Legislature(2015 - 2016)CAPITOL 17

04/05/2016 01:00 PM TRANSPORTATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 144 DALTON HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE FEE TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Public & Invited Testimony --
*+ HB 21 REGIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITIES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public & Invited Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 186 RESTRICTED OFF HWY DRIVER'S LICENSE TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 186(TRA) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            HOUSE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         April 5, 2016                                                                                          
                           1:04 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Neal Foster, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Shelley Hughes, Co-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Benjamin Nageak                                                                                                  
Representative Louise Stutes                                                                                                    
Representative Matt Claman                                                                                                      
Representative Dan Ortiz                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Charisse Millett                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 21                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to regional transit authorities."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 186                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to vehicle  registration; relating  to off-road                                                               
system  restricted noncommercial  drivers' licenses;  relating to                                                               
off-road  system eligible  areas; and  relating to  motor vehicle                                                               
liability insurance."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 186(TRA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SPONSOR SUBSTITUE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 144                                                                                        
"An Act  relating to fees  based on certain  capital expenditures                                                               
for oil  and gas  production and exploration,  and fees  based on                                                               
the use of the James Dalton  Highway by the operator of the Trans                                                               
Alaska Pipeline System, to offset  the cost of maintenance of the                                                               
James Dalton Highway; and providing for an effective date."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - BILL HEARING CANCELED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 21                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: REGIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITIES                                                                                       
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) JOSEPHSON                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
01/21/15       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/9/15                                                                                
01/21/15       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/21/15       (H)       TRA, CRA, FIN                                                                                          
04/05/16       (H)       TRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 186                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: RESTRICTED OFF HWY DRIVER'S LICENSE                                                                                
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) KREISS-TOMKINS                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
04/10/15       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/10/15       (H)       TRA, STA                                                                                               
03/24/16       (H)       TRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
03/24/16       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/24/16       (H)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
04/05/16       (H)       TRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ANDY JOSEPHSON                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 21, as prime sponsor.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JONATHAN CHURCH, Staff                                                                                                          
Representative Andy Josephson                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information and responded to                                                                     
questions during the hearing on HB 186.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SUSIE SHUTTS, Attorney                                                                                                          
Legislative Legal Services                                                                                                      
Legislative Affairs Agency                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Responded to questions during the hearing on                                                              
HB 21.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MARTY MCGEE, State Assessor                                                                                                     
Division of Community and Regional Affairs                                                                                      
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development                                                                     
(DCCED)                                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Responded to questions during the hearing on                                                              
HB 21.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
BARRET WILBUR, Staff                                                                                                            
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Provided  information  and   responded  to                                                             
question during the hearing on HB 186.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JONATHAN KREISS-TOMKINS                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Provided  information  and   responded  to                                                             
questions during the hearing on HB 186, as prime sponsor.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:04:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SHELLEY HUGHES called  the House Transportation Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 1:04 p.m.   Representatives Ortiz,                                                               
Stutes, Nageak,  Foster, and Hughes  were present at the  call to                                                               
order.   Representative  Claman  arrived as  the  meeting was  in                                                               
progress.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
               HB 21-REGIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITIES                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:04:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HUGHES announced that the  first order of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE BILL  NO.  21,  "An Act  relating  to regional  transit                                                               
authorities."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:05:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   ANDY   JOSEPHSON,  Alaska   State   Legislature,                                                               
explained that  HB 21  is the  child of  a 2010  regional transit                                                               
authority (RTA)  bill introduced  by Senator Charlie  Huggins [SB                                                               
152,  26th   Legislature].    The  proposed   legislation  allows                                                               
municipalities  to create  joint  agreements  and establishing  a                                                               
joint  authority, which  can be  entered  into by  more than  two                                                               
municipalities.  The  bill language is based  on existing statute                                                               
under  Title  29, governing  port  authority  and regional  solid                                                               
waste  management.     The  Matanuska-Susitna   Borough  (Mat-Su)                                                               
initially  requested legislative  action and,  he predicted,  the                                                               
major implications will  be along the rail belt,  where over half                                                               
of the state's population resides.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:06:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  reported  that  the  Matanuska-Susitna                                                               
Valley, with  100,000 residents, is  the fastest growing  area in                                                               
the  state.    One  third  of the  Mat-Su  residents  commute  to                                                               
Anchorage for  work.  At about  6 a.m., hundreds of  vehicles can                                                               
be seen  en route to Anchorage,  and a commute of  this magnitude                                                               
has  many associated  costs, which  include:   road  maintenance,                                                               
vehicle maintenance,  lost productivity,  motor fuel,  and worker                                                               
stress.   He relayed that  individual fuel costs range  from $143                                                               
to  $351 per  month, depending  on  gasoline prices.   The  longe                                                               
range plan of the Municipality  of Anchorage (MOA) identifies the                                                               
need for  an RTA  and includes  the Mat-Su within  the plan.   He                                                               
said  that the  Alaska Railroad  Commission (ARRC)  identified an                                                               
RTA  as being  the next  step  toward examining  a commuter  rail                                                               
system.  Transportation problems do not  stop and start at a city                                                               
or  municipal  boundary,  he  opined,  but  rather  extends  well                                                               
beyond.  Thus, the  goal of an RTA must be  to produce a seamless                                                               
and  coordinated multimodal  transportation  system  to meet  the                                                               
needs of a diverse population.   A necessary topic for discussion                                                               
is  how areas  with multiple  governmental jurisdiction  can work                                                               
and plan together,  he said, and offered Sutton as  an example of                                                               
an  area  where  a  commuter transits  several  local  government                                                               
jurisdictions prior to arriving entering Anchorage.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:08:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  named  the current,  Anchorage  based,                                                               
transit  operators, which  are:   the People  Mover, AnchorRIDES,                                                               
and  Share-A-Ride.   He  also  identified  the Mat-Su  operators,                                                               
which are:  Mat-Su Community  Transit (MASCOT), Valley Mover, and                                                               
the Chickaloon Area Transit System (CATS).   In 2010, the MOA and                                                               
Mat-Su  authorities contracted  with RLS  & Associates,  Inc., to                                                               
draft an RTA  plan, which was to include:   primary service, long                                                               
range goals,  grant administration, and financial  management for                                                               
administering  Federal Transit  Administration  funds.   He  said                                                               
that an RTA would allow  for contracting with the existing, local                                                               
transportation   providers   without  assuming   the   companies'                                                               
responsibilities  in   the  areas  of   operations,  maintenance,                                                               
scheduling, safety, or training.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:09:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  said  that the  MOA/Mat-Su  2010  plan                                                               
identified the following  advantages of an RTA:   new funding and                                                               
transit   services;    assumption   of    grant   administration,                                                               
procurement,  marketing, and  other functions  to supplement  the                                                               
efforts  of the  MOA, the  Public Transportation  Department, the                                                               
Mat-Su borough, Valley Mover, and  MASCOT staff; and operation of                                                               
new  services  would  take  advantage  of  the  capabilities  and                                                               
infrastructure    of   existing    public   transit    providers.                                                               
Coordination under an RTA would  result in enhancing the services                                                               
throughout  the jurisdictions  that People  Mover, Valley  Mover,                                                               
and MASCOT already  serve.  The disadvantages  identified are the                                                               
actions that  are required  at both the  state and  local levels:                                                               
legislative passage  of enabling  statute; and  appropriate local                                                               
government actions for  the creation of RTAs.   The proposed bill                                                               
establishes  the statutory  structure for  an RTA,  with language                                                               
for governance that includes:   self-funding; bonding; how an RTA                                                               
would  be dissolved;  corporate  status;  state authorities;  and                                                               
stipulation  for  membership  on  the board,  as  well  as  board                                                               
functions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:11:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  said that any form  of transit modality                                                               
could be  taken up by an  RTA, and said he  envisions a commuter,                                                               
light rail  system.   He opined  that what  was happening  in the                                                               
Mat-Su was  in need  of a sophisticated  make-over, and  said the                                                               
goal,  under  HB 21,  is  to  create a  sustainable,  productive,                                                               
enjoyable,  and safe  system to  be  completed over  the next  25                                                               
years.   The Glenn  Highway hosts  frequent accidents,  which are                                                               
followed by  lane closures and delays.   He opined that  a mature                                                               
economy  requires   a  sophisticated  transportation   plan,  and                                                               
mentioned Seattle,  San Francisco,  and Denver  as examples.   He                                                               
noted that a  commuter rail system is not  flawless, for example,                                                               
unless Mat-Su commuters work in  the immediate downtown Anchorage                                                               
area, they will need another  mode of transportation to arrive at                                                               
their employment  locale, which  will require a  discussion about                                                               
regional transportation development.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:14:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FOSTER asked  whether there was a companion  bill for HB                                                               
21 in the Senate and whether  the sponsor has sought support from                                                               
Senator Huggins.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  answered that there is  not a companion                                                               
bill, and  said he has not  been in contact with  Senator Huggins                                                               
regarding HB 21.  He  pointed out significant changes proposed in                                                               
HB  21,  which  did  not  exist  in  the  original  Senate  bill,                                                               
including  compensation   restrictions,  bill  page  9,   and  an                                                               
environmental impact review, bill page 10.   He said an RTA is as                                                               
much about commerce as it is about transporting people.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:15:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES  inquired whether  there is  currently rail                                                               
service  from  Ted  Stevens Anchorage  International  Airport  to                                                               
downtown Anchorage.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  answered yes; however, it  suffers from                                                               
lack  of  use  and  he  characterized  the  status  of  the  Bill                                                               
Sheffield  Depot  as  murky.     The  airport  train  service  is                                                               
localized, providing access to the  immediate downtown hotel area                                                               
only, and is not what is envisioned for an RTA.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES recalled  having met  several people  that                                                               
report frequent use  of the airport commuter rail.   She inquired                                                               
whether the existing system could  be connected to the envisioned                                                               
Mat-Su commuter rail.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  described the  access that  the airport                                                               
commuter  currently provides  via  a downtown  connection to  the                                                               
Alaska Railroad  for service  to Denali Park  and Fairbanks.   He                                                               
shared that the  proposed legislation is to  transport people and                                                               
commerce   between  Anchorage   and  Mat-Su   locations,  without                                                               
restrictions  for including  other,  outlying, local  governments                                                               
that might choose to join or form an RTA.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:18:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ  inquired about the current  availability of                                                               
public transportation between Anchorage and Mat-Su destinations.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON deferred.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:18:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JONATHAN  CHURCH, Staff,  Representative  Andy Josephson,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature,  responded  that the  People  Mover  provides                                                               
periodic trips  into Anchorage from  a parking share  lot located                                                               
near the Palmer hospital.  To  a follow-up question he stated his                                                               
believe that  it offers regularly  scheduled service five  days a                                                               
week.   The route offers  service from  the Mat-Su and  along the                                                               
Glenn Highway with  stops in Eagle River.  He  offered to provide                                                               
further information regarding ridership/usage.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:20:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES shared  that on  dark early  mornings with  ice,                                                               
wind, and  snow, being on  a commuter  train would be  nicer than                                                               
driving a  personal vehicle, and  offered her  understanding that                                                               
commuter  trains had  to be  heavily subsidized.   She  asked for                                                               
clarification  regarding  funding  an RTA,  whether  the  service                                                               
would have the ability to  generate revenue other than via fares,                                                               
and the types of subsidies available.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHURCH  responded that  Federal Transit  Administration (FTA)                                                               
funds could be accessed.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HUGHES asked whether FTA funding is based on ridership.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHURCH offered to provide further information.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR   HUGHES   asked   whether   all   municipalities   have                                                               
transportation powers;  directing attention  to the bill  page 2,                                                               
line[s] 27 [and 28], which reads:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
         Creation of the authority is an exercise of a                                                                          
     municipality's transportation system powers.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHURCH deferred.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:22:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUSIE SHUTTS,  Attorney, Legislative Legal  Services, Legislative                                                               
Affairs Agency,  responded that  transportation powers  depend on                                                               
the  municipality.    She said  that  general-law  municipalities                                                               
could exercise  properly acquired powers as  specified in statute                                                               
and not otherwise prohibited.   Further, home-rule municipalities                                                               
may exercise all powers not prohibited  by law or charter, and as                                                               
per  authority described  under  AS 29.35.200  and AS  29.35.210.                                                               
Thus,  municipalities  are   allowed  to  provide  transportation                                                               
systems.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES asked  Mr. McGee  whether the  municipalities in                                                               
the populated areas all have transportation powers.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
[Due  to  a  technical  difficulty,   Mr.  McGee  was  unable  to                                                               
respond.]                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:24:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON said  that,  relative  to financing  an                                                               
RTA,  HB 21  does  not address  bonding  authority, or  stipulate                                                               
whether  bonds  would be  through  investment  or revenue.    The                                                               
immediate  vision is  for enhancement  of the  existing line  and                                                               
development of a light rail  system, which could then be expanded                                                               
upon.   He  pointed out  that HB  21 carries  a zero  fiscal note                                                               
because   it  proposes   a  legal   framework  to   facilitate  a                                                               
cooperative RTA system between joint municipalities.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HUGHES inquired  as to whether polling  was conducted in                                                               
the  Mat-Su to  ascertain the  level of  interest for  a commuter                                                               
rail.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHURCH answered that no study  has been conducted of which he                                                               
is   aware;   however,   personal   experience   indicates   that                                                               
development  of   a  commuter   rail  is   a  regular   topic  of                                                               
conversation in the Mat-Su.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:26:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NAGEAK  asked for clarification whether,  with all                                                               
the  back and  forth traffic  to Anchorage  for jobs,  Wasilla is                                                               
considered a bedroom community.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES offered  that, although  Wasilla and  Palmer did                                                               
not  like   that  particular  characterization,  they   are  both                                                               
considered bedroom communities.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NAGEAK  asked whether  a system could  allow users                                                               
to bring their personal vehicles on the commuter trains.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHURCH answered that a  train service to Whittier has allowed                                                               
users to  load their cars  on to freight  beds, but that  type of                                                               
rail service may not be part  of the vision for a commuter, light                                                               
rail train.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:28:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  said  that  the  previously  mentioned                                                               
study,  completed  by RLS  &  Associates,  Inc., contains  public                                                               
surveys under Appendix H.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:28:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HUGHES asked  about the range of the  proposed fares and                                                               
the amount that a light rail  fare might need to be subsidized to                                                               
make it affordable.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   NAGEAK  echoed   concern  for   subsidizing  the                                                               
service,  and questioned  the level  of ridership  that could  be                                                               
expected between Wasilla and Anchorage.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES restated  her  question regarding  the scope  of                                                               
transportation powers held by municipalities.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:29:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARTY MCGEE,  State Assessor, Division of  Community and Regional                                                               
Affairs,   Department  of   Commerce,  Community,   and  Economic                                                               
Development  (DCCED),  referred  to the  response  received  from                                                               
Legislative Legal  Services citing that, under  statute, there is                                                               
a  possibility for  any  municipality  to acquire  transportation                                                               
authority;  however, he  declined to  offer an  estimate for  how                                                               
many local governments have pursued those powers.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:30:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HUGHES  requested further information regarding  how the                                                               
eligibility of  municipal powers may/may  not be affected  by the                                                               
adoption of HB 21.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:30:32                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHURCH  paraphrased the written  testimony of support  for HB                                                               
21,  received  from  Tim  Sullivan,  Manager,  External  Affairs,                                                               
Alaska  Railroad   Corporation  (ARRC)  which  read   as  follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     ARRC  has  supported,  and continues  to  support,  the                                                                    
     concept    of    providing    daily    commuter    rail                                                                    
     transportation   between   the    Mat-Su   Valley   and                                                                    
     Anchorage.  Over the past  decade, ARRC has constructed                                                                    
     a depot  at the Palmer Fairgrounds,  invested over $100                                                                    
     million in straightening track  to shorten the commute,                                                                    
     and purchased two building in  Wasilla with the plan to                                                                    
     convert them into a transit hub.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     In  2014,  ARRC  modeled  a  demonstration  project  to                                                                    
     provide daily  winter rail service between  Wasilla and                                                                    
     Anchorage.   Just  like every  commuter service  in the                                                                    
     world,  some of  which  are subsidized  by  up to  90%,                                                                    
     ARRC's  model determined  that  a 3-year  demonstration                                                                    
     project  would face  an  approximate  $7 million  loss.                                                                    
     This  loss would  need to  be subsidized  through funds                                                                    
      raised by an RTA or other source.  ARRC is not in a                                                                       
     position to absorb these costs.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHURCH added that HB 21,  as proposed, does not seat a member                                                               
of the  ARRC to  the RTA  board, which is  an oversight  that the                                                               
ARRC would like to see corrected in the final draft.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:32:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  relayed  that AARC  estimates  that  a                                                               
three  year demonstration  project  would cost  about $7  million                                                               
dollars,  and he  offered to  investigate  affordability of  that                                                               
project  and report  on  the associated  consumer  interest.   He                                                               
underscored  that ARRC  supports  HB 21,  and  agreed to  provide                                                               
further  information to  include fare  estimates, ridership,  and                                                               
FTA offset costs.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:33:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES inquired  further as  to the  genesis of  HB 21:                                                               
inspiration   from  Senator   Huggins,  requests   received  from                                                               
municipalities, or personal insights by the sponsor.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  opined  that   the  current  level  of                                                               
commuter  traffic  is not  safe,  efficient,  or sustainable.  He                                                               
estimated that  ridership of the  existing van  services probably                                                               
alleviates less than  one percent of the vehicles  from the road,                                                               
and,  as  in many  major  urban  cities, the  Anchorage  commuter                                                               
traffic   requires  attention.      He  said   that  the   Mat-Su                                                               
Transportation  Advisory Board  (TAB) expressed  interest in  the                                                               
development of  HB 21,  and he credited  Senator Huggins  for the                                                               
initial revelation.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:35:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HUGHES asked  whether there were any  letters of support                                                               
from municipalities.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CHURCH  said a  letter  of  support  was received  from  the                                                               
Anchorage  Metropolitan  Area  Transportation  Solutions  (AMATS)                                                               
[The  designated  Metropolitan  Planning Organization  (MPO)  for                                                               
transportation  required  for  receipt   of  federal  highway  or                                                               
transit assistance.  AMATS is the  MPO for the Anchorage Bowl and                                                               
Chugiak-Eagle River  areas when federal transportation  funds are                                                               
used.].                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HUGHES inquired whether  there other municipalities have                                                               
indicated an interest, such as Fairbanks or Juneau.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CHURCH speculated  on the  possibility of  seasonal interest                                                               
from Fairbanks and the Mate-Su for transporting season workers.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES noted  the  current train  service  to and  from                                                               
those areas.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CHURCH responded  that winter  train service  is limited  to                                                               
weekends only  and, during  the busy  summer months,  despite the                                                               
expanded, daily service, securing seats could be difficult.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:37:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HUGHES asked whether Anchorage  operates a municipal bus                                                               
service.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHURCH answered yes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:38:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MCGEE stated  that  there would  be  some, minimal  taxation                                                               
consequences with the passage of HB  21, due to the fact that any                                                               
property owned by an RTA would be tax exempt.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:39:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON directed attention  to the bill, page 8,                                                               
line  26, subsection  (c) authorizing  a  municipality to  invoke                                                               
payment in  lieu of  taxes (PILT).   He paraphrased  the language                                                               
which reads:                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     (c)  Notwithstanding  the  provisions of  (a)  of  this                                                                    
     section,   an   authority    and   the   municipalities                                                                    
     participating   in  the   authority   may  enter   into                                                                    
     agreements under which the authority  agrees to pay the                                                                    
     participating  municipalities'  payments   in  lieu  of                                                                    
     taxes  and special  assessments  on  real and  personal                                                                    
     property  of the  authority that  is within  the taxing                                                                    
     jurisdiction of the municipality.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES  asked  whether  HB 21  stipulates  how  an  RTA                                                               
governing  board would  be  seated and  whether  it includes  the                                                               
Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOTPF).                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON responded that  HB 21 stipulates the RTA                                                               
board membership, which includes a seat for DOTPF.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:40:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHURCH pointed out that  authorizing language is contained in                                                               
the  bill, page  2, subsection  (d), and  further, paragraph  (2)                                                               
indicates that  the commissioner  of DOTPF or  the commissioner's                                                               
designee will serve as a member  of the board.  He clarified that                                                               
the policy  board for a metropolitan  planning organization (MPO)                                                               
is required, in order to  receive federal funding, for areas with                                                               
populations in  excess of  50,000.  The  Mat-Su does  not qualify                                                               
for an MPO he said, and  predicted that it may following the 2020                                                               
census.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES  said  she  would   like  to  know  whether  the                                                               
designation hinged on an actual  census, and opined that the Mat-                                                               
Su population is close to 100,000.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES announced  that  public  testimony would  remain                                                               
open.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
[HB 21 was held over.]                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 1:42 a.m. to 1:44 a.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
           HB 186-RESTRICTED OFF HWY DRIVER'S LICENSE                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:44:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HUGHES announced that the  final order of business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL NO. 186,  "An Act relating to vehicle registration;                                                               
relating  to off-road  system  restricted noncommercial  drivers'                                                               
licenses;  relating  to  off-road   system  eligible  areas;  and                                                               
relating to motor vehicle liability insurance."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:45:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BARRET  WILBUR,  Staff, Representative  Jonathan  Kreiss-Tomkins,                                                               
Alaska State  Legislature, described the changes  in the proposed                                                               
committee substitute CS (HB) for  186.  As originally drafted, HB                                                               
186   removed   existing   criteria,  regarding   insurance   and                                                               
registration  exemption  for  non-commercial  driver's  licenses,                                                               
which  has  been  held  in  statute for  some  time.    Thus,  by                                                               
retaining  the  original  criteria  in statute  in  the  CS,  she                                                               
ascertained, HB  186 will only affect  off-highway non-commercial                                                               
driver's licenses.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:47:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FOSTER moved  to adopt  CSHB  186 Version  29-LS0725\E,                                                               
Martin, 3/24/16, as the working document.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:47:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES  objected  for  discussion purposes.    With  no                                                               
ensuing discussion,  she subsequently  removed her  objection and                                                               
Version E was before the committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:48:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS,  Alaska State  Legislature,  said                                                               
there  was  talk  about  this   statutory  subject  matter  being                                                               
incorporated into  an omnibus criminal  justice reform bill.   He                                                               
explained how  a technical  linkage with  language in  an omnibus                                                               
criminal  justice  reform  bill   relates  to  driver's  licenses                                                               
allowing  for  violation  citations  to be  issued  to  residents                                                               
living in  rural communities previously excluded  through statute                                                               
for off-highway driver's licenses.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NAGEAK  asked   whether  off-road  systems  means                                                               
locales not connected to a road system.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:49:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS answered yes.   He said eligibility                                                               
for off-highway  driver's licenses  is basically  for communities                                                               
off the road system, and which lack  a DMV office.  He said there                                                               
were some inadvertent exclusions  to which rural communities were                                                               
allowed  to  have   off-highway  driver's  licenses;  inadvertent                                                               
exclusions which HB  186 seeks to remove,  particularly for those                                                               
communities  having access  to the  ferry system  and which  have                                                               
Department of Transportation &  Public Facilities (DOTPF) traffic                                                               
counts greater than 500.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:50:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NAGEAK  inquired  whether  HB  186  would  affect                                                               
commercial driver's licenses.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS responded  no, and  said that  the                                                               
proposed  legislation  only  relates to  personal  non-commercial                                                               
driver's licenses.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR   HUGHES  asked   how  HB   186  will   effect  existing                                                               
communities, and which communities will  be added to the eligible                                                               
list with passage of HB 186.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS  responded  that  the  communities                                                               
immediately  effected include:  Seldovia,  Angoon, Kake,  Hoonah,                                                               
potentially Sand  Point, and any  rural community noted  by DOTPF                                                               
to have  a traffic count  exceeding 500.   He explained  that the                                                               
proposed legislation  removes the  potential of  future exclusion                                                               
for rural communities.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HUGHES  asked whether  currently listed  communities are                                                               
to be retained.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS answered yes.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:52:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES closed  public testimony  after ascertaining  no                                                               
one wished to testify on HB 186.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:52:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FOSTER  moved to report  CSHB 186,  29-LS0725\E, Martin,                                                               
3/24/16,   as  amended,   out   of   committee  with   individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no  objection,   CSHB  186(TRA)  was  reported   from  the  House                                                               
Transportation Standing Committee.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:53:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Transportation Standing  Committee meeting was adjourned  at 1:53                                                               
p.m.                                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 186 ver E.pdf HTRA 4/5/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 186
HB186-SectionalAnalysis (5).pdf HTRA 4/5/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 186
HB21 Sponsor Statement.pdf HTRA 4/5/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 21
HB21 ver W.pdf HTRA 4/5/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 21
HB21 Sectional Analysis.pdf HTRA 4/5/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 21
HB21 Fiscal Note - DCCED.pdf HTRA 4/5/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 21
HB21 Supporting Document - ADN 2-11-14.pdf HTRA 4/5/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 21
HB21 Supporting Document - ADN 6-2-09.pdf HTRA 4/5/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 21