Legislature(2021 - 2022)GRUENBERG 120

03/30/2021 03:00 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 137 MOTOR VEHICLE OFFICES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ HB 63 ALASKA MARINE HIGHWAY OPERATIONS BOARD TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                 HB  137-MOTOR VEHICLE OFFICES                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:05:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that the first  order of business                                                               
would be HOUSE BILL NO. 137,  "An Act requiring the Department of                                                               
Administration  to  maintain  and operate  certain  offices  that                                                               
provide services related to motor  vehicles; and providing for an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:05:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  moved  to adopt  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute    (CS)    for    HB   137,    labeled    32-LS0650\B,                                                               
Bullard/Dunmire, 3/29/21, as the working document.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS objected for the  purpose of discussion.  He                                                               
asked how the CS differs from the original version of the bill.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:06:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TRISTAN WALSH,  Staff, Representative  Zack Fields,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  stated   that  the  CS,  Version   B,  corrects  an                                                               
inadvertent   drafting  error,   which   would  preclude   public                                                               
partnerships that may exist in the future.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS removed  his objection  to the  adoption of                                                               
Version  B.   Without further  objection, CSHB  137, Version  32-                                                               
LS0650\B, Bullard/Dunmire,  3/29/21, was  adopted as  the working                                                               
document.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:06:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ZACK  FIELDS,  Alaska  State  Legislature,  prime                                                               
sponsor,  explained  that the  bill  keeps  existing Division  of                                                               
Motor Vehicle (DMV) offices open  throughout the state.  He noted                                                               
that the Department of Administration  (DOA) proposed closing DMV                                                               
offices  in  six  communities, which  would  result  in  Alaskans                                                               
either  taking long  trips  or paying  more  to access  essential                                                               
services.  He said HB 137 is  written to keep DMV offices open in                                                               
communities with a population of  860 persons or more, [including                                                               
the six  proposed location closures:  Tok, Haines,  Valdez, Eagle                                                               
River, Homer, and Delta Junction].                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:07:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS provided  a PowerPoint presentation, titled                                                               
"HB 137."   He  began on  slide 3,  titled "DMV:  Critical Public                                                               
Service," which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                
                                                                                                                                
       -Per the US Census, 68% of Alaskans drove alone to                                                                       
     work in 2017.                                                                                                              
      -Per the same data, 83-85% of commuters use personal                                                                      
     vehicles in the Mat-Su borough.                                                                                            
     -In Fairbanks, this rises to 90% of commuters.                                                                             
     -DMV services are critical to safe passage of commuter                                                                     
     and commercial traffic.                                                                                                    
       -Trucking amounts to 70% of the commercial freight                                                                       
     delivery of goods in the United States.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  continued to  slide 4,  titled "Commercial                                                               
Traffic: arteries  of local economies,"  which indicated  that in                                                               
2017,  DMVs  helped ensure  safe  passage  of approximately  $9.5                                                               
billion  worth  of  commercial goods  via  commercial  trucks  in                                                               
Alaska.    Additionally,   entry  into  the  state   is  key  for                                                               
commercial freight on Al-Can Highway.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:09:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  progressed to  slide 5, titled  "What does                                                               
the DMV  do?"   The slide read  as follows  [original punctuation                                                               
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     -The DMV conducts many services that are important to                                                                      
     residents [sic] daily lives.                                                                                               
      -Many services must be conducted in person. Many are                                                                      
     statutory.                                                                                                                 
     -Private  operators are  not  required  to, and  cannot                                                                    
     conduct, all the services the  DMV offers, and requires                                                                    
     for various residents.                                                                                                     
     -Private   operators   first   responsibility   is   to                                                                    
     shareholders or owners, not to public.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS noted  that  while some  functions can  be                                                               
outsourced at a  higher price, other functions  cannot be offered                                                               
through private  facilities.  He  said it's not his  intention to                                                               
restrict  entrepreneurs  from  opening  private  facilities  that                                                               
offer some  DMV services; however,  he reiterated that  there are                                                               
certain services that  only the DMV offers.  He  pointed out that                                                               
DMVs do  not cost money  to the state  of Alaska, as  the offices                                                               
recoup the  costs in fees.   He emphasized the efficiency  of the                                                               
DMV fee structure.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   FIELDS  advanced   to  slide   6,  titled   "Few                                                               
alternatives,"  which  read   as  follows  [original  punctuation                                                               
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     -Average drive to other DMVS:                                                                                              
     -TOK-DJ: 1 hr 41 min each way. (214 miles)                                                                                 
     -DJ-Fbnks: 1 hr 40 min each way. (190 miles)                                                                               
     -Tok-Glennallen: 2 hr 40 min each way. (240 miles)                                                                         
     -Haines-Juneau: 4 hr ferry ride each way. (185 miles)                                                                      
     -Homer-Soldotna: 1.5 hr each way. (149.6 [miles])                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS questioned  why a  service funded  by fees                                                               
would  be   shutdown,  which  would   consequently  inconvenience                                                               
Alaskans  and  prohibit commerce.    He  proceeded to  images  of                                                               
Thompson Pass  on slide 7  and images  of Delta Junction  and the                                                               
Swan Lake  fire on slide 8,  indicating that roads in  Alaska are                                                               
unpredictable due to weather, avalanches, flooding, and fire.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:13:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS continued  to  slide  9, titled  "Internet                                                               
options  aren't available  for everyone,"  which read  as follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     -Internet  options aren't  available for  all services,                                                                    
     including  REAL  ID,  drivers  knowledge  test,  vision                                                                    
     test, CDL services.                                                                                                        
     -Even in  communities on the road  system, average cost                                                                    
     of internet can be  prohibitively expensive. Service is                                                                    
     not necessarily  guaranteed. Internet options  can also                                                                    
     be   difficult  for   Seniors:  an   estimated  105,000                                                                    
     Alaskans over the age of 60 are still driving.                                                                             
     -AK  DMV is  required  to provide  certain services  in                                                                    
     person. Original  license, 2nd license renewal,  and Sr                                                                    
     Citizen Driver License Renewal.                                                                                            
     - Knowledge testing,  Drivers License reinstatement are                                                                    
     not able to be done online.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     -Eastern Interior Alaska: 25.1%  households do not have                                                                    
     internet.                                                                                                                  
     -Eastern Southcentral Alaska: 18%  of households do not                                                                    
     have internet.                                                                                                             
     -In the Southern Kenai Peninsula,  18% of households do                                                                    
     not have internet.                                                                                                         
     -In Haines, 14% of households do not have internet.                                                                        
     -Up to 30% of Seniors do not have internet access.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS said the  administration had suggested that                                                               
people go  to doctors for  vision tests instead  of the DMV.   He                                                               
deferred to  Mr. Walsh for  an explanation of  why that is  not a                                                               
viable alternative.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. WALSH  explained that  doctors are  not a  viable alternative                                                               
because vision tests,  especially for those over age  69, are not                                                               
easily available  on a  senior's insurance plan.   He  noted that                                                               
after the  presentation, an "expert  witness" would speak  to the                                                               
challenges that some seniors face.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:15:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS  resumed  the presentation  on  slide  10,                                                               
titled "Increased Costs: public pays  more for same service."  He                                                               
acknowledged  that some  functions  can  be accomplished  through                                                               
private vendors  albeit at a much  higher price.  He  stated that                                                               
he has no issue with  private vendors complementing DMVs, but not                                                               
replacing them.  He progressed to  slide 11, titled "The DMV pays                                                               
for  itself,"   which  read  as  follows   [original  punctuation                                                               
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     -The  DMV is  a division  in  the State  that pays  for                                                                    
     itself.                                                                                                                    
     -Each  of  the  six   proposed  location  closures  was                                                                    
     revenue  positive  for the  state;  last  year and  the                                                                    
     previous 5 years.                                                                                                          
     -Closing  or  privatizing  them  only  serves  to  pass                                                                    
     increased costs and fewer services to residents.                                                                           
     -There is  no corresponding  increase in  service; only                                                                    
     cost.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESETATIVE  FIELDS added  that  he didn't  accept the  premise                                                               
that a  rural DMV office  should be  shut down because  it didn't                                                               
pay for  itself.  Nonetheless, he  pointed out that [each  of the                                                               
six proposed location closures] were revenue positive.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:17:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS advanced  to  slide  12, titled  "Shifting                                                               
cost  burdens deepen  divides," which  read as  follows [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     -Rural  Alaska   faces  higher  costs   in  healthcare,                                                                    
     gasoline,  &  fewer  options   for  utilities  such  as                                                                    
     Internet.                                                                                                                  
     -Driving  100+  miles  (each way)  for  service  is  an                                                                    
     additional tax.                                                                                                            
     -Private DMV  partners have no regulations  or controls                                                                    
     over  pricing for  mandatory  services. The  Department                                                                    
     has  method  to  control  costs,  fees,  or  additional                                                                    
     charges.                                                                                                                   
     -For  communities where  a private  partner were  to be                                                                    
     the only option, residents must  either pay up front or                                                                    
     through additional  costs such as driving  70-100 miles                                                                    
     for key services.                                                                                                          
     -Internet  is  not always  an  option  for everyone  or                                                                    
     every service.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:18:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  continued to slide 14,  titled "Seniors or                                                               
Alaska," which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     "In  our poll,  Seniors  of  Alaska found  overwhelming                                                                    
     support  amongst  our members  to  support  HB 137  and                                                                    
     retain affordable,  safe options  for Seniors  in their                                                                    
     local communities. 96.5%  overall favored keeping their                                                                    
     local  DMV,  and  some  locales  had  100%  of  members                                                                    
     supported this critical public service for seniors."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     -Seniors of Alaska                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS  acknowledged  the importance  of  keeping                                                               
senior  citizens connected  to  family members,  loved ones,  and                                                               
friends.   He  added that  in Alaska,  staying connected  in most                                                               
communities is contingent  on the ability to drive.   He conveyed                                                               
that  in  addition  to   economic  considerations,  [driving]  is                                                               
important to people's  mental health and the  ability to maintain                                                               
social connections.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:18:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS opened invited testimony.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:19:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PETER  ZUYUS, President/Executive  Director,  Seniors of  Alaska,                                                               
expressed  support  for  HB  137.    He  recalled  that  DOA  was                                                               
proposing to  close six DMV  offices in communities  across rural                                                               
Alaska,  which would  have  left them  without a  DMV  or only  a                                                               
private DMV that would charge  higher, arbitrary fees.  He shared                                                               
his understanding that HB 137  would recognize the needs of rural                                                               
communities and  their reliance on  the state  DMV.  He  said the                                                               
DMV is  an integral part  of many rural communities,  adding that                                                               
office  closures would  limit access  to  essential services  for                                                               
Alaska's  senior,  disabled,   rural,  lower-income,  and  Native                                                               
residents.      Furthermore,   he   opined   that   the   private                                                               
partnerships'  convenience fee  structure  presents an  "economic                                                               
and  discriminatory  hardship"  on seniors  and  other  community                                                               
members.  He  offered the example of seniors in  Valdez who would                                                               
have  been forced  to pay  at least  twice as  much for  mandated                                                               
state  services as  seniors  in other  areas of  the  state.   He                                                               
recalled  that   the  idea  [to   close  six  DMV   offices]  was                                                               
unanimously rejected by the  House Finance Subcommittee; however,                                                               
he expressed  concern that DOA  would continue with  its proposal                                                               
regardless  of the  legislature's intent.   He  said HB  37 would                                                               
address that  issue by  affording protections  to DMV  offices in                                                               
rural  communities.   He  reiterated that  closing  the only  DMV                                                               
office  communities would  force residents  to drive  hundreds of                                                               
miles to  obtain essential services; further,  residents would be                                                               
at  the mercy  of unregulated  convenience fees.   He  maintained                                                               
that DMV  closures would subject  senior citizens to a  number of                                                               
negative   impacts   and  discriminatory   practices,   including                                                               
unnecessary travel.   He urged  the legislature to "vote  yes" on                                                               
HB 137  to protect  Alaska's seniors  and rural  communities from                                                               
"unfiltered, discriminatory, or cold data-point driven actions."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:27:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS invited questions from the committee.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:28:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  asked how  the bill sponsor  decided upon                                                               
the number 850 for the population threshold.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS   explained  that  [the   legislature]  is                                                               
prohibited   from   doing   local   and   specific   legislation.                                                               
Therefore, he  stated his belief  that establishing  a reasonable                                                               
and consistent  statewide population  threshold was  necessary to                                                               
determine which  communities should have basic  services, such as                                                               
a DMV  office.  He  said he  considered where DMVs  have operated                                                               
historically, where  they seem to  have broad support,  and where                                                               
there is  a need.   He also  contemplated community size  and the                                                               
state's population  distribution.  He  stated that 850 is  a best                                                               
guess   for  a   "fairly  large"   rural  community   in  Alaska.                                                               
Additionally, a  threshold of  850 has  the effect  of protecting                                                               
all existing DMVs.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  pointed out  that there  are a  number of                                                               
communities  in   his  district  [District  10]   that  meet  the                                                               
threshold of  850; nonetheless, District  10 does not have  a DMV                                                               
office.  He expressed concern that  if the bill were to pass, his                                                               
constituents would feel deprived of that opportunity.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  clarified that the bill  does not prohibit                                                               
the state  from opening additional  DMVs.  Additionally,  it does                                                               
not   prohibit  private,   complementary   services  from   being                                                               
provided.  He acknowledged that  as the valley grows, there could                                                               
be a  need to have  multiple DMV  offices in Wasilla  and Palmer,                                                               
which the bill would permit but not require.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:30:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE  offered  her understanding  that  as  it's                                                               
currently written,  the bill prohibits any  future contracts with                                                               
private  partnerships for  DMV services.   She  asked if  that is                                                               
correct.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS stated  that  it  doesn't prohibit  future                                                               
private partnerships.   He clarified that the  bill requires that                                                               
DMV offices remain  open in those communities  where they already                                                               
exist.   He reiterated that  should CSHB 137(STA) pass,  it would                                                               
not  prohibit  entrepreneurs   from  opening  additional  private                                                               
services.   Further,  he emphasized  his  interest in  protecting                                                               
access to essential public services.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. WALSH added  that the current language does  not preclude the                                                               
renewal  of  existing  contracts;  therefore,  current  [private]                                                               
partnerships could continue to renew those contracts.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE   expressed  concern  that  per   the  bill                                                               
language, private sector partnerships would  not be allowed.  She                                                               
opined  that they  have provided  a "great"  service in  Alaska's                                                               
communities.   She asked how many  private partnerships currently                                                               
exist across the state.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  said he has heard  of private partnerships                                                               
in many communities.   He assured Representative  Vance that when                                                               
submitting the  drafting request  to Legislative  Legal Services,                                                               
he  clearly  communicated  that   the  purpose  was  to  preserve                                                               
existing  public DMVs  while continuing  to allow  private sector                                                               
operators  to exist.    He stated  his belief  that  the bill  is                                                               
drafted to meet that intent.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. WALSH in response to  Representative Vance, approximated that                                                               
there are currently 15 private partners in the state.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:34:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE shared  her understanding  that the  bill's                                                               
current  language would  not provide  a "grandfather  statute" to                                                               
contracted  services.    She surmised  that  if  those  contracts                                                               
ended, the state would be  obligated to provide those services in                                                               
small communities, which  would create a large fiscal  note.  She                                                               
said she is  struggling to see the need for  this legislation, as                                                               
[the House Finance Subcommittee's]  votes against closing the six                                                               
DMV offices  clarified the legislature's  view.  She  opined that                                                               
this  legislation  would  limit [the  legislature's]  ability  to                                                               
assess  the   state's  needs  and  provide   the  most  efficient                                                               
government.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS reiterated that  the bill would not require                                                               
the closure  of any private DMVs  or prohibit their renewal.   He                                                               
emphasized that  CSHB 137(STA) would protect  DMVs in communities                                                               
where they already exist based  on a population threshold of 850.                                                               
He expressed confidence that the  bill as it's currently written,                                                               
meets that intent.  Regarding the  need for the bill, he recalled                                                               
that the former commissioner [Kelly  Tshibaka] said she would not                                                               
be closing DMVs  pending input from the  legislature; however, he                                                               
informed the committee of an email  he received from the mayor of                                                               
Homer.  The email detailed  the recent closure of the community's                                                               
local DMV  office, which illustrates that  the commissioner "said                                                               
one thing and did another."   He opined that it's preposterous to                                                               
suggest that  a community  as large  as Homer  should not  have a                                                               
local DMV.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE asked if  Representative Fields had inquired                                                               
as to the reason that the Homer DMV office was closed.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS remarked:                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     I think the commissioner made  it pretty clear that she                                                                    
     wanted  to close  down  these six  DMVs.   She  falsely                                                                    
     stated  that they  cost money  - they  don't.   They're                                                                    
     revenue  positive.   And  that  was  the Department  of                                                                    
     Administration's stated reason.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:37:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  questioned  whether  larger  communities,                                                               
such  as Juneau,  Anchorage,  and Fairbanks,  have  only one  DMV                                                               
office.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   FIELDS  clarified   that  the   Municipality  of                                                               
Anchorage  has multiple  [DMV offices];  however,  he stated  his                                                               
understanding  that "the  core" of  Anchorage, midtown,  only has                                                               
one DMV.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WALSH said  in the  larger "metropolitan"  areas in  Alaska,                                                               
there  is typically  one state-run  DMV, as  well as  one or  two                                                               
private partners.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  said "community"  in this bill  is clearly                                                               
written to  differentiate the community  of Eagle River  from the                                                               
community of  Anchorage because  it is  important for  that local                                                               
community to  have a DMV.   He said in drafting  with Legislative                                                               
Legal Services, he  communicated that his intent was  not for DOA                                                               
to construe this  as an allowance for only one  DMV in Anchorage.                                                               
He clarified that "it's by community."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN sought verification  that the intent of the                                                               
bill, specific to the Anchorage  and Eagle River example, is that                                                               
the DMV would  have to keep both offices in  those locations open                                                               
indefinitely.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS confirmed.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:39:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAUFMAN referring to the  date in Section 1 of the                                                               
bill,  questioned  what  would  happen  if  an  event  caused  [a                                                               
community's] population to decline.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  conveyed that  his intention of  setting a                                                               
population  threshold  was  that  in   an  event  that  caused  a                                                               
community's population  to sharply decline, the  department would                                                               
have the ability to close the DMV office in that location.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAUFMAN  expressed  his  continued  concern  that                                                               
there might be "a language trap" [in Section 1 of the bill].                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS   reiterated  that   his  intent   was  to                                                               
establish  a  population  threshold  rather  than  keep  all  DMV                                                               
offices open based on an arbitrary point in time in 2021.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:40:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN  questioned  how communities  without  an                                                               
existing DMV office currently operate.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS  recalled  that  when the  DMV  office  in                                                               
Utqiagvik  was closed,  stakeholders  and local  groups tried  to                                                               
provide  services that  mirror  those  offered by  the  DMV.   He                                                               
reflected  on the  "massive inconvenience"  that the  DMV closure                                                               
caused  for  that rural  community,  noting  that the  experience                                                               
informed his view on this bill.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  pointed out that Alaska  statutes require                                                               
a physical APOC  office in every Senate  district, which suggests                                                               
that  the  18  Senate  districts without  one  are,  technically,                                                               
violating the  law.  He sought  to clarify how the  bill would be                                                               
enforced, asking "how do you make someone not close an office?"                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   FIELDS   said   [the  legislature]   relies   on                                                               
commissioners following  the law and if  they fail to do  so, the                                                               
question is who has the standing  to take it to court and enforce                                                               
it.  He offered his belief  that most commissioners do their best                                                               
to follow the law.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS surmised  that with passage of  this bill, a                                                               
community  could bring  suit over  the closure  of the  local DMV                                                               
office  and have  a good  case.   He  stated that  Representative                                                               
Eastman's point is  well taken and applies to other  areas of law                                                               
and policy as well.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:44:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN asked  whether the  sponsor is  concerned                                                               
that  the  bill  could   negatively  impact  the  decision-making                                                               
process of  opening new DMV  offices "for fear of  getting locked                                                               
into something forever."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS said he is  not concerned due to the multi-                                                               
year record of net positive  revenue in many DMVs under different                                                               
circumstances.   He  shared his  belief  that DOA  could model  a                                                               
requisite population to support net  positive DMV operations in a                                                               
given  community.   He  added that  DOA could  also  look to  the                                                               
experience of DMVs that have operated in rural areas.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:45:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE offered  clarification regarding  the Homer                                                               
DMV  office.    She  said asserting  that  the  commissioner  has                                                               
arbitrarily closed the office "is  on shaky ground."  She claimed                                                               
that the [Homer] DMV employees  had been out for medical reasons,                                                               
adding that  the Soldotna DMV  was supplementing  appointments to                                                               
the  best of  its ability.   She  maintained that  the Homer  DMV                                                               
office  is open  for business.   She  expressed concern  that the                                                               
bill would  not be a  "sound decision" because  [the legislature]                                                               
requires yearly flexibility  in the budget process  to assist the                                                               
administration in deciding the future of DMV offices.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:47:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAUFMAN returned  attention to  Section 1  of the                                                               
bill and  asked whether it  would prevent an existing  DMV office                                                               
from contracting out to fill a position for a short-term hire.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS  offered  to follow  up  with  Legislative                                                               
Legal Services  to make sure  the current language would  have no                                                               
unintended consequences.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN   related  that  there  is   money  being                                                               
appropriate through  the budget process to  maintain existing DMV                                                               
offices.  He  pointed out that something can both  cost money and                                                               
be revenue positive.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY  opined that when closing  certain services,                                                               
fairness  and  access  should  be   considered.    She  expressed                                                               
appreciation  to  Representative  Fields for  bringing  the  bill                                                               
forward.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS announced that HB 137 was held over.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 63 Sectional Analysis 03.01.2021.pdf HSTA 3/30/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Sponsor Statement 3.2.2021.pdf HSTA 3/30/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Supporting Documents - AMHS Authority Memo 8-89 02.20.2020.pdf HSTA 3/30/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Supporting Documents - The Case for AMHS Reform 2.20.2020.pdf HSTA 3/30/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Supporting Documents AMHS Stratefic Business and Operational Plan Phase 2 Report 2.20.2020.pdf HSTA 3/30/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Additional Information - Report-to-Governor_AMH-ReshapingWorkGroup-10022020.pdf HSTA 3/30/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Supporting Document - AMHS Reform Presentation - SE Conference 2.15.18.pdf HSTA 3/30/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Fiscal Note.pdf HSTA 3/30/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Hearing Request.pdf HSTA 3/30/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 PPT by Bill Sponsor 3.27.21.pdf HSTA 3/30/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Emails of Support as of 3.29.21.pdf HSTA 3/30/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 137 Supporting Testimony Recieved as of 3.29.2021.pdf HSTA 3/30/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 137
HB 137 Supporting Document Alaska Public Media Received as of 3.19.2021.pdf HSTA 3/30/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 137
HB0137A.PDF HSTA 3/30/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 137
HB 137 Hearing Request 3.29.2021.pdf HSTA 3/30/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 137
HB 137 Sectional Analysis 3.29.2021.pdf HSTA 3/30/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 137
HB 137 Sponsor Statement 3.29.2021.pdf HSTA 3/30/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 137
HB 137 Supporting Document City of Homer Resolution Received as of Jan 11 2021.pdf HSTA 3/30/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 137
HB 137 Support Document Senior Voice Received as of 2.1.2021.pdf HSTA 3/30/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 137
CS for HB 137 3.29.21.pdf HSTA 3/30/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 137
HB 137 PPT 3.30.2021.pdf HSTA 3/30/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 137
HB 63 Emails of Support 3.30.21.pdf HSTA 3/30/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63