Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/02/2002 01:07 PM TRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 510-COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES:REGULATIONS                                                                                  
Number 1933                                                                                                                     
CHAIR KOHRING  announced the final  matter before  the committee,                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO. 510,  "An  Act  relating  to the  regulation  of                                                               
commercial  motor  vehicles  to  avoid  loss  or  withholding  of                                                               
federal highway  money, and  to out-of-service  orders concerning                                                               
commercial motor  vehicles; amending  Rule 43.1, Alaska  Rules of                                                               
Administration; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           
Number 1948                                                                                                                     
DENNIS POSHARD, Legislative Liaison,  Office of the Commissioner,                                                               
Department  of  Transportation   &  Public  Facilities  (DOT&PF),                                                               
testified  before  the  committee.     He  said  he  would  yield                                                               
testimony to  Aves Thompson, who  had brought the  legislation to                                                               
the  commissioner's  attention.    He  asked  that  the  bill  be                                                               
forwarded on behalf of the department.                                                                                          
Number 1994                                                                                                                     
AVES  THOMPSON, Director,  Division  of  Measurement Standards  &                                                               
Commercial  Vehicle Enforcement,  Department of  Transportation &                                                               
Public Facilities, gave a summary of  what his division does.  He                                                               
said  HB 510  completes  the consolidation  of  "the truck  size,                                                               
weight,  safety,  and  permitting regulatory  program"  that  was                                                               
started  with Executive  Order  98.   He  said  the authority  to                                                               
promulgate  regulations  for driver/vehicle  safety  requirements                                                               
and  hazardous-materials   transport  was  not   transferred  and                                                               
currently  resides  in the  Department  of  Public Safety  (DPS).                                                               
Therefore, HB  510 transfers that  authority to DOT&PF,  and also                                                               
transfers  the  authority   to  conduct  commercial-motor-vehicle                                                               
safety  inspections   from  DPS  to  DOT&PF.     Furthermore,  it                                                               
transfers  the  size, weight,  and  permit  regulations from  the                                                               
Department of Commerce and Economic Development to DOT&PF.                                                                      
Number 2100                                                                                                                     
MR. THOMPSON  said federal law requires  that state motor-vehicle                                                               
safety  regulations be  no  less stringent  than  federal law  or                                                               
regulation.   If they are  found to  be less stringent,  they are                                                               
preempted  [by federal  law].   He said  Alaska has  avoided that                                                               
result   by   referencing   the  federal   motor-carrier   safety                                                               
regulations.   He  told  the  committee that  hazardous-materials                                                               
transport regulations follow  a similar pattern.   Alaska has not                                                               
received  any formal  sanctions for  its outdated  driver/vehicle                                                               
and  hazardous-materials  transport  regulations.    The  current                                                               
state regulations  reference federal regulations as  they existed                                                               
in 1995.   Mr. Thompson  said there are new  regulations prepared                                                               
and ready to go as soon as the legislation becomes effective.                                                                   
Number 2161                                                                                                                     
MR.  THOMPSON  summarized  by  saying  that  passage  of  HB  510                                                               
completes  the   transfer  of   the  regulatory   authority  over                                                               
commercial motor vehicles to DOT&PF.   It is in the best interest                                                               
of  the state  and  the  trucking industry  for  the transfer  to                                                               
occur,  because  those  responsible   for  the  adoption  of  the                                                               
regulations will also be enforcing  the standards.  He concluded,                                                               
"With the  changes in HB  510, the trucking industry  can realize                                                               
the  objective  of 'one-stop  shopping'  in  terms of  commercial                                                               
vehicle  operations."   He  urged the  committee  to support  the                                                               
Number 2195                                                                                                                     
FRANK   DILLON,  Alaska   Trucking  Association,   testified  via                                                               
teleconference.   He agreed that  the bill completes  the process                                                               
started by Executive  Order 98.  He said  [the trucking industry]                                                               
is  currently  following  federal  hazardous-materials  transport                                                               
regulations,  but   the  bill  allows   [DOT&PF]  to   bring  its                                                               
regulations  up to  date.   He characterized  it as  an extremely                                                               
good bill and urged its passage.                                                                                                
Number 2239                                                                                                                     
BARBARA  HUFF TUCKNESS,  Director,  Legislative and  Governmental                                                               
Affairs,  Teamsters Local  959, testified  before the  committee.                                                               
She said  the bill ties  together some loopholes [left  over from                                                               
Executive Order 98].  She voiced  strong support for the bill and                                                               
the fact  that it would put  all the functions under  the purview                                                               
of one department.                                                                                                              
Number 2278                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  KOHRING  asked  Mr.  Thompson what  means  DOT&PF  has  to                                                               
enforce the regulations concerning personnel and so forth.                                                                      
MR.   THOMPSON  answered   by  saying   the  department   has  30                                                               
commercial-vehicle-enforcement officers throughout  the state who                                                               
enforce driver/vehicle  safety regulations as well  as hazardous-                                                               
materials  regulations.    He  reiterated  that  the  enforcement                                                               
authority was  left behind in  DPS by  Executive Order 98.   This                                                               
bill  would   give  DOT&PF  the   authority  to   promulgate  the                                                               
regulations that its officers enforce.                                                                                          
Number 2365                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON moved to report  HB 510 from committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There  being no  objection, HB  510 was  moved out  of the  House                                                               
Transportation Standing Committee.                                                                                              

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