Legislature(2007 - 2008)BUTROVICH 205

03/20/2007 01:00 PM TRANSPORTATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
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-- Time Change --
Moved CSSB 105(TRA) Out of Committee
Scheduled But Not Heard
Moved HB 102 Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                          
                         March 20, 2007                                                                                         
                           1:07 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Albert Kookesh, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator John Cowdery, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
Senator Gary Wilken                                                                                                             
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
Representative John Coghill                                                                                                     
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 105                                                                                                             
"An  Act  relating  to reimbursement  to  municipalities  by  the                                                               
Department  of  Transportation  and Public  Facilities  for  debt                                                               
incurred by  those municipalities  for certain  capital projects;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
     MOVED CSSB 105(TRA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
SENATE BILL NO. 68                                                                                                              
"An  Act  requiring motor  vehicle  insurers  to provide  to  the                                                               
commissioner  of   administration  a  database   listing  vehicle                                                               
insurance policy information that  will allow the commissioner to                                                               
verify  whether  mandatory  motor   vehicle  insurance  has  been                                                               
obtained, limiting  access to the database,  establishing methods                                                               
for proving that  mandatory motor vehicle insurance  is in place,                                                               
allowing the additional penalties  of suspending registration and                                                               
vehicle impoundment and forfeiture  for failure to have mandatory                                                               
motor   vehicle  insurance,   and   authorizing  hearings   after                                                               
suspension of  registration for failure  to have  mandatory motor                                                               
vehicle insurance."                                                                                                             
     SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 102                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to vacating  lanes or slowing down  for certain                                                               
vehicles stopped along the side of a road."                                                                                     
     MOVED HB 102 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SB 105                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: REIMBURSEMENT FOR MUNICIPAL DEBT                                                                                   
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) HOFFMAN                                                                                                  
03/05/07       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/05/07       (S)       TRA, FIN                                                                                               
03/20/07       (S)       TRA AT 1:00 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
BILL: HB 102                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PASSING STATIONARY VEHICLES                                                                                        
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) COGHILL                                                                                           
01/22/07       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/22/07       (H)       TRA, JUD                                                                                               
02/15/07       (H)       TRA AT 1:30 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
02/15/07       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
02/15/07       (H)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
02/19/07       (H)       TRA RPT 4DP                                                                                            
02/19/07       (H)       DP: JOHNSON, DOOGAN, SALMON, NEUMAN                                                                    
02/26/07       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/26/07       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
02/26/07       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/28/07       (H)       JUD RPT 6DP                                                                                            
02/28/07       (H)       DP:    GRUENBERG,    LYNN,    DAHLSTROM,                                                               
                         SAMUELS, HOLMES, RAMRAS                                                                                
03/01/07       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
03/01/07       (H)       VERSION: HB 102                                                                                        
03/02/07       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/02/07       (S)       TRA                                                                                                    
03/20/07       (S)       TRA AT 1:00 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
John Weise                                                                                                                      
Staff to Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                  
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented SB 105                                                                                          
Ray Gillespie, lobbyist                                                                                                         
Unalaska, AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: In support of SB 105                                                                                      
Carl Moses, representing himself                                                                                                
Sand Point, AK                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: In support of SB 105                                                                                      
Chris Hladick, City Manager                                                                                                     
City of Unalaska                                                                                                                
Unalaska, AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: In support of SB 105                                                                                      
Frank Kelty, resource analyst                                                                                                   
City of Unalaska                                                                                                                
Unalaska, AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: In support of SB 105                                                                                      
Stephen Boardman                                                                                                                
Army Corps of Engineers                                                                                                         
Unalaska, AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Available for questions on SB 105                                                                         
Shirley Marquardt, Mayor                                                                                                        
City of Unalaska                                                                                                                
Unalaska, AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Available for questions on SB 105                                                                         
Daniel Hoffman, Chief of Police                                                                                                 
Fairbanks, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Available for questions on HB 102                                                                         
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
CHAIR ALBERT  KOOKESH called  the Senate  Transportation Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to order at 1:07:53  PM. Present at the call to                                                             
order  were Senators  Wielechowski, Wilken,  Olson, Cowdery,  and                                                               
Chair Kookesh.                                                                                                                  
            SB 105-REIMBURSEMENT FOR MUNICIPAL DEBT                                                                         
CHAIR KOOKESH announced the consideration of SB 105.                                                                            
1:08:47 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN WEISE,  staff to Senator  Lyman Hoffman, sponsor of  SB 105,                                                               
said  that the  bill addresses  the delay  of debt  repayment for                                                               
various harbor  projects, only  one of  which, in  Unalaska, will                                                               
not be  able to meet  the repayment  date. The entire  project in                                                               
question is  for a  two-part harbor, the  outer section  of which                                                               
must be  completed before the  state-funded inner portion  can be                                                               
started.   The  inner harbor  will cost  $12.9 million,  of which                                                               
state debt reimbursement will total $5 million.                                                                                 
CHAIR KOOKESH  asked Mr. Weise  to expand  on the main  object of                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
MR. WEISE  said that  SB 105  tries to name  the only  small boat                                                               
harbor  still  owing  repayment from  the  original  bill.  There                                                               
hasn't been any change in other parts of the bill.                                                                              
1:12:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR   WIELECHOWSKI  asked   if  the   money  was   previously                                                               
appropriated and  the bill will  simply be extending the  date of                                                               
debt repayment.                                                                                                                 
MR. WEISE replied that was correct.                                                                                             
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked if the fiscal note is zero.                                                                          
MR. WEISE replied in the affirmative.                                                                                           
SENATOR OLSON asked how many boats will be served by the harbor.                                                                
MR.  WEISE said  that final  capacity will  be 75  boats; there's                                                               
already another  harbor in Unalaska  that holds  60 to 65  but is                                                               
currently overfull, so  once the new harbor is  completed it will                                                               
already be full.                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  asked who  owns the existing  harbor, and  if they                                                               
charge for the slips.                                                                                                           
MR. WEISE replied  that the city owns the harbor,  and he doesn't                                                               
know if they  charge for the slips; he pointed  out a map showing                                                               
the location of the future harbor.                                                                                              
SENATOR KOOKESH  asked if  all the permits  for the  inner harbor                                                               
have already been obtained.                                                                                                     
MR. WEISE  said that the  permits for  the outer harbor  have all                                                               
been obtained, but he was unsure as regards the inner harbor.                                                                   
SENATOR OLSON  asked if there  will be  a waiting list  for slips                                                               
once the harbor is completed.                                                                                                   
MR.  WEISE replied  that  the  harbor will  be  first come  first                                                               
serve, but  that many boats need  a place to have  safe harbor in                                                               
bad weather.                                                                                                                    
1:15:59 PM                                                                                                                    
RAY GILLESPIE,  lobbyist for the  city of Unalaska, said  that he                                                               
was prepared to  answer questions about the  harbor and described                                                               
the poster showing the harbor construction.                                                                                     
SENATOR KOOKESH  asked Carl Moses  if he  would like to  make any                                                               
comments on the bill.                                                                                                           
CARL MOSES,  former state representative,  said that  the project                                                               
has been delayed  and is over 40 years overdue.   It will provide                                                               
safe harbor  to many boats in  the busiest fishery in  the United                                                               
SENATOR WILKEN wished Mr. Moses well.                                                                                           
MR. MOSES thanked him.                                                                                                          
CHRIS LADDOCK,  Unalaska City Manager,  said that the  slips will                                                               
have a rental fee, as in  the existing harbor.  There's currently                                                               
a wait list of 30-45 boats,  and at under two-thirds capacity the                                                               
harbor will already be self-supporting.  There have been problems                                                               
in congress  with continuing  authorization for  project bidding;                                                               
it's unsure whether  the project will be included  in this year's                                                               
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked for  an  estimate  on how  much  the                                                               
project will cost.                                                                                                              
MR. LADDOCK said that the total cost will be $27 million.                                                                       
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  for the  amount for  which the  debt                                                               
reimbursement extension is being requested.                                                                                     
MR. LADDOCK replied that the amount is $5 million.                                                                              
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI commented that  the bill seems open-ended in                                                               
terms of debt reimbursement, and  asked if there are cost control                                                               
measures in place.                                                                                                              
MR. LADDOCK  replied that the  original appropriation was  for $5                                                               
million, and the city has contributed funding for cost overruns.                                                                
SENATOR OLSON asked  for the operating and  maintenance plan, and                                                               
means of payment for such, for the harbor.                                                                                      
MR.  LADDOCK said  that  he doesn't  anticipate  any problems  in                                                               
paying for operational and maintenance costs.                                                                                   
SENATOR OLSON asked  if there are safety  provisions for shipping                                                               
of cargo containers.                                                                                                            
MR.  LADDOCK  said  that  the harbor  department  takes  care  of                                                               
security issues,  and almost all  the vessels coming  through the                                                               
harbor are registered with the federal government.                                                                              
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI said  that the  bill doesn't  refer to  the                                                               
harbor alone in  terms of debt repayment extension,  and asked if                                                               
it's the only project the bill would apply to.                                                                                  
MR. WEISE replied that it is.                                                                                                   
1:25:18 PM                                                                                                                    
FRANK KELTY,  resource analyst  for the  City of  Unalaska, urged                                                               
the committee to  move the bill, and said that  it's an important                                                               
and long-overdue  project. Unalaska  is the largest  fishing port                                                               
in the  nation, and has many  vessels trying to seek  port there.                                                               
The  weather in  Unalaska  is  intense, and  vessels  need to  be                                                               
properly moored.  The project  should be  supported, and  it will                                                               
help the community grow economically.                                                                                           
STEPHEN BOARDMAN,  with the  Army Corps  of Engineers,  said that                                                               
the 2007 work plan was received  that morning and funding was not                                                               
included for the harbor construction.                                                                                           
SENATOR OLSON asked  for detail on what the lack  of funding will                                                               
mean for the harbor.                                                                                                            
MR. BOARDMAN  said that  the Corps has  notified Congress  of its                                                               
capability of  executing the project, and  hopefully funding will                                                               
be received by next year.                                                                                                       
SENATOR OLSON asked if the  city is expecting to see construction                                                               
begin in 2009.                                                                                                                  
MR.  BOARDMAN said  that he  hopes to  see congress  includes the                                                               
project  in its  budget in  2008, which  means it  will be  begun                                                               
later that year.                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI said  that his only concern  is that there's                                                               
a  number  of  projects  listed   in  the  section  of  the  bill                                                               
concerning the  harbor, and  the bill should  only be  applied to                                                               
this one project.                                                                                                               
SENATOR  WILKEN remarked  that  the bill  appears  not to  extend                                                               
beyond a certain list of harbors.                                                                                               
SENATOR  KOOKESH   said  that  the  committee   would  officially                                                               
recognize Senator  Wielechowski's clarification of the  intent of                                                               
SHIRLEY MARQUARDT, mayor  of the city of Unalaska,  said that the                                                               
city will do everything in its  power to move the project forward                                                               
as soon  as possible. Congress  has approved the project  and all                                                               
the documents are in order, so  the city wants to move forward as                                                               
soon as the Army Corps of Engineers receives additional funding.                                                                
SENATOR  WILKEN commented  that line  ten  of the  bill could  be                                                               
interpreted as  an open-ended ruling  for many DOT  projects, and                                                               
that perhaps the bill should be made more restrictive.                                                                          
CHAIR  KOOKESH  restated  that  the  committee  would  officially                                                               
recognize the previously discussed clarification of the bill.                                                                   
1:35:50 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR OLSON  moved to adopt  the proposed  committee substitute                                                               
(CS) to SB  102, labeled 25-LS0707\M, as the  working document of                                                               
the committee.  There being no objection, the motion carried.                                                                   
SENATOR COWDERY motioned  to report CS for SB  105 from committee                                                               
with  individual recommendations  and accompanying  fiscal notes.                                                               
There being no objection, CSSB 105(TRA) moved from committee.                                                                   
               HB 102-PASSING STATIONARY VEHICLES                                                                           
1:39:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KOOKESH  announced that the  committee would be  holding SB                                                               
68  for future  consideration. He  then  announced HB  102 to  be                                                               
under consideration.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL,  sponsor of  HB 102,  said that  the bill                                                               
was inspired by an encounter  with a constituent. The current law                                                               
doesn't  designate  a  clear  procedure   for  pulling  over  for                                                               
emergency vehicles, so the bill cleans up current law.                                                                          
SENATOR COWDERY  said that enforceability is  an obvious problem,                                                               
and asked if the bill fully addresses the problem.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL said  that  he worked  with policemen  to                                                               
form the  bill, and that  it covers the different  procedures for                                                               
single- and double-lane highways.                                                                                               
DANIEL HOFFMAN, Chief  of Police for the City  of Fairbanks, said                                                               
that  the  basic problem  is  the  way  the initial  statute  was                                                               
written; it provided  an unclear choice between  slowing down and                                                               
moving over. The current bill  will allow slowing down if there's                                                               
no option to move into another lane and stop.                                                                                   
SENATOR  OLSON asked  if the  bill only  applies to  municipal or                                                               
state roads, or all roads.                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  said that it  applies to all  roads where                                                               
safety  is an  issue, thus  all roads  where safety  officers can                                                               
enforce law.                                                                                                                    
SENATOR OLSON  said that North  Slope Borough roads  aren't state                                                               
or municipality  roads, and  asked how they  would fit  under the                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL replied  that anywhere  where there  is a                                                               
police force, the law can be enforced.                                                                                          
SENATOR  COWDERY  asked   how  the  bill  would   function  in  a                                                               
particular situation.                                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL replied that  if pulling into a particular                                                               
lane  wasn't safe,  then  slowing down  and  proceeding would  be                                                               
MR. HOFFMAN said that the bill  only applies to roads with two or                                                               
more lanes in the same direction.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL referenced  lines  four to  seven of  the                                                               
bill to show how the bill treats smaller roads.                                                                                 
1:47:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  KOOKESH  said that  he  intended  to  move the  bill  from                                                               
SENATOR COWDERY made a motion to move HB 102 from committee with                                                                
individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s). There                                                                   
being no objection, the motion carried.                                                                                         
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Kookesh adjourned the meeting at 1:48:09 PM.                                                                            

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