UFA Legislative Update: March 17, 2017

New letters from our Spring board meeting are posted in the current issues section of our website at https://www.ufafish.org/current-issues/… With more to come.

For Individual and Lifetime members – At-Large board election voting is underway.

Ballots were mailed last week to current individual and lifetime members to elect your four representatives to the UFA board.

If you expected one but haven’t received it, call us at 907-586-2820. We are excited with the huge number of ballots we’ve received so far.

Be sure to vote by the April 1 postmark deadline! 

Coming soon – Comfish Kodiak – March 30 – April 1

DEC Workshops this week – Outstanding National Resource Waters Nomination Process

We are forwarding this reminder of the Department of Environmental Conservation’s outreach effort to establish a statewide process for nominating and designating Outstanding National Resource Waters or Tier 3 waters.

The public workshops will be held the week of March 20th.

Juneau- Centennial Hall Egan Room – March 20, 2017 – 1-4 pm,

Anchorage – Performing Arts Center Voth Hall – March 21, 2017 1-4pm

Fairbanks – DEC Conference Room, 610 University Drive – March 22, 2017 – 9 to noon

Statewide Teleconference March 23, 2017 – 4-7pm –for AdobeConnect and teleconference details, see the website below.

Registration is encouraged – see http://dec.alaska.gov/water/wqsar/Antidegradation/Tiers123.html.

Forwarded from DEC Water Quality division email.

Related UFA letters:

UFA comments on SB 163 concerning nominations as Outstanding National Resource Waters (March 4, 2016)

UFA comments on DEC Water Quality Antidegradation Regs (April 14, 2014)


Legislative happenings from this week:


The Senate passed SB 26 for changes to the Permanent Fund. It is now in House Finance committee. ADN story.

The House spent most of the week in floor sessions for amendments on the FY18 Annual Operating Budget HB 57.

UFA letter on ADFG budget. Many bills that were scheduled in committees were rescheduled as meetings were postponed due to extended floor sessions.

We expect the schedules to be more accurate in the coming week.

HB 56 regarding commercial fisheries loan limits was passed from House Resources and is now in Rules committee.


Legislative Meetings of Interest Scheduled for the week of March 20:

*Note that House Fisheries committee will not hold any meetings this week*


Top item:

HB 87 on Board of Fisheries Conflict of Interest will be heard in House Resources, with public testimony – Monday at 7:00 PM.

It is also scheduled on Wednesday, but we are told that they hope to get all testimony on Monday, and perhaps move the bill, so the hearing scheduled for Wednesday may not take place. If you want to testify, you should do so Monday beginning at 7 pm .

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 toll free 844-586-9085 and ask to be connected to this hearing.


Monday, March 20, 2017                         

7:00 PMHouse Resources – Barnes Room 124

HB 87 – Conflict of Interest: Boards of Fisheries & Game

— Public Testimony —            UFA letter


HJR 12 Opposing Genetically Engineered Salmon

— Public Testimony —            UFA letter


HB 32 Label Genetically Modified Food

— Public Testimony – UFA letter


Tuesday, March 21:

9:30 A.M. Senate Labor and Commerce – Beltz room 105 (Tom Stewart Bldg.)

SB 71 – Commercial Fishing Loans (Senate companion bill)

(Governor’s appointees to boards and commissions, not including Board of Fisheries, and SB79 regarding opiates are scheduled before SB71).


Wednesday, March 22:

1:00 P.M. House Judiciary – Gruenberg Room 120

HB 42 – Forfeiture & seizure of assets


6:00 P.M. House Resources – Barnes Room 124

HB 32 Label Genetically Modified Food

— Public Testimony —

HB 87 regarding Board of Fisheries conflict of interest is also listed in this hearing, but the committee expects to close testimony and may move the bill in Monday’s hearing. UFA letter.


Thursday, March 23:

9:00 A.M. House Finance Committee – Room 519

HB 115 Income Tax – with withholding requirement on crew payments. UFA letter.


Friday, March 24:

3:30 P.M. Senate Resources Committee – Butrovich Room 205

Overview: Alaska’s Seafood Industry

Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development

Department of Fish & Game

Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute

Presentation from Private Sector Stakeholders – including PSPA & UFA


Alaska State Legislature home page: http://akleg.gov/ .

To watch committee meetings live, click on “Live Now” tab near the upper right of the legislature home page.


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


HCR 8 – Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center

HJR 9 – Canadian Mines on Transboundary Rivers

HJR 12 – Opposing FDA approval of GM Salmon and urging labeling

HB 14 – Leg. approval of Bristol Bay sulfide mine- Josephson

HB 17 – Establishing a fish and game conservation program/account in ADFG – Josephson

HB 19 – Ban neonicotinoid pesticides – Drummond…

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

HB 42 – Relating to seizure of property; relating to forfeiture to the state – includes language on seizure of fishing permits…

HB 46 Procure AK Fish, Ag Prod.; Raw Milk Sales – Tarr

HB 56 Relating to limitations on certain commercial fishing loans- Ortiz

& companion bill:

SB 71 – Relating to limitations on certain commercial fishing loans – Stevens

HB 60 – Motor Fuel Tax – House Rules by Request of the Governor

HB 62 – Adoption of new regulations – would require repeal of another, except for regulations adopted by boards & commissions

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

HB 63 Transferring duties from DCCED to Department of Revenue – Rep. Pruitt

HB 76 – Mariculture revolving loan fund…” (Rep. Ortiz)

HB 87 Board if Fisheries and Board of Game – Conflict of Interest

HB88 Board of Fisheries Membership – Rep. Stutes

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

HB 115 – Income Tax & PFD – including withholding on crew payments (House Finance)

HB 128 – Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries (Ortiz)

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 – by Senator Wielechowski.

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