UFA Legislative Update: January 19, 2018

Greetings UFA members and friends!

Today marks the end of my second week on the job as the new Executive Director of UFA. My arrival at UFA coincided with the start of the 30th Legislature second regular session, which required me to hit the ground running. I’ve been busy introducing myself to legislators and getting to know UFA’s position on many of the upcoming bills. There are several important bills the legislature will be considering, and we will keep you informed on their progress and opportunities for you to weigh in.

Our annual spring meeting is just around the corner coming up in Juneau February 27-March 1 at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center. This meeting is UFA’s opportunity to meet with lawmakers in the Alaska Legislature, key officials in state and federal government, and an opportunity to discuss issues that impact the seafood industry in Alaska. The UFA meeting is open to current members (except while in executive session), and we encourage you to stop by and listen in.

In closing, I am extremely honored to be your Executive Director as UFA has always played an important role in my commercial fishing family and I recognize the instrumental job UFA plays to keep us all fishing. I value your membership and will work hard representing your interests. Please feel free to contact the UFA office if you have any questions or would like more information about what UFA does for you.

 -Frances Leach

Executive Director, UFA

 

Thanks to UFA members for their support.

We encourage members to support our business members – see links on our website.

 


 

Contents:

  1. Governor Walker delivers State of the State address: Now is the time for Alaska to control its own destiny
  2. Governor Walker introduces FY 2019 budget bills
  3. New commercial fishery related bills, and actions on previous legislation
  4. Legislative Meetings of Interest Scheduled for the week of January 22
  5. To testify or listen in to a hearing – LIOs and by telephone instructions
  6. Bills related to fisheries, and others that may be of interest to fishermen that we are tracking.

 


 

The 30th Alaska Legislature – 2nd regular session – happenings from this week:

  1. Governor Walker delivers State of the State address: Now is the time for Alaska to control its own destiny.

JUNEAU – Governor Bill Walker, this evening in his fourth State of the State Address, called on lawmakers to enable Alaska to control its own destiny by resolving our fiscal challenges during the legislative session that is now under way…

Selected quotes:

“…At our best, Alaskans are tough, resourceful and independent. We harvest king crab in the Bering Sea in mid-January…

“We have world-class fisheries and are promoting new opportunities such as kelp and shellfish production. We will continue to prioritize healthy salmon habitats that benefit all users…

“Securing our future must also include addressing the fact that Alaska is ground zero for climate change. Retreating sea ice and glaciers and thawing permafrost are not partisan issues — they are social, environmental and economic ones…

“When we don’t pass a budget on schedule, the fishing industry openers are interrupted, the Alaska Marine Highway System can’t publish a schedule, teachers get pink slips, and our entire economy is held back by this annual uncertainty…

“And after all of this, do I still believe that a fisherman from Yakutat and a carpenter from Valdez can come together around the simple idea that our home and our future matter more than our ideology; that in our unity and our independence, Alaska could show the rest of the country a path forward?…

 

Governor Walker press release.

Complete State of the State Address here, and remarks.

 


  1. Governor Walker introduces FY 2019 budget bills:

Governor Bill Walker officially introduced his Fiscal Year 2019 budget proposal to the Legislature as the Second Regular Session of the 30th Alaska Legislature got under way yesterday…

The key elements of Governor Walker’s budget package are:

  • Budget reform and transparency – demands that the Legislature perform its Constitutional duty of passing a budget within the first 90 days of session, or else lawmakers will not get paid per diem or salary, and makes it so budgeting is done for stability in two-year increments rather than having a yearly fight over spending;
  • The Alaska Economic Recovery Act – establishes a payroll tax that is capped at 1.5 percent and will sunset after three years, injecting $1.4 billion into deferred maintenance projects and improving dozens of communities across the state, creating more than 1,000 jobs for Alaskans by 2021;
  • Public safety budget – spending on the capital and operating budgets is $4.7 billion, with a $34 million increase to public safety funding compared to last year accomplished via reductions and efficiencies in other departments.

“Even though my budget reform proposals are not yet in effect, I still expect lawmakers to do what Alaska voters demanded and pass a budget within 90 days,” Governor Walker said. “Overall, my budget reform package will move us to a more efficient and effective process. Alaskans deserve to have a government they can rely on. These policies increase accountability to our citizens, provide a shot in the arm to our economy, and prioritize public safety. I look forward to working with the House and Senate to build a safer, stronger, and smarter Alaska.”

 

Related legislation:

HB 281 – Employment tax… referred to House Finance committee.

HB 282 – Capital budget contingent on tax – House Finance committee.

HB 283 – Biennial budget, salary and per diem of members of the legislature and the governor– referred to House State Affairs committee.

HB 284 – Appropriations and capital budget – referred to House Finance committee.

HB 285 – Appropriations and mental health budget – referred to House Finance committee. Scheduled for hearings with HB 286 Operating budget:

HB 286 FY19 Operating budget is scheduled for hearings in House Finance committee at 1:30 PM next Tuesday 1/23 through Friday 1/26, and the following Monday through Wednesday…. OMB FY2019 proposed budget home page

 

ADFG FY2019 proposed budget detail


  1. New commercial fishery related bills, and actions on previous legislation:

 

SB 135: Cook Inlet setnet buyback bill (Micciche) was introduced and referred to Senate Resources and Finance committees… Has not yet been scheduled for a hearing but is generating discussion.

Peninsula Clarion coverage: Bill would authorize east side setnet permit buyback

New committee substitutes coming soon for HB 199Salmon Habitat permitting (Stutes), and HB 188: Comm. Fish. Entry Permits; Loans; and Trusts (Kreiss-Tomkins). will be introduced in House Special Committee on Fisheries on Tuesday and Thursday – see below for meeting links.

HJR 9: Canadian Mines On Transboundary Rivers: Sponsor Representative Ortiz has withdrawn the resolution after the prompt response from the U.S. State Department to the Alaska Delegation Letter to Secretary Tillerson.

Also of interest…

HB 256 – Use your pfd to help fund state agencies…referred to House Labor and Commerce, State Affairs, and Finance.

HB 260 – Electronic display of fishing hunting licenses (does not include commercial crew licenses at this time)

& from the end of the 2017 regular session:

 

CFEC Legislation was introduced in both House and Senate by request of the Governor (April 15, 2017)

“An Act relating to the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission; and providing for an effective date.”

SB 115 was referred to Senate State Affairs and Finance committees.

HB 231 was referred to House Fisheries and Finance. committees.

No hearings have been scheduled on either bill at this time – UFA supports these bills as introduced and will follow them closely.


 

  1. Legislative Meetings of Interest Scheduled for the week of January 22:

 

Monday, January 22, 2018                        

12:00 P.M. – Lunch and Learn – Room 205 – Economic Development in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest

3:30 P.M. – Senate Resources Committee – Room 205 – Overview: Alaska’s Mining Filing Claim Process – Department of Natural Resources Division of Mining, Land and Water

 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

10:00 AM – House Fisheries Committee – Room 120

HB 199 – Fish/Wildlife Habitat Protection; Permits – Introduction of Committee Substitute

The new committee substitute is expected to be posted online under documents before the hearing begins.

1:30 P.M. – House Finance CommitteeHB 286 FY19 Operating budget – Room 519

 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

1:30 P.M. – House Finance CommitteeHB 286 FY19 Operating budget – Room 519

 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

10:00 A.M. – House Finance ADFG Budget Subcommittee – Room 120 –

Department overview

11:00 A.M. – Note time change – House Fisheries Committee – Room 120:

HB 188: Comm. Fish. Entry Permits; Loans; Trusts — Introduction of Committee Substitute

1:30 P.M. – House Finance CommitteeHB 286 FY19 Operating budget – Room 519

 

Friday, January 26, 2018

 

1:30 P.M. – House Finance CommitteeHB 286 FY19 Operating budget – Room 519


 

  1. To testify or listen in to a hearing, 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 through the following numbers – 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.


 

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

 

SB 3 – Small passenger wastewater & 1% for art exemption (Stedman – passed and signed into law)

HCR 8 – Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center (House Fisheries – passed House, now in Senate)

HJR 9 – Canadian Mines on Transboundary Rivers (Withdrawn) (Ortiz)

HJR 12 – Opposing FDA approval of GM Salmon and urging labeling (Tarr – passed House, now in Senate Resources

HJR 19 – Arctic Marine Safety Agreements (Josephson, Kito – passed House, now in Senate)

HB 14 – Leg. approval of Bristol Bay sulfide mine (Josephson – now in House Resources – new fiscal notes posted by DEC, DNR & ADFG)

HB 17 – Establishing a fish and game conservation program/account in ADFG (Josephson – now in House Resources)

HB 19 – Ban neonicotinoid pesticides (Drummond – passed House Resources, now in Finance)

SB25 – Motor Fuel Tax – Senate Rules by Request of the Governor (Senate Finance)

SB26 – Approp Limit & Per Fund: Dividend; Earnings (Different versions passed by House and senate – conference committee appointed)

HB 29 -Prohibiting sale of genetically modified fish/fish products – Tarr

HB 32 – Relating to the labeling of food; relating to the misbranding of food; requiring labeling of food produced with genetic engineering (Tarr- House Resources)

HB 42 – Relating to seizure of property; relating to forfeiture to the state – includes language on seizure of fishing permits (Wilson – House Finance)

HB 46 Procure AK Fish, Ag Prod.; Raw Milk Sales (Tarr – House Finance)

HB 56 Relating to limitations on certain commercial fishing loans (Ortiz – House Finance)

& companion bill:

SB 71 – Relating to limitations on certain commercial fishing loans (Stevens –Senate Finance)

HB 60 – Motor Fuel Tax (House Rules by Request of the Governor –now in House Finance)

HB 62 – Adoption of new regulations – would require repeal of another, except for regulations adopted by boards & commissions (Pruitt – House State Affairs)

HB 63 Transferring duties from DCCED to Department of Revenue (Pruitt – House State Affairs)

SB 89 – Shellfish Enhancement Hatcheries (Stevens – now in Senate Finance)

HB 128 – companion bill (Ortiz – passed House and now in Senate Finance)

SB 95 – Mariculture revolving loan fund (Stevens – Senate Finance)

HB 76 – House companion bill – (Ortiz – passed House and now in Senate Finance)

HB 87 Board of Fisheries and Board of Game – Conflict of Interest (Stutes –passed House, now in Senate State Affairs)

HB 88 Board of Fisheries Membership (Rep. Stutes – House Fisheries)

SB 88 – Mental Health Land Exchange (Sen. Stedman – passed Senate and House and signed into law)

SB 92 – An Act relating to abandoned and derelict vessels; relating to the registration of vessels; relating to certificates of title for vessels; relating to the duties of the Department of Administration; relating to the duties of the Department of Natural Resources; establishing the derelict vessel prevention program; establishing the derelict vessel prevention program fund; and providing for an effective date.” (This bill includes some insurance requirements that we are not aware of as being currently available) (Micciche – Senate Resources)

HB 107 Fisheries enhancement permit – egg & unfed fry enhancement in same waters (Talerico – House Resources)

SB 115 “An Act relating to the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission; and providing for an effective date.” (Administration – Senate State Affairs) )

HB 231 “An Act relating to the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission; and providing for an effective date.” (Administration –House Fisheries)

HB 129 – Fish and Game offense, licenses, and penalties (Administration – now in House Judiciary)

SB 60 -Companion bill passed (Administration -now in senate Judiciary)

HB 149 – Board of Fisheries five year cycle (Chenault – House Fisheries)

HB 155 – AK Mental Health Land Exchange (Ortiz –House Finance)

HB 177 – Invasive Species (Tarr–House Finance)

HB 188 – Regional permit banks (Kreiss–Tomkins – House Fisheries – hearing scheduled for new committee substitute Thursday 1/25 see above)

HB 199 – Salmon Habitat permitting (Stutes – House Fisheries – hearing scheduled for new committee substitute Tuesday 1/23 see above)

SJR 3   Urging the President of the United States and the United States Congress to mitigate the harm done to the state’s seafood industry because of the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement; and urging the President of the United States and the United States Congress to work to benefit and protect the state’s seafood industry (Senator Wielechowski –Senate State Affairs)

 

Compiled by UFA staff and made possible by the support of our Group, Business, Individual and Crew members.

To join UFA see http://www.ufafish.org/become-a-member/

 

share

Comments are closed.