Legislature(2019 - 2020)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/29/2019 09:00 AM FINANCE

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Audio Topic
09:02:48 AM Start
09:03:46 AM SB43
09:41:47 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
SENATE BILL NO. 43                                                                                                            
     "An Act extending the termination date of the Big Game                                                                     
     Commercial Services Board; and providing for an                                                                            
     effective date."                                                                                                           
9:03:46 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  von Imhof  reviewed  the history  of  the bill  in                                                                    
committee. She  stated that  it was not  her intent  to take                                                                    
amendments or  move the bill  in the current  meeting. There                                                                    
were some concerns  about the bill, so the  meeting would be                                                                    
a discussion  about how  the board  would keep  "bad actors"                                                                    
out of  the field. There  would also  be a focus  on whether                                                                    
the  board needs  more authority  to  suspend licenses  when                                                                    
needed  or if  changing  the  law would  be  useless due  to                                                                    
constitutional "due  process" concerns and  property rights;                                                                    
and whether  an interim report on  the audit recommendations                                                                    
would be  better than  another full audit  in less  than six                                                                    
years.  She  reminded  the committee  that  division  staff,                                                                    
board  member,  and legislators  could  not  comment on  any                                                                    
issues currently being investigated  or in an administrative                                                                    
hearing  process,   including  appeals.  She   listed  those                                                                    
available  for  questions.  She  wanted  to  understand  how                                                                    
property rights  interplayed with  the rules.  She announced                                                                    
that there were some preliminary questions.                                                                                     
9:07:12 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair von Imhof  asked Ms. Chambers to  briefly recap the                                                                    
investigation  process, and  when  and how  the board  could                                                                    
9:07:34 AM                                                                                                                    
SARA CHAMBERS, DIRECTOR,  DIVISION OF CORPORATIONS, BUSINESS                                                                    
AND   PROFESSIONAL   LICENSING,  DEPARTMENT   OF   COMMERCE,                                                                    
COMMUNITY  AND  ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
gave an  overview of the investigation  process. The process                                                                    
is detailed  in a  letter from DCCED,  dated March  10, 2019                                                                    
(copy on file). She relayed that  it was a wise use of state                                                                    
resources  to allow  criminal investigators  and authorities                                                                    
to perform  their work  and once  a criminal  conviction had                                                                    
occurred,  bring it  before  the BGCSB.  She  said that  the                                                                    
board had a list of   opportunities for someone to run afoul                                                                    
of  criminal law   that triggered  automatic responses  from                                                                    
the  board. She  said that  licenses could  be revoked.  She                                                                    
said the  preference was that judges  make the determination                                                                    
in  matters  of  law  impacting   a  licensee's  ability  to                                                                    
9:12:13 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Wielechowski  noted the  recommendation made  by the                                                                    
division to make changes in AS 08.54.605.                                                                                       
9:12:35 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Chambers informed  the committee  that  a question  had                                                                    
been  asked  of the  division  about  whether there  was  an                                                                    
opportunity  to  increase  the  boards  authority,  and  the                                                                    
division  had made  suggestions pertaining  to the  possible                                                                    
will  of  the committee  to  augment  the authority  of  the                                                                    
board. She said  that the board currently  had the authority                                                                    
to prevent the receiving or  renewal of a license, but there                                                                    
was nothing  under the statute that  automatically revoked a                                                                    
license. The  board could  pursue an  administrative process                                                                    
to  evaluate whether  revocation was  appropriate. She  said                                                                    
that  adding the  word  hold   to statute  could give  board                                                                    
additional   power  but   there   could  be   constitutional                                                                    
9:14:19 AM                                                                                                                    
GREG    FRANCOIS,    CHIEF   INVESTIGATOR,    DIVISION    OF                                                                    
CORPORATIONS,  BUSINESS,  AND  PROFESSIONAL  LICENSING  (via                                                                    
teleconference), stated  that he did  not have a  comment on                                                                    
the subject.                                                                                                                    
9:14:37 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stedman requested  further information  on changes                                                                    
in   08.54.610.   He   thought  that   the   change   looked                                                                    
substantial. He  wondered about the  process used  to target                                                                    
the changes in numeric for the master guide license.                                                                            
9:15:35 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair von  Imhof thanked the  panel for  the availability                                                                    
in the meeting.  She did not know the  appropriate person to                                                                    
address the question.                                                                                                           
9:16:05 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Chambers  shared that the  division recognized  that the                                                                    
 master  guide   title  was honorary  and  was  not  notably                                                                    
different  from a  registered  guide-outfitter license.  She                                                                    
thought that  the question could  be better answered  by the                                                                    
board chair.                                                                                                                    
9:17:27 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  von Imhof  asked  Mr. Tiffany  to  expound on  the                                                                    
difference between  a  master guide   and  guide-outfitter,                                                                     
and how the  master guide title could be  given more  teeth                                                                     
by elevating the number of years of required services.                                                                          
9:17:30 AM                                                                                                                    
HENRY   TIFFANY,  BOARD   PRESIDENT,  BIG   GAME  COMMERCIAL                                                                    
SERVICES BOARD (via teleconference),  replied that the title                                                                    
for the  license of  mater guide was  an honorarium  and did                                                                    
not entitle an  individual to do more than  a register guide                                                                    
could  do.   The  difference  was   that  they   could  call                                                                    
themselves a  mater guide in  advertising. He said  that the                                                                    
title was meant  to indicate that the guide had  been in the                                                                    
field  for a  long  period  of time  and  had  risen to  the                                                                    
highest   levels  of   standards   and  professionalism   as                                                                    
possible. He  believed that the  numbers should  be adjusted                                                                    
in  statute  to  raise  the standard  of  the  master  guide                                                                    
9:21:28 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Olson   asked  whether  the  board   supported  the                                                                    
9:21:51 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Tiffany  replied  that  the   changes  had  yet  to  be                                                                    
discussed  and approved  by the  entire  board. He  believed                                                                    
that the board would support the proposed changes.                                                                              
9:22:55 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair von Imhof  noted that that board would  meet in the                                                                    
first  week of  April 2019,  at which  time the  board would                                                                    
discuss the changes.                                                                                                            
9:23:03 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Tiffany agreed.                                                                                                             
9:23:08 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  von  Imhof  requested a  written  summary  of  the                                                                    
boards findings based on the recommendations.                                                                                   
9:23:18 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Tiffany agreed to provide the information.                                                                                  
9:23:24 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair von  Imhof asked whether  the information  could be                                                                    
provided in a timely manner.                                                                                                    
9:23:29 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Tiffany replied in the affirmative.                                                                                         
9:23:37 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Wielechowski  asked about  investigation  timelines                                                                    
mentioned in  Recommendation 2 of  the legislative  audit of                                                                    
the  board  (copy  on file).  He  mentioned  the  governors                                                                     
Administrative Order 306,  which consolidated investigators,                                                                    
and   asked   how   the  divisions    ability   to   conduct                                                                    
investigations would be impacted.                                                                                               
9:24:10 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Chambers  replied that the  process had only  just begun                                                                    
for refining how the order  would implement. She assured the                                                                    
committee that  the division was looking  into opportunities                                                                    
to streamline resources. Ultimately,  the details of how the                                                                    
order would impact investigations was unknown.                                                                                  
9:25:07 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  von   Imhof  noted   that  the   consolidation  of                                                                    
investigations would  affect all state boards.  She wondered                                                                    
whether   a   mini  audit   could   be   conducted  on   the                                                                    
investigations portion  of the  board, 3  years into  the 6-                                                                    
year sunset.  She furthered that perhaps  an  investigations                                                                    
audit  could be  done for all state boards  to determine how                                                                    
the order affected their ability to investigate claims.                                                                         
9:26:22 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator   Wielechowski    expressed   concern    about   the                                                                    
administrative   order  and   supported  the   idea  of   an                                                                    
 investigations audit.                                                                                                          
9:27:02 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  von  Imhof  understood   that  licenses  could  be                                                                    
suspended  if there  was  a clear  and  immediate danger  to                                                                    
public health and safety. She wondered whether hunting out-                                                                     
of-season,  or  outside of  a  permitted  hunting area,  was                                                                    
considered an immediate danger.                                                                                                 
9:27:24 AM                                                                                                                    
MAJOR  BERNARD CHASTAIN,  DEPUTY  DIRECTOR, ALASKA  WILDLIFE                                                                    
TROOPERS   (via   teleconference),    replied   that   those                                                                    
infractions  would  not  be  considered  for  the  immediate                                                                    
revocation or suspension of a license.                                                                                          
9:27:54 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair von  Imhof understood that  those examples  did not                                                                    
pose  enough of  a public  safety issue  to warrant  further                                                                    
9:28:08 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Chastain replied that he  worked on the criminal side of                                                                    
things  and  did  not  de3al   with  license  suspension  or                                                                    
revocation.  He said  that once  the criminal  investigation                                                                    
was complete it  was forwarded to the  board for discussion.                                                                    
He said  that typically a  hunting violation of  that nature                                                                    
would not constitute an immediate suspension.                                                                                   
9:28:40 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Olson asked  whether there  had  been incidence  of                                                                    
immediate revocation or suspension in the past.                                                                                 
9:29:02 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Chastain responded that the  licensing authority did not                                                                    
fall within his department.                                                                                                     
9:29:20 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Olson  argued  that the  Alaska  Wildlife  Troopers                                                                    
played a significant role in  whether a person had a license                                                                    
revoked or suspended.                                                                                                           
9:29:29 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Chastain  clarified that the  troopers were  involved as                                                                    
the criminal case  worked through the court  system. He said                                                                    
that once  the criminal case  was concluded, the  report was                                                                    
given  to the  investigator  for the  board. Troopers  would                                                                    
give information about the seriousness  of the violation and                                                                    
any judges recommendations. He related  that the decision to                                                                    
revoke  or suspend  a  license  fell to  the  board and  the                                                                    
9:30:54 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  von Imhof  reiterated  her  question and  wondered                                                                    
whether  the  issue  warranted  further  discussion  by  the                                                                    
9:31:36 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Francois did  not  believe that  hunting  outside of  a                                                                    
designated  hunting area,  or outside  of a  game management                                                                    
unit,  was  a  public  safety  concern. He  felt  it  was  a                                                                    
boundary violation and would  be charged appropriately under                                                                    
9:32:08 AM                                                                                                                    
KRIS  CURTIS,   LEGISLATIVE  AUDITOR,  ALASKA   DIVISION  OF                                                                    
LEGISLATIVE  AUDIT, spoke  on the  idea of  an audit  on the                                                                    
investigative  process  for   state  board  violations.  She                                                                    
recommended  making  sure  that  the was  ample  time  after                                                                    
implementation to determine any positive returns.                                                                               
9:33:20 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair von  Imhof understood that legislative  audit would                                                                    
need the process  to exist for enough time  that there would                                                                    
be data to analyze.                                                                                                             
9:33:30 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Curtis replied in the affirmative.                                                                                          
9:33:38 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stedman  wondered whether  it would be  feasible to                                                                    
shorten the extension for 6-years to 5-years.                                                                                   
9:33:50 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Curtis relayed  that if  the question  was whether  the                                                                    
consolidation of  the investigative staff should  impact the                                                                    
extension of the board was a  policy call. She said that the                                                                    
issue the  division had with the  boards  investigations was                                                                    
that  there was  no documentation  to use  to determine  any                                                                    
efficiency of practice. She said  that there were long spans                                                                    
of  time  where nothing  had  been  happening. She  did  not                                                                    
encourage making  a change in  the sunset date based  on the                                                                    
consolidation.  She noted  that the  board faced  challenges                                                                    
that made investigations take  longer; how the consolidation                                                                    
impacted all  occupational boards  was a  different question                                                                    
and could be a topic for a special audit.                                                                                       
9:35:18 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair von Imhof thought the  issue should be discussed at                                                                    
the  next Legislative  Budget and  Audit Committee  meeting.                                                                    
She asked about  whether a permit registered to  a guide was                                                                    
considered a piece of property that could be revoked.                                                                           
9:37:07 AM                                                                                                                    
ROBERT    AUTH,   ATTORNEY,    DEPARTMENT   OF    LAW   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  replied   that  it  was  found   that  all                                                                    
licenses  were  considered property  of  the  holder of  the                                                                    
license and could not be  taken away without due process. He                                                                    
said that  circumstances were limited under  which a license                                                                    
could be taken  or suspended, prior to  providing notice and                                                                    
a  hearing. He  said  that a  license  could be  immediately                                                                    
suspended if the owner represented  a clear danger to public                                                                    
health and safety; statute required  a hearing within 7 days                                                                    
of the suspension.                                                                                                              
9:38:46 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair von Imhof  asked whether Mr. Auth  had reviewed the                                                                    
proposed changes and if he  found them permissible under due                                                                    
9:39:05 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Auth replied  in the  affirmative. He  thought that  it                                                                    
would  depend  on when  in  the  process the  revocation  or                                                                    
suspension  took place;  immediately,  without  notice of  a                                                                    
hearing, or after a hearing had been noticed.                                                                                   
9:40:26 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair von Imhof thought that  it would be helpful for the                                                                    
committee to  know whether the proposed  changes were legal.                                                                    
She asked whether  Mr. Auth thought it  would be appropriate                                                                    
for  his  department to  review  the  suggested changes  and                                                                    
provide an opinion.                                                                                                             
9:40:40 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Auth replied  in  the affirmative.  He  stated that  he                                                                    
would be  meeting with  the board to  discuss the  issue and                                                                    
other matters.                                                                                                                  
Co-Chair von Imhof discussed housekeeping.                                                                                      
SB  43  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 43 DCCED CBPL SB43 response to Sen von Imhof 3-23-19.pdf SFIN 3/29/2019 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 4/9/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 43