Legislature(1993 - 1994)

1993-01-22 House Journal

Full Journal pdf

1993-01-22                     House Journal                      Page 0126
HJR 19                                                                       
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 19 by the House Rules                               
Committee by request of the Governor:                                          
Proposing amendments to the Constitution of the State of Alaska               
creating a transportation fund.                                                
was read the first time and referred to the Transportation, Judiciary and      
Finance Committees.                                                            
The following fiscal notes apply:                                              
Revenue note, Dept. of Revenue, 1/22/93                                        
Zero fiscal note, Dept. of Transportation & Public Facilities, 1/22/93         
Zero fiscal note, Dept. of Public Safety, 1/22/93                              

1993-01-22                     House Journal                      Page 0127
HJR 19                                                                       
The Governor's transmittal letter, dated January 22, 1993, appears             
"Dear Speaker Barnes:                                                          
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I am     
transmitting a resolution to amend the Alaska Constitution to provide          
for a dedicated transportation fund.                                           
Section 1 of the resolution repeals and readopts art. IX, sec. 7, of the       
Alaska Constitution so that it permits the dedication of revenue under         
a new sec. 18 of art. IX, which is created by sec. 2 of the resolution.        
No other substantive change is made to sec. 7.                                 
Section 2 of the resolution amends art. IX of the Alaska Constitution          
by adding a new sec. 18.  New sec. 18(a) requires that certain revenue         
received after June 30, 1995 that is derived from transportation-related       
functions be placed into a transportation fund.  The revenue that is to        
be dedicated to the transportation fund is                                     
1)revenue from state licenses and fees for the registration,                 
operation, and use of motor vehicles, aircraft, and watercraft;                
2)revenue from the use of state transportation facilities,                   
including the state ferry system;                                              
3)revenue from state taxes on fuel used in and on watercraft and             
on fuel used by motor vehicles and aircraft.                                   
Refunds or credits from state fuel taxes, as provided by law, and costs        
for the collection of license, fee, and tax revenue, as provided for by        
law, would not be required to be placed in the transportation fund.            
New sec. 18(a) also provides that the legislature may appropriate              
revenue from the transportation fund only for                                  
1)the maintenance and operation of a state or local government               
transportation facility (including a highway or marine highway                 
system vessel) if the facility is related to the mode of                       
transportation from which the tax, license, or fee revenue to                  
be appropriated was originally received;                                       

1993-01-22                     House Journal                      Page 0128
HJR 19                                                                       
2)the construction and improvement of harbor facilities if the               
tax, license, or fee revenue to be appropriated was obtained                   
from the use of watercraft; and                                                
3)the administration and enforcement of motor vehicle laws.                  
Section 18(b) exempts the following transportation-related revenue             
from the requirement that it be placed into the new transportation fund:       
1)revenue received from taxes, licenses, or fees that the state              
collects on behalf of a local government;                                      
2)revenue received by a public corporation whose revenue must,               
by federal law, be retained and managed by the corporation;                    
3)revenue received from the use or operation of a transportation             
facility constructed with bond proceeds if law or bond                         
covenants require that the revenue be used for some other                      
Section 18(c) requires the legislature to provide by law for the               
management and investment of the fund and provides further that                
income earned from the management and investment of the fund be                
deposited into the fund.                                                       
Section 18(d) allows the legislature, upon three-fourths majority vote         
of both houses, to make appropriations from the fund for any other             
public purpose.                                                                
Section 3 of the resolution requires that the amendment proposed by            
this resolution be placed before the voters of the state at the next           
general election in accord with the election laws of the state.                
Because transportation facility maintenance and operation, like other          
state services, is currently a general fund expenditure, declining oil         
revenue will surely mean a reduction in the funding available for those        
critical activities.  I believe that the most appropriate means to guard       
against such a reduction, and to provide for stability and continuity in       
the provision of transportation services, is to permit "user fees" from        
transportation-related facilities to be dedicated to maintaining and           

1993-01-22                     House Journal                      Page 0129
HJR 19                                                                       
operating Alaska's transportation system.                                      
I urge your favorable consideration of this resolution.                        
      Walter J. Hickel