Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 106

05/05/2005 08:00 AM House STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved Out of Committee
Moved HCS SB 172(STA) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 176(STA) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
Moved HCS SB 132(STA) Out of Committee
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
HB 176-ELIMINATE DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME                                                                                       
8:38:50 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON announced that the  next order of business was HOUSE                                                               
BILL  NO. 176,  "An Act  exempting  the state  and its  political                                                               
subdivisions from daylight saving time."                                                                                        
8:38:51 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WOODIE  SALMON,   Alaska  State  Legislature,  as                                                               
sponsor of  HB 176,  said he  thinks there was  a good  amount of                                                               
discussion  at the  last hearing  on HB  176 and  the bill  is in                                                               
"good form."                                                                                                                    
8:39:25 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO moved  to  adopt  the committee  substitute                                                               
(CS), Version  24-LS0490\G, Bannister,  5/4/05, as a  work draft.                                                               
There being no objection, Version G was before the committee.                                                                   
8:39:44 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON explained  that Version G "changes the  bill from us                                                               
adopting and implementing something  that will affect everybody's                                                               
individual lives every  day to [an] advisory vote  for the people                                                               
at the next regular election ...."                                                                                              
8:40:25 AM                                                                                                                    
LYNN  WILLIS, Eagle  River,  testified on  behalf  of himself  in                                                               
support  of  the  "repeal  of  daylight  saving  time  by  direct                                                               
legislative  action or  by vote  of the  people of  Alaska."   He                                                               
addressed one  argument against  repeal, which  is the  idea that                                                               
there is  a clear and  present need  for daylight saving  time to                                                               
keep Alaska  businesses from  operating at  a disadvantage.   Mr.                                                               
Willis countered  that technology has  overcome any need  for the                                                               
state  to mandate  the use  of  daylight saving  time to  support                                                               
business.   He explained,  "Use of the  Internet and  advances in                                                               
communication  technology  allow  many,  if  not  most,  business                                                               
transactions,  to be  initiated, conducted,  and/or completed  at                                                               
any time of the  day on any day of the week.   If Alaska suspends                                                               
the use of daylight saving time,  while the Lower 48 continues to                                                               
use it, any  business in Alaska operating between  the core hours                                                               
of 9:00  a.m. and  5:00 p.m.,  Alaska standard  time will  have a                                                               
minimum of  three to six  business hours that overlap  with these                                                               
same core hours in any time zone in the Lower 48."                                                                              
MR. WILLIS opined  that the use of daylight saving  time does not                                                               
automatically  benefit any  businesses  that routinely  interface                                                               
with the  Lower 48  states.  He  offered a  hypothetical example.                                                               
He asked the committee  to remember:   "Since 1983  - when all of                                                               
Alaska, west  of the Yukon  Territory, except the  far Aleutians,                                                               
advanced  its clocks  permanently -  most of  Alaska has  been on                                                               
permanent daylight saving  time.  From April to  October, most of                                                               
Alaska is  on double daylight saving  time."  Mr. Willis  said he                                                               
has to commute and work  under artificial lighting longer because                                                               
of daylight  saving time.  He  noted, "If we were  to permanently                                                               
stay on  double daylight  saving time,  as [has]  been suggested,                                                               
sunrise  on  December  21,  2005,  will be  at  11:14  [a.m.]  in                                                               
8:44:43 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON  interjected to  tell Mr.  Willis that  the question                                                               
before  the committee  is  whether to  put  a ballot  proposition                                                               
forward  for  an advisory  vote  of  the citizenry  to  eliminate                                                               
daylight  saving  time  to  be  on  Alaska  standard  time.    He                                                               
explained  that the  committee needs  to  move on  with its  busy                                                               
calendar.  He  said, "I just want to make  sure that I understand                                                               
you  correctly that  you support  going  to an  advisory vote  to                                                               
eliminate daylight saving time."                                                                                                
8:45:48 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. WILLIS responded, "If that's my only alternative, yes I do."                                                                
8:45:59 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER asked  Mr. Willis  how he  would feel  if                                                               
Alaska were to move from Alaska  time to Pacific time, and at the                                                               
same time eliminate  participation in daylight saving  time.  She                                                               
said  that would  be one  way to  reduce the  discrepancy between                                                               
Alaska's time and other time zones in the country.                                                                              
8:46:22 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. WILLIS said he would oppose that.  He explained:                                                                            
     The reason  we have time zones  is so that we  can have                                                                    
     some synchronization  between the  position of  the sun                                                                    
     and the  time of  the day.   We've already  skewed that                                                                    
     two hours.   If we  advanced another time zone,  to the                                                                    
     Pacific  time zone,  it would  be even  worse.   It's a                                                                    
     fact  that we're  not geographically  located with  the                                                                    
     rest  of the  United  States; we  are  in another  time                                                                    
     zone.   And I  think by doing  that you're  just making                                                                    
     the situation worse.                                                                                                       
8:47:00 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  mentioned an energy bill  that the U.S.                                                               
Congress  is  considering,  which   would  have  the  country  on                                                               
daylight  saving time  eight months  of the  year.   He observed,                                                               
"So,  if we  go  backwards, we'll  not be  just  one hour  behind                                                               
Pacific time  but we'll  be two  hours, and  we'll be  five hours                                                               
behind New York."  He surmised  that that may all right for those                                                               
who have sophisticated  use of the Internet, but he  asked how it                                                               
would affect the thousands of Alaskans who don't.                                                                               
8:48:09 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  WILLIS said  he thinks  most  of the  thousands of  Alaskans                                                               
don't  have "any  communication that's  necessary with  the Lower                                                               
48."   He said only  so much can  be done  to get along  with the                                                               
Lower 48, and he reminded  the committee of Alaska's economy with                                                               
the  Far  East.   He  said,  "We  have  to respect  our  position                                                               
relative to them."                                                                                                              
8:48:27 AM                                                                                                                    
ROBERT  TOBEY testified  on behalf  of himself  in opposition  to                                                               
doing away with daylight  saving time.  He said he  is one of the                                                               
thousands  of  Alaskans who  would  experience  some problems  if                                                               
there  was a  five-hour  time  gap between  Alaska  and the  East                                                               
Coast.   He said, "It  will cause  me far more  inconvenience and                                                               
sleep loss  than pushing my  clock ahead  one hour once  a year."                                                               
Mr. Tobey revealed  that he has a small  business that frequently                                                               
requires him  to deal  with suppliers  on the  East Coast  and in                                                               
other  portions of  the Lower  48.   He  stated, "It's  difficult                                                               
enough to  get service  for my  clients as it  is.   Often orders                                                               
have to  be in early in  the morning, Eastern Time  to get timely                                                               
delivery in Alaska.  Adding another  hour means every time I have                                                               
to deal with the Outside companies,  I would need to add an extra                                                               
hour that I have to be at the  office or ... get up ... earlier."                                                               
Mr. Tobey  said he is certain  there are many other  Alaskans who                                                               
would be inconvenienced as much or more than he would be.                                                                       
MR. TOBEY stated that he  would wholeheartedly support staying on                                                               
daylight  saving time,  thus being  only three  hours behind  the                                                               
East Coast and the same as the West  Coast for a good part of the                                                               
year.    He said  that  would  be a  longer  period  if the  U.S.                                                               
Congress passes the  previously mentioned energy bill.   He said,                                                               
"This action would meet the  need of business travelers and those                                                               
not wanting to lose an hour of sleep once every spring."                                                                        
8:50:06 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON,  after ascertaining that  there was no one  else to                                                               
testify on the bill, closed public testimony.                                                                                   
8:50:27 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  ELKINS  moved to  report  CSHB  176, Version  24-                                                               
LS0490\G,  Bannister, 5/4/05  out  of  committee with  individual                                                               
recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE ELKINS, in  response to Representative Gruenberg's                                                               
saying  he  would like  more  committee  discussion, removed  his                                                               
8:51:16 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  stated his  concern that the  bill only                                                               
gives  the  voters  one  choice,  which  would  be  to  eliminate                                                               
daylight saving  time.   He said  he would like  to know  how the                                                               
sponsor would  feel about giving  voters other choices:   To keep                                                               
daylight  saving time  all year  round, or  to put  the state  on                                                               
various time zones.                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG suggested another  page could be created                                                               
in "the  official election  pamphlet" so  that "the  people could                                                               
check this  off and really take  a little more time  to study the                                                               
issue and then just simply mail that in."                                                                                       
8:52:59 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SALMON said  he  doesn't want  to complicate  the                                                               
issue by giving too many choices.                                                                                               
8:54:05 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  said  Alaska is  unusual  because  the                                                               
state is so far north.  He  said he doesn't know how people would                                                               
feel about  wanting to be closer  to the rest of  the U.S., "time                                                               
8:55:43 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  ELKINS  moved to  report  CSHB  176, Version  24-                                                               
LS0490\G,  Bannister, 5/4/05  out  of  committee with  individual                                                               
recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                              
8:56:09 AM                                                                                                                    
MOIRA SMITH, Staff to Representative  Woodie Salmon, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, on  behalf of  Representative Salmon,  sponsor, said                                                               
there was  a zero  fiscal for  the original  bill, but  no fiscal                                                               
note was created for Version G.                                                                                                 
8:56:27 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON said the committee  would request that a fiscal note                                                               
be drawn up for  Version G.  He asked if  there was any objection                                                               
to the motion.  There being  none, CSHB 176(STA) was reported out                                                               
of the House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                  

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