UFA Legislative Update: May 10, 2019

    Dear UFA Members and Friends,

    Things are winding down in the legislature and not many bills are moving. 

    In this issue:

    • ADF&G Budget Update
    • Pebble Mine EIS Comment Period Extended
    • Governor Dunleavy Responds to Inquiries Regarding Transboundary Issues
    • **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

    ADF&G Budget Update
    The Department of Fish and Game Budget has not been finalized with the last action taking place in the Senate ADF&G Subcommittee on April 16.  A summary to the April 16 Senate ADF&G Subcommittee may be found in our April 22, 2019 Legislative Update.

    Pebble Mine EIS Comment Period Extended
    The Pebble Mine EIS Comment Period was extended to July 1, 2019.  Save Bristol Bay has an online template for commenting which may be accessed here.  Alternatively, you may send comments directly to the Army Corps of Engineers Pebble Project EIS website.

    Governor Dunleavy Responds to Inquiries Regarding Transboundary Issues
    On May 6, Governor Dunleavy sent a letter to Speaker Edgmon in response to the legislature’s letter urging continued engagement with the Province of British Columbia on the issue of transboundary rivers under the Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation (MOU), signed by the previous administration.United Fishermen of Alaska also sent a letter to the Governor in early April inquiring about the status of the MOU.In the letter to the Legislature, Governor Dunleavy stated the MOU is “still in effect and the Governor’s Office continues to take the lead on behalf of the State of Alaska.”Governor Dunleavy continued, “This is important work, my administration recognizes the progress made, and will continue to seek ways to best protect Alaska’s natural resources and environment.”

    United Fishermen of Alaska views this as a good starting point and hopes that the Administration continues to push for financial assurances and adequate engagement in the permitting process.

    -Frances Leach, Executive Director


    Legislation – Happenings from this week on fishery related bills we are tracking. (May 6 – May 10, 2019)

    House Fisheries

    Tuesday, May 7, HB 99 – Nuyakuk River Falls: Hydroelectric Site. Heard & referred to House Resources. Watch Meeting

    House Resources

    House Floor

    • Monday, May 6, HB 41 – Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries (Ortiz – UFA Supports) Passed the House, referred to Senate Finance with no scheduled hearings at this time.
    • Wednesday, May 8, SB 61  – Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims (Stevens – UFA Supports) Passed the Senate and the House and currently awaiting transmittal to Governor.

    Legislative Meetings of interest for this weekend and the week of May 13 – May 17, 2019.

    No meetings currently scheduled pertaining to bills we are tracking.

    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) Passed the Senate and the House and currently awaiting transmittal to Governor.
    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 Finance with no scheduled hearings at this time.
    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) Passed the House, referred to Senate Finance with no scheduled hearings at this time.
    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) Currently in House Finance with no scheduled hearings at this time.
    HB 116 – Aquatic Farm/Hatchery Site Leases. (Story). Currently in House Resources with hearing scheduled for May 10.
    HR 8 – 2019 International Year of the Salmon Resolution. Currently in House Rules.

    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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