Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/27/1996 01:38 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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                     HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                        February 27, 1996                                      
                            1:38 P.M.                                          
                                                                               
  TAPE HFC 96-51, Side 1, #000 - end.                                          
  TAPE HFC 96-51, Side 2, #000 - end.                                          
  TAPE HFC 96-52, Side 1, #000 - end.                                          
  TAPE HFC 96-52, Side 2, #000 - 283.                                          
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  Mark  Hanley called  the  House  Finance Committee                 
  meeting to order at 1:38                                                     
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Hanley               Representative Martin                          
  Co-Chair Foster               Representative Mulder                          
  Representative Brown          Representative Navarre                         
  Representative Kelly          Representative Parnell                         
  Representative Kohring        Representative Therriault                      
                                                                               
  Representative Grussendorf was absent from the meeting.                      
                                                                               
  ALSO PRESENT                                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative  Scott  Ogan;   Representative  Carl   Moses;                 
  Senator  Dave  Donley;  Senator  Robin  Taylor; Tom  Boutin,                 
  Division of Forestry, Department  of Natural Resources; Nico                 
  Bus, Acting Director, Support Services Division,  Department                 
  of  Natural Resources;  Anne  Carpeneti, Assistant  Attorney                 
  General,  Criminal  Division,   Department  of  Law;   Chris                 
  Christensen,  Staff Counsel,  Alaska  Court System;  Juanita                 
  Hensley, Chief  Driver Services, Division of Motor Vehicles,                 
  Department of Public Safety; Tim Rogers, Legislative Program                 
  Coordinator,  Municipality  of   Anchorage;  Dave   Harbour,                 
  Anchorage  Parking  Authority;  Bob  Allen,  Anchorage;  Jay                 
  Dulaney, Director,                                                           
  Division  of Motor  Vehicles, Department of  Motor Vehicles,                 
  Department of Public  Safety; Dean  Brown, Deputy  Director,                 
  Division of Forestry, Department  of Natural Resources;  Tom                 
  Smith, City Manager, City of Palmer.                                         
                                                                               
  SUMMARY                                                                      
                                                                               
  HB 352    An  Act   giving  notice   of   and  approving   a                 
            lease-purchase agreement with  the City of  Palmer                 
            for  a fire  management  facility  at  the  Palmer                 
            Airport.                                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
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            HB 352 was  reported out of  Committee with a  "do                 
            pass" recommendation and with a fiscal impact note                 
            by the  Department of  Revenue, dated  2/2/96; and                 
            with  a  zero  fiscal note  by  the  Department of                 
            Transportation   and   Public   Facilities,  dated                 
            2/2/96.                                                            
                                                                               
  HB 466    An Act establishing the Adak Reuse Authority.                      
                                                                               
            HB 466  was assigned to a  subcommittee consisting                 
            of  Chair  Foster  as  Chair  and  Representatives                 
            Grussendorf and Kelly.                                             
                                                                               
  SB 6      An Act relating to registration of a motor vehicle                 
            and suspension of a  driver's license for  failure                 
            to appear in court or failure to pay a fine.                       
                                                                               
            HCS CSSB  6 (CRA)  was reported  out of  Committee                 
            with  a "do  pass"  recommendation  and with  four                 
            fiscal  impact  notes; two  by  the Department  of                 
            Public Safety; one by the Alaska Court System; and                 
            one by the Department of Corrections.                              
                                                                               
  ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL BOARD                                             
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Hanley noted  that the  Committee had received  and                 
  reviewed  the  Governor's   appointments  to  the  Alcoholic                 
  Beverage Control Board.  The Governor has appointed:                         
                                                                               
       Evely Beeter - Chistochina                                              
       Bert L Cottle - Valdez                                                  
       Ellen L. Ganley - Fairbanks                                             
       Robert J. Klein - Anchorage                                             
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Hanley  asked if any  members of the  House Finance                 
  Committee  wished  to  raise  objections  or  interview  the                 
  appointees.  No  members expressed  the desire to  interview                 
  appointees or raised objections.   There being NO OBJECTION,                 
  the House Finance Committee recommends that the appointments                 
  be forwarded to a joint session for consideration.  Co-Chair                 
  Hanley noted  that the  recommendation does  not reflect  an                 
  intent by  any or  the members  to  vote for  or against  an                 
  appointment.                                                                 
  HOUSE BILL NO. 352                                                           
                                                                               
       "An Act giving notice of and approving a lease-purchase                 
       agreement with the City of Palmer for a fire management                 
       facility at the Palmer Airport."                                        
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT  OGAN,  sponsor HB  352,  testified  in                 
  support of  the legislation.   He  noted that  HB 352  would                 
                                                                               
                                2                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  provide authorization  for a  lease-purchase agreement  with                 
  the City  of Palmer  to finance  and build  a Department  of                 
  Natural  Resources fire  management facility  at the  Palmer                 
  Airport.  He asserted that the agreement will save the State                 
  $282.0 thousand dollars a year.   He stressed that the State                 
  will save $8.5 million  dollars over 20 years.   He observed                 
  that the new  facility would consolidate four  wildland fire                 
  facilities in the area  of the Palmer Airport.   He observed                 
  that the Department of Natural Resources'  flight operations                 
  are currently run from a lease  space at the Palmer Airport.                 
  The administrative operations are coordinated in  Anchorage.                 
  Warehouse support is  provided in  Eagle River.   Additional                 
  administrative and warehousing activities occur at Big Lake.                 
  He asserted  that the  legislation will  make wildland  fire                 
  fighting response time  more efficient.   He explained  that                 
  materials are transported from the  warehouse in Eagle River                 
  to the Palmer Airport.  He  noted that response time effects                 
  the level  of fire  support needed.   He  observed that  the                 
  Governor's Budget  Summary recognizes that the  project will                 
  save the Department  of Natural Resources money.   The State                 
  would own the facility at the end of the agreement.                          
                                                                               
  Representative Ogan  stressed that the City of Palmer has an                 
  airport and undeveloped  land available.  The  runway at the                 
  Palmer  Airport  is  long  enough  to operate  fire  support                 
  planes.   He  emphasized  that  air traffic  at  the  Palmer                 
  Airport is less than at the Anchorage International Airport.                 
  He maintained that the Palmer  Airport is centrally located.                 
  He  added  that  Palmer  also  has  community  services  and                 
  commercial support options available.   He observed that the                 
  City of Palmer supports the project.                                         
                                                                               
  Representative Brown questioned how the project will improve                 
  access.  Representative  Ogan observed that  burning permits                 
  would   be   transferred   from   Big    Lake   to   Palmer.                 
  Representative Brown questioned what services are located in                 
  the  Anchorage  Frontier  Building that  would  be  moved to                 
  Palmer.                                                                      
                                                                               
  TOM BOUTIN,  DIRECTOR, DIVISION  OF FORESTRY,  DEPARTMENT OF                 
  NATURAL   RESOURCES  replied  that  4,200  square  feet  for                 
  wildland fire logistics would be transferred.  He noted that                 
  the Urban  and Community Forestry Program, Support Services,                 
  Forest Stewardship  and  Resource  Management  Program  will                 
  remain in the Frontier Building.  He clarified that Wildland                 
  Fire Logistics would be the only function transferred.                       
                                                                               
  Representative Brown  asked  why  the  legislation  was  not                 
  introduced  by  the Governor.    Mr. Boutin  noted  that the                 
  legislation had already been introduced.  He emphasized that                 
  the Commissioner  of  the Department  of  Natural  Resources                 
  strongly supports the project.                                               
                                                                               
                                3                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Brown noted that the Department has pursued a                 
  policy of letting  fires burn.   Mr. Boutin agreed that  the                 
  majority of land under  state protection is in the  let burn                 
  category.    He  added  that  due  to  suburban  sprawl  the                 
  percentage  of  land in  the  let  burn category  is  at the                 
  maximum.  In response to a question by Representative Brown,                 
  Mr. Boutin  clarified that AS  41.15 requires  the State  to                 
  perform fire  suppression  on state,  municipal and  private                 
  land.   He noted that  the federal government reimburses the                 
  State for fires fought on federal  land and on Alaska Native                 
  Claims Settlement  Act lands.   He  noted that  the 56  fire                 
  districts   around  the   State  act  under   a  cooperative                 
  agreement.                                                                   
                                                                               
  DEAN   BROWN,   DEPUTY  DIRECTOR,   DIVISION   OF  FORESTRY,                 
  DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES  clarified that the Division                 
  responds  to  wildland  fires  within  the  Municipality  of                 
  Anchorage.    The  Division does  not  respond  to structure                 
  protection unless a structure is threatened by an out growth                 
  of a wildland  fire.  The Division does not respond to house                 
  fires.  Representative Brown questioned if fees for services                 
  have been considered.   Ms. Brown stated that they  have not                 
  considered instituting user fees.                                            
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown  asked  if  the   City  of  Palmer  is                 
  available to bond for  the facility.  Mr. Boutin  noted that                 
  financing  would  be   identical  to  the  lease   financing                 
  obligation   used   to   build   the   Palmer    Courthouse.                 
  Representative Brown  suggested  that most  of the  economic                 
  benefit goes to the  City of Palmer.  She  expressed concern                 
  over the number of  lease purchase agreements the State  has                 
  acquired.  Mr. Boutin observed that lease purchases for real                 
  estate are located  in the  front section  of the  operating                 
  budget.                                                                      
                                                                               
  Representative Parnell  asked  if the  State currently  owns                 
  other facilities used by the  Division.  Mr. Boutin observed                 
  that the Eagle River facility  is a portable warehouse  that                 
  could be moved  or used by other  agencies.  It is  on state                 
  land.  The  Big Lake facility is state owned and is on state                 
  land.   He observed that  the Department will  not be out of                 
  the lease space  in the Frontier  Building until the end  of                 
  the  current rental  agreement.   The  lease will  expire in                 
  July, 1999.   The  State could  rent the  space for  another                 
  agency.   Representative Parnell questioned  if the  savings                 
  would be to the State or to the Department only.  Mr. Boutin                 
  argued that there will be a savings to the State.   He added                 
  that materials  are transported  back and  forth from  Eagle                 
  River  to  Palmer.   Representative  Ogan  noted  that other                 
  agencies are interested in the Eagle River facility.                         
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                4                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative  Parnell  questioned  if  there  would  be  a                 
  savings to the State to build the facility with state funds.                 
  Mr. Boutin noted  that the true  interest cost would be  tax                 
  free at approximately 5 percent.   The state general fund is                 
  invested  at  a  taxable yield.    He  added  that there  is                 
  arbitrage  every time  the State  enters into  a tax  exempt                 
  obligation.                                                                  
                                                                               
  Representative Therriault noted that the  let burn policy is                 
  based on  the decision  that there  are benefits to  letting                 
  some areas  burn.   He pointed  out that  the policy  is not                 
  necessarily driven by the budget.   He added that fees would                 
  be difficult to administer and could have adverse effects on                 
  fire suppression efforts.                                                    
                                                                               
  Representative  Navarre  noted  the  Majority's budget  plan                 
  calls for  significant reductions  in the  operating budget.                 
  He  suggested that it  is premature to  consider the project                 
  authorization until the  impact of reductions  is seen.   He                 
  stated  that the project does  not appear to  be a bad idea.                 
  He asked what kinds of needs assessments are being done.  He                 
  maintained that today's assumptions will  not hold true over                 
  time.                                                                        
                                                                               
  Representative Brown referred to backup material provided to                 
  the Committee by the Department of Natural Resources, "South                 
  Zone  Facilities Consolidation,  Proposed  Lease Finance  at                 
  Palmer Airport (copy  on file).  Brown noted that  the FY 99                 
  savings  is shown  at $24.8  thousand dollars.   Mr.  Boutin                 
  explained  that  the  on going  annual  facility  savings is                 
  estimated  at  $282.9  thousand dollars.  There  will  be an                 
  additional one time savings  of $24.8 thousand dollar in  FY                 
  99.  Ms.  Brown explained that  the transfer would occur  in                 
  phases  transfer  due to  the  seasonal nature  of  the fire                 
  season.                                                                      
                                                                               
  NICO  BUS,  ACTING  DIRECTOR,   DIVISION  OF  ADMINISTRATIVE                 
  SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES clarified that the                 
  savings in                                                                   
  FY  99 will  occur as the  Department partially  vacates the                 
  office space  at the Frontier  Building.  He  explained that                 
  General Services can move other  positions into the space as                 
  they are vacated before the lease expires.  As positions are                 
  transferred other rental  space can  be cancelled as  leases                 
  expire.                                                                      
                                                                               
  Representative Brown  noted that the Department  stated that                 
  the cost of underground fuel  storage tank replacements will                 
  be mitigated by the move.  Ms. Brown explained that the move                 
  to  Palmer  will  allow  the  Department  to  use  available                 
  commercial facilities  for  fuel storage.    The  Department                 
  would no longer need to use underground oil tanks located at                 
                                                                               
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  the  Big  Lake  facility.   These  tanks  would  need to  be                 
  replaced if their use was continued.                                         
                                                                               
  TOM SMITH, CITY  MANAGER, CITY OF  PALMER testified via  the                 
  teleconference network.  He observed that the City of Palmer                 
  passed  Resolution  No.  1049  in  support of  the  Forestry                 
  Consolidation Project at the Palmer Municipal Airport.                       
                                                                               
  Ms.  Brown reviewed charts  provided to the  Committee.  She                 
  noted that 80  percent of fires are  caused by humans.   She                 
  noted that  the Department's operations  are spread  between                 
  five locations.  She emphasized  that if the Department  can                 
  catch a fire when it is small that the cost is minimal.  She                 
  stressed that a project fire can cost the State $2.0 million                 
  dollars or  more.   She emphasized  that consolidation  will                 
  decrease response time and increase safety.  She pointed out                 
  that there are 30 miles between the Eagle River facility and                 
  the Palmer Airport.                                                          
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 96-51, Side 2)                                             
                                                                               
  Ms.  Brown  noted  that  basic   public  services  would  be                 
  maintained in Anchorage.   The  central office which  houses                 
  all the federal  programs and  urban and community  forestry                 
  will remain in  the Frontier  Building.   She stressed  that                 
  expenses associated with large project  fires can be reduced                 
  through  greater efficiencies.  She observed that population                 
  has increased in  areas that are  not readily accessible  by                 
  road.                                                                        
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Foster MOVED to report HB 352 out of Committee with                 
  individual recommendations and with the accompanying  fiscal                 
  notes.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                         
                                                                               
  HB  352  was reported  out  of  Committee with  a  "do pass"                 
  recommendation  and  with  a  fiscal   impact  note  by  the                 
  Department of Revenue,  dated 2/2/96; and with a zero fiscal                 
  note  by   the  Department  of  Transportation   and  Public                 
  Facilities, dated 2/2/96.                                                    
                                                                               
  Representative Navarre  OBJECTED for purpose  of discussion.                 
  He questioned  where the  debt service  on the  project fits                 
  into  the  Majority's overall  plan and  with the  impact of                 
  budget  cuts.      Representative   Navarre   WITHDREW   his                 
  objections.                                                                  
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown OBJECTED  for  purpose of  discussion.                 
  Co-Chair Hanley  stressed that  the State  will always  have                 
  fire fighting  capability.  He asked how  current costs will                 
  be  financed if  consolidation  does not  take  effect.   He                 
  stressed that consolidation will save money over time.                       
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                6                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative  Navarre  questioned  if  consolidation  will                 
  result in savings.  Mr. Boutin  stated that the numbers show                 
  both a  future  value and  a  discounted net  present  value                 
  savings.  He emphasized that the State will own the building                 
  at the end of the lease.  Representative Navarre argued that                 
  reductions  in   the  budget   could   result  in   deferred                 
  maintenance.  He emphasized that  deferred maintenance could                 
  result  in  the  failure of  the  building  before projected                 
  savings can be realized.   He stressed that any  budget plan                 
  must build in the project's cost over the next 20 years.                     
                                                                               
  Representative Brown WITHDREW her objection.                                 
                                                                               
  Representative  Kohring   observed  that  savings   will  be                 
  realized  by  increased  efficiencies  and  improvements  in                 
  response time.                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown  asked  how  the  $6.0  million dollar                 
  construction  cost will be financed.   Mr. Boutin noted that                 
  the City of Palmer will issue a lease obligation.                            
  HOUSE BILL NO. 466                                                           
                                                                               
       "An Act establishing the Adak Reuse Authority."                         
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Hanley assigned HB 466 to a subcommittee consisting                 
  of Co-Chair Foster  as Chair  and Representatives Kelly  and                 
  Grussendorf.                                                                 
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE CARL MOSES, sponsor HB  466, spoke in support                 
  of HB 466.   He noted  that HB 466  would establish an  Adak                 
  Reuse  Authority  to  serve  as  the facilitating  body  for                 
  conversion  of  the Naval  Air  Base  to civilian  use.   He                 
  observed that there is  no local government on  Adak Island.                 
  The   Authority   would  perform   administrative  functions                 
  relative to the Reuse Plan.   He observed that the objective                 
  of the  Navy is to vacate the Adak site earlier than January                 
  1998.  The legislation would allow the Governor to appoint a                 
  7  member  Authority.    The  Authority  would  develop  and                 
  implement a comprehensive  Reuse Plan.  The  Authority would                 
  be empowered to  enter into contracts,  operate enterprises,                 
  receive  grants,  assets and  other  funds,  disburse funds,                 
  distribute assets and  issue revenue  bonds.  An  enterprise                 
  development account would also be established.                               
                                                                               
  Representative Moses asserted that in line with base closure                 
  procedures nationwide  that the Department of  Defense makes                 
  some funding  available  for  economic  redevelopment.    He                 
  emphasized that communities  and municipalities in the  area                 
  are supportive.   He noted  that the Coast  Guard, Corps  of                 
  Engineers, Navy and other groups wish to maintain a presence                 
  on  the  Island.   He  noted that  Adak  has  a world  class                 
                                                                               
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  airfield,  two deep water port  facilities and a modern tank                 
  farm.  He observed that there are approximately $2.3 billion                 
  dollars in fixed and rolling assets currently on the Island.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Martin asked if  there will be a cost  to the                 
  State. Representative Moses stated that  he hoped that there                 
  will  not be any cost to the State.   He noted that there is                 
  considerable  federal money  available  for the  transition.                 
  Representative Martin questioned the  State's responsibility                 
  to provide services until the transition takes place.                        
                                                                               
  Representative  Mulder  stated that  there  are a  number of                 
  federal  agencies  that  are  interested  in  maintaining  a                 
  presence in Adak.   He stated  that the income derived  from                 
  federal agencies would offset operation  costs.  He stressed                 
  that the transitional phase will be the most difficult.                      
                                                                               
  In  response   to  a  question  by   Representative  Martin,                 
  Representative Moses stated  that the  highest point on  the                 
  Island is 2,500 thousand feet.  He added that the every twin                 
  jet that  flies from Anchorage overseas uses  the airport as                 
  an alternate landing site.  He  observed that closure of the                 
  airport would effect these flights.                                          
                                                                               
  Representative Martin noted that earthquakes are common, but                 
  that  there are no  glaciers on the  Island.  Representative                 
  Moses noted that the base has geothermal potential.                          
                                                                               
  Representative Parnell asked if the State's Bond Council has                 
  issued a legal  opinion on the  validity of the scope  being                 
  given to the Authority.  Representative Moses stated that he                 
  did  not know  of  any legal  opinions.   In  response to  a                 
  question  by  Representative  Parnell, Representative  Moses                 
  noted  that there  will  be proceeds  from investments.   He                 
  anticipated   that  federal   transition   money  would   be                 
  available.                                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative  Parnell  asked  what  would  happen  to  the                 
  Authority's   assets   if  the   Authority   went  bankrupt.                 
  Representative  Moses   noted  that  the   Authority  cannot                 
  obligate the State.   Representative  Mulder suggested  that                 
  the project would  be moth-balled if  the Authority did  not                 
  succeed.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Brown asked if bonds  issued by the Authority                 
  would obligate  the State.  Representative  Moses reiterated                 
  that  the  legislation clarifies  that  the State  cannot be                 
  obligated.    Representative  Brown noted  that  up  to $4.0                 
  million dollars in  bonds could  be issued.   Representative                 
  Carl stated that  he did not  anticipate that bonds to  that                 
  magnitude  would  be issued.    He clarified  that specified                 
                                                                               
                                8                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  revenue bonds could be issued for additional projects.                       
                                                                               
  Representative Brown asked  if the Authority would  stand in                 
  the  place  of  a local  government.    Representative Moses                 
  recommended that within one year of the formation of a first                 
  class  city or  borough  that the  Authority  fold into  the                 
  municipality.    He  clarified  that  the Navy  will  donate                 
  facilities to the State without any requirement for payment.                 
                                                                               
  Representative   Brown    referred   to    page   9,    (b).                 
  Representative Moses explained that the Authority would  not                 
  have taxation  powers.   Representative Brown  questioned if                 
  the State would have the power to tax.                                       
                                                                               
  TIM BENINTENDI,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE MOSES agreed that the                 
  Authority would  not have  the power  to tax.   The  sponsor                 
  agreed to clarify the intent of (b) on page 9.                               
                                                                               
  Representative Martin  referred to  Fort Richardson  and the                 
  issue   of  Native  rights  to  surplus  military  property.                 
  Representative  Moses  noted  that  Native groups  can  work                 
  through the Interior Department  to obtain surplus  military                 
  equipment.   Representative Martin  asked if  Adak has  been                 
  classified  as  surplus   property.    Representative  Moses                 
  pointed out that  Adak is  in the process  of going  through                 
  base closure procedures.                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Brown noted that the  operating budget of the                 
  Authority would be  subject to  provisions of the  Executive                 
  Budget Act.    She asked  the  relationship of  the  revenue                 
  stream from the use  of facilities at Adak.   She questioned                 
  how these funds could be subject to the Executive Budget Act                 
  if they are not state funds.   She referred to problems with                 
  the Sutton/Glenallen intertie.  She observed  that it is not                 
  always  clear  what  is financially  sound.    She expressed                 
  concern that the  State will  be responsible for  additional                 
  debt.  She  asked how  the State could  escape liability  if                 
  decisions are made by state officers.                                        
                                                                               
  HB 466 was assigned to a subcommittee consisting of Co-Chair                 
  Foster  as Chair and Representatives Grussendorf and Kelly.                  
  SENATE BILL NO. 6                                                            
                                                                               
       "An Act relating to registration of a motor vehicle and                 
       suspension of a driver's license  for failure to appear                 
       in court or failure to pay a fine."                                     
                                                                               
  SENATOR ROBIN TAYLOR, sponsor SB 6, testified in support  of                 
  the HCS  CSSB 6  (CRA).   He noted  that the  intent of  the                 
  legislation is to  encourage individuals to pay  some of the                 
  25,000  traffic   fines  for   moving  violations   that  go                 
                                                                               
                                9                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  uncollected each year.   He noted that HCS CSSB 6  (CRA) was                 
  designed to provide additional leverage  to the Alaska Court                 
  System in the  collection of fines.  It  would also apply to                 
  an individual who fails  to appear in court.   He maintained                 
  that HCS CSSB  6 (CRA) would be  a valuable tool for  use by                 
  the courts in  addressing the problems created  by those who                 
  choose to ignore the law, especially  those who fail to make                 
  court ordered  appearances or to  pay fines  imposed by  the                 
  court.  He explained that the  legislation was based on laws                 
  of  other  states.    He  observed  that  in  the  state  of                 
  Washington over  50 percent of  those who receive  notice of                 
  possible sanctions  clear up outstanding matters  within one                 
  week.  He  noted that HCS CSSB  6 (CRA) allows the  court to                 
  suspend the driver's license  of anyone who fails to  make a                 
  court appearance  or pay a  fine.  The  legislation provides                 
  that   an  offender's  permanent   fund  dividend  could  be                 
  attached.  He asserted  that HCS CSSB 6 (CRA)  will generate                 
  revenue,  through the  collection  of outstanding  fines and                 
  reinstatement  fees  collected  by  the  Division  of  Motor                 
  Vehicles.  He stressed that the legislation does not involve                 
  parking violations.                                                          
                                                                               
  Representative Brown  observed that the  accompanying fiscal                 
  notes showed a net cost to  the legislation.  Senator Taylor                 
  noted  that  the  Department  of  Law's fiscal  note,  dated                 
  2/23/96 was based on the assumption that requirements of the                 
  bill  could  result in  a  jury  trial  and court  appointed                 
  counsel.  He  noted that the Department is anticipating that                 
  the Court's ruling  in Baker versus City  of Fairbanks would                 
  apply.  He disagreed with  the Department's assessment.   He                 
  did not feel that the $657.5 thousand dollar Court  System's                 
  fiscal note was justified.                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Mulder referred  to a letter by  the National                 
  Motorist  Association.    He  summarized   that  the  letter                 
  concludes  that  the  legislation will  raise  a  $15 dollar                 
  ticket to the level of a suspended license charge.  He asked                 
  if  Senator  Taylor agreed  with  that conclusion.   Senator                 
  Taylor did not agree with  their conclusion.  He  emphasized                 
  that the legislation will provide motivation to pay fines.                   
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Hanley  pointed out  that the  fiscal notes  by the                 
  Department of Public Safety have not changed.  He noted that                 
  the  Department   of  Law's  new   interpretation  regarding                 
  mandatory  jury  trials is  the  basis for  increased fiscal                 
  notes by the Alaska Court System  and the Departments of Law                 
  and Administration.                                                          
                                                                               
  ANNE CARPENETI,  ASSISTANT ATTORNEY  GENERAL, DEPARTMENT  OF                 
  LAW explained  that the Department's fiscal note is based on                 
  the concern that the  Court will rule that the  Baker versus                 
  City of Fairbanks ruling will apply to the legislation.  The                 
                                                                               
                               10                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Baker  case ruled  that a  jury trial  and  subsequent court                 
  appointed counsel is  required due to the  revocation of the                 
  driver's  license.    She  noted   that  the  Department  is                 
  contesting the Court's ruling.   She withdrew the Department                 
  of Law's fiscal note (copy on file).                                         
                                                                               
  MIKE FORD, LEGAL COUNSEL, DIVISION  OF LEGAL SERVICES stated                 
  that in his  opinion HCS CSSB  6 (CRA) will not  trigger the                 
  requirement  for  a jury  trial.   He  noted that  if enough                 
  speeding tickets are acquired a  person's license is revoked                 
  under a point system.  He stressed that because a license is                 
  lost under a point system does not give rise to the right of                 
  a jury trial for each ticket.   He observed that if a person                 
  fails to  pay a  fine or  appear in  court that  there is  a                 
  collateral  affect  which may  result  in suspension  of the                 
  license.  He acknowledged that the Court could rule that the                 
  right to  a jury  trial pertains,  but he  did not  think it                 
  would do so.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Senator Taylor referred to "use it and loose it" legislation                 
  passed in 1995.   The  Alaska Supreme Court  ruled in  Baker                 
  versus City of Fairbanks,  471 P. 2d 386 (Alaska  1970) that                 
  the revocation of  a license  as a penalty  stemming from  a                 
  criminal offense  requires a  jury trial  on the  underlying                 
  offense.  He noted  that the Department of Law  is appealing                 
  the  Court's ruling.  Ms. Carpeneti  agreed that the Court's                 
  ruling is being appealed.                                                    
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  Hanley  noted  that  the  Department  of  Law  has                 
  withdrawn their fiscal note.                                                 
                                                                               
  CHRIS CHRISTENSEN, STAFF COUNSEL, ALASKA COURT SYSTEM stated                 
  that the Alaska Court System  would revise their fiscal note                 
  to reflect the withdrawal of the  Department of Law's fiscal                 
  note.  He explained that they would reinstate their original                 
  fiscal note for $7.2 thousand dollars.                                       
                                                                               
  Co-Chair    Hanley   noted    that    the   Department    of                 
  Administration's fiscal note from the Public Defender Agency                 
  was also based  on assumptions  that a jury  trial would  be                 
  required.   Representative Mulder  stated that  it would  be                 
  consistent  to  revise  the Department  of  Administration's                 
  fiscal note to their original position.                                      
                                                                               
  Representative Brown referred  to language  on page 2,  line                 
  31.  Ms.  Carpeneti explained  that the intent  is that  the                 
  suspension for  failure to  appear would  be terminated  and                 
  upon a  finding  of guilt  for  the underlying  offense  the                 
  license be again suspended.                                                  
                                                                               
  Mr.  Ford  pointed   out  that  the  provision   relates  to                 
  suspension under the subsection.  The provision only applies                 
                                                                               
                               11                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  if the offender was suspended for  not appearing in court or                 
  not paying the fine.                                                         
                                                                               
  Representative  Mulder  questioned  if   Legislative  Intent                 
  should be  added to  indicate that  the  legislation is  not                 
  intended to entitle offenders to a jury trial.                               
                                                                               
  Mr. Ford  observed that the issue of  jury trial is a matter                 
  of  constitutional interpretation.  He did not think that an                 
  expression of  intent by  the Legislature  would affect  the                 
  Court's interpretation.                                                      
                                                                               
  SENATOR DAVE DONLEY requested that  the Committee return HCS                 
  CSSB 6  (CRA) to  the version that  passed the  Senate.   He                 
  noted  that  the  legislation  was   amended  in  the  House                 
  Community  and  Regional  Affairs  Committee.   He  provided                 
  members  with an  amendment  that would  restore HCS  CSSB 6                 
  (CRA)  to the version  passed by the  Senate (Attachment 1).                 
  He explained that HCS CS 6 (CRA) deleted a section  added on                 
  the floor  of the  Senate limited  the authority  of Parking                 
  Authorities.    He   noted  that   Anchorage  is  the   only                 
  municipality that  currently has  a parking  authority.   He                 
  provided  members   with   a   memorandum,   dated   2/27/96                 
  (Attachment  2).    He explained  that  the  amendment would                 
  require citations issued  by a municipality to  conform with                 
  the requirements  of AS 12.25.200.   He explained  that this                 
  would require that  basic information  would be provided  on                 
  any citation issued.   The amendment would also require that                 
  an appeals  process substantially  similar to  state law  be                 
  provided.    He  observed  that  Attachment 2  compares  the                 
  Anchorage Parking Authority's appeals  process to state law.                 
  He stressed that  under the Anchorage Parking  Authority the                 
  fine must  be paid before  the appeal process  is completed.                 
  Under  the  state process  the fine  is suspended  until the                 
  appeal is  completed.  He  added that the  legislation would                 
  limit  the   authority  of   parking  authorities  to   hire                 
  individuals that are not peace  officers to issue citations.                 
  Individuals that  are not  peace officers  could only  issue                 
  fines for  one half  of the  fine structure  adopted by  the                 
  Supreme  Court.   Peace officers could  issue fines  for the                 
  full amount.   He maintained that individuals hired to issue                 
  citations would not  have the  same level of  training as  a                 
  peace officer.  He asserted that  these employees would have                 
  a conflict of interest since their salaries are derived from                 
  writing citations.   He  alleged that  these employees  must                 
  meet a quota.   He observed  that a person's permanent  fund                 
  dividend  or  license could  be  taken based  upon citations                 
  issued by the Anchorage Parking Authority.  He stressed that                 
  procedural protections need to be in place.                                  
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Hanley asked if Senator  Donley could cite examples                 
  of  ticketing  abuse  by  the  Authority.    Senator  Donley                 
                                                                               
                               12                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  stressed that  he has  received accounts  that seem to  have                 
  inherent unfairness involved.  He  observed that an employee                 
  of the  Anchorage Parking  Authority decides  if a  person's                 
  objection is valid.  He maintained that there is an inherent                 
  conflict  of  interest  in allowing  the  Anchorage  Parking                 
  Authority to establish their own appeals process.                            
                                                                               
  In response to a question by Co-Chair Hanley, Senator Donley                 
  noted  that a person can  appeal to the  Superior Court.  He                 
  pointed out that a  person must pay a $100.0  hundred dollar                 
  non-refundable fee  to appeal  a citation  by the  Anchorage                 
  Parking Authority before the Superior Court.   He added that                 
  a $750.0 dollar bond is also required.                                       
                                                                               
  Senator Taylor maintained that  problems with the  Anchorage                 
  Parking  Authority  should be  taken  up with  the Anchorage                 
  Assembly.  He stressed  that HCS CSSB 6 (CRA)  only involves                 
  moving traffic violations.  He spoke  in support of HCS CSSB                 
  6 (CRA).                                                                     
                                                                               
  Senator Donley suggested that the restriction on fine levels                 
  could be removed and the other provisions maintained.                        
                                                                               
  DAVE  HARBOUR, ANCHORAGE  PARKING ANCHORAGE  (APA) testified                 
  via the teleconference  network.   He maintained that  APA's                 
  appeal process  is user friendly.   He  asserted that  APA's                 
  appeal proceedings are in compliance with the Administrative                 
  Procedures  Act  and  the  Anchorage  Municipal  Code.    He                 
  observed  that APA  operates  a toll  free  phone number  to                 
  answer  questions  about  citations  and  appeals  and  that                 
  appeals can be deliver by fax or  mail.  He stressed that on                 
  request hearing officers provide hearing opportunities after                 
  hours and on weekends.  He asserted that no fee of  any kind                 
  is charged for  an appeal.  He  noted that the deadline  for                 
  filing  an appeal  was  increased from  7  to 30  days.   No                 
  payment penalty is assessed until 30 days after the issuance                 
  of a written  decision from the  hearing officer.  He  noted                 
  that APA  supports requests  for waivers  of Superior  Court                 
  bond requirements.  He  stressed that HCS CSSB 6  (CRA) will                 
  not effect APA's authority.                                                  
                                                                               
  Mr. Harbour  referred to Attachment  2.  He  maintained that                 
  the appeal process meets all the  tests imposed by the State                 
  or municipality.   He maintained  that APA has  responded to                 
  requirements  pertaining  to  information contained  on  the                 
  citations issued by APA. He stressed that "if a  ticket is a                 
  bad  ticket  it  should  not  be  issued by  anybody."    He                 
  maintained that APA  tickets are  not inferior just  because                 
  employees  wear  a  different  uniform.   He  stressed  that                 
  traffic offenses are not  parking offenses.  He stated  that                 
  quotas are not  given to APA  officers.  He maintained  that                 
  APA officers do not receive bonuses based on tickets issued.                 
                                                                               
                               13                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  He noted  that the  Port of  Anchorage, Anchorage  Telephone                 
  Utility, Municipality of Anchorage's security office,  State                 
  Troopers,   Anchorage  Police Department  and the  Anchorage                 
  International  Security  Office have  employees  trained and                 
  certified by APA to issue tickets.                                           
                                                                               
  Mr. Harbour objected to language  contained in Attachment 2.                 
  He maintained that APA would be subject to a legal challenge                 
  if it abused its authority.                                                  
                                                                               
  Representative Brown questioned if APA  has the authority to                 
  forward fines to a collection agency while  citations are on                 
  appeal in Superior Court.  Mr.  Harbour stated that APA does                 
  not recommend that  citations be paid  while on appeal.   He                 
  maintained  that  fines  are suspended  during  appeal.   He                 
  agreed that APA has  the municipal authority to  refer fines                 
  to collection agencies.  He stated  that he has no knowledge                 
  of  any  case in  which  payment  was  not suspended  during                 
  appeal.  He stated that if a citation is not appealed within                 
  30  days  the  individual's right  to  appeal  is forfeited.                 
  After 30 days the individual is  given notice that they have                 
  another 30 days  to pay the  fine with an additional  $15.00                 
  dollar penalty.   If the fine and  penalty are not paid  the                 
  offender is given  a notice that non-payment  will result in                 
  the fine's referral to a collection agency.                                  
                                                                               
  Senator Donley clarified  that the information  contained in                 
  Attachment 2  was given to his  staff by an employee  of the                 
  Anchorage Parking Authority.                                                 
                                                                               
  TIM ROGERS, LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM COORDINATOR, MUNICIPALITY OF                 
  ANCHORAGE,   BOARD   MEMBER,  ANCHORAGE   PARKING  AUTHORITY                 
  testified via the teleconference network.   He spoke against                 
  the amendment prepared  by Senator Donley.   He stated  that                 
  the amendment may  infringe on  municipal jurisdiction.   He                 
  maintained that the requirement to  employ peace officers to                 
  issue  non-moving violations would  place a financial burden                 
  on the municipality  or result in  a lack of enforcement  of                 
  parking ordinances.                                                          
                                                                               
  BOB  ALLEN,  ANCHORAGE  testified  via  the   teleconference                 
  network.  He spoke  in support of the amendment  prepared by                 
  Senator  Donley.    He noted  that  the  Anchorage Ombudsman                 
  issued a report  that APA's appeal  process was unfair.   He                 
  acknowledged that the procedure in question was changed, but                 
  maintained that APA changed their procedures grudgingly.  He                 
  alleged that  APA's hearing  procedure would  not stand  the                 
  test of law.  He criticized APA's hearing procedure.                         
                                                                               
  JAY   DULANEY,  DIRECTOR,   DIVISION   OF  MOTOR   VEHICLES,                 
  DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC  SAFETY clarified  that the state  fine                 
  for  an  unregistered  vehicle is  $50.0  dollars.   Senator                 
                                                                               
                               14                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Donley noted  that the  fine schedule  is set  by the  State                 
  Supreme Court.  The amendment would limit APA to one half of                 
  the fine schedule.                                                           
                                                                               
  JUANITA HENSLEY,  CHIEF  DRIVER'S  SERVICES,  DEPARTMENT  OF                 
  PUBLIC SAFETY explained  that municipalities are  allowed to                 
  set  their  own  bail  for  mail   in  forfeitures.    If  a                 
  Municipality of Anchorage peace office writes a citation for                 
  failure to have a front license  plate the municipal fine is                 
  $75 dollars.  If a state  trooper or APA official write  the                 
  same citation it is a $50 dollar fine.                                       
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 96-53, Side 2)                                             
                                                                               
  Representative  Mulder  acknowledged  that   problems  exist                 
  within the Anchorage  Parking Authority.  He  suggested that                 
  problems with APA be addressed through other legislation.                    
                                                                               
  Representative Kohring  agreed that  issues surrounding  APA                 
  should be addressed in separate legislation.                                 
                                                                               
  Representative Mulder  MOVED to report HCS CSSB  6 (CRA) out                 
  of  Committee with individual  recommendations and  with the                 
  accompanying  fiscal notes  from  the  Department of  Public                 
  Safety, Department of Corrections and Alaska Court  System's                 
  revised  fiscal note of $7.2 thousand  dollars.  There being                 
  NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                             
                                                                               
  HCS  CSSB 6 (CRA)  was reported out of  Committee with a "do                 
  pass" recommendation and with four  fiscal impact notes; two                 
  by the Department of Public Safety;  one by the Alaska Court                 
  System; and one by the Department of Corrections.                            
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting adjourned at 3:55 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
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