Legislature(2005 - 2006)HOUSE FINANCE 519
02/08/2006 01:30 PM FINANCE
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HOUSE BILL NO. 245 "An Act relating to registration and license plate fees for Purple Heart recipients, prisoners of war, Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, and spouses of current prisoners of war." Representative Hawker MOVED to ADOPT the proposed committee substitute (CS) for HB 245, labeled 24-LS0604\S, Luckhaupt, 2/6/06. Representative Stoltze OBJECTED for discussion purposes. SUZANNE CUNNINGHAM, STAFF, CO-CHAIR MEYER, explained that the new CS has two changes. It includes Congressional Medal of Honor recipients under the same paragraph that provides license plates for Pearl Harbor survivors and former prisoners of war (POW). It also provides for no fee for the registration of the plates or for the plates. The second change is that the current POW and spouse eligibility for a plate was removed and an immediate effective date was added. Representative Kerttula asked why current POWs and spouses were cut out. Ms. Cunningham related that when looking at the specialty license plates as a class, there is no eligibility for those categories. The intent of this legislation is to honor those who serve our country. Representative Kerttula asked how many current POWs there are. Ms. Cunningham replied that she is unsure if there are any at this time. 2:39:51 PM REPRESENTATIVE BOB LYNN, SPONSOR, shared disappointment that the POW and spouse categories were removed. He spoke of a preference to leave them in, in order to honor them. Representative Weyhrauch asked if a Missing in Action (MIA) category should be included. Representative Lynn said he had no problem with that idea. Representative Weyhrauch asked how a MIA veteran would apply for a license. Representative Lynn replied that the spouse would apply for it. Ms. Cunningham referred to earlier legislation in 2003 whereby anyone could purchase a commemorative license plate to support veterans. The money raised from the sale of those plates would be appropriated back to support services for veterans. 2:44:03 PM DUANE BANNOCK, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLES, DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION, opined that many of the automobiles are in the name of the veteran and the spouse. He gave an example. Under Chapter 48 when two names are on the vehicle title, either party can make an application for a license. He discussed the Commemorative Veteran's License Plate, which honors military personnel. Representative Stoltze noted that the license plate bill has become more complicated. He asked Representative Lynn if the CS was acceptable. Representative Lynn noted a preference for the original bill, but stated acceptance of the new CS. 2:48:06 PM Representative Stoltze WITHDREW his OBJECTION. Co-Chair Meyer asked that the OBJECTION remain on the table. Representative Foster noted that he had recently been in two Division of Motor Vehicle offices and did not notice the commemorative veterans display. Mr. Bannock commented that he would be disappointed if each office did not show a display of all available license plates. Representative Kerttula inquired if language in the current law would include those that who are currently POWs. Mr. Bannock replied that he was referring to past tense (former) prisoners of war. He understood that the statute indicates past tense. Representative Kerttula questioned the circumstances if the person has been, and is currently, a POW. Mr. Bannock responded that if a person came in with a document that tied POW to a name that was listed on the vehicle, that customer would receive the plate. He acknowledged that it could be challenged. There are a total of 34 vehicles with POW license plates. 2:52:57 PM Representative Stoltze WITHDREW his OBJECTION. There being NO further OBJECTION, CSHB 245 was adopted. Representative Hawker noted concerned that the proper term for Congressional Medal of Honor should be "Medal of Honor". Representative Lynn responded that he did not know, but he offered to research it. Representative Foster stated that he also did not know. 2:56:28 PM Discussion occurred between committee members regarding the possibility of clarifying the Prisoner of War status. Representative Lynn offered to check with the Department of Defense regarding that language. Co-Chair Meyer recommended that the number of amendments be limited. Representative Hawker commented that he would vote with an "amend" recommendation. 2:58:24 PM Representative Foster MOVED to REPORT CSHB 245 (FIN) out of Committee with individual recommendations and with the accompanying fiscal note. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. CSHB 245 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with a new fiscal note by the Department of Administration.