Legislature(2017 - 2018)BUTROVICH 205

04/16/2018 03:30 PM RESOURCES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HCR 23 PROTECT WILDLIFE FROM FOREIGN PATHOGENS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHCR 23(RES) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ HJR 29 REAUTHORIZE SECURE RURAL SCHOOLS ACT TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHJR 29(FIN) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ HB 197 COMMUNITY SEED LIBRARIES; AGRICULTURE TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 197(FIN) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ HB 354 DIVE FISHERY ASSESSMENTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 354 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
      CSHB 197(FIN)-COMMUNITY SEED LIBRARIES; AGRICULTURE                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:33:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GIESSEL  announced consideration of HB  197 [CSHB 197(FIN),                                                               
version 30-LS0493\L, was before the committee].                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:33:48 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JENNIFER  JOHNSTON,   Alaska  State  Legislature,                                                               
Juneau, Alaska,  sponsor of HB  197, said this measure  came from                                                               
members of  her community as a  way to legalize the  sharing of a                                                               
small amount of seeds. Currently,  a seed cannot be sold, shared,                                                               
or exchanged without going through  costly testing and labelling.                                                               
Seed  sharing   in  libraries  has  a   potential  to  contribute                                                               
significant  value  to  the  health   and  heritage  in  Alaska's                                                               
communities  by providing  a place  to  share regionally  adapted                                                               
heirloom seeds as an  alternative to outside genetically-modified                                                               
seeds  and help  increase bio-diversity  and plant  resilience in                                                               
the state.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
She said  seed libraries are  sprouting up throughout  Alaska and                                                               
this bill will  allow them to operate  legally without burdensome                                                               
and unnecessary  government regulation. This bill  will help grow                                                               
an organic sense of community and increase Alaska food security.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:34:53 PM                                                                                                                    
ELIZABETH  REXFORD,  staff  to  Representative  Johnston,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska,  explained  that the  newest                                                               
version of HB  197 reduces labelling and  testing regulations for                                                               
the exchange of small batches  of non-commercial seeds. This bill                                                               
will  permit   Alaska  gardening  and  farming   communities  the                                                               
opportunity to  continue expanding seed sharing  without breaking                                                               
the law.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
She said  that Alaska currently  has very onerous  seed labelling                                                               
requirements; currently,  any seed that  is used at  any capacity                                                               
within  the state  has to  go through  the commercial  process of                                                               
extensive testing, germinating percentages, and labelling.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
The new  requirements would  be limited to  only a  few sections:                                                               
the seeds'  common name,  name and address  of the  seed library,                                                               
and  if  treated  with  a toxic  substance  the  labelling  would                                                               
require  the  statement:  "treated  seed  not  for  consumption."                                                               
Signage in the  library to state: "not  authorized for commercial                                                               
use  in not  classified, graded,  or  inspected by  the State  of                                                               
Alaska."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. REXFORD  said the  new fee requirement  for labelling  is far                                                               
less  than  the two  pages  of  current requirements.  As  stated                                                               
before,  Alaska  has been  experiencing  a  severe food  security                                                               
challenge  where residents  spend  close to  $2 billion  annually                                                               
buying food produced  from outside of our state.  By passing this                                                               
bill,  Alaska's   community  seed  libraries  will   be  able  to                                                               
confidently exist and grow into the future.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:36:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI said  this  is  a good  idea  and asked  if                                                               
genetically modified  seeds have any special  requirements and if                                                               
there are concerns about that.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON  answered that  in taking  testimony from                                                               
the seed libraries, he found  that some operate through donations                                                               
and  they didn't  want their  donated  seeds to  be too  severely                                                               
limited.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:37:42 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BISHOP joined the committee.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER joined the committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  STEDMAN  said he  was  curious  about how  this  measure                                                               
interacts with the commercial issue.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON  replied she  purposely left that  out of                                                               
the seed bill, because it's taken care of with other statutes.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEDMAN  said so, it's  excluded from the  community seed                                                               
library.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON answered, "yes."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:38:50 PM                                                                                                                    
AMY  SEITZ, Executive  Director,  Alaska  Farm Bureau,  Soldotna,                                                               
Alaska, supported HB  197. She said interest in  food security is                                                               
increasing  in Alaska,  and it  is an  issue that  has been  very                                                               
important to the Alaska Farm Bureau for several years.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
She  said  increasing  our  food security  can  be  done  through                                                               
expanding  agriculture  with our  farmers,  but  it can  also  be                                                               
achieved through encouraging members of  the public to grow their                                                               
own food.  HB 197 would allow  personal growth of food  by easing                                                               
restrictions  on labelling  requirements  for the  non-commercial                                                               
seed exchanges.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GIESSEL  said the "purple  vetch" on road  perimeters ended                                                               
up in  Alaska because  it was  mixed in with  the seeds  that the                                                               
Department  of  Transportation   and  Public  Facilities  (DOTPF)                                                               
seeded the rights-of-way with. It  is an invasive species that is                                                               
now  choking off  our  native plants.  She asked  how  it can  be                                                               
ensured that  no weeds are in  the seeds that are  being put into                                                               
these seed libraries.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ROB   CARTER,  Alaska   Plant   Material   Center,  Division   of                                                               
Agriculture,  Department  of  Natural  Resources  (DNR),  Palmer,                                                               
Alaska,  answered that  the seed  that  is collected,  harvested,                                                               
maintained  or shared  non-commercially  is  in relatively  small                                                               
quantities  and  in this  legislation  is  defined as  under  100                                                               
pounds. A lot  of the seed that has been  shared from gardener to                                                               
gardener has been tested and  meets the commercially standardized                                                               
labelling laws and  testing requirements. The seed  that is grown                                                               
and collected on  a farm or within a community,  remote or on the                                                               
road system, is done by hand  in a non-mechanized fashion, and in                                                               
very small  quantities and so,  the genetics of  seed individuals                                                               
have been maintained  for years, or even decades.  The chances of                                                               
collecting an  invasive or non-native species  would actually not                                                               
be very  probable since seeds  are mostly vegetable,  flower, and                                                               
garden  seeds that  are unlike  commercial scale  seeds that  are                                                               
collected by  machines harvesting hundreds or  thousands of acres                                                               
at a  time where the  chance of  catching those invasive  or non-                                                               
native species is very likely.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GIESSEL thanked him and  finding nor further questions, she                                                               
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL  moved to report  HB 197 [CSHB  197(FIN), version                                                               
\L,] from committee with  individual recommendations and attached                                                               
fiscal note. There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Senate Resources - Hearing Agenda - 4 - 16 - 18.pdf SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB197 ver L.PDF SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 197
HB197 Sponsor Statement.pdf SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 197
HB197 Summary of Changes ver A to ver L.pdf SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 197
HB197 Sectional Analysis.pdf SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 197
HB197 Fiscal Note-DNR-PMC-02-16-18.pdf SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 197
HB197 Supporting Document - Letter 4.2.2018.pdf SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 197
HB197 Supporting Document – Letter 4.9.2018.pdf SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 197
HB197 Supporting Document - Letter 4.28.2017.pdf SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 197
HB197 Supporting Document - Article Seed Bill 12.16.2014.pdf SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 197
HJR 29 CS (FIN).PDF SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HJR 29
HJR 29 Explanation of Changes.pdf SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HJR 29
HJR 29 Sponsor Statement.pdf SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HJR 29
HJR 29 Fiscal Note Leg Affairs.PDF SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HJR 29
HJR 29 Support Sitka Schools.pdf SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HJR 29
HJR 29 Supporting emails.pdf SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HJR 29
HJR 29 Supporting Documents SRS FFY 16 and FFY 17 Grants.pdf SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HJR 29
HB 354 ver D.PDF SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 354
HB 354 Sponsor Statement.pdf SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 354
HB 354 Fiscal Note HB354-3-3-18.PDF SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 354
HB 354 Fiscal Note HB354-3-29-18.pdf SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 354
HB 354 Supporting Document - SEAFA Letter.pdf SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 354
HB 354 Supporting Document - SARDFA Letter.pdf SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 354
HB 354 Supporting Document - Carruth Letter.pdf SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 354
HB 354 Supporting Document - Leighton Letter.pdf SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 354
HCR23 - Version D.PDF SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HCR 23
HCR23- Fiscal Note.PDF SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HCR 23
HCR23 - Comments - AK Farm Bureau to SRES.pdf SRES 4/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
HCR 23