way of the exchanges.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton pointed out that  one of DNR's duties listed                                                                    
on  page 5,  line 25,  was  to control  and eradicate  pests                                                                    
injurious  to plants.  He believed  allowing individuals  to                                                                    
import  anything  they  wanted  would be  in  opposition  to                                                                    
efforts to  control invasive plants. He  thought getting too                                                                    
broad would create  problems. He noted that  Section 4 (page                                                                    
3) was  new to the  legislation and included  language about                                                                    
giving or exchanging seeds. He  pointed language on lines 23                                                                    
and 24  "...from a  plant grown (1)  outside the  state, and                                                                    
imported   into   the   state    in   compliance   with   AS                                                                    
03.05.010(a)(5)."  He remarked  that the  bill would  change                                                                    
language  on page  2  from  "into" the  state,  to "in"  the                                                                    
state.  He wondered  why the  provision on  page 3  would be                                                                    
necessary, which  would allow  for importation  from outside                                                                    
the  state, if  page 2  specified the  bill applied  only to                                                                    
seed from within the state.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Johnston   answered  that   House  Resources                                                                    
Committee had  discussed there  were occasional  chances for                                                                    
seed libraries  to exchange seeds with  commercial entities.                                                                    
She did  not want to  prevent seeds from being  available to                                                                    
seed libraries.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:34:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Carter  agreed. For example,  if he placed a  seed order                                                                    
for his garden  and ordered one ounce of  broccoli seed (any                                                                    
remaining  seed would  have met  the requirements  within AS                                                                    
03.05.010(a)(5)) he  could leave the seed  in its commercial                                                                    
package or repackage  it and label it  accordingly and could                                                                    
noncommercially share  it with individuals in  his community                                                                    
or in  other regions around  the state. There  were numerous                                                                    
individuals throughout Alaska who  had relatives outside the                                                                    
state who bought and shared  commercial seeds that met DNR's                                                                    
current  regulations to  contain no  noxious weeds  and have                                                                    
high purity  and good germination. There  were also numerous                                                                    
crop  varieties that  were not  great  producers within  the                                                                    
state (e.g.  some could not be  overwintered); therefore, as                                                                    
long as the materials  met the state's labeling requirements                                                                    
in their original container, the  seed could be disseminated                                                                    
in Alaska.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton  referenced  page  2,  line  12  that  read                                                                    
"regulate and  control the  entry in  the state"  instead of                                                                    
the previous  "regulate and control  entry into  the state."                                                                    
He  asked  if  the  language   change  did  not  change  the                                                                    
regulation  of importing  seed  or  distributing within  the                                                                    
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Carter  agreed. He viewed  it as a language  change that                                                                    
would still  allow DNR to  regulate seed being  brought into                                                                    
the state  to ensure  it met the  needs of  commercial users                                                                    
and to prevent  invasive species from being  brought in. The                                                                    
language would  still allow seeds  that could not  be viably                                                                    
produced  in   Alaska  to   be  noncommercially   traded  or                                                                    
distributed around the state.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:37:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt   stated  that  his   concerns  about                                                                    
ensuring the state  maintained its control over  any type of                                                                    
invasive or noxious seeds. He  pointed to language intending                                                                    
to protect from  the issue on page 4  under applicability of                                                                    
other  laws. He  noted the  language specified  that nothing                                                                    
authorized  a person  to possess  or  exchange [invasive  or                                                                    
toxic] seeds. He  asked how to maintain the  control. He had                                                                    
no problem with individuals  sharing heirloom or other seeds                                                                    
with no  issues; however, he  reasoned that  individuals may                                                                    
think  that something  looked  pretty or  had  a value,  but                                                                    
ultimately  it could  have a  negative impact  on the  [non-                                                                    
native] environment it was brought  to. He used Hawaii as an                                                                    
example and  noted that  much of the  plants on  the islands                                                                    
were  invasive. He  asked how  to maintain  controls through                                                                    
the new exchange even if there was good intention involved.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Carter remarked on the  importance of the question about                                                                    
not allowing  invasives to  include non-native  species into                                                                    
the  state. He  referred  to earlier  testimony that  people                                                                    
were going  under the radar.  He believed the intent  of the                                                                    
language   to  provide   some  guidelines   to  follow   for                                                                    
noncommercial use, gave the state  the ability to try to cut                                                                    
off any invasive species from  being brought into the state.                                                                    
He remarked on the difficulty  of the task because vehicles,                                                                    
planes,  boats, lawn  mowers  from  out-of-state, and  other                                                                    
could  have seeds  attached when  brought in.  He referenced                                                                    
Alaska's  large size  and remoteness.  The department  would                                                                    
continue  to utilize  its current  invasive and  restrictive                                                                    
noxious weed list, which it  planned on enhancing to include                                                                    
other species  of concern  it was  hearing about  from other                                                                    
state and federal  agencies. The goal was to  stop the seeds                                                                    
preferably  before they  reached  the state's  border or  if                                                                    
they  made  it  into  the  state and  were  brought  to  the                                                                    
department's attention.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt  asked  if   there  was  language  to                                                                    
include that  would enable DNR  to shut down a  seed library                                                                    
or act to prevent someone  from bringing in invasive species                                                                    
or other. He  did not see specific language in  the bill and                                                                    
asked if the department was able to take action.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:42:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Carter  answered  that  DNR   would  take  all  of  the                                                                    
assistance  it  could  get controlling  non-native  invasive                                                                    
species  in   Alaska.  He  referenced   page  4,   lines  16                                                                    
pertaining  to the  applicability of  other laws,  which did                                                                    
not allow  a person  to violate the  PVP Act  [Plant Variety                                                                    
Protection Act], distribute or  exchange seeds classified as                                                                    
controlled  substances,  and  anything  considered  noxious,                                                                    
invasive,  or toxic  under  AS 03  or  a regulation  adopted                                                                    
under those  chapters. He believed  the bill left  all tools                                                                    
the  department  currently had  in  place  to go  in,  issue                                                                    
notice  of  violations and  stop  sales  to have  the  seeds                                                                    
destroyed in a  manner at the discretion of  the director of                                                                    
the Division  of Agriculture.  He did  not believe  the bill                                                                    
hindered  the department's  ability to  continue to  control                                                                    
the entry  into the  state of  invasive or  non-native plant                                                                    
species of concern.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster OPENED and CLOSED public testimony.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  was  disturbed  the  bill  had  been                                                                    
around  since  the past  May.  She  stated the  Division  of                                                                    
Agriculture  was supposed  to  be  helping agriculture.  She                                                                    
referenced  a  letter from  a  person  in Homer  related  to                                                                    
growing pumpkins.  She hoped there would  be more discussion                                                                    
about how  the bill was enhancing  agriculture. She believed                                                                    
there was currently a huge loss occurring.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  asked members to provide  any amendments by                                                                    
the coming Wednesday.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HB  197  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 197 Sponsor Statement 4.10.2017.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 197
HB197 Opposition Document - Letter of Opposition 4.27.2017.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 197
HB197 Sectional Analysis ver CSHB 197(RES) 1.22.2018.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 197
HB197 Summary of Changes 1.22.2018.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 197
HB197 Supporting Document - Article Seed Bill 4.9.2017.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 197
HB197 Supporting Document - Letter of Support 5.1.2017.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 197
HB216 Additional Documents Criminal Fund Use Over the Years With Percentages 2.13.2018.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB216 Additional Documents Difference Bertween Restitution and Compensation 2.13.2018.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB 216 Support Documents APOA 2.13.2018.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB216 Additional Documents FY14 Felons Memo 2.13.2018.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB216 Additional Documents FY15 Felons Memo 2.13.2018.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB216 Additional Documents FY16 Felons Memo 2.13.2018.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB216 Additional Documents FY17 Felons Memo 2.13.2018.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB216 Additional Documents FY18 Felons Memo 2.13.2018.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB216 Additional Documents HB245 from 1988 2.13.2018.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB216 Additional Documents Victim Restitution Reform in Other States Research 2.13.2018.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB216 Victim Restitution Funds Update Research 1.19.2018.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB216 Support Document Letter from VCCB 2.13.2018.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB216 CSSB Sponsor Statement 2.13.2018.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB216 Additional Materials Restitution Statistics from ACS 2.13.2018.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB216 Additional Materials LRS Report from 2013 Research 2.13.2018.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB 216 CS version M 2.16.18.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB216 Additional Documents PowerPoint Presentation 2.18.2018.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB216 Restitution Sectional 2.19.2018.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB216 Summary of Changes 2.19.2018.pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB 216 Legal Opinion on Approriations Per Priority 18-057mlp 2.19..pdf HFIN 2/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 216