Legislature(2023 - 2024)GRUENBERG 120

03/02/2023 03:00 PM House STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Moved HB 8 Out of Committee
               HB   8-ELECTRIC-ASSISTED BICYCLES                                                                            
3:12:53 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHAW  announced that the  final order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL   NO.  8,  "An  Act   relating  to  electric-assisted                                                               
3:13:30 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  ASHLEY CARRICK,  Alaska State  Legislature, prime                                                               
sponsor, welcomed questions from members of the committee.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE ALLARD  asked why electric assisted  scooters were                                                               
excluded from the bill.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE CARRICK  explained that  when the  legislation was                                                               
initially  drafted  roughly  five years  ago,  electric  assisted                                                               
bicycles  "e-bikes"  were  an emerging  area  of  recreation  and                                                               
transportation.    She  stated  that  the  bill  was  drafted  in                                                               
response to the need for  a clear statutory definition of e-bike.                                                               
She  observed  that  electric  assisted   scooters  were  a  less                                                               
lucrative form of recreation in Alaska.                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  ALLARD asked  whether e-bikes  could be  used for                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE CARRICK clarified that the  purpose of HB 8 was to                                                               
classify  e-bikes  as  bicycles,  thereby  allowing  them  to  be                                                               
operated  in the  same  places as  bicycles.   Consequently,  she                                                               
opined that if  bicycles could be used for hunting,  so too could                                                               
e-bikes.  She  reiterated that the goal was to  define e-bikes in                                                               
statute  and provide  further clarification  with the  three-tier                                                               
classification   system  allowing   the  Department   of  Natural                                                               
Resources  (DNR) and  municipalities  to  further regulate  their                                                               
3:17:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHAW shared  a personal anecdote and  asked whether bicycle                                                               
charging stations would  be placed in different  locations in the                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE CARRICK said, "I don't  think so."  She shared her                                                               
understanding  that e-bikes  were self-contained  systems, adding                                                               
that they could be re-charged via pedaling.                                                                                     
3:18:57 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  C.  JOHNSON pointed  out  that  the Tony  Knowles                                                               
Coastal  Trail  in  Anchorage restricted  the  use  of  motorized                                                               
vehicles.   He sought to  verify that the bill  would effectually                                                               
declassify e-bikes  as "motorized," thereby allowing  their usage                                                               
on trails.                                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE   CARRICK  reported   that  the   Municipality  of                                                               
Anchorage  (MOA) adopted  the same  three-class definition  of e-                                                               
bike proposed  in HB  8; therefore, e-bikes  were allowed  on any                                                               
non-motorized  trail  system  in Anchorage,  including  the  Tony                                                               
Knowles  Coastal Trail.    She  pointed out  that  the MOA  could                                                               
choose to further regulate e-bikes  by restricting their usage to                                                               
less  than  28 mph  with  full  assist on  a  class  3 bike,  for                                                               
3:20:25 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WRIGHT moved to report  HB 8 out of committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There being  no objection,  HB 8  was reported  out of  the House                                                               
State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects