SENATE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES, AGRICULTURE, SALMON AND WATER

 

 

February 12, 2001   Hearing Room B

8:00 AM Tapes  28 – 29

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Sen. Ken Messerle, Chair

Sen. Frank Shields, Vice-Chair

Sen. Bill Fisher

Sen. Jason Atkinson

Sen. Roger Beyer

Sen. Ryan Deckert

 

VISITING MEMBER PRESENT:

                                                Sen. Joan Dukes

 

MEMBER EXCUSED:

Sen. Ginny Burdick

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Judith Callens, Committee Administrator

Patricia Nielsen, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURE/ISSUES HEARD:            SB 481 – Work Session

                                                SB 62 – Work Session

                                                SB 517 – Public Hearing

                                                SB 518 – Public Hearing

                                                Introduction of Committee Bills – LC 3265

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 28, A

005

Chair Messerle

Opens meeting at 8:05 a.m.  Opens work session SB 481.

SB 481 – Work Session

010

Judith Callens

Committee Administrator.  Presents bill.

015

Chair Messerle

Asks for discussion.

020

Sen. Atkinson

MOTION:  Moves SB 481 to the floor with a DO PASS recommendation.

025

 

VOTE:  5-0

AYE:            In a roll call vote, all members present vote Aye.

EXCUSED:  2 – Burdick, Deckert

030

Chair Messerle

The motion CARRIES.

Sen. ATKINSON will lead discussion on the floor.


 

030

Chair Messerle

Closes work session on SB 481.  Opens work session on SB 62.

SB 62 – WORK SESSION

035

Callens

Presents bill, as well as –1, –2, and –3 amendments.

055

Chair Messerle

Adds that Ken Rocco of Legislative Fiscal has brought up some changes.  Fees should go through the budget process, to allow the legislature to restrict the use of the funds.

070

Vice-chair Shields

Asks about the cause for the measure.

080

Sen. Fisher

Comments that maintenance was paid for from other sources.  This fund was used for payroll and other activities.  The money was accounted for.

090

Sen. R. Beyer

Asks about how much money is in the account.

100

Callens

Explains.

110

Ken Rocco

Legislative Fiscal Office (LFO).  Describes the account.

115

Vice-chair Shields

Asks if the money was there to maintain hatcheries, how could it be used if being borrowed.

120

Rocco

Explains.

130

Chair Messerle

Clarifies funds were used for maintenance not hatcheries.

135

Rocco

Responds.

140

Chair Messerle

Points out that the legislature can designate on what projects the funds are to be spent.

145

Rocco

Explains.

148

Vice-chair Shields

Asks how the account will earn interest if the funds are borrowed away from it.

160

Chair Messerle

Confirms that is the problem to be corrected.

165

Vice-chair Shields

Asks how and why Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) will be allowed to borrow from the fund.

170

Rocco

Elaborates.

180

Vice-chair Shields

Inquires whether there is anything in the bill which would stop the agency from borrowing from the fund and holding the loaned money out for the entire biennium.

185

Rocco

Responds.

190

Sen. Fisher

Draws analogy of a business borrowing funds from an account with a surplus to meet a short-term shortfall in another account.

210

Rocco

Confirms ODFW has accounted for the borrowed funds.

215

Sen. Fisher

Asks whether the $250,000 infusion is to accelerate the payment due, or to increase endowment fund to generate interest.

220

Rocco

Answers.

230

Sen. Fisher

Surmises this is an increase to the endowment fund itself, so there is more future interest.

235

Vice-chair Shields

States that there are strict rules about borrowing from an endowment for more than two months.  Comments that ODFW borrowed millions before, and the bill doesn’t stop agency from borrowing at the beginning of biennium and not repaying until end.

255

Rocco

Describes treasury rules.

260

Chair Messerle

Recognizes Sen. Dukes.

270

Sen. Dukes

Comments on the bill.  Hatcheries were in declining shape, and no money was funded to upgrade facilities.  The endowment account was created so interest could be used to maintain and upgrade hatcheries.  The fund hasn’t been used for that purpose, but has been borrowed from for other purposes.  The fund can be of assistance to hatcheries, and it is the only money available for that purpose.  The committee should not convert it into something else, and should not allow ODFW to borrow from it.

320

Chair Messerle

Reviews legislature’s authority over the budget process.

330

Sen. Dukes

Expresses reservations about that process.

335

Sen. Fisher

Suggests that it makes no difference where the interest comes from, as long as proper accounting takes place and interest money is available for maintenance of hatcheries.

365

Chair Messerle

Asks how the funds are to be paid back.

370

Rocco

Responds.

373

Vice-chair Shields

Reiterates concern that if the money can be borrowed on the first day of the biennium, and repaid with interest, that doesn’t mean any extra money for the agency.

380

Rocco

Clarifies.

390

Sen. Atkinson

Refers to the accounting of projects which have used funds, and asks whether any of these would be prevented by the bill.

410

Rocco

Responds.

435

Chair Messerle

Asks whether the Ways and Means committee will ask where project funding will come from.

440

Rocco

Confirms.

Tape 29, A

020

Sen. R. Beyer

Inquires whether the interest money from the fund is all out for the 2001-03 biennium.

025

Rocco

Responds.

030

Sen. Atkinson

Asks whether the interest money for hatchery maintenance is available now, or only if principal is repaid and not touched this biennium.

040

Rocco

Answers.

045

Sen. Atkinson

Inquires whether the fund will ever be restored to $5 million.

050

Rocco

Responds.

054

Sen. Atkinson

Asks how long it would take to restore the full fund.

060

Rocco

Estimates repayment.


 

070

Chair Messerle

Asks whether the borrowed money is still accruing interest for the maintenance fund.

080

Rocco

Responds.

085

Sen. Fisher

Asks about interest being charged this biennium.

095

Rocco

Responds and describes amendments.

110

Sen. Fisher

Asks about how money in fund would have been invested, and whether it would earn more than loan-rate interest.  If so, asks whether agency must repay interest at that higher rate.

120

Chair Messerle

Asks Rocco whether there is a limit.

125

Rocco

Responds.

135

Sen. Fisher

Asks how that situation developed.

140

Rocco

Explains.

150

Sen. Fisher

Asks if responsibility for mismanagement should be shared between the legislature and the agency.

160

Chair Messerle

Comments that this bill tries to get the loaned funds paid back, and in future the legislature can decide how much reserve to build up.

170

Sen. R. Beyer

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT SB 62-2 amendments dated 2/6/01.

175

 

VOTE:  6-0

EXCUSED:  1 – Burdick

180

Chair Messerle

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

185

Sen. R. Beyer

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT SB 62-3 amendments dated 2/6/01.

190

Vice-chair Shields

Continues to express concern about the terms of borrowing from the fund and whether the fund can truly earn any interest.

192

Sen. R. Beyer

Comments.

200

Chair Messerle

Comments it would be a cost to the agency no matter where needed funds are borrowed from.

204

Vice-chair Shields

Objection to how the terms are defined in the bill.

205

Chair Messerle

Suggests flexibility is needed.

210

Sen. Fisher

Suggests definition of short-term, as used in bill.

215

Sen. R. Beyer

Observes that this bill at least defines and restricts terms of borrowing from fund where none exist now in statute.

220

 

VOTE:  6-0

EXCUSED:  1 – Burdick

225

Chair Messerle

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

230

Sen. R. Beyer

MOTION:  Moves SB 62 as amended to the floor WITHOUT RECOMMENDATION as to passage and BE REFERRED to the committee on Ways and Means.

235

Sen. Atkinson

Expresses support for the bill but also concern about long-term strategy for hatcheries and whether the bill accomplishes goal of hatchery maintenance.


 

245

Chair Messerle

Agrees.  Expresses concern that until Oregon resolves its wild fish policy the legislature doesn’t know where best to spend resources, and expresses optimism that some issues can be resolved this session.

255

Vice-chair Shields

Agrees with Sen. Atkinson about need for hatchery projects and asks if Ways and Means committee could require more definition of terms of borrowing and repayment.

260

Sen. R. Beyer

Confirms authority of Ways and Means.

261

Sen. Dukes

Comments that Ways and Means does not handle substantive issues.

265

Rocco

Responds.

280

Callens

Restates motion.

285

Sen. R. Beyer

Restates motion.

290

 

VOTE:  6-0

AYE:            In a roll call vote, all members present vote Aye.

EXCUSED:  1 - Burdick

 

Chair Messerle

The motion CARRIES.

300

Chair Messerle

Close work session on SB 62.  Opens public hearing on SB 517.

SB 517 – PUBLIC HEARING

310

Callens

Presents bill.

320

Sen. R. Beyer

Explains bill.

330

Wayne Van Dyke

Testifies in favor of bill.

360

Sen. Atkinson

Asks cost of license in Washington state.

365

Van Dyke

Responds.

390

Kay Brown

ODFW.  Testifies as neutral and refers to submitted written materials (EXHIBIT A).

460

Van Dyke

Comments further.

Tape 28, B

035

Sen. R. Beyer

Asks about terms of licenses.

040

Brown

Responds.

043

Chair Messerle

Close public hearing on SB 517.  Opens public hearing on SB 518.

SB 518 – PUBLIC HEARING

045

Callens

Presents bill.

050

Sen. R. Beyer

Explains bill.  Expresses concern about safety for hunters and opines hunters should be trained in proper use of firearms.  Explains that other western states require proof of hunter’s education before allowing purchase of hunting license.  Programs in Oregon started in 1950s, which is why the target date was set at 1950.  Finally, ODFW has stored preference points under social security numbers but that is forbidden by the federal government.  The hunter safety completion certification number could be used instead.

100

Roy Elicker

Legislative Coordinator, ODFW.  Testifies as neutral and submits written material (EXHIBIT B).

140

Paul Donheffner

Director, Marine Board, but represents only himself today.  Testifies in favor and refers to written material (EXHIBIT C).  Asks the committee to consider several changes to the bill.

210

Sen. Fisher

Asks Elicker why a hunter doesn’t get one hunting license number for life.

220

Elicker

Responds.

235

Sen. Fisher

Inquires whether that hunter could get a license for more than one year.

240

Elicker

Answers.

250

Sen. R. Beyer

Suggests the department use hunter’s education number for the hunter identification number.

255

Elicker

Offers to get information.

265

Sen. R. Beyer

Agrees that the hunter safety certification number could be the unique license identification number used by hunters in Oregon.

278

Rod Harder

Executive Director, Oregon Sportsmen’s Defense Fund.  Testifies in favor of bill.  Suggests several changes.

320

Al Elkins

Oregon Hunters Association.  Testifies in supports of bill.

350

Sen. Fisher

Asks why the bill starts with controlled hunts and whether there is any concern about a discounted multi-year hunting license.

370

Harder

Responds.

390

Elkins

Responds.

415

Sen. Fisher

Suggests idea for multi-year discounted hunting license.

Tape 29, B

020

Chair Messerle

Calls Paul Donheffner again.  Asks about including entire hunter population versus breaking out controlled hunts.

030

Donheffner

Explains.

050

Sen. R. Beyer

Agrees that eventually all hunters should be included.  Opines that most big game hunters are in controlled hunt situations.

055

Chair Messerle

Asks about phase-in.

060

Sen. R. Beyer

Offers to work with groups on phase-in.

065

Sen. Fisher

Comments that his constituents struggle now to pay licensing fees and this is one more impediment to hunters who are hunting for the meat.  Disagrees with fee for hunter safety course.

070

Sen. R. Beyer

Explains that in most places there is no fee for hunter safety courses.

075

Chair Messerle

Closes public hearing on SB 518.  Opens work session for introduction of committee bills.

INTRODUCTION OF COMMITTEE BILLS – WORK SESSION

080

Callens

Presents LC 3265.

075

Sen. R. Beyer

MOTION:  Moves LC 3265 BE INTRODUCED as a committee bill.

080

 

VOTE:  6-0

EXCUSED:  1 - Burdick

 

Chair Messerle

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

085

Chair Messerle

Adjourns Work Session.

086

Chair Messerle

Adjourns meeting at 9:38 a.m.

 

Submitted By,                        Reviewed By,

 

 

 

Patricia Nielsen,                        Judith Callens,

Committee Assistant                        Committee Administrator

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – Written testimony on SB 517, Kay Brown, ODFW, 2 pp

B – Written testimony on SB 518, Roy Elicker, ODFW, 1 p

C – Written testimony on SB 518, Paul Donheffner, 2 pp