Legislature(1997 - 1998)

02/05/1997 02:21 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                              
                        February 5, 1997                                       
                           2:21 p.m.                                           
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
 Representative Joe Green, Chairman                                            
 Representative Con Bunde, Vice Chairman                                       
 Representative Brian Porter                                                   
 Representative Jeannette James                                                
 Representative Norman Rokeberg                                                
 Representative Eric Croft                                                     
 Representative Ethan Berkowitz                                                
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
 All members were present                                                      
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
 EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 99                                                        
 Transferring the Division of Motor Vehicles from the Department of            
 Public Safety to the Department of Administration.                            
      - MOVED EO 99 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                           
 * HOUSE BILL NO. 91                                                           
 "An Act extending the termination date of the Board of Parole; and            
 providing for an effective date."                                             
      - MOVED HB 91 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                           
 HOUSE BILL NO. 22                                                             
 "An Act relating to civil liability for illegal sales of alcoholic            
 beverages; and providing for an effective date."                              
      - BILL POSTPONED                                                         
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
 BILL:  HB 91                                                                
 SHORT TITLE: EXTEND BOARD OF PAROLE                                           
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) PORTER                                          
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG                 ACTION                                   
 01/29/97       164    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/29/97       164    (H)   JUDICIARY                                         
 02/03/97              (H)   JUD AT  1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 02/03/97              (H)   MINUTE(JUD)                                       
 02/05/97              (H)   JUD AT  1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
 RONALD L. OTTE, Commissioner                                                  
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 P.O. Box 111200                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-1200                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4322                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided department's position and answered              
                      questions regarding EO 99.                               
 MARK BOYER, Commissioner                                                      
 Department of Administration                                                  
 P.O. Box 110200                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0200                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2200                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided department's position and answered              
                      questions regarding EO 99.                               
 JUANITA HENSLEY, Chief                                                        
 Driver Services                                                               
 Division of Motor Vehicles                                                    
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 P.O. Box 20020                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0020                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4361                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided department's position and answered              
                      questions regarding EO 99.                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 97-9, SIDE A                                                             
 Number 001                                                                    
 VICE CHAIRMAN CON BUNDE called the House Judiciary Standing                   
 Committee to order at 2:12 p.m.  Members present at the call to               
 order were Representatives Bunde, Porter, James, Rokeberg, Croft              
 and Berkowitz.  Chairman Green, who was attending another meeting,            
 arrived at 2:52 p.m.                                                          
 VICE CHAIRMAN BUNDE announced the first order of business was                 
 Executive Order No. 99, transferring the Division of Motor Vehicles           
 (DMV) from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of               
 Administration.  He noted that Commissioner Otte and Commissioner             
 Boyer were present to speak on EO 99.                                         
 Number 127                                                                    
 RONALD L. OTTE, Commissioner, Department of Public Safety ("Public            
 Safety"), provided a brief history conveying reasons Public Safety            
 believed EO 99 to be a positive move.  He explained DMV was a                 
 program with 3 million public contacts a year in Alaska, both at              
 the DMV counter and through mail-in transactions.  He said, "When             
 you stop and think that everybody from the age of 15 on who is                
 trying to get a learner's permit or a driver's license, state ID              
 card, re-registering a vehicle, renewing a driver's license or all            
 of the other kinds of things that people go to the counters for in            
 terms of titling and those issues, it does literally affect most              
 every household and almost every Alaskan at some time within a one-           
 or two-year period."                                                          
 Number 210                                                                    
 COMMISSIONER OTTE reported that over the last 13 or 14 years, 54              
 programs mandated by state and federal government had been added to           
 the basic counter service.  Although the programs were well-                  
 intentioned and many were important, DMV was unable to keep pace              
 with the growing list of responsibilities at the counter.                     
 Commissioner Otte cited examples, including "IM types of things"              
 (emissions inspections) in Anchorage and Fairbanks; voter                   
 registration; and federal mandates regarding commercial driver's              
 licensing and odometer issues that protected approximately $56                
 million in State of Alaska highway construction funds from the                
 federal government.                                                           
 Number 281                                                                    
 COMMISSIONER OTTE continued:  "It is a program also that is                   
 collecting taxes for a variety of communities around the state.               
 And this last session, we did give communities the option of sort             
 of changing those tax rates.  And DMV's in the process of trying to           
 work with each particular tax district in restructuring the                   
 computer system and ... their mail-outs to ... reflect those kinds            
 of tax rates.  They do collect $36 million a year.  Right now, $7             
 [million] of that goes to local communities in the form of property           
 taxes; the other $29 million goes to the general fund, and we put             
 ... a little over $8 million back into the program."                          
 COMMISSIONER OTTE indicated during peak summer periods, which                 
 lasted five to seven weeks, people had to wait to take driving                
 tests.  There was a huge influx of people taking commercial driving           
 tests in order to obtain summer jobs in Alaska.                               
 COMMISSIONER OTTE reported although DMV's workload had increased 20           
 percent over the last five years, staffing had decreased 14                   
 percent.  Alaskans were incredibly frustrated that they could not             
 walk into a DMV office and conduct a simple business transaction in           
 a timely manner.  "I think they're frustrated that they can't pick            
 up the phone and call a DMV office and get a real person because              
 everybody is at the counter," Commissioner Otte stated.  "I think             
 they are equally as frustrated that they see in the business                  
 community and the business world a variety of technology-kinds of             
 solutions that make business transactions very easy between                   
 financial institutions and other entities, but they don't see that            
 technology applied to the kind of business needs that they have               
 with the ... [Division] of Motor Vehicles."                                   
 Number 437                                                                    
 COMMISSIONER OTTE explained, "It is for some of those reasons that            
 I began discussions with Commissioner Boyer about transferring this           
 to an area where these kinds of resources, technologies and thought           
 processes really could be brought to bear to make a difference.               
 It's not that I'm not interested.  It's not that Public Safety                
 historically has not been interested in this problem.  They have              
 been.  But when you have a program like [the Division of] Motor               
 Vehicles within Public Safety, given the challenges that we all               
 face with those various issues, the life/safety issues of Public              
 Safety always, always seem to take first priority over the                    
 management time, over the resources and over any increments that --           
 that come into the department.  Motor vehicle needs compete with              
 other kinds of needs within Public Safety, such as maintaining our            
 criminal history record system, such as our automated fingerprint             
 system.  And there simply are not the personnel within my shop ...            
 to do what I consider `real life safety' data processing issues.              
 And we never seem to get to the motor vehicle issues."                        
 Number 527                                                                    
 COMMISSIONER OTTE continued:  "It's difficult for any commissioner            
 to sit here and tell you, `We don't think that our department or              
 our program is the best place for this to be fixed, because we've             
 not had a very successful at that over the years.'  And maybe                 
 that's why no commissioner has ... sat in front of these committees           
 and said, `We think it's time for a change.'  It is a difficult               
 thing to do.  But I'm convinced if we are going to make a change,             
 we need to do that."                                                          
 COMMISSIONER OTTE referred to suspension of driver's licenses and             
 said, "As you know, in this last budget cycle, we eliminated 13               
 full-time positions from [the Division of] Motor Vehicles, which              
 was 9 percent of their total work force.  We were not able to                 
 continue suspending licenses as of July 1 for financial                       
 responsibility.  The four people doing that program went away from            
 Driver Services.  Right now in that program, it takes 40 days to              
 suspend a driver's license for a DWI conviction.  It takes 90 days            
 for them to suspend a driver's license for the mandatory insurance            
 violation.  And those are up from a window of 12 or 13 days just a            
 few years ago.  Commissioner Otte emphasized that merely adding               
 bodies was not what the legislature or the people of Alaska were              
 looking for as a solution, because that could go on forever.                  
 Number 626                                                                    
 COMMISSIONER OTTE concluded by saying he had talked to Commissioner           
 Boyer, whose plan he commended.  He indicated staff were rolling up           
 their sleeves, ready to take on the project.                                  
 VICE CHAIRMAN BUNDE asked if there were questions.                            
 Number 645                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES said having followed this issue                
 extensively, she understood the frustration.  If there was one kind           
 of complaint legislators received most from constituents, it was              
 those relating to the DMV.  Representative James expressed her                
 desire to hear from Commissioner Boyer as well.  However, she                 
 agreed that adding more employees would not solve the problem.  "We           
 have to go to improved technology," she stated.  "We can't have               
 people spending time on something that's an automatic entry, which            
 many of them are, and then not being able to take care of some of             
 those things that take more time, and not being to have the people            
 Number 697                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES expressed appreciation for Commissioner Otte's           
 recognition of the problem.  She said, "[A]nytime we've talked                
 about doing anything with DMV before, we've always met up with                
 strong opposition from the department to make any rash changes.  So           
 I think we're moving in the right direction and I'm really happy to           
 see that."                                                                    
 VICE CHAIRMAN BUNDE called upon Commissioner Boyer to testify.                
 Number 729                                                                    
 MARK BOYER, Commissioner, Department of Administration, suggested             
 change was sometimes as simple as a new set of eyes looking for a             
 solution.  "And the problems that present themselves in trying to             
 rethink the design and delivery of services to DMV is not an easy             
 task, but it is a design process environment," he said.  "It's                
 largely ministerial.  We charge DMV with being the gate-keeper, the           
 stopper, the cop for a whole bunch of other things.  We've got                
 something that people need to exercise a privilege.  We've got a              
 license or registration that people need to get on the highways, so           
 we use DMV as a tool, the leverage point, to make sure that people            
 are doing a whole host of other things like IMs."                             
 COMMISSIONER BOYER stated, "And to rethink this whole design is               
 really what we're about in the Department of Administration.  We're           
 in the middle of a number of redesign initiatives."  He explained             
 that fundamentally the Department of Administration looked at ways            
 to enhance and enable departments, including their own at times, to           
 function faster, better, more cheaply and with advantage to the               
 customer.  "It is from a customer perspective that I think all of             
 us bring our frustrations to bear on this problem," he added,                 
 relating a personal incident.  He said he was not unlike other DMV            
 customers.  It was 13 miles each way, out and back, to DMV, with a            
 possible wait.  "And it's a two-hour journey to update something,"            
 he stated.  "Now, clearly you can update your address now by                  
 telephone, but you still have other issues that you might want to             
 COMMISSIONER BOYER referred to the competing higher-value issues              
 that Public Safety needed to address.  "We don't have those same              
 competing sets of higher priorities," he advised.  "What we do is             
 enable and look for ways to change business practices.  And so what           
 I can do is bring things to bear that are normal parts of our day.            
 We're either working with some department to deliver ... something            
 better, faster, quicker, easier through a technology fix, so we're            
 using DIS, or we're using the Division of Finance to allow someone            
 to finance something a bit differently or refinance things                    
 differently.  We're using personnel to enable somebody to meet a              
 short-term need where they need a quick turnaround on a                       
 reclassification of a position.  We use those tools on a day-to-day           
 basis, helping people do their businesses better."                            
 Number 962                                                                    
 COMMISSIONER BOYER said improvements would look different, feel               
 different and in fact would be different for the public.  More                
 fundamentally, the public would be provided, in a "quicker                    
 turnaround way," with tools that would fundamentally alter the                
 business transaction environment.  For example, the Division of               
 Finance was working with the Division of Treasury to enable a                 
 point-of-sale transaction to occur with credit cards at DMVs,                 
 aboard ferries, and at Department of Fish and Game counters, much             
 as credit card transactions occurred in retail establishments.                
 COMMISSIONER BOYER explained using credit cards at the DMV would              
 result in faster moving lines and would be cheaper for the DMV.               
 Cash was expensive to handle.  "But more fundamentally yet is that            
 once we've moved that financial environment to this credit card               
 acceptance environment, we can move into the interactive voice                
 response environment, we can move to an Internet interface                    
 environment, a real transaction-based environment," he said,                  
 emphasizing that these opportunities were real and available.                 
 Number 1083                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER BOYER stated, "I would expect that by using the credit           
 card acceptance, itself a benefit, and the two other environments             
 that we can roll into ... by ... the ... early summer, we can                 
 affect the people who go there and wait in line by 3 to 10 percent            
 would be my guess."                                                           
 COMMISSIONER BOYER indicated the Department of Administration would           
 focus on partnerships with people, including automobile dealers,              
 who had major stakes in transactions.  The department was rolling             
 out a pilot program with an automobile dealer in Fairbanks and one            
 in Anchorage to allow completion of the entire transaction at the             
 time of sale, including titling, registration and license plates.             
 It would be much like closing deals on houses.                                
 COMMISSIONER BOYER said that was not the case today with DMV,                 
 brokers and sales of new automobiles.  "It takes as much as eight             
 weeks now for that transaction to be completed," he said.  "We will           
 make it transparent to the customer.  When you get your keys, you             
 don't know what happens in the background, when the dealer takes              
 the paperwork to DMV.  You don't know why it takes you two weeks to           
 get your metal plates.  But the dealer certainly knows because the            
 transaction, until it's completed with the exchange of tags and all           
 those other papers, ... the dealer doesn't get the money.  So the             
 dealer is a vested stakeholder in our improvements."                          
 COMMISSIONER BOYER advised that as a group, automobile dealers                
 supported the change and were eagerly involved in the roll-out of             
 the pilot project.  There also would be a broader application to              
 dealers across the state in August or September.  "What we have               
 done, then, is enhanced their satisfaction level," he added.                  
 Number 1190                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER BOYER emphasized the potential for increased customer            
 satisfaction.  "It'll be done in a backdrop of noncompetition with            
 other vital, higher priority initiatives of the state," he said.              
 "It will also allow us to liberate people who are doing lower-value           
 work."  Clearly, the public did not want to pay for inefficiency              
 and excess paperwork, which existed today.  By eliminating lower-             
 level, lower-value work for some employees, those at the counter              
 could perform more important work on complex titling issues, state            
 jurisdictional issues or other problems requiring a real person and           
 taking more than three to five minutes to handle.                             
 Number 1250                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER BOYER cited an example of new eyes looking at a                  
 situation.  "Across the street, on the eighth floor of the State              
 Office Building, we opened, in a very slow, quiet way, on Monday,             
 something we are calling `Express DMV,'" he explained.  One                   
 employee had been moved, at no cost, and set up on the same                   
 mainframe computer system she had been using.  Express DMV handled            
 simple transactions such as vehicle registration renewals, driver's           
 license renewals, and renewals and original issues of state                   
 identification cards.                                                         
 COMMISSIONER BOYER revealed, "We're going to kind of unveil this in           
 a more public way on Friday. ... We want the general public to get            
 the message, after we've worked out, through three or four days,              
 the kinks in that process, that there are thousands of employees              
 working for lots of people in downtown Juneau who can walk there in           
 two or three minutes, come in and transact business in three to               
 five minutes in this environment, and take the rest of the 45                 
 minutes left for their lunch and not take any time out of the                 
 employer for something that's inefficient, the drive back and forth           
 all by itself and the wait in line."                                          
 Number 1386                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER BOYER believed this translated into real dollars.  "I            
 had 12 people today who went downstairs and had their state IDs               
 made, the photograph taken there, in less than ten minutes, when              
 they were all going to consume about two hours driving out, driving           
 back and the wait in line.  And they were tickled," he stated.                
 "And they're people who I've got focused on change. ... Not any               
 administration had thought about it.  Simple.  New set of eyes.               
 Change.  And that's what we're all about in the Department of                 
 Administration, and that's why I have a high degree ... of                    
 confidence that we could be successful here."                                 
 Number 1412                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES indicated she had other, peripheral concerns.            
 Various agencies were not necessarily "plugged in" to related                 
 agencies.  "And that's a concern of mine, particularly as the need            
 for the information that you have from this process for the                   
 Department of Public Safety, the licenses, suspensions of licenses,           
 all those things, that would be on the record," she stated.  "And             
 my concern is, when we go into using this technology, will you have           
 a system that can be read by either?  You know, one of the things             
 ... I've said is we should have a seamless government instead of              
 these ... little groups ... of things working by themselves.  Could           
 you respond as to how you would hope to address those concerns?"              
 Number 1470                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER BOYER replied, "We are going to make it absolutely               
 seamless in that respect. ... You have to run essentially two                 
 systems for a short, short period of time.  But you design your               
 outcome, and the outcome is it needs to feed his interests, his               
 officers who need the information when they need it, as they pull             
 up behind a vehicle or whenever they need that.  It could be a                
 life-threatening situation.  When they need it, they need it.  And            
 it ought to be seamless to the officer wherever that occurs, and it           
 is literally a design problem."                                               
 COMMISSIONER BOYER continued:  "We let this system churn, that we             
 don't think is very efficient right now, and that is data being               
 processed.  And in the meantime, ... [m]aybe it takes six weeks to            
 design a system that will enable us to ... work in a different                
 environment with regard to data processing and processing of those            
 transactions and feed, by design, the information is into his                 
 system, the APSIN system, seamlessly."                                        
 COMMISSIONER BOYER maintained there would be no disruption.  It               
 would be seamless, accomplished concurrently instead of                       
 sequentially.  That technique was used frequently in the telephone            
 business, for instance, when switching over to a new system.  There           
 would be no down time.  The public would not be affected, nor would           
 a person doing business have problems because of it.  Commissioner            
 Boyer pointed out his own familiarity with the process and with               
 planning for those "cut-overs."  He concluded, "So it's that kind             
 of thing we'll plan for."                                                     
 Number 1550                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES indicated she would follow up on that issue,             
 then said, "The other of this that's distressing, maybe, to me ...            
 is enforcement issues where there is the suspension of licenses and           
 for DWIs and all those other kinds of things.  And is that                    
 something that would be done, then, by ... the Department of                  
 Administration, or would that be something that would continue to             
 be done by the Public Safety, or ... how does that fit into this              
 whole picture?"                                                               
 Number 1567                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER OTTE responded, "The Driver Services is one of the               
 components of [the Division of] Motor Vehicles, and that would                
 follow the transfer right along with the other services ... that              
 the division provides.  Nita Hensley's shop would continue to do              
 those kinds of things, the suspensions, the reinstatements, being             
 driven by a variety of actions, whether it's child support issues,            
 whether it's points or what it is.  But those will follow DMV                 
 because they are so -- we took a look at that, if it made any sense           
 to try to separate those out, and they are so connected that it               
 would create just some fairly significant problems to do that.                
 From my perspective, it's not at all problematic.  What I hope that           
 eventually comes out of that, frankly, is the ability to complete             
 all the tasks that are mandated by law within Driver Services,                
 either a) do them all and b) make sure that they're done in a more            
 timely manner.  And some of the things that Commissioner Boyer is             
 talking about in terms of technology and reducing paper flow is               
 going to be applied to the whole Driver Services portion of this              
 Number 1629                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES explained, "What I'm struggling with in this             
 issue of enforcement is that we have people who are in the                    
 Department of Public Safety, where it seems to me enforcement ought           
 to be. ... You say it's going to be the same people, they're just             
 going to move over and work for the Department of Administration.             
 It's really a struggle for me to understand that the Department of            
 Administration, ... as a[n] umbrella here, would be involved in               
 enforcement.  So if there's no problem with that, I guess, and it's           
 only my problem, it's not a problem.  But it just seems that the              
 public would expect those issues to be done by the Department of              
 Public Safety instead of the Department of Administration."                   
 Number 1665                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER OTTE responded that in many jurisdictions around the             
 country, those kinds of functions were not necessarily placed with            
 a law enforcement agency. Although traditionally thought of in                
 terms of enforcement, they were administrative actions based on               
 some other instant or issue that had taken place, such as through             
 the courts.  "So yes, I guess we can apply the enforcement kind of            
 terminology to it, but it really is an administrative action as a             
 result of some other activity," he explained.                                 
 COMMISSIONER OTTE continued:  "Please be assured that it is a                 
 function of [the Division of] Motor Vehicles that is absolutely               
 critical.  And I'm not interested in seeing any degradation of the            
 service.  I've had many, many discussions with Commissioner Boyer.            
 Both of the issues you've raised in terms of technology interface             
 and Nita Hensley's operation are things that I feel very strongly             
 about.  And if I thought for a moment it was going to change, why,            
 we would continue to have those discussions."                                 
 Number 1716                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER responded, "While I'm not, I guess,               
 perhaps, looking forward to Nita losing her badge, just for the               
 information of the committee, there has been a development over the           
 last 30 years of trying to `civilianize,' if you will, functions              
 that found their way into law enforcement and put them in the                 
 proper environment, so that law enforcement can deal with law                 
 enforcement and utilize the training and backgrounds that are                 
 required for these kinds of positions in those pursuits, as opposed           
 to administrative types of pursuits or pursuits that can be done in           
 a more efficient manner.  So I would see this move not as a                   
 degradation.  And certainly, as all agencies within this state,               
 there will be a certain amount of required cooperation because the            
 functions do interrelate.  But to be able to let the Troopers                 
 provide enforcement, and let the DMV provide the manipulation of              
 that particular set of regulations and administrative functions, is           
 pretty consistent with, I think, what efficiency requires."                   
 Number 1783                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG asked why the Department of                    
 Administration had been chosen, rather than the Department of                 
 Revenue, the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, or           
 another agency.                                                               
 Number 1801                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER BOYER replied it was difficult to get two people to              
 see eye-to-eye.  With 14 commissioners, it was tough to reach                 
 agreement on something like this.  "It's a big move in state                  
 government to move ... 150 people, 8 million dollars' worth of                
 resources, and to have people agreeing amicably to make it seamless           
 for themselves and seamless to the public," Commissioner Boyer                
 explained.  "It's tough to do.  We'll see.  We think ... it's going           
 perfectly well now."                                                          
 COMMISSIONER BOYER indicated that was one part of the problem.                
 "The other is that I was a willing supplicant, I guess," he said.             
 "You know, I was willing to take on the challenge."  He believed              
 the Department of Administration was the place that administrative,           
 ministerial process work ought to be done.  In large part, he was             
 a proponent of centralized ways of doing business.  For one thing,            
 he believed economies of scale presented themselves by centralizing           
 services.  Commissioner Boyer said the Department of Administration           
 fundamentally existed to have a centralized view, approach, way to            
 procurement, way of looking at information services and way of                
 handling State of Alaska employment.                                          
 Number 1859                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER BOYER suggested many centralized functions were                  
 dysfunctional today in the Department of Administration because of            
 lack of attention.  The previous administration had refocused their           
 thinking on centralized delivery.  "And so we're committed to                 
 looking at those centralized functions again ... and seeing where             
 they make sense to stabilize, to improve, to modernize,"                      
 Commissioner Boyer explained.                                                 
 COMMISSIONER BOYER continued:  "Those areas where it doesn't make             
 sense to centralize, we're not ... interested in doing that.  But             
 where we can find economies of scale and real efficiencies, and               
 change those ... delivery systems, whether or not they're in                  
 procurement -- which the body helped us with last year, made the              
 first attempt at some major changes in procurement -- whether or              
 not it's bringing a good business sense to acquiring real estate,             
 either for lease or for purchase, where we can make ... changes               
 with the tools that you provide us, whether or not we can do that             
 is always a challenge.  But we think that this is the right                   
 department.  And, frankly, no one else was interested in taking it            
 on.  Treasury's function or Revenue's function, their key role is             
 not administrative, ministerial process work."                                
 COMMISSIONER OTTE commented, "I think Revenue sent it over to                 
 Public Safety about 20 years ago."                                            
 Number 1921                                                                   
 VICE CHAIRMAN BUNDE acknowledged Representative Green's arrival and           
 turned the gavel over to him.                                                 
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG referred to page 9, lines 8 - 10, of EO 99            
 and noted there were deletions.  He said, "Reading out of this                
 section, which is Section 24 of the EO here, this provides the                
 commissioner of Public Safety to do certain things. ... If you look           
 at Section 23 above, it provides for both departments to make                 
 applicable regulations.  But here, I'm curious, number one, about             
 ... the activities relating to the commercial motor vehicles."                
 Representative Rokeberg suggested there were substantive changes              
 but a lack of clarity.  He asked, "Are you leaving commercial motor           
 vehicle licensing somewhere, or basically, could you explain ...              
 the intent here ... and is there anything substantive in this?"               
 Number 1996                                                                   
 JUANITA HENSLEY, Chief, Driver Services, Division of Motor                    
 Vehicles, Department of Public Safety, replied, "Page 9, actually             
 Section 24, basically gives the duty of the commissioner of Public            
 Safety the authority to adopt regulations that deal with the                  
 commercial program and all of the other requirements that are                 
 duties, like the rules, the road requirements of Alaska State                 
 Troopers, things of this nature.  Number 9 takes out the provisions           
 ... and if you look at number 4, 5, 8 and on line 22, the                     
 provisions of driver's licensing would be the authority of the                
 Department of Administration.  The rest of it would stay within the           
 Department of Public Safety, meaning the rules of road, where-the-            
 rubber-meets-the-asphalt-type programs, traffic-enforcement-type              
 programs, the commercial-vehicle-and-its-safety-inspection-type               
 programs and ... those of that nature."                                       
 Number 2040                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG responded, "So the DMV will still maintain            
 responsibility for licensure of motor vehicles.  Is that correct?"            
 MS. HENSLEY agreed that was correct.                                          
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG commented it was a "housekeeping thing."              
 He asked, "Is the Department of Administration going to have to               
 promulgate regulations to take over this, ... because you're taking           
 away some statutory authority here, apparently?  Or what are you              
 going to do about that?"                                                      
 Number 2058                                                                   
 MS. HENSLEY replied there were existing regulations in Title 13               
 that would just be transferred to the Department of Administration.           
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG declared there were no substantive changes,           
 then.  He referred to Section 77, page 27 of EO 99, and said, "It             
 says that the contracts, rights, liabilities and obligations                  
 created by or entered into will ... remain in effect.  I believe              
 that the DMV has the leasehold obligations with the private                   
 landlords, and as a point of `nit-pick,' ... you should say                   
 `leases' there, 'cause they're not contracts.  They are                       
 obligations...."  Representative Rokeberg asked, "For the record,             
 ... you mean leases, is that right?"                                          
 Number 2101                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER BOYER replied, "It's an inclusive term, and in fact I            
 would probably guess that most of the leases we and the DOA already           
 hold, there are some, I think, that DMV ... has initiated, but we             
 own most of those pieces of paper in any event."                              
 Number 2112                                                                   
 MS. HENSLEY added, "This is also talking about the contracts that             
 we have negotiated with, like the IM vendors that are doing the ...           
 titling or registration for us, the contracts that we've negotiated           
 through the licensing or the testing contractors that we have that            
 administer commercial driver license testing for us.  Those would             
 continue (indisc.--coughing)."                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said his point was that leasehold                     
 agreements are not contracts.                                                 
 Number 2134                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE stated, "Commissioner Otte had mentioned that            
 as it exists now, their main job, of course, is getting the bad               
 guy, and so as money comes in, DMV does not get its fair                      
 allocation, or it's kind of a step-child or whatever."  He asked,             
 "Commissioner Boyer, as you assume these duties, will there be,               
 then, some reallocation of resources required in the Department of            
 Administration?  Because we're not getting where we want to be.  A            
 10 percent increase would be welcomed, of course, but I think we'd            
 want to go more than that, and so what departments in your area               
 would have to then become less important?"                                    
 Number 2175                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER BOYER said that was an interesting question.  "We have           
 agreed to the change -- I've made this point at every committee --            
 with the understanding that the legislature can change the playing            
 field," he explained.  "The playing field I would hope you would              
 embrace is one that has status quo funding for the Division of                
 Motor Vehicles, and that is about $2.9 million worth of pure                  
 general fund appropriations and then about 5.1 [million] and change           
 in general fund program receipts and a few dollars in ...                     
 interagency receipts or transfers.  If we have a level playing                
 field for this year, I don't have to cannibalize something                    
 COMMISSIONER BOYER emphasized how lean the budget was.  "And we               
 have about $11 million is all in centralized admin[istrative]                 
 services," he stated, "The rest is a huge amount of money for                 
 grants through the Longevity Bonus Program -- you ... wouldn't want           
 to allocate the Longevity Bonus grant monies, probably, to anybody            
 including the DMV.  Pioneer Homes.  There's not a lot of places               
 that are discretionary for us.  So we are already lean to the point           
 that we wouldn't bring any new resource."                                     
 COMMISSIONER BOYER continued, "But I'm convinced that ... in an $8            
 million environment, that ... I can bring economies of scale                  
 through purchasing, through staffing, through finance, through                
 information services, because I own those tools.  I can use those             
 tools more aggressively, in an unimpeded way.  For Ron [Otte] to              
 access that toolbox now is a cumbersome thing for him to do.  His             
 department has to ... wind its way through the bureaucracy.  I own            
 those tools.  I can leverage them and use them to make economies.             
 If you leave the money alone, and I know that's a Finance Committee           
 decision, but ... if I'm given that $8.1 million, I can make this             
 work.  And in 18 months or less, if you don't believe it, you have            
 your go at it again.  But I'm convinced that if I have that pool of           
 resources, and I don't move a nickel out of DMV, we can make it               
 Number 2270                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said, "You'd mentioned the point of sale for             
 dealers issuing tags.  It seems like a logical idea.  Would this,             
 then, allow those people access to [the] DMV computer network?                
 Would they log on, basically?"                                                
 Number 2279                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER BOYER replied no.  "We're initiating a new design of             
 a separate database system that will provide all the information              
 that Public Safety needs to assure the safety of officers in the              
 field and other needs that they have, but allow us to spin, I                 
 think, quicker," he stated.  "In a different database environment,            
 we think we can have quicker turnarounds, frankly, and the                    
 integrity of their ... confidential information is not harmed or              
 jeopardized by ... any means.  We want to make sure there's a clear           
 separation of any of those items."                                            
 Number 2309                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said, "As the dealer does this, ... I'm sure             
 they will incur some cost.  And you've mentioned, there, the pilot            
 program of using the credit card and the `swipe' environment, which           
 again is logical, but then there's a cost to that too, I think.               
 And retail outlets ... are charged back 6 percent or something like           
 that from the credit card company.  What happens to the state?  ...           
 I mean, is there ... some percentage that the state has to eat to             
 use this system?  And have you talked to dealers about what -- now            
 they get $100 for a secretary taking five minutes to write out a              
 title.  How much more are they going to get to issue the tags or              
 the plates?"                                                                  
 Number 2340                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER BOYER replied, "The point-of-sale transaction ...                
 that's enabled by credit card acceptance won't affect the dealer in           
 any way.  We're not suggesting that you go in and buy a $35,000               
 pickup truck ... using your credit card.  That's not the intent and           
 that won't be the financing technique."                                       
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said, "Excuse me, I think I've probably                  
 confused you, and I've asked two questions in combination.  One is,           
 you can purchase your tags with a credit card.                                
 COMMISSIONER BOYER replied, "Right."                                          
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE observed there was overhead involved in the              
 use of the credit card.  He asked how that would affect the state.            
 He further asked how much dealers would charge the state for                  
 issuing plates.                                                               
 Number 2366                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER BOYER replied it was not intended that the dealer                
 would charge any fee for that kind of transaction.  "The fee that             
 you pay to use a card is something that the purchaser pays, and               
 that won't be changed in this environment," he asserted.  "So when            
 you use your credit card, you're paying some premium already. ...             
 There are discount fees built into that transaction environment.              
 So we don't shift it to the person you're doing transactions with.            
 ... You don't go to ... a fish tackle place in Anchorage now and              
 buy a Fish and Game license using your credit card and the vendor             
 pay something.  We pay the vendor a buck, I think, ... to do the              
 Number 2394                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE cited the example of going to a restaurant for           
 dinner.  If the restaurant accepted the credit card, the credit               
 company charged the restaurant a percentage.  Representative Bunde            
 asked, "And would they not charge the state a percentage for using            
 COMMISSIONER BOYER replied that was a different question.  "And               
 that answer is yes," he said.  "I mean, we're going to pay the                
 state at DMV, for instance, whether or not it's in a box, on the              
 Internet or at the counter, we're going to pay some discount fee.             
 ... It will be hard to detect at first, but the costs of that                 
 transaction, to handle cash or checks now, is more expensive than             
 the fees that we will be charged by the credit card company to                
 process the electronic commerce.  It's in the neighborhood of,                
 let's say, about ... 1.75, certainly under 2 percentage points, to            
 process the credit card transaction.  We hope it's actually                   
 somewhere closer to 1.4 or [1.]5. ... The cost of handling cash is            
 about 3.5.  The price of handling checks is about 3.03.  The                  
 transaction will be cheaper in a credit card environment for the              
 state than the other two alternatives right now."                             
 Number 2444                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked, "To accomplish this, ... what kind of             
 new hard equipment are you going to need?  ... What kind of new               
 technology are we looking at in new computers and that sort of                
 COMMISSIONER BOYER said the great thing about the Internet was the            
 Department of Administration did not have to buy anything for the             
 world to access its home page and conduct a transaction.  However,            
 the department did have to build that transaction page, for which           
 they had a "Web Master."                                                    
 TAPE 97-9, SIDE B                                                             
 Number 006                                                                    
 COMMISSIONER BOYER referred to bringing the driver's manual on-               
 line.  The next big project for the person who was the "Web Master"           
 was to "design the interactive transaction environment for the                
 Internet transaction that's enabled by being able to use a credit             
 card number in a secure transaction environment," he said.  "So               
 that's part of what I do bring ... to play here that doesn't cost             
 DMV anything nor the public."                                                 
 COMMISSIONER BOYER continued:  "Where we are looking at perhaps a             
 hardware application, though, is in the interactive voice response            
 environment.  And the legislature has provided, in the budget, the            
 ability for a, essentially, I call it a `net-back,' although the              
 technical people will call it something else.  It's a net-back                
 environment where you partner with someone who in this case owns              
 the box.  They own the interactive voice response machine.  And               
 let's say they're a banking institution.  It's what I use in my               
 normal course of business.  It could just as easily be their ATM              
 machines, though.  But in this case, it's a black box that somebody           
 dials in with a 1-800 number, so we'll have to pay for 1-800                  
 connection.  They go into the black box, and the black box ...              
 says, you know, option A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and you take the                  
 option.  And in that environment, you probably don't want to see              
 ... or touch a human being anyway, 'cause they're going to foul up            
 your time."  In three minutes, a title could be renewed, seven days           
 a week, 24 hours a day, from anywhere.                                      
 COMMISSIONER BOYER pointed out the department would not own the               
 box, nor did they believe the legislature wanted them to.  There              
 was no need to own the infrastructure because it was impossible to            
 keep up with technology shifts.  "We're going to pay somebody a               
 fraction of some percent to transact business on their box," he               
 COMMISSIONER BOYER did not anticipate additional hardware or                  
 software costs in those arenas.  "We're going to be partnering, in            
 a very real way, with a banking institution would be my guess, and            
 we've been talking to them, with dealers, clearly, and we've been             
 talking to them and they're very excited and eager," he said.  "So            
 ... that's why we've not proposed a capital budget.  You've given             
 us some tools.  We want to leverage the tools to the maximum here."           
 Number 101                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES responded, "Commissioner Boyer, not to burst             
 your bubble on this looking at things with new eyes, but I think              
 there is an opportunity when you're at the right place at the right           
 time."  She recounted how when she joined the legislature in 1993,            
 excited about available technology, she had sent a survey to the              
 legislature but received a small response indicating limited                  
 interest in use of computers.  "Things have moved a long ways in            
 four years," she observed.                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES expressed excitement about existing                      
 opportunities.  "And you've confirmed some of the ideas that I've             
 had, that even when we're talking about investing in hardware and             
 software in the computer industry, ... we ought to be partnering              
 with somebody, because we can't possibly invest and keep up," she             
 said.  "We would be buying and throwing out ... or else we'd be               
 using outdated equipment such as the Department of Public Safety              
 now has with their fingerprinting equipment, which needs to be                
 replaced and can't even be repaired anymore.  So I think that we're           
 looking at something that's ... a real major step, and I'm excited            
 to see you bringing these in."                                                
 Number 163                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES acknowledged her own interest in regulations.            
 "And you may be well aware that I was proposing legislation that              
 would have made a centralized place in government to promulgate               
 regulations, so that we don't have these little fiefdoms out there            
 doing their little thing," she stated.  "And it could be                      
 coordinated to make a lot more sense.  And I had suggested that it            
 go in the Department of Administration.  So when you get your belt            
 around all of these DMV things and have it all perfected, would you           
 please think about that and see what your potential would be in               
 that area?"                                                                   
 Number 188                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER commented, "While I too look forward to some            
 of these changes creating better efficiencies, it's not to say that           
 everything that DMV was doing is necessarily bad.  One of the                 
 things that they, I think, were out-front on, in front of many                
 agencies of this state, was privatization.  They have taken great             
 steps in that area, and I would like to think that that can                   
 continue serving that mission that you're indicating."                        
 Number 213                                                                    
 COMMISSIONER BOYER agreed less needed to be fixed than was                    
 suggested by the clamor.  "But it's that clamor, that extra 10, 15,           
 20 percent of improvement, that will be dynamic to the public," he            
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE expressed amazement at the amount of time                
 required to take a driver's test.  "But how will all this whistles            
 and bells of paperwork speed up -- I mean, that's a hands-on sort             
 of thing, and ... we can't do that through a black box and calling            
 in," he said.                                                                 
 Number 238                                                                    
 COMMISSIONER BOYER indicated Ms. Hensley could respond.  He                   
 commented, "And this is one where it's serendipity that allows me             
 to take credit for something that they've been focused on.  But               
 it's more of the private sector, privatization -- `partneringship'            
 really, though, is a better way to ... characterize what they're              
 already doing.  And we hope to enhance it and speed that process              
 Number 261                                                                    
 MS. HENSLEY responded, "The division is already currently                     
 contracting with one vocational school in the state to administer             
 our commercial driver license testing for us.  They have so far               
 issued around 200 tests, and they just started in October.  That is           
 actually a relief for our CDL examiners because we're able to bring           
 those individuals back and put them back on the counter or actually           
 administer regular basic skills testing for them."                            
 MS. HENSLEY continued, "We are currently in the process of                    
 expanding that program to basic driver training schools throughout            
 the state, so that they can test the people that they are training            
 for us, and that will actually, again, relieve some of the time               
 that it takes the examiners to be out there on the road examining,            
 so they can be there behind the counter, helping those individuals            
 that need to be there for the difficult title transactions and                
 things of this nature."  Ms. Hensley noted several areas were being           
 looked at, such as dealer titling, which would help the department            
 and the public.                                                               
 Number 310                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN JOE GREEN stated, "I don't know whether you've answered              
 this already, and I apologize for being late.  But AS 28.20.270,              
 the -- I guess that's a ... suspension of a driver's license for              
 debts that they may owe.  I understand currently ... that's a                 
 problem because of funding.  And will this efficiency, all these              
 things that we're hearing now, allow you to perhaps re-energize               
 that process?"                                                                
 COMMISSIONER BOYER indicated Ms. Hensley could answer that.  "But             
 I could preface it by saying that that's part of the deal walking             
 in the door, is that only with the status quo budget for a period             
 of time will we be able to, one, get the efficiencies up and going,           
 but then, more importantly is reallocate resources that are either            
 conducting driver's tests today or at the counter today.  But now             
 getting to the issue that you're ... speaking of.  It's only                  
 through that that we'll be able to reallocate the resources to                
 those couple of areas that ... we're not doing because of lack of             
 resources. ... The changes here don't necessarily mean less money             
 to DMV, but by prioritizing bodies and reallocating resources, ...            
 once you gain some of the efficiencies, you'll get a full array of            
 services that we're not currently providing."                                 
 Number 368                                                                    
 MS. HENSLEY, speaking to Chairman Green, added, "You have a                   
 particular bill that you have introduced that will also enhance the           
 program and that will allow us to hopefully reinstate that program            
 that was cut because of budget reductions last year. ... [I]n our             
 budget document last year, DMV deleted 13 positions.  Four of those           
 were from the Driver Services unit that actually did the processing           
 of the financial responsibility suspensions.  And that basically              
 compensated victims for the loss of their motor vehicle --                    
 uninsured motor vehicle accident."                                          
 MS. HENSLEY concluded, "Providing ... that your bill that you have            
 passes this year, along with some of the other initiatives that we            
 have planned, we hope that it would (indisc.) an enabling tool that           
 will allow us to reinstate this program, that's still on the laws,            
 that will allow us to go through and do this program."                        
 Number 408                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES believed service to the public was the primary           
 responsibility.  With the public's needs met, they would be happier           
 and the legislature would receive less complaints.  In the long               
 run, reduction in costs to provide these services would be likely.            
 However, service to the public should be "fixed" first.                       
 Number 436                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked Commissioner Otte how many people                  
 actually registered to vote via the DMV.  He further asked, "Would            
 you please - and you have to do this about once every two years -             
 send a note to all the police departments in the state of Alaska              
 that legislative tags are issued to the legislator and they are               
 found on various vehicles, and they should not detain our wives and           
 husbands for hours at lunch while they're trying to figure this               
 COMMISSIONER OTTE replied, "Yes, that is a good point. ... I've               
 heard a couple of recent problematic stories about that, and we               
 certainly can do that."                                                       
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if there were further questions.  He then                
 asked the wish of the committee.                                              
 Number 490                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER made a motion to move EO 99 from committee              
 with individual recommendations.                                            
 Number 497                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if there were objections.  Hearing none, he              
 advised that EO 99 was moved from the House Judiciary Committee.              
 HB 91 - EXTEND BOARD OF PAROLE                                              
 Number 515                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN GREEN announced the next order of business was House Bill            
 No. 91, "An Act extending the termination date of the Board of                
 Parole; and providing for an effective date."  He invited                     
 Representative Porter to present the bill.                                    
 Number 519                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER, sponsor of HB 91, explained, "This bill                
 extends the existing parole board for four years.  I think it                 
 probably does not have to be articulated extensively what would               
 happen if we didn't extend the parole board.  People otherwise                
 eligible for discretionary parole would not get out, and our                  
 Corrections problems would be further exacerbated, and those on               
 mandatory parole would walk without any conditions, which isn't a             
 very healthy thing, either."                                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated, "The only difference between the bill           
 and the recommendation of the legislative audit report is the time.           
 And they recommended a longer time.  I wish we could make it the              
 longer time.  This going through this every four years seems a                
 little bit silly, but it is a statutory requirement that it can               
 only be extended for four years at a time."  Representative Porter            
 noted that Bill Parker, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of              
 Corrections, was available to answer questions.                               
 Number 586                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ETHAN BERKOWITZ said, "I'd just note the optimism of           
 putting a zero fiscal note on this in the expectation that we                 
 probably won't have more criminals coursing through the system."              
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE advised there was a substantial fiscal note.             
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ acknowledged he should have said                     
 Number 614                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ERIC CROFT said he was curious why the time was four           
 years.  He inquired whether the enabling statute had ever been                
 looked at in terms of change.  He commented, "It did seem silly               
 that we couldn't at least go the additional two [years] that the              
 audit report recommended."                                                    
 Number 621                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER responded, "I guess it's a balance of the               
 theory of not binding future legislatures and having the                      
 opportunity to ask questions if issues do come up about programs in           
 a timely fashion.  There's a balance between one and the other, and           
 four years seems to be statutorily what everybody arrived at for              
 just about everything."                                                       
 CHAIRMAN GREEN commented it was a point well-made.  He asked Donna            
 White, Acting Executive Director of the Board of Parole, if she               
 wished to testify; Ms. White indicated she would answer questions.            
 Number 645                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said, "Maybe it's because I'm as old as I am             
 that I see great changes happening from year to year to year to               
 year.  And when you put in something in place, and you don't change           
 it until you get here, you have a bigger change to address.  And              
 so, if there's something that comes up in the system, or new modern           
 methods or new things, because we live in a changing world, that if           
 you make it too long, you close the door to looking at and making             
 those changes. ... It would be really nice if we had time to just             
 look at everything every year, but we don't.  So every four years             
 to take a look at it is certainly wise.  But we certainly need to             
 have an open mind, because there may be a better way of doing                 
 business than this.  We never know until we get there from here."             
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said Representative James's comments                 
 seemed more the product of wisdom than age.                                   
 CHAIRMAN GREEN noted although Margot Knuth from the Department of             
 Corrections had signed up to testify, she had left.  Bill Parker,             
 Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Corrections, and Donna               
 White, Acting Director of the Board of Parole, were present to                
 answer questions.  Chairman Green asked if there were questions;              
 there were none.                                                              
 Number 717                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made a motion that HB 91 move from committee             
 with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal note.             
 Number 727                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if there was any objection.  There being none,           
 HB 91 moved from the House Judiciary Committee.                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN advised that, unfortunately, HB 22 was not yet                 
 Number 733                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN GREEN adjourned the House Judiciary Committee meeting at             
 3:26 p.m.                                                                     

Document Name Date/Time Subjects