Legislature(2003 - 2004)

02/24/2004 08:03 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 447-2004 REVISORS BILL                                                                                                     
Number 2512                                                                                                                     
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  announced that  the next  order of  business was                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO.  447, "An Act making corrective  amendments to the                                                               
Alaska Statutes  as recommended by  the revisor of  statutes; and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
The committee took an at-ease from 9:00 a.m. to 9:03 a.m.                                                                       
Number 2494                                                                                                                     
PAM  FINLEY,  Revisor  of Statutes,  Legislative  Legal  Counsel,                                                               
Legislative Legal and Research Services,  told the committee that                                                               
the purpose of  [HB 447] is to "clean up  the statutes on matters                                                               
where the policy  has already been decided."   She indicated that                                                               
there should  be no policy  changes in the  proposed legislation.                                                               
She explained  that most of  the changes in  the bill have  to do                                                               
with  two executive  orders from  last year,  which "didn't  make                                                               
certain  technical  changes  that  needed to  be  made."    Those                                                               
changes, she  explained, have been  discussed with  the executive                                                               
branch.   Ms.  Finley noted  that there  is a  sectional included                                                               
with the bill.  She offered to answer questions.                                                                                
Number 2443                                                                                                                     
MS.  FINLEY began  discussion of  what became  Amendment 1.   She                                                               
said the Department of Law has asked for a change as follows:                                                                   
     On page 7, line 6                                                                                                          
     Delete "and restoration"                                                                                               
MS.  FINLEY explained  that the  Department of  Natural Resources                                                               
(DNR) says it is not doing restoration.                                                                                         
Number 2387                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG suggested,  "When  we're talking  about                                                               
whether DNR ...  chooses to do restoration, that may  be a policy                                                               
MS. FINLEY  responded that it would  be [a policy issue]  if that                                                               
section of the  bill "told people to do things."   She clarified,                                                               
"What this section  of the law is, is a  list of state activities                                                               
that can  be considered in  determining the differential  in fees                                                               
between residents  and nonresidents for fishing."   She continued                                                               
as follows:                                                                                                                     
     So, what  it basically  says is  that you  may consider                                                                    
     the  cost incurred  by the  state for  direct operating                                                                    
     expenditures  in  regulation   of  the  commercial  ...                                                                    
     fishing industry,  including --  and then  there's this                                                                    
     long laundry list.                                                                                                         
     And actually, even if it  weren't in this list, I think                                                                    
     if  it's  met  the  basic definition  of  a  commercial                                                                    
     fishing  activity,  you could  still  consider  it.   I                                                                    
     think this list  was passed, probably in  response to a                                                                    
     court decision where they were  trying to spend the fee                                                                    
     differential,  and they  wanted as  much as  they could                                                                    
     put in it.  So, if  this were a statute that says, "DNR                                                                    
     shall do  'x,' 'y,' or 'z,'"  I would agree with  you -                                                                    
     it would  be a policy  matter and I wouldn't  touch it.                                                                    
     ...   This is  a list  of things  we're doing  that you                                                                    
     could consider  in the  fee differential  and, actually                                                                    
     even  if  it's  not  in  this  list,  you  could  still                                                                    
     consider it.  So, I  don't really have any objection to                                                                    
     making DNR happy on this point.                                                                                            
Number 2260                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked the following:                                                                                   
     If DNR  were to  engage in  restoration -  which, since                                                                    
     they've assumed  most of the  functions of  [the Alaska                                                                    
     Department  of Fish  &  Game], they  ought  to -  would                                                                    
     removal of this language preclude a differential?                                                                          
MS.  FINLEY  said she  doesn't  think  so, because  the  language                                                               
specifies the  Department of  Natural Resources,  "including" the                                                               
Alaska  coastal  management program  and  habitat  program.   She                                                               
explained  that the  use of  the word  "including" does  not mean                                                               
"these are the  only things."  She opined that  it's nice to have                                                               
[and restoration]  in the  list, which she  explained is  why she                                                           
included it; however, if DNR  decided to do restoration, she said                                                               
she thinks  the department could still  argue that as long  as it                                                               
had  something  to  do  with  commercial  fishing,  it  could  be                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  asked if  that language was  removed at                                                               
the request of someone.                                                                                                         
MS.  FINLEY  noted  that  she  had received  a  call  from  Janet                                                               
Burleson-Baxter,  [Department of  Natural  Resources], who  asked                                                               
her to [remove the language],  whereby she deferred Ms. Burleson-                                                               
Baxter to [Deborah  Behr, Assistant Attorney General].   Then Ms.                                                               
Behr called  her and  asked her  to take the  language out.   She                                                               
said,  "We  agreed   that  since  this  was   just  an  including                                                               
provision, both in [the Alaska Department  of Fish & Game] and in                                                               
DNR, ... in some ways it didn't matter at all."                                                                                 
Number 2181                                                                                                                     
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH asked if there  was any objection to adopting the                                                               
foregoing Amendment 1.  There being none, it was so ordered.                                                                    
Number 2135                                                                                                                     
MS. FINLEY, in response to  a query from Chair Weyhrauch, offered                                                               
the  following history:    She said  there was  a  time when  the                                                               
advisor's  bill  just  went  to   the  House  Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee and the  Senate Judiciary Standing Committee.   At some                                                               
point, she  noted, it  got a  referral to  "State Affairs  in one                                                               
house and then in  the next."  Ever since then  it has been heard                                                               
by  both  the House  State  Affairs  Standing Committee  and  the                                                               
Senate State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                        
Number 2112                                                                                                                     
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH noted that there  has been some grumbling by some                                                               
that  [the revisor's  bill] should  not  get a  referral to  [the                                                               
House  State  Affairs  Standing Committee  or  the  Senate  State                                                               
Affairs Standing  Committee].  He  opined, "I think it's  fine if                                                               
another  pair of  eyes looks  at it."   He  noted that  sometimes                                                               
"people pick things up that aren't picked up in one committee."                                                                 
Number 2092                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ remarked that  he thinks that's why it's                                                               
generally preferable that bills  - particularly substantive bills                                                               
- get  at least two  committees of referral.   He stated  that he                                                               
knows that the speaker [of  the House of Representatives] is "not                                                               
always of the same opinion."                                                                                                    
Number 2064                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL turned to [page  6, line 4], and asked for                                                               
an  explanation of  the change  in language  from "[PRIMARY]"  to                                                               
MS. FINLEY explained that at  one point nominating petitions were                                                               
done for  the primary  election.   That was  changed in  2001, so                                                               
that the nominating petitions only  applied to general elections.                                                               
She  added, "And  we did  it  in all  the other  statutes and  we                                                               
missed  this  one."    She   clarified  that  the  language  that                                                               
Representative Coghill asked about is just conforming language.                                                                 
Number 2015                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  moved to report  HB 447, as  amended, out                                                               
of   committee   with   individual   recommendations   [and   the                                                               
accompanying fiscal note].                                                                                                      
Number 2007                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ objected  to  say that  he has  noticed                                                               
that  a  substantial  portion  of the  bill  came  about  because                                                               
executive  orders were  not "carefully  vetted";  they didn't  do                                                               
what they should have done.   He said this highlights the problem                                                               
of  when the  administration acts  without doing  a thorough  job                                                               
regarding  executive orders.    He said  that  it highlights  the                                                               
danger  of using  executive orders  as opposed  to going  through                                                               
legislation to  conduct the state's  business.  He noted  that it                                                               
is not  the legislature's  mistake that is  being fixed,  but the                                                               
governor's.   That  said, Representative  Berkowitz withdrew  his                                                               
Number 1959                                                                                                                     
There being no further objection,  CSHB 447(STA) was reported out                                                               
of the House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                  

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