Snowbird hunting? This bill would take resident fishing permits away from those who spend too much time Outside

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Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, a Republican member of the Senate’s Democrat-dominated majority, is offering a bill that reels in residency requirements for resident fishing, hunting, and trapping licenses.

It’s a companion bill to House Bill 201, filed last year by Rep. Rebecca Himschoot (no party, member of Democrat caucus) of Sitka and Rep. Sarah Hannan, a Democrat, of Juneau.

According to HB 201 and Senate Bill 171, a person would have to be not only physically present, but continuously present, in the state of Alaska for the 12 months prior to applying for an in-state fishing, hunting, or trapping license, in order to qualify for the resident rate.

There are exceptions, and they are found in Alaska Statute AS 43.23.008, the law that defines what a resident is for the purpose of receiving a Permanent Fund dividend.

Those exceptions are things such as going Outside the state for medical treatment, to serve in the military, to care for a gravely ill relative, or settle the estate of a deceased parent. The exceptions include staffers for Alaska’s congressional and Senate leaders in Washington, D.C., or a State of Alaska field office staffer in another state. There’s a 90-day continuous-absence limit and a 180-day total absence limit, with all kinds of proof needed for the Permanent Fund Division, which examines each application thoroughly and has an investigation division with people assigned to bird-dog fraud.

What the two fishing-hunting-trapping bills would do is create a new and likely costly bureaucratic hurdle for the Department of Fish and Game, which would have to vet applicants at the same level the Permanent Fund Division currently does.

HB 201 has been referred to House Resources and Judiciary committees; Resources will first meet on Friday.

The Himschoot-Bjorkman bills originated because some out-of-staters come to Southeast Alaska, specifically Prince of Wales Island, in the summer to work and they get in-state fishing licenses, even though they maintain residences out of state. Alaska resident sport fishing licenses cost $60. Nonresidents pay $100 for an annual license. Resident hunting licenses are $85, and residents don’t pay for tags. Nonresidents pay $260 for an annual hunting and sport fishing license.

Alaska residency is a sticky and litigious subject with Alaskans. When the Alaska Permanent Fund was established, it originally had an elastic benefit that gave more dividend money to those who had maintained residency since statehood.

But then, an Anchorage couple, Ron and Patricia Zobel, sued and won because the residency requirements were a violation of their constitutional right to equal protection. The residency requirement was dialed back as a result. Now, a person must be a resident of the state for a full year before being eligible to apply for a dividend. And they can be gone from the state for a certain amount of time each year.

The Himschoot-Bjorkman bills are written in such a way that they can be interpreted as disallowing a vacation to Hawaii, since the proposed statute says “has been physically present in the state at all times during the 12 consecutive months under (2) of this subsection or, if absent, was absent only 03 as allowed in AS 43.23.008.”

In U.S. Supreme Court case Dunn v. Blumstein405 U.S. 330, 92 S. Ct. 995, 31 Ed.2d 274 (1972),[6] the court held, “All durational residency requirements inherently infringe upon the fundamental constitutional right of interstate travel. Hence, all such requirements are prima facie invalid and will be countenanced only when they serve a compelling state interest.”

Residency issues are found in another Senate bill that was offered by Sen. Forrest Dunbar of Anchorage. That bill is trying to address the problem some people have because bed-and-breakfast owners don’t want to rent to Alaska residents. That story is linked below:

43 COMMENTS

    • The good news in this scenario Chester is that while in Hawaii they can fish for free as licenses aren’t required for anyone. Those blue states just give it all away.

      • But if you catch fish in Hawaii, they don’t belong to you. They belong to the state, and you’re required to buy them.
        You get it coming or going, but you will get it……….

      • Yea right ….try that in NY, NJ , MInn, ect , ect.
        Many states have no permit to fish in the ocean; AK and HI are 2 of them.

    • This only applies to the first year you’re establishing PFD eligibility. After that, the 90 day and 180 day gates would be the new criteria.

  1. I’ve known of more then one individual who has a house here they rent and live outside, work on the slope and “feel” they are residents and “deserve” a PFD. Only time they spend here is their “2 on” then go “home”. I do not know any but have heard all my life about the mythical Alaska Commercial Fisherman. You know the guy who keeps his boat in Portland or Seattle and lives there. Never mind the “Alaskan Hunting Guide” who is from Montana. I know, freedom of travel and interstate commerce and all BUT, some of these folks are getting PFDs and their resident licenses. A clean up is needed.

    • And all the people that vote up here, but live elsewhere.
      And all the people collecting COLA money on their PERS/TERS pensions because they claim to live here. That’s an additional 25% on a pension our state pays on these fake residents.
      Also all the people that cheat on property taxes when they are over 65. They don’t live here, their kids live in the house or it’s an AirB&B, but they don’t have to pay property taxes on the first $150,000 in value (if they are in Anchorage).
      The state has let all this go on for far too long.
      I bet our 770,000 population is really closer to 600,000 that actually live here.

    • You are making a point that is total BS. You are vilifying people that have financial and personal interest in the state and contribute to the state financially and support commerce here. If you want to ride that high horse, go after the people that don’t live here, work here, or own anything here that have been getting the PFD for decades. Also, go after the people with zero economic input to the state but get WIC, EBT cards, fuel assistance money, MEDICAID, electricity for free, and are on every other state and federal welfare program. These parasites are already getting tens of thousands in state money and shouldn’t receive a PFD. I am a 67 year Alaska resident but was travelling in and out of state on a job in 2008 and got screwed out of a PFD because I was out of state for 3 too many days.

      • Sour grapes.
        WIC-Federal … EBT-Federal … Water/sewer-Federal (PHS) Medicaid-mostly Federal & NOT required for Federal Health care provided in villages (PHS) … HUD housing-Federal (IHC) … Electricity subsidized by the State, not free.
        Heating (fuel oil #2 diesel) subsidized, not free
        These Fed giveaways come with something for all though. Jobs, good paying ones & lots of them.
        BUT, people in villages do not get hunting & fishing licenses in general (except for Moose)
        They also don’t snowbird much

    • “……..A clean up is needed.”
      Do away with the PFD. Mission Accomplished. Moreover, some 80,000+ parasites will leave, reducing services.

  2. Agree with Chester! Let’s work to attack our residents instead of taking that time and energy on legislation that can help protect our residents from the increase crime constantly around us. SMH.

  3. My wife has lived in Alaska for 71 winters and I have lived in Alaska for 52 winters. We are residents of Alaska. We own one or more homes in Alaska, pay property taxes and have paid taxes for over 55 years, we vote in Alaska, have raised our family in Alaska and both our kids are married, property tax paying homeowners in Alaska with 5 children.
    We committed our lives and resources to Alaska.

    You long since have taken away the longevity bonus for long term.
    residents.
    We had Senator Mitchell E. Abood stand up for our resident rights when we were allowed hunting, fishing and trapping privileges from the State of Alaska based on our residency and Senator Aboods far thinking thanks to our residents.
    Now you want to strip us of this privilege of the license because some bonehead on Prince of Wales Island got away with something.
    What in God’s name are you thinking?
    Himschoot-Bjorkman need to rethink their position and what they want to achieve that helps and not hinders the outcome and our residents.

  4. Ah, “Republicans”.

    All this is, besides a money grab designed to fail, is part of the ongoing plan to turn us into a national park for liberals.

    • Caribou herds statewide are crashing. Moose and sheep numbers have been down for years. Hunting pressure has never been higher, even for predators.
      No wildlife? Fewer tourists in the park. Tourism is already down due to a crappy economy throughout the nation. Parks are for wealthy people. Those are crashing faster than caribou.

      • Ever changing wildlife numbers don’t mean that the sky is falling. Making things more expensive for tourists in these times by new taxes and charges does discourage many who are not wealthy.

  5. Meanwhile, back in the real world, Alaska’s fiscal crisis continues to get worse, government spending grows beyond our means, government workers suffer from the delusion that they are our masters, southcentral faces a looming existential disaster as natural gas reserves dwindle below our ability to generate electricity and heat our homes. But, hey, at least we’ve solved the plastic bag crisis. Why this trio of nincompoops is not laughed out of the capitol and their jobs is beyond me.

      • Jefferson, these bills are focused upon a continuation of class warfare. It’s a game of divide and conquer.
        In the end this bill will cost the State lots of money and create more government workers while providing less $ to the Department for use in management of the resource.

        The March of folly continues!

  6. Why worry about a little piddling fee when the Division of Elections says it you have an address to send your PFD to and it matches your voter registration, you’re qualified to be a Senator from Western Alaska, no matter where you live.

    My point is, leave the little guys alone and go after phony politicians that are going to collect $133,000 in Juneau this year.
    Don’t worry about the little fish, go after the big fish.

    • The big fish are sharks with big teeth, and they feed in schools. Whatever you do, don’t fall in or even extend your arms out over the water.

  7. Politicians are so bloated by their corrupt victories that they can’t see the rats are jumping from the ship(s).

    If these dummies have half a brain they would know there is already a mechanism in place – affidavit that you haven’t held a resident hunting or fishing license in another state and examine the issue date of the Alaska Drivers License. No Alaska Drivers License, Voter Registration Card or State issued ID, NO hunting or fishing license. Plain and simple. Go after those that are bad characters and leave the rest of us alone.

  8. There’s a 90-day continuous-absence limit and a 180-day total absence limit, in addition to all of the other exceptions…this doesn’t seem overly onerous. If you don’t live here just 5 days over half the time then how could you justify calling yourself a resident? The 90 continuous will make it hard for some retirees because they would have to fly up for a day or so in the winter…or save a few bucks and don’t fly back and just pay to get a license instead of getting it for free as a resident senior.

    This will mostly impact younger folks who don’t really live here and don’t have homes here but want to pay less for a license. When I was younger after I moved outside and didn’t live in state even if I was here for many many months I paid the nonresident fee for my commercial and sport licenses because it was the right thing to do.

    • Steve-
      Im not 100% sure on subject one way or another.
      Regarding 90 days 180 days. Thats stupid.
      In my mind if you have a home here or feel fealty to Alaska over any other state or country then regardless of time away you should get full residency benefits.
      Im not sure about people leaving to avoid the snow . Thats a little iffy .
      If you are going to school, on a world adventure of any kind but intend to return to alaska and haven’t developed residency outside or taken benefits of residency elsewhere then you are still effectively a citizen of Alaska or a resident of Alaska.
      Just like you are a resident or citizen of America until you take residency/ citizenship elsewhere.
      Thats my opinion. Id be one pissed off hombre if someone said i was no longer alaskan just because i was out of state for 200 days doing whatever i wanted.
      If you’re home is here you are an alaska resident regardless of time away. Resident is a foolish word for the state to use . Citizen would be better. Or native of Alaska 😉

  9. Stupid is as stupid does!! What can anyone say with idiots elected for work they should not be in. We have a governor that works hard to employ this kind of thinking in all respects. Wow! What next.

  10. It’s all to waste time so the important issues we are facing get put aside. They have noting better to do. It will cost more to regulate this than what they think they will gain by passing it……….
    Nothing new it is business as usual.

  11. Who is writing this junk:

    “What the two fishing-hunting-trapping bills would do is create a new and likely costly bureaucratic hurdle for the Department of Fish and Game, which would have to vet applicants at the same level the Permanent Fund Division currently does.”

    No, it wouldn’t.

    The simple, cheap solution to this is to match PFD qualifications to hunting & fishing licenses. There’s no need to crest 2 bureaucracies to do the same thing. All ADFG would do is ask on the license application: do you qualify for a PFD? If you do, then pay the resident fee – if you don’t, pay non-resident. And swear with your signature that this is all true…

  12. We need to focus attention on more important issues. Residency issues are nearly always contentious and these bills do not appear to help cure the problem. Alaska needs to zero in on budget, education, and living costs issues.

  13. Non residents are required to hire a guide in order to hunt sheep, goats, and brown bears in the state of Alaska.

  14. We are losing more freedoms every day. Thank you politicians and ridiculous voters. You would think there were way more serious issues to be looked at then a little bit of overfishing, which could be corrected easily.

  15. SE Alaska, specifically Prince of Wales, has an incredible fake resident problem. People from the Lower 48 come to Alaska, buy some property, spend the summers hitting the fishing hard often with a conveyor belt of “friends” rotating through like clients at a lodge. Then they pack it up for the winter to return home. The over 60 “residents” often get their permanent hunting, fishing and trapping licenses…just like someone who actually lives here…and from then on NEVER pay for a license again. These summer only vacationers enjoy all the subsistence rights and higher limits of real residents. I’ve even seen a case where a couple who have never spent a winter in Alaska received senior home heating oil assistance from the State of Alaska to heat their empty Alaskan “home” in the winter. Some of the inane comments on this post indicate that reading comprehension is a problem that the bill sponsors must contend with…this change won’t impact actual residents who have established residency and then snowbird outside the state or who take other trips Outside. There are actually two classifications of part time residents: snowbirds and vacationers. Snowbirds are people who have actually lived in Alaska, worked here, raised a family here, moved here lock, stock and barrel but are now retired or otherwise able to enjoy winters Outside…but with the intention of returning to their true home in Alaska. Vacationers are non-residents who leave their true homes in the Lower 48 to vacation in Alaska during the nice summer season with the intention of returning to their true homes in the states in the fall. Many have never wintered in Alaska. They don’t work in Alaska. They didn’t raise a family here. The only ties they have to Alaska are the properties they bought. These people are not residents of Alaska but they get their Alaska DL and they register to vote locally and then they start trying to turn our cities into replicas of the places they really live. Are you a vacationer who likes what Alaska offers in the summer? Great! Come on up and have a good time but stop lying about being an Alaska resident…you’re not and you don’t want to be except to get resident benefits and the Alaskans who have earned the right to call themselves residents are tired of your dishonesty.

  16. Growing the ‘Administrative State’ will accomplish exactly what?
    The associated costs will completely engulf any measurable benefit!

  17. I scrolled down and saw this Dittman poll. Not pertaining to this topic but I didn’t know where else to post it. Hilarious!

    Question of the week:

    If a man undergoes penile inversion-vaginoplasty surgery and takes feminizing hormones, can he be rightfully called a woman?

    Something went wrong.

  18. No need for wasteful rewriting. Current Constitutional bylaws are already completely on the books. No need for further grandstanding when the bylaws are already completely printed and enacted. Why do it again. Save the people’s budget. No need whatsoever to rewrite what ALREADY exists. Stop lying and pretending you have a problem that does NOT today exist. At all. I must name call. IDIOTS!

  19. Its time for the state of Alaska to use the word citizen and treat us as such.
    Trying to remove privilege or rights by redefining citizenship into “resident” is immoral sleight of hand and not constitutionally coherent.

    If your life is established in connection with Alaska you are still a state citizen regardless of how long you are gone and for what reason.
    Unless you have sought and received citizenship elsewhere. ( that should be the law)
    To revoke my rights associated with citizenship because im gone from the state for whatever reason is unjust .
    As long as i have not received citizenship elsewhere.

    • The term “citizen” is s defined in the Law of Nations. The definition of citizen recognized by all others in educated nations is someone elected to political office. “We, the people” are not synonymous with the literal term “citizen” unless we are occupying an emolument paid for by we, from the people’s public trust funds. Citizens give up temporarily the “rights” of we the people to receive a “benefit” instead of a paycheck from the public trust funds to secure and defend all the US Constitutional rights on an equal footing basis among the fifty friendly union of states in the republic. The written oath to secure and defend all the rights of we the people must be on file prior to turning on that beneficial pay spigot. We do not have super citizens. This should be taught in public school but is taught in private schools. So the term citizen is colloquially misused. Diction is, typically important.

  20. Have been an AK resident for almost 30 years. Put in 29 years in the military. Another 15 years as a government contractor. Our home and residency are in AK. Kids were born and went to school in AK. They’re finally out of the house. I’m now retired and can finally travel with my wife and build vacation home at the beach to get away during the winter months. And now a couple of dipshit pols want to take away our resident fishing and hunting privileges so they can punish a handful of folks in the Southeast.

  21. Why are you reinventing the wheel, Senator Bjorkman? We already have an apparatus in place that determines residency at the PFD offices. Keep it simple – if you are eligible for a PFD than you should be eligible for resident hunting/fishing license. And for those on here that will say that there is a lot of fraud going on at the PFD offices – what makes you think that a brand new agency won’t have the same issue? We don’t need the expense of another government bureaucracy.

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