Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/13/1996 01:25 PM TRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
            HOUSE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE                            
                         March 13, 1996                                        
                           1:25 p.m.                                           
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
 Representative Gary Davis, Chairman                                           
 Representative Beverly Masek, Vice Chair                                      
 Representative Jeanette James                                                 
 Representative Tom Brice                                                      
 Representative Jerry Sanders                                                  
 Representative Bill Williams                                                  
 Representative Don Long                                                       
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
 All members present                                                           
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
 Overview of the draft Statewide Transportation Improvement Program            
 by Commissioner Joseph L. Perkins, Department of Transportation and           
 Public Facilities                                                             
 *HOUSE BILL NO. 440                                                           
 "An Act relating to motor vehicle registration and motor vehicle              
 registration fees; and providing for an effective date."                      
      - MOVED CSHB 440 (TRA) FROM COMMITTEE                                    
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
 BILL:  HB 440                                                              
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KOTT                                            
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG            ACTION                                         
 01/22/96      2507    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/22/96      2508    (H)   TRANSPORTATION, FINANCE                           
 03/13/96              (H)   TRA AT  1:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
 JOSEPH L. PERKINS, Commissioner                                               
 Office of the Commissioner                                                    
 Department of Transportation and Public Facilities                            
 3132 Channel Drive                                                            
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-7898                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3900                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Overview of the draft Statewide Transportation           
                      Improvement Program                                      
 MIKE McKINNON, Chief of Planning                                              
 Southeast Region                                                              
 Department of Transportation and Public Facilities                            
 6860 Glacier Highway                                                          
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-7999                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-1774                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Overview of the draft Statewide Transportation           
                      Improvement Program                                      
 ROGER POPPE, Legislative Aide                                                 
    for Representative Kott                                                    
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 432                                                       
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone: (907) 465-6882                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 440                                      
 JUANITA HENSLEY, Chief                                                        
 Driver Services                                                               
 Division of Motor Vehicles                                                    
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 P.O. Box 20020                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0020                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4361                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 440                                      
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 96-9, SIDE A                                                             
 Number 000                                                                    
 The House Transportation Standing Committee was called to order by            
 Chairman Gary Davis at 1:25 p.m.  Members present at the call to              
 order were Representatives G. Davis, Masek, Sanders, and Long.  A             
 quorum was present.                                                           
 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS announced the agenda was an overview of the               
 draft Statewide Transportation Improvement Program by Commissioner            
 Joseph L. Perkins, Department of Transportation and Public                    
 Facilities, and HB 440 an act relating to motor vehicle                       
 registration and motor vehicle registration fees; and providing for           
 an effective date.                                                            
 Overview of the draft Statewide Transportation Improvement Program           
 (STIP) by Commissioner Joseph L. Perkins, Department of                       
 Transportation and Public Facilities                                          
 Number 0048                                                                   
 JOSEPH L. PERKINS, Commissioner, Office of the Commissioner,                  
 Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT/PF), began            
 his presentation by introducing representatives from the DOT/PF               
 including; Martin Ott, Planning Chief from the Northern Region,               
 Mike McKinnon, Planning Chief from the Southeast Region, Tom                  
 Brigham, Chief of Statewide Planning, Gary Hayden, System Director            
 for the Marine Highway System, and Carol Taylor who manages the               
 various components of the STIP program.                                       
 Number 0124                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS referred to a document titled, "Statewide                
 Transportation Improvement Program 1996-1998," and said he would              
 discuss how it was developed.  He said at the beginning of the                
 process, a needs list was developed and published last October.               
 This list contained proposals which were submitted by various                 
 organizations in the state, including an Aviation Improvement                 
 Program (AIP), a six year construction program called STIP, capital           
 improvement for facilities and a new ports and harbors program.  He           
 added that the only ports and harbor funding the state receives is            
 from a core match.  He concluded that the needs list included the             
 four areas that DOT/PF is responsible for and represented $5                  
 billion to $6 billion of state needs.                                         
 Number 0189                                                                   
 Representative James joined the committee meeting at 1:27 p.m.                
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said upon publication of this needs list,                
 public comments were received and those comments and needs list               
 were eventually incorporated into the STIP.  He said STIP is a                
 three year spending plan for federal highway funds and federal                
 transit administration funds provided to the state of Alaska.  He             
 said these funds are matched, generally, with the state                       
 contributing 10 percent and the federal dollars contributing 90               
 percent.  He said the entire state highway program is based on the            
 federal program and added that Alaska and Rhode Island are the only           
 two states that set up their program in this manner.                          
 Number 0353                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said the STIP is fiscally constrained by the             
 federal government funding.  He said the state currently receives             
 around $220 million per year from the federal government, with a              
 total amount of $240 million after adding the state match.  He said           
 these numbers are good for fiscal year 1996 and fiscal year 1997.             
 He said in 1998, the STIP document assumes that this funding will             
 remain the same, but the Intermodal Surface Transportation                    
 Efficiency Act (ISTEA), which is the federal law giving the state             
 money, runs out in 1997.  He said reauthorization of the ISTEA will           
 occur in 1998 and added that he has no idea what that amount will             
 be.  He said the best the state can hope for is a loss of $10                 
 million to $20 million a year because of the shrinking amount of              
 total federal transportation money.                                           
 Representative Brice joined the committee meeting at 1:30 p.m.                
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said the total amount of federal highway                 
 spending is going to go down, so even if the state maintains their            
 current budget allocation the state will still get less money.                
 Number 0460                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS clarified that the "years" the commissioner was           
 referring to represented "state fiscal years".                                
 Representative Williams joined the committee meeting at 1:31 p.m.             
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said the 1996 federal fiscal year will run               
 until October 1, 1996.  He said by October 1, 1997, the new ISTEA             
 law must be in place.                                                         
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said fiscal year 1998 funds are questionable.            
 He said the numbers in STIP were based on these funds.  He said in            
 the back of STIP, a preliminary 1996 to 1998 program was included.            
 He said this program will be revised through the public process,              
 but that if the DOT/PF had to present a six year program, this                
 would be the program.  He said the development of this document was           
 based on the Governor's 1995, Transportation Initiative which he              
 presented in June at a speech in Anchorage.  He said this document            
 follows federal guidelines as the state does not have much                    
 flexibility in their format due to federal regulations.                       
 Number 0633                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS pointed to three categories; National Highway            
 System (NHS), Community Transportation Program (CTP) and Trails and           
 Recreational Access for Alaska (TRAAK) and said that Anchorage                
 Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) is the only category           
 that has a specific amount.  He said the reason for this is that              
 Anchorage has a population of over 200,000 and qualifies as a                 
 metropolitan planning organization.  He said the metropolitan                 
 planning organization is handled differently in Alaska than                   
 anywhere else in the country.  He said, for the other 49 states, a            
 formula is included in ISTEA which calculates funds for                       
 metropolitan planning organizations and the total state program is            
 distributed according to this formula.  He said Alaska has received           
 an exception to this formula, in Alaska DOT/PF establishes the                
 number, for the amount of funding given to Anchorage, in the form             
 of AMATS.                                                                     
 Number 0710                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said, once AMATS receives funding, it then               
 goes through an elaborate procedure where projects are developed              
 and it is incorporated into a document called a Transportation                
 Improvement Program (TIP).  He said, currently, Anchorage is                  
 developing their list of projects.                                            
 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS clarified that this funding level is set each             
 year for the AMATS.                                                           
 Number 0760                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said AMATS has asked for continuity in the               
 funding level and said he would explain the formula that DOT/PF               
 uses later in his presentation.  He said the AMATS developed TIP              
 will be given to the DOT/PF and will be added as an addendum to the           
 STIP document and then sent to the Federal Highway Administration             
 for their approval and said the AMATS system is federally chartered           
 and federal set-up to work that way.  He said the AMATS policy                
 committee, the final voice on what happens in Anchorage, consists             
 of the mayor, two assembly members, a DOT/PF member and a member              
 from the Department of Environmental Conservation, who helps assist           
 with air quality issues.                                                      
 Number 0848                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said the Governor's Transportation Initiative            
 called for putting money into construction and reconstruction of              
 the state's national highway system.  He said the DOT/PF allocated            
 $120 million, of the $220 million funding, into the national                  
 highway system.  He said the DOT/PF recognized the need to work on            
 community roads and improve communities, allocating $80 million for           
 this purpose.  He said the DOT/PF allocated $20 million for TRAAK             
 programs which are mandatory projects.  He said TRAAK programs are            
 being done in a coordinated manner in order to develop the right              
 types of projects.                                                            
 Number 0904                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said Congressional legislation, completed last           
 fall, mandated a national highway system encompassing the specific            
 identification of NHS routes.  He said the state of Alaska has                
 4,000 miles of roads that are under the NHS, 2,000 miles of which             
 are surface roads and the other 2,000 are marine highway system               
 miles.  He referred to a map titled, "National Highway System,"               
 which depicted those miles.  He said this NHS will be the key                 
 reference and the use of the intra-state highway reference will not           
 be used.  He said, as changes are made to the federal highway                 
 system, the NHS will be the only roads that the federal government            
 will fund.  He said the NHS is where the federal interest is and              
 where the main routes of communications lie.                                  
 Number 0980                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE JEANETTE JAMES clarified that the changes being made           
 to ISTEA might result in funding for only the NHS.  She added that,           
 by concentrating all of the states money on the NHS, the state                
 might lose the ability to do community roads.                                 
 Number 1026                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said, in this Congressional reauthorization,             
 the federal government will stop funding for community projects and           
 the concept of the NHS is now being analyzed.  He referred to a               
 proposal by United States Senator Connie Mack, which proposes to              
 fund only the most important parts of the NHS in order to reduce              
 the amount of the federal gas tax for everyone in the nation by the           
 amount of money saved.  He said, under this proposal, the states              
 can levy their own gas tax if they want to do community roads                 
 projects.  He said this proposal has support in the lower 48                  
 states, but would be disastrous to the state of Alaska.  He said as           
 the federal government drops out of the community road projects               
 possibly within 10 to 12 years, the national focus will be on the             
 Number 1125                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES commented that qualifying for federal funds              
 might not be that big of an advantage due to the imposed federal              
 Number 1157                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE questioned, if the focus on the federal              
 government will be on the NHS, and we have the ability to do both             
 the NHS and the community road projects now, which we might not be            
 able to do later, why should we place such a major emphasis on the            
 Number 1222                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said there are a few reasons for the current             
 DOT/PF focus.  He said a study was been done of the NHS in Alaska             
 and what needs to be done to bring it up to minimal standards                 
 requires.  He said an expenditure of $1.7 billion would be needed             
 and that it will take the state 14 years to accomplish this task.             
 He said Alaska is being looked at very closely by the other states            
 who are lobbying for transportation funding which is $20 billion              
 and that the state of Alaska receives more money than 22 other                
 states.  He said, if Alaska received their proportional share of              
 the funding, the state would receive $30 million to $40 million               
 resulting in a reduction of $180 million in total dollars.  Alaska            
 is saying that inter-state programs in other states are completed             
 and they are now maintaining those roads and that Alaska has not              
 finished building roads and the state needs $1.7 billion to spend             
 on our road system of which the state has allocated $120 million a            
 year.  He said, if money is allocated into community roads, it will           
 hurt the states chances to retain the current amount of funding.              
 He said the federal government will, eventually, not fund community           
 roads and the state of Alaska could lose a considerable amount of             
 money in this reauthorization.                                                
 Number 1325                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said he doubted if federal funding were not              
 used whether the state could develop a program bringing the federal           
 highway routes up to standard.  He added that the NHS route                   
 upgrades are expensive projects and that we have left the worst               
 projects until last.  He said the necessary repairs to the Seward             
 Highway are expensive, but necessary.  He said the Administration's           
 position, in their federal strategy, is that we need to get our               
 main lines of communications fixed up, rather than putting this               
 money into city street programs.  He said the lower 48 states do              
 not understand putting money into community road projects as their            
 community roads are funded by the municipalities.                             
 Number 1383                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said the projects, reflected in the STIP, are            
 the projects that the DOT/PF has selected to be constructed or                
 designed in this three program based on the perceived need.  He               
 said need was based on the road condition and safety hazards.  He             
 said the safety factor is a major issue as many lives are lost due            
 to the danger of the Alaskan roads.  He said the NHS includes the             
 Parks, the Glenn, the Seward, et cetera.  He said more money from             
 the NHS system is going into the Marine Highway System because the            
 vehicles are getting older and work is being done on the ships and            
 a new ship is being purchased under the NHS program.                          
 Number 1463                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said the next chart, titled, "NHS FY 96-98               
 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program," shows where the                
 projects are located.                                                         
 Number 1505                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS referred to the second, third and fourth phases           
 and asked if the only thing left on the 1996 project was                      
 Number 1520                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said, despite some "start up", most of the               
 phases referred to construction.                                              
 Number 1529                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS asked what the procedure was if one of the                
 projects was not able to be worked on.                                        
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said the DOT/PF would add another project to             
 take the delayed projects place, utilizing all the allocated money.           
 Number 1568                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES supported increased safety for highways.  She            
 asked what work was going to be done on the Parks Highway and the             
 Seward Highway within the next three years.                                   
 Number 1605                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said the Parks Highway has, essentially, the             
 right grades and alignment and was completed in 1973, so it is a              
 recently constructed road.  He said there are adequate shoulders on           
 the Parks Highway and added that the DOT/PF has gone in and done              
 spot fixes for safety and repairs.  He mentioned a project in                 
 Nenana Canyon to widen the road, a rehabilitation work occurring              
 down in Big Lake, and a considerable amount of work in Wasilla to             
 turn the road into a dual lane road with or without frontage roads.           
 Number 1653                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said the roads that are in the worst shape               
 include the Glenn Highway which was built by the road commission in           
 the 1940s.  He said this highway has a high death count,                      
 landslides, curves down to 20 miles per hour in some places, and a            
 lack of road shoulders.  He said the Seward Highway has three or              
 four projects that need to occur including Canyon Creek and some              
 curves that need to be altered.  He said those two highways are in            
 the worst shape.                                                              
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said work on the Dalton Highway is included in           
 the STIP and that it is an important highway because it links the             
 Arctic Ocean.  He said the Dalton Highway was not originally                  
 included in the national highway system, but through the Governor             
 and the Congressional delegation it was added.  He said it is an              
 important road and adds about 500 miles to the NHS.  He said the              
 when the federal government allocates funding based on mileage of             
 NHS this 500 miles will derive more funds, which do not necessarily           
 have to be used for the Dalton Highway.                                       
 Number 1740                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said there are many roads in the state which             
 are not included in the NHS, including the Taylor, Steese Highway,            
 Edgerton Highway, Elliot and Denali Highways.  He said these roads            
 are included in the community roads program.                                  
 Number 1772                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said, in the community transportation and                
 economic development program, communities were asked to nominate              
 projects.  Grading criteria was developed, the criteria was                   
 reviewed for public comment, and the nominated projects were then             
 graded according to need and incorporated into the needs list.  The           
 needs list was opened up for public comment, and the projects were            
 regraded and incorporated into the draft STIP.                                
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said the projects were given to the regions              
 with their own DOT/PF boards who graded them and established                  
 priority one and priority two projects.  He said there were also              
 priority threes and fours, but that these projects did not make it            
 out of the region.  He said the priority one and twos were taken to           
 Juneau and an official board convened, headed by the Deputy                   
 Commissioner, each regional director; from the Central, Northern              
 and Southeast regions, the director of the Marine Highway System as           
 well as Tom Brigham the chief of statewide planning.  He said the             
 board derived a statewide list and some projects did not score as             
 well as people wanted.  He said the public comment from the                   
 original needs list was taken into consideration and the board                
 regraded the projects based on the community submittal, legislative           
 comments and public comment.                                                  
 Number 1915                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BEVERLY MASEK asked when the community                         
 transportation program started.                                               
 Number 1939                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said the CTP was part of the Governor's                  
 transportation initiative where DOT/PF allocated $80 million.  He             
 said Whittier Road was taken out of the CTP and placed into the               
 NHS, allowing for more money to be spent in other places.  He said            
 the Thane Road ferry dock in Juneau down to the rock dump is now an           
 NHS road because a new pier is be constructed to bring oil and                
 everything else in to town.  He said the Parks Highway to the                 
 Nenana Port is an intermodal connection as it accesses the Tanana             
 and the Yukon which allows NHS money to be applied in this section.           
 Number 1998                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BILL WILLIAMS asked if the TRAAK program was going             
 to be discussed.                                                              
 Number 2009                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said he would discuss the TRAAK program later.           
 He said 19 percent of the $80 million funding went to state                   
 highways not on the NHS, the Taylor and the Steese highways.  He              
 said if Alaska develops a state highway system these highways                 
 should be included in that program.  He referred to a handout                 
 titled, "Draft Statewide Transportation Improvement Program,                  
 Briefing to the House Transportation Committee, March 13, 1996,"              
 and referred to charts showing how much money went to transit and             
 remote projects and so on.  He said the transit, remote and urban             
 projects were scored separately.  He said the Anchorage projects              
 were scored and then all the dollars were added within the six                
 period, then divided by six, deriving a figure of $17.5 million.              
 He said that figure plus a $5.5 million allocation gave the city of           
 Anchorage $23 million, representing $1 million more than they had             
 Number 2075                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said that when ISTEA passed, many sections               
 were included such as safety requirements, motorcycle helmet law,             
 and money which needed to be spent on roadside enhancements.  He              
 said, by the federal rules, the state has to spend, by 1996 and               
 1997, $40.4 million on roadside enhancements.  He said the state,             
 in order to accomplish this requirement, developed the TRAAK                  
 program which is a multi-agency effort.  Corridor studies of the              
 roads are being conducted to establish where there are needs for a            
 trail side parking area.  He said the studies also establish that             
 the state park and DNR campgrounds and such enhancements as bike              
 trails.  He said the main goal is to get everyone together on                 
 TRAAK, such as the Forest Service and Parks, so that the projects             
 that are built support an established need.                                   
 Number 2181                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked if the enhancements include parking area           
 and asked if the park would be responsible for that.                          
 Number 2210                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said, if the state of Alaska, can equate the             
 project as something that is close to the road and part of a                  
 transportation enhancement then DOT/PF can do it.  He said recently           
 enhancements were done on the church in Unalakleet, which will be             
 completed because it was already started, but said Kramer's field             
 in Fairbanks project was limited to just constructing an access               
 road as the two barns were deemed non-transportation related.                 
 Number 2254                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked if the TRAAK money can be used to                  
 upgrade existing facilities or whether it must be used for new                
 Number 2264                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said the funding can be used for existing                
 facilities, but stressed it the funding must be used near the road            
 such as a parking for the trailhead.  He said this is why it is a             
 multi-agency project.  He said the state of Alaska will develop               
 parking areas and will receive reassurance from the Department of             
 Natural Resources (DNR) that they will upgrade their trail.  He               
 referred to a project in Summit Lake where bike trails are being              
 put in to connect the Granite Creek campground with the Canyon                
 Creek bridge.  He said the Forest Service is going to go in and               
 increase the number of campground sites in Granite Creek as a                 
 result of this enhancement.                                                   
 Number 2345                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said DOT/PF is trying to determine the number            
 and location of rest stops.  He said the state has reached a point            
 where rest rooms, public pay phones, in a well lighted spot with              
 water must be built.  He said nice welcome signs will be                      
 implemented as well as interpretive signs to enhance the value for            
 tourists and the residents of Alaska.                                         
 Number 2406                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS asked for information about the allocated             
 money for Ketchikan.                                                          
 Number 2471                                                                   
 MIKE McKINNON, Chief of Planning, Southeast Region, Department of             
 Transportation and Public Facilities, said the DOT/PF has about               
 $800,000 in transportation enhancement funds.                                 
 TAPE 96-9, SIDE B                                                             
 Number 000                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS clarified that the $20 million dollar TRAAK               
 funds are built into the community improvement project.  He said it           
 is misleading in the draft as there are three sections; NHS, CTP              
 and TRAAK, but the breakdown is only on the NHS and CTP.                      
 Number 0036                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said, on page 26 of the STIP document, there             
 is a listing of TRAAK projects.                                               
 Number 0060                                                                   
 MR. McKINNON said Ketchikan has an unusual circumstance, because              
 Tongass Avenue and the associated bridge projects are so integral             
 with the larger Tongass project and as a result it is listed                  
 differently.  He said usually TRAAK projects tend to be listed as             
 independent projects.                                                         
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked if there was more than $20 million in              
 funding for the TRAAK projects.                                               
 Number 0085                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said yes, if you count the projects that                 
 include NHS funding such as the Tongass project.                              
 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS corrected his previous statement, and said the            
 CTP was incorporated into the TRAAK.                                          
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS reiterated the grading procedure of these                
 projects and mentioned the eagle viewing project in Haines and                
 whale park in Sitka.  He added that the Bureau of Indian Affairs              
 (BIA) is putting $31 million into bush projects for 1996 and 1997.            
 He said another group, that mainly goes through the Forest Service,           
 is the Federal Lands Program, has allocated $17.2 million for a               
 projects in conjunction with DOT/PF over the next two years, Big              
 Salt Lake Highway on the Prince of Wales Island.                              
 Number 0174                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS asked if it was a rehabilitation project or a             
 new construction.                                                             
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said it was rehabilitation project and is 14             
 miles in length.  He said another project is around Auke Lake                 
 recreational area where a bi-pass is going to be constructed which            
 will be funded with a combination of DOT/PF funds and a forest                
 highway.  He said this combination of funding works well.  He also            
 mentioned construction of Katmai Valley Road in Southwest Alaska              
 and Coffman Cove to Naukati Junction over on Prince of Wales.  He             
 said funding was also used to build Exit Glacier Road in Seward.              
 Number 0227                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS asked for information regarding Metlakatla's              
 application for a road.                                                       
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said Metlakatla has been applying to the BIA             
 to build a road which would result in a half mile stretch of water            
 between Metlakatla and Ketchikan.  He said Metlakatla has been                
 unsuccessful so far with this project, but that the village                   
 believes that they have achieved $10 million in funds, derived from           
 a bill Senator Stevens is pushing through.  He added that this                
 project will not appear on any of the STIP information, but that it           
 is likely that Metlakatla will ask DOT/PF to build the road for               
 them which the department would be willing to do.                             
 Number 0266                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said public comments still needs to be                   
 received regarding the STIP, but that he didn't visualize any major           
 changes as a result of these comments.  He said the public comment            
 period ends on April 5, 1996, and between April 8 and April 10,               
 1996, DOT/PF will receive the TIP from AMATS, attach that to the              
 STIP document, then send it off for approval to the Federal Highway           
 Administration, Federal Transit Administration and the EPA.  He               
 said federal approval is likely as the DOT/PF works closely with              
 those agencies and the federal government feels the programs are              
 justified.  The federal government also liked the needs based                 
 Number 0310                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS referred to a chart, in the back of the                  
 briefing document, on federal highway funding for the state of                
 Alaska for 1985 to 1998.  The chart shows when the ISTEA program              
 began around 1992 and how the funding increased dramatically as a             
 result, from $150 million to $220 million.                                    
 Number 0326                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS referred to the last chart, in the back of the           
 briefing document, showing the regional affect of the projects.  He           
 said there would be a big sum in the area of the Marine Highway               
 System due to the $50 million allocation for the new boat in 1997             
 which comes from the NHS funding.  He said there is also a large              
 sum in the central program because of the costs associated with the           
 Canyon Creek project, Bird de Gird project, some Seward projects              
 and redoing the Homer Hill project.                                           
 Number 0364                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS asked about the Saxman Roads project.                 
 Number 0377                                                                   
 MR. McKINNON said the Saxman paving project is described on page 24           
 of the STIP document, and the $750,000 project and is being done in           
 conjunction with the BIA.  He said negotiations are being concluded           
 which would add $1 million in funds to complete that project.                 
 Number 0395                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS said only ISTEA funding is currently being used           
 on this project, he then asked what the current stage was in this             
 MR. McKINNON said the design is complete for both the BIA portion             
 and the DOT/PF portion.  He said, currently, $750,000 of which the            
 DOT/PF portion of the project will be used for construction and the           
 department is waiting for the final word on the arrival of the BIA            
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said matching funds for projects was taken               
 into consideration when the projects were graded.  He said this is            
 why the Juneau Auke Lake project scored so well as did the Saxman             
 Road project.                                                                 
 Number 0440                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said no ISTEA funds will be used on the                  
 Whittier project the $15 million is from state appropriations.  He            
 said the new ferry boat will use $20 million of state money.  He              
 said a lot of the village projects will use BIA money or Public               
 Health Service money.  He cautioned, because of these                         
 circumstances, that the true magnitude of the projects are not                
 accurately represented by just looking at the STIP document.                  
 Number 0482                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK asked for an update regarding the ISTEA                  
 funding.  She said Senator Stevens said he was working on                     
 maintaining funding for the state.                                            
 Number 0515                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said a battle is being conducted between the             
 states for the ISTEA funding, it is not a battle between parties or           
 executive versus the legislature.  He said it will be a                       
 Congressional issue and most likely be decided in the Senate.  He             
 said Alaska has many negatives and that the Alaskan position is               
 that we are remaining silent and following along.  He said Senator            
 Stevens is in a key position and if all continues, the state will             
 be close to holding the DOT/PF formula for receiving funding.   He            
 said the amount will probably not stay the same because the total             
 amount of the "pie" is getting smaller.  He said, if Alaska can               
 hold the allocation where the state gets more money than 22 other             
 states, then Alaska will be in good shape. He said we must look               
 ahead, to a time, when we will not be able to hold our position.              
 Number 0584                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS asked how general the federal regulations are             
 regarding ports and harbors.  He said the enhancement regulations             
 are broad to the point where you can go to DNR and help them out              
 with their projects.  He asked how flexible the ISTEA funding is in           
 order to help some areas with those types of projects.                        
 Number 0610                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said there is no ISTEA provision for ports and           
 harbors, with the exception of the ferry terminals.  He said they             
 are not allowed to do any work in the small boat harbors.  He said,           
 the only program available to the state of Alaska on the federal              
 side, is the core of engineers program which is a matching program            
 and the general trend is to shut down funding for this program.  He           
 said this year there was a proposal to stop all the maintenance               
 dredging of harbors in Alaska, with the exception of Anchorage.               
 The harbors that would not be dredged included Dillingham, Nikiski,           
 Nome and several others that the core of engineers have dredged for           
 years.  He said the core of engineers is still receiving some                 
 project development money, but that the funding will decrease in              
 the future.                                                                   
 Number 0659                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said another problem with the core of                    
 engineers is the length of time.  He said Kake Harbor has been a 15           
 year projects and is only now getting to the point where it might             
 be completed.  He said the state needs some type of harbor program.           
 He said there are some proposals to dedicate some of the harbor               
 taxes, which have not been going back into harbor projects, into a            
 fund which would allow construction or rehabilitation of the                  
 state's harbors.                                                              
 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS asked if the state's match to the core of                 
 engineer's projects was ISTEA of general fund dollars.                        
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said the money comes from the general fund.              
 Number 0686                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked if there was any need for environmental            
 clean-up when the enhancement of ports and harbors occurred.                  
 Number 0698                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said he was not aware of any environmental               
 problem.  He said the goal of the state should be to repair the               
 harbors, using tax money currently collected on the water craft               
 taxes, and then turn the harbors over to the municipalities with              
 some portion of this tax dedicated to maintenance projects.  He               
 said the state should not be involved with ownership of harbors               
 with the exception of 22 harbors that could not be turned over                
 because there is no local entity.  He said the rest of the harbors            
 could be turned over within a five year period if the repairs could           
 be done.                                                                      
 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS said the slip fees could be increased in the              
 Number 0768                                                                   
 COMMISSIONER PERKINS said the slip fee rate is low in the state of            
 Alaska as compared with other states.                                         
 Number 0830                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS said it would be beneficial for the committee             
 members to have the criteria the DOT/PF utilized to establish                 
 priorities.  He asked the committee to review the STIP document and           
 work with the DOT/PF and continue the good working relationship               
 between the department and the legislature.  He said, if there was            
 time, he would like to meet with the DOT/PF in order to review the            
 districts concerns regarding the STIP document.                               
 HB 440 - VEHICLE REGISTRATION & REGISTRATION FEES                           
 Number 0980                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS said the next item on the agenda was HB 440, an           
 act relating to motor vehicle registration and motor vehicle                  
 registration fees; and providing for an effective date.                       
 ROGER POPPE, Legislative Aide for Representative Kott, said HB 440            
 is a simple bill which raises the fees for all motor vehicle                  
 registration by $5.  He said HB 440 does not include that $5 fee              
 for a small group of vehicles.  He referred to page three, line 16            
 through 25, and said it was in these circumstances that the current           
 fee was retained.  He said he was not aware of the reasons for                
 exempting the $5 increase for these special license plates.  He               
 said the other request plate, subsection E on line 25, include                
 university plates and other vanity plates.                                    
 Number 1030                                                                   
 MR. POPPE said the other portion of HB 440 is a housekeeping                  
 section with the exception located on page two, Section 3, lines 6            
 through 11, which changes the current practice of the DOT/PF                  
 regarding the practice of charging $10, above and beyond the                  
 current fee structure, in order to encourage people to pay their              
 fees by mail.  He said HB 440 reduced the fee by $5 if the                    
 registration is mailed.                                                       
 Number 1148                                                                   
 MR. POPPE referred to the fiscal note and said that the state, even           
 with the $5 savings for mailed in registration, would save money              
 and HB 440, creating a negative fiscal note.  He read from a                  
 portion of the fiscal note, "the total additional new revenue will            
 be $1,545,000," and added that there will be a revenue loss because           
 of the elimination of the $10 fee causing a loss of $870,000 with             
 a net revenue change of a positive $675,000.  He said the lines               
 will be reduced at the Department of Motor Vehicles as people will            
 choose to mail in their registration.                                         
 Number 1209                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked for more information regarding exempting           
 vanity license plates, and asked if the sponsor would be willing to           
 amend this portion of HB 440                                                  
 MR. POPPE said he could not see a reason why this would be an                 
 objectionable amendment.  He said this section might have been                
 included because of the military license plates.                              
 Number 1260                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS said that it currently costs $35 dollars for a            
 regular license plate and that it costs more for a vanity plate.              
 Number 1308                                                                   
 JUANITA HENSLEY, Chief, Driver Services, Division of Motor                    
 Vehicles, Department of Public Safety, was next to testify.  She              
 said HB 440 raises the registration fee of everyone by $5, and                
 gives those people who chose to register by mail a $5 savings.  She           
 said the reason, why Section 6 was exempted, was because people who           
 chose vanity license plates pay $30 for the sets of plates in                 
 addition to the normal registration fee, plus a $50 one time fee.             
 MS. HENSLEY said individuals who are applying for a new car will              
 pay $5 more than they pay today.  She said a brand new registration           
 that the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has never processed will            
 have to come into the office anyway which would result in an                  
 increased amount of revenue.                                                  
 Number 1470                                                                   
 MS. HENSLEY said the renewal by mail program was offered to keep              
 people who didn't need to come in person from coming to the DMV               
 office.  She said some people have to do their business in person             
 in order to title their cars, obtain driver's license and register            
 their vehicle for the first time.  She said the $10 fee was done in           
 prior legislation as an incentive, but it was seen as a penalty.              
 She said the registration, from that prior legislation, raised the            
 fee by $10 and then reduced it by $10 if the registration was                 
 mailed to the DMV.  She said renewal by mail has been increased by            
 100 percent and that the public has accepted this procedure.  She             
 said the DMV is not opposing HB 440, but that the public has                  
 accepted the $10 fee and the complaints have decreased.  She said             
 increasing the fee by $5 will increase complaints.  She said the              
 long range financial planning commission suggested a registration             
 increase by twofold, which would bring in $21 million in revenue              
 for the general fund.  She said Alaska has the cheapest                       
 registration in the nation.                                                   
 Number 1531                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked how difficult it would be to increase              
 the registration fee by $5 for those license plates listed in                 
 Section 6, with an exemption for the Alaskan National Guard plates,           
 veterans or retired veterans plates and recipients of the Purple              
 Heart license plates.                                                         
 Number 1563                                                                   
 MS. HENSLEY said this section regards vanity license plates and the           
 decision to increase the fee would be at the discretion of the                
 legislature, as long as there is no adverse fiscal impact to the              
 DMV.  She said she could obtain figures of how many people would be           
 affected by this fee increase.  She added that last March the new             
 license plates with the caribou and the mountain scene and the blue           
 and gold with the mountain scene have been extremely popular with             
 a sale of over 5,000, at a cost of $30 per plate.                             
 Number 1655                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS asked for information regarding Section 6,                
 subsection D and subsection E.                                                
 Number 1704                                                                   
 MS. HENSLEY said all the plates in that section are vanity plates.            
 Number 1691                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked if credentials need to be presented in             
 order to get special military plates.                                         
 Number 1704                                                                   
 MS. HENSLEY said a DD-214 must be presented to obtain those                   
 military plates.                                                              
 Number 1718                                                                   
 MR. POPPE said the other special request plates include two other             
 categories, the university plates and the other plates that spell             
 out your name, your girlfriend's name or some clever little saying.           
 MS. HENSLEY said other special request plates include ham operator            
 plates, farm plates, plus other things.                                       
 Number 1761                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS asked for information on changes made to the              
 mechanism of assessing fees, dependent on the evaluation of                   
 vehicles.  He was told that this is not the case for the state of             
 Alaska.  He then asked the DMV's position on increasing the fees to           
 bring Alaska's cost per plate in line with other states.                      
 Number 1831                                                                   
 MS. HENSLEY said she had a comparison of the fees charged by other            
 states that she could send to the committee.  She said some states            
 charge a flat fee, but then tack on taxes and additional costs such           
 as surcharges, taxes, title fees and title search fees.  She said             
 the state of Oklahoma charges 3.5 percent based on the blue book              
 value of the vehicle and cited an example where the state of                  
 Washington charged a five year old motor home $1,800 for                      
 registration and fees.                                                        
 Number 1917                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS said $5 is probably a low increase and for the            
 sake of additional revenue, as well as coming into parity with                
 other states, it is probably not unreasonable to increase the rate            
 by $8 to $10.                                                                 
 Number 1958                                                                   
 MR. POPPE said, upon talking with Representative Kott the sponsor             
 of HB 440, there was no problem with the concept of not exempting             
 the D and E subsections of Section 6 if the committee decides to              
 make this adjustment.                                                         
 A discussion ensued regarding the wording of the Amendment to HB
 Number 2052                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE made motion to adopt Amendment 1 to HB 440,              
 amending on page three, line 24 and line 25, "add $5" to each of              
 those subsections D and E.  Hearing no objection Amendment 1 was              
 adopted to HB 440 by the House Standing Committee on                          
 Number 2111                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE made a motion to move CSHB 440 (TRA) with                
 accompanying fiscal notes and individual recommendations.  Hearing            
 no objection, CSHB 440 (TRA) was moved by the House Standing                  
 Committee on Transportation.                                                  
 As there was no further business to come before the House                     
 Transportation Standing Committee, Chairman Gary Davis adjourned              
 the meeting at 2:55 p.m.                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects