Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/22/1994 05:00 PM TRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
             HOUSE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE                           
                         March 22, 1994                                        
                            5:00 p.m.                                          
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
  Representative Gary Davis, Vice-Chair                                        
  Representative Bill Hudson                                                   
  Representative Eldon Mulder                                                  
  Representative Al Vezey                                                      
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
  Representative Richard Foster, Chair                                         
  Representative Curt Menard                                                   
  Representative Jerry Mackie                                                  
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
  Geophysical Institute presentation on ash cloud problems.                    
  *HB 301:  "An Act prohibiting the sale of certain studded                    
            tires or the sale of certain studs to be installed                 
            in tires; and providing for an effective date."                    
            SSHB 301 MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                    
  SB 152:   "An Act changing the frequency of certain state                    
            inspections of weights and measures and relating                   
            to the issuance of citations for weights and                       
            measures violations."                                              
            MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                             
  (* First public hearing.)                                                    
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
  MERRITT HELFFERICH                                                           
  Geophysical Institute                                                        
  University of Alaska, Fairbanks                                              
  P.O. Box 80769                                                               
  Fairbanks, Alaska  99708                                                     
  Position Statement:  Provided input on ash cloud data study                  
  REPRESENTATIVE JOHN DAVIES                                                   
  Alaska State Legislature                                                     
  State Capitol, Room 418                                                      
  Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                        
  Position Statement:  Provided input on ash cloud data study                  
  REPRESENTATIVE MARK HANLEY                                                   
  Alaska State Legislature                                                     
  State Capitol, Room 515                                                      
  Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                        
  Position Statement:  Sponsor of SSHB 301                                     
  BRUCE CAMPBELL, Commissioner                                                 
  Department of Transportation/Public Facilities                               
  3132 Channel Drive                                                           
  Juneau, Alaska   99801                                                       
  Position Statement:  Provided input on SSHB 301                              
  REPRESENTATIVE GAIL PHILLIPS                                                 
  Alaska State Legislature                                                     
  State Capitol, Room 216                                                      
  Juneau, Alaska   99801                                                       
  Position Statement:  Testified in favor of SSHB 301                          
  WENDY MULDER, Assistant                                                      
  Department of Commerce and Economic Development                              
  9th Floor, State Office Building                                             
  Juneau, Alaska   99811                                                       
  Position Statement:  Testified in support of SB 152                          
  PREVIOUS ACTION                                                              
  BILL:  HB 301                                                                
  BILL VERSION: SSHB 301                                                       
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) HANLEY,Finkelstein                             
  JRN-DATE    JRN-PG                     ACTION                                
  05/06/93      1665    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  05/06/93      1665    (H)   TRA, L&C, FINANCE                                
  05/07/93      1695    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): FINKELSTEIN                        
  03/15/94      2813    (H)   SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE                               
  03/15/94      2813    (H)   TRA, LABOR & COMMERCE, FINANCE                   
  03/22/94              (H)   TRA AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 17                       
  BILL:  SB 152                                                                
  SPONSOR(S): JUDICIARY                                                        
  JRN-DATE    JRN-PG                     ACTION                                
  03/08/93       658    (S)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  03/08/93       658    (S)   LABOR AND COMMERCE, JUDICIARY                    
  03/16/93              (S)   L&C AT 01:45 PM FAHRENKAMP                       
                              ROOM 203                                         
  03/16/93              (S)   MINUTE(L&C)                                      
  03/18/93       848    (S)   L&C RPT  1DP 3NR 1AM                             
  03/18/93       848    (S)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DCED)                          
  03/22/93              (S)   JUD AT 01:30 PM BELTZ RM 211                     
  03/22/93              (S)   MINUTE(JUD)                                      
  03/24/93              (S)   JUD AT 01:30 PM BELTZ RM 211                     
  03/24/93              (S)   MINUTE(JUD)                                      
  03/29/93              (S)   JUD AT 01:30 PM BELTZ RM 211                     
  03/29/93              (S)   MINUTE(JUD)                                      
  03/31/93      1003    (S)   JUD RPT  3DP 1NR                                 
  03/31/93      1003    (S)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DCRA)                          
  03/31/93      1003    (S)   PREVIOUS ZERO FN (DCED)                          
  03/31/93              (S)   MINUTE(RLS)                                      
  04/07/93      1220    (S)   RULES   3CAL 1NR   4/7/93                        
  04/07/93      1248    (S)   READ THE SECOND TIME                             
  04/07/93      1248    (S)   ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN                   
  04/07/93      1248    (S)   READ THE THIRD TIME  SB 152                      
  04/07/93      1249    (S)   PASSED Y20 N-                                    
  04/07/93      1260    (S)   TRANSMITTED TO (H)                               
  04/08/93      1101    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  04/08/93      1101    (H)   TRANSPORTATION                                   
  03/22/94              (H)   TRA AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 17                       
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
  TAPE 94-13, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
  VICE CHAIR DAVIS called the meeting to order at 5:11 p.m.                    
  Number 016                                                                   
  MERIT HELFFERICH, from the Geophysical Institute at the                      
  University of Alaska, Fairbanks, stated that the atmospheric                 
  scientists at the geophysical program had used a                             
  supercomputer to model the movement of an ash cloud, after                   
  $80 million of aircraft damage from the Mt. Redoubt                          
  eruption.  He then proceeded to show a video tape which                      
  illustrated ash cloud movement (copies are available from                    
  the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks).                 
  Number 200                                                                   
  When the video concluded, MR. HELFFERICH asked if there were                 
  any questions from the committee.                                            
  Number 216                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if the volcanoes were selected                    
  because of seismic activity or because of their location in                  
  proximity of the Anchorage International Airport.                            
  Number 220                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES responded that they were selected for                  
  both criteria.                                                               
  Number 231                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated that the animation [on the                       
  video] was quite nice, but it wasn't the kind of data which                  
  would allow a pilot to avoid a collision course with an ash                  
  plume.  He wondered what it would be translated into in                      
  terms of pilot data.                                                         
  Number 240                                                                   
  MR. HELFFERICH responded that a pilot traveling into                         
  Anchorage could see if there was clear weather, and this                     
  could be made available at air traffic control so that they                  
  could divert aircraft around the ash cloud.                                  
  Number 258                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked Mr. Helfferich what sort of                       
  information they would be providing to air traffic control.                  
  Number 262                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES responded that this is a research                      
  project, and once developed, it will be given to the FAA to                  
  develop in a way in which they could actually use the                        
  information to specify, with more compactness, where the                     
  actual danger is.                                                            
  Number 278                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON asked if the prevailing winds go both                  
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES and MR. HELFFERICH both responded that                 
  the winds can go both ways, but there is a northeasterly                     
  Number 291                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES stated that the economic point of the                  
  presentation is that, with improved data such as that                        
  presented in the meeting, the FAA could have enough                          
  information, if the volcano erupts, to keep air traffic                      
  flying, rather than shutting down, as is currently the case.                 
  Number 300                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON asked how long air operations were                     
  Number 301                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES responded that they were impacted for                  
  about three days.                                                            
  Number 312                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS thanked Representative Davies and Mr.                   
  Helfferich, and acknowledged the presence of Representative                  
  Hanley, who was to testify as sponsor of SSHB 301.                           
  HB 301 - BAN SALE OF SOME STUDDED TIRES AND STUDS                            
  Number 315                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE MARK HANLEY, Prime Sponsor, introduced SSHB
  301 by stating that the wear on roads due to the use of                      
  studded tires is documented.  He referred to his sponsor                     
  statement, which cites the pavement damage per vehicle, per                  
  40,000 miles of travel, to cost between $133 and $266.  He                   
  added that, particularly in European countries, studies have                 
  shown that the use of lightweight studs reduces the wear on                  
  the roads by up to 50%, thus illustrating that the weight of                 
  the studs contributes greatly to the pavement damage.  He                    
  said SSHB 301 would require the use of lightweight studs in                  
  Alaska, starting in 1998, although he made the point that                    
  the date could be moved if necessary -- it wasn't the                        
  sponsor's intention to unduly burden merchants.                              
  REPRESENTATIVE HANLEY suggested that, though he had been                     
  approached about banning studs altogether, he wasn't sure                    
  that such an action would be politically feasible; in fact,                  
  he added, studies suggest there are significant safety                       
  benefits to studded snow tires and the actual reduction in                   
  accidents is worth the road wear.  He also discussed the                     
  hardness of the road relative to the studs and said that                     
  Commissioner Campbell may wish to comment on this.                           
  Number 387                                                                   
  COMMISSIONER BRUCE CAMPBELL, Department of Transportation                    
  and Public Facilities, stated that Representative Hanley had                 
  touched on the highlights fairly well, but he wished to add                  
  that the safety differences between Scandinavian countries                   
  and Alaska is that they basically have only one system of                    
  highways, and their highways are essentially all alike,                      
  while in Alaska there are certain classes of roads which are                 
  interstate or major feeders, and subdivision roads -- the                    
  major roads are usually ice free, so the studs do more                       
  damage.  On bare pavement, studs are less efficient for                      
  COMMISSIONER CAMPBELL added that he wished to have an                        
  amendment made regarding the hardness and the diameter, and                  
  stressed that this is a good area to compensate for the cuts                 
  in the maintenance budget which the Finance subcommittee has                 
  indicated are coming.   He concluded that, at the moment, a                  
  test was being conducted at the University of Alaska,                        
  Fairbanks, to see if there are alternative solutions; but                    
  for now, SSHB 301 is a good compromise.                                      
  Number 518                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked the commissioner what the                         
  hardness of the average aggregate is.                                        
  Number 520                                                                   
  COMMISSIONER CAMPBELL responded that it is approximately 64                  
  on the Rockwell scale, but that it varies tremendously                       
  around the state -- 64 would be the maximum.                                 
  Number 560                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked Representative Phillips if she                    
  wished to testify regarding the stud issue.                                  
  Number 561                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS laughed and affirmed Representative                  
  Davis' question, stating that she has driven on steel belted                 
  all-weather radial tires for the last 26 years, in                           
  Southcentral Alaska, and is a firm believer in all-weather                   
  radials.  She added that she would endorse Representative                    
  Hanley's bill as the first step, and certainly a part of                     
  improving the budget situation.                                              
  Number 590                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked Representative Hanley if he had                   
  any reaction to the amendment proposed by Commissioner                       
  Number 594                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE HANLEY responded that he had no problem with                  
  the diameter clarification, and his only concern was that he                 
  doesn't want to get to the point where a game of chicken is                  
  being played -- he did not intend to outlaw studs entirely,                  
  just to modify the hardness, and not be involved in a                        
  roundabout method of outlawing them altogether.                              
  Number 601                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON made the point that this harkened back                 
  to the time certain paint was outlawed; none could be sold                   
  and yet anyone that had an outdrive ended up shipping it up                  
  from Seattle, so that, ultimately, the law was taken off the                 
  books again.  He concluded that, if the alternate hardness                   
  studs were not available, he'd be hesitant to require their                  
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS suggested that hopefully the next                       
  committee of referral could research further to see if the                   
  hardness factor can be met, and he would like to see the                     
  bill moved on.                                                               
  Number 625                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER moved that SSHB 301 be moved from                      
  committee with the attached positive fiscal note and                         
  individual recommendations.                                                  
  Number 627                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked if there were objections; there                   
  were none, and so he declared SSHB 301 to be moved from                      
  TAPE 94-13, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked "Mrs. Mulder" to introduce SB
  SB 152 - WEIGHTS & MEASURES: INSPECTIONS/CITATIONS                           
  Number 003                                                                   
  WENDY MULDER introduced herself as special assistant to                      
  Commissioner Paul Fuhs, Department of Commerce and Economic                  
  Development, adding that there were three components to the                  
  bill:  the air carriers, and weights and measures, or                        
  measuring devices.  She stated that SB 152 would provide for                 
  the reestablishment of the weights and measures officials'                   
  authority allowing for effective administration and                          
  enforcement of the weights and measures regulations and,                     
  specifically, provide the authority to effectively enforce                   
  the registration fee requirements of the regulations.                        
  In addition, MRS. MULDER stated, SB 152 would provide for                    
  the ability to increase program receipts by ensuring that                    
  all who are obliged to register weighing and measuring                       
  devices will register and pay the fee, and that the director                 
  would have the ability to better utilize available resources                 
  and improve the level of coverage of the state with an                       
  increase in the number if devices inspected and registered.                  
  The present law requires twice annual inspection for all                     
  weighing and measuring devices in the state.  She said SB
  152 would allow the director to reduce the frequency of                      
  testing of certain types of devices that, through                            
  experience, do not require such frequent testing.                            
  MRS. MULDER concluded by saying that the proposed changes                    
  would expedite collection of device registration fees and                    
  place basic policy powers in the day-to-day weights and                      
  measures regulatory process.  Reducing the twice annual                      
  field device inspections would put the state and the                         
  division closer to a legal operation, as well as allowing                    
  the director flexibility to efficiently administer the                       
  weights and measures program.                                                
  Number 088                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked for clarification on the                          
  frequency of inspections.                                                    
  MRS. MULDER responded that the current statutory requirement                 
  is that inspections be done semi-annually, but that, because                 
  of the budget constraints, those inspections are only being                  
  done annually, although some inspections are being done                      
  Number 102                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if the measuring devices drift                    
  considerably more if there is one year between calibrations.                 
  Number 105                                                                   
  MRS. MULDER responded that as long as the devices are tested                 
  and sealed, and the seals are not tampered with, there will                  
  be very little problem with enforcement.                                     
  Number 113                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated that the question was not one of                 
  legality, but of the technical accuracy of the measuring                     
  Number 118                                                                   
  MRS. MULDER responded that the answer was no; there is very                  
  little variation between six months and one year in the                      
  accuracy of the scales, as long as the seal has not been                     
  tampered with.                                                               
  Number 128                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if there are reports from the                     
  National Standards Institute which indicate that once a year                 
  is a reasonable frequency of calibration.                                    
  Number 131                                                                   
  MRS. MULDER responded in the negative, stating that she only                 
  has the data from her directors.                                             
  Number 141                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated that he had asked because of the                 
  problem with federal oversight, and that the feds require                    
  more frequent calibration, but his understanding from Mrs.                   
  Mulder was that she had data which reassured the department                  
  that the consumers would be at little risk if scales were                    
  only calibrated annually.                                                    
  Number 151                                                                   
  MRS. MULDER responded that Representative Vezey's                            
  understanding was in fact what the DCED believes is the                      
  case.  She added that it must be remembered that the DCED                    
  has, since 1986, only been doing the                                         
  inspections/calibrations once a year, although some places                   
  do get them twice a year.  She also stated that the                          
  department feels that it's not the calibration that is the                   
  biggest concern.                                                             
  Number 160                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated that he could see the truckers                   
  descending upon the legislature en masse if they felt that                   
  any weight was being deprived them due to faulty scales.                     
  MRS. MULDER responded that truck scales are done more often;                 
  the intent here is to not have to go to Nakanak twice a year                 
  to check the fish scales.                                                    
  Number 183                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated that it seems like it would                      
  behoove everyone to have a provision allowing for an                         
  independent agency to perform the inspections.                               
  Number 193                                                                   
  MRS. MULDER responded that she had no problem with that.                     
  Number 197                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked if there were currently contract                  
  operators who do calibration.                                                
  Number 201                                                                   
  MRS. MULDER and REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY both responded in the                   
  Number 207                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked if Section 2 relates to truck                     
  scales, and if the change to annually would also apply to                    
  that statute.                                                                
  Number 223                                                                   
  MRS. MULDER responded that Section 2 just gives the                          
  department the right to enforce this chapter in cases of                     
  Number 236                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked if Section 2 came about like EO                   
  89, and if there was less interest from the administration                   
  in transferring this due to their feelings regarding EO 89.                  
  Number 246                                                                   
  MRS. MULDER responded that EO 89 dealt primarily with the                    
  trucking issue, and the DCED already has enforcement powers                  
  for the trucks; SB 152 would give it enforcement powers for                  
  the other scales.  She concluded that she didn't think this                  
  was a concern for the administration like EO 89 had been.                    
  Number 250                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER asked Mrs. Mulder to explain Section                   
  Number 254                                                                   
  MRS. MULDER explained that Section 2 clarifies offenses and                  
  penalties in cases of violation regarding the use of certain                 
  weighing devices.                                                            
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated that he hoped we wouldn't be                     
  inadvertently grabbing batch plants in this legislation, and                 
  referred to buying concrete not by the pound but by the                      
  MRS. MULDER said that hadn't been a problem; no one had ever                 
  screamed and yelled about that, and this bill had made it                    
  all the way through the Senate.                                              
  Number 278                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY responded that we all know the Senate                   
  doesn't understand the problem.                                              
  Number 280                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS suggested that the next committee look                  
  into Representative Vezey's asphalt concern.                                 
  Number 285                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON moved that SB 152 be passed from                       
  committee with individual recommendations and the attached                   
  fiscal notes.                                                                
  Number 291                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked if there were any objections.                     
  There were none, and so SB 152 was declared to be moved from                 
  Number 296                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS adjourned the meeting at 6:15 p.m.                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects