Prefiled bills would allow for taxing of new commercial fisheries

Among the nearly three dozen bills filed in the Alaska House of Representatives ahead of the legislative session beginning on Jan. 17 is one sponsored by Speaker of the House Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak that would allow a self-imposed tax to offset the cost of new fisheries.

House Bill 18 would enable fishermen to self-impose such taxes based on their needs for managing the

fishery and what they can get harvesters to agree on once a new fishery comes online.

Stutes also introduced House Bill 19, which is related to registration of commercial fishing vessels, and House Bill 20, which is related to conflict-of-interest issues before the Boards of Fish and Game.

House Bill 19 would allow commercial vessel owners whose boats are registered with the Alaska Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC) to not be required to also register their vessels with the Alaska DMV. Stutes said anyone whose fishing vessels are registered with the CFEC that is getting fined for not also being registered with the DMV should call her office for help in resolving licensing issues.

House Bill 20 would restrict members of the Alaska Boards of Fish and Game from voting on subjects in which they have a conflict of interest.

Senate Bill 15, filed by Sen. Scott Kawasaki, D-Fairbanks, would require the Alaska Board of Fisheries to prioritize personal use fisheries when implementing fishing restrictions to achieve a management goal.

Subject matter of other prefiled legislation ranges from group insurance coverage for state government employees and eligibility for the Permanent Fund Dividend to the Alaska performance scholarship program and penalties for discharges of oil and other pollution violations.

A complete list of all prefiled bills in the Alaska House and Senate as of Tuesday, Jan 20, is online at