Legislature(2007 - 2008)CAPITOL 17

04/19/2007 01:30 PM TRANSPORTATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHJR 18(TRA) Out of Committee
SB 130-RANCH, FARM, DAIRY VEHICLE REGISTRATION                                                                                
1:32:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR JOHANSEN announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be SENATE BILL  NO. 130, "An Act relating to  the registration of                                                               
certain vehicles owned by ranchers, farmers, or dairy workers."                                                                 
1:32:27 PM                                                                                                                    
DARWIN  PETERSON,  Staff  to Senator  Lyda  Green,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  explained that  SB  130 will  increase the  maximum                                                               
allowable weight for registered farm  vehicles in Alaska by 4,000                                                               
pounds, from  16,000 pounds to  20,000 pounds because  newer farm                                                               
vehicles  are larger  due  to more  safety  features and  general                                                               
improvements.  Prior  to 1978 the maximum allowable  weight for a                                                               
farm vehicle  was 12,000  pounds, which  was later  increased for                                                               
basically the  same reasons as  stated for the  current proposal.                                                               
Current statute,  AS 28.10.181, establishes the  criteria for the                                                               
registration of these unique and  special vehicles.  Mr. Peterson                                                               
mentioned that  the impetus from  SB 130  was a farmer  in Palmer                                                               
who spoke with the sponsor.                                                                                                     
1:35:09 PM                                                                                                                    
STEVEN  VAN   TROBA,  Horse  Rancher,  began   by  informing  the                                                               
committee that  he sought introduction  of SB 130, which  he said                                                               
he supports.   He mentioned that the weight of  farm equipment is                                                               
rising in  order to haul more  product and is related  to the new                                                               
safety features.   He related that  he has a tractor  weighing in                                                               
excess of 19,000 pounds, which limits  his ability to travel.  He                                                               
also related that  he travels into Canada and  since [his vehicle                                                               
is in excess  of the weight limits  of a farm vehicle]  he has to                                                               
have a  commercial license  plate and  has to  pay fuel  fees and                                                               
trip permits.  Therefore, this  weight increase will allow him to                                                               
utilize  a   farm  license  plate   and  not  have  to   pay  the                                                               
aforementioned fees in Canada.                                                                                                  
1:37:00 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KOHRING   inquired  as   to  the   Department  of                                                               
Transportation & Public Facilities'  (DOT&PF) position on SB 130.                                                               
He asked  if the proposed increase  in weight is of  concern with                                                               
regard to the use of highways and bridges.                                                                                      
MR. PETERSON said that he did  speak with DOT&PF and the Division                                                               
of Motor  Vehicles (DMV) within the  Department of Administration                                                               
prior to the  introduction of the legislation.   Currently, there                                                               
are 460 vehicles  registered as farm vehicles in the  state.  Due                                                               
to the  size of the  farm industry in  the state, no  one expects                                                               
the  number of  farm  vehicles  to increase  very  much with  the                                                               
passage of SB  130.  He related that DOT&PF  isn't concerned with                                                               
the additional impact on the roads  and that DMV is in support of                                                               
SB 130.                                                                                                                         
1:38:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR JOHANSEN, upon  determining no one else  wished to testify,                                                               
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
1:38:24 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN related his support  for SB 130 and related                                                               
his  understanding that  farmers  around the  state  are also  in                                                               
support of the legislation.                                                                                                     
1:39:01 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  moved to  report SB  130 out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.   There being no objection,  SB 130 was reported  from the                                                               
The committee took an at-ease from 1:39 p.m. to 1:41 p.m.                                                                       

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