Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/25/2003 03:30 PM House L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 232-HOMER MERCURY CLASSIC/ GAMING PRIZE LIMIT                                                                              
Number 0527                                                                                                                     
CHAIR ANDERSON  announced that the  next order of  business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL NO. 232, "An  Act relating to mercury classics; and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
Number 0556                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE PAUL SEATON, Alaska  State Legislature, as sponsor                                                               
of  HB  232, explained  that  it  establishes the  Homer  Mercury                                                               
Classic, which  will be operated  and administered by  the [Homer                                                               
chapter  of the]  Boys and  Girls  Clubs of  the Kenai  Peninsula                                                               
("Boys  and Girls  Club.")    The bill  is  titled Homer  because                                                               
that's where [the  thermometer readings] will be taken.   The 300                                                               
members of  the Boys and  Girls Club have  looked at a  number of                                                               
fundraisers;  they have  established  a history  of working  with                                                               
sophisticated  weather  equipment  that had  been  certified  and                                                               
would be on the top of their  building.  This would be similar to                                                               
the Nenana Ice  Classic, he explained.  Tickets will  be sold for                                                               
$2.  The winner in the fall  [would guess] the date and time when                                                               
the temperature  first drops  to 15  degrees, and  [similarly] in                                                               
the  spring,  [the  winner  would  guess]  when  the  temperature                                                               
reaches 55  degrees.  The  [club members] are working  with GLOBE                                                               
[Global Learning  and Observation to Benefit  the Environment], a                                                               
nationwide  educational program  of weather-related  information,                                                               
which   includes    NASA   [National   Aeronautics    and   Space                                                               
Administration] and a number of other organizations.                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD asked  if  the temperatures  are on  the                                                               
Fahrenheit or Celsius scales.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON replied Fahrenheit.                                                                                       
Number 0658                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG asked  Representative Seaton  if he  has                                                               
been  in contact  with the  Fairbanks Chamber  of Commerce  about                                                               
whether this game encroaches on its [mercury] classic.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON replied  that  the  Fairbanks [Chamber  of                                                               
Commerce has a mercury] hasn't operated for years.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG noted  that Fairbanks  has an  exclusive                                                               
right in  statute to the  classic.  Therefore, whether  the Homer                                                               
Mercury Classic  would encroach on the  Fairbanks Mercury classic                                                               
would be  important information to  have before the bill  gets to                                                               
the [House] floor.  He asked  about the effective date of January                                                               
1, 2004.                                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  replied that the  Boys and Girls  Club was                                                               
not  ready to  operate [the  classic] this  fall, so  next spring                                                               
would  be the  first  occasion [to  guess  when the  temperature]                                                               
reaches 55 degrees.                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG commented  that either  temperature is                                                               
possible between the  spring and the fall.  He  noted that he was                                                               
also wondering  about Representative  Seaton's dialogue  with the                                                               
Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce.                                                                                                  
Number 0840                                                                                                                     
LAUREN  RADCLIFFE, Staff  to Representative  Paul Seaton,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature,  explained  that   Jane  Tollefsrud,  who  is                                                               
prepared  to testify,  has  spoken to  the  Fairbanks Chamber  of                                                               
Commerce who  can currently  operate this  mercury classic.   She                                                               
related  her understanding  that the  chamber does  not currently                                                               
operate it and never has.                                                                                                       
JANE TOLLEFSRUD,  Assistant Director, Homer Boys  and Girls Club;                                                               
Coordinator, Homer Mercury Classic, said  she tried to pursue the                                                               
Fairbanks  aspect of  this,  but  none of  the  employees of  the                                                               
Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce with  whom she spoke had ever heard                                                               
of it.  She added that  the Homer Mercury Classic revolves around                                                               
the first  time the temperature falls  to 15 degrees in  the fall                                                               
and  the first  time the  temperature reaches  55 degrees  in the                                                               
Number 0924                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM inquired  as  to how  much revenue  the                                                               
classic will generate.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON said he had  no idea because it will depend                                                               
on how  many tickets  the 300  members will sell  at $2  a piece.                                                               
[The  Boys  and  Girls  Club]  will receive  half  of  the  money                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  asked how fall with  be defined, explaining                                                               
that he was concerned about double payouts.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON noted  that the  temperature is  monitored                                                               
every hour, continuously.   Although he said he  wasn't sure when                                                               
the period starts for measuring, he  said he offered to pass this                                                               
point  on for  inclusion in  the regulations  so it's  clear that                                                               
it's  the  first  time  the  temperature  reaches  the  specified                                                               
Number 1018                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  said that  regardless of who [held the                                                               
exclusive  right to  a mercury  classic], there  is no  letter of                                                               
understanding or  agreement with the current  [authorized group],                                                               
this proposed mercury classic is placed in a different position.                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON pointed out  that the Homer Mercury Classic                                                               
is identified by name specifically in the bill.                                                                                 
MS. TOLLEFSRUD  said her organization  would be more  specific on                                                               
dates about the  first time [the temperature rose  to 55 degrees]                                                               
after June  1 or  before June  1.  Data  is collected  hourly via                                                               
computer, so that [time and date] can't be altered.                                                                             
CHAIR ANDERSON, upon  determining no one else  wished to testify,                                                               
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
Number 1117                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG moved  to report HB 232  out of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.  There being no objection,  HB 232 was reported out of the                                                               
House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                                    

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