Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/13/1996 01:33 PM TRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                     SENATE TRANSPORTATION                                     
                       February 13, 1996                                       
                           1:33 p.m.                                           
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
 Senator Steve Rieger, Chairman                                                
 Senator Lyda Green                                                            
 Senator Al Adams                                                              
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
 Senator Robin Taylor, Vice Chair                                              
   Senator Georgianna Lincoln                                                  
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
 SENATE BILL NO. 226                                                           
 "An Act relating to biennial registration of motor vehicles;                  
 imposing biennial registration fees on motor vehicles and                     
 authorizing a scheduled biennial municipal tax on motor vehicles;             
 relating to fees for motor vehicle emissions control programs; and            
 providing for an effective date."                                             
 SENATE BILL NO. 241                                                           
 "An Act relating to the use of studded tires on the Sterling                  
  PREVIOUS SENATE ACTION                                                       
 SB 226 - No previous action to record.                                        
 SB 241 - No previous action to record.                                        
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
 Tom Williams, Staff                                                           
 Senator Frank                                                                 
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Read the sponsor statement.                              
 Juanita Hensley, Chief                                                        
 Driver's Services                                                             
 Division of Motor Vehicles                                                    
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 PO Box 20020                                                                  
 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0020                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported the concept of SB 226.                         
 Jay Dulany, Director                                                          
 Division of Motor Vehicles                                                    
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 5700 E. Tudor Road                                                            
 Anchorage, Alaska 99507                                                       
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Offered to answer any questions.                         
 Senator John Torgerson, Prime Sponsor                                         
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Discussed the need for SB 241.                           
 Bo Brownfield, Deputy Commissioner                                            
 Department of Transportation                                                  
 3132 Channel Drive                                                            
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-7898                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 241.                                        
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
 TAPE 96-1, SIDE A                                                             
 STRA - 2/13/96                                                                
         SB 226 MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRATION/EMISSIONS                         
 Number 002                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER called the Senate Transportation meeting to order             
 at 1:33 p.m. and introduced  SB 226  as the first order of business           
 before the committee.                                                         
 TOM WILLIAMS, Staff to Senator Frank, read the following sponsor              
 SB 226 requires motor vehicle registrations to be renewed once                
 every two years instead of annually.  This will result in shorter             
 customer service lines at the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) by             
 reducing the necessity for as frequent public contact.                        
 To help offset the burden of having to pay two years of fees at               
 once, this legislation gives the public a small registration fee              
 break.  However, despite the small fee break to the public, the               
 state and those municipalities which have a motor vehicle                     
 registration tax will receive additional one time revenue in the              
 year of implementation due to accelerated collections.                        
 This legislation dovetails with DMV's current plans to convert to             
 biennial vehicle registration in Anchorage and Fairbanks and allows           
 DMV sufficient time to convert to a statewide biennial system!                
 I believe this is a good piece of legislation and encourage your              
 Mr. Williams noted that the committee packets contained a sectional           
 analysis, an overview outline, and a summary of highlights.  He               
 explained that the first schedule illustrated the projected vehicle           
 registration by utilizing the actual numbers in 1994 and 1995 while           
 the numbers for the years 1996 to 2002 are based on an annual                 
 increase of three percent.  The second schedule projects the cash             
 flow under the current fees.  The third schedule shows the                    
 projected cash flow with the new fees, assuming that the effective            
 date is July 1, 1997.  There is a cash flow difference of $12.3               
 million between the total revenues with the new fees and the total            
 revenues with the old fees.  There is a one time net cash flow                
 increase of $9.8 million.                                                     
 Number 092                                                                    
 JUANITA HENSLEY, Chief of Driver's Services for DMV, said that the            
 department does support this concept.  A biennial registration                
 program has been supported in previous years, but the annual                  
 emissions testing in Anchorage and Fairbanks have been an obstacle            
 for the implementation of such a program.  She said that a                    
 voluntary biennual program is planned to begin in July.  This would           
 benefit the people of Alaska.                                                 
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER understood that biennial registration would become            
 mandatory after the transition period.  JUANITA HENSLEY clarified             
 that SB 226 would mandate biennial registration whereas now it is             
 an initiative of DMV to voluntarily do biennial registration.                 
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked if there would be a refund of any portion of            
 the registration fee, if a vehicle leaves the state or is involved            
 in a car accident.  JUANITA HENSLEY replied no.                               
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER pointed out that this analysis may fail to capture            
 the unused registration fee.  Under the old system, a car that was            
 totalled in an accident or owned by a person who moved to another             
 state would leave the remaining months of registration fee.  Under            
 the new system those free months of registration fee would be                 
 increased.  That must happen frequently.  Chairman Rieger stated              
 that all of the fiscal impacts must then be understated.  Biennial            
 registration may be more revenue generating than the information              
 suggests.  Was that factored into the analysis?                               
 JUANITA HENSLEY said that she did not know, but the division does             
 support the projections that were presented by Mr. Williams.                  
 TOM WILLIAMS informed the committee that the projections utilized             
 the actual vehicle registration from 1995 with a three percent                
 increase projected.  Nothing that Chairman Rieger suggested was               
 taken into account.                                                           
 JAY DULANY, Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, offered to            
 be available for questions.                                                   
 SENATOR ADAMS moved that SB 226 be moved out of committee with                
 individual recommendations.  Hearing no objections, it was so                 
 STRA - 2/13/96                                                                
           SB 241 STUDDED TIRES ON STERLING HIGHWAY                          
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER introduced  SB 241  as the next order of business             
 before the committee.                                                         
 Number 177                                                                    
 SENATOR TORGERSON, Prime Sponsor of SB 241, explained that SB 241             
 would establish the same studded tire rules for the entire Sterling           
 Highway.  The bill would prohibit the use of studded tires on the             
 Sterling Highway from May 1 through September 15.  SB 241 would               
 treat the traveling public on Sterling Highway the same.  With                
 regard to the attached fiscal note, Senator Torgerson did not                 
 believe it to contain much merit.  He felt that wear on the road              
 from studded tires already existed; no one is really changing his             
 or her tires on this highway.                                                 
 BO BROWNFIELD, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of                       
 Transportation & Public Facilities, said that the current                     
 legislation regarding this highway is confusing because there are             
 two standards on the same highway.  DOT supported SB 241.                     
 Regardless of the current wear on this highway, passage of SB 241             
 would increase the wear to about $60,000 a year.                              
 SENATOR ADAMS pointed out that the fiscal note says that 90 percent           
 of the funding for maintenance of the highway is received from the            
 federal government which is matched by Alaska.  Senator Adams                 
 emphasized that he has always supported studded tires for Alaskans            
 because it saves lives.                                                       
 Number 227                                                                    
 SENATOR ADAMS moved that SB 241 be forwarded out of committee with            
 individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so                  
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER informed the committee that his staff would be                
 arranging an overview of the DOT three year plan for next week.               
 SENATOR ADAMS asked if various districts, specifically those                  
 projects in the northern districts, would be present in the three             
 year plan.  CHAIRMAN RIEGER said that it would be the entire                  
 State's three year plan.                                                      
 There being no further business before the committee, the meeting             
 was adjourned at 1:46 p.m.                                                    

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