Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/18/2003 01:32 PM TRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                          
                         March 18, 2003                                                                                         
                           1:32 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator John Cowdery, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Thomas Wagoner, Vice Chair                                                                                              
Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                         
Senator Georgianna Lincoln                                                                                                      
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All Members Present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
SENATE BILL NO. 31                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to a railroad utility corridor for extension of                                                                
the Alaska Railroad to Canada and to extension of the Alaska                                                                    
Railroad to connect with the North American railroad system."                                                                   
     SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 40                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to construction of highways by the Department                                                                  
of Transportation and Public Facilities."                                                                                       
     MOVED SB 40 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 103                                                                                                             
"An Act increasing certain motor vehicle registration fees; and                                                                 
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SB 40 - See Transportation minutes dated 2/18/03.                                                                               
SB 103 - See Transportation minutes dated 3/11/03.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Mark O'Brien                                                                                                                
Department of Transportation &                                                                                                  
  Public Facilities                                                                                                             
3132 Channel Dr.                                                                                                                
Juneau, AK  99801-7898                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions about SB 40                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Kevin Jardell                                                                                                               
Assistant Commissioner                                                                                                          
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
PO Box 110200                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0200                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions about SB 103                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 03-9, SIDE A                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  JOHN COWDERY  called  the  Senate Transportation  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 1:32 p.m.  Senators Wagoner, Olson                                                               
and  Chair  Cowdery  were present  and  Senators  Therriault  and                                                               
Lincoln arrived shortly thereafter.  He informed members he would                                                               
not bring  up SB 31  because he  was still waiting  for suggested                                                               
language for  a committee substitute.  SB 40 was the  first order                                                               
of business.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
            SB 40-CONSTRUCTION OF HIGHWAYS BY DOTPF                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MARK  O'BRIEN, Chief  Contracts  Officer  for Department  of                                                               
Transportation and  Public Facilities  (DOTPF), told  members the                                                               
effect of SB  40 would be to prohibit DOTPF  and agencies that it                                                               
transfers projects  to from  using their  own employees  when the                                                               
project  costs  exceeded  $250,000,  but  by  statute  DOTPF  may                                                               
exercise the use of a force  account in two instances. One is for                                                               
community  and boardwalk  projects where  an agency  such as  the                                                               
Bureau  of  Indian Affairs  (BIA)  has  a  project and  DOTPF  is                                                               
providing access to  that project. DOTPF may  transfer [funds] to                                                               
the BIA to accomplish that project.  In many cases, a transfer is                                                               
in the  interest of  all agencies  and is  cost effective.  SB 40                                                               
would also  affect municipalities  and cities because  they would                                                               
be  prohibited  from  asking  for and  receiving  transfer  of  a                                                               
project if the cost exceeded $250,000.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  O'BRIEN said  the second  instance under  which DOTPF  could                                                               
exercise a force  account is when they use  their own maintenance                                                               
staff to  accomplish capital projects. DOTPF  has been addressing                                                               
close to  $200 million in  deferred maintenance by  using federal                                                               
aid funds and  state maintenance staff to  perform those projects                                                               
during the  summer. The  types of  maintenance projects  that are                                                               
eligible include cracked ceilings,  bridge repair, chip seal road                                                               
surfacing, and others. The program  benefits DOTPF in a number of                                                               
ways. It  provides the  ability to transfer  costs of  the winter                                                               
maintenance program to a federal  aid project, thereby preserving                                                               
general fund  dollars for  severe winter  events. DOTPF  can then                                                               
retain  year-round  skilled,  knowledgeable  employees.  It  also                                                               
allows DOTPF to fund a portion  of its equipment costs and defray                                                               
some  of the  state costs  of maintaining  equipment by  charging                                                               
those costs to the federal  aid projects, which further stretches                                                               
the dollars for deferred maintenance.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'BRIEN said  another key factor is the size  of the program.                                                               
DOTPF's  summer maintenance  program represents  less than  three                                                               
percent of the federal aid program.  More than half of that three                                                               
percent is contracted out to the  private sector now. He said the                                                               
impetus for this legislation was the St. Mary's project.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COWDERY remarked the St.  Mary's project did stir things up                                                               
a bit but he knows that DOTPF did  a 35 mile chip seal project on                                                               
the Old Seward  Highway a few years  ago and referred to  it as a                                                               
maintenance  project.   He  said   other  states   use  different                                                               
standards  for maintenance  and construction.  He has  no problem                                                               
with DOTPF  doing maintenance work, but  he believes construction                                                               
projects should  go out to  competitive bid. He said  some states                                                               
consider  any   project  that   costs  over   $50,000  to   be  a                                                               
construction project rather than a maintenance project.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
He pointed  out that before the  state came into its  oil wealth,                                                               
the state got a non-construction  rate from the unions during the                                                               
winter  and hired  equipment operators  from the  union halls  to                                                               
plow  the  snow.  He  said  those are  some  of  the  reasons  he                                                               
introduced this  legislation. He placed  a $250,000 limit  in the                                                               
bill because  DOTPF said some  projects cost less  than $100,000.                                                               
He said  he believes the  competitive process  is a good  one and                                                               
that everyone  should be entitled  to the same  Davis-Bacon wages                                                               
in both rural and urban Alaska.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:40 p.m.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON said the St. Mary's  project is in his district. He                                                               
clarified that project was completed  ahead of schedule and under                                                               
budget.  He pointed  out  that  it looks  like  there  will be  a                                                               
request  for  a  significant  amount of  money  to  complete  the                                                               
Anchorage  International Airport,  which he  finds appalling.  He                                                               
then asked  Mr. O'Brien if  he had a  breakdown of the  source of                                                               
funds used  for force account projects,  specifically federal and                                                               
general fund money.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  O'BRIEN said  almost all  of the  funds used  for the  force                                                               
account  programs  are federal  aid  funds.  DOTPF receives  very                                                               
little in terms of general funds.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  asked how many  DOTPF employees would  be affected                                                               
by the passage of SB 40.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'BRIEN said  he hadn't done that calculation but  one of two                                                               
things would happen.  Without the ability to use  the federal aid                                                               
to subsidize the general fund,  DOTPF would either have to reduce                                                               
its  summer employment  or it  would not  be able  to respond  to                                                               
severe  winter  events with  overtime  hire.  He said  management                                                               
would  have  to  decide  which alternative  to  take  and  either                                                               
alternative would result in a  different number of employees that                                                               
would be affected.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  asked what kind  of effect this  legislation would                                                               
have on future supplemental budgets.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'BRIEN  said in  order to respond  to severe  winter events,                                                               
DOTPF  managers would  have to  make some  tough choices.  Either                                                               
additional funding would have to  be provided to pay for overtime                                                               
work  to address  such an  event or  DOTPF would  have to  reduce                                                               
summer employment. He  said a budget increase  would be necessary                                                               
to  maintain a  consistent  work force  throughout  the year  and                                                               
respond to winter events.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON asked  how much of DOTPF's capital  budget would be                                                               
affected by this bill.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'BRIEN  said since nearly all  of the force account  work is                                                               
done with  federal funds,  SB 40 would  affect all  projects that                                                               
cost over $250,000.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON said he was asking for a definitive number.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'BRIEN said he has not computed the numbers in that manner.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COWDERY referred  to Senator  Olson's comment  on the  St.                                                               
Mary's project  being completed  under budget  and said  there is                                                               
nothing to  compare that cost  to because it  was not put  out to                                                               
competitive bid.  He said he believes  an audit is being  done on                                                               
that project  now and added  that DOTPF has been  very supportive                                                               
of the  concept of day  labor contracts, which would  assure that                                                               
local people get the work.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON said the numbers  that were forwarded to his office                                                               
show  that DOTPF  budgeted over  $3  million for  the St.  Mary's                                                               
project while total expenditures were about $2.7 million.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COWDERY said his point  was that a private contractor might                                                               
have bid  that project at $1.7  million. He said there  is no way                                                               
to know what the private sector  might have estimated the cost to                                                               
be.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  LINCOLN said  her questions  about Administrative  Order                                                               
199 (AO 199)  hadn't been answered and although  she doesn't know                                                               
its status,  she believes it  plays into  SB 40. She  pointed out                                                               
that as a  resident of Rampart she has seen  what happens when an                                                               
outside contractor comes in and  doesn't believe in the day labor                                                               
contract concept. She  has seen outside contractors  bring in all                                                               
of their  own food,  manpower, equipment,  some housing  and even                                                               
furniture. Her  community pushed for  the runway project  and had                                                               
to be  very vocal to  get just two  local people hired.  She said                                                               
the letter from  Mr. James of the Tununak IRA  Council shows that                                                               
such jobs are  the lifeblood of many small communities  and SB 40                                                               
would have a devastating impact. She  urged to look at what is in                                                               
the best  interest of the entire  state and repeated she  is very                                                               
uncomfortable  that   her  questions  about  AO   199  have  gone                                                               
unanswered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COWDERY asked if the  equipment was available in Rampart to                                                               
do the runway job.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN replied some equipment was available.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COWDERY  said he worked  on a  number of projects  in rural                                                               
Alaska and needed to import a  lot of things. He hired and rented                                                               
locally  as much  as possible.  He  said the  day labor  contract                                                               
concept is pretty much tailored to the local people.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WAGONER commented  that he  understands the  concerns of                                                               
rural communities  but he  also understands  the position  of the                                                               
contractors.  A  woman  from Nome  recently  testified  that  her                                                               
company would  bid on any size  project in rural Alaska.  He said                                                               
he sees the  need for force accounting but believes  it should be                                                               
limited. He asked how many  projects Mr. O'Brien foresees using a                                                               
force account on  during the next year that would  cost in excess                                                               
of $250,000.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  O'BRIEN said  using  the year  2000 as  a  baseline for  the                                                               
number of  projects, two  were below $250,000  and the  rest were                                                               
more. He said, "... just looking  back through the lists, a price                                                               
tag of  $1 million would probably  take care of 60  to 70 percent                                                               
of them - allow  them to be done. A price tag  of half that would                                                               
probably let 15 to 20 percent of them through."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   THERRIAULT  asked   whether   any  communities   formed                                                               
construction companies  to bid projects  or were they  are barred                                                               
from doing  so. He pointed  out those communities should  be able                                                               
to  underbid other  contractors because  they would  not have  to                                                               
mobilize anyone.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  O'BRIEN said,  in  order  to do  a  construction project  in                                                               
excess  of $100,000  in  Alaska,  an entity  must  be bonded.  In                                                               
addition,  that  entity must  meet  the  requirements set  for  a                                                               
licensed  and  bonded  contractor.  A  surety  company  looks  at                                                               
expertise,  past performance,  equipment capability  and capacity                                                               
before it agrees  to bond an entity.  He said he is  not aware of                                                               
any consortiums  or groups that  have been created to  respond to                                                               
state bids in rural Alaska.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR    THERRIAULT   commented    those   hurdles    are   not                                                               
insurmountable. He  questioned whether those  requirements should                                                               
be waived.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'BRIEN said there may a  way to assist those entities. DOTPF                                                               
is  restricted   by  statute  to  doing   business  with  certain                                                               
entities.  He said  if that  barrier  is broken  down, an  entity                                                               
could bid a project on a competitive basis.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COWDERY  said the Native  corporations have the  ability to                                                               
bond small groups.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  O'BRIEN said  if  there  is no  licensed  surety within  the                                                               
state,  there  is an  option  under  the bonding  for  individual                                                               
sureties  to   bond  construction  companies.  It   requires  two                                                               
individual  sureties to  provide  identical bonding  at the  full                                                               
amount.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COWDERY asked  if the purpose of bonding is  to assure that                                                               
all employees get paid and to guarantee performance.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'BRIEN said that is correct.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN responded to  Senator Therriault's question about                                                               
why a village  could not compete for a bid  and said what usually                                                               
happens  with  a  force  account project  is  that  a  particular                                                               
village does a  particular project, but they  aren't ongoing. She                                                               
said the Doyon  Corporation did get involved  in construction for                                                               
a very  brief time, but  none of  the 38 village  corporations in                                                               
the  Interior have  a  construction company  because  it is  cost                                                               
prohibitive for small villages.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WAGONER said in his area  just about all of the oil field                                                               
contract  work has  been taken  over by  Native corporations.  He                                                               
said they hire  both Native and non-Native employees.  He said he                                                               
believes  strongly in  bidding out  any project  and using  force                                                               
accounting when no bids are received.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  THERRIAULT moved  SB 40  from committee  with individual                                                               
recommendations with its zero fiscal note.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  LINCOLN objected  because  the only  other committee  of                                                               
referral  was the  Senate Finance  Committee  and this  committee                                                               
didn't  even know  how many  projects would  be affected  by this                                                               
legislation or what is happening with  AO 199. She said there are                                                               
too many unanswered  questions to pass this  legislation from the                                                               
one and only committee that would scrutinize it.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON   stated  his  objection   as  well   saying  this                                                               
legislation is  less palatable than  the version  introduced last                                                               
year  because the  limit  has  been reduced  from  $1 million  to                                                               
$250,000.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COWDERY called for a roll call vote.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
The motion to  move SB 40 and its attached  zero fiscal note from                                                               
committee carried  with Senators Therriault, Wagoner  and Cowdery                                                               
voting in favor and Senators Lincoln and Olson opposed.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
             SB 103-MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRATION FEES                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COWDERY  announced the committee  would take up SB  103 and                                                               
asked an administration representative to come forward.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. KEVIN  JARDELL, Assistant Commissioner  of the  Department of                                                               
Administration  (DOA),   reminded  members  that   Duane  Bannock                                                               
provided the committee  with an overview of the bill  at the last                                                               
hearing and that he was available to answer questions.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COWDERY  said he  held  this  bill  in committee  for  the                                                               
purpose  of  giving   members  and  the  public   time  to  voice                                                               
objections. He heard none.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  LINCOLN asked  if public  testimony had  been taken  and                                                               
noted the bill was only introduced on March 6.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL  replied the  bill was heard  in committee  last week                                                               
and  was announced  to the  public at  that time  just as  it was                                                               
today.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN asked what DOA did to publicize the legislation.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COWDERY remarked  the committee  noticed the  bill in  the                                                               
same way  it does every  other bill. He  said from the  number of                                                               
inquiries he received, he believes people are aware of the bill.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  LINCOLN  apologized  for  her absence  at  the  previous                                                               
hearing  and asked  for an  explanation of  the need  to increase                                                               
registration fees.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL explained that user  fees within DOA were reviewed to                                                               
determine when they were increased last,  the value of the fee to                                                               
the state at  that time, and whether the state  is receiving that                                                               
value  today.  With  regard to  vehicle  registration  fees,  DOA                                                               
determined  the value  had  decreased  significantly. Staff  then                                                               
looked  at other  states to  see how  Alaska's fees  compared and                                                               
determined that the increase provided  in SB 103 would still keep                                                               
Alaska's  registration  fees  below   the  national  average.  He                                                               
acknowledged  that determination  was made  in-house and  that it                                                               
was difficult to compare vehicle  registration fees from state to                                                               
state  because  each  state uses  a  different  methodology.  For                                                               
example,  some states  impose taxes  in addition  to the  vehicle                                                               
registration  fee; some  calculate the  value of  the car  in the                                                               
registration  fee formula.   SB  103 updates  the fees  to better                                                               
reflect the intent of the original legislation.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN  asked for  the average  registration fee  in the                                                               
nation.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL said  the national average is about $118.  He said he                                                               
would provide her with the formula DOA used.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN asked if DOA  staff determined an average fee for                                                               
each category of vehicle.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL  said they did  not. They did a  baseline calculation                                                               
to  see if  SB 103  would treat  Alaska citizens  in a  disparate                                                               
manner from the other states. He  said it would be too onerous to                                                               
make that comparison for every category.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  LINCOLN   asked  how   DOA  came   up  with   a  taxicab                                                               
registration fee of $160.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL  said in general, the  fees were raised $10  per year                                                               
so the  biannual registrations would  increase $20.  However, the                                                               
passenger vehicle  registration fee increase  is $30. That  was a                                                               
streamlining  decision.   Years  ago,  passenger   vehicles  were                                                               
charged different  rates than  SUVs or trucks.  It does  not make                                                               
sense to do that today so  passenger vans and pick-up trucks were                                                               
combined into  one category. By increasing  the passenger vehicle                                                               
fee  $30, the  fee  would be  the same  for  both categories.  He                                                               
explained the extra  $2 stems from the time  when the Legislature                                                               
instituted biannual  registrations and decided it  didn't want to                                                               
simply  double  the  annual  fee  so they  doubled  the  fee  and                                                               
subtracted  $2. DOA  decided to  simplify  and raise  the fee  an                                                               
additional $2 because it's easier to collect $100 than $98.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN asked if school buses would be exempt.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL  said school buses would  be treated in the  same way                                                               
they are today and it is  his understanding that school buses for                                                               
a  non-profit  organization  are   exempt  under  the  non-profit                                                               
category. School buses for other  entities would pay registration                                                               
fees.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN asked if the fee is $300 for a school bus.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL  said he believes the  fee amount is the  same as the                                                               
amount charged  for a  commercial vehicle,  which depends  on the                                                               
weight of the vehicle. He offered  to get back to Senator Lincoln                                                               
to verify that information. He  said Section 1(4) applies to tour                                                               
buses only. That is  one area in which DOA made  a policy call on                                                               
the  increase. In  the  past, tour  buses  used for  out-of-state                                                               
tourists were  in a special  category with  a fee lower  than the                                                               
normal commercial rate. That rate was increased.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON  asked  Mr.  Jardell  if  the  bill  distinguishes                                                               
between  school  buses owned  by  school  districts versus  those                                                               
owned by the private sector.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JARDELL said  he believes  a  distinction is  made for  non-                                                               
profit entities.  He offered  to get back  to the  committee with                                                               
more information  on school buses.  He repeated that SB  103 does                                                               
not change  the current method  of charging registration  fee for                                                               
school buses; it only increases the fee.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WAGONER  noted some  districts  own  their school  buses                                                               
while others contract with private owners.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 03-09, SIDE B                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL said  it is his understanding that  a school district                                                               
that owns its buses pays a registration fee.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WAGONER  asked why the  fee is  the same for  a passenger                                                               
vehicle and a motor home.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL  said that was  a previous  policy call that  DOA did                                                               
not change.  The idea behind it  was that a motor  home in Alaska                                                               
is not used for  more than a couple of months  per year. The same                                                               
logic applies to registration fee for motorcycles.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WAGONER  said he thinks  motor home owners are  getting a                                                               
free  ride  because many  of  the  motor  home owners  use  those                                                               
vehicles  from  April  through  October.   He  said  there  is  a                                                               
tremendous  amount of  motor home  traffic on  the roads  between                                                               
Anchorage  and  the  Kenai  Peninsula  and  Seward.  He  said  he                                                               
believes that  fee is very  low for  a person driving  a $500,000                                                               
motor home.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COWDERY said  trailer and motor home  registration in other                                                               
states is a lot more.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WAGONER  pointed out  they also  pay a  special licensing                                                               
fee to the county.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COWDERY asked  if the boroughs in Alaska  charge a separate                                                               
fee.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL replied they do not.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked if local governments have that option.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL said he did not know.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COWDERY thought they do have that option.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON  said  although  the  fees  for  motor  homes  and                                                               
motorcycles are tied  to usage, it is his  understanding that the                                                               
majority of the fees collected  are used for road maintenance. He                                                               
said the wear  and tear on a  road caused by a  motorcycle is far                                                               
different from  that of a motor  home. He said he  would consider                                                               
the weight of a vehicle.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL  said the fee charged  for a motor home  is more than                                                               
the fee charged for a motorcycle  because of road damage. He said                                                               
motorcycle fee  isn't the same  as passenger vehicle  fee because                                                               
motorcycles are used for a limited time during the year.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON asked when fees were last increased.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL offered  to get back to Senator Olson  with an answer                                                               
to that question.  He said he believes the  last overall increase                                                               
was  in  1978 and  the  disparity  between  trucks and  cars  was                                                               
changed  in  1986.  The  Legislature   decided  on  the  biannual                                                               
registration at that time.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON  asked if  the  registration  fees only  apply  to                                                               
vehicles used on state roads.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JARDELL  said they  apply  to  vehicles  used on  state  and                                                               
borough roads.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON asked if it applies  to vehicles that are driven on                                                               
the beach.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL said SB 103 does not change current practice.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON asked  if  there are  three  categories of  school                                                               
buses: those  owned by school  districts; those owned  by private                                                               
contractors; and private buses owned by private schools.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL could not verify that.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON asked  how  the fees  for  those three  categories                                                               
compare with each other.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JARDELL  replied  that  a non-profit  agency  would  seek  a                                                               
registration  under  its  non-profit status.  Other  agencies  or                                                               
school  bus   owners  would  seek  registration   for  a  general                                                               
commercial  vehicle.  He  repeated  that  he  would  verify  that                                                               
information for committee members.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  LINCOLN  said  she  like  the  committee  to  hold  this                                                               
legislation until  it gets  that information.  She asked  if most                                                               
road damage is done during the  months from May to September, the                                                               
same time motor homes are used.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COWDERY thought  most  damage is  done  during the  winter                                                               
months when studded snow tires are used.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN  said she was  thinking about vehicle  weight and                                                               
noted the  Legislature separated fees for  passenger vehicles and                                                               
trucks in 1986 because of a  disparity. Now they would be charged                                                               
the same  amount. She asked Mr.  Jardell to provide her  with the                                                               
formula  DOA used  to determine  the comparison  to the  national                                                               
average  and  information  about  registration  fees  for  school                                                               
buses.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL  said he  would provide  the information,  but wanted                                                               
committee members  to understand that  SB 103 increases  the fees                                                               
and not the methodology.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  LINCOLN said  she still  wants  to know  who would  fall                                                               
under that non-profit status.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked  Mr. Jardell if he  wrote down committee                                                               
members' questions.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL said he would  provide answers to the questions about                                                               
the  local option,  how school  buses  will be  charged, and  the                                                               
formula used to determine the national average.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  THERRIAULT  asked Mr.  Jardell  to  provide the  answers                                                               
quickly because  he would  like to  see them  before the  bill is                                                               
taken up in another committee.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. JARDELL said he would do so.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COWDERY announced  he would  hold  SB 103  until the  next                                                               
Senate Transportation Committee hearing.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WAGONER noted his intent to  offer an amendment to SB 103                                                               
to increase the  motor home registration fee to $150.  He said he                                                               
also believes  that motor  homes for  hire should  be categorized                                                               
under Section 1(4)  and that fee should be increased  to $300. He                                                               
said about 25  to 30 percent of  the motor homes on  the road are                                                               
rentals.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON   suggested  decreasing  the  fee   for  passenger                                                               
vehicles rather than increasing the fee for motor homes.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
CHAIR COWDERY adjourned the meeting at 2:37 p.m.                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects