Legislature(2003 - 2004)
03/17/2004 01:07 PM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB 295-EXTEND NAVIGABLE WATERS COMMISSION CO-CHAIR DAHLSTROM announced that the final order of business would be HOUSE BILL NO. 295, "An Act relating to the publishing and furnishing of certain public notices regarding regulations or rules of certain state agencies; relating to distribution of the Alaska Administrative Code, Alaska Administrative Register, and supplements to the code or register; and providing for an effective date." Number 2380 ZACK WARWICK, Staff to Senator Gene Therriault, Alaska State Legislature, presented SB 295 on behalf of Senator Therriault, sponsor of the bill. He told the committee that a lot of what SB 295 does piggybacks on SB 305. In 2002 the Alaska State Legislature created the Joint Federal and State Navigable Waters Commission made up of seven state and federal members. The purpose was to create a working group to come to consensus on three objectives. The first was to expedite the process of obtaining title to the state's submerged lands. The second was to determine which bodies of waters are navigable and non- navigable, which would piggyback some of the work that is being done through SB 305. The third objective was to provide recommendations to the state and federal governments on ways to improve the process of making navigability determinations and obtain title to the state's submerged lands in a fair and expeditious way. Number 2304 MR. WARWICK said unfortunately, in 2002 after the state legislation passed, the federal legislation did not pass. So the Joint Federal and State Navigable Waters Commission never met. All this bill does is extend the sunset date for two years. It is hoped that the Alaska delegation will introduce federal legislation that will authorize the federal portion of the commission. This is an effort to build consensus on how to proceed. CO-CHAIR DAHLSTROM announced for the record that Dick Mylius, Deputy Director, Division of Mining, Land and Water, Department of Natural Resources is on line to answer questions. Number 2278 REPRESENTATIVE WOLF asked if the commission will in any way slow down or compromise the process with the federal government. MR. WARWICK replied he does not believe so. Number 2252 CO-CHAIR MASEK referred to the sponsor statement with respect to renewing the sunset, and asked if Mr. Warwick knows if federal lawmakers look favorably on this kind of legislation. MR. WARWICK replied that in 2002 there was legislation introduced, it received one committee hearing, but it did not move. He said he could not comment on the possibility of federal legislation passing. CO-CHAIR MASEK asked if SB 295 passes will the commission proceed without the federal legislation passing. Number 2174 MR. WARWICK commented that when this legislation passed in 2002 there was a zero fiscal note. The state membership was never appointed and no work was done, he explained. He told the members that there was agreement with DNR that no membership appointments would be made until the federal legislation passes. Number 2165 REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE asked if after 40 years of dispute does Mr. Warwick believe a two-year extension is enough. She asked if the seven state and federal representatives had been appointed and are currently working. MR. WARWICK replied no. REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE again questioned whether two years is long enough. MR. WARWICK responded that he does not know, but given that a lot of work will be done through SB 305, he believes two years should be adequate. CO-CHAIR MASEK moved to report SB 295 out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. There being no objection, SB 295 was reported out of House Resources Standing Committee.