Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/09/2003 01:24 PM House RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 163-NONRES. GAME TAG FEES/WILDLIFE TOUR PASS                                                                               
Number 1118                                                                                                                     
CHAIR FATE  announced that the  final order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL NO.  163,  "An  Act relating  to  an annual  wildlife                                                               
conservation  pass  and  the  fee  for  that  pass;  relating  to                                                               
nonresident  and  nonresident  alien   big  game  tag  fees;  and                                                               
providing for  an effective  date."  [The  bill was  sponsored by                                                               
the House  Rules Standing Committee  by request of  the governor.                                                               
Before  the committee,  adopted as  a work  draft on  4/4/03, was                                                               
Version D, labeled 23-GH1098\D, Utermohle, 3/18/03.]                                                                            
CHAIR  FATE   indicated  the  public  hearing   had  been  closed                                                               
previously and reminded members  that several amendments had been                                                               
incorporated into Version D.   He asked whether the committee had                                                               
any questions before addressing further amendments.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA said she had concerns, not questions.                                                                   
The committee took an at-ease from 2:48 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.                                                                       
Number 0896                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  MASEK  moved to  adopt  Amendment  1, which  read                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
     Page 2, following line 14                                                                                                  
     (9)   a  wildlife  conservation pass  will provide  new                                                                    
     revenue that may  be used to support  fish and wildlife                                                                    
     management,  including protection,  and to  support and                                                                    
     promote  the   tourism  industry  for   which  wildlife                                                                    
     resources attract visitors to the state;                                                                                   
Number 0890                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA objected to ask for an explanation.                                                                     
CHAIR FATE explained  that it sets forth the  intent, since there                                                               
had been questions about what these funds would be used for.                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA removed her objection.                                                                                  
Number 0832                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  asked whether adding [Amendment  1] to                                                               
the findings  section directs those  funds or whether it  is just                                                               
part of the opening statement about the legislation.                                                                            
CHAIR  FATE said  that, to  him, this  is more  than just  intent                                                               
language, although it  is clarification of what the  use will be.                                                               
Emphasizing  that it's  in  the body  of law  and  uses the  word                                                               
"will", he  then noted that  it says "will provide  new [revenue]                                                               
that may be used to support" and so forth.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  said his concern is  whether its being                                                               
under Section 1, "Findings", makes a difference.                                                                                
CHAIR  FATE clarified  that these  amendments had  come from  the                                                               
Number 0697                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK  said she believes  it's appropriate  and in                                                               
line with the other findings, paragraphs (1) through (8).                                                                       
CHAIR FATE concurred.                                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  observed that Amendment 1  says the pass                                                               
[may be used  to] support and promote the tourism  industry.  She                                                               
didn't recall much testimony on how  it would do that.  She asked                                                               
what the plan  is to do with the funds  for the tourism industry,                                                               
and whether the funds will go into marketing, for instance.                                                                     
Number 0622                                                                                                                     
JIM  POUND,  Staff  to Representative  Hugh  Fate,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, speaking as the committee aide, responded:                                                                         
     This  was  language  that we  had  discussed  with  the                                                                    
     administration regarding expanding  out the possibility                                                                    
     of --  and, again, it's  primarily a finding,  but it's                                                                    
     intent  language so  that when  ... future  legislators                                                                    
     ... are looking at how  funds are distributed, ... they                                                                    
     have  [an] option  of ...  moving that  money into  the                                                                    
     tourism industry  as far as marketing  or whatever area                                                                    
     they see fit.                                                                                                              
Number 0565                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG asked  whether someone from Legislative                                                               
Legal and  Research Services could give  him an answer as  to how                                                               
it is  different to  put this language  in the  findings section,                                                               
rather than relating it to a statute with a reference line.                                                                     
MR. POUND  offered his opinion  instead, saying a  paragraph that                                                               
he believed  was on page 6,  line 30, to  page 7, line 2,  in the                                                               
previous bill version  was in a completely different  part of the                                                               
legislation.   He said  [Amendment 1] was  put together  to bring                                                               
that  language  back into  the  bill,  "in part,  especially  the                                                               
wildlife management portions of it."   He also indicated that the                                                               
omission had  been discovered this  very day, and that  there may                                                               
be a  modification needed to  Amendment 1 because it  is somewhat                                                               
CHAIR FATE announced his preference  of making recommendations to                                                               
the House Finance Committee and moving the bill forward.                                                                        
Number 0310                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK reiterated that  she believes Amendment 1 is                                                               
in  the  appropriate  place  and  adds  language  brought  up  in                                                               
committee discussions  from the tourism industry.   "We're trying                                                               
to  facilitate all  users, every  one that  has a  stakeholder in                                                               
this  bill here,"  she added.   "And  I think  we're compromising                                                               
quite a  bit, and I think  this amendment ... should  pass."  She                                                               
asked  that Representative  Guttenberg remove  his objection  and                                                               
then  have the  House Finance  Committee  take a  closer look  at                                                               
Amendment 1.                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG said he would remove his objection.                                                                   
Number 0193                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK renewed her motion to adopt Amendment 1.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO objected.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  HEINZE  referred  to  the  wording  "promote  the                                                               
tourism industry  for which  wildlife resources  attract visitors                                                               
to the  state".  She said  it seems to  be a very narrow  part of                                                               
tourism.   If  a  boat owner  doesn't run  a  wildlife tour,  for                                                               
example, the funds cannot come back to that person.                                                                             
CHAIR FATE replied:                                                                                                             
     Part of what  you say is true, but  there's very little                                                                    
     ... in the ... tourism  industry that doesn't deal with                                                                    
     the viewing  of wildlife, whether  it's on a  tour ship                                                                    
     or  whether it's  on  a rubber-tire  crate  to ...  the                                                                    
     Interior of Alaska  or whatever. ... So  it's not quite                                                                    
     as  narrow ...  as a  person might  be made  to believe                                                                    
     here in the wording ....                                                                                                   
Number 0082                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO told members  he isn't entirely pleased with                                                               
the bill,  but now that  it's before  the committee, he  has some                                                               
trouble with the  wording of Amendment 1.   He questioned whether                                                               
it will  always be  true that a  wildlife conservation  pass will                                                               
provide new  revenue.  He  suggested it  makes more sense  to say                                                               
"funds generated  from a wildlife  conservation pass may  be used                                                               
to support", for instance.                                                                                                      
TAPE 03-28, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
CHAIR FATE  said this isn't  talking about  the bottom line  or a                                                               
balance sheet, but about revenue derived  from one pass.  If more                                                               
than one pass  is sold, there will  be a multiple of  the cost of                                                               
the pass as revenue.  He suggested it is a matter of semantics.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  replied that it's  tough for him to  make a                                                               
declaration  that  something  will  happen unless  he  can  offer                                                               
supporting evidence.   He indicated he wouldn't  pursue it unless                                                               
some other  members agreed, but  said he'd feel  more comfortable                                                               
with "funds generated from", rather than the existing language.                                                                 
Number 0108                                                                                                                     
MR.  POUND  proposed a  possible  way  to address  Representative                                                               
Gatto's   concern  and   duplicative  wording.     Referring   to                                                               
[subsection (e)]  page 6, line 30  - which he said  is relatively                                                               
unimportant  - and  on  to  page 7,  line  7,  he suggested  that                                                               
[subsection (e) should  read in part, "The annual  balance in the                                                               
account may  be appropriated by  the legislature for  the purpose                                                               
of fish  and game management,  viewing, and  education programs,"                                                               
with  the  following  inserted:   "including  protection  and  to                                                               
support  and  promote the  tourism  industry  for which  wildlife                                                               
resources attract  visitors [to] the  state".   Deleted  would be                                                               
the wording "for other public purposes" [page 7, line 2].                                                                       
MR. POUND then suggested that on  page 7, line 7 [it should say]:                                                               
"The annual  balance in  the account may  be appropriated  by the                                                               
legislature  for  the  purpose   of  fish  and  game  management,                                                               
viewing,  and education  programs,  including  protection and  to                                                               
support  and  promote the  tourism  industry  for which  wildlife                                                               
resources attract  visitors [to]  the state."   Deleted  would be                                                               
"for other public purposes".                                                                                                    
MR.   POUND  suggested   the  foregoing   would   take  care   of                                                               
Representative  Gatto's concern  about wording  saying this  will                                                               
generate funds, because it refers it back to fees.                                                                              
CHAIR FATE  said it  sounds like  a pretty  good compromise.   He                                                               
suggested Amendment 1  should be withdrawn and a  new Amendment 1                                                               
should be moved.                                                                                                                
Number 0250                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK withdrew Amendment 1.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK moved to adopt new [Conceptual] Amendment 1                                                                
[as set forth by Mr. Pound previously].                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE expressed confusion, saying she hadn't                                                                    
been finished with her discussion.                                                                                              
Number 0317                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA objected for purposes of discussion.                                                                    
She told members:                                                                                                               
     Here's where  I think  we're going awry  with this.   I                                                                    
     think Representative Guttenberg's  point about findings                                                                    
     versus intent's  pretty well taken.   This really isn't                                                                    
     in "finding".   It may be  intent.  But now  what we're                                                                    
     doing is actually  getting ... into where  we think the                                                                    
     money  should  go,  and  that's  probably  the  statute                                                                    
     itself.    So  I  don't really  care,  because  I  have                                                                    
     problems with  the whole bill.   But I do  think you're                                                                    
     starting  to  really  get the  record  pretty  confused                                                                    
     about, "This  just isn't a  finding." ...  There hasn't                                                                    
     been evidence  on it.  It's  not in the right  place in                                                                    
     the bill.   So, I don't know what you  want to do about                                                                    
     it, but there's my objection.                                                                                              
Number 0410                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK withdrew new Conceptual Amendment 1.                                                                       
[HB 163 was held over.]                                                                                                         

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