Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 106
05/05/2005 08:00 AM House STATE AFFAIRS
Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was 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 Anchorage. 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 motion. 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 wise." 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.