Legislature(1997 - 1998)

02/02/1998 01:10 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 231 - REGULATION OF SNOWMOBILES                                             
Number 0068                                                                    
CHAIRMAN GREEN announced the committee would first hear HB 231, "An            
Act relating to regulation of snowmobiles."  The bill had been                 
heard the previous year by the committee.                                      
REPRESENTATIVE BEVERLY MASEK, sponsor, advised members that more               
than 50 organizations have endorsed HB 231, including all the major            
snowmobile clubs, businesses in the tourism industry, snowmobile               
dealers and manufacturers, and support agencies such as the                    
Anchorage Economic Development Corporation.                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK pointed out that HB 231 does not impose a new             
fee for registering snowmobiles.  The statute requiring snowmobile             
registration has been on the books since 1968.  There are two                  
changes proposed in HB 231:  It will require snowmobiles to be                 
registered at the time of purchase, and it will place the                      
registration provisions in Title 28 [misstated as Title 8] under               
the Division of Motor Vehicles.                                                
Number 0190                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK said reasons for enacting point-of-sale                   
registration include establishing a reliable count of machines,                
creating a better opportunity to successfully participate in                   
current funding programs for trails, and creating a better                     
opportunity for authorities to recover stolen machines.  The                   
established number of registered machines appears to be                        
substantially lower than the actual number out there.  Therefore,              
the snowmobile community and the state may be missing out on grant             
monies for trail acquisitions and maintenance that are based on the            
number of registered machines.                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK noted the increase in snowmobile thefts over              
the past few years.  Many machines are not registered, making it               
more difficult to identify and recover stolen machines; point-of-sale registrat
and it may deter some theft.  In addition, establishing and                    
maintaining trails for snowmobile use may help to build winter                 
tourism businesses.  Representative Masek advised members that                 
Eddie Grasser could answer technical questions.                                
Number 0352                                                                    
CHAIRMAN GREEN noted that there was a quorum, as Representatives               
Croft and Rokeberg had joined the meeting.  He said he would                   
entertain a motion to adopt the proposed committee substitute (0-LS0501\F, Ford
Title 28.                                                                      
Number 0378                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ERIC CROFT asked whether by adopting Version F they             
would be removing the regulation portion, leaving just the                     
registration portion.                                                          
CHAIRMAN GREEN said that is essentially it.                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked what the difficulty was with the                    
regulation portion, and who had the difficulty.                                
Number 0412                                                                    
EDDIE GRASSER, Legislative Assistant to Representative Beverly                 
Masek, Alaska State Legislature, explained that in discussing this             
issue with the snow machine community, the Division of Parks and               
Outdoor Recreation, and the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), they             
decided the regulatory authority for actual snow machine use on                
state lands or park lands would be better addressed in a separate              
piece of legislation.  What they want to do here is establish the              
registration process.  The next piece of the puzzle, a separate                
legislative package, would address the regulation of the use of                
snow machines on public lands, including park lands, and,                      
hopefully, some kind of fee structure to help acquire and maintain             
trails for that.                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said he had understood it was a collaborative             
process, that the snow machine community was at the table and there            
wasn't significant opposition to the regulatory part.  He asked,               
"So, it isn't that they've changed their mind, necessarily, it's               
just better tactics to move it into two separate bills?"                       
MR. GRASSER said that is correct.                                              
Number 0509                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ETHAN BERKOWITZ asked why, if they are switching                
from regulation to registration, there is no title change.                     
MR. GRASSER said he had talked to Juanita Hensley from the DMV that            
day, and to Jim Stratton of the Division of Parks and Outdoor                  
Recreation.  Mr. Grasser said he believes that was a drafting                  
oversight; it was supposed to be an Act relating to the                        
registration of snowmobiles.                                                   
Number 0556                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER made a motion to adopt 0-LS0501\F,                 
Ford, 5/5/97, as a work draft.  He asked to incorporate in that                
motion an amendment, which he believed to be technical in nature,              
changing in the title the word "regulation" to "registration".                 
Number 0593                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG objected for discussion purposes.               
He pointed out that AS 28.39.060 is "Regulations authorized."                  
Therefore, regulatory authority goes with this legislation.                    
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said that doesn't affect the title.                      
CHAIRMAN GREEN agreed.                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG withdrew his objection.                                
Number 0681                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked whether this bill provides the ability             
to go as far as they want to, in terms of registering all the                  
machines that must be registered.  As he read the statutes,                    
machines off the highway system, or not intended to do anything but            
drive across a highway going from private property to private                  
property, are not required to be registered.  He asked whether that            
is the sponsor's take.  If so, what would stop people who buy snow             
machines from saying they don't intend to do anything but go from              
private property to private property across a highway, and                     
therefore they don't have to register?                                         
Number 0760                                                                    
MR. GRASSER replied that it is their presumption that the dealers              
would automatically register new snowmobiles, as is done when                  
buying a new car now.  However, the question was well-taken as far             
as existing snow machines out there that aren't registered.  He                
suggested that in addressing that, they can look to improvements               
Commissioner Boyer made in the Department of Administration for the            
ability of people to access DMV registration through a 1-800                   
telephone number or the Internet, which should make it much easier             
to register these machines.                                                    
MR. GRASSER said Commissioner Boyer had indicated the $5 fee would             
cover a mail-out to people to renew their registration.  Mr.                   
Grasser added, "Of course, he also pointed out that would also                 
require the legislature to fund that with the proceeds from that $5            
registration, which I guess he claims they haven't done; so, I                 
haven't looked into that."                                                     
Number 0830                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER noted that Section 1 says, "Registration                 
under this section is not required for a snowmobile ... exempt from            
motor vehicle registration under AS 28.10.011."  He paraphrased                
subsection (11) as "you don't have to register if you're ... rural             
and not connected to a highway," and he paraphrased another,                   
unspecified, subsection as "if you're just going to private                    
property to private property across a highway."  He stated, "So, if            
that's the case, I don't think that you can say I have to buy one,             
unless you change that."                                                       
Number 0889                                                                    
MR. GRASSER responded that certain factions in the snowmobile                  
community would rather not have that in there.  He thought the                 
discussion when they put that in was about the rural situation,                
especially villages where they aren't required to register their               
vehicles now; that was the intent of that exception.  He suggested             
the sponsors were probably not hung up on that.  "I think the                  
snowmobile community wants these machines registered," he                      
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK concurred.                                                
Number 0932                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER suggested if they intend to get all snow                 
machines sold in the state registered, there is a technical hang-up, but if the
registered than the law now requires, that is what they have.                  
Number 0973                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said if he understood Representative                  
Porter's argument, there would be a discriminatory consequence to              
this, in that rural Alaskans would not have to pay the same                    
registration fees that urban Alaskans would have to pay.  He asked             
whether that is a fair assessment.                                             
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK noted that it says the dealer shall register              
the snowmobiles at the point of sale.  She said they would be sold             
in rural areas as well as in urban areas.  She then indicated she              
wouldn't have a problem if that were stricken from the bill.                   
Number 1030                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said AS 28.10.011 is written for cars and has             
a couple of different places where it may be too broad for                     
snowmobiles.  The applicable language is not all in subsection (11)            
of that statute.  Subsection (1) says, "driven or moved on a                   
highway only for the purpose of crossing the highway from one                  
private property to another, including an implement of husbandry as            
defined by regulation".  In addition, subsection (7) says, "driven             
or parked only on private property", which Representative Croft                
suggested is kind of repetitive.                                               
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said subsection (11) may be repetitive of                 
subsection (1) as well.  Subsection (11) is the rural one, relating            
to being driven or moved on a highway where there is not a regular             
road system.  He concluded, "So, there's private property, only                
crossing a highway, and then not connected to the highway system."             
He said each, it would seem, is inapplicable to this and more                  
applicable to cars.                                                            
CHAIRMAN GREEN responded that he thinks the language in question               
can be excluded, but he believes there is a conflict the way it is             
drafted.  He referred to page 2, lines 4 and 5, which requires the             
seller of the new or used machine - the dealer - to take action.               
Referring to Representative Porter's comments, Chairman Green                  
stated, "You're exempt on page 1, but on page 2, you're required.              
And so, one of the two.  I don't know that he's particularly caring            
which way we go, but we ought to go consistently."                             
Number 1110                                                                    
MR. GRASSER reported that last year the Department of                          
Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT/PF) spent $800,000 in                
Northwest Alaska on trail improvements and so forth for snow                   
machines.  The intent of this legislation eventually is to get to              
the point that Representative Croft addressed, with this moving out            
of the regulatory arena into just registration, and the intent is              
eventually to have a fund for trail maintenance and acquisition.               
He said Representative Porter's point is well-taken, and that                  
language should probably be stricken.                                          
Number 1172                                                                    
CHAIRMAN GREEN made a motion to strike lines 10 and 11, page 1.                
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT suggested they would need to renumber                     
CHAIRMAN GREEN included that as a friendly amendment.                          
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ indicated it also required punctuation                
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether there was any objection to the                    
amendment.  There being none, Amendment 1 was adopted.                         
Number 1214                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked for confirmation that the                        
registration is also for used vehicles, that re-registration would             
be required whenever there is a change of ownership.                           
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK affirmed that.                                            
Number 1231                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked where the $5 fee is in the bill, and             
whether it is in reference to another statute.                                 
MR. GRASSER referred members to page 2, line 12, subsection (e),               
which says, "The original and each renewal registration fee for a              
snowmobile is as provided under AS 28.10.421."                                 
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether that is a $5 fee.                                 
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK said currently it is, yes.                                
CHAIRMAN GREEN noted that it is subject to change by regulation.               
Number 1302                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT read from AS 28.10.421(d)(7), which discusses             
a $10 biennial fee for a snowmobile or off-highway vehicle.  He                
then stated his understanding that the intent is both to collect               
federal funds that might exist and to create this pool of Alaska's             
own registration funds.  He asked how much federal money might be              
obtained from this.                                                            
MR. GRASSER said they are not sure of the exact share because they             
don't have an accurate count of snow machines.  Under the Symms                
grant program and the trails program, there are nonmotorized                   
trails, motorized trails and multiple-use trails; each segment gets            
a portion of that funding.  The current state snowmobile                       
registration shows approximately 11,000 machines; that segment of              
the trail-using community doesn't really get much of the grant                 
money.  But if they could show there are 40,000 machines, for                  
example, they could increase the share significantly.                          
Number 1384                                                                    
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked what the costs of enforcement might be.                   
MR. GRASSER said they don't know.  He commented, "I assume that                
would be the same as in fish and game, where we have all these                 
regulations and no enforcement out there right now also."                      
Number 1428                                                                    
MAX LOWE, Alaska Snowmobile Representatives Alliance (ASRA),                   
testified via teleconference from Anchorage.  The ASRA represents              
160 dealers, 50 member businesses and a board of directors of 16               
people based in Anchorage.  Having just completed a trip to the                
International Association of Snowmobile Administrators conference              
in California, where 11 Western states including Alaska were                   
represented, he said he has every reason to be in full support of              
HB 231, the point-of-sale registration.                                        
MR. LOWE stated the belief that this bill will deter theft and aid             
in recovery of stolen snowmobiles; provide a mechanism for funding             
to enhance winter trail development, grooming, provision of signs,             
safety and enforcement.  This will increase snowmobiling enjoyment             
by residents and tourists, "by providing a higher quality of safer             
snowmobiling experience in Alaska."                                            
MR. LOWE advised members he had a copy of a proposed amendment by              
Jim Stratton, Director, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation               
("State Parks"), which contains intent language.  He asked to hear             
the committee's feelings about that amendment.                                 
Number 1503                                                                    
MR. LOWE stated, "I would also like to clarify that the intent of              
the discussion earlier on regarding the registration of snowmobiles            
was rural, not private-property-to-private-property on a railway or            
roadbelt, and that ... it's not connected to any concern other than            
that, that I think the rural communities may not be in favor where             
they're using snowmobiles on a day-to-day work-type basis, rather              
than a recreational basis.  We certainly didn't  want to slow down             
or stop the bill, because we feel that the lion's share of                     
recreational users are not in the outlying communities but in                  
Anchorage, Wasilla, Fairbanks and so forth."                                   
MR. LOWE said having just come from the conference, he could assure            
listeners that counterparts in the Lower 48 have much enforcement              
done by the club members themselves; he offered to elaborate.                  
CHAIRMAN GREEN, noting that the sponsor had a copy of Mr.                      
Stratton's proposed amendment, had copies made for members.                    
Number 1575                                                                    
JAMES DAY, Arctic Cat Representative, Arctic Recreational                      
Distributors, testified via teleconference from Anchorage, saying              
he fully supports HB 231, which is needed to build their numbers               
and to support snow machining in Alaska.  He said he thinks "the               
bottom line takes it to the economic base of what we need to happen            
throughout Alaska."                                                            
Number 1605                                                                    
KEVIN HITE, President, Anchorage Snowmobile Club, testified via                
teleconference from Prudhoe Bay, saying the club supports HB 231 in            
its entirety.  He stated, "The volunteer efforts of most of the                
clubs in the state are getting stretched thinner and thinner.  And             
as a result, some of the good grooming and some of the trail                   
development programs are falling way behind.  We see HB 231 as a               
good way to fund a mechanism that will help develop trails."  Mr.              
Hite said they also support all of the rural exemptions that                   
Representative Masek had in the beginning.                                     
Number 1655                                                                    
LEE JOHNSON, Member, Fairbanks Snow Travelers Snowmobile Club,                 
testified via teleconference from Fairbanks, saying he is also a               
representative on the Governor's citizen advisory board.  He                   
indicated he supports HB 231, registration of snowmobiles, largely             
as a means of generating funds for trail maintenance and                       
development, public education programs and safety measures.  He                
said throughout the United States, snowmobilers have directly paid             
their own way with registration fees and trail user fees.  The fund            
developed from a portion of the federal gas tax is divided                     
according to a count of the machines in each state, which is a                 
source of funding that has been used for trails.                               
MR. JOHNSON said the $10 biennial fee currently in statute isn't               
adequate to fund this kind of program.  Other states have                      
significantly higher registration fees.  He suggested the many                 
benefits of a higher fee may need to be addressed another time.                
CHAIRMAN GREEN agreed they would leave that for another day.                   
Number 1770                                                                    
SCOTT HEIDORN testified via teleconference from Fairbanks, saying              
he supports HB 231 and is glad to see the amendments made to lines             
10 and 11 of page 1.  He suggested there may be a bit of a conflict            
between  page 1, line 9, and page 2, line 25.  He recommended that             
all political subdivisions register their machines but not have to             
pay the fee.                                                                   
CHAIRMAN GREEN responded that they would take care of it.                      
Number 1815                                                                    
MICHAEL EASTHAM, Snomads Snow Machine Club, testified via                      
teleconference from Homer, where he had lived approximately 25                 
years.  He has been a snowmobiler in Alaska for approximately 29               
years.  A retired police officer, he had served 23 years and is                
familiar with what the lack of registration does to the law                    
enforcement community with regards to recovery of snow machines and            
enforcement.  He said he would address both.                                   
MR. EASTHAM advised members he is past-president of the Snomads and            
current chairman of the trails committee; registration of snow                 
machines has been discussed in his club over the past several                  
meetings.  The club supports this bill.  They encourage members to             
register their machines.  However, some owners hesitate because of             
the way the registration fee money is spent.  He stated the belief             
that HB 231 will increase state revenues, as thousands of dollars              
in state revenues are lost yearly from lack of snow machine                    
MR. EASTHAM advised members he had a letter from the Division of               
Parks and Outdoor Recreation; according to their survey,                       
approximately 6,000 new snow machines have been sold yearly in                 
Alaska since 1993, which amounts to 30,000 snow machines in the                
last five years.                                                               
Number 1893                                                                    
MR. EASTHAM noted that money spent on registration doesn't come                
back to work for trails or snowmobilers; rather, it goes to the                
general fund.  There is a lot of talk in the snowmobile community              
about wanting to see something done so that registration money goes            
directly to work for trails enhancement and development of lands               
for the public use; Mr. Eastham suggested that should be looked                
MR. EASTHAM said registering snow machines to obtain accurate                  
numbers will directly correlate with federal matching funds; this              
"head count" is a starting point.  From a law enforcement                      
standpoint, when machines aren't registered it is almost impossible            
to track those recovered by law enforcement agencies; not only is              
there no license, but the owner often hasn't recorded a serial                 
number.  Mr. Eastham concluded by indicating a lot of state funds              
are spent on roadways and trails, from which rural users receive a             
Number 1983                                                                    
TIM BORGSTROM, Special Projects Director, Anchorage Economic                   
Development Corporation (AEDC), testified via teleconference from              
Anchorage.  He said they obviously have more than one reason for               
being in support of the bill; number one is winter tourism.  He                
stated, "We believe that if we can - to a certain extent - mirror              
some of our lower 48 states on how they developed winter tourism,              
certainly snowmobiling is a big component of that."                            
MR. BORGSTROM advised members that the AEDC has done a lot of                  
research and compiled a lot of data.  There were 15,817 new                    
snowmobiles sold in Alaska in the 1995-1996 and 1996-1997 winter               
seasons, with only 3,800 of those sold or registered in the                    
Municipality of Anchorage.  He stated, "Therefore, we know that                
with this point-of-sale registration, that what -- everybody-else's-data-we-con
source and pretty much a self-supporting system ... of recreation              
for the state of Alaska, which then we can complement the                      
Governor's initiative over the statewide trail system of offering              
a map of guide services, rental agencies and so forth to out-of-state tourists 
MR. BORGSTROM said the mechanism used in all the other states is               
point-of-sale registration, along with user fees for the trail                 
systems.  Alaska is the last state "in the continental United                  
States and all the provinces of Canada" to adopt a point-of-sale               
registration law; he suggested it is time to do that and to develop            
a new revenue stream for this particular industry, which he                    
characterized as self-supporting.  Mr. Borgstrom concluded, "The               
snowmobilers want it, the dealers certainly want it, our law                   
enforcement here in town would really appreciate it because of the             
high rate of snowmobile thefts, and I think it would benefit not               
just ... the major metropolitan areas but the whole state of Alaska            
as well.  It'd be nice if we could send out eventually a statewide             
snowmobile trail map, and this is a ... funding mechanism by which             
we could do that."                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked whether Mr. Borgstrom is a snowmobile            
MR. BORGSTROM said no.                                                         
Number 2103                                                                    
JIM STRATTON, Director, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation               
("State Parks"), Department of Natural Resources, testified via                
teleconference from Anchorage, advising members he had attended the            
same International Association of Snowmobile Administrators                    
meetings that Max Lowe had.  He said they had also spent some time             
with friends in Washington State and Montana, learning how they                
manage their snowmobile programs.                                              
MR. STRATTON stated, "And it's the intent of State Parks to begin              
establishing a process this spring by which this registration money            
could be used for trail work, in a method that the decisions will              
be made with the snowmobile community.  So, our intent is to move              
forward in beginning to put together this structure, that we can               
get some money disseminated, and our hope is that through this                 
bill, we'll begin to see some significant money come into winter               
trail work."                                                                   
Number 2137                                                                    
CHAIRMAN GREEN noted that the committee now had copies of Mr.                  
Stratton's proposed six-line amendment.                                        
Number 2154                                                                    
MR. STRATTON explained that he had drafted it in response to                   
snowmobilers' concerns that the bill doesn't emphasize enough that             
- in addition to law enforcement and theft benefits - the intent is            
to have the funds generated go into doing a trail system.  Although            
there aren't dedicated funds, Mr. Stratton had drafted this to                 
provide intent language, so that persons learning about the reasons            
behind point-of-sale registration and the bill would have some                 
comfort that the legislature's intent is indeed to see that the                
money would go to trail work.                                                  
CHAIRMAN GREEN responded that he doesn't like to clutter the                   
statutes with a lot of intent language.  He said he would prefer,              
with the concurrence of Mr. Stratton and the committee, to perhaps             
accompany the bill with a letter of intent that would incorporate              
this language but not actually make it part of the statute.                    
MR. STRATTON replied, "That's great; that's wonderful."                        
Number 2214                                                                    
JUANITA HENSLEY, Chief, Driver Services, Division of Motor Vehicles            
(DMV), Department of Administration, came forward to answer                    
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG noted that the committee had adopted an                
amendment which deleted the references to AS 28.10.011; subsection             
(2) of that statute says, "driven or moved on a highway under a                
dealer's plate or temporary permit as provided for in AS 28.10.031             
and 28.10.181(j)."  He asked Ms. Hensley whether snowmobile dealers            
use temporary permits or dealer plates.                                        
Number 2251                                                                    
MS. HENSLEY replied no, the DMV does not issue dealer plates to                
snowmobile dealers; that is only for automobile or motorcycle                  
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked whether it is the DMV's intention to             
authorize dealers to issue plates at the time of sale.                         
MS. HENSLEY responded that just as they do now with automobile                 
dealers in the state, yes, it would be the DMV's wish to have the              
dealers issue the decals.  This bill does not allow them to issue              
plates; they will issue a registration decal that will go on the               
cowling of the snowmobile.                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked whether that is provided for in this.            
MS. HENSLEY replied yes, it will be similar to that.  She indicated            
the DMV's wish to have dealers go ahead and register and put the               
decal straight on that snow machine at the time of sale, as happens            
with car dealers now.  There is no plate, just a decal.                        
Number 2310                                                                    
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether Ms. Hensley sees any conflict with the            
exclusions on page 1, lines 8 and 9, and the reference to the                  
exclusion on page 2, line 25, with the fact that the registration              
will be done at the time of sale by the dealer.                                
MS. HENSLEY replied, "On line 8 on page 1, if you start paragraph              
(b) as saying, 'The registration fee under this section is not                 
required for a snowmobile' and then put 'owned by an agency', that             
would take care of it.  I don't see that there would be a problem."            
She said currently a city or municipality "is exempt from                      
registering those cars; they do register them, but they're not                 
(indisc.--simult. speech.)."                                                   
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether as far as administration of this, Ms.             
Hensley sees any problem.                                                      
MS. HENSLEY said no.                                                           
Number 2374                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said he had come around to thinking there is              
not a conflict.  He explained, "This says everyone has to register,            
including municipalities; the only people that can't are the state             
and the United States.  And then on (b), the department may issue              
a registration, without a payment of a fee, to a political                     
subdivision.  So, political subdivisions have to register, but ...             
we can waive the fee."                                                         
MS. HENSLEY concurred.                                                         
Number 2411                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER noted that they would have a legal problem               
taxing the United States.  However, registration would be                      
appropriate for state agencies, political subdivisions and other               
states, in order to know who they are.  He commented, "And if                  
they're the ones that violated a 'no trespassing' area, we want to             
be able to get them just as much as we want to get the private                 
sector."  Representative Porter said somehow he would like this to             
say that the registration fee is not required for the United                   
States, but registration is required for anyone else, and fees may             
be waived for state agencies and other political subdivisions.                 
CHAIRMAN GREEN stated, "Well, or as they had indicated, if they                
just said the registration fee under this section is not required              
for state agencies, the United States or another state, I think                
[it] would accomplish what you're saying."                                     
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he thought so.                                      
TAPE 98-7, SIDE B                                                              
Number 0001                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ suggested that on page 2, line 26, the                
language, "owned by an agency of the state, or another state, or by            
a political subdivision of the state," would cover everyone's                  
concerns and let the federal government off the hook.  He said                 
essentially everyone must register, but they are waiving the fee               
for political groups.                                                          
CHAIRMAN GREEN said, "May waive it."                                           
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ acknowledged that.                                    
CHAIRMAN GREEN suggested it is simpler to put, "The registration               
fee under this section is not required," on page 1.                            
Number 0069                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER suggested a possible amendment, specifying he            
wasn't making a motion yet.  He said, "If on page 1, line 8, we                
said, 'A registration fee under this section is not require for a              
snowmobile (1) owned by the United States,' comma, and eliminate               
everything else, then go to page 2, line 25, and say, 'The                     
department shall' - not may - 'issue a registration without a                  
payment of a fee if the snowmobile is owned by a state agency,                 
comma, political subdivision of the state, comma, or another state,            
comma - or no comma.'"                                                         
CHAIRMAN GREEN noted it requires the registration but not the fee.             
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER agreed.                                                  
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether that is what everyone would like.                 
Number 0130                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG indicated he was troubled by introduction              
of the word "fee" on page 1, line 8, which would seemingly put the             
obligation to register on the U.S. government but waive the fee.               
CHAIRMAN GREEN agreed, adding, "And if you don't like the word                 
'fee,' you can just leave it the way it is and just drop those                 
other two and just leave it 'the United States' -- 'is not required            
by a snow machine owned by the United States'."                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG suggested they shouldn't require the                   
registration, even if they can.                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER restated that he would just as soon know if              
a federal agent violated a "no trespass" area.                                 
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said the point is finding a lost snow                  
machine, more than anything.                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER responded that he'd like to leave it the way             
it is.                                                                         
CHAIRMAN GREEN said, "Okay.  Now, if you don't want to exclude                 
them, then you'd delete lines 8 and 9 and put all three of those               
people under line 25?"                                                         
Number 0153                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG replied no, he was talking about the word              
"fee" on page 1, line 8, of the "conceptual not-motioned                       
amendment."  Specifically, he was talking about not putting "fee"              
after "Registration".                                                          
CHAIRMAN GREEN noted that now they are saying perhaps they want                
registration, even of federal machines.  He suggested striking (b)             
entirely, page 1, lines 8 and 9, and putting all three of those                
over on page 2, line 25.                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG agreed and said he had no problem with it.             
CHAIRMAN GREEN continued, "And then everybody that we are not going            
to charge a fee to - but still get a registration from - is                    
covered."  He asked Ms. Hensley whether she sees it that way.  He              
specified, "We just take the federal government, state agency and              
another state, and we put those on line 25 and strike lines 8 and              
Number 0190                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT commented that he doesn't know, as a point of             
law, whether the state can require the federal government to                   
register, but they could try it.                                               
MS. HENSLEY stated, "Under the existing statutes relating to                   
regular motor vehicles, it says ... vehicles are subject to                    
registration except - and it just says owned by the United States.             
They are not subject to registration in this state."  Saying, "They            
register them under their federal provisions," Ms. Hensley noted               
that it is strictly a federal program.                                         
Number 0219                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he recognizes they cannot compel                    
registration for a federally owned snow machine.  He suggested                 
personnel would take it, however, and put it on; it would be a                 
viable alternative to nothing.  He pointed out that there is no                
federal snow machine plate, whereas there is a federal license                 
plate that identifies a federally owned car.                                   
Number 0246                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ suggested federal employees may exempt                
themselves, whether or not the state exempts them.                             
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said he agrees with Representative Porter's            
"conceptual amendment not motioned," except for the word "fee."                
CHAIRMAN GREEN noted that it says a registration under this section            
is not required, if they leave that line in there.                             
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said, "For the United States.  We're                   
deleting the other ..."                                                        
CHAIRMAN GREEN said he understood that, but now the discussion is              
that perhaps they should register but not be charged.  He stated,              
"So, if we put all of that on line 25, instead of leaving it as it             
is in lines 8 and 9, then we're doing that.  We just don't have                
lines 8 and 9."                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG responded that Representative Porter had               
replaced the permissive "may" with "shall" on page 2, line 25.  He             
commented, "So, we're mandating that they not pay a fee."                      
Number 0303                                                                    
MS. HENSLEY referred to page 1, line 8; she suggested the language,            
"A registration fee under this section is not required for an                  
agency of the United States, period."  She continued, "And then, as            
Representative Porter had made his conceptual amendment, is, 'The              
department shall issue a registration without payment of a fee to              
a state agency -- the snowmobile is owned by a state agency,                   
political subdivision or another state.'  That would actually clean            
it up."  She said that way, they don't have to change all of the               
first paragraph, lines 5 through 7, because on line 5, it gives an             
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked the desire of the committee, noting the                   
existence of two concepts.  He explained, "So, we either leave it              
in front and not even ask them to register, or put it in the second            
page and ask them to register, see what they'll do."                           
Number 0366                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated that he would support Representative            
Porter's amendment now, so they could go on to other things.                   
Number 0369                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER offered Amendment 2 as follows:  On page 1,              
line 8, add two words, one on each side of the word "registration",            
to read, "A registration fee".  On page 1, line 9, strike "an                  
agency of the state" and also strike "or another state", which                 
would leave only "owned by the United States."  On page 2, line 25,            
strike the word "may" and replace it with "shall".  And on page 2,             
line 26, between the words "a" and "political", insert "state                  
agency,(comma)"; then after "political subdivision of the state",              
add ", (comma) or another state".  (Thus, page 2, line 26, would               
read, "the snowmobile is owned by a state agency, political                    
subdivision of the state, or another state.")                                  
Number 0425                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said he had a small objection to the first            
portion of Amendment 2.  He stated, "I think if we even talk about             
registering fees for the feds, we're proceeding under the tacit                
assumption that we can require them to register."                              
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether he wanted to drop "fee" and just say              
"A registration under this".                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ replied that there is no fee if they are              
not required to register.                                                      
Number 0445                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER explained that if they put in this second                
section - that the federal government must register but the fee                
will be waived - he doesn't know that the legislature has authority            
to do that.  He stated, "If we leave it here, it at least leaves it            
open that the DMV can offer this to the feds and say that there's              
authorization to do this without the fee.  They can take it or                 
leave it; I think they'll take it, quite frankly.  They're just as             
interested in getting their machines recovered as anybody else."               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ withdrew his objection.                               
Number 0469                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG expressed curiosity about the term,                    
"another state" and why that is in there.  He noted that it applies            
to a machine owned by another state.  He asked whether they should             
add "province" as well, in case Yukon Territory officials bring                
machines in.                                                                   
CHAIRMAN GREEN said that is a good point.  He suggested perhaps                
dropping that.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked whether anyone else knew why that is             
Number 0523                                                                    
MR. HEIDORN spoke again via teleconference, saying it seems the                
changes discussed that day would leave a lot of room for the                   
Department of Administration to develop regulations for                        
snowmobiles.  He said he and Lee Johnson had also attended the                 
conference that Jim Stratton and Max Lowe had attended last week,              
and they had talked to these other snowmobile program                          
administrators, who'd outlined how these regulations are developed             
in other states.  Oftentimes an advisory board is developed,                   
primarily consisting of snowmobilers.                                          
MR. HEIDORN said, "And I'm wondering if this isn't a good time to              
put something in - at least a letter of intent that goes with this             
statute - outlining the makeup of a snowmobile advisory board.                 
This would be a real benefit to the Department of Administration.              
My thoughts are something along the lines of a minimum of six, a               
maximum of ten members, all of them identified by the state                    
snowmobile association and giving the director of, say, State Parks            
an opportunity to select from that list the members of the board.              
And then possibly the state trail program coordinator would be the             
ex officio member of the board."                                               
Number 0580                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER responded that there are two reasons why he              
doesn't think he'd support that.  First, the discussion of whether             
to have fees or registration had related to publicly owned                     
vehicles, not private vehicles; the need for an advisory committee             
of private owners is not consistent with that.  Second, and perhaps            
most importantly, he said, that would basically entail the                     
beginning of another program.  Representative Porter stated, "And              
I can tell you another program is not gonna fly when this thing                
gets to Finance.  Right now, it's revenue-neutral or perhaps even              
revenue-positive.  You get ... a new program involved in it, that's            
going to affect the fiscal notes and cause it problems."                       
Number 0618                                                                    
MS. HENSLEY spoke to Amendment 2.  She suggested using the phrase              
"another jurisdiction" instead of "another state."  That way, the              
Yukon Territory is covered if they come over and do a search and               
rescue, for example.                                                           
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether they even need that.                              
MS. HENSLEY replied, "Well, then, you wouldn't even need 'another              
CHAIRMAN GREEN suggested they could drop that part.                            
Number 0580                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER accepted, as a friendly amendment to                     
Amendment 2, "dropping, on line 26, 'or another state, (comma)'."              
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether there was any objection to the                    
friendly amendment; there was none.  He then asked whether there               
was any objection to Amendment 2.  There being no objection,                   
Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                       
Number 0666                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said the only other issue that he believes               
should be on the record - and he is in favor of it - is that they              
are absolutely requiring that machines be registered at the point              
of sale, whether they are in Anchorage, Fairbanks or Unalakleet.               
He explained that whether a snow machine is rural or urban, it                 
still can get stolen, it still can have an accident, and, in fact,             
rural machines are more likely than urban machines to get lost and             
to require search and rescue.  He concluded, "So, a $5 fee is most             
certainly not exorbitant.  And for all of those reasons, I support             
the notion that all machines should be registered."                            
Number 0699                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER made a motion to move the proposed committee             
substitute for HB 231, as amended, from committee with individual              
recommendations and attached fiscal note(s).                                   
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether there should be an amendment, to                  
accompany this with intent language without that being part of the             
Number 0719                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG referred to Jim Stratton's proposed                    
amendment, provided earlier, which read:                                       
"It is the intent of the legislature that the state should actively            
engage in the development and maintenance of a state-wide                      
snowmobile trail system to be supported, at least in part, by funds            
received through a snowmobile registration system and disbursed                
through a community grant program to be established and                        
administered by the Commissioner of the Department of Natural                  
Resources.  This level of support should be at least equal to the              
net receipts of the snowmobile registration program."                          
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said he was a little troubled by the last              
sentence and a little uncomfortable not knowing more about what is             
intended here.                                                                 
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether Representative Rokeberg would feel                
more comfortable if they dropped that, since they are saying, "It              
is the intent of the legislature."  He then commented that they may            
be speaking a little broadly there.                                            
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said that was what he was wondering.                   
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether there was any objection to deleting               
that last line.                                                                
Number 0744                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked, "To deleting the last sentence?  I                 
thought we were talking about 'The intent of the legislature' as               
being too broad."                                                              
CHAIRMAN GREEN indicated he was also concerned about that.                     
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG commented that there had been some                     
testimony, but indirectly.                                                     
Number 0766                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER suggested they would only be empowered to say            
it is the intent of the committee, not the legislature.  He                    
suggested that within the motion to move, they adopt as a letter of            
intent the proposed language from Mr. Stratton, with the following             
amendments:  On line 1 (the first sentence), strike "legislature"              
and add "Judiciary Committee"; and strike the last line (sentence)             
of the paragraph.                                                              
Number 0799                                                                    
MR. GRASSER indicated Representative Masek is not opposed to this              
but would prefer to address the fee structure, trail acquisition               
and maintenance in an additional bill, as he had mentioned earlier.            
He suggested it may be preferable to include this intent language              
with that future legislation, rather than with this "DMV                       
legislation."  He concluded, "However you feel about it, that's                
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER withdrew the portion of his motion relating              
to inclusion of a letter of intent.                                            
Number 0843                                                                    
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether there was any objection to moving the             
proposed committee substitute (0-LS0501\F, Ford, 5/5/97), as                   
amended, from committee.  There being no objection, CSHB 231(JUD)              
moved from the House Judiciary Standing Committee.                             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects