Legislature(2017 - 2018)ADAMS ROOM 519
04/16/2018 01:30 PM House FINANCE
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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 Statement: 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AS 30.30, which dealt with vessels abandoned on the business premises of persons engaged in a repair business, had been repealed.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 program. 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 title. Senator Micciche thought that the issue would resolve itself. 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 consideration.
HFIN 4/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
|SB 15 Amendment #1 Wilson.pdf||
HFIN 4/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
|HB 260 Conceptual Amendment #1.pdf||
HFIN 4/16/2018 1:30:00 PM