Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/14/2003 09:35 AM TRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                          
                          May 14, 2003                                                                                          
                           9:35 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator John Cowdery, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                         
Senator Georgianna Lincoln                                                                                                      
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Thomas Wagoner, Vice Chair                                                                                              
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 280(FIN)                                                                                                  
"An Act relating  to the regulation of  commercial motor vehicles                                                               
to avoid  loss or  withholding of federal  highway money,  and to                                                               
out-of-service  orders  concerning   commercial  motor  vehicles;                                                               
moving  authority for  commercial motor  vehicle regulation  from                                                               
the   Department  of   Public   Safety  to   the  Department   of                                                               
Transportation and Public Facilities;  amending Rule 43.1, Alaska                                                               
Rules of Administration; and providing for an effective date."                                                                  
     MOVED CSHB 280(FIN) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 250(FIN)                                                                                                  
"An Act relating to protests  of state contract awards, to claims                                                               
on  state   contracts,  to  the  arbitration   of  certain  state                                                               
construction contract  claims, and to hearings  and appeals under                                                               
the State  Procurement Code; making conforming  amendments in the                                                               
State Procurement Code; and providing for an effective date."                                                                   
     MOVED CSHB 250(FIN) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                               
HB 250 -No previous action to record.                                                                                           
HB 280 -No previous action to record.                                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
Barbara Cotting                                                                                                                 
Staff to Representative Jim Holm                                                                                                
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 250                                                                                        
Richard Cattenach                                                                                                               
No address provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 250                                                                                      
Aves D. Thompson                                                                                                                
Director, Division of Measurement Standards &                                                                                   
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement                                                                                                  
Department of Transportation &                                                                                                  
  Public Facilities                                                                                                             
3132 Channel Dr.                                                                                                                
Juneau, AK  99801-7898                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 280                                                                                      
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
TAPE 03-21, SIDE A                                                                                                            
CHAIR  JOHN COWDERY  called  the  Senate Transportation  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order  at 9:35  a.m. Present  were Senators                                                               
Gene Therriault,  Georgianna Lincoln, Donny Olson  and Chair John                                                               
Cowdery.  The  first  order  of   business  to  come  before  the                                                               
committee was HB 250.                                                                                                           
                     HB 250-STATE CONTRACTS                                                                                 
CHAIR COWDERY  announced the committee  heard the  Senate version                                                               
of the  bill previously. He  described it as  a clean up  bill to                                                               
settle contract disputes expeditiously.                                                                                         
BARBARA COTTING, staff to Representative  Jim Holm, said the bill                                                               
is the mirror of SB 125.                                                                                                        
DICK CATTENACH  testified via  teleconference from  Anchorage. He                                                               
said the bill deals with three problems:                                                                                        
   · Timeliness of decisions - Redundancies would be removed                                                                    
   · Fairness of decisions - Hearing officers would be                                                                          
     independent of the department                                                                                              
   · Cost of the process - Rules 68, 79 and 82 would encourage                                                                  
     quick settlement of claims - Prevailing party recovers a                                                                   
     portion of legal fees                                                                                                      
He said he was unaware of any opposition.                                                                                       
SENATOR  OLSON asked  him to  expand on  the fee  payment to  the                                                               
prevailing party.                                                                                                               
MR.  CATTENACH  replied  the prevailing  party  would  receive  a                                                               
portion of the legal fees.                                                                                                      
SENATOR  OLSON asked  if there  was any  provision for  the party                                                               
that doesn't prevail.                                                                                                           
MR. CATTENACH replied the losing party pays their own fees.                                                                     
SENATOR  GEORGIANNA  LINCOLN asked  if  there  were any  concerns                                                               
expressed on SB 125.                                                                                                            
CHAIR  COWDERY   said  there  were  questions   relating  to  the                                                               
procurement code but those were addressed in both bills.                                                                        
SENATOR  THERRIAULT made  a motion  to move  CSHB 250  (FIN) from                                                               
committee with attached indeterminate  fiscal note and individual                                                               
recommendations. There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                   
          HB 280-COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES:REGULATIONS                                                                      
AVES THOMPSON, Director of the  Division of Measurement Standards                                                               
&   Commercial  Vehicle   Enforcement   in   the  Department   of                                                               
Transportation & Public Facilities  (DOTPF), said his division is                                                               
responsible  for:  commercial  vehicle size,  weight  and  safety                                                               
enforcement;  and commercial  vehicle operating  credentials; and                                                               
for enforcing and maintaining standards  for weights and measures                                                               
used in  commerce in Alaska.  The key elements of  the commercial                                                               
vehicle  safety  program include  the  fixed  weight station  and                                                               
mobile commercial vehicle enforcement.                                                                                          
Commercial  vehicle enforcement  officers conduct  driver vehicle                                                               
safety  inspections,  enforce  size and  weight  regulations  and                                                               
inspect hazardous materials that are transported.                                                                               
Beginning in FY  1998, the division was consolidated  to DOTPF to                                                               
provide  more   convenient  and  efficient   program  management.                                                               
Although   largely  successful,   the  authority   to  promulgate                                                               
regulation for  driver vehicle safety requirements  and hazardous                                                               
materials  transport wasn't  transferred at  that time  and still                                                               
resides  in the  Department of  Public Safety.  HB 280  transfers                                                               
that authority to DOTPF and completes the consolidation.                                                                        
Except for  matters that  relate to  drivers of  commercial motor                                                               
vehicles,  the  bill gives  the  authority  to adopt  regulations                                                               
necessary  to  avoid  withholding  of federal  highway  money  to                                                               
DOTPF.  The  regulations  address  equipment  standards,  working                                                               
conditions  for drivers  and  vehicle  inspection standards.  The                                                               
hazardous    materials    transport   regulations    deal    with                                                               
notification, movement, labeling and documentation of the same.                                                                 
HB 280  also sets  a prohibition  against operating  a commercial                                                               
motor  vehicle  after  it  is  placed  out  of  service  under  a                                                               
regulation  adopted under  Title 19.  Other sections  provide for                                                               
changes to  the bill schedule  and allow for a  transition period                                                               
for   the  existing   regulation  to   continue  until   the  new                                                               
regulations are adopted.                                                                                                        
Federal  motor vehicle  safety regulations  provide that  a state                                                               
becomes  ineligible  for program  or  incentive  funds under  the                                                               
Motor  Carrier  Assistance  Program  for  failure  to  adopt  new                                                               
regulation or  amendment to the federal  regulations within three                                                               
years  of the  effective  date. Adoption  of  the changes  hasn't                                                               
occurred since  1995 and the  state is  out of compliance.  In FY                                                               
03, Alaska will  receive more than $685,000 in  basic program and                                                               
incentive program  receipts. Passage  of HB  280 is  important so                                                               
DOTPF has  the authority to  adopt the regulations and  avoid the                                                               
loss of future federal funding.                                                                                                 
CHAIR COWDERY  commented the  bill is important.  He asked  for a                                                               
SENATOR THERRIAULT  motioned to  move CSHB 280(FIN)  and attached                                                               
zero fiscal note from  committee with individual recommendations.                                                               
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Cowdery adjourned the meeting at 9:47 pm.                                                                                 

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