Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/02/2002 01:07 PM TRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            HOUSE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         April 2, 2002                                                                                          
                           1:07 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Vic Kohring, Chair                                                                                               
Representative Beverly Masek, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Drew Scalzi                                                                                                      
Representative Peggy Wilson                                                                                                     
Representative Mary Kapsner                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Scott Ogan                                                                                                       
Representative Albert Kookesh                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 507                                                                                                              
"An Act naming the Trooper Roelle Memorial Weigh Station and the                                                                
Officer Wollam Memorial Bike Trail; and providing for an                                                                        
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 507(TRA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
OVERVIEW:  PARKS HIGHWAY CORRIDOR STUDY                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 510                                                                                                              
"An Act relating  to the regulation of  commercial motor vehicles                                                               
to avoid  loss or  withholding of federal  highway money,  and to                                                               
out-of-service  orders  concerning   commercial  motor  vehicles;                                                               
amending  Rule   43.1,  Alaska   Rules  of   Administration;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 510 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 507                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:NAMING WEIGH STATION AND BIKE TRAIL                                                                                 
SPONSOR(S): RLS                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
03/19/02     2603       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
03/19/02     2603       (H)        TRA                                                                                          
03/28/02                (H)        TRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                    
03/28/02                (H)        -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                       
04/02/02                (H)        TRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 510                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES:REGULATIONS                                                                               
SPONSOR(S): TRANSPORTATION                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
03/22/02     2644       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
03/22/02     2644       (H)        TRA, JUD                                                                                     
03/28/02                (H)        TRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                    
03/28/02                (H)        -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                       
04/02/02                (H)        TRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JUDY OHMER, Staff                                                                                                               
to Representative Pete Kott                                                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 204                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented the sponsor statement to HB 507                                                                  
on behalf of Representative Kott, chair of the House Rules                                                                      
Standing Committee, sponsor of the legislation.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
DENNIS POSHARD, Legislative Liaison                                                                                             
Office of the Commissioner                                                                                                      
Department of Transportation & Public Facilities                                                                                
3132 Channel Drive                                                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska  99801-7898                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Gave the department's support to HB 507;                                                                   
asked that HB 510 be forwarded on behalf of the department.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
FRANK DILLON                                                                                                                    
Alaska Trucking Association                                                                                                     
3443 Minnesota Drive                                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska  99503                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 507 and HB 510.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
BRAD BROWN                                                                                                                      
Do Right Trucking                                                                                                               
2200 Shore Drive                                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska  99515                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 507.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER WILSON, Regional Planning Manager                                                                                      
Central Region Planning                                                                                                         
Department of Transportation & Public Facilities                                                                                
P.O. Box 196900                                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska  99519-6900                                                                                                   
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Presented  overview on  the Parks  Highway                                                               
Corridor Study and answered questions.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
JOHN TOLLEY, Chief                                                                                                              
Planning & Administrative Services                                                                                              
Department of Transportation & Public Facilities                                                                                
P.O. Box 196900, Mail Stop 2525                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska  99519-6900                                                                                                   
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Answered question  during the  overview on                                                               
the Parks Highway Corridor Study.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
DAN SENTZ                                                                                                                       
(No address provided)                                                                                                           
Wasilla, Alaska  99687                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified during the overview  on the Parks                                                               
Highway Corridor Study.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
AVES THOMPSON, Director                                                                                                         
Division   of   Measurement   Standards  &   Commercial   Vehicle                                                               
Enforcement                                                                                                                     
Department of Transportation & Public Facilities                                                                                
12050 Industry Way                                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska  99515-3512                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:    Presented HB 510 and  testified in support                                                               
of the legislation.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BARBARA HUFF TUCKNESS, Director                                                                                                 
Legislative and Governmental Affairs                                                                                            
Teamsters Local 959                                                                                                             
520 East 34th                                                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska  99503                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in favor of HB 510.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 02-10, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  VIC  KOHRING  called  the  House  Transportation  Standing                                                               
Committee meeting to  order at 1:07 p.m.  Members  present at the                                                               
call to  order were Representatives  Kohring, Scalzi,  Masek, and                                                               
Kapsner.  Representative  Wilson joined the meeting as  it was in                                                               
progress.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 507-NAMING WEIGH STATION AND BIKE TRAIL                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KOHRING  announced  that   the  first  matter  before  the                                                               
committee  would  be HOUSE  BILL  NO.  507,  "An Act  naming  the                                                               
Trooper  Roelle Memorial  Weigh  Station and  the Officer  Wollam                                                               
Memorial Bike Trail; and providing for an effective date."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0185                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JUDY  OHMER,  Staff to  Representative  Pete  Kott, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, presented  HB 507 on behalf  of Representative Kott,                                                               
chair of the House Rules  Standing Committee, which had sponsored                                                               
the legislation.   She said HB  507 is a commemorative  bill that                                                               
honors some  of Alaska's  fallen heroes who  gave their  lives in                                                               
the  service of  others.   The  bill names  the northbound  weigh                                                               
station at mile 10.6 of the Glenn Highway after Trooper Hans-                                                                   
Peter  Lothar Roelle,  and  names the  Glenn  Highway Bike  Trail                                                               
after Officer [Justin Todd] Wollam.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. OHMER  said Trooper Roelle  is remembered for  his dedication                                                               
to his work  and devotion to his  family.  Two of  the letters in                                                               
the  bill packet  are from  his children,  conveying memories  of                                                               
him.  She also told of the  love and support expressed by his co-                                                               
workers  and  neighbors.    Ms.  Ohmer quoted  from  one  of  the                                                               
letters, "Hans' commitment  led him to pay the  ultimate price of                                                               
giving  his life  for  the sake  of  others.   This  is truly  an                                                               
example of unquestionable love of mankind and heroism."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. OHMER told  of the large number of not  just patrol cars, but                                                               
also 18-wheel  trucks at  Trooper Roelle's  funeral.   She called                                                               
him a model  of bravery and a  hero in both life and  death.  She                                                               
said his  children want  all the  people who  drive by  the Glenn                                                               
Highway Weigh Station to remember their father.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0390                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. OHMER informed  members that Officer [Justin]  Todd Wollam is                                                               
remembered for his  outstanding service to the  community and his                                                               
love  of family.    He'd  quickly earned  the  admiration of  his                                                               
fellow officers with  his enthusiasm for law  enforcement and his                                                               
special way with  people.  She said Officer Wollam  was killed in                                                               
the line of duty, making the ultimate sacrifice.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. OHMER told of a sign  at a recent memorial service that read:                                                               
"Not all heroes  live in New York."   She said HB  507 provides a                                                               
fitting  tribute to  these great  Alaskans  and acknowledges  the                                                               
continuing appreciation  of the state, and  a visual remembrance.                                                               
Acknowledging  these   officers  reaffirms  the  values   of  the                                                               
community and country, and is  responding to what another trooper                                                               
called "the better angels of our nature."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0465                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KOHRING noted that [their deaths  were] a great loss to the                                                               
communities  of  Anchorage  and  the Mat-Su  area,  and  that  he                                                               
considered both officers heroes.  He  said HB 507 would provide a                                                               
fitting tribute.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0490                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DENNIS POSHARD, Legislative Liaison,  Office of the Commissioner,                                                               
Department  of  Transportation  &  Public  Facilities,  testified                                                               
before the committee.   He told the committee  the department had                                                               
no objection  to the bill  and said it  had worked with  the area                                                               
police and  trooper associations  to erect  signage in  the area.                                                               
He said the bike path to be renamed  would be rebuilt in 2003.  A                                                               
plaque would be placed at an appropriate pull-off.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0610                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. OHMER asked if the committee  would want to add the full name                                                               
of Officer Wollam  to the bill.  It would  be changed to "Officer                                                               
[Justin] Todd Wollam".                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KOHRING  said he thought  it would  be prudent to  put both                                                               
full names in the bill for the sake of consistency.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0638                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KOHRING  offered the foregoing  as a  conceptual amendment.                                                               
There being no objection, [conceptual Amendment 1] was adopted.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0657                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   MASEK  offered   [Amendment  2,   22-LS1601\A.1,                                                               
Chenoweth, 4/2/02], which read:                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 1, following "Station":                                                                                     
          Delete "and"                                                                                                        
          Insert ","                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 2, following "Trail":                                                                                       
          Insert ", and the Joseph L. Perkins Bridge"                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, following line 9:                                                                                                  
          Insert new material to read:                                                                                          
          "Sec. 35.40.160.  Joseph L. Perkins Bridge.  The                                                                    
      bridge at mile 56.5 of the Seward Highway, popularly                                                                      
     known as the Canyon Creek Bridge, is named the Joseph                                                                      
     L. Perkins Bridge."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MASEK explained  that it  is a  fitting amendment                                                               
because    Commissioner   Perkins    [of   the    Department   of                                                               
Transportation  and  Public  Facilities]  has done  a  great  job                                                               
statewide  for  the transportation  system.    She said  Alaskans                                                               
could take  pride in seeing  the bridge named  after Commissioner                                                               
Perkins.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0831                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KOHRING asked  whether  there was  any  objection.   There                                                               
being no objection, [Amendment 2] was adopted.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0841                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK moved  to report HB 507, as  amended, out of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal notes.  There being  no objection, CSHB 507(TRA) was moved                                                               
out of the House Transportation Standing Committee.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KOHRING returned the committee's  attention to testimony on                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0882                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
FRANK   DILLON,  Alaska   Trucking  Association,   testified  via                                                               
teleconference.  He said the  trucking industry is pleased to see                                                               
recognition of Trooper Roelle and Commissioner Perkins.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0918                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BRAD BROWN, Do Right Trucking,  testified via teleconference.  He                                                               
said the  industry and  the law-enforcement  community appreciate                                                               
the recognition for  Officers Wollam and Roelle.   [CSHB 507(TRA)                                                               
was moved out of committee.]                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
OVERVIEW:  PARKS HIGHWAY CORRIDOR STUDY                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0970                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KOHRING   announced  that  the  next   matter  before  the                                                               
committee  would be  an overview  on the  Parks Highway  Corridor                                                               
Study.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1026                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER  WILSON,  Regional   Planning  Manager,  Central  Region                                                               
Planning,  Department  of   Transportation  &  Public  Facilities                                                               
(DOT&PF), testified  via teleconference.  She  told the committee                                                               
of  the  department's  role  in  providing  a  corridor  plan  in                                                               
partnership  with   industry.     She  said  the   department  is                                                               
developing a long-range  vision for the Parks  Highway that would                                                               
include a  four-lane, divided freeway with  controlled access and                                                               
interchanges at  major connections.   The department  is focusing                                                               
on "mid-term"  improvements needed over  the next 30 years.   Ms.                                                               
Wilson told about  a 35-member "corridor advisory  group" made up                                                               
of various interests in the public  and private sector.  She also                                                               
informed  the committee  of a  draft scoping  document that  is a                                                               
vision  for the  mid-term future  of the  Parks Highway's  needs.                                                               
She mentioned a few specific projects.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1223                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WILSON told  the committee  that research  has revealed  the                                                               
difficulty in using federal highway  money to purchase the right-                                                               
of-way in advance  of a project.  She noted  that there are other                                                               
options for advanced purchase such as state or local funding.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1323                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KOHRING  asked about controlled  access and  whether DOT&PF                                                               
would accommodate communities on the road.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1368                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JOHN   TOLLEY,  Chief,   Planning   &  Administrative   Services,                                                               
Department of  Transportation & Public Facilities,  testified via                                                               
teleconference.  He  answered by saying there must  be a balanced                                                               
approach with  a variety of applications  in each case.   He said                                                               
limited  access  would  be  far  in the  future,  but  should  be                                                               
considered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KOHRING reminded Mr. Tolley  that reasonable access must be                                                               
provided  for  towns like  Wasilla  so  that businesses  are  not                                                               
harmed.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1575                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DAN  SENTZ testified  via  teleconference.   Noting  that he  had                                                               
property  on the  Parks Highway,  he expressed  concern about  "a                                                               
resistance to  use the  areas that  are good"  for access  to the                                                               
highway.  He asked if areas  that have had highway upgrades could                                                               
be granted highway access.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. WILSON answered by giving list  of methods that could be used                                                               
to protect  transportation needs within a  corridor.  High-volume                                                               
corridors are routinely  limited in the number  of access points.                                                               
She  told Mr.  Sentz that  the department  is looking  forward to                                                               
2030.   Ms.  Wilson  spoke  of the  need  for close  coordination                                                               
between state and local governments  in order to make access less                                                               
problematic.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SENTZ  asked a  rhetorical  question  about plat  notes  and                                                               
zoning.    He  said  his  property was  being  held  hostage  and                                                               
mentioned outdated plat notes.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KOHRING  concluded by saying  he would like to  make DOT&PF                                                               
aware of  businesses and property  owners along the  highway, and                                                               
to  have it  be reasonable  in  allowance of  access relating  to                                                               
property, businesses, and the highway.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HB 510-COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES:REGULATIONS                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1933                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KOHRING  announced the final  matter before  the committee,                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO. 510,  "An  Act  relating  to the  regulation  of                                                               
commercial  motor  vehicles  to  avoid  loss  or  withholding  of                                                               
federal highway  money, and  to out-of-service  orders concerning                                                               
commercial motor  vehicles; amending  Rule 43.1, Alaska  Rules of                                                               
Administration; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1948                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DENNIS POSHARD, Legislative Liaison,  Office of the Commissioner,                                                               
Department  of  Transportation   &  Public  Facilities  (DOT&PF),                                                               
testified  before  the  committee.     He  said  he  would  yield                                                               
testimony to  Aves Thompson, who  had brought the  legislation to                                                               
the  commissioner's  attention.    He  asked  that  the  bill  be                                                               
forwarded on behalf of the department.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1994                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
AVES  THOMPSON, Director,  Division  of  Measurement Standards  &                                                               
Commercial  Vehicle Enforcement,  Department of  Transportation &                                                               
Public Facilities, gave a summary of  what his division does.  He                                                               
said  HB 510  completes  the consolidation  of  "the truck  size,                                                               
weight,  safety,  and  permitting regulatory  program"  that  was                                                               
started  with Executive  Order  98.   He  said  the authority  to                                                               
promulgate  regulations  for driver/vehicle  safety  requirements                                                               
and  hazardous-materials   transport  was  not   transferred  and                                                               
currently  resides  in the  Department  of  Public Safety  (DPS).                                                               
Therefore, HB  510 transfers that  authority to DOT&PF,  and also                                                               
transfers  the  authority   to  conduct  commercial-motor-vehicle                                                               
safety  inspections   from  DPS  to  DOT&PF.     Furthermore,  it                                                               
transfers  the  size, weight,  and  permit  regulations from  the                                                               
Department of Commerce and Economic Development to DOT&PF.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2100                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. THOMPSON  said federal law requires  that state motor-vehicle                                                               
safety  regulations be  no  less stringent  than  federal law  or                                                               
regulation.   If they are  found to  be less stringent,  they are                                                               
preempted  [by federal  law].   He said  Alaska has  avoided that                                                               
result   by   referencing   the  federal   motor-carrier   safety                                                               
regulations.   He  told  the  committee that  hazardous-materials                                                               
transport regulations follow  a similar pattern.   Alaska has not                                                               
received  any formal  sanctions for  its outdated  driver/vehicle                                                               
and  hazardous-materials  transport  regulations.    The  current                                                               
state regulations  reference federal regulations as  they existed                                                               
in 1995.   Mr. Thompson  said there are new  regulations prepared                                                               
and ready to go as soon as the legislation becomes effective.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2161                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  THOMPSON  summarized  by  saying  that  passage  of  HB  510                                                               
completes  the   transfer  of   the  regulatory   authority  over                                                               
commercial motor vehicles to DOT&PF.   It is in the best interest                                                               
of  the state  and  the  trucking industry  for  the transfer  to                                                               
occur,  because  those  responsible   for  the  adoption  of  the                                                               
regulations will also be enforcing  the standards.  He concluded,                                                               
"With the  changes in HB  510, the trucking industry  can realize                                                               
the  objective  of 'one-stop  shopping'  in  terms of  commercial                                                               
vehicle  operations."   He  urged the  committee  to support  the                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2195                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
FRANK   DILLON,  Alaska   Trucking  Association,   testified  via                                                               
teleconference.   He agreed that  the bill completes  the process                                                               
started by Executive  Order 98.  He said  [the trucking industry]                                                               
is  currently  following  federal  hazardous-materials  transport                                                               
regulations,  but   the  bill  allows   [DOT&PF]  to   bring  its                                                               
regulations  up to  date.   He characterized  it as  an extremely                                                               
good bill and urged its passage.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2239                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BARBARA  HUFF TUCKNESS,  Director,  Legislative and  Governmental                                                               
Affairs,  Teamsters Local  959, testified  before the  committee.                                                               
She said  the bill ties  together some loopholes [left  over from                                                               
Executive Order 98].  She voiced  strong support for the bill and                                                               
the fact  that it would put  all the functions under  the purview                                                               
of one department.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 2278                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KOHRING  asked  Mr.  Thompson what  means  DOT&PF  has  to                                                               
enforce the regulations concerning personnel and so forth.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.   THOMPSON  answered   by  saying   the  department   has  30                                                               
commercial-vehicle-enforcement officers throughout  the state who                                                               
enforce driver/vehicle  safety regulations as well  as hazardous-                                                               
materials  regulations.    He  reiterated  that  the  enforcement                                                               
authority was  left behind in  DPS by  Executive Order 98.   This                                                               
bill  would   give  DOT&PF  the   authority  to   promulgate  the                                                               
regulations that its officers enforce.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2365                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON moved to report  HB 510 from committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There  being no  objection, HB  510 was  moved out  of the  House                                                               
Transportation Standing Committee.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Transportation Standing  Committee meeting was adjourned  at 1:54                                                               
p.m.                                                                                                                            

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