Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/18/2003 01:03 PM Senate FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                                                                                                                                
     HOUSE BILL NO. 232                                                                                                         
     "An Act relating to mercury classics; and providing for an                                                                 
     effective date."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Wilken stated  that this bill, "allows the Homer chapter of                                                            
the Kenai  Peninsula Boys  and Girls Club  to operate and  implement                                                            
the Homer Mercury Classic."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PAUL  SEATON,  sponsor,  testified this  bill  would                                                            
establish the  Homer Mercury Classic, which would  operate similarly                                                            
to other classics  including the Nenana Ice Classic.  He stated this                                                            
bill would  allow the Boys  and Girls Club  to offer $2 tickets,  of                                                            
which  50 percent  would be  paid  out in  prizes. He  told of  past                                                            
mercury classics  held in Fairbanks  in 1987 and 1988, noting  these                                                            
were  the only  authorized  mercury  classics.    He informed  of  a                                                            
computerized  weather station  located on the  roof of the  Boys and                                                            
Girls Club building that  would allow for temperature monitoring. He                                                            
explained the  weather station would be used to determine  the first                                                            
instance in the spring  when the temperature rises to 55 degrees and                                                            
the first  instance in the  fall when the  temperature lowers  to 15                                                            
degrees.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Amendment #1: This amendment  inserts "relating to contests of skill                                                            
under the charitable  gaming laws;" into the title  of the bill. The                                                            
amended title reads as follows.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to contests of skill under the charitable                                                                 
     gaming  laws; relating to mercury  classics; and providing  for                                                            
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
This amendment also inserts  a new bill section on page 1, line 3 to                                                            
read as follows.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1. AS 05.15.180(g) is amended to read:                                                                             
          (g) A municipality or a qualified organization may award                                                              
     a  maximum of  $1,000,000  in prizes  each year  in  activities                                                            
     authorized under this  chapter; however, if a municipality or a                                                            
     qualified  organization contracts  with an operator  to conduct                                                            
     on  its behalf activities  authorized  under this chapter,  the                                                            
     municipality  or qualified organization may award  a maximum of                                                            
     $500,000  in prizes each  year. A municipality  or a  qualified                                                          
     organization  that conducts a contest of skill  and awards more                                                          
     than $500,000 in prizes  to the participants in that contest of                                                          
     skill,  may  exclude  $500,000   in  prizes  awarded  to  those                                                          
     participants  from  the  $1,000,000  maximum  allowed  in  this                                                          
     subsection. The holders  of a multiple-beneficiary permit under                                                          
     AS  05.15.100(d) may  award a  maximum in prizes  each year  of                                                            
     $1,000,000  times  the  number of  holders  of the  permit  for                                                            
     activities  authorized under  this chapter. In this  subsection                                                            
     "activities   authorized   under   this  chapter"   means   all                                                            
     activities subject to this chapter other than bingo.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     NEW TEXT UNDERLINED [DELETED TEXT BRACKETED]                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson moved for adoption.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Wilken objected for an explanation.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson noted  this amendment  specifically  pertains to  the                                                            
Iditarod  Trail sled  dog race and  would allow  an organization  to                                                            
award over  $1 million in total prize  payouts for a game  of skill.                                                            
He expressed  that  the Iditarod  has been  a popular  activity  for                                                            
Western Alaska in the winter months.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Wilken asked  if the Iditarod  game or  any other  game of                                                            
chance has reached the $1 million payout limit.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Green referenced  a letter dated  May 17, 2003 to  Senator                                                            
Olson  from Stan  Hooley,  Executive  Director, The  Iditarod  Trail                                                            
Committee,  Inc., [copy on  file] predicting  that the total  payout                                                            
would exceed $1 million in the year 2004.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Wilken therefore deemed this amendment necessary.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Wilken noted earlier  questions were raised relating to the                                                            
legality  of  this provision  and  asked  if  the issues  have  been                                                            
resolved.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson assured this amendment is legal.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator Taylor suggested  that without the amendment, the bill would                                                            
be subject  to criticism in that it  specifies only one charity  and                                                            
one community.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Wilken  removed  his  objection   and  the  amendment  was                                                            
ADOPTED.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green  offered a motion to report HB 232,  as amended, from                                                            
Committee with  individual recommendations  and accompanying  fiscal                                                            
note.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Taylor objected  to rhetorically  ask  whether the  sponsor                                                            
would object to an amendment to include video gaming.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator Taylor withdrew his objection.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Without objection,  SCS HB 232 (FIN) MOVED from Committee  with zero                                                            
fiscal note #1 from the Department of Revenue.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
AT EASE 1:11 PM / 1:11 PM                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                

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