The following are some short summaries of agriculture-related bills that affect growers in Alaska. The full text of each bill can be found at http://w3.legis.state.ak.us/index.php. Type in the bill number in the “Search” box. You can find the full text, the sponsor’s statement and the bill’s history and current status.
HB 77: Introduced at the request of the Governor – An Act relating to the Alaska Land Act, including certain authorizations, contracts, leases, permits, or other disposals of state land, resources, property, or interests; relating to authorization for the use of state land by general permit; relating to exchange of state land; establishing that performance of a feasibility study for the development and operation of a hydroelectric site at Chikuminuk Lake is not considered an incompatible use of the Wood-Tikchik State Park; relating to procedures for certain administrative appeals and requests for reconsideration to the commissioner of natural resources; relating to the Alaska Water Use Act.
HB 121: Introduced by Rep. Feige – An Act relating to the examinations, board, loans, records, and lobbying contracts of the Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank.
HB 202: Introduced by Rep. Feige – An Act raising the application fee for a drawing permit for the hunting of bison to $20; requiring the game management plan for bison in the Delta Junction Bison Range Area to include mitigation of bison damage to farm crops and farm and personal property; and authorizing the commissioner of natural resources to make grants to mitigate or prevent damage caused by bison. (Members at the November 16, 2013 Alaska Farm Bureau’s Annual Meeting voted to support this bill).
HB 207: Introduced by Rep. Feige – An Act establishing the Board of Agriculture, Conservation, and Development; transferring the powers and duties of the Natural Resource Conservation and Development Board to the Board of Agriculture, Conservation, and Development; transferring to the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development the authority to approve loans from the Agricultural revolving loan fund; terminating the Natural Resource Conservation and Development Board. (Support for this bill was defeated by members at the November 16,2013 Alaska Farm Bureau’s Annual Meeting).
HB 215: Introduced by Rep.Tarr – An Act relating to the labeling of food; relating to the misbranding of food; requiring labeling of food products with genetic engineering.
HB 224: Introduced by Rep. Drummond – An Act limiting the application of neonicotinoid pesticides.
HB 231: Introduced by Rep. Chenault – An Act eliminating the Department of Revenue’s duty to register cattle brands.
HB 238: Introduced by Rep. Tarr – An Act relating to the municipal procurement preference for state agricultural and fisheries products; relating to legislative oversight of that procurement preference.
HB 248: Introduced by Rep. Kawasaki – An Act establishing May 15 each year as Think Local Day.
HB 249: Introduced by Rep. Kawasaki – An Act prohibiting the use of genetically engineered seeds or plants to produce or grow agricultural products for sale.
HB 309: Introduced by Representative Tuck – will allow distilleries to serve samples of their product to those visiting their business as well as sell small quantities on site. This legislation will treat distilleries the same as existing brewery and winery statutes and help to promote growth in Alaska’s distillery industry, a new agricultural industry in our state.