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UFA Legislative Update: February 15, 2019

    Dear UFA Members and Friends,

    In this issue:

    • Governor Dunleavy Releases FY20 Alaska State Budget
    • House of Representatives Elects Speaker of the House
    • UFA Seeking Nominations/Applications for At-Large UFA Board Members

    Budget:
    The Governor’s Budget was released on Wednesday with $1.8 billion in state spending cuts, including many restructuring changes.  Here are the highlights and concerns that impact commercial fisheries.

    • Forthcoming legislation will reorganize and consolidate the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC) and move it into the ADF&G Commercial Fisheries Division.
    • $4.6 million reduction (2%) in the DFG operating budget and $1.2 million reduction in Unauthorized General Funds (2%).  There is a $1.64 million cut to the Division of Commercial Fisheries.  This seems like a lot, but given that education was cut 26%, Alaska Marine Highway was cut 69%, Health and Social Services were cut 26%, and University of Alaska was cut 41%, ADF&G budget proved to fair the cuts better than most.
    • All state Departments received a 50% travel budget cut.  This will hit ADF&G (particularly the Boards Support/Board of Fisheries) and ASMI hard due to the amount of travel required in these departments.
    • ASMI did not receive any cuts to their budget since it was already at zero, but the 16.3% increase they were hoping was not given so they will be working with a F19 budget.
    • Alaska Marine Highway General fund cut 69%, fuel cut 81%, and routes eliminated between Alaska and Washington and Kodiak to Unalaska.
    • Over 600 job losses statewide with increases in positions to Office of Management and Budget. ADF&G to lose two Division Director positions (Subsistence and Habitat).  ASMI will lose no positions.
    • State-owned rural airports being considered for closure.

    United Fishermen of Alaska will be holding our Annual Spring Meeting next week and discussing the budget in our Statewide Committee section. Once legislation comes out to implement these cuts and reorganization, we will be able to provide more information on how we are going to approach things.

    House Organization:
    Yesterday, after 31 days in session, the House organized elected Representative Bryce Edgmon (D) as Speaker of the House.Committee Chairs and members are still be formalized at the time of this update.

    **Call for Nominations UFA At-Large Members**
    UFA’s Nominations are now open for UFA Board for At-Large Members!If you are an individual and Lifetime members and would like to apply, please visit our website and fill out a nomination form.  Deadline for Nominations is Friday, March 1!

    -Frances Leach, Executive Director

    **********************************************************************
    Contents:

    1. Legislation – happenings from this week…
    2. Legislative meetings of interest for next week
    3. To testify, watch or listen in to a hearing
    4. Bills related to fisheries, and others that may be of interest to fishermen

    **********************************************************************
    1. Legislation – happenings from this week on fishery related bills we are tracking. (February 11-15)

    SB. 22 – Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries- “An Act relating to management of enhanced stocks of shellfish; authorizing certain nonprofit organizations to engage in shellfish enhancement projects; relating to application fees for salmon hatchery permits; and providing for an effective date” a bill introduced by Senator Stevens on January 16. The bill had a second hearing in Senate Resources on February 11 where an amendment with new language was introduced to include the BOF to hold an annual public hearing/meeting regarding the status of shellfish enhancement projects, shellfish hatcheries, and mariculture industry in the state.  The amendment carried and the bill was referred to Senate Finance and has not been assigned a hearing as of yet.
    You may watch the hearing here: February 11, 2019 Senate Resource Meeting

    SB. 51 – Natl. Res. Water Nomination/Designation- “An Act requiring the designation of state water as outstanding national resource water to occur by law; relating to the authority of the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department of Fish and Game, and the Department of Natural Resources to nominate water for designation as outstanding national resource water; relating to management of outstanding national resource water by the Department of Environmental Conservation; and providing for an effective date” a bill introduced by Senate Resources and first heard on February 11.

    **********************************************************************
    2. Legislative meetings of interest for this weekend and the week of February 18-22, 2019.

    With the house getting organized today, there will likely be House committee meetings held next week that are not yet scheduled.  Please check the Committee Calendar for more information.

    **********************************************************************
    3. To testify, watch or listen in to a hearing …To testify it’s best to go to a Legislative Information office – see them online at http://akleg.gov/lios.php . If you can’t get to an LIO you can call in to listen in or testify through the following numbers – call & ask for the specific committee hearing:

    • From Anchorage based phones call 907-563-9085;
    • From Juneau based phones or outside Alaska call 907-586-9085;
    • From other areas of Alaska, call toll-free 844-586-9085…and ask for the specific hearing.

    To watch hearings online go to legislative home page at http://w3.akleg.gov/  at the time of the hearing, and click on the “Live Now” tab, and then select the meeting.

    To watch floor sessions and other hearings see Gavel to Gavel archives.

    To find your legislators and contact info see http://w3.legis.state.ak.us/  – see “WHO REPRESENTS ME?” in the lower right corner of the page.

    **********************************************************************
    4. Bills related to fisheries, and others that may be of interest to fishermen.

    SB. 22  – Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries (Stevens- Senate Finance- UFA Supports)
    SB. 51 – Natl. Res. Water Nomination/Designation (Senate Resources)

    **********************************************************************
    Please support our business members – see links on our website
    To join UFA see http://www.ufafish.org/become-a-member/

    **********************************************************************
    This update is made possible by the support of our Group, Business, Individual and Crew members.
    To join UFA see http://www.ufafish.org/become-a-member/

    UFA Legislative Update: February 11, 2019

      Dear UFA Members and Friends,

      Still not much happening at the legislature.  House is still unorganized, so no bills from their side. Governor Dunleavy’s budget will be released on Wednesday.  I plan on sending out an early update on Thursday to give a budget recap.  

      -Frances Leach, Executive Director

      Contents:
      1. Legislation – happenings from this week
      2. Legislative meetings of interest for next week
      3. To testify, watch or listen in to a hearing
      4. Bills related to fisheries, and others that may be of interest to fishermen

      1.Legislation – happenings from last week (February 4-8) on fishery related bills we are tracking.

      On Monday, February 4, ADF&G Designee Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang had his first confirmation hearing in front of Senate Resources Committee.  Public Testimony was held with callers relaying both support and opposition. Committee recommended the appointment be forwarded to a joint session for consideration.
      Watch the Confirmation Hearing

      2. Legislative meetings of interest for this weekend and the week of February 11-15, 2019.

      Monday, February 11, 2019

      SB 22: Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries.  
      3:30 P.M. Senate Resources Committee – Butrovich 205.  New language is being introduced today requiring the BOF to conduct annual reviews of Mariculture Activities.  The new CS may be found on the meeting page.
      Meeting Link

      3.To testify, watch or listen in to a hearing …To testifyit’s best to go to a Legislative Information office – see them online at http://akleg.gov/lios.php. If you can’t get to an LIO you can call in to listen in or testify through the following numbers – call & ask for the specific committee hearing:

      • From Anchorage based phones call 907-563-9085;
      • From Juneau based phones or outside Alaska call 907-586-9085;
      • From other areas of Alaska, call toll-free 844-586-9085…and ask for the specific hearing.

      To watch hearings onlinego to legislative home page at http://w3.akleg.gov/  at the time of the hearing, and click on the “Live Now” tab, and then select the meeting.

      To watch floor sessionsand other hearings see Gavel to Gavel archives.

      To find your legislators and contact infosee http://w3.legis.state.ak.us/  – see “WHO REPRESENTS ME?” in the lower right corner of the page.

      4.Bills related to fisheries, and others that may be of interest to fishermen.

      SB. 22  – Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries (Stevens- Senate Finance- UFA Supports)

      Please support our business members – see links on our website
      To join UFA see http://www.ufafish.org/become-a-member/

      This update is made possible by the support of our Group, Business, Individual and Crew members.
      To join UFA see http://www.ufafish.org/become-a-member/

      UFA Legislative Update: February 1, 2019

        Dear UFA Members and Friends,

        It’s February, and the house is still not organized and the only bill currently on file is the previously mentioned SB 22- Shellfish Enhancement.  A hearing for SB 22 was held on Wednesday in Senate Resources where Julie Decker of AFDF and Sam Rabung of ADF&G gave an overview of the Alaska Mariculture Development Plan and answered questions of committee members. Testimony was taken, and all the testimonies except one showed support for the bill. However, a second hearing that was set for next week was postponed.   

        Other News:

        • On Wednesday, Senator Murkowski introduced S. 282 “Genetically Engineered Salmon Labeling Act”.  You may read the press release and bill here: S. 282
        • Applications/Nominations are now being accepted for Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils.  The deadline to apply is February 8.  Link to RAC Nomination Packet.  Want to know who currently serves on the RAC in your region?  Link for RAC Regions.
        • ADF&G Commissioner consideration Doug Vincent-Lang will have a confirmation hearing on February 4 in Senate Resources.  Details in schedule below.
        • Notice of Availability of Federal Assistance 2020.  The Fisheries Resource Monitoring Program is seeking technically sound projects that gather information to assist in the management and conservation of subsistence fishery resources on Federal public lands in Alaska. For more information, please read the Announcement.
        • Update on International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC): (As reported by UFA President, Matt Alward)  The 95th annual meeting of the IPHC happened over this week and the commissioners came to a catch limit agreement, setting the opening date of March 15th and a closing date of November 14th.

        In the big picture, halibut stock assessment from 2018 raised the overall spawning biomass due to data from expanded survey stations (and what they think is a big 2011/2012 year class) therefore the overall catch limits went up this year.On the other side there are some week year classes that are moving into the fishery and they expect the biomass to decline over the next years with any removals over 20 million pounds a year.

        This was the first time in a long time that all of the U.S. members of the Conference Board voted for the same catch levels for all U.S. areas, but we did not agree with the Canadian catch limit that they proposed.

        The commissioners agreed to give area 2A a fixed floor of a Total Constant Exploitable Yield (TCEY) of 1.65 million pounds due to tribal treaty rights with the USA for the next four years. They also negotiated a deal with the stock allocation between Canada and the USA to give them 17.7% of the coast wide TCEY for this year and a formula that will be close to that for the next three years.

        The report from the meeting may be found here: Report of the 95th Session of the IPHC Annual Meeting (AM095).

        -Frances Leach, Executive Director

        Contents:
        1. Legislation – happenings from this week
        2. Legislative meetings of interest for next week
        3. To testify, watch or listen in to a hearing
        4. Bills related to fisheries, and others that may be of interest to fishermen


        1. Legislation – happenings from this week on fishery related bills we are tracking.

        SB. 22 – Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries- “An Act relating to management of enhanced stocks of shellfish; authorizing certain nonprofit organizations to engage in shellfish enhancement projects; relating to application fees for salmon hatchery permits; and providing for an effective date” a bill introduced by Senator Stevens on January 16.  Bill was referred to Senate Resource Committee and the first hearing was held on January 30 where public testimony was given.  You may watch the hearing here: January 30, 2019 Senate Resource Meeting


        2. Legislative meetings of interest for this weekend and the week of February 4-8, 2019.

        Wednesday, February 4, 2019

        3:30 P.M. Senate Resources Committee – Butrovich 205
        Confirmation Hearing for ADF&G Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang. **PUBLIC TESTIMONY**
        Meeting Link

        3. To testify, watch or listen in to a hearing …To testify it’s best to go to a Legislative Information office – see them online at http://akleg.gov/lios.php . If you can’t get to an LIO you can call in to listen in or testify through the following numbers – call & ask for the specific committee hearing:

        • From Anchorage based phones call 907-563-9085;
        • From Juneau based phones or outside Alaska call 907-586-9085;
        • From other areas of Alaska, call toll-free 844-586-9085…and ask for the specific hearing.

        To watch hearings online go to legislative home page at http://w3.akleg.gov/  at the time of the hearing, and click on the “Live Now” tab, and then select the meeting.

        To watch floor sessions and other hearings see Gavel to Gavel archives.

        To find your legislators and contact info see http://w3.legis.state.ak.us/  – see “WHO REPRESENTS ME?” in the lower right corner of the page.

        4. Bills related to fisheries, and others that may be of interest to fishermen.

        SB. 22  – Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries (Stevens- Senate Finance- UFA Supports)

        Please support our business members – see links on our website
        To join UFA see http://www.ufafish.org/become-a-member/

        This update is made possible by the support of our Group, Business, Individual and Crew members.
        To join UFA see http://www.ufafish.org/become-a-member/

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