Legislature(1997 - 1998)
02/02/1998 01:10 PM JUD
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= 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 concluded. 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 accordingly. CHAIRMAN GREEN included that as a friendly amendment. REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ indicated it also required punctuation changes. 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 registration. 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 into. 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 benefit. 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 winter." 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 dealer. 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 questions. 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 dealers. 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 9." 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 exception. 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 there. 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 state.'" 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 bill. 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 fine." 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.