Legislature(2019 - 2020)BUTROVICH 205

03/28/2019 01:30 PM TRANSPORTATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 75 COMMERCIAL VEHICLE LICENSING REQ'S TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 75 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
*+ SB 84 NAMING TROOPER GABE RICH MEMORIAL BRIDGE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                          
                         March 28, 2019                                                                                         
                           1:30 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Shelley Hughes, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Mike Shower, Vice Chair                                                                                                 
Senator David Wilson                                                                                                            
Senator Jesse Kiehl                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 75                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to a license to drive a commercial motor                                                                       
vehicle."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SB 75 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 84                                                                                                              
"An Act naming the Trooper Gabe Rich Memorial Bridge."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  75                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: COMMERCIAL VEHICLE LICENSING REQ'S                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) COSTELLO                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
03/06/19       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/06/19       (S)       TRA, STA                                                                                               
03/19/19       (S)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/19/19       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/19/19       (S)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
03/28/19       (S)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  84                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: NAMING TROOPER GABE RICH MEMORIAL BRIDGE                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) COGHILL                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
03/11/19       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/11/19       (S)       TRA, FIN                                                                                               
03/28/19       (S)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DON ETHERIDGE, Lobbyist                                                                                                         
AFL CIO                                                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 75.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
AVES THOMPSON, Executive Director                                                                                               
Alaska Trucking Association                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 75.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
RADAMES MERCADO, Intern                                                                                                         
Senator John Coghill                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced SB 84 on behalf of the sponsor.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ANGIE RICH, representing Trooper Rich's family                                                                                  
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 84.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
RONALD WALL, Captain                                                                                                            
Alaska State Troopers                                                                                                           
Department of Public Safety                                                                                                     
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 84.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DAVID RICH, representing self                                                                                                   
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 84.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:30:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHELLEY  HUGHES called  the Senate  Transportation Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 1:30  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order  were Senators  Wilson, Kiehl,  and  Chair Hughes.  Senator                                                               
Shower arrived soon thereafter.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
           SB  75-COMMERCIAL VEHICLE LICENSING REQ'S                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:30:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  announced the consideration  of SENATE BILL  NO. 75                                                               
"An  Act  relating to  a  license  to  drive a  commercial  motor                                                               
vehicle."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
She  noted that  the  bill was  introduced on  March  31 and  the                                                               
committee previously heard invited testimony.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:31:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES opened public testimony on SB 75.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER joined the meeting.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:31:53 PM                                                                                                                    
DON ETHERIDGE,  Lobbyist, AFL CIO,  Juneau, testified  in support                                                               
of SB  75. He explained  that many training programs  require the                                                               
apprentice to  have a  Commercial Driver's  License (CDL)  in the                                                               
first 2,000  hours of the  program to  advance to the  next step.                                                               
[An apprentice who is precluded  from taking the CDL test because                                                               
of  age]  could  be  delayed  up to  a  year  in  completing  the                                                               
apprenticeship program.  SB 75 addresses this  issue. Noting that                                                               
"in a  previous life" he worked  with at-risk youth, he  said the                                                               
bill has the potential to help  young people who see no reason to                                                               
complete high  school but are  looking for job  opportunities. He                                                               
said those youths would sometimes  look at their work options and                                                               
return to school to get their diploma.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  asked if an 18-year-old  has to have a  high school                                                               
diploma to take the CDL test.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. ETHRIDGE said  no, but the CDL test is  rigorous and somebody                                                               
who can't  do high-school-level work would  have trouble passing.                                                               
He noted that the AFL-CIO  apprenticeship programs require either                                                               
a GED (general education diploma) or a high school diploma.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  said she has  respect for commercial  truck drivers                                                               
after trying  her hand driving a  semi in the state  fair parking                                                               
lot with Northern Industrial Training.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER argued  that the armed services  also teaches kids                                                               
about hard work and what's important in life.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:35:37 PM                                                                                                                    
AVES  THOMPSON, Executive  Director, Alaska  Trucking Association                                                               
(ATA),  Anchorage, stated  that ATA  is a  statewide organization                                                               
that  represents  nearly  200  member  companies.  He  said  that                                                               
freight  moving  is an  essential  element  of the  economy  that                                                               
impacts everyone. He  said he was testifying in support  of SB 75                                                               
because ATA  believes that  lowering the  eligibility age  for an                                                               
intrastate CDL will provide young men  and women with a path to a                                                               
truck-driving career.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
He said that  his previous testimony failed to  mention that both                                                               
intrastate  and  interstate  drivers  are  subject  to  the  same                                                               
qualifications  and medical,  safety,  and  equipment rules.  The                                                               
state  adopts  the  federal  rules by  reference  in  the  Alaska                                                               
Administrative Code. He also pointed  out that an 18-year-old can                                                               
receive a commercial  pilot's license. He said  ATA believes that                                                               
lowering  the  intrastate  age   requirement  to  18  will  allow                                                               
students to go directly from  school into commercial truck driver                                                               
training.  The CDL  doesn't automatically  create a  professional                                                               
truck  driver, he  said,  but it  provides  the opportunity.  ATA                                                               
believes SB 75  provides an opportunity for young  people and the                                                               
potential  to create  a larger  driver pool  to help  satisfy the                                                               
demand for  commercial drivers. He  highlighted that  the current                                                               
commercial  driver  shortage  will  only get  worse  if  a  major                                                               
project  begins. SB  75 will  help  solve that  problem and  also                                                               
ensure  that  Alaska  is  ready   when  Congress  passes  federal                                                               
legislation lowering the interstate driving age, he said.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES thanked him for  clarifying that except for age, the                                                               
qualifications are  the same for  interstate and  intrastate, and                                                               
the reminder  that someone  is eligible  to receive  a commercial                                                               
pilot's license at age 18.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  THOMPSON said  he  also wanted  to say  he  agrees with  Mr.                                                               
Ethridge that  the CDL test is  not easy. Simply taking  the test                                                               
demonstrates some commitment to hard work, he said.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER asked,  should the bill pass, if there  was a plan                                                               
to get the word out about the age reduction.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. THOMPSON said  ATA will work with the  King Technology Center                                                               
and  schools throughout  Alaska. Through  word of  mouth, members                                                               
will also  let it  be known  that an  18-year-old is  eligible to                                                               
take the CDL test.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES encouraged him to  notify the commissioners of labor                                                               
and education about this career option, should the bill pass.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:40:37 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL  related that  Mr. Thompson  visited his  office to                                                               
discuss the  insurance requirements and to  clarify that lowering                                                               
the age to 18 would not  raise insurance rates for every trucking                                                               
company.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER thanked him for putting that on the record.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER  asked if somebody with  driving infractions would                                                               
be precluded from receiving a CDL.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  THOMPSON  said  potentially   yes;  drug  convictions  could                                                               
severely constrain the ability to get a CDL.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:42:57 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  ETHRIDGE  added  that  somebody   who  has  a  drug  or  DUI                                                               
conviction must wait five years before they can test for a CDL.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  found no  further questions  or comments  and asked                                                               
the will of the committee.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:43:46 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER  moved to  report SB  75, work  order 31-LS0610\A,                                                               
from  committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  attached                                                               
fiscal note(s).                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:44:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  stated that  without objection,  SB 75  passed from                                                               
the Senate Transportation Standing Committee.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:44:14 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
        SB  84-NAMING TROOPER GABE RICH MEMORIAL BRIDGE                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:44:14 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES announced the consideration of SENATE BILL NO. 84                                                                  
"An Act naming the Trooper Gabe Rich Memorial Bridge."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:46:09 PM                                                                                                                    
RYNNIEVA  MOSS,   Staff,  Senator  John  Coghill,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  Juneau,  introduced   herself  and  Intern  Radames                                                               
Mercado.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:46:50 PM                                                                                                                    
RADAMES MERCADO, Intern, Senator John Coghill, Alaska State                                                                     
Legislature, Juneau, introduced SB 84 speaking to the following                                                                 
sponsor statement: [Original punctuation provided.]                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Senate Bill  84 (SB  84) Naming  the Trooper  Gabe Rich                                                                    
     Memorial Bridge                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     SB 84 will rename bridge  number 392 over the Chatanika                                                                    
     River  at  mile  38.8  of the  Steese  Highway  to  the                                                                    
     "Trooper Gabe Rich Memorial Bridge".                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     The  name   change  honors   Trooper  Gabe   Rich,  who                                                                    
     performed his  duties as an  Alaska State  Trooper with                                                                    
     honor  and courage  until his  End of  Watch on  May 1,                                                                    
     2014.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     This  bill will  memorialize his  name onto  the bridge                                                                    
     approximately  two hours  from Central,  Alaska, Gabe's                                                                    
     favorite place to visit in the state.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     He  took  many  camping  and  hunting  trips  with  his                                                                    
     grandfather Dick  Ganley in  the Central  community and                                                                    
     became  lifelong  friends  with several  people  there;                                                                    
     Gabe made  acquaintances with many different  people of                                                                    
     all  ages   and  backgrounds,  showing  each   of  them                                                                    
     respect.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Gabe  Rich  became  the captain  of  the  Lathrup  High                                                                    
     School hockey  team during his senior  year, graduating                                                                    
     from Lathrop  High School in 2006;  like many Alaskans,                                                                    
     Gabe  enjoyed snow  machining in  the Alaskan  winters,                                                                    
     playing hockey with friends, and  hunting with those he                                                                    
     was close to.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     He   attended   Montana   State  University   and   the                                                                    
     University of  Alaska Anchorage  before becoming  a law                                                                    
     enforcement  officer, and  in 2013,  Gabe was  given an                                                                    
     Accommodation for Honorable Service.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Gabe's last  assignment as an Alaska  State Trooper was                                                                    
     in   the  "D"   Detachments   Rural   Unit,  which   is                                                                    
     responsible  for  protecting  and covering  77,000  sq.                                                                    
     miles of Alaskan Frontier.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     The  Trooper Gabe  Rich Memorial  Bridge will  stand to                                                                    
     remind  Alaskans of  the dedication  and the  sacrifice                                                                    
     that Trooper Rich made on their behalf.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
      Trooper Gabe Rich is survived by: his fianc?, Angie                                                                       
       Rich; sons, Lenox and Malakai; parents, David and                                                                        
     Patty Rich.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES directed  attention to the photo of  Trooper Rich in                                                               
the packets.  She mentioned  the zero fiscal  note and  asked how                                                               
the signage would be handled.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:49:00 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  MERCADO  explained that  the  sign  will be  fabricated  and                                                               
installed  when the  bridge  is next  updated.  The project  will                                                               
cover the cost of the signage.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES asked when that might happen.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MERCADO said  he understands  it will  be in  the next  five                                                               
years.   He  clarified   that   SB  84   is   the  companion   to                                                               
Representative Talerico's bill.  He has been in  contact with the                                                               
Department of Transportation and  Public Facilities and therefore                                                               
knows more about the timeline.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER asked  for clarification that the  family has been                                                               
asked  and  is supportive  of  this  effort.  He noted  that  the                                                               
committee was  taken by  surprise when it  heard another  bill to                                                               
rename  a bridge  and the  surviving  spouse voiced  reservations                                                               
about the effort.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. MERCADO replied  he has been working with the  family to make                                                               
sure they approve and there  are four signature sheets indicating                                                               
support for  this effort.  He described  the overall  support for                                                               
renaming the bridge as very high.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  noted that copies  of the signature sheets  were in                                                               
the packets.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS clarified that her  office began discussing renaming the                                                               
Tok River Bridge  (SB 4) with Brandy Johnson in  October 2018 and                                                               
Ms. Johnson never indicated she opposed the effort.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   SHOWER  said   he  wasn't   blaming  anyone,   but  the                                                               
miscommunication took everyone by surprise.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS  said it has  been a  very emotional experience  for Ms.                                                               
Johnson and she prays for her.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:52:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES opened public testimony for SB 84.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:52:29 PM                                                                                                                    
ANGIE RICH,  representing Trooper Rich's family,  Fairbanks, said                                                               
the family definitely  supports SB 84. Mr. Mercado  has been very                                                               
careful and  diligent in his  work with  the family to  make sure                                                               
they support  and are part of  the process to rename  the bridge.                                                               
She said it's important to the  family to know that Gabe will not                                                               
be  forgotten  and  that  his  name will  be  memorialized  in  a                                                               
positive way. This  peaceful site is traditional to  Alaska and a                                                               
place that is part of Gabe's childhood.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES expressed  appreciation for  her testimony  and all                                                               
the things that Gabe did to make the state a safer place.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:54:38 PM                                                                                                                    
RONALD  WALL,  Captain,  Alaska  State  Troopers,  Department  of                                                               
Public Safety,  Fairbanks, said  he was  testifying on  behalf of                                                               
the agency  to say that  it was a  pleasure to work  with Trooper                                                               
Rich. He  worked patrol and rural  and was pending a  transfer to                                                               
Southeast. Not  only was he  an outstanding trooper, he  was also                                                               
an  exceptional father.  He brought  joy and  happiness to  those                                                               
around him. The department supports SB 84, he said.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:56:27 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID RICH, representing self, Fairbanks,  said he wanted to echo                                                               
Angie's testimony.  The family is  proud that the state  is doing                                                               
this. It  will live on  with us as we  cross that bridge,  and it                                                               
will be nice  for others to see Gabe's name  and remember him, he                                                               
said.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES thanked him for the sacrifice he made as a father.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:58:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES  closed   public  testimony  and  held   SB  84  in                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:58:35 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair  Hughes   adjourned  the  Senate   Transportation  Standing                                                               
Committee meeting at 1:58 p.m.                                                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
STRA Agenda 3.28.19.pdf STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB75 Sponsor Statement.pdf STRA 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 75
SB75 Bill Text Version A.PDF STRA 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 75
SB75 Fiscal Note - DMV.pdf STRA 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 75
SB75 Letter of Support_Local 302.pdf STRA 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 75
SB75 Letter of Support_Carlile.pdf STRA 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 75
SB75 Letter of Support_NIT.pdf STRA 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 75
SB75 Additional Materials_Federal Statute.pdf STRA 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 75
SB 84 Sponsor Statement.pdf STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 84
SB84 Bill Text Version A.PDF STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 84
SB84 Fiscal Note - DOT&PF.pdf STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 84
SB 84 Gabe Rich Picture.pdf STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 84
SB 84 Support.pdf STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 84
SB 84 Images of the Bridge.pdf STRA 3/28/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 84