Legislature(2007 - 2008)BUTROVICH 205

03/27/2007 01:30 PM TRANSPORTATION


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
* SB 130 RANCH, FARM, DAIRY VEHICLE REGISTRATION
Moved SB 130 Out of Committee
= SB 68 MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE
Moved CSSB 68(TRA) Out of Committee
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                          
                         March 27, 2007                                                                                         
                           1:30 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Albert Kookesh, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator John Cowdery, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
Senator Gary Wilken                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Hollis French                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 130                                                                                                             
"An Act  relating to the  registration of certain  vehicles owned                                                               
by ranchers, farmers, or dairy workers."                                                                                        
     MOVED SB 130 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 68                                                                                                              
"An  Act  requiring motor  vehicle  insurers  to provide  to  the                                                               
commissioner  of   administration  a  database   listing  vehicle                                                               
insurance policy information that  will allow the commissioner to                                                               
verify  whether  mandatory  motor   vehicle  insurance  has  been                                                               
obtained, limiting  access to the database,  establishing methods                                                               
for proving that  mandatory motor vehicle insurance  is in place,                                                               
allowing the additional penalties  of suspending registration and                                                               
vehicle impoundment and forfeiture  for failure to have mandatory                                                               
motor   vehicle  insurance,   and   authorizing  hearings   after                                                               
suspension of  registration for failure  to have  mandatory motor                                                               
vehicle insurance."                                                                                                             
     MOVED CSSB 68(TRA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 130                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: RANCH, FARM, DAIRY VEHICLE REGISTRATION                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) GREEN                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
03/21/07       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/21/07       (S)       TRA, FIN                                                                                               
03/27/07       (S)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  68                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE                                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) FRENCH                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
01/26/07       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/26/07       (S)       L&C, TRA, FIN                                                                                          
02/08/07       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
02/08/07       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/08/07       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
02/27/07       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
02/27/07       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/27/07       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/06/07       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
03/06/07       (S)       Moved CSSB  68(L&C) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/06/07       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/07/07       (S)       L&C RPT CS  3DP 1DNP 1AM   NEW TITLE                                                                   
03/07/07       (S)       DP: ELLIS, DAVIS, STEVENS                                                                              
03/07/07       (S)       DNP: BUNDE                                                                                             
03/07/07       (S)       AM: HOFFMAN                                                                                            
03/20/07       (S)       TRA AT 1:00 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/20/07       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
03/27/07       (S)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Darwin Peterson                                                                                                                 
Staff to Senator Lyda Green                                                                                                     
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented SB 130 for the sponsor                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Larry DeVilbiss, Director                                                                                                       
Division of Agriculture                                                                                                         
Department of Natural Resources (DNR)                                                                                           
Wasilla, AK                                                                                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT: In support of SB 130                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Steve Van Troba, representing himself                                                                                           
Palmer, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: In support of SB 130                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Duane Bannock, Director                                                                                                         
Division of Motor Vehicles                                                                                                      
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: In support of SB 130                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Bill Ward, representing himself                                                                                                 
Delta Junction, AK                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT: In support of SB 130                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Adam Griswold, representing himself                                                                                             
Delta Junction, AK                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT: In support of SB 130                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Nate Griswold, representing himself                                                                                             
Delta Junction, AK                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT: In support of SB 130                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Charles Pecchio, President                                                                                                      
VeriSol Verification Solutions Incorporated                                                                                     
Kennesaw, Georgia                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: In support of SB 130                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Tom McGrath, representing himself                                                                                               
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: In support of SB 130                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Kenton Brine, Northwest regional manager                                                                                        
Property Casualty Insurers Association of America                                                                               
Olympia, WA                                                                                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT: In support of SB 130                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Allison Biastock                                                                                                                
Staff to Senator French                                                                                                         
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Available for questions on SB 130                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ALBERT  KOOKESH called  the Senate  Transportation Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to order at 1:30:29  PM. Present at the call to                                                             
order  were Senators  Cowdery,  Wielechowski,  Wilken, and  Chair                                                               
Kookesh.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
         SB 130-RANCH, FARM, DAIRY VEHICLE REGISTRATION                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KOOKESH announced the consideration of SB 130.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DARWIN PETERSON, aide to Senate  President Lyda Green, sponsor of                                                               
SB  130, explained  that farm  vehicles are  getting heavier  and                                                               
bigger  and the  current maximum  weight regulations  are out  of                                                               
date; the bill  will update the regulation from  16,000 to 20,000                                                               
lbs.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:32:45 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked how many  vehicles will be affected by                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. PETERSON replied  that there are 466  farm vehicles currently                                                               
registered  in Alaska  with expiration  dates of  2007, 2008,  or                                                               
2009.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  for  the rationale  for the  current                                                               
16,000 lbs restriction.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. PETERSON  replied that true commercial  vehicles shouldn't be                                                               
used  for  farm purposes,  so  a  weight restriction  applies  to                                                               
smaller farm trucks.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if there's  any concern  about weight                                                               
impact on the road system.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. PETERSON  replied that there  is a concern about  road damage                                                               
regarding heavy trucks  but the difference made by  the bill will                                                               
be negligible.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked what size a 20,000 lb truck would be.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. PETERSON  replied that it's  larger than a Dodge  Ram pick-up                                                               
truck, in the same category as a cargo van or a bus.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:35:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  KOOKESH  asked for  an  explanation  of the  farm  vehicle                                                               
registration plate.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. PETERSON  replied that the  specialized farm plate is  in the                                                               
same category as legislator plate or veteran plate.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:36:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR OLSON  asked if  other states  have similar  farm vehicle                                                               
programs.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. PETERSON replied that almost every state does.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if other  states have  similar weight                                                               
limits or just similar plates.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PETERSON  replied   that  he  was  referring   to  just  the                                                               
specialized plate program,  and that weight limits  vary for each                                                               
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:37:17 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WILKEN  asked if there's  a committee substitute  for the                                                               
bill regarding the plate.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PETERSON replied  that the  bill doesn't  change farm  plate                                                               
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WILKEN   asked  why  a  particular   pamphlet  was  made                                                               
available to the committee.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. PETERSON  replied that it  was simply  to show an  example of                                                               
what the farm plate looks like.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:39:04 PM                                                                                                                    
LARRY  DEVILBISS,  Director  for  the  Division  of  Agriculture,                                                               
Department of Natural Resources (DNR),  said that the farm plates                                                               
don't  necessarily  need to  be  changed  by  the bill,  and  the                                                               
department  finds it  appropriate to  raise the  limit to  20,000                                                               
lbs.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:41:08 PM                                                                                                                    
STEVE VAN TROBA, representing himself,  said that when he travels                                                               
to Alberta,  Canada, to buy hay  and he pays taxes  that would be                                                               
avoided by having farm plates.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked if Mr. Van Troba opposes the bill.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN TROBA replied that he supports the bill.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked  if Mr. Van Troba will  be required to                                                               
pay additional fees if the bill does not pass.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN TROBA answered yes.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:43:04 PM                                                                                                                    
DUANE  BANNOCK,  Director for  the  Division  of Motor  Vehicles,                                                               
Department of  Administration (DOA),  related the history  of the                                                               
weight-limit law in Alaska and said the DMV supports the bill.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked for  the punishment for  driving over                                                               
the weight limit.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BANNOCK said  that  being over-limit  with  the wrong  plate                                                               
would result  from one of  three elements: a DMV  error, improper                                                               
information  provided by  the driver,  or fraudulent  use of  the                                                               
plate. The two latter scenarios would result in violation fines.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:45:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COWDERY asked  if the  Department of  Transportation and                                                               
Public Facilities (DOTPF) controls over-weight vehicle permits.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. BANNOCK said that the DOTPF does control such permits.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BILL WARD,  representing himself,  said that it's  appropriate to                                                               
raise the weight limit; licensed  vehicle government is different                                                               
from commercial  vehicle government,  including hours  of service                                                               
regulations,  driver's  license  requirements,  and  inspections.                                                               
Operation   within  current   statute  is   possible  but   truck                                                               
modifications  and  updates will  be  difficult  without the  new                                                               
requirements.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:50:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADAM GRISWOLD, representing  himself, said that it's  hard to buy                                                               
trucks that meet the current weight  limit, and he is in favor of                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
NATE GRISWOLD,  representing himself,  said that  he does  have a                                                               
need  for new  equipment  but  it's hard  to  find under  current                                                               
regulation.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KOOKESH asked for the will of the committee.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:51:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY  motioned to  report SB  130 from  committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  attached  fiscal note(s).  There                                                               
being no objection, the motion carried.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                 SB  68-MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KOOKESH announced the consideration  of SB 68. He asked for                                                               
a motion to adopt the committee substitute (CS).                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:53:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY moved to adopt  the proposed committee substitute                                                               
to  SB  68,  labeled  25-LS0342\N,  Version  N,  as  the  working                                                               
document of the  committee. There being no  objection, the motion                                                               
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KOOKESH asked the sponsor to present the bill.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:54:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH explained  that SB  68  will make  it easier  for                                                               
police to  verify whether a  driver does have insurance  on their                                                               
car or not.  14 percent of Alaskan drivers are  uninsured, but 28                                                               
percent  of  crashes  involve   an  uninsured  driver.  Currently                                                               
there's no method  for enforcing a mandatory  insurance law; this                                                               
bill will make points of  contact for verification. There will be                                                               
an online method,  which has been shown to be  effective, as well                                                               
as a  provision that allows  municipalities to  impound uninsured                                                               
cars.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
He pointed  out that  the committee substitute  is the  result of                                                               
many hours  of work  with industry  representatives to  make sure                                                               
that the bill is acceptable to everyone.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:58:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY  asked if  the Division  of Motor  Vehicles (DMV)                                                               
checks for insurance on a car.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH replied that currently it's an honor system.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COWDERY asked  if the  new system  proposed by  the bill                                                               
will make proving insurance mandatory.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  replied that if  the online system is  adopted it                                                               
will make it much easier to  prove insurance, and gave an example                                                               
of how people will show false proof of insurance.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COWDERY  asked  if an  amendment  to  exempt  commercial                                                               
vehicles would be accepted.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH said that he  would; most states exempt commercial                                                               
vehicles  from  the online  verification  system  because of  the                                                               
relatively low risk of non-insurance.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY asked  where in the bill an  amendment would best                                                               
fit.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH replied that section five would be best.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY made a motion  to adopt a conceptual amendment to                                                               
SB 68, allowing for the exemption of commercial vehicles.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WILKEN  objected, and  said  what  works for  automobile                                                               
drivers should be good for commercial drivers.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  why  commercial  vehicles should  be                                                               
exempted from the bill.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH replied  that  the DMV  said  that virtually  all                                                               
commercial vehicles carry insurance  through the driver, and it's                                                               
not concerned about such drivers carrying insurance.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  if  the bill  creates  some sort  of                                                               
burden for  commercial vehicles, and  why they should  be treated                                                               
differently.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH replied  that the  DMV would  have to  answer the                                                               
question.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:01:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BANNOCK said that commercial  vehicles would only be exempted                                                               
from  electronic  verification  of insurance.  Many  commercially                                                               
owned vehicles are self insured  and thus wouldn't be included in                                                               
the system;  also, in  the commercial  category there  are 50,000                                                               
vehicles  in the  state  out  of a  total  of 900,000  registered                                                               
vehicles, so clearly most vehicles are not commercial.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
He  added that  he would  prefer  to use  the language  "vehicles                                                               
registered  commercially" as  opposed  to "commercial  vehicles";                                                               
rental  car companies  are  self-insured  commercial vehicles  as                                                               
well.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI replied that  he understood the difficulties                                                               
of including commercial vehicles in  the online system, and asked                                                               
for  the  number  of  accidents  involving  uninsured  commercial                                                               
vehicle.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BANNOCK replied  that he  didn't have  state data,  but that                                                               
nationally, accidents and  injuries involving commercial vehicles                                                               
compose  less  than  5  percent  of  the  total,  even  including                                                               
situations where the commercial vehicle is not at fault.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:05:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked  for a summary of  any burden incurred                                                               
by including commercial vehicles in the bill.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BANNOCK  replied that he  didn't have a prepared  answer, but                                                               
that self-insured  vehicle information  is not  readily available                                                               
online.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY asked how many  drivers without insurance also do                                                               
not have a valid license.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. BANNOCK replied that he didn't have the number available.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON asked how often  commercial vehicle accidents cause                                                               
the  victims  to go  on  social  assistance  due to  injuries  or                                                               
financial ramifications.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. BANNOCK said that he didn't have any related data.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON asked if the sponsor had such information.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH said that he couldn't answer the question.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON asked how a person proves self-insurance.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. BANNOCK said that the matter is addressed in AS 28.10.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KOOKESH  asked for  a suggestion  for an  appropriate place                                                               
for the conceptual amendment.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH suggested language for  the amendment, and that it                                                               
could be put in section five of the bill.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if it  was Chair Kookesh's  intent to                                                               
move the bill that day.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KOOKESH replied that he had  intended to move the bill, but                                                               
that there seemed to be concern about the amendment.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  said that  the timeline  was at  the will  of the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  said that commercial vehicles  would be encumbered                                                               
by being included in the bill's online verification element.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KOOKESH said  that he didn't have the  intention of keeping                                                               
the bill in committee.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH  commented  that  the bill  does  go  to  another                                                               
committee  after  leaving   the  Senate  Transportation  Standing                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KOOKESH replied that he'd like  to get the work done in the                                                               
current committee.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   FRENCH  repeated   the  suggested   language  for   the                                                               
conceptual amendment.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:11:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KOOKESH  asked  if  there was  further  objection  to  the                                                               
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILKEN said that he maintained his objection.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
There  was  a  roll  call  vote,  and  Senators  Cowdery,  Olson,                                                               
Wielechowski, and  Chair Kookesh voted yes;  Senator Wilken voted                                                               
no. Therefore, the conceptual amendment to SB 68 passed 4:1.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:12:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHARLES  PECCHIO,  president  of VeriSol  Verification  Solutions                                                               
Incorporated,  said that  the major  issue with  the approach  to                                                               
verifying  insurance  is  that  proof can  easily  be  forged  or                                                               
misrepresented. There  have been  pilot programs done  in several                                                               
states  with  the  online  approach,  which  performs  real  time                                                               
verifications;  the   accuracy  is  equivalent  to   calling  the                                                               
insurance company  on the phone.  He explained that  the existing                                                               
system  isn't   changing  with  the  bill,   just  becoming  more                                                               
effective.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He added  that less than  one half  of one percent  of commercial                                                               
vehicles are  uninsured. Commercial vehicles will  be included in                                                               
the program in the future.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:17:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COWDERY asked  if insurance  companies can  legally give                                                               
out insurance information in response to public inquiry.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PECCHIO replied  that the  insurance  companies provide  the                                                               
data directly to the state, and it is not made public.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY asked how the  situation of cancelled policies is                                                               
addressed.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. PECCHIO replied  that the system can  automatically check for                                                               
cancelled insurance, and it is updated on a daily basis.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY asked for the cost of the program to the state.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PECCHIO replied  that  the  state would  pay  a monthly  fee                                                               
ranging from 1 to 3 cents per vehicle per month.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:19:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WILKEN remarked  that two  states  are starting  full-on                                                               
online verification programs,  and asked for any  others that may                                                               
be using it.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. PECCHIO replied  that Florida was the first state  to use the                                                               
program, and Wyoming is currently  in a pilot stage. Oklahoma and                                                               
Texas are getting the program started soon.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WILKEN asked  if there  are  any states  that have  been                                                               
operational for at least a year.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. PECCHIO replied that the  specifications were released only a                                                               
year ago.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WILKEN   asked  how  the   software  would  work   in  a                                                               
theoretical situation.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. PECCHIO explained how the software operates.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WILKEN  asked  for  clarification  on  the  use  of  the                                                               
software.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PECCHIO  replied  in  explaining   that  there  are  several                                                               
different ways of researching a vehicle in the system.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:24:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WILKEN   asked  if  an  active   and  reliable  internet                                                               
connection  is  needed  at  all  times for  the  system  to  work                                                               
properly.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PECCHIO replied  that that  was  correct. The  same sort  of                                                               
technology is used with credit card verification software.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILKEN replied that many  places in the state have uneven                                                               
internet access,  and asked  who else  in America  offers similar                                                               
software.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. PECCHIO replied that there are no competitors so far.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:25:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked if the  system has ever been hacked or                                                               
if any data has ever been lost.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. PECCHIO  replied that the  system has never been  hacked, and                                                               
the company doesn't maintain any data itself.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:26:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH said  that the bill includes  language that allows                                                               
for proof  of insurance  such as  a card,  and that  the internet                                                               
system is just an option.  The department and individual officers                                                               
will have room for interpretation.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   OLSON  said   that  some   people  are   suspicious  of                                                               
questionable or erroneous information, and  he wants to make sure                                                               
that there won't be any harassment incurred by the bill.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH said he shares the concern.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  asked if there's  a way to lower  premiums through                                                               
the action of the bill.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH  replied that  the  objective  is to  reduce  the                                                               
number  of  uninsured  drivers, and  ideally  premiums  would  be                                                               
reduced as a result.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILKEN cautioned against moving  the bill too quickly, as                                                               
it's  a huge  policy call  that  could end  badly; more  opinions                                                               
should be solicited.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KOOKESH  said that he  had previously  let the bill  sit in                                                               
committee for a week.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  commented that  he neither  pushes nor  pulls his                                                               
bills.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:30:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TOM MCGRATH, representing  himself, said that he  has worked with                                                               
similar bills  in the past,  and asked the committee  to consider                                                               
the  bill,  which  is  well-crafted.   People  who  do  not  have                                                               
insurance  are  a costly  liability.  He  related the  impact  of                                                               
uninsured drivers  on his business, and  encouraged the committee                                                               
to move the legislation forward.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:33:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KENTON  BRINE,   Northwest  Regional  Manager  of   the  Property                                                               
Casualty Insurers  Association of  America (PCIAA), said  that he                                                               
thinks the  bill is  now headed  in the  right direction.  He has                                                               
been  working with  Senator French  and his  aide to  improve the                                                               
legislation, in the areas of the  effective date and terms of use                                                               
of the program by the DMV.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He  added that  more specification  should be  added in  terms of                                                               
access  to the  database. The  PCIAA  is also  interested in  the                                                               
forms of  identifiers to  be used;  some companies  don't provide                                                               
Vehicle   Identification  Numbers   (VIN)   in  their   insurance                                                               
policies.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
He cautioned  the committee that  there is no perfect  system for                                                               
getting uninsured drivers off the  roads; any crackdown will work                                                               
for a certain  amount of time, but not  forever. Making insurance                                                               
as affordable  as possible is  perhaps the most effective  way of                                                               
fixing the problem.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:39:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked  if the ideal effective  date would be                                                               
in 2009.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. BRINE replied affirmatively.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked if the  sponsor had any comment on the                                                               
effective date.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
ALLISON BIASTOCK,  aide to  Senator French,  said that  the final                                                               
bill  would include  language pertaining  to the  effective date.                                                               
The DMV has said it would be ready earlier than 2009.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if the  effective date,  as currently                                                               
written, would be 90 days from signing.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BIASTOCK replied  that  the DMV  would be  able  to get  the                                                               
program up and running with the 90-day effective date.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON asked if the  major difficulty would be getting the                                                               
technology in place.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BIASTOCK  replied  that  the  program  would  be  using  the                                                               
existing computer system; it's a matter of getting the software.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON said  that there's no reason to wait  until 2009 to                                                               
put the program in place.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:41:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KOOKESH asked for the will of the committee.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY  motioned to report  the committee  substitute to                                                               
SB   68,    as   amended,   from   committee    with   individual                                                               
recommendations  and accompanying  fiscal notes.  There being  no                                                               
objection,  CSSB 68(TRA)  moved  from  the Senate  Transportation                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KOOKESH asked the sponsor to  look at the amendment to make                                                               
sure the title would still be appropriate.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Kookesh adjourned the meeting at 2:42:09 PM.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                

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