Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/05/2004 09:05 AM FSH

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB 273-ASMI BOARD/ SEAFOOD TAXES & ASSESSMENTS                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
CS  FOR SENATE  BILL NO.  273(FIN),  "An Act  amending the  size,                                                               
membership, and  powers of the  board of directors of  the Alaska                                                               
Seafood Marketing Institute and  making a corresponding change in                                                               
the  quorum requirement;  authorizing  the  establishment of  the                                                               
seafood  marketing assessment  at a  rate of  0.5 percent  or 0.6                                                               
percent of the value of  seafood products produced; providing for                                                               
an  election  to  retain,  terminate,  or  increase  the  seafood                                                               
marketing  assessment; providing  for  the repeal  of the  salmon                                                               
marketing  tax and  provisions related  to  the salmon  marketing                                                               
tax; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2196                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG moved  to  adopt HCS  CSSB  273, Version  23-                                                               
LS1366\J, Utermohle, 4/2/04, as the working document.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2159                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY  STEVENS,  Alaska  State  Legislature,  sponsor  by                                                               
request  of the  Joint  Legislative Salmon  Industry Task  Force,                                                               
highlighted that  Version J includes  two simple  changes located                                                               
on page  7, lines 15 and  30.  After discussing  this legislation                                                               
with  the  director   of  the  Division  of   Elections,  it  was                                                               
discovered  that  there are  a  couple  of  small errors  in  the                                                               
current  statutes  regarding  the  seafood  marketing  assessment                                                               
election.    He  explained  that  an  election  is  made  by  the                                                               
processors with regard to what they  want to tax themselves.  The                                                               
current  statute  specifies  that the  Alaska  Seafood  Marketing                                                               
Institute  (ASMI)  would  mail   out  and  receive  the  ballots.                                                               
However,  the director  of the  Division  of Elections  preferred                                                               
that  the  division mail  out  and  receive  the ballots  if  the                                                               
division is ultimately responsible  for them.  The aforementioned                                                               
led to the changes on page 7, lines 15 and 30.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY  STEVENS turned to the  legislation as a whole.   He                                                               
began  by relating  that the  Joint  Legislative Salmon  Industry                                                               
Task Force, from the beginning,  realized the importance of ASMI,                                                               
the need  to fund it properly,  and have a reasonable  size board                                                               
of directors.   Therefore, the Joint  Legislative Salmon Industry                                                               
Task  Force proposed  this legislation,  which  would change  the                                                               
size of  the ASMI board from  25, an unmanageable size,  to seven                                                               
or nine members.   This legislation also attempts  to establish a                                                               
sounder financial basis  for ASMI.  Senator  Gary Stevens pointed                                                               
out that  the committee packet should  include a copy of  a chart                                                               
that compares  the current  tax structure,  the tax  structure if                                                               
the .5 percent  is approved, the tax structure if  the .5 percent                                                               
isn't approved, and  the tax structure if the  processors vote to                                                               
eliminate the assessment.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY STEVENS  reviewed  the current  tax structure,  and                                                               
explained that ASMI  is funded with $1.5 million  from the salmon                                                               
marketing tax paid  by the fishermen and almost a  $3 million tax                                                               
paid by the processors and  $2 million from the federal Fisheries                                                               
Marketing Board.  Therefore, the  total funding for ASMI today is                                                               
$6.5  million.   This legislation  would  require a  vote of  the                                                               
processors  in March  to  decide whether  to  eliminate the  ASMI                                                               
assessment,  which  is illustrated  in  the  last column  of  the                                                               
chart.  The  members/processors of ASMI have the  right to decide                                                               
whether to  continue ASMI, and over  the past 20 years  there has                                                               
never  been a  vote to  not fund  ASMI.   However, if  processors                                                               
voted  not  to fund  ASMI,  the  processors assessment  would  no                                                               
longer exist  and thus the total  funding for ASMI, with  a nine-                                                               
member board, would be $3.5 million.   Another choice would be to                                                               
maintain the current  tax with the .3 percent  the processors are                                                               
paying, which  is illustrated in  the third column of  the chart.                                                               
Under the aforementioned,  the funding would remain  the same and                                                               
ASMI  would receive  about $6.5  million.   The final  choice the                                                               
processors  would  be  allowed  in  this  March  election  is  to                                                               
increase  the tax  on  themselves, which  is  illustrated in  the                                                               
second column.   If  the processors  choose a  .5 percent  tax on                                                               
themselves,  the salmon  marketing  tax would  be eliminated,  or                                                               
could  become regional,  while  the  processors assessment  would                                                               
increase  to about  $5 million  and  the federal  funds from  the                                                               
Fisheries  Marketing  Board would  remain  at  about $2  million.                                                               
Therefore,  the ASMI  board, consisting  of seven  members, would                                                               
receive approximately $7 million.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON passed the gavel to Vice Chair Wilson.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  turned attention to the  second column of                                                               
the  chart,  which illustrates  the  funding  if the  .5  percent                                                               
processor  tax is  approved and  the board  decreases in  size to                                                               
seven.  Therefore, he inquired as to who the seven are.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY  STEVENS answered that  the seven-member  ASMI board                                                               
would consist of four large  processors, one small processor, and                                                               
two fishermen.   The idea  is that  if the processors  are paying                                                               
for the entire [tax], then they should have control.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  surmised then  that the options  with the                                                               
nine-member ASMI board  would merely add two  fishermen while the                                                               
processor membership would stay the same.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY  STEVENS commented  that he wanted  to be  sure that                                                               
any changes didn't make it  less likely that the processors would                                                               
move to the .5 percent, which he viewed as the best solution.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1695                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG turned  to the  last column,  which addresses                                                               
the option  of the processors  eliminating their assessment.   If                                                               
the aforementioned  were to happen,  would the  processors remain                                                               
on the board, he asked.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY STEVENS  replied yes.   He  reminded the  committee                                                               
that the salmon marketing tax is  repealed December 31, 2005.  If                                                               
that  happens, he  assumed  that  ASMI would  begin  a shut  down                                                               
phase.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG   surmised  then   that  if   the  processors                                                               
eliminate their assessment, the salmon  marketing tax would go to                                                               
zero.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY STEVENS  reiterated that  the salmon  marketing tax                                                               
sunsets  on   December  31,  2005.     In  further   response  to                                                               
Representative Ogg, Senator Gary  Stevens explained that annually                                                               
the Fisheries  Marketing Board decides whether  the federal funds                                                               
will be provided.  He further  explained that under the option of                                                               
the processors eliminating their  assessment, he assumed that the                                                               
Fisheries Marketing Board wouldn't fund ASMI either.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  highlighted  that  the  Fisheries  Marketing                                                               
Board could  choose or not choose  to fund ASMI under  any of the                                                               
options presented today.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY STEVENS replied yes.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  surmised  then  that the  funding  from  the                                                               
Fisheries Marketing Board can't really be counted on definitely.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY STEVENS agreed, and  interjected his assumption that                                                               
should  the funding  from the  Fisheries Marketing  Board not  be                                                               
provided, there should be an  entire review of the entire funding                                                               
of ASMI.   However, he  noted that the  federal funds seem  to be                                                               
secure for now.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR WILSON returned the gavel to Chair Seaton.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1543                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE recalled that  the sponsor mentioned, under                                                               
the  scenario  of   the  .5  percent  tax   being  approved,  the                                                               
possibility  of  the  salmon  marketing  tax  becoming  regional.                                                               
Therefore, she requested that the sponsor elaborate on that.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY  STEVENS informed the committee  that Representative                                                               
Ogg is the  sponsor of legislation on regional  marketing.  "It's                                                               
always  been  our thought  that  ...  if  this 1  percent  salmon                                                               
marketing tax  would be eliminated that  it might be a  very good                                                               
time to move those funds  into regional marketing organizations,"                                                               
he explained.  This legislation, SB  273, can't really be tied to                                                               
Representative Ogg's legislation, he noted.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1488                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA inquired as to  who pays the salmon marketing                                                               
tax.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY STEVENS  answered  that  it's a  1  percent tax  on                                                               
fishermen when  the catch is  delivered.  In further  response to                                                               
Representative  Gara,  he  confirmed  that  none  of  the  salmon                                                               
marketing tax is paid by processors.   He also clarified that the                                                               
current ASMI  board consists of  12 [fishermen],  12 [processors]                                                               
and one lay person.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  turned  to   the  federal  funds  from  the                                                               
Fisheries Marketing Board, which he  considered to be state funds                                                               
because it  comes to  the state which  decides how  to distribute                                                               
it.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY   STEVENS  related   his  understanding   that  the                                                               
Fisheries Marketing Board funds go directly to ASMI.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA expressed concern  with regard to eliminating                                                               
the fishermen's voice from how ASMI  money is spent in one of the                                                               
options and making the fishermen's  voice a minority voice in the                                                               
other options.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY STEVENS  opined  that if  the  processors fund  the                                                               
majority of  ASMI, then they  would probably want control  of the                                                               
ASMI board.  Although the tax structure  can be left as it is, he                                                               
felt that  a 25-member board that  meets once or twice  a year is                                                               
inadequate and ineffective.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1324                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   HEINZE  related   her  understanding   that  the                                                               
processors  took the  lead in  marketing and  the fishermen  have                                                               
been content with fishing.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY STEVENS  disagreed.   He  noted  the importance  of                                                               
having the input of fishermen  on the ASMI board, but highlighted                                                               
that the processing industry really has the marketing staff.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  related that from some  commercial fishermen                                                               
he has  the understanding that they  have more of an  interest in                                                               
direct  marketing  of  fresh fish  rather  than  the  processor's                                                               
marketing [strategies].                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY  STEVENS explained that ASMI  does generic marketing                                                               
because  its  job isn't  to  market  for specific  processors  or                                                               
fishermen.   With regard to  who pays what, Senator  Gary Stevens                                                               
related that  virtually every step of  the way there has  been an                                                               
objection from  everyone who  would potentially  be taxed.   This                                                               
legislation provides  options to  the industry  regarding whether                                                               
it wants to be taxed and by how much.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1111                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG turned  to the option in the  second column of                                                               
the chart,  if the .5 percent  is approved.  He  pointed out that                                                               
the salmon marketing tax is merely zeroed out because it ends.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY  STEVENS agreed,  and  reiterated  that the  salmon                                                               
marketing tax is repealed on December 31, 2005.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG clarified that  the salmon marketing tax would                                                               
merely end  and the money  is no longer paid.   There will  be no                                                               
connection  between  this  legislation  and  his  regional  [tax]                                                               
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1010                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RAY   RIUTTA,  Executive   Director,  Alaska   Seafood  Marketing                                                               
Institute (ASMI), began by thanking  Senator Gary Stevens for his                                                               
efforts in  putting together SB  273 and Senator Ben  Stevens for                                                               
his leadership  with the Joint  Legislative Salmon  Industry Task                                                               
Force, and all the work  of the Joint Legislative Salmon Industry                                                               
Task Force.  Mr. Riutta stated  that the ASMI board hasn't met to                                                               
discuss  the  current  version  of  SB 273.    However,  he  felt                                                               
comfortable   relating  support   for  the   technical  amendment                                                               
[explained by Senator Gary Stevens earlier].                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. RIUTTA  related that  the original  legislation, SB  273, was                                                               
unanimously supported by the ASMI  board with two points.  First,                                                               
there is  the need for  a stable funding base  for ASMI.   As was                                                               
noted earlier, ASMI  is highly dependent on federal  funding.  In                                                               
fact,  federal funding  amounts  to about  60  percent of  ASMI's                                                               
budget.   However, it's unlikely  that such federal  funding will                                                               
continue.  This  original legislation and Version  J both address                                                               
the need  for a stable  funding base for  ASMI.  Mr.  Riutta also                                                               
related that the  ASMI board's recommendation to  reduce the size                                                               
of the board  to 15 occurred quite some time  ago.  He reiterated                                                               
that the ASMI board hasn't met  to discuss the current version of                                                               
SB 273.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0833                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  remarked that it  would be a shame  if the                                                               
processors decided  to eliminate their assessment.   However, she                                                               
said she wasn't exactly happy  with a nine-member board because a                                                               
larger board is  necessary to gather the feelings  of the various                                                               
fishermen and processors.  She  mentioned that some fishermen are                                                               
doing  small processing  in order  to add  value and  obtain more                                                               
revenue.   Representative  Wilson related  that she  likes a  15-                                                               
member board best.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  recalled that  the processors  vote every                                                               
year regarding whether to continue their tax.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. RIUTTA said  that under current statute  the processors could                                                               
vote  to eliminate  their assessment,  although  they have  never                                                               
voted to do so.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  offered his  belief that the  smaller the                                                               
board, the more can be accomplished.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0624                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HEINZE noted  that there  has been  lots of  talk                                                               
about  the proposed  Alaska  Travel  Industry Association  (ATIA)                                                               
tourism tax  that is modeled  after ASMI.  However,  the concerns                                                               
with  the  tourism  tax  have  been that  although  it  could  be                                                               
collected, it couldn't  be dedicated like the ASMI tax  can.  "In                                                               
light  of all  this  process,  is this  jeopardizing  in any  way                                                               
ASMI's funding," she asked.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  RIUTTA said  that he  wasn't sure  of the  arguments on  the                                                               
tourism tax  because he hasn't  followed it.  However,  there are                                                               
some concerns with collecting money  through the state and having                                                               
an organization such as ASMI  use that money to promote products.                                                               
There have  been court challenges  to similar commissions  in the                                                               
Lower 48,  and some  have even  been successful.   He  noted that                                                               
ASMI reviewed this last year and  determined that the way ASMI is                                                               
structured, as a state agency  with the voluntary assessment from                                                               
the processors,  somewhat shields ASMI from  potential law suits.                                                               
The  State of  Washington is  moving to  adopt some  of the  same                                                               
procedures that ASMI currently follows  in order to protect their                                                               
own commodity's commissions.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE said that [the  concern] was more in regard                                                               
to the  collection of  taxes that are  designated to  [a specific                                                               
entity].                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. RIUTTA recalled that it was  an issue of free speech, in that                                                               
people are forced to pay taxes  to an organization that speaks on                                                               
behalf of  all those in  the organization, although all  those in                                                               
the organization may not agree.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0370                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG inquired  as to  how the  appointment process                                                               
would take place were this legislation to become law.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  RIUTTA related  his understanding  that  if the  legislation                                                               
becomes  law, the  current board  would  end its  tenure and  the                                                               
governor would  select a new  board.  However, he  mentioned that                                                               
some of the same members may be appointed to the new board.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON,  upon determining  that there was  no one  else who                                                               
wished to testify, closed the public hearing.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0233                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON expressed concern if  the processors choose a seven-                                                               
member  board, which  is  outlined  in Section  4  of Version  J.                                                               
Having four  of the  members being processors  with a  payroll of                                                               
more than $2.5  million could potentially be  seen as privatizing                                                               
within one  sector the entire board.   Therefore, he said  he was                                                               
considering an  amendment that would  change the makeup  to three                                                               
large processors and one small processor  and one lay member.  He                                                               
inquired as to the sponsor's thoughts.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY STEVENS  said that such was discussed  some time ago                                                               
and the  language was  in an  earlier version.   He said  that he                                                               
personally  didn't object,  but noted  his concern  [tape changes                                                               
midspeech].                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-10, SIDE A                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY  STEVENS reiterated  his earlier statements  that he                                                               
didn't want the  processors to find reasons not to  choose the .5                                                               
percent tax.   He said he saw  the logic in having  a lay person.                                                               
However, he said he didn't see the danger in leaving [the seven-                                                                
member board] as  it is.  He  said that he wouldn't  object if it                                                               
was changed.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0116                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY  STEVENS turned  to Representative  Wilson's earlier                                                               
concern with  regard to the  size of the  board.  If  one follows                                                               
the  logic that  every element  needs  to be  represented on  the                                                               
board, every region, fishery, and  gear type would be represented                                                               
and result in a board of  125.  Senator Gary Stevens recalled his                                                               
experience  in  working  on other  statewide  organizations  with                                                               
large boards, and related that  large boards generally don't work                                                               
very well.   He expressed  the need for  the board to  consist of                                                               
statesmen who are present to do  what's best for the industry and                                                               
not what's best for that  individual's own piece of the industry.                                                               
Senator Gary  Stevens said  that he didn't  know what's  the best                                                               
size for  the board, although  he viewed a seven-member  or nine-                                                               
member board  as better  than a  board consisting  of twenty-five                                                               
members.   He related his  experience that the larger  the board,                                                               
the more  difficult it is to  work together.  He  further related                                                               
that all  the data he has  read suggests that an  effective board                                                               
consists  of  seven to  nine  members.   Furthermore,  the  board                                                               
should take on the responsibility of the entire industry.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY STEVENS  clarified  that when  this legislation  is                                                               
signed  into law,  the old  board would  cease to  exist and  the                                                               
governor would  appoint new members.   He noted that it  won't be                                                               
an easy job to find seven to nine  members to fill the board.  In                                                               
response to  Representative Ogg,  Senator Gary  Stevens specified                                                               
that  the language  on page  6, line  5, specifies  that the  old                                                               
board will cease to exist.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0605                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON offered Conceptual Amendment  1 to Sections 4 and 5,                                                               
which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     In  the advent  that  a seven-member  board is  chosen,                                                                    
     [four] three  members shall  be from  large processors,                                                              
     two are  fishermen, one is  a small processor,  and one                                                                
     is a layperson with  marketing expertise outside of the                                                                
     seafood business.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     In  the  advent that  a  nine-member  board is  chosen,                                                                    
     [four] three members  shall represent large processors,                                                              
     four  fishermen,  one small  processor,  and  one is  a                                                                
     layperson  with  marketing  expertise  outside  of  the                                                                
     seafood business.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS objected for discussion purposes.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON,  in response  to Representative  Samuels, explained                                                               
that the  first paragraph of  Conceptual Amendment 1  would occur                                                               
under the  scenario presented  in column  2 of  the chart  in the                                                               
committee packet.   The second paragraph  of Conceptual Amendment                                                               
1 would  occur under the  scenario presented  in column 3  of the                                                               
chart.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  inquired as to  what would happen  if the                                                               
processors eliminate  their assessment  as specified in  the last                                                               
column of the chart.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON said that he didn't address that.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY STEVENS clarified that  under Conceptual Amendment 1                                                               
if  the processors  eliminate their  assessment, the  nine-member                                                               
board  would  consist  of  three   large  processors,  one  small                                                               
processor, four fishermen, and one lay  person.  He noted that in                                                               
the aforementioned case, it would be a very short-lived board.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  asked  if  Senator  Gary  Stevens  supported                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 1.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY  STEVENS  answered  that  he  prefers  the  current                                                               
language in  Version J,  although he said  he wouldn't  object to                                                               
Conceptual Amendment  1.  He  opined that Conceptual  Amendment 1                                                               
seems to make it less advantageous  for the processors to go to a                                                               
.5 percent tax or to pay the entire tax.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0994                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HEINZE  said  that   she  could  see  where  more                                                               
marketing input  could be obtained.   However, she  expressed the                                                               
need  to  be  careful  not   to  introduce  someone  without  the                                                               
expertise and thus waste the position.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  said she  could see the  sponsor's concern                                                               
because if the desire is for  the processors to put in more, then                                                               
they will need to have a little  more than half the seats or they                                                               
won't  put  in more.    Therefore,  if the  goal  is  to get  the                                                               
processors to put  in more, then the way in  which the membership                                                               
is allocated within the industry shouldn't be changed.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  questioned  why an  individual  without  any                                                               
background in  the seafood business  would be placed on  the ASMI                                                               
board.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON pointed out that  marketing is a business itself and                                                               
is  more than  marketing a  particular product.   Therefore,  the                                                               
requirement  is that  the layperson  have expertise  in marketing                                                               
rather than  an individual who  deals with a specific  process or                                                               
product.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE opined that ASMI performs marketing.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  agreed, and explained  that the  executive director                                                               
of ASMI  presents proposals and  the board has to  make decisions                                                               
on  the proposals.    When making  the  decisions, the  marketing                                                               
expertise would come into play.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1334                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON   asked  if   Mr.  Riutta   believes  that                                                               
Conceptual  Amendment 1  would jeopardize  what is  trying to  be                                                               
accomplished.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. RIUTTA answered that he  couldn't speculate, and reminded the                                                               
committee that he would need to discuss it with the ASMI board.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE asked whether it  would be valuable to have                                                               
a  layperson with  marketing expertise  as a  member of  the ASMI                                                               
board.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. RIUTTA,  speaking as the  executive director,  specified that                                                               
he would rather have individuals from the industry.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON withdrew Conceptual Amendment 1.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1468                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG moved  to report  HCS CSSB  273, Version  23-                                                               
LS1366\J,  Utermohle, 4/2/04,  out of  committee with  individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no  objection, HCS  CSSB  273(FSH) was  reported  from the  House                                                               
Special Committee on Fisheries.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                

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