Legislature(2021 - 2022)BARNES 124

04/15/2021 08:00 AM COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 127 MUNI BOND BANK: UA, LOAN AND BOND LIMITS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 127 Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 163 FORM OF SIGNATURE ON VEHICLE TITLE TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 163 Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
    HOUSE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                   
                         April 15, 2021                                                                                         
                           8:03 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Sara Hannan, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Calvin Schrage, Co-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Harriet Drummond                                                                                                 
Representative Mike Prax                                                                                                        
Representative Ken McCarty                                                                                                      
Representative Kevin McCabe                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Josiah Patkotak, Vice Chair                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 127                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the Alaska Municipal Bond Bank Authority."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 127 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 163                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to vehicle title applications."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 163 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 127                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MUNI BOND BANK: UA, LOAN AND BOND LIMITS                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) LEBON                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
03/05/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/05/21       (H)       CRA, FIN                                                                                               
04/08/21       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM BARNES 124                                                                              
04/08/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/08/21       (H)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
04/15/21       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 163                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: FORM OF SIGNATURE ON VEHICLE TITLE                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) SCHRAGE                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
04/05/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/05/21       (H)       CRA, STA                                                                                               
04/13/21       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM BARNES 124                                                                              
04/13/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/13/21       (H)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
04/15/21       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JEFFREY SCHMITZ, Director                                                                                                       
Division of Motor Vehicles                                                                                                      
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions  during the hearing on HB
163.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:03:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SARA HANNAN  called the  House  Community and  Regional                                                             
Affairs  Standing  Committee  meeting   to  order  at  8:03  a.m.                                                               
Representatives  Drummond, Prax,  McCarty,  McCabe, Schrage,  and                                                               
Hannan were present at the call to order.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
        HB 127-MUNI BOND BANK: UA, LOAN AND BOND LIMITS                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:04:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HANNAN announced that the  first order of business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL  NO. 127, "An Act relating to  the Alaska Municipal                                                               
Bond Bank Authority."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:05:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SCHRAGE  moved to  report HB 127  out of  committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There being  no objection, HB 127  was reported out of  the House                                                               
Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:05:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 8:05 a.m. to 8:08 a.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
           HB 163-FORM OF SIGNATURE ON VEHICLE TITLE                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:08:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HANNAN announced that the  final order of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE  BILL  NO.  163,  "An Act  relating  to  vehicle  title                                                               
applications."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:09:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY moved  to adopt  Amendment 1  to HB  163,                                                               
labeled 32-LS0666\A.1, Dunmire, 4/13/21, which read as follows:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 1, following "applications":                                                                                
          Insert "by dealers in motor vehicles"                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, lines 3 - 8:                                                                                                       
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
        "* Section  1. The  uncodified law  of the  State of                                                                
     Alaska is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                                         
          VEHICLE TITLE APPLICATIONS BY REGISTERED DEALERS.                                                                     
     Notwithstanding  AS 28.10.211(b)(1),  if the  owner  or                                                                    
     buyer of  a vehicle is  a dealer in motor  vehicles, an                                                                    
     application  for  title  or   transfer  of  title  must                                                                    
     contain  the  signature  of  the owner  in  ink  or  in                                                                    
     electronic form  or, if there  is more than  one owner,                                                                    
     the signature  in ink  or electronic  form of  at least                                                                    
     one of the owners and the  name of each owner stated in                                                                    
     the  conjunctive   or  in  the  disjunctive.   In  this                                                                    
     section,  "dealer in  motor  vehicles"  means a  person                                                                    
     registered with the  Department of Administration under                                                                    
     AS 08.66.010.                                                                                                              
        *  Sec.  2.  Section  1  of  this  Act  is  repealed                                                                  
     June 30, 2023."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:09:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:11:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PRAX  asked  for confirmation  that  Amendment  1                                                               
would  limit  the  ability to  sign  electronically  to  licensed                                                               
dealers.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY  answered that's  correct.  He  added that                                                               
Amendment 1  has a repeal  date of June  30, 2023, "to  allow for                                                               
time to get the  system up in place to take it  to the next level                                                               
of signature."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:11:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SCHRAGE, regarding  the idea that the  Division of Motor                                                               
Vehicles (DMV) is not ready  to address electronic signatures for                                                               
title transfers,  said that is  why HB 163  is not a  mandate but                                                               
instead would  give the DMV  the flexibility to  allow electronic                                                               
signatures when it is  ready to do so.  The  same point stands in                                                               
terms of  the repeal date, he  added.  He said  the proposed bill                                                               
is limited  in its scope;  it is "a first  bite at the  apple" to                                                               
encourage the  DMV to begin preparing  for electronic signatures.                                                               
Furthermore, he  said he  does not  think those  who sell  two or                                                               
three cars  in a year should  be "precluded from the  benefits of                                                               
this once the DMV is ready."   He stated his preference to see HB
163 passed unamended.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:14:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCABE said he cannot  agree with Amendment 1.  He                                                               
opined  that the  conservative approach  is to  remove regulation                                                               
and restrictions.   He said the sponsor's bill  removes "the same                                                               
two words in two places" thus  allowing the DMV to [issue titles]                                                               
electronically, and he said he thinks it is a good bill.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:15:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY  responded that the intent  of Amendment 1                                                               
is to  protect Alaskans  of fraud.   He noted  that the  State of                                                               
California  limits  electronic  signatures [for  titles]  to  car                                                               
dealers, and he speculated that may  be for the protection of the                                                               
citizens of  the state.   He said  Amendment 1 would  ensure that                                                               
the state has "an effective system."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:17:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PRAX  said he  thinks "it would  be good  to think                                                               
about this for a while."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:18:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  concurred with  Representative  McCabe.                                                               
She  opined  that  HB  163 was  "simple,  elegant,  and  provides                                                               
options for any  kind of seller," and she  expressed concern that                                                               
Amendment 1  may limit  the use of  electronic signature  only to                                                               
registered dealers, and  there are a lot of  non-dealers who sell                                                               
cars and  would be  excluded; therefore,  she stated  her support                                                               
for HB 163, unamended.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:18:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  maintained her  objection to  the motion                                                               
to adopt Amendment 1 .                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:19:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A  roll call  vote was  taken.   Representative McCarty  voted in                                                               
favor of Amendment 1 to  HB 163.  Representatives Drummond, Prax,                                                               
McCabe,  Schrage,  and  Hannan  voted  against  it.    Therefore,                                                               
Amendment 1 failed by a vote of 1-5.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:19:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HANNAN noted that late  the prior evening her office had                                                               
received communication  from the  DMV in  response to  a question                                                               
that had been asked at the  prior hearing on HB 163; the division                                                               
supplied a list  showing the many instances  where signatures are                                                               
referenced in DMV  statutes.  She clarified that the  DMV was not                                                               
recommending HB 163 be amended.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:20:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY asked for clarification.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:21:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEFFREY   SCHMITZ,   Director,   Division  of   Motor   Vehicles,                                                               
Department  of Administration,  said  [the list  provided by  the                                                               
Division  of Motor  Vehicles (DMV)]  has to  do with  sections in                                                               
statute that refer  to a certificate, which can be  implied to be                                                               
a piece  of paper.  The  list provided refers to  those instances                                                               
where  "certificate"   appears  in  statute  -   not  necessarily                                                               
specifying "in ink".  He said  the recommendation would be to add                                                               
something   like    "or   electronic    verification"   following                                                               
"certificate",   which   would   allow  either   certificate   or                                                               
electronic signature.   He clarified that HB  163 "referenced one                                                               
... specific  section of  statute where  it talked  about 'ink'."                                                               
He said, "...  That would be in conflict to  these other multiple                                                               
places in which the statute refers to 'certificate'."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:22:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCABE said he would  be uncomfortable "adding all                                                               
these without  knowing what they  are."  He suggested  passing HB
163  out of  committee  and then  getting in  touch  with him  to                                                               
address this issue in a separate bill.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:24:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SCHRAGE echoed  that HB  163 is  a narrow  bill with  a                                                               
simple approach to address those  places in statute that refer to                                                               
"in ink".   He said he  thinks there is opportunity  to expand by                                                               
introducing  legislation to  address the  certificate issue.   He                                                               
concurred  with Representative  McCabe that  addressing the  list                                                               
would require more investigation.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:25:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PRAX  asked Mr. Schmitz  if, from  the perspective                                                               
of [the  DMV], it  would be  worth waiting  and doing  "the whole                                                               
list at one time."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:25:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. SCHMITZ  responded that "getting  started" would  be easiest.                                                               
Eventually the  list will need to  be cleaned up in  statute, but                                                               
there is  no rush,  he added.   He  said the  DMV would  take the                                                               
direction  of the  legislature  as to  whether  it addresses  the                                                               
simple  form of  HB  163, as  currently  written, or  legislation                                                               
expanded to encompass the list as a whole.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:27:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  offered   her  understanding  that  the                                                               
revisor  of  statutes  [within  the  Legislative  Legal  Services                                                               
agency]  could make  recommendations  on additional  items.   She                                                               
recommended passing HB 163 out of committee today.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:28:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   MCCARTY   asked   for  clarification   on   what                                                               
Representative  Drummond was  suggesting.   He expressed  concern                                                               
about the committee's job of fully vetting proposed legislation.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:28:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HANNAN interjected to remind  committee members that the                                                               
list from  the DMV was not  a recommendation but a  response to a                                                               
"where  else"  question  asked by  Representative  McCabe.    The                                                               
proposed legislation  identifies where "in ink"  could be amended                                                               
to  include  electronic signatures;  the  DMV  list highlights  a                                                               
similar theme  by finding all  the places where  "certificate" is                                                               
used, which has  been interpreted to mean  paper, and considering                                                               
whether those  references could be amended  to include electronic                                                               
signatures.   The  list  is not  in amendment  form  and is  much                                                               
bigger than the scope of the  proposed legislation.  She said she                                                               
is not  inclined to change  HB 163, because  it is a  first step,                                                               
and  the  DMV  can  come back  with  further  recommendations  in                                                               
future.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:31:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SCHRAGE clarified  that  the DMV  had  been asked  what                                                               
hurdles may  stand in the way  of modernizing a process,  and the                                                               
clear first hurdle is the verbiage "in ink".  He concluded:                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     We may need  statutory changes down the  line, but that                                                                    
     is not clear  today, and this bill will allow  us to at                                                                    
     least  remove that  first, very  clear  hurdle that  we                                                                    
     know  will be  an issue,  so that  we can  then further                                                                    
     explore that issue  and hopefully get to  a point where                                                                    
     consumers,  businesses,  and  the  general  public  can                                                                    
     benefit  from  a  much   more  efficient  and  flexible                                                                    
     process of digital signatures.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:32:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCABE indicated  that he likes HB 163  as a first                                                               
step.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:33:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. SCHMITZ,  in response to Representative  McCarty and Co-Chair                                                               
Schrage, offered his understanding that  there is no reference to                                                               
"in ink"  in any of  the passages referred to  in the list  of 64                                                               
instances of "certificate".                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:35:19 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMON  moved to report  HB 163 out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.  There being no objection,  HB 163 was reported out of the                                                               
House Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:35:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee meeting was                                                                   
adjourned at 8:36 a.m.                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 127 version A.PDF HCRA 4/15/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 127
HB 127 Sponsor Statement version A 3.16.2021.pdf HCRA 4/15/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 127
HB 127 Sectional Analysis version A 3.16.2021.pdf HCRA 4/15/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 127
HB 127 Letter of Support Maniilaq 3.15.2021.pdf HCRA 4/15/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 127
HB 127 Support Letter University of Alaska 3.9.2021.pdf HCRA 4/15/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 127
HB 163 Sponsor Statement 4.9.pdf HCRA 4/15/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 163
HB 163 Support Letters 4.14.21.pdf HCRA 4/15/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 163
HB 163 Fiscal Note - DOA - DMV 4.10.21.pdf HCRA 4/15/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 163
HB 163 Ver A.PDF HCRA 4/15/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 163
HB 163 Amendment A.1 04.14.21.pdf HCRA 4/15/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 163