Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/17/2004 01:07 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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                                                               
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                                                               
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.                                                                                                   

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