Legislature(2015 - 2016)BUTROVICH 205
03/03/2015 09:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS
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HB 1-STATE ARCTIC POLICY 9:32:36 AM CHAIR STOLTZE announced consideration of HB 1. [CSHB 1(EDA)AM was before the committee.] REPRENSENTATIVE BOB HERRON, Alaska State Legislature, sponsor of HB 1, explained in 2013 and 2014 the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission, made up of ten legislators, five from each house, along with 16 peer experts, met to work on an Arctic Policy. They delivered the final report, the implementation plan, and executive summary on January 30, 2015, as required by the legislature. There was much dialogue, debate, and conversation throughout the state as to the best policies. He said the most important points are that Alaska people should come first and the policy will benefit the entire state. The policy strengthens Alaska's position in the Arctic with the federal government and other Arctic nations and must lead to economic benefit to Alaskans. He noted Section 1 sends the most important message: Alaskans are Arctic experts. 9:34:13 AM REPRESENTATIVE HERRON reviewed the four lines of effort in the implementation plan: promote economic development, address infrastructure gap, support healthy communities, and strengthen Arctic science and research. CHAIR STOLTZE requested information on a recent amendment on the House Floor regarding the Law of the Sea. REPRESENTATIVE HERRON explained that the Law of the Sea Treaty is before the U.S. Senate and does not need to be stated in the Arctic Policy. He said he supported the deletion of the amendment. CHAIR STOLTZE summarized that all endorsements for the Law of the Sea Treaty are removed. REPRESENTATIVE HERRON answered yes. 9:35:51 AM SENATOR COGHILL understood that the U.S. would be assuming the chairmanship of the Arctic Council. He requested to know to whom the report is targeted. REPRESENTATIVE HERRON answered that there are three audiences targeted by the report. The first, and most important, is the Alaska State Legislature. The second audience is the executive branch. The third audience is the federal government. He pointed to recent decisions made by the federal government for Alaska. He stressed that Alaska should determine its own destiny. He explained that the Arctic Policy also targets the Arctic Commission in that it explains how Alaska would like to be treated and involved in decision-making regarding the Arctic. He noted Alaska has a very close working relationship with the State Department who will chair the Arctic Council; Ambassador David Balton will be the chair of the Senior Arctic Officials. 9:39:44 AM SENATOR COGHILL thanked Representative Herron for his concise explanation. CHAIR STOLTZE asked Representative Herron to address page 3, lines 16 to 18. He requested an explanation of the collaboration with the stated entities. REPRESENTATIVE HERRON explained that it means Alaska will have discussions with all the listed entities about having a transparent and inclusive decision-making process. It asks the executive branch to participate, as well as the legislature, as much as possible. The most difficult entity has been the federal government. 9:41:25 AM CHAIR STOLTZE noted a reference to non-governmental organizations (NGOs). REPRESENTATIVE HERRON clarified that there are NGO's the state can benefit from, such as environmental NGO's (ENGO's), a term created by the North Slope Borough. Alaska would like the NGO's to be as informed as possible and would like to be informed by their intentions and efforts. CHAIR STOLTZE asked for NGO specifications. REPRESENTATIVE HERRON said the Pew Foundation is an example of a friendly NGO. He said the goal is to be informed of the true intention of entities and for Alaska to be included in the decision-making process. 9:43:36 AM CHAIR STOLTZE did not know if he was comfortable with the Pew Foundations. REPRESENTATIVE HERRON noted that they have done good things for Alaska, such as opposing the Aleutian Sanctuary. CHAIR STOLTZE opened public testimony. 9:44:24 AM DR. JOE MCLAUGHLIN, State Epidemiologist, Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) testified in support of HB 1. He said the bill promotes the health and wellness of Alaskans by supporting healthy Arctic communities and strengthening a state- based agenda for Arctic science and research. He noted areas of health impact prevention due to the Artic Policy: climate change, environmental contaminants, subsistence food, resource changes, cultural changes in communities, changing infectious and chronic disease patterns, access to medical care, and emergency response capacity. The bill is beneficial in that it fosters wide-ranging collaboration to achieve transparent, inclusive, and informed decision-making to maximize the benefit to Alaskans. 9:46:07 AM CHAIR STOLTZE closed public testimony. He asked Representative Herron if he had seen the amendment. REPRESENTATIVE HERRON said he had. 9:46:30 AM SENATOR HUGGINS moved Amendment 1, labeled 29-LS0013\F.1. AMENDMENT 1 OFFERED IN THE SENATE BY SENATOR STOLTZE TO: SCS CSHB 1(ARC) Page 2, following line 23: Insert a new subsection to read: "(c) Nothing in the Act is meant to support, endorse, or reestablish the Alaska Coastal Management Program that expired in 2011 and was rejected by state voters in 2012." 9:46:44 AM CHAIR STOLTZE object for discussion. REPRESENTATIVE HERRON stated support for Amendment 1. CHAIR STOLTZE explained that the amendment removes the possibility of including the Alaska Coastal Management Program in the bill. REPRESENTATIVE HERRON restated support for the amendment. SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked if the amendment refers to not endorsing or supporting any coastal management program. CHAIR STOLTZE said yes; the intent is to be much broader. SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI objected. A roll call vote was taken. Senators Coghill, Stoltze, and Huggins voted in favor of adopting Amendment 1. Senator Wielechowski voted against it. Therefore, Amendment 1 passed by a vote of 3 to 1. 9:48:14 AM SENATOR COGHILL moved that the fiscal notes to HB 1 be approved. There being no objection, the fiscal notes were adopted. CHAIR STOLTZE thanked the sponsor for his support of the amendment and noted that it only applies to HB 1 and not to any other legislation. 9:50:11 AM SENATOR COGHILL moved to report SCS CSHB 1(STA) from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s). There being no objection, the motion carried.