Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

04/10/2018 01:30 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 301 ALCOHOL LICENSES:BEV DISP/RESTAUR./LODGE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ HB 142 UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
        HB 301-ALCOHOL LICENSES:BEV DISP/RESTAUR./LODGE                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:35:12 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO announced the consideration of HB 301. [CSHB
301(FIN) was before the committee.]                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:35:28 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  ADAM  WOOL,  Alaska  State  Legislature,  Juneau,                                                               
Alaska, sponsor  of HB 301,  introduced the  legislation speaking                                                               
to the following sponsor statement:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
        "An Act relating to the renewal and transfer of                                                                         
         ownership of a beverage dispensary license or                                                                          
              restaurant or eating place license."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     House   Bill   301    would   grandfather   hospitality                                                                    
     businesses  that  have  been  operating  for  at  least                                                                    
     thirty years, some for close  to one hundred, and allow                                                                    
     them  to continue  operating  with  a tourism  beverage                                                                    
     dispensary license [BDL].  These businesses essentially                                                                    
     function as roadhouses,  a place to stay  for the weary                                                                    
     traveler (or  miner as it  were when their  doors first                                                                    
     opened) and have long held  a place in Alaska's storied                                                                    
     past.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     When Title  4 was last  rewritten in 1985, the  law was                                                                    
     interpreted  to let  them  function  under the  tourism                                                                    
     dispensary license despite not  providing as many rooms                                                                    
     as was  required by the population  parameters. Some of                                                                    
     these establishments would have  to build an additional                                                                    
     forty rooms  to comply  with the interpretation  of the                                                                    
     current  statute.   HB  301  simply   allows  long-time                                                                    
     Alaskan businesses  to continue operating as  they have                                                                    
     been for decades.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL explained  that  in  2016 Legislative  Audit                                                               
determined that  34 long-standing businesses that  were operating                                                               
with tourism beverage dispensary  licenses were non-compliant and                                                               
that a legislative  fix was needed. HB 301 provides  that fix and                                                               
allows  businesses  that  qualified   when  they  received  their                                                               
license initially  would continue  to qualify. This  is important                                                               
in  communities  that  have   grown  significantly  because  some                                                               
businesses would  be required to  add 30-40 rooms to  comply with                                                               
the population  requirements. HB 301 essentially  grandfathers 34                                                               
businesses and allows them to stay open.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
He noted  that his staff  could talk  about the changes  the bill                                                               
has undergone since it was introduced.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO asked Ms. Stidolph to walk through those changes.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:38:02 PM                                                                                                                    
LAURA  STIDOLPH, Staff,  Representative Adam  Wool, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  Juneau,  Alaska, explained  that  in  Section 1  AS                                                               
4.11.330(a) was amended  to change the annual  operating hours of                                                               
a licensed  premises from 30 8-hour  days to 240 hours.  This was                                                               
done  to  accommodate bars  and  seasonal  businesses that  don't                                                               
operate on an 8-hour day.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
In  Section 4,  AS  4.11.491(a)  was amended  to  add an  outdoor                                                               
recreation lodge license to those  that may be approved by voters                                                               
in a  municipality on  a local  option ballot.  This was  done to                                                               
accommodate  a couple  of lodges  in Bristol  Bay that  have been                                                               
operating  since  2011  and  are  in a  local  option  area.  The                                                               
community voted to opt in  those businesses for a liquor license,                                                               
but a legislative audit determined  that outdoor recreation lodge                                                               
licenses did not qualify for an  opt in vote. Adding this license                                                               
type to those that a community may opt in provides the fix.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:39:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER asked how this interacts with the Title 4 rewrite.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   WOOL  replied   the   240-hour  aggregate   hour                                                               
requirement  is in  the current  Title  4 draft,  he wasn't  sure                                                               
about the opt in list  or the grandfathering, but the communities                                                               
and businesses  wanted a more  immediate legislative  fix because                                                               
the Title 4 rewrite is still in committee.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER asked if the  grandfather provision applies only to                                                               
businesses started before 1985.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL said most of the 34 businesses started pre-                                                                 
1985, but there are several exceptions.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO noted that someone from the Duck Inn was online.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER  questioned whether  businesses that  started after                                                               
1985 would be adversely affected.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL replied any  business that started after 1985                                                               
would need to  comply with the law at the  time of licensure. For                                                               
example, a  business that received a  tourism BDL in 1990  with a                                                               
20-room  requirement  would  continue   to  only  need  20  rooms                                                               
regardless of the community population growth.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:43:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO opened public testimony on HB 301.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:43:16 PM                                                                                                                    
NANCY TRUMP,  owner, Latitude 62 Lodge/Motel,  Talkeetna, Alaska,                                                               
said she  and her partner have  owned and operated the  lodge and                                                               
motel  since  May  1986.  They  have  13  rooms,  a  bar,  and  a                                                               
restaurant. The liquor  license is critical to  the business just                                                               
as  with  two  other  businesses  in  Talkeetna.  Without  liquor                                                               
licenses, all  three would probably  shut down and  the community                                                               
would lose  55 rooms. She asked  the committee to support  HB 301                                                               
and grandfather  the business with  a tourism  dispensary license                                                               
so she could continue to operate.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:45:24 PM                                                                                                                    
DEBBIE CAREY,  owner, Inlet View  Lodge, Ninilchik,  Alaska, said                                                               
the loss  of tourism  beverage dispensary  licenses would  have a                                                               
huge impact  on communities,  families, and  the state.  When she                                                               
received  her license  initially  she believed  she  met all  the                                                               
legal requirements  and the license has  continually been renewed                                                               
for  27 years.  She  argued that  the  existing requirements  for                                                               
number  of rooms  based  on population  is  unreasonable in  some                                                               
areas.  Under the  current requirement  her  business would  need                                                               
four times  the number it  had 27 years  ago. This would  be cost                                                               
prohibitive. She  pointed out that  the licenses in  question are                                                               
all small "mom  and pop" operations that are  the cornerstones of                                                               
communities. She urged the committee to support HB 301.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:49:06 PM                                                                                                                    
LINDA  SUPERMAN,  President,  Hunger  Hut  Bar/Liquor  Store  and                                                               
Motel, Nikiski, Alaska,  said she has owned the  business for the                                                               
last  25 years.  The  Alcoholic Beverage  Control Board  approved                                                               
their 10 rooms in 1997 and  it's not feasible to meet the current                                                               
requirement  to  build another  30  rooms.  She agreed  with  the                                                               
previous testimony  and asked the  committee to look out  for the                                                               
best interest of these businesses.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:50:49 PM                                                                                                                    
PETE HANSON, President and CEO,  Alaska CHARR, Anchorage, Alaska,                                                               
said  Alaska   CHARR  is  strongly   supportive  of  HB   301  to                                                               
grandfather   these   long-standing   businesses   that   provide                                                               
important  services  to  their   communities  and  the  traveling                                                               
public. Because of  an unintended ambiguity in the  law they face                                                               
the  prospect of  losing  their liquor  licenses  and thus  their                                                               
businesses. Maintaining  the original  intent of  the law  is the                                                               
right thing to do.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:51:49 PM                                                                                                                    
ARDEN RANKINS,  owner, Sunrise Inn, Cooper  Landing, Alaska, said                                                               
she  faces the  same situation  as the  other testifiers.  Cooper                                                               
Landing has  a population  of 275-300 and  under the  current law                                                               
she would need  to add 40 rooms. The Sunrise  Inn was licensed in                                                               
the early 1960s  and she used her retirement  savings to purchase                                                               
it  in November  2015. Like  the other  businesses, she  would be                                                               
forced to close  the day after she lost her  liquor license. That                                                               
would negatively impact  the schools because the inn  is the only                                                               
gathering place in the community  and the only establishment open                                                               
between Girdwood, Sterling,  and Seward. It's a safety  spot on a                                                               
dangerous road.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:53:43 PM                                                                                                                    
LELA ROSIN, owner,  Duck Inn, Soldotna, Alaska, said  she and her                                                               
partner  have owned  this small  motel, caf?,  and lounge  for 11                                                               
years. The  tourism beverage  dispensary license  was transferred                                                               
to her  in 2007 and has  renewed every odd year  since then. That                                                               
license is now  in jeopardy because of  the recent interpretation                                                               
by  the  ABC Board.  She  opined  that  the Alcohol  &  Marijuana                                                               
Control  Office  has   set  a  precedent  for   her  and  similar                                                               
businesses by allow  these licenses to operate  and transfer. She                                                               
listed the  contributions the  business has made  in the  past 11                                                               
years, including  paying nearly $1  million to the  community and                                                               
state in  tax revenue.  She said this  change is  unrealistic and                                                               
unreasonable financially and dynamically.  Removing the option to                                                               
sell the  license also jeopardizes her  family's economic future.                                                               
She urged  the committee to  support the solution  represented by                                                               
HB 301.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:57:20 PM                                                                                                                    
DALE FOX,  President, Alaska CHARR,  shared that 33 years  ago he                                                               
supported the  bill that now  needs a correction. The  intent was                                                               
to  promote  tourism by  allowing  businesses  with 10  rooms  to                                                               
receive a  beverage dispensary license.  It was the  same concept                                                               
as the  Roadhouse license during  Territorial days. There  was no                                                               
thought  about  transfers  or grandfathering  because  there  was                                                               
never any intent to "kick  the licenses out from underneath these                                                               
hardworking  families  that you're  hearing  from,"  he said.  He                                                               
pointed  out that  if  this  isn't fixed  it's  not  just the  34                                                               
business owners  who will be  hurt; it's all their  employees and                                                               
their communities  too. Fixing  this issue by  passing HB  301 is                                                               
the only descent thing to do, he said.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:59:56 PM                                                                                                                    
LYN  CARDEN,  Deputy  Administrator, City  of  Wasilla,  Wasilla,                                                               
Alaska,  stated that  the City  of Wasilla  supports HB  301. Two                                                               
businesses inside the City of  Wasilla are affected and the MatSu                                                               
Borough has  several licenses that  are affected. It  makes sense                                                               
economically.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:00:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO closed  public testimony on HB 301  and noted that                                                               
Erika McConnel, the  Director of the Alcohol  & Marijuana Control                                                               
Office had been  listening online to the testimony.  She asked if                                                               
there were questions.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:00:53 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GARDNER  pointed out the  letter of support from  the ABC                                                               
Board in the bill packet.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO stated she would hold HB 301 in committee.                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CSHB301(HFIN) ver L 3.2.18.pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 301
CSHB301(HFIN) Sponsor Statement 1.24.18.pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 301
CSHB301(HFIN) Explanation of Changes ver D to ver L 3.2.18.pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 301
CSHB301(HFIN) Supporting Documents ABC Memo Tourism BDL 1.23.18.pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 301
HB301-DCCED-AMCO-01-25-18.pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 301
CSHB301(HFIN) Support Letters 2.12.18.pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 301
CSHB142(FIN) ver R.PDF SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 142
CSHB142(FIN) ver R Sponsor Statement 3.19.18.pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 142
CSHB142(FIN)Sectional Analysis ver R 3.19.18.pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 142
CSHB142(FIN) Bullet Points One Page 2.9.18.pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 142
CSHB142(FIN) Additional Document - Updated facts from DOL 3.19.18.pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 142
CSHB142(FIN) Additional Document - MWBA Charts from DOL 3.19.18.pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 142
CSHB142(FIN) Additional Document-Letters Ed Flanagan 3.19.18.pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 142
CSHB142(FIN) Additional Document-UI Information 3.19.18.pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 142
HB142-DOLWD-UI-01-26-18.pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 142
HB142-OOG-OMB-01-31-18.pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 142
CSHB142(FIN) Memo of Changes 3.19.18.pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 142
CSHB142(FIN) Letter Associated General Contractors of Alaska.pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 142
CSHB142(FIN) Opposition Letter Midnight Sun Home Care.pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 142
CSHB142(FIN) Letter of Support Laborers Local 942 (2).pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 142
CSHB142(FIN) Letter of Support Laborers Local 942.pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 142
CSHB142(FIN) Support Letter IBEW.pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 142
CSHB142(FIN) Support Letter KC General Contractors.pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 142
CSHB142(FIN)Support Letter LU1959.pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 142
CSHB142(FIN) Letter of Support Alaska District Council of Laborers.pdf SL&C 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 142