Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/03/2003 01:32 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 3, 2003                                                                                          
                           1:32 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Jim Holm, Co-Chair                                                                                               
Representative Beverly Masek, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Hugh Fate                                                                                                        
Representative Vic Kohring                                                                                                      
Representative Dan Ogg                                                                                                          
Representative Mary Kapsner                                                                                                     
Representative Albert Kookesh                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
HOUSE BILL NO. 213                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to a provisional driver's license and to                                                                       
issuance of a driver's license; and providing for an effective                                                                  
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 83                                                                                                              
"An Act naming the Sven Haakanson, Sr. Airport at Old Harbor."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SB 83 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 71(TRA)                                                                                                  
"An Act relating to funding for transportation projects; and                                                                    
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                              
BILL: HB 213                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:PROVISIONAL DRIVER'S LICENSE                                                                                        
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S)WEYHRAUCH                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
03/26/03     0640       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
03/26/03     0640       (H)        TRA, L&C                                                                                     
03/26/03     0640       (H)        REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION                                                                   
04/01/03                (H)        TRA AT 1:30 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                    
04/01/03                (H)        Heard & Held                                                                                 
                                   MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                  
04/03/03                (H)        TRA AT 1:30 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 83                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE:SVEN HAAKANSON AIRPORT AT OLD HARBOR                                                                                
SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) STEVENS G                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
02/26/03     0274       (S)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
02/26/03     0274       (S)        TRA, STA                                                                                     
03/04/03                (S)        TRA AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                 
03/04/03                (S)        Moved Out of Committee                                                                       
                                   MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                  
03/05/03     0354       (S)        TRA RPT 4DP                                                                                  
03/05/03     0354       (S)        DP: COWDERY, OLSON,                                                                          
                                   THERRIAULT,                                                                                  
03/05/03     0354       (S)        LINCOLN                                                                                      
03/05/03     0354       (S)        FN1: ZERO(DOT)                                                                               
03/13/03                (S)        STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                     
03/13/03                (S)        Moved Out of Committee                                                                       
                                   MINUTE(STA)                                                                                  
03/17/03     0513       (S)        STA RPT 4DP                                                                                  
03/17/03     0513       (S)        DP: STEVENS G, HOFFMAN,                                                                      
                                   DYSON, COWDERY                                                                               
03/17/03     0514       (S)        FN1: ZERO(DOT)                                                                               
03/17/03     0534       (S)        RULES TO CALENDAR 3/18/2003                                                                  
03/18/03     0534       (S)        READ THE SECOND TIME                                                                         
03/18/03     0534       (S)        ADVANCED TO THIRD READING                                                                    
                                   UNAN CONSENT                                                                                 
03/18/03     0534       (S)        READ THE THIRD TIME SB 83                                                                    
03/18/03     0535       (S)        PASSED Y18 N- E1 A1                                                                          
03/18/03     0539       (S)        TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                           
03/18/03     0539       (S)        VERSION: SB 83                                                                               
03/19/03     0576       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
03/19/03     0576       (H)        TRA, STA                                                                                     
03/19/03     0597       (H)        CROSS SPONSOR(S): LYNN                                                                       
03/31/03     0722       (H)        CROSS SPONSOR(S): OGG                                                                        
04/01/03                (H)        TRA AT 1:30 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                    
04/01/03                (H)        Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                      
04/03/03                (H)        TRA AT 1:30 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 71                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE:TRANSPORTATION ENHANCEMENT PROJECTS                                                                                 
SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) STEVENS B                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
02/18/03     0204       (S)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
02/18/03     0204       (S)        TRA, FIN                                                                                     
02/27/03                (S)        TRA AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                 
02/27/03                (S)        Moved CSSB 71(TRA) Out of                                                                    
                                   Committee                                                                                    
                                   MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                  
02/28/03     0295       (S)        TRA RPT CS 3DP 1NR 1AM NEW                                                                   
                                   TITLE                                                                                        
02/28/03     0295       (S)        DP: COWDERY, OLSON, WAGONER;                                                                 
02/28/03     0295       (S)        NR: THERRIAULT; AM: LINCOLN                                                                  
02/28/03     0295       (S)        FN1: ZERO(DOT)                                                                               
03/11/03                (S)        FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE                                                                
                                   532                                                                                          
03/11/03                (S)        Moved CSSB 71(TRA) Out of                                                                    
                                   Committee                                                                                    
                                   MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                  
03/12/03     0467       (S)        FIN RPT CS(TRA) 2DP 5NR                                                                      
03/12/03     0467       (S)        DP: WILKEN, STEVENS B; NR:                                                                   
                                   GREEN,                                                                                       
03/12/03     0467       (S)        TAYLOR, HOFFMAN, OLSON, BUNDE                                                                
03/12/03     0467       (S)        FN1: ZERO(DOT)                                                                               
03/13/03     0491       (S)        RULES TO CALENDAR 3/13/2003                                                                  
03/13/03     0491       (S)        READ THE SECOND TIME                                                                         
03/13/03     0492       (S)        TRA CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT                                                                  
03/13/03     0492       (S)        ADVANCE TO 3RD READING FAILED                                                                
                                   Y12 N7 E1                                                                                    
03/13/03     0492       (S)        ADVANCED TO THIRD READING                                                                    
                                   3/17 CALENDAR                                                                                
03/17/03     0519       (S)        READ THE THIRD TIME CSSB
                                   71(TRA)                                                                                      
03/17/03     0519       (S)        PASSED Y11 N7 E2                                                                             
03/17/03     0519       (S)        EFFECTIVE DATE(S) ADOPTED Y18                                                                
                                   N- E2                                                                                        
03/17/03     0519       (S)        LINCOLN NOTICE OF                                                                            
                                   RECONSIDERATION                                                                              
03/18/03     0539       (S)        RECONSIDERATION NOT TAKEN UP                                                                 
03/18/03     0539       (S)        TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                           
03/18/03     0539       (S)        VERSION: CSSB 71(TRA)                                                                        
03/19/03     0576       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
03/19/03     0576       (H)        TRA                                                                                          
03/19/03     0576       (H)        REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION                                                                   
03/19/03     0596       (H)        CROSS SPONSOR(S): LYNN                                                                       
03/20/03     0603       (H)        CROSS SPONSOR(S):ROKEBERG#1,                                                                 
                                   STOLTZE#2                                                                                    
04/01/03                (H)        TRA AT 1:30 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                    
04/01/03                (H)        Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                      
04/02/03     0748       (H)        FIN REFERRAL ADDED AFTER TRA                                                                 
04/03/03                (H)        TRA AT 1:30 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
LINDA SYLVESTER, Staff                                                                                                          
to Representative Bruce Weyhrauch                                                                                               
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented the proposed committee substitute                                                                 
for HB 213 on behalf of Representative Weyhrauch, the bill's                                                                    
sponsor.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                              
DOUG LETCH, Staff                                                                                                               
to Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                         
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented the sponsor statement for SB 83                                                                  
on behalf of the sponsor, Senator Gary Stevens.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEN STEVENS                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  As sponsor of SB 71, testified on the bill                                                                 
and answered questions from the members.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
JEFF OTTESEN, Acting Director                                                                                                   
Division of Statewide Planning                                                                                                  
Department of Transportation and Public Facilities                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on SB 71 and answered questions                                                                  
from the members.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
COLLEEN NORMAN                                                                                                                  
Alaska Conservation Voters                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to SB 71.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
NANCY WATERMAN                                                                                                                  
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to SB 71.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
BILL LEIGHTY                                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Testified  in opposition  to  HB  71  and                                                               
answered questions from the members.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
LAUREN ATTANAS                                                                                                                  
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to SB 71.                                                                          
                                                                                                                              
JAMES ARMSTRONG, AMATS Coordinator                                                                                              
Municipality of Anchorage                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 71.                                                                             
                                                                                                                              
HEATHER GOTT                                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to SB 71.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
JAMES KING                                                                                                                      
Trail Mix, Inc.                                                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to SB 71.                                                                          
                                                                                                                              
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 03-15, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR BEVERLY  MASEK called the House  Transportation Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 1:32 p.m.   Representatives Masek,                                                               
Holm, Fate, Ogg,  and Kookesh were present at the  call to order.                                                               
Representatives Kohring  and Kapsner  arrived as the  meeting was                                                               
in progress.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB 213-PROVISIONAL DRIVER'S LICENSE                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MASEK announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE  BILL  NO.  213,  "An Act  relating  to  a  provisional                                                               
driver's  license and  to  issuance of  a  driver's license;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0072                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  MASEK told  the members  she  has serious  reservations                                                               
about this is  kind of legislation.  She said  current Alaska law                                                               
allows teens  to obtain a  learner's [permit]  at the age  of 14.                                                               
That gives a  teen up to two  years to learn how  to drive before                                                               
turning  16 years  old, when  he/she  can obtain  a license  with                                                               
parental consent.   She said many  teens do not obtain  a license                                                               
[permit] until they reach the age  of 16 and are required to have                                                               
a learner's  [permit] for  at least  six months.   She  said that                                                               
those  existing provisions  of  law take  care  of the  graduated                                                               
criteria that  this bill's sponsor  is trying to establish.   Co-                                                               
Chair Masek  said that this bill  simply does not make  any sense                                                               
to  her.     She  said   the  National  Highway   Traffic  Safety                                                               
Administration  (NHTSA) study  and  statistics  that the  sponsor                                                               
featured to  justify the implementation  of this bill  cite three                                                               
reasons  for a  large number  of  accidents for  this age  group.                                                               
Those  factors that  work  together  to cause  a  high number  of                                                               
accidents  among teens  are  inexperience, risk-taking  behavior,                                                               
and immaturity.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MASEK told the members  that she believes there are only                                                               
four [changes]  worthy of considerations in  amending current law                                                               
related to teen drivers.   She offered the following suggestions:                                                               
[change] the age at which a  student can get a learner's [permit]                                                               
to 16 years old,  change it so the permit is  for one year rather                                                               
than  for  six months,  require  driver's  education classes  for                                                               
youths under 18 years old,  and prohibit teen driving between the                                                               
hours of  midnight and 6  a.m.   She also recommended  revoking a                                                               
driver's  license for  speeding  or reckless  endangerment.   Co-                                                               
Chair Masek said if there is  a comparison between Alaska and the                                                               
other states, it  is not relevant in the rural  areas where a lot                                                               
of youths  have to  travel quite  far to  a job  and do  not have                                                               
public transportation.  It would be  a huge burden on the parents                                                               
to assume the role of getting kids to work, she said.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0358                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOOKESH noted  that one of the  core components of                                                               
the graduated license  in most states is that youths  [who have a                                                               
provisional license] may  not carry a person under the  age of 21                                                               
years old  [unless it is a  parent or legal guardian].   He asked                                                               
why  the  age  requirement  of  25 years  old  is  used  in  this                                                               
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0380                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LINDA SYLVESTER, Staff to  Representative Bruce Weyhrauch, Alaska                                                               
State Legislature, presented a  proposed committee substitute for                                                               
HB  213   [unspecified  version]  on  behalf   of  Representative                                                               
Weyhrauch,  the  bill's sponsor.    She  told the  committee  the                                                               
rationale for  increasing the age from  21 to 25 years  of age is                                                               
that a person  who is 21 years old  is closer in age to  a 16- or                                                               
17-year-old.   It  was decided  that 25  years of  age is  really                                                               
another age group.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOOKESH stated  that  the sponsor  is relying  on                                                               
data that is  being presented from other states,  and has adopted                                                               
language that  is almost verbatim  from other  state's [graduated                                                               
driver's license]  law, with  the exception  of changing  the 21-                                                               
year-old  to  25-year-old  passenger   language.    He  told  the                                                               
committee   he  does   not  understand   the  rationale   and  is                                                               
uncomfortable with this change.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER replied  that the idea behind selecting  the age of                                                               
25 is to  assure that a passenger  in a car with  a novice driver                                                               
is  someone akin  to  a parent.    The idea  is  to have  someone                                                               
removed from the peer group who  is a young adult.  Ms. Sylvester                                                               
said that  this language  would assure  the greatest  safety, but                                                               
the sponsor  is willing  to consider  a change in  the age.   She                                                               
added  that   the  [25-year-old]  age  requirement   is  part  of                                                               
Washington State's law.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0538                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FATE shared  that he has raised  four children who                                                               
have all gone through the era  of "inability to make a judgment."                                                               
He said he fears this legislation will criminalize every 16-                                                                    
year-old who  has a provisional  license, because  there probably                                                               
is not a  single 16-year-old who at some time  or another have an                                                               
[underage]  passenger  in  the  car  in  the  first  six  months.                                                               
Representative Fate said  he believes that some  of this language                                                               
is too  draconian.  He  told the committee  if the state  were to                                                               
offer really good driver's education, he said he believes a 16-                                                                 
year-old  could be  responsible behind  the wheel  of a  vehicle.                                                               
Representative  Fate summarized  his  comments by  saying he  has                                                               
real concern about this bill.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0653                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MASEK announced  that HB 213 will be  held in committee,                                                               
and a subcommittee may be appointed  to work on the bill prior to                                                               
the next hearing.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SB  83-SVEN HAAKANSON AIRPORT AT OLD HARBOR                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MASEK announced that the next order of business would                                                                  
be SENATE BILL NO. 83, "An Act naming the Sven Haakanson, Sr.                                                                   
Airport at Old Harbor."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0708                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DOUG  LETCH,   Staff  to  Senator  Gary   Stevens,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, presented the sponsor statement  for SB 83 on behalf                                                               
of Senator  Gary Stevens,  the bill's sponsor.   He  provided the                                                               
following testimony:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     SB 83  is a bill  that will  name the state  airport at                                                                    
     Old  Harbor, which  is in  Kodiak Island,  in honor  of                                                                    
     Sven Haakanson,  Sr.  He  passed away November  23rd of                                                                    
     last year.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Sven was a  lifelong resident of Old  Harbor and served                                                                    
     as  the community's  mayor  for  27 years.    I may  be                                                                    
     wrong, but I think that may  be a record for tenure for                                                                    
     mayor in  Alaska.  He  also played an integral  part in                                                                    
     the  community's public  works  and lobbied  diligently                                                                    
     for the airport's  construction.  He was  well known on                                                                    
     Kodiak Island  and around Alaska,  played a  vital role                                                                    
     in  establishing  corporations  and  associations  that                                                                    
     have   become  familiar   and  important   in  Alaska's                                                                    
     corporate and nonprofit world.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     He was  one of the  founders of the Kodiak  Area Native                                                                    
     Association  (KANA), Koniag,  Inc., and  served on  the                                                                    
     boards  of several  corporations  and organizations  on                                                                    
     Kodiak  Island.   Just this  past year  2002, Sven  was                                                                    
     named  the  elder of  the  year  by the  Koniag  Native                                                                    
     Corporation.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0795                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     As you can see in your  bill packet, SB 83 is supported                                                                    
     by the  residents of Old  Harbor, endorsed by  the city                                                                    
     council,  the Old  Harbor Tribal  Council, and  Koniag,                                                                    
     Inc.  Just  the other day we also received  a letter of                                                                    
     support from Ouzinkie  which I wasn't able  to get into                                                                    
     your packets at this time.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     It  is widely  supported  amongst  residents of  Kodiak                                                                    
     Island and this  bill, if passed, will  recognize a man                                                                    
     who  gave  so  much  of  his time  and  energy  to  the                                                                    
     community, and will ensure that Sven Haakanson, Sr.'s                                                                      
     memory will live on for generations to come.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FATE asked  if anything else has  been named after                                                               
Sven Haakanson, Sr.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. LETCH replied that at this  time, the community of Old Harbor                                                               
had not named anything else  after Sven Haakanson, Sr., but noted                                                               
that  there  had  been  a legislative  citation  earlier  in  the                                                               
session when Senator Gary Stevens had been a Representative.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FATE noted  that support  for naming  the airport                                                               
had  been  heard,   and  asked  if  there  were   any  groups  or                                                               
individuals that were against the proposed naming.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. LETCH responded that to his  knowledge there had not been any                                                               
objection to this naming.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FATE  added  that  in  the  past,  he  had  named                                                               
something precipitously and had to  withdraw his support after he                                                               
found out  that certain things  did not  happen that he  had been                                                               
led to believe were the case.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0903                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HOLM referred to a  scenario such as a pilot approaching                                                               
the  airport  under  adverse   circumstances  from  Seattle,  for                                                               
example,  and not  knowing where  the airport  is nor  having any                                                               
idea who Sven  Haakanson was.  He suggested that  the pilot would                                                               
be looking for the airport,  and in poor conditions, he/she would                                                               
be  more in  need of  being oriented  to coordinates  and correct                                                               
location than worrying  about the name of the airport.   He added                                                               
that  he has  heard it  is better  to have  a small  name for  an                                                               
airport than  a large name.   He directed his concern  for making                                                               
an  appropriately  safe choice  regarding  naming  an airport  to                                                               
Representative Fate because of his experience as a pilot.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FATE reflected  that  the concern  does not  have                                                               
much weight  with pilots because  before heading for  an airport,                                                               
the pilot knows,  or certainly should know, the  destination.  He                                                               
added that pilots  use charts and usually, in  a small community,                                                               
there is  only one airport.   He said  he thought that  the issue                                                               
might  apply more  to a  layperson  - one  who does  not pilot  a                                                               
plane.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOOKESH  commented  that  credibility  should  be                                                               
acknowledged   when   the   local  organizations,   groups,   and                                                               
populations in  the district offer  support.  He  highlighted the                                                               
importance of  giving recognition to  their choice for  the name,                                                               
whether the name has six or three syllables.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG said  that he  knew Sven  Haakanson, Sr.  for                                                               
quite a  while.   He said  Sven Haakanson, Sr.  was mayor  of Old                                                               
Harbor   while   he  was   mayor   of   Kodiak  Island   Borough.                                                               
Representative Ogg  said they had  fished competitively  - adding                                                               
that Mr.  Haakanson was probably  better, at times.   He recalled                                                               
that when  he first arrived in  Kodiak, Mr. Haakanson was  on the                                                               
Kodiak Island Borough  assembly.  He said that at  that time, the                                                               
state had  set up  a mechanism  whereby the  city would  have two                                                               
people on  the assembly,  and three people  would be  elected at-                                                               
large.  The  two people from the city were  appointed by the city                                                               
council,  and  when handling  budgetary  matters,  they had  four                                                               
votes - with an extra vote per person.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1159                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG  told the members  that he believed it  was in                                                               
1974  or 1975  when  the budget  came up  [for  review] and  Sven                                                               
Haakanson,  who was  chair of  the assembly,  made a  ruling that                                                               
resulted  in a  lawsuit  by  the City  of  Kodiak against  Kodiak                                                               
Island Borough, the repercussions  of which continue until today.                                                               
Representative  Ogg  said  the  ruling   has  had  an  impact  on                                                               
government  because people  are  no longer  appointed to  elected                                                               
bodies in  Kodiak, and perhaps  not in the  rest of the  state as                                                               
well.   He  highlighted  that  Sven Haakanson,  Sr.  was a  great                                                               
advocate for democracy.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG said he feels  that Mr. Haakanson was a "swell                                                               
person" with a  great sense of humor.  He  has a wonderful family                                                               
and if he  had been alive today, he would  have seen his grandson                                                               
who was  born perhaps two weeks  ago to his son,  Sven Haakanson,                                                               
Jr.    Representative  Ogg said  he  agreed  with  Representative                                                               
Kookesh's suggestion that people should  not be penalized for the                                                               
amount of syllables  in their names, pointing out  that there has                                                               
not been  a problem in  naming airports "La Guardia,  Kennedy, et                                                               
cetera."   He urged the  committee to honor Sven  Haakanson, Sr.,                                                               
who gave so much to the state and served his community.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LETCH said  that similar  concerns have  been brought  up at                                                               
hearings in  the other  body.   He said  Sven Haakanson  Sr., and                                                               
Sven Haakanson  Jr. are  in a  National Geographic  video called,                                                               
"The  Giant  Bears  of  Kodiak  Island."    He  added  that  Sven                                                               
Haakanson Jr.  is the  curator of the  Alutiiq Museum  in Kodiak,                                                               
and  although  he   never  had  the  opportunity   to  meet  Sven                                                               
Haakanson, Sr.,  he believes he  was a wonderful person  from all                                                               
of the accounts that he has heard.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1265                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FATE moved  to report SB 83 out  of committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations [and  the accompanying  fiscal note.]                                                               
There  being no  objection, SB  83  was reported  from the  House                                                               
Transportation Standing Committee.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SB  71-TRANSPORTATION ENHANCEMENT PROJECTS                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MASEK announced  that the final order  of business would                                                               
be CS  FOR SENATE BILL NO.  71(TRA), "An Act relating  to funding                                                               
for  transportation  projects;  and providing  for  an  effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1320                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease from 2:00 to 2:01.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1331                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEN STEVENS,  Alaska State Legislature, as  sponsor of SB
71,  testified  on  the  bill and  answered  questions  from  the                                                               
members.    He told  the  committee  that  this bill  does  three                                                               
things.  Section 1(a) reduces  the funding from the TRAAK [Trails                                                               
and Recreation  Access for  Alaska] program from  8 percent  to 4                                                               
percent.   He asked the members  to look at the  spreadsheet that                                                               
is titled  "Comparison of Minimum TE  Expenditures Required Under                                                               
Federal Law,"  which shows the  last six years of  TRAAK funding.                                                               
He said the  first column, labeled "TE  Apportionment," shows the                                                               
federal requirement  of 10 percent of  all surface transportation                                                               
program  monies.   The column  labeled "TE+Match"  is the  amount                                                               
plus  what  the state  provides.    He  said  it is  the  minimum                                                               
required  under TEA-21  [Transportation Equity  Act for  the 21st                                                               
Century].   Senator Stevens pointed  out that amount is  over $43                                                               
million over  last six years.   In  addition to that  amount, the                                                               
state  has spent  over $150  million, he  said.   Senator Stevens                                                               
explained that  this bill  would put  in statute  the requirement                                                               
that  the state  would reduce  funding down  to 4  percent, which                                                               
would still be above the amount required by federal law.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEN  STEVENS explained  that Section  [1(b)] of  the bill                                                               
takes  that 4  percent  and  steers it  back  into the  community                                                               
transportation program.  He asked the  members to turn to the pie                                                               
chart [titled Distribution  of Federal-Aid Transportation Formula                                                               
Funds  Per 17  AAC 05.155-200].    Senator Stevens  said the  CTP                                                               
(Community Transportation  Program) is made  up of TRAKK  plus 33                                                               
percent of the  CTP, and all that money goes  to AMATS (Anchorage                                                               
Metropolitan   Area  Transportation   Study),  FMATS   (Fairbanks                                                               
Metropolitan Area Transportation Study),  and all other state and                                                               
local road  projects which are  non-restricted.   Senator Stevens                                                               
explained that what Subsection (b)  says is that 4 percent steers                                                               
back to the CTP, but it  does not change the overall amount going                                                               
to the CTP.  In other words,  he said, the statewide CTP now goes                                                               
to 37 percent, and TRAKK goes down to 4 percent.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  BEN STEVENS  told the  committee  Section [1  Subsection                                                               
(c)] relates to  the other spreadsheet titled  "Comparison of the                                                               
Anchorage  Metropolitan  Area  Transportation  Solutions  (AMATS)                                                               
Enhancements Allocation at  10% and 15%".  He  explained that the                                                               
top portion of  the spreadsheet from 2000 through  2003 shows the                                                               
total AMATS  allocation from  the STIP  [Statewide Transportation                                                               
Improvement  Program] for  Anchorage's  share of  the  CTP.   The                                                               
column labeled "Actual" is the  amount of money that was actually                                                               
spent   on  the   trails  and   enhancement  program   by  AMATS.                                                               
Currently, AMATS has a program that  says 15 percent of all AMATS                                                               
funding  will go  to transportation  enhancements which  includes                                                               
pedestrians,  landscaping,  trails,  interpretive  waysides,  and                                                               
pullout, et cetera.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1566                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  BEN STEVENS  pointed out  that actually  more money  was                                                               
spent because  of an anomaly on  the beginning of the  Ship Creek                                                               
Trail.    He  told  the  committee  that  an  important  part  to                                                               
understand about  [Section 1,  Subsection (c)]  this bill  is the                                                               
difference between [2000]  to [2003] then to the  next one [2004]                                                               
to [2006].  AMATS does a  three-year plan, just as the state does                                                               
with the STIP.  It is  important to consider that the AMATS share                                                               
of  the CTP  has increased  from 22  percent to  28 percent.   In                                                               
[2003] Anchorage got  $42 million, but as a result  of the change                                                               
in  [2004]  Anchorage will  get  $56  million.   This  bill  will                                                               
provide that $56 million at 15  percent would be $8.4 million, or                                                               
10  percent  would be  $5.6  million,  which  is similar  to  the                                                               
previously  planned  15  percent.     Senator  Stevens  told  the                                                               
committee if  they look  at the long-term  average over  the next                                                               
three years  of the  program versus  the last  four years  of the                                                               
program,  the spending  remains  constant.   He  said  it is  his                                                               
position and  that of the other  body that passed this  bill that                                                               
Anchorage  faces a  lot  challenges,  as do  other  areas of  the                                                               
state,  with road  needs and  increased congestion.   One  of the                                                               
ways  to help  alleviate some  of these  problems is  to give  an                                                               
increase  in the  amount  of  money and  use  it  to address  the                                                               
problems related  to roads.   This would still  maintain adequate                                                               
funding to build  new trails.  He told the  members the trails in                                                               
Anchorage have  been built with the  same amount of money  in the                                                               
past  and there  is  nothing to  say this  will  not be  adequate                                                               
funding in  the future to  continue the construct of  new trails.                                                               
This money cannot be used for maintenance, he stated.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  BEN STEVENS  commented  that  the National  Recreational                                                               
Trails Federation  Program is in  the state's capital  budget for                                                               
increased trails construction throughout the  state.  He told the                                                               
members that the  reason he included the capital  requests in the                                                               
appropriations bill is  to show the members that  there are other                                                               
areas of funding  that come forward to  build recreational trails                                                               
throughout the state.  For  instance, he referred to number 6854,                                                               
where  there  is  a  request   from  the  Department  of  Natural                                                               
Resources   for  $695,000   for  recreational   trail,  trailhead                                                               
development,  and maintenance.   Number  32552 is  a request  for                                                               
$675,000  for  the  acquisition  and/or  development  of  outdoor                                                               
recreation   areas  and   facilities  such   as  soccer   fields,                                                               
campgrounds, tennis courts, boat  launches, hiking trails, picnic                                                               
areas, et cetera.   Senator Stevens stated that  this request has                                                               
been funded  since 1994.   The previous  request has  been funded                                                               
consistently for $600,000 to $700,000.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1722                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEN  STEVENS pointed out  that the National  Park Service                                                               
also  spends  money on  trails  in  Alaska.   He  summarized  his                                                               
comments by saying  there are many avenues to fund  trails and it                                                               
is his  position that  it is  important to  take the  $13 million                                                               
from  the  TRAKK  program  and  put  it  back  in  the  STIP  for                                                               
communities to help  address some of the  backlog on construction                                                               
projects  for roads.    He noted  that there  is  a $3.1  billion                                                               
backlog  for roads  and  an estimated  $300  million for  trails,                                                               
which is  a 10-to-1 ratio.   Senator Stevens told the  members he                                                               
believes this  will help to  address some of the  problems facing                                                               
communities.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FATE  commented that Senator Ben  Stevens said the                                                               
state  is still  above  the percentage  of  the required  federal                                                               
matching formula.   He asked  if it  is possible to  increase the                                                               
percentage  to  communities, since  there  are  other sources  of                                                               
funding for trails.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  BEN  STEVENS responded  that  he  had a  difficult  time                                                               
determining how much  the state was spending to  meet the federal                                                               
requirement.   The reason it  was difficult is that  each project                                                               
approved under the  STIP has built into it  funds for pedestrian,                                                               
wayside  trails, landscaping,  et cetera.   Senator  Stevens said                                                               
that he has  been unable to get  a finite number on  how much the                                                               
state is spending on it.  He  said he probably could have come up                                                               
with  a  higher percentage,  but  also  believes that  the  TRAKK                                                               
program is a good program and has  done a great job.  However, as                                                               
the members can  see the amount of money has  gone out of control                                                               
and needs parameters.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FATE clarified  his question  by asking  if there                                                               
could be more  funds going to communities for  roads, because the                                                               
trails program has other funding sources.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEN STEVENS  explained that the other  funding sources is                                                               
like mixing  apples and oranges.   These funds are for  trails in                                                               
recreational  areas,   but  they   are  not  under   the  surface                                                               
transportation  program  that  comes from  the  national  highway                                                               
funds.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1872                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HOLM  noted that  Senator Ben Stevens  did not  have any                                                               
numbers  for the  FMATS; however,  there are  percentages in  the                                                               
breakout   [document   labeled   "Distribution   of   Federal-Aid                                                               
Transportation  Formula Funds  Per 17  AAC 05.155.200"]  where it                                                               
shows 27.8  percent for  AMATS and  10.5 percent  for FMATS.   He                                                               
asked  if he  is to  conclude that  if the  $56 million  for 2004                                                               
would be 27.8  percent, then, if he used the  10.5 percent figure                                                               
then he could determine what FMATS would get.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEN  STEVENS replied  that FMATS is  not off  and running                                                               
yet, but under the forward STIP that is the FMATS share.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  told the  members she is  concerned about                                                               
the  rural [areas  of  the state].   She  explained  that in  her                                                               
district  there are  no  roads between  communities,  but in  the                                                               
winter villagers  will stakeout  trails for  snow machine  use so                                                               
people  do  not  get  lost.   The  TRAKK  system  does  help  the                                                               
communities  fund  this  program  and wonders  if  there  is  any                                                               
protection for trail markers.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  BEN  STEVENS  pointed  out  that  originally  the  TRAKK                                                               
program was for  small trail projects according to  the intent in                                                               
the  administrative  order that  established  the  program.   The                                                               
first TRAKK  program was a  concept developed by  Governor Hickel                                                               
and  then  evolved in  the  next  administration into  the  TRAKK                                                               
program that the state has now.   He said his personal opinion is                                                               
that  the program  diverted  further to  become  part of  highway                                                               
projects  and the  projects evolved,  became  bigger, and  became                                                               
mega-projects.  He  explained that instead of  having $400,000 to                                                               
$800,000  projects for  rural  roads  areas it  became  $6 or  $7                                                               
million projects for building  interpretive viewing facilities on                                                               
the  Seward  Highway.    This concept  has  become  difficult  to                                                               
comprehend, so this  legislation is intended to bring  it back to                                                               
what  it was  intended for,  which is  trails and  winter access.                                                               
Senator  Stevens said  he  would  like to  see  the bike  trails,                                                               
landscaping,  viewing  areas,  et  cetera to  remain  a  part  of                                                               
highway projects.  He stated that is the intent of this bill.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER  asked Senator  Stevens  if  he would  be                                                               
comfortable stating this in his bill.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEN  STEVENS responded  that language  is already  in the                                                               
administrative order.   He pointed  out that there is  no statute                                                               
revolving around  TRAKK, the  state is  just directing  funds for                                                               
the  program.     The  TRAKK  regulations   were  established  by                                                               
administrative order not by statute.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2030                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JEFF OTTESEN,  Acting Director,  Division of  Statewide Planning,                                                               
Department of Transportation and  Public Facilities, testified on                                                               
SB 71  and answered  questions from  the members.   He  asked the                                                               
members to look  at the copy of a PowerPoint  presentation in the                                                               
bill packet.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MASEK asked Mr. Ottesen  to address the issues discussed                                                               
in the meeting.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  OTTESEN  referred  to  the  comments  on  the  winter  trail                                                               
[markers].   He told  the members  that there  has been  a debate                                                               
over  the last  few years  in the  department as  to whether  the                                                               
winter trails are  properly part of the TRAKK program  or part of                                                               
the highway  program.  He  said that  they have been  included in                                                               
both  and have  bounced  back and  forth between  the  two.   Mr.                                                               
Ottesen   said  that   he  checked   with  the   Federal  Highway                                                               
Administration, after  the same  question came  up in  the Senate                                                               
Finance Committee.   He found  that a  winter trail in  Alaska is                                                               
being used  as a road  and more importantly  it is being  used by                                                               
motorized  transportation, and  as such  it  needs to  be in  the                                                               
highway program.   The TRAKK program funding is  not eligible for                                                               
trails that  are used  by motorized  vehicles under  federal law.                                                               
Mr. Ottesen  said that  the change  in pushing  the STIP  from 33                                                               
percent to 37 percent would  make more money available for winter                                                               
trails  as well  as for  all other  road needs.   He  said winter                                                               
trails are used  to go between villages for a  variety of reasons                                                               
including shopping,  medical services, or  to visit family.   The                                                               
trails function as a road.   Mr. Ottesen told the members that he                                                               
has traveled  to the  villages in the  winter and  when villagers                                                               
use the trails,  it is the equivalent of an  urban resident going                                                               
to Costco in their  pickup truck.  He said the  trail is used for                                                               
services, not recreation.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2109                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  told the  members that  if the  funds are                                                               
competitive, the [villages]  will not be able to  compete for the                                                               
highway  funds  because  people  in  the  urban  areas  think  of                                                               
snowmobiles as  recreational vehicles.   She reiterated  that she                                                               
would like  to see a preference  or scoring boost for  the winter                                                               
trails for intercommunity travel.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. OTTESEN responded  that the department has  funded six winter                                                               
trail  projects since  1996, almost  one per  year, and  there is                                                               
another one scheduled to be done  this year.  He told the members                                                               
that the  department will  look at the  scoring criteria  to make                                                               
sure the  rural areas do not  fall through the cracks,  but given                                                               
the importance  [rural trails]  play, and  as the  department has                                                               
been  doing the  area plans  around the  state, the  villages are                                                               
telling  the  department  that these  trails  are  their  highest                                                               
priority.   These  [trail markers]  are saving  lives and  making                                                               
winter  travel possible  in bad  conditions, and  bringing people                                                               
home when they  might have otherwise perished on the  trail.  Mr.                                                               
Ottesen  said that  in  every respect  of the  word,  this is  an                                                               
important part of their transportation system.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  OTTESEN   summarized  his  comments   by  saying   that  the                                                               
Department  of Transportation  &  Public  Facilities had  already                                                               
recognized that the  TRAKK program had grown out of  control.  In                                                               
late December  of last year,  the department started  looking for                                                               
ways to  shrink it and  in STIP amendment  17, which was  put out                                                               
the third  week in January,  the department  tried to drop  it by                                                               
$10 million,  but one job was  ready for bid, so  it was actually                                                               
reduced by  $8 million.   Mr. Ottesen  told the members  that the                                                               
department agrees with the figures  in this bill, and pointed out                                                               
that this  program at the 4  percent level would still  be larger                                                               
than  the federal  minimum  by  almost double.    He assured  the                                                               
members that  the TRAKK program  is not going  away, but it  is a                                                               
matter  of the  right funding  level  with respect  to all  other                                                               
needs.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2372                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COLLEEN   NORMAN,  Alaska   Conservation  Voters,   testified  in                                                               
opposition  to  SB  71.     She  told  the  members  that  Alaska                                                               
Conservation  Voters is  a  nonprofit  organization dedicated  to                                                               
protecting  Alaska's  environment  through public  education  and                                                               
advocacy.     The  34   member  organizations   represent  35,000                                                               
registered Alaska voters.  All  of those voters use projects that                                                               
have been funded  by the TRAKK program.  To  keep this funding in                                                               
place for Alaskans,  she asked the members to oppose  SB 71.  Ms.                                                               
Norman  commented  that  the  department  does  feel  that  TRAKK                                                               
funding is out of control; however,  it is important to note that                                                               
there  has already  been  a  funding cut  this  year.   She  said                                                               
putting  a  4   percent  cap  on  funding   will  impede  healthy                                                               
infrastructure development  in every  district.  Ms.  Norman said                                                               
that there will be competition  for rural areas to obtain funding                                                               
for  trails if  those  funds go  into highway  funds.   She  said                                                               
recreation supports  a healthy lifestyle  for all Alaskans.   She                                                               
asked where the  funds will come from to maintain  new roads that                                                               
will be built if these funds are diverted to highways.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. NORMAN closed  her comments by saying that many  of the TRAKK                                                               
projects  help  to encourage  the  economy  with respect  to  the                                                               
tourism  industry.   Ms. Norman  wanted  the members  to look  at                                                               
Subsection [c] where  it limits what municipalities  can spend on                                                               
transportation enhancement projects.   By limiting the funding to                                                               
10 percent  it does not  allow the municipalities to  decide what                                                               
is most  important to them.   She said some of  the projects that                                                               
may be cut are Farmer's Loop,  Chena Hot Springs all season trail                                                               
connection, pathway  connection along the Iditarod  Trail up Crow                                                               
Creek   to  Crow   Pass,  Sterling   Highway  beach   access  for                                                               
beachcombing, clam  digging, and  commercial fishing,  trails and                                                               
trailheads in  the Matanuska-Susitna Borough,  pedestrian walkway                                                               
from the airport to the high school trail in Bethel, et cetera.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 03-15, SIDE B                                                                                                            
Number 2372                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
NANCY WATERMAN  testified in opposition to  SB 71.  She  told the                                                               
members that  she became involved in  transportation decisions in                                                               
Juneau   in  about   1991   when   "ISTEA"  [Intermodal   Surface                                                               
Transportation Efficiency  Act] was passed and  she realized that                                                               
an individual  could participate  in some of  the decisionmaking,                                                               
especially at  the community  level.  She  told the  members that                                                               
she thinks this  is an unnecessary layer of  legislation and that                                                               
Department  of Transportation  & Public  Facilities has  planning                                                               
processes  including  a  20-year plan  and  fiscally  constrained                                                               
state  transportation  plan  that  manages  federal  aid  highway                                                               
dollars.    The  public  process   is  included  and  allows  for                                                               
community influence  in community, regional, and  state decision-                                                               
making.   Ms.  Waterman  said  that caps  on  TRAKK mentioned  in                                                               
Subsection (a) and transportation  enhancements in Subsection (c)                                                               
are  unnecessarily restrictive,  and,  therefore,  she asked  the                                                               
committee  not to  pass this  bill.   She said  that Mr.  Ottesen                                                               
already  spoke  to the  administrative  decision  making that  is                                                               
already   managing   Department   of  Transportation   &   Public                                                               
Facilities funding to  parallel the velocity of  citizens and the                                                               
administration.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2311                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL  LEIGHTY  testified in  opposition  to  HB 71  and  answered                                                               
questions from the members.  He  told the members he is a 30-year                                                               
resident  and  small business  owner  in  Juneau.   He  told  the                                                               
members   that   he   is    interested   in   community   design,                                                               
transportation, and  the energy and security  implications of how                                                               
communities are designed.   He said in contemplating  any bill it                                                               
is important to look at what  the sponsor is trying to accomplish                                                               
and, in this case, whether the bill will help or hinder it.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LEIGHTY  said  that  in  the  case  of  achieving  community                                                               
security, he  would read a  few words  by author Jane  Jacobs, as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     The  problem   of  insecurity   cannot  be   solved  by                                                                    
     spreading people out  more thinly.  There  must be eyes                                                                    
     upon the street; eyes belonging  to those we might call                                                                    
     the natural proprietors of the street.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LEIGHTY commented  that the  analogy here  of the  street is                                                               
actually the trails.   If the objective of this  bill might be to                                                               
restrict the funding  for trail building, with the  idea that may                                                               
keep undesirable  people out of  the neighborhoods,  the opposite                                                               
effect will happen.  He said  he believes it is important to have                                                               
people of all kinds coming  through our neighborhoods, whether it                                                               
is an  urban neighborhood in  splendid isolation on  the hillside                                                               
or a small  community, in order for there to  be that interchange                                                               
of contact.   Mr. Leighty summarized by saying if  that is one of                                                               
the  motives of  the bill,  it  will probably  have the  opposite                                                               
effect.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. LEIGHTY  added that funds  in the TRAKK program  give Alaskan                                                               
very  good security  value  for the  money  invested; moving  the                                                               
funds  into  road  building  projects,  which  tend  to  be  very                                                               
expensive, will  encourage people  to drive  more, and  will burn                                                               
more fuel,  decrease our  security, and  cause us  to be  in more                                                               
isolation from  each other.   Finally, he said  that it is  not a                                                               
good  idea to  be meddling  unnecessarily at  the state  level in                                                               
community decisions.  He suggested  the members not pass the bill                                                               
because it may have the opposite effect of the author's intent.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2205                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FATE  asked  Mr.  Leighty  how  overspending  can                                                               
jeopardize  the security  of  anything.   Would  not security  be                                                               
looked at when the funds are allocated?                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. LEIGHTY responded  that what he thinks is  being discussed is                                                               
the reallocation  of resources  from a  limited pie,  the federal                                                               
funding that  can either go into  TRAKK or be diverted  into more                                                               
road building priorities  for the Anchorage area.  It  is not the                                                               
size  of the  pie that  is  being discussed,  but the  allocation                                                               
within  the pie  and the  ability of  the locality  to have  that                                                               
decision-making power.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FATE  replied that the  size of the pie  does have                                                               
something  to do  with it  because Mr.  Leighty is  talking about                                                               
security.  What happened is  that TRAKK allocated enough money to                                                               
get the job  done, but then found that more  was being spent than                                                               
was projected.   Representative Fate stated that he  does not see                                                               
how  this bill  will  jeopardize anything,  including the  people                                                               
along the trail or the trail itself.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. LEIGHTY commented  that he wanted to make the  point that for                                                               
community  security  and  national  and global  security,  it  is                                                               
important that  people encounter  each other  in the  lowest cost                                                               
possible, and that might be  in building more trails through more                                                               
neighborhoods  to  interconnect people  at  a  more human  social                                                               
level.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FATE  responded that  Mr. Leighty's  philosophy is                                                               
one that could be debated a long time.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2136                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LAUREN ATTANAS  testified in opposition to  SB 71.  She  told the                                                               
members that she believes she speaks  for many people who live in                                                               
Fairbanks who  do not want their  municipal allocation controlled                                                               
by the state.   She quoted Representative Kohring  as saying "big                                                               
tentacles of  government interfering where they  shouldn't have."                                                               
She said  she thinks if SB  71 is passed, it  could characterized                                                               
as  Representative Kohring  said.   She said  that she  could not                                                               
speak to  the issues  in Anchorage,  since she  is not  from that                                                               
area, but she  told the members that she has  great confidence in                                                               
FMATS  in determining  its own  spending  priorities.   Fairbanks                                                               
would be impacted by this  bill because TRAKKS has provided funds                                                               
for quite an array of projects  in the area including:  a 48-mile                                                               
snow  machine  trail  that  runs  out  near  Chena  Hot  Springs;                                                               
Creamer's Field  Waterfowl Migratory Refuge [where  she serves as                                                               
a  volunteer naturalist]  which is  used by  the whole  community                                                               
from school children to tourists;  Birch Hill Ski Area, which was                                                               
just improved this year and was  the site of the Junior Olympics,                                                               
and the  wood bridge  that is  being built  over the  Chena River                                                               
downtown.  Ms.  Attanas said she looked at the  draft STIP for FY                                                               
04 through  FY 09 and concluded  that Fairbanks will be  hit very                                                               
hard by the  passage of this legislation.  She  said she found at                                                               
least  8 proposed  projects in  Fairbanks that  are in  danger of                                                               
losing funding including  a trail that connects  Farmer's Loop to                                                               
Chena Hot Springs  Road, renovation of the  Nenana steamship, and                                                               
sanitary  facilities for  Farmer's Loop  dog mushers.   She  said                                                               
that these are  not just window dressing, but part  of what makes                                                               
Fairbanks home.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. ATTANAS asked the members if  they do want to usurp power and                                                               
control   over  enhancement   projects   by  local   communities.                                                               
Hundreds  of  worthwhile projects  have  already  been funded  by                                                               
TRAKK'  and  these improve  the  quality  of life  for  countless                                                               
Alaskans.  But because of this  bill, hundreds more may be cut or                                                               
delayed indefinitely.   In closing, Ms. Attanas  told the members                                                               
that  one lane-mile  of rural  road  in Alaska  costs about  $1.5                                                               
million to  construct, so ten  miles of roads can  be constructed                                                               
with  the money  saved by  cutting TRAKK  funding in  half.   She                                                               
asked if this is really worth it.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 2:45 p.m. to 2:46 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
[End of  Side B.   Due to  technical difficulties,  the following                                                               
testimony   of   James  Armstrong   was   not   taped,  but   was                                                               
reconstructed from the recording secretary's log notes.]                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
JAMES  ARMSTRONG, AMATS  Coordinator, Municipality  of Anchorage,                                                               
testified in support  of SB 71.  Mr. Armstrong  asked the members                                                               
to review  the letter  in the  bill packet  dated March  3, 2003,                                                               
from Mayor George Wuerch in support of SB 71.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 03-16, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0088                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HEATHER GOTT  testified in  opposition to  SB 71.   She  told the                                                               
members she  opposes the  bill because it  cuts funding  to TRAKK                                                               
program.   She said  she does  not own  a car  and uses  the bike                                                               
trails and paths not only for  recreation, but to get around town                                                               
on a daily  basis.  However, because she lives  in Anchorage, she                                                               
is not nearly as dependent on  the trails as many rural residents                                                               
of the  state, she commented.   Across  the state in  rural areas                                                               
that do  not have road  access villagers depend on  snow machine,                                                               
subsistence gathering,  and dog mushing  trails all of  which are                                                               
past examples  of TRAKK's  accomplishments, she  said.   Ms. Gott                                                               
said  she disagrees  with the  way  SB 71  assumes state  control                                                               
takes  over  local power,  by  taking  away  the power  of  local                                                               
governments  to control  the federal  transportation  money.   In                                                               
summary, she  said, trails and recreation  projects are important                                                               
to Alaskans,  especially in Alaska's  special circumstances.   It                                                               
is  totally appropriate  for the  state to  commit more  than the                                                               
federally  mandated minimum  for transportation  enhancement, she                                                               
stated.   Ms. Gott urged  the members to  vote against SB  71 and                                                               
maintain a balanced transportation system in Alaska.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0190                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JAMES   KING,  Trail   Mix,  Inc.("Trail   Mix"),  testified   in                                                               
opposition to SB 71.   He told the committee that  Trail Mix is a                                                               
group  that works  on  trails  with the  state,  the U.S.  Forest                                                               
Service,  and the  city  [City  and Borough  of  Juneau] to  help                                                               
manage  and  improve  trails.    The TRAKK  program  has  been  a                                                               
wonderful program  for Alaska  in improving  the quality  of life                                                               
for  many  residents.   The  program  has also  addressed  safety                                                               
issues  by  removing  barriers   for  many  users  and  providing                                                               
facilities that helps  make this state such a  wonderful place to                                                               
live.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. KING  mentioned that there  was an earlier comment  that many                                                               
of these projects could be  addressed as part of road improvement                                                               
projects.   He said  that in many  cases that is  not true.   For                                                               
example, if there  is a popular fishing place along  a road where                                                               
maybe there is  a lot of congestion with  parking from fishermen,                                                               
the roadway may be fine, and  therefore, there may be no need for                                                               
a road  project.  However,  but the TRAKK  program can go  in and                                                               
pay  for a  parking  facility,  so the  problem  of  cars on  the                                                               
roadway and the  necessity of pedestrians walking  along the road                                                               
will significantly  improve a poor  safety situation.   There are                                                               
other examples where  kids may be getting to  school, other users                                                               
may be  walking, or  biking along  a roadway  and these  types of                                                               
TRAKK projects  can remove them  from the roadway.   He explained                                                               
that the  trail may not exactly  parallel the roadway, it  may go                                                               
off through  a neighborhood,  it may  make some  other connection                                                               
and therefore, it  is not part of a  major roadway reconstruction                                                               
or construction  project.   Mr. King pointed  out that  the TRAKK                                                               
funds can catch many of these  projects that are not part of road                                                               
projects.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. KING  told the committee  he echoes the comment  made earlier                                                               
that  the  wisdom  of  Department   of  Transportation  &  Public                                                               
Facilities  (DOT&PF) and  the  municipalities  that realize  that                                                               
times are tight and  it is time to tighten our  belt a little bit                                                               
and cut back on these programs  at the DOT&PF level.  However, it                                                               
does not make  sense to make a statewide solution  to all of this                                                               
when DOT&PF  has already  been making those  gestures.   Mr. King                                                               
said that when  times change, and he said he  believes they will,                                                               
if funding is increased and  the backlog of current road projects                                                               
are reduced,  there may  be a desire  for the  municipalities and                                                               
rural  communities to  decide the  priorities  themselves.   This                                                               
type of  bill would tie  their hands  until another bill  were to                                                               
make  it through  the process  again.   Mr. King  summarized that                                                               
TRAKK has been a wonderful program  and has helped to solve a lot                                                               
problems  and  the administration  is  moving  in this  direction                                                               
anyway, so  he does not  see a great  benefit in creating  a bill                                                               
that  ties the  hands of  the municipalities  and DOT&PF  to make                                                               
those decisions.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0460                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MASEK  ended testimony on  SB 71 and announced  that the                                                               
bill would  held in the  House Transportation  Standing Committee                                                               
until the next meeting.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Transportation Standing  Committee meeting was adjourned  at 2:45                                                               
p.m.                                                                                                                            

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