Legislature(2007 - 2008)BUTROVICH 205

03/27/2007 01:30 PM TRANSPORTATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved SB 130 Out of Committee
Moved CSSB 68(TRA) Out of Committee
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
         SB 130-RANCH, FARM, DAIRY VEHICLE REGISTRATION                                                                     
CHAIR KOOKESH announced the consideration of SB 130.                                                                            
DARWIN PETERSON, aide to Senate  President Lyda Green, sponsor of                                                               
SB  130, explained  that farm  vehicles are  getting heavier  and                                                               
bigger  and the  current maximum  weight regulations  are out  of                                                               
date; the bill  will update the regulation from  16,000 to 20,000                                                               
1:32:45 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked how many  vehicles will be affected by                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
MR. PETERSON replied  that there are 466  farm vehicles currently                                                               
registered  in Alaska  with expiration  dates of  2007, 2008,  or                                                               
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  for  the rationale  for the  current                                                               
16,000 lbs restriction.                                                                                                         
MR. PETERSON  replied that true commercial  vehicles shouldn't be                                                               
used  for  farm purposes,  so  a  weight restriction  applies  to                                                               
smaller farm trucks.                                                                                                            
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if there's  any concern  about weight                                                               
impact on the road system.                                                                                                      
MR. PETERSON  replied that there  is a concern about  road damage                                                               
regarding heavy trucks  but the difference made by  the bill will                                                               
be negligible.                                                                                                                  
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked what size a 20,000 lb truck would be.                                                                
MR. PETERSON  replied that it's  larger than a Dodge  Ram pick-up                                                               
truck, in the same category as a cargo van or a bus.                                                                            
1:35:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  KOOKESH  asked for  an  explanation  of the  farm  vehicle                                                               
registration plate.                                                                                                             
MR. PETERSON  replied that the  specialized farm plate is  in the                                                               
same category as legislator plate or veteran plate.                                                                             
1:36:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR OLSON  asked if  other states  have similar  farm vehicle                                                               
MR. PETERSON replied that almost every state does.                                                                              
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if other  states have  similar weight                                                               
limits or just similar plates.                                                                                                  
MR.  PETERSON  replied   that  he  was  referring   to  just  the                                                               
specialized plate program,  and that weight limits  vary for each                                                               
1:37:17 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WILKEN  asked if there's  a committee substitute  for the                                                               
bill regarding the plate.                                                                                                       
MR.  PETERSON replied  that the  bill doesn't  change farm  plate                                                               
SENATOR  WILKEN   asked  why  a  particular   pamphlet  was  made                                                               
available to the committee.                                                                                                     
MR. PETERSON  replied that it  was simply  to show an  example of                                                               
what the farm plate looks like.                                                                                                 
1:39:04 PM                                                                                                                    
LARRY  DEVILBISS,  Director  for  the  Division  of  Agriculture,                                                               
Department of Natural Resources (DNR),  said that the farm plates                                                               
don't  necessarily  need to  be  changed  by  the bill,  and  the                                                               
department  finds it  appropriate to  raise the  limit to  20,000                                                               
1:41:08 PM                                                                                                                    
STEVE VAN TROBA, representing himself,  said that when he travels                                                               
to Alberta,  Canada, to buy hay  and he pays taxes  that would be                                                               
avoided by having farm plates.                                                                                                  
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked if Mr. Van Troba opposes the bill.                                                                   
MR. VAN TROBA replied that he supports the bill.                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked  if Mr. Van Troba will  be required to                                                               
pay additional fees if the bill does not pass.                                                                                  
MR. VAN TROBA answered yes.                                                                                                     
1:43:04 PM                                                                                                                    
DUANE  BANNOCK,  Director for  the  Division  of Motor  Vehicles,                                                               
Department of  Administration (DOA),  related the history  of the                                                               
weight-limit law in Alaska and said the DMV supports the bill.                                                                  
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked for  the punishment for  driving over                                                               
the weight limit.                                                                                                               
MR.  BANNOCK said  that  being over-limit  with  the wrong  plate                                                               
would result  from one of  three elements: a DMV  error, improper                                                               
information  provided by  the driver,  or fraudulent  use of  the                                                               
plate. The two latter scenarios would result in violation fines.                                                                
1:45:18 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COWDERY asked  if the  Department of  Transportation and                                                               
Public Facilities (DOTPF) controls over-weight vehicle permits.                                                                 
MR. BANNOCK said that the DOTPF does control such permits.                                                                      
BILL WARD,  representing himself,  said that it's  appropriate to                                                               
raise the weight limit; licensed  vehicle government is different                                                               
from commercial  vehicle government,  including hours  of service                                                               
regulations,  driver's  license  requirements,  and  inspections.                                                               
Operation   within  current   statute  is   possible  but   truck                                                               
modifications  and  updates will  be  difficult  without the  new                                                               
1:50:07 PM                                                                                                                    
ADAM GRISWOLD, representing  himself, said that it's  hard to buy                                                               
trucks that meet the current weight  limit, and he is in favor of                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
NATE GRISWOLD,  representing himself,  said that  he does  have a                                                               
need  for new  equipment  but  it's hard  to  find under  current                                                               
CHAIR KOOKESH asked for the will of the committee.                                                                              
1:51:18 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COWDERY  motioned to  report SB  130 from  committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  attached  fiscal note(s).  There                                                               
being no objection, the motion carried.                                                                                         

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