Legislature(1993 - 1994)

1993-01-22 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

1993-01-22                     Senate Journal                      Page 0119
SJR 18                                                                       
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 18 by the Senate Rules                             
Committee by request of the Governor,                                          
Proposing amendments to the Constitution of the                               
State of Alaska creating a transportation fund.                                
was read the first time and referred to the Transportation Committee,          
the Judiciary Committee and the Finance Committee.                             
Fiscal note from Department of Revenue and zero fiscal notes from              
Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and Department              
of Public Safety published today.                                              
Governor's transmittal letter dated January 22:                                
Dear Mr. President:                                                            
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution,          
I am transmitting a resolution to amend the Alaska Constitution to             
provide for a dedicated transportation fund.                                   
Section 1 of the resolution repeals and readopts art. IX, sec. 7, of           
the Alaska Constitution so that it permits the dedication of revenue           
under a new sec. 18 of art. IX, which is created by sec. 2 of the              
resolution.  No other substantive change is made to sec. 7.                    
Section 2 of the resolution amends art. IX of the Alaska Constitution          
by adding a new sec. 18.  New sec. 18(a) requires that certain                 
revenue received after June 30, 1995 that is derived from                      
transportation-related functions be placed into a transportation fund.         
The revenue that is to be dedicated to the transportation fund is              
1)revenue from state licenses and fees for the                               
registration, operation, and use of motor vehicles,                            
aircraft, and watercraft;                                                      
2)revenue from the use of state transportation                               
facilities, including the state ferry system;                                  

1993-01-22                     Senate Journal                      Page 0120
SJR 18                                                                       
3)revenue from state taxes on fuel used in and on                            
watercraft and on fuel used by motor vehicles and                              
  Refunds or credits from state fuel taxes, as provided by law, and            
costs for the collection of license, fee, and tax revenue, as provided         
for by law, would not be required to be placed in the transportation           
New sec. 18(a) also provides that the legislature may appropriate              
revenue from the transportation fund only for                                  
1)the maintenance and operation of a state or local                          
government transportation facility (including a                                
highway or marine highway system vessel) if the                                
facility is related to the mode of transportation from                         
which the tax, license, or fee revenue to be                                   
appropriated was originally received;                                          
2)the construction and improvement of harbor facilities                      
if the tax, license, or fee revenue to be appropriated                         
was obtained from the use of watercraft; and                                   
3)the administration and enforcement of motor vehicle                        
Section 18(b) exempts the following transportation-related revenue             
from the requirement that it be placed into the new transportation             
1)revenue received from taxes, licenses, or fees that                        
the state collects on behalf of a local government;                            
2)revenue received by a public corporation whose                             
revenue must, by federal law, be retained and                                  
managed by the corporation; and                                                
3)revenue received from the use or operation of a                            
transportation facility constructed with bond                                  
proceeds if law or bond covenants require that the                             
revenue be used for some other purpose.                                        

1993-01-22                     Senate Journal                      Page 0121
SJR 18                                                                       
Section 18(c) requires the legislature to provide by law for the               
management and investment of the fund and provides further that                
income earned from the management and investment of the fund be                
deposited into the fund.                                                       
Section 18(d) allows the legislature, upon three-fourths majority vote         
of both houses, to make appropriations from the fund for any other             
public purpose.                                                                
Section 3 of the resolution requires that the amendment proposed by            
this resolution be placed before the voters of the state at the next           
general election in accord with the election laws of the state.                
Because transportation facility maintenance and operation, like other          
state services, is currently a general fund expenditure, declining oil         
revenue will surely mean a reduction in the funding available for              
those critical activities.  I believe that the most appropriate means to       
guard against such a reduction, and to provide for stability and               
continuity in the provision of transportation services, is to permit           
"user fees" from transportation-related facilities to be dedicated to          
maintaining and operating Alaska's transportation system.                      
I urge your favorable consideration of this resolution.                        
      Walter J. Hickel