Legislature(1997 - 1998)

04/30/1997 01:36 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                             
                          April 30, 1997                                       
                             1:36 p.m.                                         
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Representative Joe Green, Chairman                                            
 Representative Con Bunde, Vice Chairman                                       
 Representative Brian Porter                                                   
 Representative Norman Rokeberg                                                
 Representative Jeannette James                                                
 Representative Eric Croft                                                     
 Representative Ethan Berkowitz                                                
                                                                               
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
                                                                               
 All members present                                                           
                                                                               
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
                                                                               
 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 2                                                  
 Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska             
 relating to repeal of regulations by the legislature.                         
                                                                               
      - MOVED CSHJR 2(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                    
                                                                               
 * HOUSE BILL NO. 231                                                          
 "An Act relating to regulation of snowmobiles."                               
                                                                               
      - HEARD AND HELD                                                         
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 245                                                            
 "An Act relating to minimum sentences for assault in the fourth               
 degree that is a crime involving domestic violence; providing that            
 a prisoner may not contact the victim of the offense when provided            
 access to a telephone or otherwise immediately after an arrest; and           
 amending Rule 5(b), Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure."                      
                                                                               
      - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                
                                                                               
 CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 39(JUD)                                                
 "An Act relating to hazardous chemicals, hazardous materials, and             
 hazardous waste."                                                             
                                                                               
      - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                
                                                                               
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
                                                                               
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
                                                                               
 BILL:  HJR 2                                                                  
 SHORT TITLE: REPEAL OF REGULATIONS BY LEGISLATURE                             
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) ROKEBERG, JAMES, Kohring                        
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG                 ACTION                                   
 01/13/97        22    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED 1/3/97                           
 01/13/97        22    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/13/97        22    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY, FINANCE                 
 03/06/97              (H)   STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                        
 03/06/97              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 03/07/97       579    (H)   STA RPT  3DP 1NR                                  
 03/07/97       579    (H)   DP: JAMES, HODGINS, VEZEY                         
 03/07/97       579    (H)   NR: IVAN                                          
 03/07/97       579    (H)   FISCAL NOTE (GOV)                                 
 04/01/97       901    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): KOHRING                             
 04/30/97              (H)   JUD AT 1:30 PM CAPITOL 120                        
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 231                                                                 
 SHORT TITLE: REGULATION OF SNOWMOBILES                                        
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MASEK                                           
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG                 ACTION                                   
 04/04/97       990    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 04/04/97       990    (H)   JUDICIARY                                         
 04/30/97              (H)   JUD AT 1:30 PM CAPITOL 120                        
                                                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
                                                                               
 JAMES BALDWIN, Assistant Attorney General                                     
 Governmental Affairs Section                                                  
 Civil Division (Juneau)                                                       
 Department of Law                                                             
 P.O. Box 110300                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0300                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3600                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified regarding Administration's                     
                      opposition to HJR 2.                                     
                                                                               
 PAMELA LaBOLLE, President                                                     
 Alaska State Chamber of Commerce                                              
 217 2nd Street, Suite 201                                                     
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 586-2323                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HJR 2.                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BEVERLY MASEK                                                  
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 432                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2679                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HB 231.                                       
                                                                               
 JUANITA HENSLEY, Chief                                                        
 Driver Services                                                               
 Division of Motor Vehicles                                                    
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 P.O. Box 20020                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0020                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided department's position and answered              
                      questions regarding HB 231.                              
                                                                               
 EDDIE GRASSER, Legislative Assistant                                          
    to Representative Beverly Masek                                            
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 432                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2679                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding HB 231.                     
                                                                               
 JIM STRATTON, Director                                                        
 Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation                                      
 Department of Natural Resources                                               
 3601 C Street, Suite 1200                                                     
 Anchorage, Alaska  99503-5921                                                 
 Telephone:  (907) 269-8700                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided department's position and answered              
                      questions regarding HB 231.                              
                                                                               
 KEVIN DAVIS, General Manager                                                  
 Arctic Recreational Distributors                                              
 3074 Commercial Drive                                                         
 Anchorage, Alaska  99501                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 272-5351                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified regarding HB 231.                              
                                                                               
 BOB KOWALKE                                                                   
 Yamaha Motor Corporation USA                                                  
 10720 Hillside Drive                                                          
 Anchorage, Alaska  99516                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 346-3545                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified regarding HB 231.                              
                                                                               
 TOM HEATKE, District Sales Manager                                            
 Polaris Industries                                                            
 P.O. Box 871221                                                               
 Wasilla, Alaska  99687                                                        
 Telephone:  (907) 376-7644                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified regarding HB 231.                              
                                                                               
 JANA LITTLEWOOD                                                               
 Alaska State Snowmobile Association                                           
 414 East 23rd                                                                 
 Anchorage, Alaska  99503                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 272-7453                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 231.                          
                                                                               
 TIM BORGSTROM, Special Projects Director                                      
 Anchorage Economic Development Corporation                                    
 550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1400                                               
 Anchorage, Alaska  99501                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 258-3700                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified regarding HB 231.                              
                                                                               
 RANDY CROSBY, Trails Coordinator                                              
 Alaska State Snowmobile Association                                           
 3300 Wesleyan Drive                                                           
 Anchorage, Alaska  99508                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 333-3661                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified regarding HB 231.                              
                                                                               
 SUSAN OLSEN                                                                   
 1119 G Street                                                                 
 Anchorage, Alaska  99501                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 277-9968                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified regarding HB 231.                              
                                                                               
 CHARLES JOHNSON                                                               
 2382 Skiland Road                                                             
 Fairbanks, Alaska  99712                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 389-2594                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified regarding HB 231.                              
                                                                               
 STERLING MUTH, President                                                      
 Fairbanks Snow Travelers (ph)                                                 
 912 North Stol Drive                                                          
 North Pole, Alaska  99705                                                     
 Telephone:  (907) 488-5858                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified regarding HB 231.                              
                                                                               
 WILLIAM EASTHAM, President                                                    
 Mat-Su Motor Mushers                                                          
 HC 30, Box 8286                                                               
 Palmer, Alaska  99645                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 745-3043                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified regarding HB 231.                              
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
                                                                               
 TAPE 97-72, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 0001                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN JOE GREEN called the House Judiciary Standing Committee              
 meeting to order at 1:36 p.m.  Members present at the call to order           
 were Representatives Green, Bunde, Rokeberg and Porter.                       
 Representatives Croft, Berkowitz and James arrived at approximately           
 1:37 p.m., 1:40 p.m. and 1:46 p.m., respectively.                             
                                                                               
 HJR 2 - REPEAL OF REGULATIONS BY LEGISLATURE                                  
                                                                               
 Number 0038                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN announced the first order of business was House                
 Joint Resolution No. 2, proposing an amendment to the Constitution            
 of the State of Alaska relating to repeal of regulations by the               
 legislature.                                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG, sponsor, said this issue had been             
 before the public on three previous occasions.  It is an attempt by           
 the legislature to reassert what he believes is its constitutional            
 right to overcome "rogue regulations" via resolution, rather than             
 by creating a new law in the form of a bill subject to a governor's           
 veto.                                                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said the state has more than 9,500 pages of           
 regulations with the full force and effect of law.  He stated, "And           
 because of our constitutional structure, with a very strong                   
 executive, I believe the case that the courts had struck down, the            
 ability of the legislature to repeal by resolution, has imbalanced            
 the checks and balances in the separation of power doctrine in the            
 state of Alaska's constitution."  He said this constitutional                 
 amendment would, in part, rebalance the proper position of the                
 legislature relative to the executive branch.                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG submitted that this proposition failed                
 previously before the voters because of incomplete understanding              
 and lack of full support by Alaskans.  Now the body of regulations            
 "has exploded," and citizens' daily lives are touched by                      
 regulations for which the legislature has had little or no input.             
                                                                               
 Number 0238                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ERIC CROFT advised members that he is on the House             
 Joint Committee on Administrative Regulation Review and had looked            
 into this.  He explained, "Their approach is short of giving us a             
 legislative veto.  I think Colorado has a `sunset unless approval.'           
 Another state has a burden shift, so that if we declare that that             
 wasn't what we meant, it makes it much easier to challenge the                
 regulation; it doesn't wipe it out, but it affects ... the burden             
 of proof on challenging it."                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked why they should go the full leap to a              
 legislative veto on regulations, rejected three times by the                  
 people, instead of considering one of those intermediate ideas,               
 which may or may not require amending the state constitution.                 
                                                                               
 Number 0311                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG indicated if there are other ways to                  
 ameliorate this problem, he is not against them.  However, he                 
 believes this issue is of major importance.  He also believes that            
 having the input of the people and allowing this mechanism to go              
 forward speaks to case law in Alaska and would allow the                      
 legislative branch to exercise what he believes is its existing               
 power, but which was struck down in the A.L.I.V.E. Voluntary case.            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG agreed this could be characterized as a               
 veto; it provides for "the exact, specific repeal of the discrete             
 regulation."  He believes the legislature should have that ability,           
 without the major expense and time of reintroducing legislation.              
 He pointed out that a resolution requires a committee process and             
 the ability of the public and the executive branch to have input.             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG cited as an example "the fire storm that's            
 created among the users of the airports of the state because of the           
 voluminous regulations that do not meet the demands of the users of           
 those airports."  He said the 19th Legislature had passed a                   
 specific law endeavoring to straighten out those regulations in the           
 last session, "and then the Administration takes it upon itself to            
 rewrite the entire regulation book and in essence contravene the              
 intent of the legislature."  He submitted that HJR 2 should have              
 bipartisan support within the legislative branch.                             
                                                                               
 Number 0482                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER pointed out that the proposition in the           
 resolution merely asks whether the legislature, by joint                      
 resolution, may repeal a regulation adopted by the state or an                
 agency; it gives no rationale.  He noted that the National                    
 Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) had surveyed members                
 regarding whether the state should have the ability to override a             
 regulation "found to be improper or inconsistent with the law."  He           
 suggested it may be effective to put that into the constitutional             
 amendment provision so that people will see what the legislature              
 intends to do.                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 0553                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said that was a good point and the sponsors           
 are looking into revising the language so that voters may                     
 understand it better, both in the voter pamphlet and on the ballot            
 itself.  However, he preferred to move the resolution along because           
 it had another committee of referral (the House Finance Committee).           
                                                                               
 Number 0614                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN noted that regulations are adopted through the                 
 administrative side of government; this would give the legislature            
 the right to override those.  He asked for Representative                     
 Rokeberg's estimate of this Administration's stance.                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG replied that the Administration opposes it;           
 it had been heard in a prior committee and there was a letter in              
 committee packets regarding this.                                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ETHAN BERKOWITZ said it seemed to invite questions             
 about what would happen with judicial powers.  He asked:  When                
 regulations are improper or inconsistent with laws, isn't that call           
 normally made within the judiciary?                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG replied that it was a point well-taken,               
 which was why they had not come forward with a rewrite, if, in                
 fact, they were going to.  He said the judiciary had spoken by                
 restricting the power of the legislature, "and that's something we            
 want to ameliorate with this amendment."                                      
                                                                               
 Number 0705                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN stated his understanding that the concern may be               
 that a "rogue regulation-writer" had missed what was intended by              
 the legislation used as an authority to enact a regulation, rather            
 than a regulation being "wrong" or somehow illegal.                           
                                                                               
 Number 0732                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG replied, "I would say on that, if we were             
 to be specific about that, then it would be a matter of proof                 
 whether the legislature had standing in their interpretation to do            
 that.  The way the existing resolution is drafted, it gives the               
 legislature the power to look at any regulation, not one that it              
 just judged was inconsistent with the intent of the law.  So, there           
 is a very distinct differential there between those two points.               
 And I, for one, prefer the more open-ended, if you will, ability of           
 the legislature to review regulations, because, quite frankly, Mr.            
 Chairman, regulations are drafted in the guise of legislative                 
 statutory authority but may be entirely off the mark or not even              
 germane to a particular bill sometimes.  So, ... then it would                
 become ... problematic as to whether there was standing for the               
 legislature to do that, if that was the case."                                
                                                                               
 Number 0800                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN indicated they were actually going back now and                
 looking at the intent of some things at statehood.                            
                                                                               
 Number 0824                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he agreed with everything the sponsor              
 had indicated was a reason for proposing this legislation.                    
 Mentioning the concept of "three strikes, you're out," he asked:              
 If they didn't change the proposal or do a much better job in                 
 selling it, why go through it again?  He suggested it would be a              
 step in the right direction to change the proposal, without                   
 altering or diminishing its intent and purpose, to overcome an                
 impression that the legislature is seeking irrational power.                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER also suggested it wouldn't be prudent to                
 allow the legislature to go into the intent of the legislature that           
 wrote the statute enabling a regulation in question; that is a road           
 that court decisions have been down repeatedly.  However, he didn't           
 think it improper at all for a legislature to come up with its own            
 finding that a regulation is inconsistent with its enabling law.              
 That is the job of the legislature.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 0930                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said he would echo Representative Porter's               
 comments.  Specifically, this had been rejected three times, and it           
 did not seem productive to try a fourth time.  He agreed that it is           
 within the legislature's province to express its opinion that a               
 regulation does not implement a statute, and he mentioned the                 
 possibility of having some substantive effect on the regulation.              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said Legislative Research had, at his request,           
 looked at other states that use this idea of shifting the burden of           
 proof, allowing the legislature to say, "That's not what we meant."           
 Then, if it is challenged, a court can look at it.  In most                   
 situations, the shift in the burden of proof might be dispositive.            
 However, a court could determine that a regulation falls within the           
 authority of the statute and that the rejection was for some other,           
 possibly political, reason.  The five states which do that are                
 Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Vermont; all upheld            
 it to be constitutional, "some with constitutional change                     
 authorizing that burden shift, some without it."                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT stated, "I think the courts have determined              
 uniformly, not only in the A.L.I.V.E. case in Alaska but in federal           
 decisions limiting the federal Congress from doing this, in the               
 federal arena, that ... changing regulations by legislative action            
 that has no governor's veto is stepping beyond our sphere of power.           
 So, I'd be interested in pursuing alternatives that maybe don't go            
 this step for the fourth time."                                               
                                                                               
 Number 1070                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES, also a sponsor of HJR 2, apologized           
 for her late arrival.  She expressed appreciation for                         
 Representative Croft's comments, then said the legislature can                
 currently void a regulation with a statute.  However, if their                
 efforts to get the Administration to change a regulation had                  
 failed, why would a governor sign a statute that got rid of it?               
 She said the legislature gave the Administration the power to write           
 regulations but now has nothing to say about them because of the              
 separation of powers.  The legislature historically has written               
 skimpy laws that require departments to implement regulations.                
 "And then, when they do it, we don't like it," she added.                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES indicated she has trepidation about putting              
 this out to the public for a vote; however, she believes it was not           
 properly "sold" previously and perhaps needs some different                   
 language.  She had just filed another bill on negotiated rule-                
 making, which she believes has more merit and which may or may not            
 take care of this problem.  She desires a multi-pronged approach.             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said she had not read the "pros and cons" on             
 the voter pamphlets for previous resolutions but suspects those               
 could do a better job of explaining the reason this is needed.  In            
 addition, she believes the public is becoming more irritated about            
 regulations and may now have a different attitude.  Therefore, she            
 would like to see this put on the ballot, although she does not               
 believe it is the "end-all, save-all" to problems with regulations.           
                                                                               
 Number 1265                                                                   
                                                                               
 JAMES BALDWIN, Assistant Attorney General, Governmental Affairs               
 Section, Civil Division (Juneau), Department of Law, came forward             
 to reaffirm the Administration's opposition to HJR 2.  He stated              
 that many of the points had already been made and he would re-                
 emphasize a couple of them.                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. BALDWIN explained that currently a legislative veto only occurs           
 in the constitution in two areas:  in the power to disapprove                 
 executive orders and in the power to disapprove boundary changes              
 proposed by the boundary commission.  Noting that executive orders            
 involve reorganization and boundary changes are a legislative                 
 function, he said both involve a power to change the law.                     
                                                                               
 MR. BALDWIN contrasted that with regulations, which, if properly              
 done, merely implement or make specific the law.  A legislative               
 veto in that area departs from the constitutional scheme, a set of            
 checks and balances carefully designed at statehood to ensure that            
 in certain crucial areas, one branch of government does not have an           
 overbalance of power.  A device in existence since the kings of               
 England and perhaps beyond, a veto is basically intended to                   
 preserve the integrity of the branch of government in which the               
 veto power rests; maintain equilibrium between branches; and act as           
 a check to hasty and ill-conceived legislation.                               
                                                                               
 MR. BALDWIN restated that legislation changes the law.  For a                 
 regulation, which does not change the law, this apparent departure            
 from our scheme has no check on its exercise.  Resolutions under              
 the U.S. constitution can be vetoed by the President; such vetoes             
 can be overridden, which is a check on the veto power.  However,              
 under Alaska's constitution, resolutions are not vetoed.  If a                
 resolution basically vetoes a regulation, what is the check on that           
 power?                                                                        
                                                                               
 MR. BALDWIN said that is precisely the item that has been used                
 against the legislature's desires here in the last three elections.           
 To the voters, it has been successfully characterized as a power              
 grab by the legislature, an attempt to get a step up in the                   
 process.  He stated, "It doesn't make you look good; it doesn't               
 make the institution of the legislature look good; it doesn't                 
 really bring good repute to the institution of the legislature."              
                                                                               
 MR. BALDWIN said he didn't know that he could agree with everything           
 Representative Porter had said.  However, he did believe that in              
 order to establish that high ground, something else should be done            
 rather than just going with what happened in the past; he did not             
 know what that should be.                                                     
                                                                               
 MR. BALDWIN stated, "Beyond that, I would say the best approach is            
 the approach we have now, which is we, being state agencies or                
 state entities, are basically `creatures of statute.'  And if you             
 don't like the way your creature is created, you can always go back           
 to the laboratory and redesign it and in that way affect how we               
 exercise the regulation-adoption power.  So, I think there now is             
 an adequate check ... and a balance between the branches.  And I              
 fear that going with the resolution that's before you would                   
 unbalance the system.  And for that reason, I think it should not             
 be passed out of this committee."                                             
                                                                               
 Number 1525                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said currently if the legislature writes a              
 statute that requires regulations to be written, and if it                    
 subsequently decides that those regulations are not what was                  
 envisioned, it has the ability to repeal the statute.  He asked               
 whether that was not virtually the same thing being proposed here.            
                                                                               
 MR. BALDWIN said no, the process is much different.  For example,             
 it is by rule and not by the constitution that three readings of a            
 resolution are required.  That is not the same as for a law.                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he was talking about the product.                  
                                                                               
 MR. BALDWIN agreed with the characterization of this as a veto and            
 said, "It's just a flat `no.'  It doesn't really give much guidance           
 beyond, `We don't like what you've done; go back and do it again.'"           
 In contrast, when a statute is passed, the agencies are directed in           
 their conduct and must conform to that.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 1605                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked why Mr. Baldwin thinks this would be              
 unconstitutional, based on the veto power of the legislature, when            
 in effect the legislature already has that power to repeal the                
 statute from which the regulation was generated.                              
                                                                               
 MR. BALDWIN replied, "First of all, if you put it in the                      
 constitution, it wouldn't be unconstitutional.  So, I think you're            
 going about it in the correct way, by changing the constitution.              
 I think the way they went about it in the statutes, that led up to            
 the A.L.I.V.E. case, that was unconstitutional."                              
                                                                               
 MR. BALDWIN said as a functional approach to government, he                   
 believes it would be wrong because it unbalances the system of                
 checks and balances.  What would be the check on the legislature's            
 power?  Although legislators may like it, he himself did not, nor             
 did he believe the populace had liked it, according to the votes.             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said the only check on the legislature's                
 power to create law is constitutional.  He suggested that Mr.                 
 Baldwin was talking public policy.                                            
                                                                               
 MR. BALDWIN agreed.                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 1667                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE emphasized that in repealing a regulation,           
 a statute can be vetoed, whereas a resolution cannot.                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES suggested that if it did not like a                      
 regulation, the legislature could better define what was meant in             
 statute.  She mentioned the A.L.I.V.E. case, the subsequent                   
 inactivity of the Administrative Regulation Review Committee until            
 this year, and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).  She asked:            
 When the legislature gave authority to the Administration to write            
 regulations, could they have given it only partially, with some               
 kind of oversight?  She said one suggestion was the requirement               
 that the sponsor of legislation which is being written into                   
 regulations participate in that process.                                      
                                                                               
 Number 1756                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. BALDWIN said while there are things that can be done as far as            
 limiting the delegation, those kinds of actions are also subject to           
 the constitution.  For example, if a bill sponsor participated in             
 a regulation-adoption process, in effect that legislator would be             
 using law-making powers outside of the House or Senate chamber.               
 Because a legislator cannot act as an individual representative               
 with law-making power, such a delegation may be invalid.  However,            
 availability to consult or advise may be valid, and it is probably            
 good for the agencies, to be aware of legislative intent.                     
                                                                               
 MR. BALDWIN indicated that oversight, including use of an auditor,            
 for example, is an appropriate role for the Administrative                    
 Regulation Review Committee, which makes its will felt to the                 
 agencies involved in adopting regulations.                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1835                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked whether it was a general principle that            
 the legislature could not have a "veto" without amending the                  
 constitution.                                                                 
                                                                               
 MR. BALDWIN replied, "Well, in the A.L.I.V.E. case, the court                 
 looked at the two vetoes that I mentioned and believed that because           
 of the way the constitution was written and the debate at the time,           
 that any other attempt to add a legislative veto would be strictly            
 construed.  In other words, it'd be very difficult to establish."             
                                                                               
 MR. BALDWIN said certain kinds of actions may be valid.  For                  
 example, that day the legislative finance committees were reviewing           
 leases of office buildings, "which is, in effect, a sort of a veto,           
 but it's sort of like a check-back-with-me-type of an action, you             
 know, where you go out there and you say, `You can enter into                 
 leases but you've got to check back for more authority before you             
 complete the lease.'  It isn't like a denial or a veto, but it's              
 like, `We'll give you part of the power now, and when you go out              
 and do the job, we'll give you the rest if we like the deal you               
 bring to us.' ... It's sort of like a veto, but there have been               
 cases upholding those kinds of activities in other states; we                 
 haven't had a case in Alaska yet, but we certainly do those sorts             
 of things and transact that kind of business."                                
                                                                               
 Number 1904                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES, noting that timing would be a problem, asked            
 whether it would be appropriate, when the legislature gives                   
 authority to the Administration to write regulations, to specify              
 that those regulations must be approved by the legislature.  They             
 would thus be done by statute and subject to a veto.                          
                                                                               
 MR. BALDWIN said he wanted to confer with the department's                    
 regulations attorney before providing an answer.                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES indicated her point was to explore all the               
 alternatives.                                                                 
                                                                               
 PAMELA LaBOLLE, President, Alaska State Chamber of Commerce, came             
 forward to testify in support of HJR 2.  She advised members that             
 regulatory reform is one of her organization's highest priorities.            
 Their resolution requests an effective oversight mechanism to                 
 ensure that regulations produce results that follow legislative               
 intent.                                                                       
                                                                               
 MS. LaBOLLE said a common complaint of the business community is              
 that too often, regulations ignore or miss the point of the                   
 legislation.   She believes that people do not have as great an               
 opportunity for effective input in the regulatory process as they             
 do in the legislative process.  For that reason, and because                  
 regulations carry the weight of law, her organization believes this           
 is an important concern.  She agreed with Representative Porter               
 that it is important to state the legislature's intention.  She               
 also believes that the public supports this concept.                          
                                                                               
 Number 2041                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked what the position of the Alaska State           
 Chamber of Commerce had been on the prior ballot propositions.                
                                                                               
 MS. LaBOLLE said that was before her time and she did not know how            
 involved the organization had been.  She added, "However, last                
 year, when this was HJR 1, we did testify to the effect that should           
 this become a ballot proposition, we would actively work in support           
 ... of the proposition."                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 2088                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked whether the chamber was open to any                
 reasonable way that the legislature could develop an effective                
 oversight mechanism or whether this was the only mechanism they               
 supported.                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. LaBOLLE responded that they were open to any and all ways.                
 This seemed to answer the need, but another answer would be                   
 welcome.                                                                      
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether anyone else wished to testify, then              
 closed public testimony.                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT offered Amendment 1, a hand-revised copy of 0-           
 LS0120\E.1, Bannister, 4/30/97.  The original version read:                   
                                                                               
      Page 1, line 2:                                                          
           Delete "repeal of regulations by the legislature"                   
           Insert "the burden of proof in a judicial proceeding for            
      the review or enforcement of regulations"                                
                                                                               
      Page 1, line 6:                                                          
           Delete "Repeal"                                                     
           Insert "Review and Enforcement"                                     
                                                                               
           Following "Regulations." through line 9:                            
           Delete all material.                                                
           Insert "In a judicial proceeding for the review or                  
      enforcement of a regulation, the burden is on the agency that            
      adopted the regulation to establish that all or part of the              
      regulation is within the procedural and substantive authority            
      delegated by the legislature to the agency."                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES objected.                                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT apologized for the rough-hewn nature of it,              
 saying he had described what he wanted to the drafters but it had             
 not quite come through.  He explained the amendment, as revised.              
 It leaves the first sentence of the resolution as-is.  On page 1,             
 line 7, the first "repeal" would be replaced by "express                      
 disapproval of".  Therefore, beginning page 1, line 6, it would               
 read, "The legislature may, by joint resolution, express                      
 disapproval of a regulation adopted by a State department or                  
 agency."                                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT continued.  Beginning at page 1, line 7,                 
 following "agency.", the second sentence (through line 9) would be            
 replaced by, "In a judicial proceeding for the review or                      
 enforcement of a regulation disapproved by the legislature, the               
 burden is on the agency that adopted the regulation to establish              
 that all or part of the regulation is within the procedural and               
 substantive authority delegated by the legislature to the agency."            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT explained that this would set up an                      
 alternative to an outright repeal.  A resolution by the                       
 legislature, which would not require a governor's signature, would            
 stated that a regulation did not follow legislative intent.  It               
 would change the burden of proof on that point.  For example, if an           
 affected industry complained about a regulation, the industry would           
 have the burden of proof.  After the legislature passed a                     
 resolution saying, "That's not what we meant," the agency would               
 have the burden of proof in defending its regulation.                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said five states already do this, "some with             
 constitutional change, as this would allow, some without it; so,              
 there is some reason to think we could do this statutorily."  An              
 interesting half-step, it was of particular interest to him because           
 it seemed to put everyone in their proper role:  The legislature              
 discusses statutes and their scope; the Administration interprets             
 and writes regulations within that scope; and if there is                     
 disagreement about whether a regulation is within the proper scope            
 of a statute, the judicial branch has been the arbiter in 200 years           
 of U.S. history.  Representative Croft added, "And this would allow           
 us to have a voice, changing the impact on that judicial                      
 determination, but not an outright veto."                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said he had discussed this with Representative           
 James, who was open to some of these ideas but may not want this in           
 her legislation.  However, he believed this alternative approach              
 would be more palatable to Alaskans and more in keeping with the              
 constitutional roles, yet still give the legislature an effective             
 oversight mechanism on regulations.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 2303                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether the intent was that there be a two-              
 step process if the legislature could not persuade the writer of              
 the regulation that it missed the boat.                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said there would be two options if they                  
 disliked a regulation.  They could try to change it by statute or             
 do this, simply repeal it.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 2348                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN clarified that if an agency defended its                       
 regulations, then the legislature would not have changed the                  
 regulation unless it took a second step.                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT agreed and said he had missed that point.  In            
 that case, the legislature would say, "This is not what we meant,"            
 and then there would be a judicial finding.  He believed that the             
 judiciary would often agree with the legislature's determination.             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said he envisioned a situation where the                 
 legislature made a political statement by resolution and the court            
 determined that even with the burden of proof, a regulation clearly           
 fell within statutory authority.  "And so, we would be affecting              
 but not repealing regulation, and then our only option after that             
 would be to change it by the normal process," he concluded.                   
                                                                               
 Number 2415                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he would not think it appropriate to set           
 up a situation where the courts would be involved in each and every           
 dispute over a statute's interpretation in regulation.  To him, the           
 Administration's ability to veto the legislature's veto was not               
 required.  While he understood the rationale, it may set up a                 
 procedure as protracted as the procedure for repealing the statute.           
                                                                               
 TAPE 97-72, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 0006                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said she tended to agree with that.  She                 
 believed the amendment did nothing but destroy the resolution and             
 its intent.  She also believed that was already an opportunity.               
 From her own experience, only a small part of the regulation                  
 problems she had viewed in the past five years involved regulations           
 that did not follow the legislative intent; the problem is                    
 primarily because of legislation written insufficiently, with                 
 regulations written too broadly to implement a narrow section.                
 After a regulation is written, it doesn't work "on the ground"                
 because the people who wrote it aren't working there.                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said the other problem is in the APA, which              
 outlines how regulations are promulgated and the public process.              
 The notice states what the public comment period will be and how it           
 will be handled, specifying that following that period, the                   
 department can "change the regulations, leave them just like they             
 are, or do nothing."  Therefore, the public process is a sham.  The           
 people affected by the regulations have had their word, but it has            
 meant nothing because it did not change the way the regulations               
 were written.  She cited current airport regulations as an example.           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES restated that negotiated rule-making might be            
 a good idea.  In the meantime, she wants to have this out there,              
 like it is, until 1998, to get it on the ballot.  An option that              
 other states have used as well, it is easier, quicker, and a                  
 "hammer" for the legislature that she believes would make a                   
 difference in how agencies discuss these issues with the public and           
 the legislature.  She indicated the legislature's only current                
 hammer was more like a padded xylophone stick, with little effect.            
 Even if it were never used, she believes having it will make a                
 difference in the way that agencies discuss these issues with the             
 public and the legislature.  That is why she was willing to put               
 this out there, even though she doesn't think it is the solution.             
                                                                               
 Number 0148                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said he was tempted to ask for a ruling of            
 the chair that Amendment 1 was out of order.  It rewrites the                 
 resolution, except for a few words in the title, is not artfully              
 constructed and speaks to a disapproval by the legislature of a               
 process that it has no ability to disapprove.  He said it is beyond           
 hostile and kind of nonsense.                                                 
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN said he would not rule it out of order.                        
                                                                               
 Number 0203                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT acknowledged that it was not artful.  He                 
 emphasized that it changed the resolution from a repeal to a                  
 disapproval, moderating that effect.  His intention was not to gut            
 the resolution but to find middle ground, acceptable to the public,           
 in the power continuum.                                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT referred to Representative Porter's comments             
 and said although this is aimed at a judiciary solution, he didn't            
 see that coming into play in every dispute, nor did he want that.             
 There would continue to be the other "hammer" of a legislative                
 action, although it would have to survive a governor's veto.  He              
 suggested that if the legislature went through the trouble of a               
 resolution disapproving a regulation, the most frequent result                
 would be spurring the agency to take a look at it.  "They would               
 have their position weakened by our action and, therefore, would              
 take action themselves, we would hope," he concluded.                         
                                                                               
 Number 0270                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG suggested that Representative Croft                   
 introduce legislation relating to shifting the burden of proof,               
 which would not require a constitutional amendment.  He said he               
 believes this is out of order because the resolution is for a                 
 constitutional amendment.                                                     
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether the objection was maintained.                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said yes.                                                
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN requested a roll call vote.  Voting for Amendment 1            
 were Representatives Croft and Berkowitz.  Voting against it were             
 Representatives Bunde, Porter, Rokeberg, James and Green.                     
 Therefore, Amendment 1 failed, 5 to 2.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 0327                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER advised members that he had also drafted an             
 amendment, which he would give to the sponsor to think about until            
 the next committee of referral.  He explained, "I think it would be           
 appropriate to put something into this that will tell the voters,             
 first of all, and, of course, the courts, when they are looking at            
 this issue, what it is that we're endeavoring to do when we ...               
 would reject a regulation."  He said he believed it could be done             
 between this committee and the House Finance Committee.                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER made a motion to move HJR 2 from committee              
 with individual recommendations and fiscal note as attached.                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN objected for discussion purposes.  He asked                    
 Representative Porter to share the concept of his suggestion.                 
                                                                               
 Number 0380                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER prefaced his response by saying he had not              
 yet thought it through.  However, his concept was language that               
 would read "something to the effect, `The legislature may, after              
 finding that a regulation is inconsistent with its enabling law, by           
 joint resolution repeal a regulation adopted by a state agency --             
 or a state department or agency.'"                                            
                                                                               
 Number 0400                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG pledged to work with the prime cosponsor to           
 ensure that the language clearly conveys to the public the                    
 legislature's intentions regarding the ballot proposition.  He also           
 offered to work towards coming up with ameliorating language to               
 meet the points made by the committee.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 0431                                                                   
                                                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said if they were going to amend it, he              
 believed the responsibility was on the present committee to do so.            
 Noting that the public had rejected it three times, he urged that             
 they hold this until there was an amendment to contemplate.                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN called a brief at-ease, then called the meeting back           
 to order.                                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER offered Amendment 2.                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether Representative Porter was rescinding             
 his motion to move the resolution from committee.                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER replied that with permission of the                     
 committee, he would remove the motion to move the resolution and              
 instead offer Amendment 2, "which for the record would be on page             
 1, line 6, after the phrase `the legislature may', insert `, after            
 their finding that a regulation is inconsistent with its enabling             
 law,' and then continue, `by joint resolution'."                              
                                                                               
 Number 0521                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said that "sort of incorporates" the                     
 opportunity in Representative Croft's amendment.  If it includes              
 the reason that the legislature can do a resolution to annul a                
 regulation, and if the Administration disagrees with that                     
 resolution, they can take it to the judiciary and dispute it or               
 else redo the regulation.  She believes it makes for an equal                 
 playing field and provides a hammer, although not a huge one.                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT stated his understanding that this would be              
 the legislature's power to question whether the regulation was                
 within the enabling statute; the legislature could not repeal                 
 regulations within the statute just because they did not like them.           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES concurred.                                               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN commented that it effectively did what                         
 Representative Croft had in mind.                                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked whether Representative James believed              
 that a court could determine that.                                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES responded, "We give them everything, don't we?           
 Do we care if they come out right with it or not?  I don't always             
 agree with them, but, you know, they're the final word."                      
                                                                               
 Number 0577                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG suggested because this would be in the form           
 of a constitutional amendment, the courts would be reluctant to               
 override the legislature's finding that it was inconsistent.  He              
 said this narrows the scope of the previous amendment but does no             
 "bodily harm."  He added, "It may actually enhance it.  I think as            
 the resolution passes through the building that that is an issue              
 that will, and should, be discussed further."                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said that certainly the finding would be part            
 of the back-up for the resolution, and there would be plenty of               
 time for dispute while it goes through the process.                           
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether there was any objection to Amendment             
 2.  There being none, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER made a motion that HJR 2, as amended, move              
 from committee with individual recommendations and fiscal note as             
 attached.  There being no objection, CSHJR 2(JUD) moved from the              
 House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                           
                                                                               
 HB 231 - REGULATION OF SNOWMOBILES                                            
                                                                               
 Number 0689                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN announced the next item of business was House Bill             
 No. 231, "An Act relating to regulation of snowmobiles."                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BEVERLY MASEK, sponsor of HB 231, explained that the           
 bill resulted from work by the Alaska State Snowmobile Association            
 and the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation.  She views it as            
 an important tool in promoting a genuinely Alaskan activity and               
 creating opportunities for winter recreation.                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK advised members that there has been a                    
 statutory requirement for registering snowmobiles since 1968.                 
 However, few Alaskans register their snowmobiles, which she                   
 believes is primarily due to the registration process.  The owner             
 of a new snowmobile must take the title to the Division of Motor              
 Vehicles (DMV) and wait in line to get the $5 registration.  She              
 believes that there is no mail-in system for renewal, as there is             
 for vehicles, and that snowmobile owners must renew annually.  This           
 bill would make registration easier.                                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK said by allowing dealers to handle                       
 registration at the time of purchase, HB 231 will create a better             
 process for compliance with current statutes.  It will also allow             
 dealers and other agents to handle renewals.  Furthermore, having             
 a good system in place will provide an accounting of the number of            
 machines in Alaska.  This information is important for acquiring              
 monies available from the national "Recreational Trails Program"              
 (created by the National Recreational Trails Fund Act) for                    
 construction, trail heads, signs and grooming equipment.                      
 Establishment and maintenance of a good trail system throughout               
 Alaska will provide Alaskans a place to ride and, more importantly,           
 provide an opportunity to expand recreation and winter tourism.               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK concluded by saying HB 231 will require input            
 and work from the public and the legislature, and she hopes to work           
 on it during the interim with the snowmobile groups, the Division             
 of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, and convention and visitor                   
 bureaus.  She noted that committee files contain a statement of               
 support from the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau, and                
 other such bureaus support it statewide.  She advised members that            
 Eddie Grasser could answer technical questions.                               
                                                                               
 Number 0959                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked how the Recreational Trails Program worked,              
 whether it supplied money based on the number of snow machines                
 registered in Alaska or whether Alaska, being one of 40 states with           
 snowmobiles, would get one-fortieth of the funds, for example.                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK replied that only 15 to 20 percent of owners             
 register currently.  With an accurate account of who in Alaska                
 registered their snow machines, and how many, they would be                   
 eligible for this national Recreational Trails Program through the            
 Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 1020                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked what the current registration process              
 is.  For example, how does one know whether a snow machine is                 
 registered?  Is there a license attached to it?                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK stated her belief that an owner goes into the            
 DMV to fill out a registration form and is given the title and a              
 sticker with the registration number to put on the snow machine.              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked whether it required proof of ownership.            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK said yes.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 1120                                                                   
                                                                               
 JUANITA HENSLEY, Chief, Driver Services, Division of Motor Vehicles           
 (DMV), Department of Public Safety, testified that the DMV has                
 registered 12,000-14,000 snow machines statewide.  The process,               
 somewhat as Representative Masek had stated, is that after purchase           
 of a machine, the owner comes to the DMV and fills out the                    
 application.  She clarified that the owner does not get a title;              
 the DMV does not title snow machines in the state.  The owner                 
 receives a registration, just as people do for their cars, and a              
 registration tab that must be put on the cowling of the snow                  
 machine.  It is a two-year registration for $5.  The DMV does not             
 issue metal license tags for this.                                            
                                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 1286                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE noted that during previous discussion of                 
 snowmobile registration in the legislature, people promoted it                
 because of theft, as it would provide a way to trace stolen                   
 machines.  He said he assumed that was still a reason for                     
 registration, in addition to obtaining federal trails money based             
 on the number of snow machines in Alaska.                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE next referred to page 2, line 3, which says,             
 "A snowmobile dealer shall" register it.  He suggested that would             
 take care of a lot of enforcement problems, and he believed it was            
 important.  However, he wanted to make sure it did not conflict               
 with page 1, line 9, which says, "An agent may accept" a                      
 registration.                                                                 
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN suggested there were agents other than dealers, for            
 which this bill provides.                                                     
                                                                               
 MS. HENSLEY agreed and explained that the bill is trying to allow             
 new vehicle sales to be registered at the point of sale.  But for             
 anyone else who has a snow vehicle, they can have contract agents             
 to do the registration.                                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said he agreed with registering snowmobiles to           
 reduce theft and get financial support for facilities.  Referring             
 to page 2, lines 12 through 15, he asked why, then, they would                
 exempt machines used on private property, in snow machine races or            
 in communities where motor vehicles are not required to be                    
 registered, because theft would still occur and it was important to           
 have as many machines registered as possible to obtain the federal            
 funds.  Therefore, they may not want to exempt (2), (3) and (4).              
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked why those were excluded.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 1355                                                                   
                                                                               
 EDDIE GRASSER, Legislative Assistant to Representative Beverly                
 Masek, suggested that Jim Stratton from the Division of Parks and             
 Outdoor Recreation, who had spent a lot of time writing this, could           
 answer that, or possibly someone from the Alaska State Snowmobile             
 Association could.  Mr. Grasser said he himself grew up on a farm,            
 where they had unregistered vehicles used only on the farm, on                
 private property.  He assumed that somebody using a snow machine              
 strictly on private property, for whatever reason, would fall in              
 the same category.                                                            
                                                                               
 JIM STRATTON, Director, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation,             
 Department of Natural Resources, came forward to testify.  He                 
 referred to item (2) on page 2, line 12, "used strictly on private            
 property for private, noncommercial purposes", and said that                  
 related to use of snowmobiles for farming, for example, or as work            
 equipment.                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. STRATTON referred to item (3), "used only in sanctioned                   
 snowmobile races", and said those types of specially-built snow               
 machines are typically used only for racing.  The division had felt           
 it was not appropriate to require their registration because they             
 were not for use on public lands or on the trail system.                      
                                                                               
 MR. STRATTON referred to item (4), "used exclusively in communities           
 exempt from motor vehicle registration under AS 28.10.011", and               
 said when he got involved with the Alaska State Snowmobile                    
 Association in developing this legislation, the main emphasis was             
 to create more funding for recreational trails.  Recreational trail           
 riding is primarily in the railbelt area, which has the largest               
 population.  Therefore, registering snowmobiles in the bush did not           
 fit in.                                                                       
                                                                               
 MR. STRATTON said that instead of including all snowmobiles in                
 Alaska at the very beginning, they had wanted to ensure the bill's            
 passage; if the residents of the bush wanted to participate, they             
 then could ask to be included and to have their snowmobiles                   
 registered.  He added, "And at that time, then, they could ...                
 partake of some of the registration money, which we eventually see            
 as getting to the level of being able to provide grants out to                
 snowmobile clubs and communities around the state."                           
                                                                               
 MR. STRATTON said besides the theft question, the big push is the             
 number of riders in the state, not only for more federal money,               
 "but we will begin to generate some money of our own."  If the                
 legislature sees fit to reinvest that into snowmobile trails, those           
 recreational trails will primarily benefit cities where automobiles           
 are registered.  "And so, we felt that was just a clean way to do             
 it and to make it parallel that way," he concluded.                           
                                                                               
 Number 1550                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked whether this section generally                    
 replicates what exists already, in terms of which snow machines               
 must be registered.                                                           
                                                                               
 MR. STRATTON said no, this is a change.                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he did not know whether it was expanded            
 or contracted, but he did not agree with (2), (3) or (4).  He                 
 explained, "If number (2) is to get at this huge agricultural --              
 well, we don't have one; so, I don't know what that's about. ...              
 Number (3), I would agree with that if the sanctioned snowmobile              
 races were on a quarter-mile track like dragsters or something.               
 But these things go all over the state on public lands .... That's            
 where these races are.  So, to the extent that they could                     
 contribute a little bit to that, I don't see that's a big problem."           
                                                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER referred to item (4), "used exclusively in              
 communities exempt from motor vehicle registration".  He said that            
 was because of lack of roads, which was what vehicle registration             
 is about.  However, snowmobiles use public lands, just like                   
 everybody else.  "So, I really don't think that (2), (3) or (4) are           
 appropriate," he concluded.                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked how a snowmobile is used for farming.              
                                                                               
 Number 1643                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. GRASSER said he himself had used snow machines for farming,               
 which included herding animals.  For example, they had kept 60                
 horses on approximately 1,500 acres in the Matanuska Valley.  As a            
 young boy, he had used a snow machine to transfer the herd from one           
 part of the farm to another in the wintertime.                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said she agreed with Representative Porter's             
 concerns on this issue, indicating that if they were going to                 
 register snow machines, they ought to just do it.  She also had a             
 little problem philosophically with doing it just to get some                 
 federal funds.  Furthermore, she believed the theft issue made                
 registration important.  She asked whether it cost $5.                        
                                                                               
 MS. HENSLEY said it is $5 for a two-year period.                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES suggested that was hardly worth the paper on             
 which it is written.  She asked how much work the department does             
 to keep track of these registrations and whether $5 for two years             
 is enough for the paperwork, regardless of whether federal funds              
 are available.                                                                
                                                                               
 MS. HENSLEY emphasized that only 12,000 to 14,000 are registered              
 now.  With this legislation, including point-of-sale registration,            
 all vehicles being registered, keeping track of all those vehicles            
 and ensuring that they are in the computer system, the Division of            
 Information Services (DIS) charge-backs, based on the space used in           
 the system by the DMV, would increase.  She had no doubt that it              
 would increase the costs to the DMV.                                          
                                                                               
 MS. HENSLEY agreed that the fee possibly should be looked at,                 
 whether for operation of the program or for monies for trail                  
 maintenance, to obtain matching funds or even for additional funds            
 through the federal programs for trails.                                      
                                                                               
 MS. HENSLEY advised members that under current law, snow machines             
 are required to be registered before competing in any type of race            
 or "game program."  She believes the increase in registrations over           
 the last few years is basically because of the theft situation and            
 because for race clubs, for example, registration is required by              
 law before snowmobiles are allowed to operate in those races.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 1855                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK, responding to Representative James, said the            
 intent is to get funding to help the snowmobilers with the trails.            
 But it also will establish trails for recreational snowmobilers.              
 In Anchorage, for example, there is no place to use snow machines.            
 People must drive 100 miles or more to do so.  She believes this is           
 a good way to establish a recreation trail that will be safe and              
 for multiple uses.  Where she herself snow machines on the Yentna             
 River, there are snowmobiles, dog mushers and skiers.  They need to           
 look at safety factors, including putting up signs, for example.              
                                                                               
 Number 1950                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said she understood those kinds of things and            
 had been a snow machine user herself.  Her concern over the                   
 registration was whether the money was enough.  Not only would                
 there be the original registration, but whenever a machine was sold           
 or junked, there would be additional work.  She was not convinced             
 this would pay for itself or provide any money.                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES also asked how this would be enforced, noting            
 there was no penalty for failing to register.  In addition,                   
 machines may need to be counted by category to obtain federal                 
 funds.  She believes they need to think seriously about how this              
 will work.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 2036                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Ms. Hensley whether the DMV provides            
 copies of the registrations to local municipalities for purposes of           
 personal property tax.  He also asked how many jurisdictions have             
 a personal property tax on snowmobiles.                                       
                                                                               
 MS. HENSLEY said she could not answer either question.  The DMV               
 does currently registers the vehicles, and a municipality could               
 request from the DMV a listing of all snow machines registered                
 within that municipal boundary.  Referring to Representative                  
 Masek's comments about working on this over the interim, she noted            
 that it is under Title 5, relating to amusements and sports.  The             
 DMV proposes putting this all under Title 28, which contains all              
 the other registration of motor vehicles, because the snow machine            
 is a motor vehicle.  The DMV also proposes working out some of the            
 other issues with the legislation.                                            
                                                                               
 VICE CHAIRMAN BUNDE took over chairing the meeting in the absence             
 of Chairman Green.  He announced that follow-up should be brief, as           
 there were many people wishing to testify.                                    
                                                                               
 Number 2181                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG inquired about taking up Representative               
 Masek's proposed amendments while there was still a quorum.                   
                                                                               
 VICE CHAIRMAN BUNDE said he would prefer to take testimony first.             
 He advised members that the hearing must conclude by 3:30 p.m.                
 because of another committee meeting.  He asked testifiers to limit           
 comments to two minutes in order to accommodate all speakers.                 
                                                                               
 KEVIN DAVIS, General Manager, Arctic Recreational Distributors,               
 testified via teleconference from Anchorage, specifying that his              
 Anchorage-based company is a wholesaler from which all of the                 
 Arctic Cat dealers in Alaska buy their machines.  They support                
 point-of-sale registration and believe it will help with recovery             
 of stolen machines, among other things.  Referring to the trail               
 system proposed by the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation,            
 he suggested that using examples from other states, including                 
 Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Washington and California, the                
 proposed system could be paid for in just a few years through the             
 registration of snowmobiles.  When snowmobilers renew their                   
 registrations, that continues to help with the funds.  In many                
 cases, states have ended up with extra funds, beyond those used to            
 maintain and construct trails.  He emphasized that this is not                
 something new because there are examples that can be copied.                  
                                                                               
 TAPE 97-73, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 0006                                                                   
                                                                               
 VICE CHAIRMAN BUNDE asked Mr. Davis to send the committee an idea             
 of what other states charge for registration, if he had that                  
 information.                                                                  
                                                                               
 BOB KOWALKE, Yamaha Motor Corporation USA, testified via                      
 teleconference from Anchorage, saying he has been in the business             
 for 29 years, including snow machines, motorcycles and all-terrain            
 vehicles.  He likened the snow machine business in Alaska to a                
 creek that has grown into a river over the years.  He believes that           
 it is up to everyone involved to harvest the power behind that                
 river constructively.  The monetary impact on the state from snow             
 machines is beginning to be recognized; it could increase if they             
 use these monies to develop trails and increase policing of stolen            
 machines, for example.  He concluded by saying the first step in              
 moving ahead is this point-of-purchase registration.                          
                                                                               
 TOM HEATKE, District Sales Manager, Polaris Industries, testified             
 via teleconference from Anchorage, saying he represents roughly 55            
 dealers in the state and over 400 employees.  He really stands                
 behind the point-of-sale registration in concept.  He had moved up            
 here from Minnesota.  With the seven or eight months of winter in             
 Alaska, he saw no reason why there could not be a decent trail                
 system to encourage tourists.  He concluded by saying he concurred            
 with the previous two speakers.                                               
                                                                               
 JANA LITTLEWOOD, Alaska State Snowmobile Association, testified via           
 teleconference from Anchorage, saying they strongly support the               
 concept of a point-of-sale registration.  She said accurate numbers           
 of snowmobilers must be available to gain access to funding sources           
 such as the gas tax reimbursement and the national Recreational               
 Trails Program fund.                                                          
                                                                               
 MS. LITTLEWOOD said this legislation is the first step toward a               
 snowmobile program in Alaska that will promote safe, alcohol-free             
 riding and responsibly create a statewide trail system that works.            
 She reported that they had worked closely with the state Division             
 of Parks and Outdoor Recreation to create this bill, and they do              
 support it.  While some recreational users have differences with              
 that division, they have seen the division make what she believes             
 are correct decisions.  They want to allow that division the                  
 opportunity to follow through with their commitment to snowmobile             
 trails.                                                                       
                                                                               
 MS. LITTLEWOOD said they had written a transferable registration              
 into this bill to help deal with theft issues.  Their first                   
 priority, however, is getting an accurate count of snowmobiles in             
 Alaska in order to move forward, which this point-of-sale                     
 registration will achieve.  Once there is a trail system and                  
 program to show users, then they could look at raising some fees.             
                                                                               
 TIM BORGSTROM, Special Projects Director, Anchorage Economic                  
 Development Corporation, testified via teleconference next, saying            
 he had been working on "winter infrastructure development projects"           
 for over 12 months.  They recognize Anchorage as a "winter city"              
 with a summer season, and his job is developing ways to diversify             
 the economy.                                                                  
                                                                               
 MR. BORGSTROM had studied all the "winter states" in North America,           
 approximately 27 including Canadian provinces, discovering the                
 phenomenon that snowmobile trail construction for resident users              
 leads to additional infrastructure, which evolves into a tourism              
 industry.  In North America, snowmobiling is a $7-billion-per-year            
 industry.  In Alaska, the 1995-1996 winter season brought more than           
 $54 million in retail sales for snowmobiles and accessories.                  
                                                                               
 MR. BORGSTROM believes with point-of-sale registration, they can              
 tap into monies that historically have not returned to                        
 snowmobilers, to develop a trail network that would bring national            
 and international tourists to Alaska in the winter.  In West                  
 Yellowstone, Montana, the "granddaddy of winter snowmobiling," they           
 accommodate up to 6,000 or 7,000 rental vehicles weekly, people               
 going there just to snowmobile.  Becoming a popular industry, it is           
 something he believes Alaskans can effectively manage and organize            
 in concert with the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation.  He             
 feels that there is a tremendous opportunity to replace the "closed           
 for the season" signs in downtown businesses with "open for winter            
 business" signs.                                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
 RANDY CROSBY, Trails Coordinator, Alaska State Snowmobile                     
 Association, testified via teleconference from Anchorage.  He said            
 HB 231, in addressing registration, is an important part of                   
 providing for the needs of snowmobilers, both residents and                   
 visitors.  He expressed hope that through development and refining            
 of this bill, Alaska will be able to collect monies from snowmobile           
 owners to eventually provide trails, frontage, education and other            
 needs that will eventually help all Alaskans.  One has only to look           
 at other states in the snowbelt to see how a well-developed                   
 snowmobile infrastructure benefits citizens economically and                  
 socially; snowmobile registration is one key element of that                  
 infrastructure.  He hopes that as this bill progresses, the                   
 legislature and Governor Knowles will work with the DMV and the               
 "snowmobile community" to provide that these registration fees are            
 directed to trails, safety and education.                                     
                                                                               
 SUSAN OLSEN testified via teleconference from Anchorage, speaking             
 as a supporter of the Alaska Quiet Rights Coalition, which seeks a            
 fair and equitable allocation between motorized and nonmotorized              
 uses on state lands.  She had originally come to support the bill,            
 prior to seeing the amendments.  She emphasized that registration             
 is a fine first step.                                                         
                                                                               
 MS. OLSEN pointed out that there currently are conflicts between              
 snowmobilers and those who seek quiet wilderness experiences, such            
 as skiers.  As trail development goes forward, it needs to be                 
 coordinated something like the Mat-Su trails plan that is already             
 in preparation.  She emphasized that the differences in the two               
 types of users must be acknowledged, with the rights of both                  
 recognized.  She concluded by saying that multiple-use trails do              
 not work, as the uses are incompatible.  The original bill gives              
 recognition to that for the first time, and she hopes that as it              
 goes forward, it keeps these other, larger issues in mind in                  
 addition to registration.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 0805                                                                   
                                                                               
 VICE CHAIRMAN BUNDE turned the gavel back to Chairman Green.                  
                                                                               
 CHARLES JOHNSON testified via teleconference from Fairbanks, saying           
 he is a member of the Fairbanks Snow Travelers (ph), the Alaska               
 State Snowmobile Association and the nordic ski club in Fairbanks.            
 He believes that multiple uses are compatible.  Noting that the               
 amendments would have the DMV administer this, he asked whether               
 that had happened yet or was still just a proposal.                           
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN said they had not yet taken up any amendments.                 
                                                                               
 MR. JOHNSON stated that he favored snowmobile registration "and               
 everything that has been said."  He would prefer that it remain               
 with the DMV, which is already set up to do registrations, already            
 doing them, and mandated to do so.                                            
                                                                               
 MR. JOHNSON said on talk shows and in letters to the editors, they            
 hear about problems with snowmobilers trespassing and roaring up              
 and down through rural subdivisions at midnight.  He believes                 
 having a sticker on the machine would cause people to think twice             
 about doing that; it would aid in identifying snowmobiles involved            
 in crimes such as trespassing and disturbing the peace.  He                   
 believes all snowmobiles should be registered.                                
                                                                               
 Number 0939                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked two questions of all testifiers,                   
 requesting that they send in a response:  Should all snow machines            
 be registered, or should the exemptions discussed earlier continue?           
 And did they support or oppose putting identification numbers on              
 tracks, which he understands they do in the Lower 48 in order to              
 apprehend scofflaws?                                                          
                                                                               
 STERLING MUTH, President, Fairbanks Snow Travelers (ph), testified            
 via teleconference, saying he was a former safety officer of the              
 Alaska State Snowmobile Association as well.  His organization                
 supports HB 231 with the proposed amendments.  They believe the DMV           
 needs to do the registration, and they cannot support it if any               
 other organization is involved in that.  He noted that some members           
 had mailed in their registrations to the DMV; therefore, that is              
 already possible but could use some standardization.                          
                                                                               
 MR. MUTH believes the point-of-sale registration is needed to                 
 receive Alaska's fair share of the gas tax dollars, which is based            
 on the number of machines registered.  Another positive outcome of            
 the bill would be a reduction of theft.  He believes that multiple-           
 use trails work with coordination, education and understanding.               
 For example, his organization grooms hundreds of miles of trails              
 that are connected with dog mushers' trails, and they all use the             
 trails together.  Mentioning enforcement, he reported that people             
 are writing tickets in parks near Anchorage for those who do not              
 display their registration decals.  He concluded by restating the             
 desire for the DMV to do the registration.                                    
                                                                               
 WILLIAM EASTHAM, President, Mat-Su Motor Mushers, testified via               
 teleconference, stating simply that they support the bill with the            
 sponsor's proposed amendments.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 1145                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he must attend another meeting.                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN noted that they would lose their quorum; he also had           
 to attend that meeting.  He announced HB 231 would be held over.              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER suggested taking a close look at the level of           
 the registration fee either by the next hearing or over the                   
 interim, commenting that "you can't lose money per unit and make it           
 up by volume."  He believes the DMV would go increasingly in the              
 hole with this expanded activity at $5 for two years.                         
                                                                               
 Number 1233                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. GRASSER advised members that he had just spoken with Mr.                  
 Stratton and Ms. Hensley; as he believed he had mentioned to                  
 Representative Masek, all of them would like to pursue Ms.                    
 Hensley's suggestion of rewriting this into Title 28 so that it               
 comes in line with other DMV regulatory authority derived from                
 statute.  They had also just discussed calling dealers and snow               
 machine groups to check into the fee structure.                               
                                                                               
 (HB 231 was held over.)                                                       
                                                                               
 ADJOURNMENT                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 1259                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN adjourned the House Judiciary Standing Committee               
 meeting at 3:30 p.m.                                                          
                                                                               

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