Legislature(2021 - 2022)BARNES 124

04/13/2021 08:00 AM COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 137 MOTOR VEHICLE OFFICES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
*+ HB 163 FORM OF SIGNATURE ON VEHICLE TITLE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HB 137-MOTOR VEHICLE OFFICES                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:36:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HANNAN announced that the  final order of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE BILL  NO.  137,  "An Act  requiring  the Department  of                                                               
Administration  to  maintain  and operate  certain  offices  that                                                               
provide services related to motor  vehicles; and providing for an                                                               
effective date."  [Before the committee was CSHB 137(STA).]                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:36:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ZACK  FIELDS, Alaska  State Legislature,  as prime                                                               
sponsor,  presented  HB  137,  with   the  aid  of  a  PowerPoint                                                               
presentation [hard  copy included in  the committee packet].   He                                                               
first  talked about  information shown  on slides  2-4.   He said                                                               
CSHB  137(STA) would  require  the  Department of  Administration                                                               
(DOA) to keep existing offices  of the Division of Motor Vehicles                                                               
(DMV) open  in communities of 850  people or more.   He indicated                                                               
that  although he  supports the  idea  of the  DMV exploring  new                                                               
areas that may benefit from a  new DMV office, that is beyond the                                                               
scope of  the proposed legislation.   He opined that  DMV offices                                                               
provide  a   critical  public  service  that   allows  commercial                                                               
transportation  throughout  the  state  by  providing  commercial                                                               
driver's licenses (CDLs).                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  noted that  [as shown  on slide  5], there                                                               
are privatized offices contracted to  provide some but not all of                                                               
the  services available  through a  DMV  office, but  he said  he                                                               
wants to ensure all services  remain available in the communities                                                               
where   they  are   currently  offered,   not   only  in   larger                                                               
communities.   He  said this  is an  issue of  equity.   He named                                                               
services that  can be  provided only  via the  DMV:   issuance of                                                               
driver's licenses; renewal of driver's  licenses for seniors over                                                               
the age  of 69; and  issuance of CDLs.   While, in  theory, there                                                               
are  other  tests  that  can  be  done  by  privatized  or  other                                                               
providers,  it  can  be less  efficient  and  cost-effective  for                                                               
Alaska  consumers  than  getting  those services  through  a  DMV                                                               
office.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:40:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  pointed to slide 6,  which illustrates the                                                               
long distances people in various  communities would have to drive                                                               
if their DMV  offices were closed.   As shown on slides  7 and 8,                                                               
he discussed the challenges of  driving certain routes in Alaska,                                                               
such as  the mountain  pass to  get out of  Valdez, which  can be                                                               
treacherous during  winter.  As covered  on slide 9, he  said not                                                               
everyone has access to Internet in  Alaska.  Slide 10 shows side-                                                               
by-side  comparisons of  the cost  of  services at  a DMV  office                                                               
versus  via a  private  provider, illustrating  that  it is  more                                                               
economical   to   purchase   these   services   from   the   DMV.                                                               
Representative  Fields  opined it  is  unfair  to take  away  the                                                               
ability of  Alaskans to  go to  a DMV  office, thus  doubling the                                                               
cost of services.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:43:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS, as shown on  slide 11, stated that the DMV                                                               
pays for itself through its fees.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:44:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PATKOTAK   asked  why   the  DMV   field  service                                                               
locations in downtown  Anchorage and in Nome were  shown on slide                                                               
11 as not available ("N/A") [in terms of revenue].                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  deferred to Ms. Javier  of the Legislative                                                               
Finance Division.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:45:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SABRINA  JAVIER, Fiscal  Analyst,  Legislative Finance  Division,                                                               
explained that  that was  just information  that "would  not pull                                                               
up" when she ran an ad hoc report for the bill sponsor.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:46:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCABE  indicated he  had found  different results                                                               
on  the  numbers  when  including  the "PCNs."    He  offered  an                                                               
example.  He  said it appeared as though  the statistics provided                                                               
by the  bill sponsor  show the DMV  as "wildly  profitable" while                                                               
according to what he sees - "not so much."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS  deferred  to  Ms. Javier  since  she  had                                                               
created the chart on slide 11.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:47:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HANNAN told Ms. Javier  that the committee would like to                                                               
know  what fiscal  year  the data  is from,  and  she noted  that                                                               
Representative McCabe had pulled PCN data from that data.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:47:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. JAVIER responded that when  Representative McCabe's staff had                                                               
requested this  data, she had  pulled the personal  services data                                                               
from  the  numbers.   She  offered  her understanding  that  what                                                               
Representative  McCabe had  received were  "just the  amounts for                                                               
personal services" and "not the entire picture."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCABE  observed [the  three columns of  the chart                                                               
on slide  11] were:  "revenue,"  "expenditures and encumbrances,"                                                               
and "difference."   He  indicated that  when he  had asked  for a                                                               
personal  services   category,  it  resulted  in   a  significant                                                               
difference in  profit or  return.   He offered  his understanding                                                               
that the expenditures in the  Delta office equated to five people                                                               
making $20,000  or less a year,  and he said he  thinks something                                                               
is wrong with the numbers.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HANNAN  pointed  out  that  Representative  McCabe  was                                                               
asking questions based on data he  had received but which was not                                                               
in the committee's possession.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. JAVIER, in response to  Co-Chair Hannan, recollected the data                                                               
she had procured  for the bill sponsor was from  fiscal year 2016                                                               
(FY 16) through FY 20.   She clarified that these numbers are not                                                               
concrete,  and  she could  get  more  concrete numbers  from  the                                                               
department.   She  clarified for  Representative McCabe  that the                                                               
numbers she  had given  him were only  for personal  services and                                                               
were not compared with the cost of revenues.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:52:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN   suggested  having  information   on  the                                                               
record.   She  asked  whether the  category  of expenditures  and                                                               
encumbrances,  on the  slide provided  by Representative  Fields,                                                               
would include personal services.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:54:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease at 8:54 a.m.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:54:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HANNAN announced  that further  clarification would  be                                                               
sought regarding  the data  Representative McCabe  possessed, and                                                               
then it would be presented to the entire committee.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:55:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  returned to the PowerPoint  and touched on                                                               
the  topic  on   slide  12,  which  read   as  follows  [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Shifting cost burdens deepen divides:                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     -Rural  Alaska   faces  higher  costs   in  healthcare,                                                                    
     gasoline,  &  fewer  options   for  utilities  such  as                                                                    
     Internet.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     -Driving  100+  miles  (each way)  for  service  is  an                                                                    
     additional tax.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     -Private DMV  partners have no regulations  or controls                                                                    
     over  pricing for  mandatory  services. The  Department                                                                    
     has  method  to  control  costs,  fees,  or  additional                                                                    
     charges.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     -For  communities where  a private  partner were  to be                                                                    
     the only option, residents must  either pay up front or                                                                    
     through additional  costs such as driving  70-100 miles                                                                    
     for key services.                                                                                                          
     -Internet  is  not always  an  option  for everyone  or                                                                    
     every service.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS,  in conclusion  of his  presentation, drew                                                               
attention to the  information on slide 13, which  read as follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     "In  our poll,  Seniors  of  Alaska found  overwhelming                                                                    
     support  amongst  our members  to  support  HB 137  and                                                                    
     retain affordable,  safe options  for Seniors  in their                                                                    
     local communities. 96.5%  overall favored keeping their                                                                    
     local  DMV,  and  some  locales  had  100%  of  members                                                                    
     supported this critical public service for seniors."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     -Seniors of Alaska                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:56:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PRAX  asked   Representative  Fields  to  confirm                                                               
whether  HB 137  would require  all communities  with populations                                                               
larger than 850 to have a DMV office.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   FIELDS  clarified   it  would   be  that   those                                                               
communities of  850 or more,  which currently have a  DMV office,                                                               
retain  those offices.   He  said the  structure of  the bill  is                                                               
focused on equity.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PRAX noted  that in  terms of  equity, there  are                                                               
communities with  that population  threshold that  do not  have a                                                               
DMV office.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS  said  he  supports the  addition  of  DMV                                                               
locations and would  be willing to work  with Representative Prax                                                               
and consider an amendment to achieve this in a rational way.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:58:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCABE observed  that Yakutat,  Glenn Allen,  and                                                               
Anderson, Alaska  have DMV offices  currently and  populations of                                                               
fewer  than 850.   He  asked  if the  proposed legislation  would                                                               
result in those offices being closed.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  answered that HB  137 does not  direct the                                                               
department to close  DMV offices at locations that  are under any                                                               
certain  population threshold,  and  the  administration has  not                                                               
proposed closing those DMV offices.   He said the committee could                                                               
decide to  lower the threshold to  300; all that matters  is that                                                               
the threshold is  consistent, he purported.  He  explained he had                                                               
chosen the  number 850  to keep  the DMV  offices open  that were                                                               
under threat of closure.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   MCCABE  offered   his  understanding   that  the                                                               
outgoing commissioner  had recommended  not closing down  the DMV                                                               
offices.   He said  he received  a call  from a  constituent, who                                                               
runs  a facility  in Palmer,  Alaska,  that issues  CDLs, who  is                                                               
concerned  the proposed  legislation would  prevent him/her  from                                                               
doing   that.     He  said   vehicle   transfers  and   permanent                                                               
registrations do not need to be done at  the DMV.  Out of about a                                                               
dozen  reasons   to  go   to  a  DMV   office,  he   offered  his                                                               
understanding that  only about 5  of them require the  DMV office                                                               
visit.  He  said the bill seems to be  anti-private business, and                                                               
he  said it  seems to  him a  bad idea  to tie  the hands  of the                                                               
administration in how it must do business.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:01:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS responded  that he does not  believe HB 137                                                               
would hurt "UMVs."   He noted in his district there  is a DMV and                                                               
multiple UMVs,  which are  more convenient for  some people.   He                                                               
said he  supports people having the  choice.  In response  to Co-                                                               
Chair Hannan,  he said while he  does not know what  the initials                                                               
in "UMV" stand  for, it is a private partner  that contracts with                                                               
the  DMV to  provide certain  services.   He suggested  his staff                                                               
might  know what  each letter  represents.   He explained  he had                                                               
listed that which only the UMV provide, in terms of services.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:02:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TRISTAN WALSH,  Staff, Representative  Zack Fields,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, explained  that UMV is  just a name for  the largest                                                               
contractor with the DMV; there are other contractors.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS  noted   that  Representative  McCabe  had                                                               
questioned   the  necessity   of  this   legislation  given   the                                                               
legislature had addressed  this issue in its budget  process.  He                                                               
said   there  have   been  other   issues  where   there  is   an                                                               
administrative proposal,  a legislative response, and  things get                                                               
"ironed out in one of several ways."   He gave examples.  He said                                                               
with  the  exit   of  the  last  commissioner   and  the  current                                                               
administrative stance  on the DMV  issue, he feels HB  137 should                                                               
continue to be advanced to protect public services.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:05:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCABE  asked whether  one of  the reasons  for HB
137 is to protect jobs.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS  replied that  he  had  mentioned jobs  in                                                               
terms  of people  driving  to  and from  work  as  it relates  to                                                               
locations of DMV offices.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCABE recollected  hearing a  pharmacist testify                                                               
before  the  previous committee  of  referral  that he  was  more                                                               
qualified to give an eye test than was someone at the DMV.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  pointed out  that if  a DMV  is eliminated                                                               
from a community  that does not offer another means  to obtain an                                                               
eye test,  then the person  may have to  find a different  way to                                                               
get the test, and that alternative may be more expensive.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:07:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WALSH  added  that  the  Department  of  Labor  &  Workforce                                                               
Development (DLWD)  had estimated the  cost of an eye  test [from                                                               
an medical doctor] was approximately $230.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS  reiterated   the  advantages  of  getting                                                               
services from the DMV.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:08:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SCHRAGE said  he supports  the  intent of  the bill  to                                                               
retain  access to  DMV services  for seniors,  Alaskans in  rural                                                               
communities, and  others but expressed  concern about  the fiscal                                                               
note.   He read [the first  sentence of the fiscal  analysis from                                                               
the fiscal  note with identifier HB  137-DOA-DMV-4-8-21, included                                                               
in the committee packet], which read as follows:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     This  bill  removes  the  ability   to  close  a  State                                                                    
     operated  Division of  Motor Vehicles  (DMV) office  in                                                                    
     communities   that   have    850   or   more   citizens                                                                    
     irrespective of  need, economic conditions,  demand for                                                                    
     services, facility  considerations, cost to  the state,                                                                    
     staffing  provisions,  technological advances,  changes                                                                    
     to the industry, or other unforeseen conditions.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SCHRAGE  said he worries the  proposed legislation would                                                               
put restraints  on DOA irrespective  of changes that  might occur                                                               
in the  next five  to ten years.   He asked  the bill  sponsor to                                                               
comment.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  responded that  he thinks the  fiscal note                                                               
is unusual.   He  explained that HB  137 would  maintain existing                                                               
services of the  DMV; therefore, the fiscal note  should be zero.                                                               
He offered  his understanding that  the administration  looked at                                                               
not closing facilities as resulting in  an increase in costs.  He                                                               
stated,  "It's just  not the  way  we've ever  done fiscal  notes                                                               
before."   He said  another issue  is to ask  to what  extent the                                                               
legislature  should  weigh in  on  public  services and  to  what                                                               
extent it should  "leave it to the agency."   He said his general                                                               
approach  is to  leave things  to the  agency unless  it proposes                                                               
something with which the legislature does  not agree.  He said he                                                               
does not  agree that it  is reasonable to  close any of  the DMVs                                                               
the  administration proposed  for closure;  therefore, he  looked                                                               
for a way  to preserve public services  without micromanaging the                                                               
department.   He  acknowledged that  change would  happen in  the                                                               
future but  encouraged legislating  now while  recognizing issues                                                               
will need to be addressed again in the future.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:11:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PRAX specified that "the  people" pay for the DMV.                                                               
He asked if the  DMV fees are intended to cover  just the cost of                                                               
issuing "the license or the certificates or whatever."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  remarked that  numbers show the  DMV "more                                                               
than  pays for  itself over  the years";  therefore, it  would be                                                               
reasonable to question  whether fees could be  lowered.  However,                                                               
he  deferred  to the  department  to  answer  whether it  is  the                                                               
mission of the  department to cover costs or return  money to the                                                               
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   PRAX  suggested   the  increase   in  electronic                                                               
transactions "would reduce the demand  for a physical presence at                                                               
the  office."   He  reasoned  that  in  that case,  the  services                                                               
offered could  take place in  any state  agency office.   He said                                                               
[HB 137] seems overly constricting.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  noted that  the proposed bill  would allow                                                               
flexibility to  make transactions through other  offices or local                                                               
government.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:14:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND derived  from the  aforementioned fiscal                                                               
note that  the DMV currently  contributes to the  state's general                                                               
fund (GF), and  passage of HB 137 would result  in "a decrease of                                                               
DMV's  contribution  to   the  general  fund."     She  asked  if                                                               
ordinarily  the  fiscal  note  gets "argued  out"  by  the  House                                                               
Finance Committee [when it is the last committee of referral].                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS responded yes.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:16:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HANNAN  announced  the  committee  would  hear  invited                                                               
testimony.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:16:19 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PETER ZUYUS, Executive Director,  Seniors of Alaska, testified in                                                               
support of HB  137.  He said Seniors of  Alaska has expressed its                                                               
concern about  the negative  effects that  closure of  DMV office                                                               
locations  will  have on  the  following  populations:   seniors,                                                               
disabled, rural,  lower income,  and Native  Alaskans.   He noted                                                               
that a  House Finance subcommittee  voted unanimously  to restore                                                               
budgets cuts  proposed by DOA  that would have cut  the following                                                               
DMV  office  locations:   Homer,  Delta  Junction, Valdez,  Eagle                                                               
River, Tok,  and Haines.   He pointed out that  although restored                                                               
in the  FY 22 budget,  these locations  still could be  closed at                                                               
will by the department.  He  said HB 137 would remove the ability                                                               
for arbitrary  closure and restore  legislative approval  for any                                                               
rural state DMV office closure.   He expressed that the rural DMV                                                               
office  is a  core service,  and the  proposed legislation  would                                                               
keep that service intact.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ZUYUS  highlighted that  HB  137  does not  mention  private                                                               
partnership  awards; it  gives legislative  authority to  oversee                                                               
any potential  closure; closure of  a rural DMV could  occur with                                                               
legislative  approval.   He  said  private partnerships  increase                                                               
costs of  services.  He warned  that closure of rural  DMVs could                                                               
leave  the  state  vulnerable  to  multi-million  dollar  federal                                                               
lawsuit action for violation of  the federal Elder Justice Act of                                                               
2010.  He said the former  commissioner of DOA had testified that                                                               
the  proposed  closures  were selected  because  rural  residents                                                               
would  cause   the  least  backlash  and   the  communities  were                                                               
lucrative for private partnership.   He said there was no mention                                                               
of  the  negative  economic  impact  to  those  communities  that                                                               
closures  would create.    He  noted there  have  been three  DOA                                                               
commissioners in  the last  three years,  which has  not provided                                                               
stability for  rural communities  that count  on their  local DMV                                                               
for  state services.    He  said HB  137  would remove  arbitrary                                                               
decisions made by unelected state  workers - decisions that could                                                               
affect rural  Alaska communities; it  is a nonpartisan  bill that                                                               
would help all Alaska communities.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:20:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ZUYUS,   in  response  to  Representative   McCabe,  offered                                                               
information about Seniors  of Alaska.  He said it  is a 501(c)(4)                                                               
organization with a viewership of 7,000.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:22:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NONA  SAFRA, testified  in support  of HB  137.   She noted  that                                                               
although she  has a role as  advocate for seniors and  those with                                                               
disabilities, her  testimony today  is as an  Alaska elder.   She                                                               
said closure  of DMVs in  rural Alaska  would leave many  who are                                                               
mandated  to   appear  at  DMVs  in   person  paying  unregulated                                                               
arbitrary  "convenience fees"  at privatized  offices [contracted                                                               
through the  DMV] over and above  the regulated state fees.   She                                                               
said the commissioner's authority to  close DMVs at will does not                                                               
best  represent Alaskans  as  it is  based  on quantitative,  not                                                               
qualitative, data.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. SAFRA  shared her  experience as a  caregiver for  elders who                                                               
require a  Real ID to  travel to the  Lower 48 for  medical care,                                                               
either driving hundreds of miles in  bad conditions to get to the                                                               
closest DMV  or suffering the  financial burden of  paying higher                                                               
fees  at a  contracted  UMV.   In  terms  of  technology being  a                                                               
solution, she  noted that many  of the 238,000 Alaskans  in rural                                                               
areas have broadband issues, lack  Internet connectivity, and may                                                               
not  have  the  computers,  e-mail  addresses,  or  credit  cards                                                               
necessary to complete on-line  transactions and create electronic                                                               
signatures.    Ms.  Safra  asked  legislators  to  represent  all                                                               
constituents by passing  HB 137 to ensure access for  all to meet                                                               
state mandated DMV requirements.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:27:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOE  MICHEL,  Executive  Director, Alaska  Trucking  Association,                                                               
thanked the bill  sponsor for clarifying under  CSHB 137(STA) the                                                               
relationship  that  private  partners  have with  the  DMV.    He                                                               
explained that  he was wearing  two hats:   one was as  a private                                                               
partner with  the DMV and  as a representative of  the commercial                                                               
operators that  would be affected by  DMV closures.  He  said the                                                               
Alaska Trucking Association (ATA)  is concerned about the ability                                                               
of  its  rural operators  to  comply  with the  regulations  that                                                               
federal  agencies put  on  the industry,  and  that that  ability                                                               
would be  affected by  the DMV  closures.   He offered  to answer                                                               
questions from the committee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:28:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCABE asked  Mr. Michel  to expound  the federal                                                               
regulations for which he uses the DMV to comply.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. MICHEL  answered the requirements of  registration, which are                                                               
more complex for commercial drivers.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCABE  said  he   has  registered  a  commercial                                                               
vehicle and  does not  recall having  to go  physically to  a DMV                                                               
office.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. MICHEL indicated  that DMV transactions are done  at ATA, and                                                               
there are  two additional pieces  of paper that are  submitted to                                                               
the  DMV.    He  mentioned  "getting  plates  that  fall  off  of                                                               
vehicles"  being more  easily done  by  going into  a DMV  office                                                               
rather than  waiting 6-8 weeks to  receive them in the  mail.  He                                                               
expressed the main  concern is that avenues be left  open for the                                                               
trucking industry to be able to  comply with the regulations.  He                                                               
concluded, "Now  that the bill clarifies  the private partnership                                                               
versus the  DMVs, we're  happy that ...  there's as  many options                                                               
available for  our industry to  comply with the  regulations that                                                               
are placed on us."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:32:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HANNAN  opened  public  testimony on  HB  137.    After                                                               
ascertaining that  there was  no one who  wished to  testify, she                                                               
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:33:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PRAX  requested  that  the director  of  the  DMV                                                               
describe  the services  related to  commercial vehicles  that are                                                               
provided  by the  DMV offices  and the  measure of  inconvenience                                                               
that would result from the smaller offices being closed.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
JEFFREY   SCHMITZ,   Director,   Division  of   Motor   Vehicles,                                                               
Department of  Administration, said he  could provide a  list for                                                               
the committee.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:34:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HANNAN asked  what services  are available  through the                                                               
variety of private  contracted partners.  She said  she had heard                                                               
that some cannot provide CDLs while others can.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SCHMITZ  said  he  could include  that  information  in  the                                                               
forthcoming list.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HANNAN asked  whether the DMV is expecting  an uptick in                                                               
REAL ID applications.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. SCHMITZ  replied that the  short answer is  yes, particularly                                                               
because it  is within six months  of the October 1  deadline.  He                                                               
noted  that 200,000  Alaskans have  already  obtained their  REAL                                                               
IDs.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:37:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PRAX asked whether the  DMV is the only authorized                                                               
issuer of REAL IDs.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. SCHMITZ answered that all  of the DMV's third-party providers                                                               
can issue REAL IDs.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:39:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY asked  a series  of questions  related to                                                               
the REAL ID and the federal passport.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SCHMITZ, in  response to  Representative  McCarty, said  the                                                               
REAL  ID  is  a  federal  mandate,  the  deadline  for  which  is                                                               
currently October  1, 2021,  although having  been delayed  a few                                                               
times already, it could be delayed  again.  He said the U.S. Post                                                               
Office,  while offering  U.S. passports,  cannot issue  REAL IDs.                                                               
He confirmed  that if a  DMV were shut  down, a U.S.  Post Office                                                               
could provide  a federally compliant passport,  which would allow                                                               
its official carrier  to board a plane, for  example, although it                                                               
is not a REAL ID.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  clarified for Representative  McCarty that                                                               
not all U.S.  Post Offices issue passports.  He  said the DMV has                                                               
mapped  out  where  all the  passport-issuing  U.S.  Post  Office                                                               
facilities are  in Alaska, as well  as where all the  DMV offices                                                               
are located.   He said this information could be  provided to the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:41:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HANNAN  remarked that  while both the  REAL ID  and U.S.                                                               
passport are  federally compliant, it  may be easier  for someone                                                               
who  does  not  already  have  a driver's  license  to  obtain  a                                                               
passport than to get a REAL ID.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:43:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. SCHMITZ distinguished the difference between a REAL ID                                                                      
driver's license and identification card - both federally                                                                       
compliant under the REAL ID Act.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:43:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HANNAN thanked the sponsor and testifiers.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
[HB 137 was held over.]                                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 163 Ver A.PDF HCRA 4/13/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 163
HB 163 Sponsor Statement 4.9.pdf HCRA 4/13/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 163
HB 163 Support Letters 4.12.21.pdf HCRA 4/13/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 163
HB 163 Fiscal Note - DOA - DMV 4.10.21.pdf HCRA 4/13/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 163
1 CSHB 137 ver G Sponsor Statement 4.7.2021.pdf HCRA 4/13/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 137
2 CSHB 137 ver G.PDF HCRA 4/13/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 137
3 CSHB 137 Summary of Changes Ver A to G 4.7.2021.pdf HCRA 4/13/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 137
4 CSHB 137 ver G Sectional Analysis 4.7.2021.pdf HCRA 4/13/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 137
5 CSHB 137 Fiscal Note Division of Motor Vehicles.pdf HCRA 4/13/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 137
6 HB0137A.PDF HCRA 4/13/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 137
7 HB 137 Supporting Document Letters of Support Received as of 4.7.2021.pdf HCRA 4/13/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 137
8 HB 137 Supporting Document City of Homer Resolution Received as of Jan 11 2021.pdf HCRA 4/13/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 137
9 HB 137 Supporting Document Alaska Public Media Received as of 3.19.2021.pdf HCRA 4/13/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 137
10 HB 137 Support Document Senior Voice Received as of 2.1.2021.pdf HCRA 4/13/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 137
CSHB137 Safra Testimony April 13.pdf HCRA 4/13/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 137
CSHB 137 Fiscal Note - DOA-DMV 4.8.21.pdf HCRA 4/13/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 137