Legislature(2017 - 2018)ADAMS ROOM 519

04/16/2018 01:30 PM House FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Recessed to a Call of the Chair --
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSB 15(L&C) Out of Committee
Moved HCS CSSB 78(FIN) Out of Committee
Moved SB 215 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
Moved CSHB 260(FIN) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 92(FIN) am                                                                                             
     "An  Act relating  to abandoned  and derelict  vessels;                                                                    
     relating to  the registration  of vessels;  relating to                                                                    
     certificates  of title  for  vessels;  relating to  the                                                                    
     duties  of the  Department of  Administration; relating                                                                    
     to the  duties of the Department  of Natural Resources;                                                                    
     establishing  the derelict  vessel prevention  program;                                                                    
     establishing  the  derelict vessel  prevention  program                                                                    
     fund; relating  to the authority of  certain persons to                                                                    
     enforce   laws  relating   to  derelict   vessels;  and                                                                    
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
Co-Chair Foster  relayed the legislation  had been  heard on                                                                    
March  28th.  He  said  that   the  meeting  would  offer  a                                                                    
reintroduction  of  the   legislation,  including  reopening                                                                    
public testimony.                                                                                                               
3:53:10 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR PETER  MICCICHE, SPONSOR, relayed that  the bill was                                                                    
about  personal responsibility.  He stressed  that the  bill                                                                    
was  unrelated  to property  taxes.  He  quoted the  Sponsor                                                                    
     A report titled Trends  and Opportunities in the Alaska                                                                    
     Maritime  Industrial Support  Sector  (2014) noted  "By                                                                    
     2025,  the  Alaska  fleet will  include  roughly  3,100                                                                    
     vessels  between 28'  and  59' that  are  more than  45                                                                    
     years old...                                                                                                               
He shared that  he personally owned 6 vessels,  one of which                                                                    
was  aging. He  lamented  that abandoned  boats  could be  a                                                                    
danger to other  vessels. He said that the  bill provided an                                                                    
avenue  for  the  state  or  municipalities  to  remove  the                                                                    
derelict vessels  from the water  before they sink.  He said                                                                    
that  the management  of  the vessels  early  will save  the                                                                    
state money.                                                                                                                    
3:56:17 PM                                                                                                                    
RACHEL HANKE,  STAFF, SENATOR  PETER MICCICHE,  reviewed the                                                                    
changes in  the committee substitute. She  said that Section                                                                    
4  exempted  vessels  24  feel   and  under  and  created  a                                                                    
mechanism  for  lack of  adequate  proof  of ownership.  The                                                                    
increase in  registration fees had  been removed.  Section 6                                                                    
reflected the  removal of an increase  in registration fees.                                                                    
She said  that the original  definition of "barge"  had been                                                                    
retained  in Section  7.  Article 3,  in  exiting AS  30.30,                                                                    
which dealt with vessels abandoned  on the business premises                                                                    
of persons engaged in a repair business, had been repealed.                                                                     
RACHEL LORD,  ALASKA ASSOCIATION  OF HARBORMASTERS  AND PORT                                                                    
ADMINISTRATORS,   HOMER   (via  teleconference),   expressed                                                                    
support  for  the legislation.  She  revealed  that she  was                                                                    
available for questions.                                                                                                        
Representative  Wilson  requested   clarification  on  which                                                                    
boats would be charged registration fees.                                                                                       
Senator Micciche responded  that there was no  change in the                                                                    
current bill for a vessel that  was 24 feet or under, except                                                                    
at  the choice  of  the  owner. He  said  that a  documented                                                                    
vessel (minimum  of 5 gross  tons and above)  would increase                                                                    
in  registration  fee cost  by  $8,  per year.  Undocumented                                                                    
vessels above  24 feet would  see an increase of  a one-time                                                                    
titling fee.                                                                                                                    
3:59:59 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson  asked whether all boating  fees would                                                                    
go into the fund.                                                                                                               
Ms. Hanke  responded that the  barge registration  fee, boat                                                                    
title, and  duplicate boat title fees,  would be distributed                                                                    
in the program fund.                                                                                                            
Representative  Wilson asked  about the  fees non-commercial                                                                    
vessels   under   24   feet.  She   wondered   where   those                                                                    
registration fees were allocated.                                                                                               
Ms. Ranke relayed that all titling  and fees would go to the                                                                    
derelict vessel program fund.                                                                                                   
Representative Wilson asked whether  funds would be diverted                                                                    
from the Kids Don't Float program.                                                                                              
Ms. Hanke  stated that  the bill would  not affect  the fund                                                                    
for boater safety programs.                                                                                                     
Representative Wilson expressed confusion.                                                                                      
Ms.  Hanke   explained  that  the  registration   fees  were                                                                    
separate from  the title  fees. Title fees  would go  to the                                                                    
4:02:03 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Seaton queried the difference  in the definition of                                                                    
"barge" and  the term "flat-bottomed" as  the descriptor. He                                                                    
wondered about  vessels that had  had their  engines removed                                                                    
and were now barges for all intents and purposes.                                                                               
Senator Micciche deferred to Rachel Lord.                                                                                       
4:03:26 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Lord  reported that the  definition had been  an ongoing                                                                    
issue.  She   relayed  that   task  force   discussions  had                                                                    
highlighted a  significant number  of abandoned  barges. She                                                                    
thought  the definition  had been  intended  to capture  the                                                                    
barge   fleet  that   was  not   currently  captured   under                                                                    
registration provisions.                                                                                                        
Co-Chair  Seaton  asked about  the  no  title mechanism  for                                                                    
harbor master work.                                                                                                             
Ms.  Lord replied  that  the  titling provisions  introduced                                                                    
under the  bill were valuable  as another piece  in defining                                                                    
ownership.  She thought  that concerns  had not  been raised                                                                    
about the mechanism.                                                                                                            
Senator  Micciche  responded that  the  intent  had been  to                                                                    
avoid any bonding issues.                                                                                                       
Co-Chair Seaton  asked whether the sponsor  had any concerns                                                                    
about a person  registering a vessel without  applying for a                                                                    
Senator  Micciche  thought  that  the  issue  would  resolve                                                                    
4:08:59 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Foster OPENED public testimony.                                                                                        
CARL    UCHYTIL,    PRESIDENT    ALASKA    ASSOCIATION    OF                                                                    
HARBORMASTERS,  testified on  behalf  of the  43 harbors  in                                                                    
Alaska. He offered support for the legislation.                                                                                 
Co-Chair  Seaton  asked  Mr.  Uchytil  whether  he  had  any                                                                    
suggestions regarding the definition of a barge.                                                                                
Mr.  Uchytil  deferred  to  Ms.  Lord. He  did  not  have  a                                                                    
solution to a description of a barge.                                                                                           
4:12:04 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Seaton  asked whether harbormasters had  a position                                                                    
on the repeal of Article 3.                                                                                                     
Mr. Uchytil indicated that the  harbormasters did not have a                                                                    
stance on the issue.                                                                                                            
4:12:56 PM                                                                                                                    
BRYAN  HAWKINS, HARBOR  MASTER,  CITY OF  HOMER, HOMER  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  reported  he  the vice  president  of  the                                                                    
Alaska Association  of Harbormasters. He voiced  support for                                                                    
the legislation.                                                                                                                
4:13:51 PM                                                                                                                    
MATT  DONOHOE, SELF,  SITKA (via  teleconference), expressed                                                                    
dissatisfaction with  some portion  of the  bill on  Page 2,                                                                    
lines 28-29. He reported not being  able to be in the harbor                                                                    
in Sitka  without boat registration or  a documented vessel.                                                                    
He   asked   why  the   state   would   not  recognize   the                                                                    
documentation from  the United  States Government  but would                                                                    
recognize a  documented foreign  vessel. Next,  he mentioned                                                                    
language  on Page  3. He  was unclear  about the  meaning of                                                                    
"operated". Vessels  are not  always operating  when sitting                                                                    
on the dock. He noted  that fishermen would be unhappy about                                                                    
duplication requirements.                                                                                                       
4:18:36 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Foster CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                        
4:18:48 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson  asked the  sponsor to respond  to the                                                                    
testifier's questions.                                                                                                          
4:19:07 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Micciche  explained if a vessel  was documented then                                                                    
it had  to be  registered in  order to  establish ownership.                                                                    
The   registration  system   would  contain   a  record   of                                                                    
ownership. He  stated that Line  18 of the bill  was already                                                                    
in existing law.                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson asked  whether there  was duplication                                                                    
of registration and titling efforts in the legislation.                                                                         
Senator Micciche  replied no.  He believed  that identifying                                                                    
ownership  and dealing  with derelict  vessels  in a  timely                                                                    
manner would be of benefit to the state.                                                                                        
Co-Chair Seaton asked about the elimination of Article 3.                                                                       
Ms.  Hanke  responded  that  Article  3  had  been  repealed                                                                    
because  when  the  legislation  was  crafted  it  had  been                                                                    
intended  for  use  by the  state  and  municipalities.  she                                                                    
deferred to Ms. Lord.                                                                                                           
4:23:41 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Lord  explained  that  Article 3  had  implied  that  a                                                                    
private business  was held to  similar legal standards  as a                                                                    
public  entity, which  was not  the  case, and  had led  the                                                                    
taskforce to determine that the removal was justified.                                                                          
Co-Chair  Seaton  commented   that  private  businesses  had                                                                    
voiced concern  that not having  a statutory  mechanism made                                                                    
the legalities vague.                                                                                                           
Ms. Lord  added that the Harbormasters  Association had been                                                                    
a member of  the taskforce that crafted  the legislation and                                                                    
that the  sitting members on  the force had been  from state                                                                    
and  federal  agencies,  local municipalities,  as  well  as                                                                    
tribal representation.                                                                                                          
4:26:57 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Guttenberg  asked   for  the  definition  of                                                                    
"water of the state".                                                                                                           
Senator Micciche thought  it was anywhere within  3 miles of                                                                    
mean  highwater. He  thought that  "state  waters" could  be                                                                    
anywhere that a derelict vessel could become a problem.                                                                         
Representative  Guttenberg thought  that all  rivers outside                                                                    
of saltwater would be exempt from the legislation.                                                                              
Senator  Micciche   responded  that  all  rivers   would  be                                                                    
included in the legislation.  He added that "Steamboat Slew"                                                                    
was the number one freshwater target for the bill.                                                                              
Co-Chair  Foster  set  the  amendment  deadline  for  5  pm,                                                                    
Tuesday, April 17, 2018.                                                                                                        
Representative Thompson expressed concern that the bill                                                                         
might not make it through the legislative process in 2018.                                                                      
Co-Chair Foster reported that Co-Chair Seaton was willing                                                                       
to move the deadline for amendments to tomorrow morning in                                                                      
order to expedite the process.                                                                                                  
SB 92 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
IN3NERGY_HFIN HB411_04162018.pdf HFIN 4/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 411
SB 15 Amendment #1 Wilson.pdf HFIN 4/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 15
HB 260 Conceptual Amendment #1.pdf HFIN 4/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 260