Category Archives: Legislative Update

UFA Legislative Update: April 22, 2019

    Dear UFA Members and Friends,

    In this issue:

    • Johnstone Not Confirmed to BOF
    • UFA is Hiring
    • **Legislative Happenings from Last Week**
    • **Legislative Meetings of Interest for Next Week**
    • How to Testify, Watch, or Listen to a Hearing
    • Bills Related for Fisheries, and other Bills of Interest to Fishermen

    Johnstone Not Confirmed to BOF
    On April 17, the joint meeting of the House and Senate voted not to confirm Karl Johnstone to the Alaska Board of Fisheries with a vote of 24 Yeas and 33 Nays with 3 excused.

    The roll of the Senate was taken with the following result:Yeas: Birch, Coghill, Costello, Giessel, Hughes, Kawasaki, Shower, von Imhof, Wilson. Nays: Begich, Bishop, Gray-Jackson, Hoffman, Kiehl, Micciche, Olson, Reinbold, Stedman, Stevens, Wielechowski.

    The roll of the House was taken with the following result: Yeas: Eastman, Johnson, Johnston, LeBon, LeDoux, Merrick, Pruitt, Rasmussen, Rauscher, Revak, Shaw, Sullivan-Leonard, Talerico, Tilton, Wilson. Nays: Carpenter, Claman, Drummond, Edgmon, Fields, Foster, Hannan, Hopkins, Josephson, Knopp, Kopp, Kreiss-Tomkins, Lincoln, Ortiz, Spohnholz, Story, Stutes, Tarr, Thompson, Vance, Wool, Zulkosky.Excused: Jackson, Neuman, Tuck.

    United Fishermen of Alaska would like to send a thank you to all our user groups and commercial fishermen who testified and wrote letters in opposition to Johnstone. This truly was a group effort and it demonstrates how powerful we can be when we all use a united voice.

    UFA is Hiring
    United Fishermen of Alaska is seeking an Office Manager based in Juneau to work in a fast-paced environment.  The Office Manager is responsible for general office work including membership correspondence, bookkeeping, filing of paper and electronic records, meeting preparation, and staff support to the Executive Director. The position is based in Juneau, Alaska. For a more detailed job description, please go to UFA’s website: UFA Office Manager Description.

    -Frances Leach, Executive Director

    Legislation – Happenings from last week on fishery related bills we are tracking. (April 15 – April 19)

    House Floor- Tuesday, April 16

    • HB 35 – Conflict of Interest: Board Fisheries/Game was read a third time and passed with 29 Yeas and 9 Nays.  Yeas:  Carpenter, Claman, Drummond, Edgmon, Fields, Foster, Hannan, Hopkins, Jackson, Johnston, Josephson, Knopp, Kopp, LeDoux, Lincoln, Ortiz, Revak, Spohnholz, Story, Stutes, Talerico, Tarr, Thompson, Tuck, Vance, Wilson, Wool, Zulkosky. Nays:  Eastman, Johnson, Merrick, Pruitt, Rasmussen, Rauscher, Shaw, Sullivan-Leonard, Tilton. Excused:  Kreiss-Tomkins, Neuman

                The bill was referred to Senate State Affairs and Resource committee.

    Joint House Fisheries Committee and House Resources Committee– Monday, April 15
    **Watch the Meeting Here**

    • Joint House Fisheries and House Resource Committee convened to hold a confirmation hearing on Alaska Board of Fisheries appointees.  Public testimony was taken. 

    Senate ADFG Subcommittee, Tuesday, April 16
    **Watch Meeting Here**
    The Senate Finance Fish & Game budget subcommittee straight up accepted all of the Governor’s FY20 proposals for the DFG budget, which means, among other things:

    • $997k less for commercial fisheries management
    • 50% reduction in funds for travel across all divisions (including com-fish)
    • $280k less for special areas management
    • Transfer of two director-level positions and associated funding from the Division of Habitat and Division of Subsistence Research to the Office of Management and Budget. (these jobs will no longer be associated with Fish & Game related duties)

    They also cut out more by eliminating a communications director position in the Commissioner’s Office.

    It should be noted the House Fish & Game subcommittee did accept some of the Governor’s proposals too, listed below, but not all which is what the Senate did.

    • Restoring CFEC receipt authority
    • Adding $800k of statutory designated receipt authority for the Bristol Bay Science Research Institute Watershed Projects
    • Eliminating and Addmin Officer II in Statewide Support Services

    Legislative Meetings of interest for this week of April 22 – April 26, 2019.

    MONDAY, April 22

    House Finance – Adams 519
    1:30 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    Senate Resources – Butrovich 205
    3:30 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    TUESDAY, April 23

    House Fisheries Committee– Gruenberg 120
    10:00 AM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    • HB 116 – Aquatic Farm/Hatchery Site Leases. **Public Testimony (Invited & Public)** Meeting Link
    • HR 8 – 2019 International Year of the Salmon Resolution. **Public Testimony (Invited & Public)** Meeting Link

    WEDNESDAY, April 24

    House Resources– Barnes 124 
    1:00 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    • Presentation: Fisheries Taxes in Alaska by Dept. of Revenue by Brandon Spanos, Deputy Director, Tax Division, Dept. of Revenue     Commissioner Bruce Tangeman, Dept. of Revenue Elizabeth Nudelman, Revenue Audit Supervisor, Fish Tax Group, Dept. of Revenue Meeting Link
    • Presentation: Alaska Commercial Fishing Industry Update by Frances Leach, Exec. Dir., United Fishermen of Alaska Meeting Link
    • HR 8 – 2019 International Year of the Salmon Resolution. <Pending Referral>

    House Finance – Adams 519
    1:30 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    • SB 61  – Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims. <Pending Referral> **Public Testimony** Meeting Link

    THURSDAY, April 25

    House Fisheries Committee– Gruenberg 120
    10:00 AM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    FRIDAY, April 26

    House Resources– Barnes 124 
    1:00 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    • HR 8 – 2019 International Year of the Salmon Resolution. <Pending Referral>

    Please feel free to track bills in The Bill Tracking Management Facility (BTMF).



    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.

    Bills related to fisheries that we are tracking, and others that may be of interest to fishermen.

    SB 22  – Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries (Stevens- Senate Finance- UFA Supports) Referred to Senate Finance with no scheduled hearings at this time.
    SB 51  – Natl. Res. Water Nomination/Designation (Senate Resources) Currently in Senate Resources with no scheduled hearings at this time.
    SB 61  – Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims (Stevens – UFA Supports) Currently in House Finance with a scheduled hearing on Wednesday, April 24.
    SB 63  – Fish Tax: Repeal Muni Refunds/Rev. Share (Senate Rules by Request of the Governor- UFA Opposes) Currently in Senate Community and Regional Affairs with no scheduled hearings at this time.
    SB 90  – Cook Inlet: New Admin Area; Permit Buyback (Micciche) Currently in Senate Resources with hearing scheduled for Monday, April 22.
    SB 99 – Personal Use Fishing Priority (Kawasaki- UFA Opposes).  Referred to Senate Resources with no scheduled hearings at this time.
    HB 35 – Conflict of Interest: Board Fisheries/Game (Stutes – UFA Supports) Referred to Senate State Affairs with no scheduled hearings at this time.
    HB 41 – Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries (Ortiz – UFA Supports) Currently in House Finance with hearing scheduled for Monday, April 22.
    HB 65 – Fish Tax: Repeal Muni Refunds/Rev. Share (House Rules by Request of the Governor – UFA Opposes) Currently in House Fisheries with hearing scheduled for Thursday, April 25.
    HB 105 – Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims.  (Ortiz- UFA Supports) Moved out of House Fisheries and assigned to House Finance with no scheduled hearings at this time.
    HB 116 – Aquatic Farm/Hatchery Site Leases. (Story). Currently in House Fisheries with a hearings scheduled for April 23 and 25.
    HR 8 – 2019 International Year of the Salmon Resolution. Currently in House Fisheries with a hearings scheduled for April 23, 24, and 26.

     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: April 10, 2019

      UPDATE – SATURDAY HEARING CANCELLED – Last Comment Opportunity is Monday April 15 – beginning at 6:30 PM.

      House Fisheries and House Resources will hold a joint meeting on Monday, April 15 at 6:30 PM in Capital Building 106 to take testimony on all BOF appointees.


      Dear UFA Members and Friends,

      House Fisheries Committee Scheduled for tomorrow, April 11 has been canceled due to floor hearings scheduled for 10 am.  The meeting is tentatively scheduled for next Tuesday- we will send an update when we know for sure.

      There will be another opportunity to call in and testify this Saturday, April 13 at 9:00 AMin House Resources.  Testimony can be as simple as “My name is XX ,and I live in XX and participate in XX fisheries, and I oppose Karl Johnstone to the BOF because he has a history of being biased on the BOF”  Call in instructions below. We need folks to call in, so please spread the word.

      Also, if you haven’t already, please send in written comments. You may submit comments easily on the Alaska State Public Opinion Message.  Please send your email to ALL legislators.  This online message form is for residents of Alaska only.  If members are not a resident of Alaska, they will need to email legislators directly.  Contact UFA for a full email list of legislators at ufa@ufa-fish.org.

      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: “JOINT HOUSE RESOURCES / HOUSE FISHERIES COMMITTEE MEETING ON BOARD OF FISHERIES APPOINTMENTS”

      • 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.

      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: April 5, 2019

        Dear UFA Members and Friends,

        In this issue:

        • ACTION ALERT: UFA Opposes Karl Johnstone Appointment to BOF
        • Public Comment Invited by Aquaculture Science Planning Task Force
        • UFA is Hiring
        • **Legislative Happenings from this Week**
        • **Legislative Meetings of Interest for Next Week**
        • How to Testify, Watch, or Listen to a Hearing
        • Bills Related for Fisheries, and other Bills of Interest to Fishermen

        ACTION ALERT: UFA Opposes Karl Johnstone Appointment to BOF
        On April 1, Governor Dunleavy appointed Gerad Godfrey, Israel Payton, Karl Johnstone, and Marit Carlson-Van Dort to the Alaska Board of Fisheries.United Fishermen of Alaska Board of Directors met and voted to oppose the appointment of Karl Johnstone based on his actions when he served the BOF from 2008-2015. Opportunities to testify against Mr. Johnstone are Wednesday, April 10 in Senate Resources and Saturday, April 13 in House Resources.  We ask that you please testify, and more importantly send in a letter of opposition to legislators.  To do this, please visit the Alaska State Public Opinion Messageform.  Once entering in your name and address, please select ALL Legislators, not just the ones in your district.  Write a short statement that you oppose Johnstone and why.  Please contact the UFA office you need assistance.  To testify, please visit section on How to Testify, Watch, or Listen to a Hearing


        Public Comment Invited by Aquaculture Science Planning Task Force
        The Subcommittee on Aquaculture (SCA), previously known as the Interagency Working Group on Aquaculture, serves as the federal interagency coordinating group working to increase the overall effectiveness and productivity of federal aquaculture research, regulation, technology transfer, and assistance programs. The subcommittee includes members from NOAA, USDA, EPA, Army Corps of Engineers, and other federal agencies. The current work plan for the group was approved by the Office of Science and Technology Policy and can be found here

        The Science Planning Task Force of the SCA has recently developed a draft outline and is seeking public comment on the document. The draft outline can be downloaded here. Comments on the outline can be submitted through April 19, 2019. Please email your comments to: AquaSciencePlan@usda.gov

        The SCA will continue to seek public input and foster engagement on future work products that aim to increase aquaculture opportunities and regulatory efficiency. To learn more about the SCA visit www.ars.usda.gov/SCA/index.html

        UFA is Hiring
        United Fishermen of Alaska is seeking an Office Manager based in Juneau to work in a fast-paced environment.  The Office Manager is responsible for general office work including membership correspondence, bookkeeping, filing of paper and electronic records, meeting preparation, and staff support to the Executive Director. The position is based in Juneau, Alaska. For a more detailed job description, please go to UFA’s website: UFA Office Manager Description.

        -Frances Leach, Executive Director

        Legislation – Happenings from this week on fishery related bills we are tracking. (April 1 – April 5)

        House Fisheries Committee

        • April 2, HB 105 Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims. Public Testimony was held and bill was scheduled to be heard again on April 4 .  Watch Meeting Here
        • April 4, HB 105 Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims was moved out of committee and assigned to House Finance. Watch Meeting Here
        • April 4, HB 65 – Fish Tax: Repeal Muni Refunds/Rev. Share was heard.  Watch Meeting Here

        House Resources

        • April 1, Presentation: Pebble Project Status & Update on Permitting & Environmental Impact Statement by Norman Van Vactor (CEO, Bristol Bay Regional Development Corp.), Daniel Schindler (Professor, School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences, University of Washington), Camron Wobus (Senior Scientist, Lynker Technologies), Rick Halford (Former AK Senator & Consultant), Bristol Bay Coalition. Watch Meeting Here
        • April 1, Consideration of Governor’s Appointees: Commissioner Designee Jason Brune, Department of Conservation.  Watch Meeting Here
        • April 5, Presentation: Process for the Evaluation of the Department of Army Application Submitted by the Pebble Limited Partnership by David S. Hobbie (Regional Regulatory Division Chief, US Army Corps of Engineers.  Watch Meeting Here

        Senate Resources

        • April 1, Department of Fish and Game: Management, Allocation, & the Boards of Fisheries and Game.  Watch Meeting Here
        • April 3, SB 51  – Natl. Res. Water Nomination/Designation was heard.  The bill is scheduled to be heard again in Senate Resources on April 8.

        Senate Finance

        • On April 1, SB 61  – Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims moved out of Senate Finance and referred to Senate Rules. Watch Meeting Here

        House Finance

        • On Wednesday, April 3, House Finance dropped amendments to the Governor’s budget.  There were several amendments to the Fish and Game budget offered by Representative Carpenter cutting ADF&G Southeast Region Fisheries Management travel by 50%, and drastically reducing Region Fisheries Management for Southeast, Central Region, AYK Region, and Westward Region. Carpenter’s amendments failed.  Representative Ortiz also submitted amendments asking to increase funding for Southeast Region Fisheries Management to uphold our agreement with the Pacific Salmon Treaty commitment.  Representative Ortiz also made amendments to move the Subsistence and Habitat Divisions into their own appropriation to prevent funds from being moved outside the program. All of Representative Ortiz’s amendments passed.

        Legislative Meetings of interest for this weekend and the week of April 8 – April 12, 2019.

        MONDAY, April 8

        House Resources Committee – Barnes 124
        1:00 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

        • Presentation: Mining Industry Taxes by Department of Revenue. Testimony (Invitation Only). 
        • Presentation: Mining Industry Update by Deantha Crockett, Executive Director of Alaska Miners Association, Karen Mathias, Executive Director Council of Alaska Producers.  Testimony (Invitation Only). Meeting Link

        House Finance– Adams 519
        1:30 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

        • HB 41 – Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries.  *Public Testimony* Meeting Link

        Senate Resources Committee – Butrovich 205
        3:30 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

        TUESDAY, April 9

        House Fisheries Committee– Gruenberg 120

        • No Meeting Scheduled

        WEDNESDAY, April 10

        House Resources Committee – Barnes 124
        1:00 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

        • Presentation: Fisheries Taxes by Department of Revenue. Testimony (Invitation Only)
        • Presentation: Fishing Industry Update by Frances Leach, Executive Director of United Fishermen of Alaska.  Testimony (Invitation Only) Meeting Link

        Senate Resources Committee – Butrovich 205
        3:30 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

        Thursday, April 11

        House Fisheries Committee– Gruenberg 120
        10:00 AM ~ **Teleconferenced**

        • Consideration of Governor’s Appointees: Board of Fisheries (Gerad Godfrey- Eagle River, Israel Payton- Wasilla, Karl Johnston- Anchorage, Marit Carlson-Van Dort- Anchorage) Meeting Link

        Saturday, April 12
        House Resources Committee – Barnes 124
        9:00 AM ~ **Teleconferenced**

        Please feel free to track bills in The Bill Tracking Management Facility (BTMF).

        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.

        Bills related to fisheries that we are tracking, and others that may be of interest to fishermen.

        SB 22  – Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries (Stevens- Senate Finance- UFA Supports) Referred to Senate Finance with no scheduled hearings at this time.
        SB 51  – Natl. Res. Water Nomination/Designation (Senate Resources) Currently in Senate Resources with a hearing scheduled for April 8.
        SB 61  – Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims (Stevens – UFA Supports) Currently in Senate Rules with no scheduled hearings at this time.
        SB 63  – Fish Tax: Repeal Muni Refunds/Rev. Share (Senate Rules by Request of the Governor- UFA Opposes) Currently in Senate Community and Regional Affairs with no scheduled hearings at this time.
        SB 90  – Cook Inlet: New Admin Area; Permit Buyback (Micciche) Currently in Senate Resources with no scheduled hearings at this time.
        SB 99 *NEW* – Personal Use Fishing Priority (Kawasaki- UFA Opposes).  Referred to Senate Resources with no scheduled hearings at this time.
        HB 35 – Conflict of Interest: Board Fisheries/Game (Stutes – UFA Supports) Moved out of committee and referred to House Rules with no scheduled hearings at this time.
        HB 41 – Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries (Ortiz – UFA Supports) Currently in House Finance with hearing scheduled for April 8.
        HB 65 – Fish Tax: Repeal Muni Refunds/Rev. Share (House Rules by Request of the Governor – UFA Opposes) Currently in House Fisheries with no scheduled hearings at this time.
        HB 105 – Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims.  (Ortiz- UFA Supports) Moved out of House Fisheries and assigned to House Finance with no scheduled hearings at this time.

        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/