Legislature(2009 - 2010)BARNES 124
04/01/2009 01:00 PM House RESOURCES
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|Big Game Commercial Services Board|
* first hearing in first committee of referral
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= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 70-ALASKA GROWN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS 1:05:48 PM CO-CHAIR NEUMAN announced that the first order of business would be reconsideration of HOUSE BILL NO. 70, "An Act establishing the farm-to-school program in the Department of Natural Resources, the Alaska grown fresh fruit and vegetable grant program in the Department of Education and Early Development, the farmers' market technology improvement pilot program in the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the farmers to food banks pilot program in the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development." [CSHB 70(RES), Version E, was previously reported from the committee.] CO-CHAIR NEUMAN explained that HB 70 was again before the committee in order to take care of a technicality. REPRESENTATIVE WILSON moved that the committee rescind its action on HB 70 labeled 26-LS0284\E, Bannister, 3/24/09. There being no objection, passage of -Version E was rescinded. REPRESENTATIVE WILSON moved to adopt the proposed committee substitute (CS) for HB 70, Version 26-LS0284\S, Bannister, 3/25/09, as the work draft. There being no objection, Version S was before the committee. 1:07:06 PM REX SHATTUCK, Staff, Representative Mark Neuman, Alaska State Legislature, explained that during the final drafting process of Version E, Legislative Legal and Research Services pointed out that the language on page 6, lines 23-24, "if the money from the sale is used to support the operation of a school garden, greenhouse, or farm under this section", violates the state's constitutional prohibition against dedicated funds. This concern was raised because a school district might be considered a political subdivision of the state or an agency of the municipality and a municipality is a subdivision of the state. He said this language has been deleted from Version S. 1:09:57 PM REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI noted that Version E states that the vegetables may be sold if the money is used to support the operation of the school gardens and Version S simply states that the vegetables may be sold. He asked how the problem is solved by leaving it open as to where the money can be spent. MR. SHATTUCK replied that the intent of the committee through its previous discussions seemed to not want to send the money any place else, but to allow it to be a local decision. He related that Legislative Legal and Research Services said this is the minimum that could be done to still allow local decision without directing funds and running afoul of the constitutional prohibition. SANDRA WILSON, Staff, Representative Carl Gatto, understood that it is legal as long as it is provided that the vegetables can be sold and there is no directive for how the funds must be used. 1:12:13 PM REPRESENTATIVE TUCK inquired how this is different from bake sales and other events that raise money for school sports teams and bands. MR. SHATTUCK said that kind of fund raising is through the general public and not from the state general fund, and therefore he thinks it is a different issue. REPRESENTATIVE TUCK said he had assumed money from fundraisers for bands was going directly to the activity. CO-CHAIR NEUMAN pointed out that the sponsor's intent and the legislative intent do matter, and the intent in HB 70 is to help make the school garden program as self-sustaining as possible through proceeds received from the produce. MS. WILSON agreed that this is the sponsor's intent. REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG stated that he thinks members agree on the intent, but he does not see how deleting the aforementioned language changes anything. He assumed the money will go into the school district's account and that there is no intent by the committee that the money be returned to the state. He asked whether there is a way to make this work that is cleaner. 1:15:27 PM CO-CHAIR NEUMAN inquired whether the bill drafter, Mr. Bannister, knew the committee's intent and drafted language that would cover this intent. MR. SHATTUCK understood from his conversations with Legislative Legal and Research Services that the language was crafted to adopt the will of the committee while staying within the constraints allowed. He said Legislative Legal and Research Services also pointed out that it is a financial issue and HB 70 has a referral to the House Finance Committee where the language can be further crafted. REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON stated that he does not see where the money from any of these types of sales is directed to go to schools, but he doubted that any of the approximately 80 funds currently in state statute have such language because of the constitutional prohibition. He said he is therefore satisfied that this does what is needed and if it needs to be revisited the House Finance Committee can do so. CO-CHAIR JOHNSON moved to report HB 70, Version 26-LS0284\S, Bannister, 3/25/09, out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. There being no objection, CSHB 70(RES), Version S, was reported from the House Resources Standing Committee.