Legislature(2005 - 2006)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/09/2005 09:00 AM Senate FINANCE

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09:06:43 AM Start
09:21:50 AM HB1
11:17:13 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Moved HB 64 Out of Committee
     CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 63(TRA)                                                                                             
     "An Act relating to road signs encouraging the use of safety                                                               
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Co-Chair  Wilken  noted  that  the original  version  of  the  bill,                                                            
Version 24-LS0363\G, is before the Committee for consideration.                                                                 
SENATOR  BEN  STEVENS,  the  bill's  sponsor,  expressed  that  this                                                            
"simple bill"  was developed in response  to a constituent's  desire                                                            
to erect a memorial sign  near the site of an automobile accident in                                                            
which a family member's  life had been lost. While the Department of                                                            
Transportation  and  Public Facilities  (DOT)  has  a Memorial  Sign                                                            
Program,  its funding  is limited  to "Don't  Drink  and Drive"  and                                                            
"Please  Drive  Safely"   signs,  and  would  not  accommodate   the                                                            
constituent's  desire  to  erect  a  sign  stating  "Buckle  Up  for                                                            
Safety".  This bill  would expand  the program  to accommodate  such                                                            
wording and  allow signs to be placed  in the State's right-of-way,                                                             
"near  the location  of  a traffic  fatality  that occurred  as  the                                                            
result of not wearing a seatbelt".                                                                                              
Co-Chair  Wilken understood  that the family  member whose  life was                                                            
lost in the  aforementioned traffic  accident was a young  man named                                                            
Nathan Kampen.                                                                                                                  
Senator  B. Stevens  affirmed  and noted  that he,  rather than  the                                                            
family, is requesting that  the program be referred to as the Nathan                                                            
Kampen Act.                                                                                                                     
Co-Chair  Wilken   clarified  that   although  there  is   a  Senate                                                            
Transportation  Committee   committee  substitute,  the  sponsor  is                                                            
requesting  that  the original  version  of  the bill,  Version  24-                                                            
LS0363\G, be considered.  The difference between the two versions is                                                            
that  the  Senate  Transportation  Committee  committee   substitute                                                            
removed language  in Section 1, page  one, line five, that  reads as                                                            
     SHORT TITLE. This Act shall be known as the Nathan Kampen Act.                                                             
Senator B.  Stevens affirmed. He noted  that although this  language                                                            
was removed  in the Senate Transportation  committee substitute  due                                                            
to policy  issue concerns  about Legislative  intent and  uncodified                                                            
law, that committee has  advised that they would not take issue were                                                            
this Committee to reinstate that language.                                                                                      
Senator  Olson observed  that  the  bill is  accompanied  by a  zero                                                            
fiscal note  even thought each sign  would cost approximately  $500.                                                            
In addition, he  inquired to the process through which  a sign would                                                            
be erected.                                                                                                                     
Senator B.  Stevens deferred  to DOT to respond  to the fiscal  note                                                            
question.  The   memorial  signs  would  be  "by  request"   to  the                                                            
Department, which would  determine whether a sign could be placed in                                                            
the right of way "without  obstructing either traffic or other types                                                            
of  equipment  and not  to  jeopardize the  safety  of  the flow  of                                                            
Senator  Olson asked  whether  regarding the  number  of signs  that                                                            
might be placed and how they would be financed.                                                                                 
NONA WILSON, Legislative  Liaison, Department of Transportation  and                                                            
Public  Facilities,  explained  that  the  application  process  for                                                            
requesting a sign would  allow for a 30-day Department review period                                                            
in which  the Department  would determine  whether  a sign could  be                                                            
placed at  the requested  location. Were  the request approved,  the                                                            
Department would  place the sign in an appropriate  place near or at                                                            
the location of  the accident. While the number of  signs that might                                                            
be requested  is unknown,  funding for the  signs would be  provided                                                            
through the existing Memorial Sign Program.                                                                                     
Senator  Stedman  pointed  out  that  the Transportation   Committee                                                            
committee substitute  also removed  the words "at or near"  from the                                                            
bill in Section 2, page  one, line eight. Continuing, he shared that                                                            
the Department  has erected memorials  and safety reminder  signs at                                                            
dangerous  intersections  in his  community.  That  signage has  not                                                            
generated  negative  public feedback.  He  also noted  that, in  his                                                            
experience, it has been  difficult at times to get the Department of                                                            
Transportation  and  Public  Facilities   to  make  improvements  to                                                            
dangerous intersections.                                                                                                        
Co-Chair Wilken  noted that another difference between  the versions                                                            
is that  the Senate  Transportation Committee  committee  substitute                                                            
included the language "at  or near the site" in Section 1, page one,                                                            
line  five as  compared to  language in  the original  version  that                                                            
specifies "at the site".                                                                                                        
Senator  B. Stevens  characterized  the  language differences  as  a                                                            
"grammatical  choice" as the bill  drafter's usage of the  words "at                                                            
the site" would  be defined to allow  the signs to be erected  at or                                                            
near the site  rather than the more specific "at the  exact location                                                            
of." The objective is to  provide the Department "the discretion" to                                                            
erect the signs where deemed fit.                                                                                               
Co-Chair Wilken stated  that the bill would be held to reconcile the                                                            
differences between the two versions.                                                                                           
Senator Stedman opined  that the Department should "locate the signs                                                            
as close  to the  proximity of the  accident as  possible",  as this                                                            
would be more meaningful.                                                                                                       
Co-Chair Wilken ordered the bill HELD in Committee.                                                                             

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