Legislature(2019 - 2020)BUTROVICH 205

03/28/2019 01:30 PM TRANSPORTATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 75 COMMERCIAL VEHICLE LICENSING REQ'S TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 75 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
*+ SB 84 NAMING TROOPER GABE RICH MEMORIAL BRIDGE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
           SB  75-COMMERCIAL VEHICLE LICENSING REQ'S                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:30:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  announced the consideration  of SENATE BILL  NO. 75                                                               
"An  Act  relating to  a  license  to  drive a  commercial  motor                                                               
vehicle."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
She  noted that  the  bill was  introduced on  March  31 and  the                                                               
committee previously heard invited testimony.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:31:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES opened public testimony on SB 75.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER joined the meeting.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:31:53 PM                                                                                                                    
DON ETHERIDGE,  Lobbyist, AFL CIO,  Juneau, testified  in support                                                               
of SB  75. He explained  that many training programs  require the                                                               
apprentice to  have a  Commercial Driver's  License (CDL)  in the                                                               
first 2,000  hours of the  program to  advance to the  next step.                                                               
[An apprentice who is precluded  from taking the CDL test because                                                               
of  age]  could  be  delayed  up to  a  year  in  completing  the                                                               
apprenticeship program.  SB 75 addresses this  issue. Noting that                                                               
"in a  previous life" he worked  with at-risk youth, he  said the                                                               
bill has the potential to help  young people who see no reason to                                                               
complete high  school but are  looking for job  opportunities. He                                                               
said those youths would sometimes  look at their work options and                                                               
return to school to get their diploma.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  asked if an 18-year-old  has to have a  high school                                                               
diploma to take the CDL test.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. ETHRIDGE said  no, but the CDL test is  rigorous and somebody                                                               
who can't  do high-school-level work would  have trouble passing.                                                               
He noted that the AFL-CIO  apprenticeship programs require either                                                               
a GED (general education diploma) or a high school diploma.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  said she has  respect for commercial  truck drivers                                                               
after trying  her hand driving a  semi in the state  fair parking                                                               
lot with Northern Industrial Training.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER argued  that the armed services  also teaches kids                                                               
about hard work and what's important in life.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:35:37 PM                                                                                                                    
AVES  THOMPSON, Executive  Director, Alaska  Trucking Association                                                               
(ATA),  Anchorage, stated  that ATA  is a  statewide organization                                                               
that  represents  nearly  200  member  companies.  He  said  that                                                               
freight  moving  is an  essential  element  of the  economy  that                                                               
impacts everyone. He  said he was testifying in support  of SB 75                                                               
because ATA  believes that  lowering the  eligibility age  for an                                                               
intrastate CDL will provide young men  and women with a path to a                                                               
truck-driving career.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
He said that  his previous testimony failed to  mention that both                                                               
intrastate  and  interstate  drivers  are  subject  to  the  same                                                               
qualifications  and medical,  safety,  and  equipment rules.  The                                                               
state  adopts  the  federal  rules by  reference  in  the  Alaska                                                               
Administrative Code. He also pointed  out that an 18-year-old can                                                               
receive a commercial  pilot's license. He said  ATA believes that                                                               
lowering  the  intrastate  age   requirement  to  18  will  allow                                                               
students to go directly from  school into commercial truck driver                                                               
training.  The CDL  doesn't automatically  create a  professional                                                               
truck  driver, he  said,  but it  provides  the opportunity.  ATA                                                               
believes SB 75  provides an opportunity for young  people and the                                                               
potential  to create  a larger  driver pool  to help  satisfy the                                                               
demand for  commercial drivers. He  highlighted that  the current                                                               
commercial  driver  shortage  will  only get  worse  if  a  major                                                               
project  begins. SB  75 will  help  solve that  problem and  also                                                               
ensure  that  Alaska  is  ready   when  Congress  passes  federal                                                               
legislation lowering the interstate driving age, he said.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES thanked him for  clarifying that except for age, the                                                               
qualifications are  the same for  interstate and  intrastate, and                                                               
the reminder  that someone  is eligible  to receive  a commercial                                                               
pilot's license at age 18.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  THOMPSON said  he  also wanted  to say  he  agrees with  Mr.                                                               
Ethridge that  the CDL test is  not easy. Simply taking  the test                                                               
demonstrates some commitment to hard work, he said.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER asked,  should the bill pass, if there  was a plan                                                               
to get the word out about the age reduction.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. THOMPSON said  ATA will work with the  King Technology Center                                                               
and  schools throughout  Alaska. Through  word of  mouth, members                                                               
will also  let it  be known  that an  18-year-old is  eligible to                                                               
take the CDL test.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES encouraged him to  notify the commissioners of labor                                                               
and education about this career option, should the bill pass.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:40:37 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL  related that  Mr. Thompson  visited his  office to                                                               
discuss the  insurance requirements and to  clarify that lowering                                                               
the age to 18 would not  raise insurance rates for every trucking                                                               
company.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER thanked him for putting that on the record.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER  asked if somebody with  driving infractions would                                                               
be precluded from receiving a CDL.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  THOMPSON  said  potentially   yes;  drug  convictions  could                                                               
severely constrain the ability to get a CDL.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:42:57 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  ETHRIDGE  added  that  somebody   who  has  a  drug  or  DUI                                                               
conviction must wait five years before they can test for a CDL.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  found no  further questions  or comments  and asked                                                               
the will of the committee.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:43:46 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER  moved to  report SB  75, work  order 31-LS0610\A,                                                               
from  committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  attached                                                               
fiscal note(s).                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:44:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  stated that  without objection,  SB 75  passed from                                                               
the Senate Transportation Standing Committee.                                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
STRA Agenda 3.28.19.pdf STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB75 Sponsor Statement.pdf STRA 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 75
SB75 Bill Text Version A.PDF STRA 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 75
SB75 Fiscal Note - DMV.pdf STRA 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 75
SB75 Letter of Support_Local 302.pdf STRA 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 75
SB75 Letter of Support_Carlile.pdf STRA 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 75
SB75 Letter of Support_NIT.pdf STRA 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 75
SB75 Additional Materials_Federal Statute.pdf STRA 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 75
SB 84 Sponsor Statement.pdf STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 84
SB84 Bill Text Version A.PDF STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 84
SB84 Fiscal Note - DOT&PF.pdf STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 84
SB 84 Gabe Rich Picture.pdf STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 84
SB 84 Support.pdf STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 84
SB 84 Images of the Bridge.pdf STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 84