Legislature(2001 - 2002)

05/01/2001 12:15 PM RLS

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATOR COWDERY  moved to calendar  all Senate versions of   SB  83-                                                        
CONSTRUCTION OF HIGHWAYS BY DOTPF.                                                                                          
SENATOR  ELLIS  objected  for  the  reason  that  he  believes  this                                                            
legislation  was  set in  motion  because  of the  force  accounting                                                            
system  used  by  the   Department  of  Transportation   and  Public                                                            
Facilities (DOTPF) on the  St. Mary's project.  He noted the experts                                                            
have  looked   into  that   project  and   found  a  well   managed,                                                            
comparatively  inexpensive project that will deliver  great benefits                                                            
to that rural village.   He believes this bill is a step backward in                                                            
terms of  workforce development  and providing  cash paying  jobs in                                                            
Native  villages across  the state.   For that  reason, he  strongly                                                            
opposes SB 83.                                                                                                                  
SENATOR COWDERY commented  that this bill would allow the St. Mary's                                                            
project to proceed  as planned because of the effective  date and it                                                            
allows  DOTPF to  use a force  account  if no  responsible bids  are                                                            
submitted for projects costing more than $500,000.                                                                              
SENATOR THERRIAULT  asked if the Senate Finance Committee  increased                                                            
the amount from $250,000 to $500,000.                                                                                           
SENATOR COWDERY said that is correct.                                                                                           
CHAIRWOMAN  PEARCE  said  she  has a  continuing  concern  that  the                                                            
Division of  Legal Services is reviewing  about how this  bill might                                                            
affect  Transfer   of  Responsibility   Agreements  (TORAs),   where                                                            
municipal,  state and federal  funding is used  to build a  project.                                                            
It is  her understanding  that  Senator  Cowdery did  not intend  to                                                            
reach into TORAs.                                                                                                               
SENATOR COWDERY said that  was not his intention but he does not see                                                            
anything wrong  with using a competitive  bid process.  He  intended                                                            
SB 83 to apply to DOTPF projects only.                                                                                          
CHAIRWOMAN  PEARCE said  she may offer  an amendment  on the  Senate                                                            
floor to exempt TORAs.                                                                                                          
The motion  to calendar all  Senate versions  of SB 83 carried  with                                                            
Senator Phillips,  Therriault, Cowdery and Pearce  voting "yea," and                                                            
Senator Ellis voting "nay."                                                                                                     

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