Legislature(1995 - 1996)
04/03/1996 02:22 PM TRA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE April 3, 1996 2:22 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Gary Davis, Chairman Representative Jeanette James Representative Tom Brice Representative Jerry Sanders Representative Bill Williams Representative Don Long MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Beverly Masek, Vice Chair OTHER HOUSE MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Norman Rokeberg COMMITTEE CALENDAR HOUSE BILL NO. 543 "An Act establishing a preference when entering into state airport land leases." - MOVED CSHB 543 (TRA) FROM COMMITTEE HOUSE BILL NO. 518 "An Act exempting certain persons engaged in selling or servicing certain vehicles from overtime wage requirements." - MOVED HB 518 FROM COMMITTEE CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 274(TRA) am "An Act relating to the noise levels of airports and sport shooting facilities." - MOVED HCS CSSB 274 (TRA) FROM COMMITTEE *HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 65 Relating to proposed Federal Aviation Administration regulations establishing crew member flight time limitations. - MOVED FROM COMMITTEE *HOUSE BILL NO. 136 "An Act mandating the sale of the Alaska Railroad; and providing for an effective date." - HEARD AND HELD (* First public hearing) PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 543 SHORT TITLE: STATE AIRPORT LAND LEASE PREFERENCE SPONSOR(S): TRANSPORTATION JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/14/96 3149 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/14/96 3149 (H) TRANSPORTATION 03/20/96 (H) TRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 17 03/20/96 (H) MINUTE(TRA) 03/27/96 (H) TRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 17 04/03/96 (H) TRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 17 BILL: HB 518 SHORT TITLE: OVERTIME COMP FOR VEHICLE SALES PEOPLE SPONSOR(S): LABOR & COMMERCE JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/15/96 2776 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/15/96 2776 (H) TRANSPORTATION, LABOR & COMMERCE 02/28/96 (H) TRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 17 02/28/96 (H) MINUTE(TRA) 03/20/96 (H) TRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 17 04/03/96 (H) TRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 17 BILL: SB 274 SHORT TITLE: NOISE AT AIRPORTS & SPORT SHOOTING RANGES SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) HALFORD,Sharp,Green JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/09/96 2347 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/09/96 2347 (S) TRANSPORTATION 02/27/96 (S) TRA AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 02/27/96 (S) MINUTE(TRA) 02/28/96 2566 (S) TRA RPT CS 1DP 2NR SAME TITLE 02/28/96 2566 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTES (LAW, DOT) 03/06/96 (S) RLS AT 12:45 PM FAHRENKAMP RM 203 03/06/96 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 03/12/96 2710 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR 3/12/96 03/12/96 2715 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 03/12/96 2715 (S) TRA CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 03/12/96 2715 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 03/12/96 2715 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME CSSB 274(TRA) 03/12/96 2716 (S) PASSED Y17 N1 E2 03/12/96 2716 (S) DUNCAN NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION 03/14/96 2747 (S) RECON TAKEN UP - IN THIRD READING 03/14/96 2747 (S) RETURN TO SECOND FOR AM 1 UNAN CONSENT 03/14/96 2747 (S) AM NO 1 ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 03/14/96 2747 (S) AUTOMATICALLY IN THIRD READING 03/14/96 2748 (S) PASSED ON RECONSIDERATION Y15 N3 E2 03/14/96 2749 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 03/18/96 3171 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/18/96 3171 (H) TRANSPORTATION, FINANCE 04/03/96 (H) TRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 17 BILL: HJR 65 SHORT TITLE: OPPOSING PROPOSED FAA REGULATIONS SPONSOR(S): TRANSPORTATION JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 04/02/96 3558 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 04/02/96 3559 (H) TRANSPORTATION 04/03/96 (H) TRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 17 BILL: HB 136 SHORT TITLE: MANDATE SALE OF ALASKA RAILROAD SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MARTIN JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/30/95 174 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/30/95 174 (H) TRA, STA, FIN 04/03/96 (H) TRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 17 WITNESS REGISTER KURT PARKAN, Deputy Commissioner Office of the Commissioner Department of Transportation and Public Facilities 3132 Channel Drive Juneau, Alaska 99801-7898 Telephone: (907) 465-6977 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on CSHB 543 KELLY HUBER, Legislative Aide for Senator Halford Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 508 Juneau, AK 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4958 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on CSSB 274 (TRA) am TOM ANDERSON, Legislative Aide for Representative Martin Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 502 Juneau, AK 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-3783 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 136 FRANK DILLON, Executive Director Alaska Trucking Association 3443 Minnesota Drive Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 276-1149 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 136 BOB HATFIELD, Chief Executive Officer Alaska Railroad Corporation P.O. Box 107500 Anchorage, Alaska 99501-7500 Telephone: (907) 265-2403 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 136 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 96-15, SIDE A Number 000 The House Transportation Standing Committee was called to order by Chairman Gary Davis at 2:22 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives G. Davis, James, Brice, Long, and Williams. This meeting was teleconferenced to Anchorage, Fairbanks and Seward. A quorum was present. CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS announced that the agenda was HB 543, HB 518, CSSB 274 (TRA) am, HJR 65 and HB 136. HB 543 - STATE AIRPORT LAND LEASE PREFERENCE Number 0045 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS announced the first item on the agenda was HB 543, an act establishing a preference when entering into state airport land leases and referred to the new committee substitute. REPRESENTATIVE JEANETTE JAMES made a motion to adopt CSHB 543 (TRA), version 9-LS1769\F, dated April 3, 1996. Hearing no objections CSHB 543 (TRA) was now before the House Standing Committee on Transportation. Number 0095 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS said CSHB 543 (TRA) was a draft put together in conjunction with involved parties and the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT/PF). He said the language in the title has been narrowly defined so that it addresses specific concerns and will not leave itself open to revisions. He said the findings section has been left into CSHB 543 (TRA) to protect it from any constitutional question regarding preferential rights on land leases. Number 0192 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS said the changes in Section 2 address concerns by involved parties. He said the changes in Section 3 involve the elimination of terms which might have a legal basis, with the insertion of simple language. He said the language now reads, "right and option to make the first offer on a new lease for an extended term within a reasonable period of time". He said there was lengthy discussion to make sure the time frames within that process were delineated and Section 3 (d) does this, "under (c) of this section, the department shall make the offer not less than 180 days before the expiration of the existing lease, and the holder of the existing lease shall respond to the department's offer not less than 90 days before the expiration of the existing lease." In this subsection, lease does not include a holdover lease. He said a holdover lease will probably not have 180 or even 90 days left in the lease. He said the provisions apply in a holdover lease but the timing does not. Holdover leases are available for the lessee to have the right and option to make the first offer on a new lease for that same land. Number 0346 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS said Section 3 (e) addresses the improvements made to the land and said there might be some discussion on this section. He said (e) addresses the situation where someone is interested in financing a facility on the land, and said DOT/PF can address this situation by regulation. Number 0389 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS said the key thing, in CSHB 342 (TRA), is to make its application constitutional and to make sure that DOT/PF is in agreement to prevent the bill from being vetoed. Number 0426 KURT PARKAN, Deputy Commissioner, Office of the Commissioner, Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, said the DOT/PF supports legislation that will give existing tenants the right and opportunity to get a new lease without going through the anxiety of entering a competitive situation. He said DOT/PF was directed by the Governor to work with the legislature to address this issue and said CSHB 342 (TRA) does a good job in meeting that common goal. He said the DOT/PF has a problem with Section 3 (e), the discussion on the disposition of improvements. He said the DOT/PF cannot say that they support that language and said they have provided some suggested language the DOT/PF could support if the committee feels there needs to be some reference to the improvements in the bill. He said the problem with the current language, in CSHB 543 (TRA), is that it removes flexibility for the state to manage the public land and the DOT/PF feel that it would "tie the hands" of the state in looking at the needs of the community, the needs of the airport users and the need of the state as a whole. Number 0594 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS said the submitted language was located in the committee packet. Number 0641 REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG, "what the provisions of subsection (e) provide for is the disposition of revisionary interests in the leaseholds. There's been a lot of difficulties I understand that in the past about this because they have either been omitted or there hasn't been arms length bargaining in the past about this reversionary interests. So, this section, which I approve of in part, is that it does provide that the disposition of these improvements at the expiration or termination of a lease would remain with the leaseholder except for the limited circumstances found in lines 27 through 30. However, one thing I think that has been omitted, although we have had some testimony in past meetings on this is that if there is a clear, bargained for situation between the state as lessor and the tenants as lessees, that expressly provides for the reversionary interest of the improvement to vest back into the state of Alaska. I don't think we should frustrate that statutorily and hopefully that would overcome any problems that the department would have with this clause." REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG proposed an amendment to Section 3 (e), language on page three, line 27, after "lessee" adding, "except when expressly bargained for by agreement." "So, the sentence in essence, by paraphrasing read, that the ownerships of the improvements would be retained by the tenant except or by when they constructed them by successor and interest or other assignees, except when they are expressly bargained for by agreement. You could actually bargain for by agreement. As a matter of construction you can even put it also down, however in limited circumstances clearly defined by regulations, you could add it down there too because these are exceptions that speak to the state's interest." Number 0800 MR. PARKAN said he did not see how that language would change things for the state as it doesn't provide the state with the flexibility in determining the disposition of improvements at the end of a lease. He questioned what the language, "acquire ownership by financing improvements" meant. He said DOT/PF does not really finance improvements. Number 0832 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked for clarification on the problem with Section 3 (e). Number 0844 MR. PARKAN said existing regulations, that have been in place for many years, have three options for disposition of improvements at the end of the lease term including the reversion of improvements to the state, improvements may be removed or the improvements may be sold to the subsequent lessee. He said the language, under Section 3 (e), would change that and make it nearly impossible for the improvements to revert to the state. Number 0895 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said his proposed amendment would give the state the ability to bargain for that right in the lease. He said the use of bargaining means something, and said there is not the right to bargain at the airports because of their semi-monopoly status. Number 0941 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said the language suggested by the DOT/PF clearly states the intent more clearly than his proposed amendment. Number 0952 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said the suggested language by the DOT/PF is similar to other language that was included in other drafts of CSHB 543 (TRA) which he had devised. "That language is really duplicative of language I had provided when I had a construct which provided for the reversionary interest in existing leases and then said future leases had to speak to a disposition and that is all that clause does. That clause merely states that any future leases would have a clause or provision for the disposition of any improvements, that is all it means." Number 0990 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said she understood that, but it seemed to her that the disposition of the improvements at the end of the lease is the issue. Currently, according to regulation, the state has all the options and if the state is to have options it should clearly state what those options are. She said the proposed language offered by the department would provide that information. Number 1025 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS said there was some ambiguity in the language provided, "may acquire ownership by financing improvements." Number 1038 REPRESENTATIVE DON LONG said one of the suggested language reads that we need provisions for disposition of improvements and the other suggested language already has provisions lined in the lease. Number 1068 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS said in the CSHB 543 (TRA) it is more detailed with the amendment proposed by Representative Rokeberg which adds some of the language by the departments. He said this is currently the only section of contention in CSHB 543 (TRA). He said he wanted to move this bill out today and felt it would have a better position on the floor if the department's suggested language was incorporated into CSHB 543 (TRA). Number 1108 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES made a motion to delete the existing Section 3 (e), lines 24 through 30, and insert the language provided by the DOT/PF as reads, "All leases must include a provision that provides for the disposition of any improvements made to the land, at the expiration, termination or cancellation of the lease." Hearing no objection, Amendment 1 was adopted to CSHB 543 (TRA) by the House Standing Committee on Transportation. CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS said there would most likely be additional "tweaks" to CSHB 543 (TRA) before it went to the floor with the assistance and cooperation of the DOT/PF. Number 1204 REPRESENTATIVE BILL WILLIAMS made a motion to move CSHB 543 (TRA), as amended, with zero fiscal note, and individual recommendations. Hearing no objections CSHB 543 (TRA) was moved from the House Standing Committee on Transportation. HB 518 - OVERTIME COMP FOR VEHICLE SALES PEOPLE Number 1291 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS announced the next item on the agenda was HB 518, an act exempting certain persons engaged in selling or servicing certain vehicles from overtime wage requirements. He said this bill was heard last week and said, in discussions with the Department of Labor and the prime sponsor, that since the prime sponsor is the next committee of referral, concerns could be addressed there. Number 1291 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS made a motion to move HB 518 with zero fiscal note and individual recommendations. Hearing no objection HB 518 was moved from the House Standing Committee on Transportation. SB 274 - NOISE AT AIRPORTS & SPORT SHOOTING RANGES Number 1524 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS announced that the next item on the agenda was CSSB 274(TRA) am an act relating to the noise levels of airports and sport shooting facilities. KELLY HUBER, Legislative Aide for Senator Halford, said that CSSB 274 (TRA) am is a straightforward piece of legislation which was introduced to provide private airports and sport shooting ranges protection from lawsuits if the legal action arises out of the noise level from normal operations. She said CSSB 274 (TRA) am addresses situations which have occurred in the lower 48 states where new homes were built outside of town, near an airport or a sport shooting range, and then people who moved into their homes didn't care for the noise level and filed lawsuits regarding the noise level. She said CSSB 274 (TRA) am protects sport shooting ranges and private airports from noise related lawsuits. Number 1385 MS. HUBER said CSSB 274 (TRA) is endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), Alaska Air Carrier's Association, the Outdoor Council and the Airmen's Association. Number 1400 MS. HUBER referred to Amendment 1 which the sponsor has asked the committee to consider. She said this amendment is a clean-up amendment. She said, on the floor of the Senate, the word "private" was defined. She said after this action, Legislative Legal came back and said the language should be cleaned up and put in their "legalize." She said now it would read, "private means an airport privately owned or operated" with the deletion of, "by a private individual." She said the amendment takes out "home rule" and deleting, "or unincorporated city or borough" which is not an appropriate way to place this in a definition. She repeated that the language in the proposed amendment was strictly clean-up language. Representative Sanders joined the committee meeting at 2:45 p.m. Number 1475 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES made a motion to adopt Amendment 1 to CSSB 274 (TRA) am. Hearing no objections, Amendment 1 was incorporated into CSSB 274 (TRA) am by the House Standing Committee on Transportation. Number 1497 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES made a motion to move CSSB 274 (TRA) am, as amended, with attached fiscal notes and individual recommendations. Hearing no objections HCS CSSB 274 (TRA) was moved from the House Standing Committee on Transportation. HJR 65 - OPPOSING PROPOSED FAA REGULATIONS Number 1524 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS announced that the next item on the agenda was HJR 65, relating to proposed Federal Aviation Administration regulations establishing crew member flight time limitations. He said this issue was brought to his attention by several people and read the sponsor statement into the record, "The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing to implement regulations which would limit the number of hours air taxi pilots would be allowed to fly in a month. Research indicates that most air taxi operators in Alaska utilize their pilots in excess of this proposed limit on a regular basis. As can be seen in the whereas clauses of the resolution, these regulations will have a drastic impact on air taxi operations in Alaska. These businesses are operating safely and this requirement would be over restrictive and costly. In essence, these regulations will be detrimental to the livelihood of Alaska pilots and air taxi business owners alike." Number 1573 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS said the proposed regulations are included in the committee packet and the amount of hours would be restricted to 100 hours in a calendar month. He said currently pilots are flying in excess of this amount, with some pilots flying 180 to 200 hours a month. He said this limitation is being proposed as a safety measure, but other places in the nation do not have the same summer season with the long daylight hours and the excess volume of seasonal business. Number 1626 REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE asked if there was a current limitation on how many hours someone can fly. A discussion ensued about this question. CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS said pilots, currently, were acting within the law. He said this issue is being fought at the national level by Senator Stevens who is trying to make an exception with the state of Alaska. Number 1754 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked if it was appropriate to name specific private, non-profit associations within HJR 65. He said he would not hold up this resolution to get that addressed as it can be addressed before the floor. CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS said upon checking with the legal department, the did not have a problem with the inclusion of those specific organizations. He said he would verify that question again before it came up to the floor. Number 1831 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said he might want to add language which would depict the uniqueness of Alaskan geography. He made a motion to move HJR 65 with individual recommendations. Hearing no objections HJR was moved from the House Standing Committee on Transportation. HB 136 - MANDATE SALE OF ALASKA RAILROAD Number 1853 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS announced the next item on the agenda, HB 136, an act mandating the sale of the Alaska Railroad; and providing for an effective date. TOM ANDERSON, Legislative Aide for Representative Martin, referred to a work draft which changes the proposed dates within the legislation. He said HB 136 attempts to privatize the Alaska Railroad by asking the Governor to request proposals to purchase the Alaska Railroad and its assets, asks the Governor to evaluate the proposals over a certain amount of time, and then asks the Governor to contract for an appraisal and the amounts of the appraisals shall be presented to the legislature. He said HB 136 requests that the progress be updated, and upon completion of sale of the railroad, it asks the Governor to dissolve the Alaska Railroad Corporation. Number 1929 MR. ANDERSON referred to fiscal notes located in the committee packet. He said the affected departments have not give any indication of a cost and failed to provide a fiscal note. Number 1963 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS requested a copy of the committee substitute which changes the dates, included in CSHB 136, one year forward. Number 2097 FRANK DILLON, Executive Director, Alaska Trucking Association, was next to testify. He said he supported CSHB 136 and that the trucking industry would like to see the Alaska Railroad privatized. He said the trucking industry does not often, directly, compete with the railroad. He said the trucking industry is the third largest user, or customer, of the railroad services. He said there is a lot of freight in Alaska and that makes sense to transport by railroad. Number 2137 MR. DILLON said there are occasions when it is impossible or awkward for the trucking industry to use the railroad because it is a quasi-public entity. He cited an example where the Alaska railroad trucks are going around the municipality of Anchorage and pulling trailers, which belong to private vendors, with state exempt license plates. He said that although this is a small example and the railroad does not have a lot of tractors in their fleet, this appears to be an example where the Alaska Railroad works "both sides of the street." Number 2155 MR. DILLON said, if the component from real estate is taken out of the Alaska Railroad, his organization is not sure that there is much of value to sell. He said the transportation features that the Alaska Railroad provides is bulk hauling of fuel and coal hauling. He said there are questions about what will happen with the fuel haul and the efficacy of the coal haul. He said, other than that, the general freight, with the exception of a few heavy items, could be picked up by less than 200 more trucks. He encouraged information on whether or not the Alaska Railroad is sellable and questioned that if it is too expensive to sell there might not be any value in doing so. He said, in conclusion, he supported CSHB 136. Number 2201 BOB HATFIELD, Chief Executive Officer, Alaska Railroad Corporation, said he was available for questions, but had no prepared testimony to give. Number 2207 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS asked if the state had a legal obligation to offer the Alaska Railroad up for sale. Number 2221 MR. HATFIELD said he was not aware that there was a legal obligation to offer the Alaska Railroad up for sale. He said the statute contemplates the sale of the railroad, but there is no longer a requirement that the state or the railroad offer itself up for sale. Number 2249 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS clarified that CSHB 136 has the legislature asking the Governor to attempt to sell the Alaska Railroad in a time specific manner. He asked what the criteria was to determine whether the offer was being made by a viable company and whether the offer was of an adequate amount. Number 2282 MR. ANDERSON said Representative Martin's intention was to have the Governor direct this determination to either the Department of Administration or the Department of Commerce and Economic Development to establish the criteria. He said Representative Martin felt that it would be premature to establish the criteria at this point without departmental input. Number 2301 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS referred to page one, line ten, and read, "by January 1, 1999, the Governor shall enter into an agreement to sell the Alaska Railroad to the most responsive offer." Number 2308 MR. ANDERSON said this statement was with the assumption that a viable offer comes in and added that this language could be changed. CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS said this would be an area that he would question and said there are two other committees of referral. Number 2322 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said she supported a sale of the Alaska Railroad, but expressed concern as to how this sale is accomplished. She referred to testimony by Montana Rail Link heard in the Joint Senate and House Transportation Committee meeting in March of 1996. She said Montana Rail Link was a viable purchaser for the Alaska Railroad and was interested in buying the Alaska Railroad, but said they might not be interested with the limited amount of track. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said she sympathized with the concerns of Mr. Dillon. She said to have a successful railroad operating in this state it must be private. She said, for the areas where the Alaska Railroad operates, it could provide a big tax base if it was privatized. She said her biggest concern is that whoever buys the railroad should really want to run the railroad and not just sell it off. She questioned whether having a mandate that the railroad be sold by a certain time was something that should be changed. Number 2392 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said the employees of the Alaska Railroad might be prospective buyers and cited their merits. She said the Alaska Railroad has been doing quite well despite the restrictions they were given such as a broken rails and ties, fixed amount of money to use for operations with a limited ability to receive funding to improve the trains such as buying lighter cars to haul more coal. She said, despite all these issues, the Alaska Railroad has done quite well and yet she felt the state has been waiting for an opportune time to sell the railroad. Number 2449 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said she believes that the Alaska Railroad can access the resources throughout the state. TAPE 96-15, SIDE B Number 0000 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said with a railroad you don't have to worry about conflicts, providing emergency services, having services along the road for people or police protection. She said the railroad, in this state, has great potential. She said the buyer of the Alaska Railroad needs to be someone who is interested in making the railroad more than what it is today. She said Montana Rail Link is interested in connecting railroads around the nation and are interested in connecting Alaska's rail to Canada. She said Montana Rail Link indicated that if they were given any indication that they could buy the Alaska Railroad, they would come up with their own appraisal and determination as to whether or not this was a good investment. She indicated that she is not convinced that the state needs to spend the money to do an appraisal. Number 0060 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said whatever is put into statute needs to be thought about very carefully and the Governor must be told that there is an obligation of what needs to be done. She said the reason why no one responded to Montana Rail Link was that the Governor is not interested in selling the railroad. She said it is the Governor's responsibility to put that railroad system into private ownership if at all possible and any inquiries ought to be seriously considered. Number 0102 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said Montana Rail Link is a company that is allowing people in the areas that they serve to have cheaper transportation. She said they are a company operating all over the lower 48 states and in other countries. She concluded that she is not pleased with CSHB 136 and said she was not willing to move this bill out of committee until she had an opportunity to change things in this bill. Number 0126 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS said he agreed with most things that she said. He said he was surprised that Representative Martin, in his legislation, gives the Governor complete control to sell the Alaska Railroad without legislative oversight. He said if someone is interested in buying the railroad, then they will do the appraisal of the lands. He said if an offer is given, the company should know that their offer will be given the greatest amount of consideration and said CSHB 136 can be strengthened in this regard. He said this is an issue currently under debate because of Montana Rail Link and said he agreed with Representative James as to what the procedure was in existence if a company wants to make an offer to buy the railroad. Number 0192 MR. ANDERSON said Representative Martin is willing to work with anyone to change CSHB 136. He said CSHB 136 is a chance to push this issue forward. He said, upon talking with the Federal Railroad Administration, the present trend is for Class A or Class 1 Railroads, which would have a revenue of over $100 million, to purchase smaller railroads. He said there are 12 of these types of Class A railroads, but added that Montana Rail Link is not one of those. He said that now is the time to sell the Alaska Railroad and said that perhaps the Administration is not the entity to dictate or put the parameters around this sale. Number 0224 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said, in her support of rail as a means of future surface transportation, that trucking and rail transportation are not in an adverse competition with each other. She said the more rail activity, the more truck activity you have. She expressed concern for the future when you put more trucks on the highway system as it becomes dangerous and expensive. Number 0286 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said there is language in CSHB 136 which says that the buyers of the Alaska Railroad will continue to operate, but there is nothing in CSHB 136 to prevent the buyers from pulling rail or taking the rolling stock out of the state and this is of concern to him. He said nothing is specified where the state will receive the amount of money it has spent in connection with the railroad and asked when the "state" is defined whether it included the Railroad Corporation or whether it was state general funds. He asked that the state get a fair market price for the railroad as well as protecting employees of the Alaska Railroad. Number 0354 MR. ANDERSON said, "that is in statute, Mr. Chairman." The statute says that the Governor may provide for the sale or lease and that it can be assured that the railroad will continue to operate after the sale or lease and that under the terms of the sale or lease a proper amount of money will be received in connection for the whole railroad. CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS said the committee will work as a whole to bring about changes in the language of CSHB 136, rather than putting this issue into a subcommittee. ADJOURNMENT As there was no further business to come before the House Transportation Standing Committee, Chairman Gary Davis adjourned the meeting at 3:20 p.m.