Legislature(2007 - 2008)BUTROVICH 205
03/27/2007 01:30 PM TRANSPORTATION
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* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was 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of SB 130, explained that farm vehicles are getting heavier and bigger and the current maximum weight regulations are out of date; the bill will update the regulation from 16,000 to 20,000 lbs. 1:32:45 PM SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked how many vehicles will be affected by the bill.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 2009. 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 programs. 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 state. 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 legislation. 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 lbs. 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 requirements. 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 regulation. 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.