Legislature(2017 - 2018)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/08/2018 09:00 AM Senate FINANCE

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SENATE BILL NO. 92                                                                                                            
     "An  Act relating  to abandoned  and derelict  vessels;                                                                    
     relating to  the registration  of vessels;  relating to                                                                    
     certificates  of title  for  vessels;  relating to  the                                                                    
     duties  of the  Department of  Administration; relating                                                                    
     to the  duties of the Department  of Natural Resources;                                                                    
     establishing  the derelict  vessel prevention  program;                                                                    
     establishing  the  derelict vessel  prevention  program                                                                    
     fund; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                
9:03:02 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon directed attention  to SB 92. she relayed                                                                    
that  the committee  had heard  the bill  on March  1, 2018;                                                                    
public hearing had been opened and closed.                                                                                      
Vice-Chair   Bishop  MOVED   to  ADOPT   proposed  committee                                                                    
substitute  for  SB  92,   Work  Draft  30-LS0481\U  (Bruce,                                                                    
RACHEL  HANKE, STAFF,  SENATOR PETER  MICCICHE, stated  that                                                                    
most  of  the  changes  to  the  bill  were  technical.  She                                                                    
discussed the  substantive changes detailed  on "Explanation                                                                    
of Changes Ver.O to Ver.U"(copy on file):                                                                                       
     16. Page  13, Lines 19,  20: Rewrites to  read "develop                                                                    
     and  maintain a  publicly available  database of  known                                                                    
     derelict  vessels in  the state."  This clarifies  that                                                                    
     this  database is  only for  existing derelict  vessels                                                                    
     and not for all vessels.                                                                                                   
     17. Page  13, Line 31:  Adds new subsection  (4), which                                                                    
     allows the  fund to be  used to pay  for administration                                                                    
     18.  Page 14,  Lines  11-28: Adds  new subsection  that                                                                    
     grants departments,  municipalities and  peace officers                                                                    
     to enforce the chapter.                                                                                                    
9:05:26 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon  WITHDREW her  OBJECTION. There  being NO                                                                    
further OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                           
9:05:54 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Hanke  gave a  high-level  overview  of the  bill.  She                                                                    
detailed  that  SB  92  rewrote AS  30.30,  which  had  been                                                                    
largely unchanged  since the 1970s.  She said that  the bill                                                                    
would  make procedures  for  dealing  with derelict  vessels                                                                    
through the state clear  for local governments, strengthened                                                                    
vessel  owners due  process  rights,  expanded current  boat                                                                    
registration to  capture U.S. Coast Guard  documented vessel                                                                    
and barges, allowed for the  titling of vessels, and created                                                                    
a  Derelict  Vessel  Program Prevention  Fund.  The  revenue                                                                    
sources  for the  fund were  the  barge registration  funds,                                                                    
titles, federal receipts, donations,  vessel sales under the                                                                    
chapter,  and  civil  penalties.  The  fund  would  pay  for                                                                    
establishment  and  administration  of the  Derelict  Vessel                                                                    
Prevention  Program, education  and  community outreach,  an                                                                    
advisory  council, and  the Derelict  Vessel data  base. The                                                                    
fund may  pay for reimbursement  costs of vessel  removal on                                                                    
state    and    municipal    property,    development    and                                                                    
implementation  of programs  to incentivize  compliance with                                                                    
the chapter, subsidizing  Derelict Vessel Prevention Program                                                                    
projects, and fund administration.                                                                                              
9:07:19 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Stevens understood that  the requirement for a title                                                                    
did  not  include a  requirement  for  small boats  such  as                                                                    
skiffs.  He  wondered whether  there  was  a size  threshold                                                                    
included in the legislation.                                                                                                    
Ms. Hanke stated  that all boats required  to register would                                                                    
be titled.                                                                                                                      
Senator  Stevens  asked  again  whether  the  bill  excluded                                                                    
vessels such as skiffs.                                                                                                         
Senator Micciche stated that all  motorized boats and barges                                                                    
would be  required to register  and have a title.  He stated                                                                    
that he was  working with the Department  of Motor Vehicles.                                                                    
He said that  the bill did not include  vessels like canoes.                                                                    
All motorized vessels were required to have a title.                                                                            
Senator  Stevens  asked whether  a  skiff  with an  outboard                                                                    
motor  (and moved  by a  trailer) would  be included  in the                                                                    
requirement. He asserted that the  danger of a skiff sinking                                                                    
and causing problems was not  equivalent to the danger cause                                                                    
by  a  fishing boat  or  barge.  He wondered  whether  there                                                                    
should be an exclusion for smaller vessels.                                                                                     
Senator Micciche thought the topic  was worthy of discussion                                                                    
and noted  that excluding  smaller vessels would  shrink the                                                                    
size  of the  fund. He  thought that  smaller vessels  could                                                                    
sometimes be  part of  the problem.  He reiterated  that the                                                                    
issue   was  worth   consideration   but   would  remove   a                                                                    
significant amount of the funding for the fund.                                                                                 
9:11:12 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Stevens wondered  what the  requirements under  the                                                                    
bill would be to register a Boston Whaler.                                                                                      
Senator Micciche  explained that the  bill would add  $2 per                                                                    
year  to the  registration fee,  as well  as a  one-time $20                                                                    
title  fee that  would  extend  for as  long  as the  person                                                                    
registering owned the boat.                                                                                                     
9:12:02 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Hoffman  asked whether the  cost would be  the same                                                                    
for an 18-foot skiff and a large yacht.                                                                                         
Senator Micciche replied in the affirmative.                                                                                    
Ms. Hanke stated  that all boat registration  would cost $30                                                                    
under the  bill; except  for barges,  which would  cost $75;                                                                    
titling of vessels would be $20 across the board.                                                                               
Co-Chair  Hoffman  thought  the  committee  should  consider                                                                    
different fees for different sizes  of vessels. He discussed                                                                    
different size thresholds. He thought  the bill should treat                                                                    
the registration of  various sizes of boats  in an equitable                                                                    
Senator Micciche agreed.  He added that the  current cost of                                                                    
$24 was applied to  all state registered vessels, regardless                                                                    
of size. This would remain  the same whether the bill passed                                                                    
committee.  He   said  that  the  legislation   was  largely                                                                    
targeted  at  bigger vessels.  He  noted  that the  original                                                                    
version of the bill had  included a differential on cost and                                                                    
well  as an  insurance  requirement for  larger vessels.  He                                                                    
thought  that  the  $20  title fee  could  be  augmented  to                                                                    
recognize vessel size.                                                                                                          
Co-Chair   Hoffman  suggested   setting   policy  now   that                                                                    
recognized the issue.                                                                                                           
9:16:20 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon recapped that  there were boats in Alaska                                                                    
waters  that were  abandoned and  afloat and  were sometimes                                                                    
harming the  environment and creating  a safety  hazard. She                                                                    
concluded that the intent of  the bill was to alleviate this                                                                    
Senator Micciche added that there  were thousands of vessels                                                                    
that were  derelict and abandoned, and  the problem affected                                                                    
the entire state. He detailed  that there were 3,100 vessels                                                                    
between 28  feet and 59  feet that  were more than  45 years                                                                    
old, which he  believed was a precursor  to future problems.                                                                    
He reiterated that  the bill was largely  targeted at larger                                                                    
vessels.  He argued  that knowing  who  owned vessels  would                                                                    
help to deal with derelict vessels before they sink.                                                                            
Co-Chair MacKinnon  noted that Senator Micciche  was open to                                                                    
suggestions.  She discussed  derelict cars  and trucks,  for                                                                    
which individuals  were held  accountable, and  thought that                                                                    
the issue was similar.                                                                                                          
9:20:01 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Stevens  expressed concern  about the  definition of                                                                    
"derelict"  and  wondered what  criteria  would  be used  to                                                                    
determine whether a vessel was derelict.                                                                                        
Senator Micciche said that you  could tell that vessels were                                                                    
derelict  by looking  at  them. He  reiterated  that it  was                                                                    
important  that vessels  owners be  known in  order to  hold                                                                    
derelict vessel owners accountable.  He argued that the bill                                                                    
provided a  method for  dealing with  the problem  before it                                                                    
became expensive for the state.                                                                                                 
Co-Chair MacKinnon  stated that she wanted  the committee to                                                                    
provide a clear definition of derelict vessels.                                                                                 
9:24:08 AM                                                                                                                    
COMMANDER GRAHAM  LANZ, UNITED  STATES COAST  GUARD, JUNEAU,                                                                    
explained that  the Coast  Guard did  not have  a definition                                                                    
for derelict or abandoned vessels.  He stated that the Coast                                                                    
Guard regulated vessels on their intended service.                                                                              
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  used  the analogy  of  overdue  parking                                                                    
Senator  Micciche   thought  the  definition  of   the  term                                                                    
derelict was present in the bill.                                                                                               
Ms. Hanke  stated that  Section 22  on page  12 of  the bill                                                                    
provided  various  situations in  which  a  vessel would  be                                                                    
considered derelict.                                                                                                            
Vice-Chair  Bishop   asked  whether  the  Coast   Guard  had                                                                    
protocol   for  what   determined  whether   a  vessel   was                                                                    
seaworthy. Theoretically,  a derelict  vessel could  be made                                                                    
seaworthy again with enough work and a reinspection.                                                                            
Commander Lanz  answered in the  affirmative. He  added that                                                                    
the Coast  Guard would  not make the  decision on  whether a                                                                    
boat was no longer fixable, just  when it was no longer safe                                                                    
to get underway.                                                                                                                
9:27:26 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon  directed Senator  Micciche to  work with                                                                    
Senator  Stevens on  language defining  derelict. She  asked                                                                    
Senator Stevens to provide feedback  on the language already                                                                    
found in Section 22.                                                                                                            
Senator Micciche  thought the section suggested  that if the                                                                    
vessel  was  in immediate  danger  of  sinking, had  already                                                                    
sunk, or if  ownership could not be determined,  it would be                                                                    
considered derelict.                                                                                                            
Co-Chair MacKinnon  supported the bill. She  referenced page                                                                    
12, lines 8  and 9, which cited environmental  concerns as a                                                                    
factor for  defining derelict vessels. She  thought that the                                                                    
bill could be clearer in the issue.                                                                                             
9:29:43 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator   von  Imhof   recalled   previous  testimony   that                                                                    
referenced  derelict versus  abandoned  vessels. She  stated                                                                    
that there  were different consequences for  derelict vessel                                                                    
and abandoned vessels.                                                                                                          
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  supported  the   concept  of  a  tiered                                                                    
approach to fees as suggested  by Co-Chair Hoffman. She felt                                                                    
that lager vessels  were more likely to  cause public safety                                                                    
issues than smaller vessels.                                                                                                    
Senator Micciche  stated that  separating the  definition of                                                                    
derelict  from  abandoned  had no  function.  He  felt  that                                                                    
either way  the vessel would need  to be dealt with  and the                                                                    
legislation  would provide  additional  tools  to deal  with                                                                    
those vessels.  He admitted that  there was further  work to                                                                    
be done on the bill.                                                                                                            
SB  92  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB158 Sectional Analysis.pdf SFIN 3/8/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 158
SB158 Supporting Document-DEC Fact Sheet.pdf SFIN 3/8/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 158
SB158 Transmittal Letter.pdf SFIN 3/8/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 158
SB 92 J. Murgas SFIN written testimony.pdf SFIN 3/8/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 92
SB 92 Explanation of Changes Ver. O to Ver. U.pdf SFIN 3/8/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 92
SB 92 FAQ Sheet.pdf SFIN 3/8/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 92
SB 92 Work Draft Version U.pdf SFIN 3/8/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 92
SB 92 Support Doc - Northern Economics 2015 Survey Summary.pdf SFIN 3/8/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 92