Legislature(1997 - 1998)
04/30/1997 01:36 PM JUD
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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.