Legislature(2005 - 2006)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/04/2006 09:00 AM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 384 FINES AND OFFENSES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 384(JUD) Out of Committee
+ HB 403 NEIGHBORHOOD ELECTRIC VEHICLES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 419 REPEAL UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK LAWS TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 218 CRIMINAL SENTENCING AND POLYGRAPHS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSB 218(FIN) Out of Committee
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       April 4, 2006                                                                                            
                         9:10 a.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer called the House  Finance Committee meeting to                                                                   
order at 9:10:54 AM.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Chenault, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Kevin Meyer, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Richard Foster                                                                                                   
Representative Mike Hawker                                                                                                      
Representative Jim Holm                                                                                                         
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
Representative Mike Kelly                                                                                                       
Representative Beth Kerttula                                                                                                    
Representative Carl Moses                                                                                                       
Representative Bruce Weyhrauch                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bill Stoltze, Vice-Chair                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Con  Bunde;  Representative   Mark  Neuman;  Senator                                                                   
Gretchen  Guess;  Heath Hilyard,  Staff,  Representative  Tom                                                                   
Anderson;  Dean Guaneli,  Chief  Assistant Attorney  General,                                                                   
Department  of  Law;  Ian Fisk,  Staff,  Representative  Bill                                                                   
Thomas; Representative  John Coghill;  Karen Lidster,  Staff,                                                                   
Representative John Coghill                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Michael  Catsi,   Executive  Director,  Skagway   Development                                                                   
Center, Skagway;  Duane Bannock, Director, Division  of Motor                                                                   
Vehicles, Department of Administration                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 218 (FIN)                                                                                                                  
          "An  Act  relating   to  sex  offenders  and  child                                                                   
          kidnappers; relating  to reporting of sex offenders                                                                   
          and   child   kidnappers;  relating   to   periodic                                                                   
          polygraph  examinations for sex offenders  released                                                                   
          on  probation or parole;  relating to  sexual abuse                                                                   
          of  a   minor;  relating  to  the   definitions  of                                                                   
          'aggravated  sex offense'  and 'child  kidnapping';                                                                   
          relating to  penalties for failure to  report child                                                                   
          abuse  or neglect; relating  to sentencing  for sex                                                                   
          offenders  and  habitual criminals;  and  providing                                                                   
          for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
          HCS CSSB  218 (FIN)  was REPORTED out  of Committee                                                                   
          with  a "do  pass" recommendation  and  with a  new                                                                   
          fiscal  note by  the Department  of Corrections,  a                                                                   
          new zero  note by the Department of  Public Safety,                                                                   
          zero  note #1 by the  Department of  Public Safety,                                                                   
          indeterminate  note #4  by the  Department of  Law,                                                                   
          indeterminate   note  #5   by  the  Court   System,                                                                   
          indeterminate   note  #6   by  the  Department   of                                                                   
          Administration,   indeterminate  note  #7   by  the                                                                   
          Department  of Corrections, and  fiscal note  #8 by                                                                   
          the Department of Corrections.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HB 384    "An Act relating to fines and offenses; amending                                                                      
          Rule 8(b), Alaska District  Court Rules of Criminal                                                                   
          Procedure; and providing for an effective date."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB 384 (JUD) was REPORTED out of Committee with                                                                     
          a "no recommendation"  and with a new indeterminate                                                                   
          fiscal note by the Office of the Governor.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HB 419    "An Act repealing the Board of Storage Tank                                                                           
          Assistance, the underground  storage tank revolving                                                                   
          loan  fund,  and  the tank  cleanup  loan  program;                                                                   
          repealing  certain reporting requirements  relating                                                                   
          to  underground  petroleum  storage  tank  systems;                                                                   
          making conforming amendments;  and providing for an                                                                   
          effective date."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          HB 419 was REPORTED out of Committee with a "do                                                                       
          pass" recommendation  and with zero fiscal  note #1                                                                   
          by the Department of Environmental Conservation.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 403    "An Act relating to registration and operation of                                                                     
          neighborhood electric vehicles."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          HB 403 was heard and HELD in Committee for further                                                                    
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:11:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 218(FIN)                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to sex offenders  and child kidnappers;                                                                   
     relating  to  reporting   of  sex  offenders  and  child                                                                   
     kidnappers; relating to periodic  polygraph examinations                                                                   
     for  sex  offenders  released on  probation  or  parole;                                                                   
     relating  to sexual abuse  of a  minor; relating  to the                                                                   
     definitions  of  'aggravated  sex  offense'  and  'child                                                                   
     kidnapping';  relating  to   penalties  for  failure  to                                                                   
     report child abuse or neglect; relating to sentencing                                                                      
     for sex offenders and habitual criminals; and providing                                                                    
     for an effective date."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR CON  BUNDE, related  that the  only change  since the                                                                   
last hearing  of the  bill is  that two  more offenders  have                                                                   
moved to  Alaska, one from Canada,  and another came  to join                                                                   
the state  troopers.   He stressed  that it  is time  to stop                                                                   
Alaska from being the sexual predator magnet of America.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MARK NEUMAN, pointed  out the costs to society                                                                   
by  these  offenders,   and  the  costs  to   the  state  for                                                                   
rehabilitation  programs for the  victims equaling  about $45                                                                   
million.  He spoke about the idea  that these offenders often                                                                   
commit  other  crimes.   Putting  sex  offenders away  for  a                                                                   
longer  period  of  time,  means  taking  criminals  off  the                                                                   
streets.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker  MOVED to  ADOPT  Amendment 11,  which                                                                   
reads as follows:                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, lines 1 - 2:                                                                                                       
     Delete "relating to reporting of sex offenders and                                                                         
     child kidnappers;"                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, lines 10 -23                                                                                                       
     Delete all material.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 10, line 28:                                                                                                          
     Delete "Sections 1 - 3, 5 - 8, and 12"                                                                                     
     Insert "Sections 1 - 2, 4 - 7, and 11"                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 10, line 30                                                                                                           
     Delete "secs. 5 and 7"                                                                                                     
     Insert "secs. 4 and 6"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 10, line 31:                                                                                                          
     Delete "Sections 4 and 11"                                                                                                 
     Insert "Sections 3 and 10"                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 11, line 2:                                                                                                           
     Delete "Sections 4 and 11"                                                                                                 
     Insert "Sections 3 and 10"                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 11, line 3:                                                                                                           
     Delete "sec. 15"                                                                                                           
     Insert "sec. 14"                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
  Co-Chair Meyer OBJECTED for discussion purposes.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:15:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker  explained  that the  amendment  would                                                                   
allow  for prosecution  for  those who  would  shelter a  sex                                                                   
offender.  It is an important  issue and is not a part of the                                                                   
original bill.  It would delete  Section 3 of the bill, which                                                                   
is  not clearly  written.   That section  could be  addressed                                                                   
later as separate legislation.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kerttula agreed  with Representative  Hawker.                                                                   
She  noted that  the  intent of  the bill  is  for people  to                                                                   
report where sex offenders are,  but the bill is not clear on                                                                   
this area, nor is it integral to the bill.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GRETCHEN GUESS  stated no  objection to  withdrawing                                                                   
Section 3 from the bill.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer  WITHDREW  his  objection.   There  being  NO                                                                   
further OBJECTION, Amendment 11 was adopted.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker WITHDREW Amendments 12 and 13.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:19:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer  listed  the fiscal  notes  accompanying  the                                                                   
bill:   new fiscal note by  the Department of  Corrections, a                                                                   
new zero note  by the Department of Public  Safety, zero note                                                                   
#1 by the Department of Public  Safety, indeterminate note #4                                                                   
by the Department of Law, indeterminate  note #5 by the Court                                                                   
System,   indeterminate  note   #6  by   the  Department   of                                                                   
Administration,  indeterminate note #7  by the Department  of                                                                   
Corrections,  and  fiscal  note   #8  by  the  Department  of                                                                   
Corrections.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Chenault commented  that  even  though the  program                                                                   
would  cost money,  it would  be  wrong not  to approve  this                                                                   
bill.   He emphasized  that these  offenders  need to be  put                                                                   
away.   He stated  that he  was going  to offer an  amendment                                                                   
adding the death  penalty to the bill.  He  shared a personal                                                                   
experience involving  a child who  was kidnapped.   He stated                                                                   
strong support for the bill.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:23:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly related that  the bill attempts to place                                                                   
Alaska  on a "do  not go  there" list  and will  result  in a                                                                   
reduction of  costs in the end.   It raises the bar  and says                                                                   
Alaska  means business.   He  stated strong  support for  the                                                                   
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:25:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker noted a  concern when operation  costs                                                                   
for the  state are  increased.   He spoke  in support  of the                                                                   
intent of the bill and of the  investment in the court system                                                                   
to support it.  He agreed with  Representative Kelly that the                                                                   
bill  would create  a deterrent.   He  stated that  it is  an                                                                   
investment he is willing to make.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Holm voiced concern  about fiscal note #8.  He                                                                   
opined  that rehabilitation  is rare and  incarceration  is a                                                                   
better solution.   He suggested  that less money be  spent on                                                                   
counseling programs.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:29:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Guess  shared  that   this  is  a  "best  practices"                                                                   
situation.   Polygraphs  are used  to try  to stop  offenders                                                                   
before  they  offend.   The  probation  section of  the  bill                                                                   
allows for the  correction system to rein in  those who break                                                                   
conditions of  probation.  Second  and third degree  assaults                                                                   
have stronger sentences.   She agreed that it is  not a cure-                                                                   
all, but right now it is best practices.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bunde  described a typical  offender and  stated that                                                                   
the polygraph is a good tool to  have.  He gave an example of                                                                   
an offender who was exposed by a polygraph.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker  asked if it  was an Alaskan.   Senator                                                                   
Bunde replied that it was.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:32:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Foster   MOVED  to  REPORT  SB   218  out  of                                                                   
Committee with  an accompanying  title change resolution  and                                                                   
with individual  recommendations and the  accompanying fiscal                                                                   
notes.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HCS CSSB 218 (FIN)  was REPORTED out of Committee  with a "do                                                                   
pass"  recommendation  and with  a  new  fiscal note  by  the                                                                   
Department of Corrections, a new  zero note by the Department                                                                   
of Public  Safety, zero note #1  by the Department  of Public                                                                   
Safety,  indeterminate  note #4  by  the Department  of  Law,                                                                   
indeterminate  note #5  by  the Court  System,  indeterminate                                                                   
note #6  by the Department  of Administration,  indeterminate                                                                   
note #7 by the Department of Corrections,  and fiscal note #8                                                                   
by the Department of Corrections.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:35:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 384                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to fines and offenses; amending Rule                                                                      
     8(b), Alaska District Court Rules of Criminal                                                                              
     Procedure; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Heath Hilyard, Staff, Representative  Tom Anderson, explained                                                                   
that  CSHB 384  (JUD),  Version I,  is  before the  committee                                                                   
today.   The bill amends  the fines and  fee structure  for a                                                                   
number of criminal  statutes.  It was brought  to the sponsor                                                                   
by the Department  of Public Safety.  The Department  of Fish                                                                   
and  Game  also  was  interested   in  including  appropriate                                                                   
references to  fines for misdemeanors.   It was  important to                                                                   
draft the  bill to address  both.  He  noted that  there were                                                                   
two changes made  by the Judiciary Committee  to two sections                                                                   
in the  original bill  that referred to  fines and  fees with                                                                   
regard to violations by orders  by the Labor Relations Board.                                                                   
He spoke  of confusion  by the  Department  of Labor and  the                                                                   
Board, which resulted  in those sections being  removed.  The                                                                   
title was also tightened.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer  pointed out that  there are no  fiscal impact                                                                   
notes.   Mr. Hilyard  deferred to  the departments  to answer                                                                   
that question.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:38:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker  asked  about  a section  that  is  no                                                                   
longer in statute.  Mr. Hilyard  offered to amend the bill to                                                                   
deal with  that section,  but said he  would leave it  in for                                                                   
now.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker asked  if the  death penalty  would be                                                                   
within the  scope of  the single subject  rule.   Mr. Hilyard                                                                   
said he could not say.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:41:19 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch  asked if those who  are charged for                                                                   
crimes prior to  the effective date in this  bill are subject                                                                   
to  penalties in  the  bill or  to penalties  in  the law  in                                                                   
effect before July 2006.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DEAN GUANELI,  CHIEF ASSISTANT  ATTORNEY GENERAL,  DEPARTMENT                                                                   
OF LAW, answered  that they would be subject  to the existing                                                                   
penalties,   before   the   effective   date  of   the   Act.                                                                   
Representative  Weyhrauch asked  if  it would  apply even  if                                                                   
they have only  been charged and not convicted.   Mr. Guaneli                                                                   
replied that is correct.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker asked if  something in a  felony class                                                                   
would fit  within the subject of  this bill with a  change of                                                                   
title.   Mr. Guaneli replied that  a single subject  of fines                                                                   
certainly describes  the bill as a whole.  He  thought if the                                                                   
penalty were limited to fines, a felony would fit.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker asked about  previous testimony  on SB                                                                   
218 and a situation  where a penalty is increased  within the                                                                   
child abuse statutes and is now  greater than the penalty for                                                                   
Murder II.   He wondered  if the bill  would be a  vehicle to                                                                   
correct that imbalance  by raising the penalty  on Murder II.                                                                   
Mr.   Guaneli  responded   that   Alaska   Courts  give   the                                                                   
legislature  broad   authority  to  include,   within  bills,                                                                   
matters that fit within fairly  broad subjects.  He addressed                                                                   
the  single subject  of  the bill.   He  stated  if that  new                                                                   
language  were  to be  included,  it  would read  "fines  and                                                                   
criminal penalties",  which would  be sufficiently  broad and                                                                   
be upheld by the courts.  A clear  title such as in this bill                                                                   
would not be a problem for the courts.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:45:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Holm took issue  with the statement  that the                                                                   
court system gives the legislature  authority.  He maintained                                                                   
that the  legislature has  its own constitutionally  mandated                                                                   
authority.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer  asked  Mr. Guaneli  to  address  the  fiscal                                                                   
notes.  Mr.  Guaneli responded that the fiscal  notes are all                                                                   
fines imposed  by the  court system  upon conviction  of some                                                                   
offense.  Many are infractions  for violations or misdemeanor                                                                   
offenses.  These  are fines imposed by the  court system that                                                                   
ordinarily go into the general  fund and no particular agency                                                                   
receives  them.  The  Department  of Fish and  Game has  some                                                                   
authority   to  receive   funds   from   fines,  subject   to                                                                   
legislative  appropriation.   The fiscal  notes are  accurate                                                                   
and the money does not go to the departments.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker   noted  that  he  does   not  see  an                                                                   
indication  that there would  be a  change in state  revenues                                                                   
due  to these  fines.   He  suggested  that  the revenues  be                                                                   
indeterminate rather  than zero.   Mr. Guaneli said  he could                                                                   
not  argue with  that.   He  agreed that  there  might be  an                                                                   
increase in the general fund.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer agreed that it  would be more accurate to have                                                                   
indeterminate notes.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:50:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer  asked if Representative Hawker  was referring                                                                   
earlier to  another bill's passage,  HB 380.   Representative                                                                   
Hawker reiterated  that if HB 380 passes, Section  3 would no                                                                   
longer be in effect.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker MOVED to  CHANGE the fiscal  notes, as                                                                   
appropriate,  to   indeterminate  notes.    There   being  NO                                                                   
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:52:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Foster  MOVED  to  REPORT  CSHB  384  out  of                                                                   
Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying  indeterminate  fiscal  note.   There  being  NO                                                                   
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CSHB  384 (JUD)  was REPORTED  out  of Committee  with a  "no                                                                   
recommendation" and  with a new indeterminate  fiscal note by                                                                   
the Office of the Governor.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:53:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 419                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act repealing the Board  of Storage Tank Assistance,                                                                   
     the underground  storage tank  revolving loan  fund, and                                                                   
     the  tank   cleanup  loan  program;   repealing  certain                                                                   
     reporting    requirements   relating   to    underground                                                                   
     petroleum  storage   tank  systems;  making   conforming                                                                   
     amendments; and providing for an effective date."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
KAREN LIDSTER,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE  JOHN COGHILL,  related                                                                   
that over  the interim,  Representative   Coghill sent  out a                                                                   
memo asking any department to  determine if they had statutes                                                                   
or  regulations   that  were   no  longer  necessary.     The                                                                   
Department  of Environmental Conservation  brought  forward a                                                                   
request to  repeal the Board  of Storage Tank  Assistance and                                                                   
the  accompanying  loan  program.     The  sponsor  statement                                                                   
provides the history of that program.   The Board was created                                                                   
in  1990  by HB  220  to  oversee  the grant  that  was  also                                                                   
created.   In  1999,  the Storage  Tank  Assistance Fund  was                                                                   
converted  to  an Underground  Storage  Tank  Revolving  Loan                                                                   
Fund.   Since that time there  have been no  applications for                                                                   
loans.   HB 419  will modify the  end date  for the  Board in                                                                   
order  to  be  consistent  with   the  end  date  for  formal                                                                   
termination of  the loan program.   The sunset date  was June                                                                   
30, 2007.  HB 419 also lifts out  the statutes that relate to                                                                   
the  Board,   the  reporting,  the  regulations,   fees,  the                                                                   
program, definitions,  administrative codes, and  the orderly                                                                   
completion  of   the  board's  obligation,   and  renumbering                                                                   
instructions   related  to  those   statutes  that   will  be                                                                   
repealed.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Holm asked  if there  is a  loan fund  amount                                                                   
that is being recaptured.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
LAURA   BEASON,    ADMINISTRATION   MANAGER,    DIVISION   OF                                                                   
INFORMATION  AND   ADMINISTRATIVE  SERVICES,   DEPARTMENT  OF                                                                   
ENVIRONMENTAL  CONSERVATION,  responded  that there  is  zero                                                                   
available fund balance in the loan.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:57:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch asked  what happens if someone needs                                                                   
assistance.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHN COGHILL  replied that  the loan  program                                                                   
would  go away,  but DEC  would still  deal with  underground                                                                   
storage  tanks.    They  still have  a  fee  for  registering                                                                   
underground  storage tanks.   There has not  been any  use of                                                                   
this fund for many years.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:59:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster  recalled that he voted for  the HB 220                                                                   
in 1999.   He MOVED  to REPORT HB  419 out of  committee with                                                                   
individual recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal note.                                                                   
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB  419  was REPORTED  out  of  Committee  with a  "do  pass"                                                                   
recommendation   and  with  zero   fiscal  note  #1   by  the                                                                   
Department of Environmental Conservation.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:00:35 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 403                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
"An   Act  relating   to   registration   and  operation   of                                                                   
neighborhood electric vehicles."                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster  MOVED to ADOPT  the work draft  for HB                                                                   
403, labeled 24-LS1229\I, Mischel/Luckhaupt,  3/31/06.  There                                                                   
being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
IAN  FISK, STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE BILL  THOMAS, related  that                                                                   
the bill is  about low-speed vehicles.  He  explained that HB                                                                   
403  was amended  in  the House  State  Affairs Committee  to                                                                   
eliminate  all references  to electric  vehicles in order  to                                                                   
conform to federal law.  Mr. Fisk  referred to a handout that                                                                   
describes  the vehicle (copy  on file.)   These vehicles  are                                                                   
not golf carts.  It is defined  in federal law that they must                                                                   
have four  wheels and  be capable  of a  minimum speed  of 20                                                                   
mph,  and a  top  speed  of 25  mph.   The  National  Highway                                                                   
Transportation Safety Administration  requires equipment such                                                                   
as taillights,  break lights, headlights,  automotive quality                                                                   
windshield, turn  signals, mirrors, parking breaks,  and they                                                                   
must meet testing requirements.   The federal regulations for                                                                   
these vehicles were developed  in 1998 and they are now legal                                                                   
in 36 states.  They offer fuel  efficiency and zero emissions                                                                   
and are  popular in retirement  communities.  DMV  would like                                                                   
the authority,  which  this bill provides,  to regulate  this                                                                   
class of vehicle.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer  asked about  speed  limitations.   Mr.  Fisk                                                                   
related that  they can go no more  than 25 mph.   They cannot                                                                   
be used on a  road where the posted speed limit  is 35 mph or                                                                   
faster.    They  are  limited   to  neighborhood  roads,  but                                                                   
permitted to cross roads with  higher speed limits.  Co-Chair                                                                   
Meyer asked how they operate in  snow and ice.  Mr. Fisk said                                                                   
he does not know.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:05:10 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer stated  that he tested  electric vehicles  in                                                                   
Fairbanks  and  they  have  limited  experience  in  northern                                                                   
climates.  He expressed support for this legislation.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Holm   asked   about  the   occasional   use                                                                   
provision.  Farm equipment can  go on highways for occasional                                                                   
use.  There are roads with varying  speed limits.  Under this                                                                   
law these vehicles could not be  used on them.  Mr. Fisk said                                                                   
that is correct.  Representative  Holm spoke of limited roads                                                                   
available for these  vehicles in his neighborhood.   He noted                                                                   
a provision that allows a municipality to modify the bill.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:08:29 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Chenault pointed  out that  they do  not require  a                                                                   
valid driver's license.   Mr. Fisk said that  is corrected in                                                                   
Section 5 of the bill, subject to all laws.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Chenault  asked   if   there   are  any   specific                                                                   
communities  where these  can be  used.   Mr. Fisk  responded                                                                   
that Skagway has requested the use of this type of vehicle.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Weyhrauch   pointed   out  that   the   word                                                                   
"electric" does  not appear anywhere  in the bill.   Mr. Fisk                                                                   
said   that   federal  regulation   terms   them   "low-speed                                                                   
vehicles".     Representative  Weyhrauch  wondered   why,  in                                                                   
subsection (e) on  page 1, the wording "or by  this state" is                                                                   
needed.  Fisk said that was not  caught in previous hearings.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:12:22 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly  asked about line 13-14 on  page 3, "may                                                                   
further restrict".   He wondered  if a community  could allow                                                                   
for less  restriction.  Mr.  Fisk responded that  a community                                                                   
could not supersede the maximum  speed limit of 35 mph.  They                                                                   
could restrict  where they can  be used.  He  suggested using                                                                   
"modify" instead of "restrict".   He asked what would prevent                                                                   
these vehicles from being used  now.  Mr. Fisk said DMV wants                                                                   
to clearly  allow this new  category of car.   Representative                                                                   
Kelly  noted  that  a  reason  for  not  including  the  word                                                                   
"electric" is because  there are many power types.   He asked                                                                   
what is  stopping people from using  this car now.   Mr. Fisk                                                                   
deferred to Mr. Bannock at DMV.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:14:58 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker  related  that  this bill,  as  it  is                                                                   
constructed, would  empower municipalities to  regulate these                                                                   
vehicles.    He  wondered if  the  sponsor  had  contemplated                                                                   
making the  municipalities "opt in".   Mr. Fisk  replied that                                                                   
the  opposite  approach  was taken.    Representative  Hawker                                                                   
stated that  he preferred to  let decisions be  made locally,                                                                   
rather  than  state  mandated.    He  asked  the  sponsor  to                                                                   
consider that idea.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker  suggested  that  in Section  1,  "or"                                                                   
should be "and".                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker suggested  adding a subparagraph (e) to                                                                   
AS 28.10.041,  grounds for refusing registration,  and a list                                                                   
of  many reasons  why  registration  could  be refused.    He                                                                   
provided examples  such as: the application contains  a false                                                                   
statement, the  applicant does not give the  information, the                                                                   
applicant is  not entitled to  the issuance of  a certificate                                                                   
of title,  and the vehicle  is determined to  be mechanically                                                                   
unsafe.    Also added would  be a blanket statement  that DMV                                                                   
may not  refuse to  register a  low-speed vehicle that  meets                                                                   
the  requirements  of a  passenger  vehicle,  the safety  and                                                                   
equipment requirements of a passenger  vehicle, and it has to                                                                   
meet federal  motor vehicle safety  standards.   He suggested                                                                   
that  these  requirements  would  override the  rest  of  the                                                                   
prohibitions.   Mr.  Fisk responded  that  there are  federal                                                                   
safety elements  in the  statute.  He  said that  the sponsor                                                                   
would have no problem changing "or" to "and".                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:19:35 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker concurred  that safety is considered in                                                                   
the bill, but not the other elements.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL  CATSI,   EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  SKAGWAY   DEVELOPMENT                                                                   
CENTER, SKAGWAY,  emphasized that  these vehicles  provide an                                                                   
alternative transportation  that is  cheaper for  short runs.                                                                   
He  requested  the  opportunity   for  people  to  own  these                                                                   
vehicles.  They go 25 miles on  a single charge and have easy                                                                   
maintenance.   Each municipality should be allowed  to decide                                                                   
on restrictions, but not ban them outright.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:23:35 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DUANE BANNOCK,  DIRECTOR, DIVISION  OF MOTOR VEHICLES  (DMV),                                                                   
DEPARTMENT  OF ADMINISTRATION,  testified  that DMV  supports                                                                   
the  addition of  Neighborhood  Electric  Vehicle (NEV's)  or                                                                   
low-speed  vehicle (LSV's),  a  different  class of  vehicle.                                                                   
There is language  in the Manufacturer's Statement  of Origin                                                                   
(MSO) that  gives direction to  DMV and states  conformity to                                                                   
federal regulation.  NEV's have  an MSO that states that this                                                                   
low-speed vehicle conforms to  federal regulation under Title                                                                   
49.  He  explained the title  process.  He  addressed Section                                                                   
3.                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:27:23 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly  summarized that Alaskans  are currently                                                                   
prevented  from driving these  vehicles.   He asked  if other                                                                   
states  license these  vehicles as passenger  vehicles.   Mr.                                                                   
Bannock replied  that only one  state does not  have specific                                                                   
language regarding them.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch spoke  to the issue of conforming to                                                                   
federal  standards.   He noted  that Representative  Hawker's                                                                   
concern   was  about   state   supremacy.     He  asked   for                                                                   
clarification of line 6 on page 1.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Bannock  said Section  1 is  not DMV's.   He opined  that                                                                   
issues of safety  are addressed in the federal  definition of                                                                   
low-speed vehicle.  Representative  Weyhrauch summarized that                                                                   
it is  complying with  federal standards.   Mr. Bannock  said                                                                   
yes.   Representative Weyhrauch  asked if the  wording should                                                                   
say  "by  federal  motor  vehicle  safety  standards".    Mr.                                                                   
Bannock agreed.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:30:30 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch  asked  if the  vehicle  should  be                                                                   
limited to "electric"  motor vehicle.  Mr.  Bannock suggested                                                                   
that  "electric"   be   struck  because   the  name   is  not                                                                   
appropriate.  "Other powered" vehicles are available.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch asked  if it is the sponsor's intent                                                                   
to limit it to electric vehicle.  Mr. Fisk said no.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Bannock said  that  there are  other  vehicles that  are                                                                   
electric, such as hybrids, which  are not low-speed vehicles.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:32:40 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker asked about  the definition of  a low-                                                                   
speed  vehicle  and the  4-wheel  restriction.   Mr.  Bannock                                                                   
agreed that there  are other-wheeled vehicles  and they would                                                                   
not meet the definition of a low speed vehicle.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer suggested that  a new CS be written to include                                                                   
today's suggestions.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HB  403  was   heard  and  held  in  Committee   for  further                                                                   
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 10:35 AM.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                

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