Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/27/1996 01:36 PM TRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                     SENATE TRANSPORTATION                                     
                       February 27, 1996                                       
                           1:36 p.m.                                           
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
 Senator Steve Rieger, Chairman                                                
 Senator Robin Taylor, Vice Chair                                              
 Senator Lyda Green                                                            
 Senator Al Adams                                                              
 Senator Georgianna Lincoln                                                    
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
 All members present.                                                          
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
 HOUSE BILL NO. 57                                                             
 "An Act relating to driver's licensing; and providing for an                  
 effective date."                                                              
 SENATE BILL NO. 274                                                           
 "An Act relating to the noise levels of airports and sport shooting           
  PREVIOUS SENATE ACTION                                                       
 HB 57 - See Senate Transportation minutes dated 2/22/96.                      
 SB 274 - No previous action to record.                                        
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
 Darcy Duvlea                                                                  
 500 Windsor Drive                                                             
 Fairbanks, Alaska 99709                                                       
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Raised questions regarding HB 57.                        
 Josh Steadman                                                                 
 PO Box 2165                                                                   
 Valdez, Alaska 99686                                                          
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Thought HB 57 was a good bill.                           
 Representative Joe Green, Prime Sponsor                                       
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions.                                      
 Juanita Hensley, Chief                                                        
 Drivers Services                                                              
 Division of Motor Vehicles                                                    
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 PO Box 20020                                                                  
 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0020                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions.                                      
 Mark Johnson, Chief                                                           
 Community Health & Emergency Medical Services                                 
 Department of Health & Social Services                                        
 PO Box 110616                                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0616                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 57.                                         
 Senator Halford, Prime Sponsor                                                
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Explained SB 274.                                        
 Sam Kito III, Legislative Liaison                                             
 Department of Transportation & Public Facilities                              
 3132 Channel Drive                                                            
 Juneau, Alaska                                                                
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Asked why state airports were not included.              
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
 TAPE 96-4, SIDE A                                                             
 STRA - 2/27/96                                                                
          HB  57 LICENSING REQUIREMENTS FOR DRIVERS                          
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER called the Senate Transportation meeting to order             
 at 1:36 p.m. and introduced  HB 57  as the first order of business.           
 Number 011                                                                    
 DARCY DUVLEA, Senior at Wasilla High School, pointed out that HB 57           
 places a curfew on 18 to 20-year-olds that have provisional                   
 licenses; that places a curfew on an adult.  She did not believe              
 this curfew to be reasonable when 18-year-olds can serve in the               
 military.  Perhaps, there could be an alternative to the                      
 provisional license for those over the age of 18.  She believed               
 that the provisional license would decrease the accidents for 16 to           
 Ms. Duvlea informed the committee that Representative Green's                 
 office had provided the information from which the bill was based.            
 That information included statistics from 1993 which stated that 32           
 percent of youth drivers are involved in crashes between the hours            
 of 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.  She pointed out that the time period              
 between 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. was not grouped together.  During            
 that time period, 41 percent of the crashes occur.  Drivers age 16-           
 20 comprise 12.8 percent of the total crashes while drivers age 31-           
 35 comprise 12.3 percent of the total traffic crashes.  That .5               
 percent difference did not seem to be proportionally significant.             
 Number 062                                                                    
 Ms. Duvlea informed the committee that other states with curfews              
 apply the curfew to youth age 18 and younger.  Six states have a              
 type of nighttime restriction:  Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland,                
 Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania.  HB 57 is not a bad                
 bill, but the statistics from which the bill is based are three               
 years old.  Ms. Duvlea suggested that driver's education could be             
 required at the driver's expense.                                             
 SENATOR ADAMS referred Ms. Duvlea to page 3, lines 12-16 when he              
 asked if she agreed with the change from 12 points for suspension             
 of license to six points.  DARCY DUVLEA indicated that enforcement            
 of the curfew would be difficult and would require increased police           
 patrol.  Would people be pulled over because they looked young?               
 Ms. Duvlea was unclear as to how long the provisional license would           
 be revoked for a person holding a provisional license that had                
 accumulated six points.                                                       
 Number 118                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR congratulated Ms. Duvlea on her research and work on           
 HB 57.                                                                        
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER thanked Ms. Duvlea for her testimony and welcomed             
 Representative Joe Green to sit at the table.                                 
 JOSH STEADMAN, student from Valdez, believed HB 57 to be a good               
 bill.  The fiscal notes illustrate that the bill would generate               
 revenue; is that the reason for the bill?                                     
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN, Prime Sponsor, said that HB 57 has nothing to           
 do with generating money.  HB 57 is concerned with safety, carnage,           
 and death.                                                                    
 Number 147                                                                    
 JOSH STEADMAN pointed out that committee minutes included a report            
 which stated that California and Maryland reported only a five                
 percent reduction in crashes involving 15 to 17-year-olds after               
 establishing a graduated license program.  REPRESENTATIVE GREEN               
 asked Mr. Steadman if he were part of that five percent, would it             
 be worth it?  JOSH STEADMAN said that HB 57 is a good bill.                   
 JOSH STEADMAN suggested that driver's education could replace the             
 instructional permit or could be offered as an alternative.                   
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN pointed out that the figures to which Mr.                
 Steadman referred earlier were actually the cost of implementation            
 not revenue.  Instituting a driver's education program would be               
 extremely expensive.  Representative Green said that the amount of            
 education does not matter, the important factor is how the vehicle            
 is actually operated.  A vehicle is a killing machine.                        
 JOSH STEADMAN viewed the provisional license as a second permit               
 with a curfew.  REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated that the early hours of           
 the morning are when the most accidents occur as well as the fact             
 that the accident rate for young drivers is about twice as much as            
 that for adult drivers.  HB 57 is a two prong attempt to make young           
 people realize that an automobile can kill.                                   
 Number 192                                                                    
 JOSH STEADMAN inquired as to the reasoning behind the change in age           
 of the accompanying driver from age 19 to 25.  REPRESENTATIVE GREEN           
 explained that there is a statistical advantage for the                       
 accompanying driver to be 25.  Statistically, 25-year-olds have               
 less per capita carnage than at age 19.  If a person is learning to           
 drive, he/she should learn from someone illustrating                          
 SENATOR LINCOLN did not believe that driver's education through the           
 school system was available.  She related her experience with her             
 children who utilized driver's education and received a cheaper               
 insurance rate because of that education.  Senator Lincoln did not            
 believe that driver's education was available in Valdez; she asked            
 how Mr. Steadman and his friends would be taught to drive?                    
 JOSH STEADMAN affirmed that the driving portion of driver's                   
 education had been eliminated in Valdez.  Currently, a semester is            
 spent learning the book portion of driver's education.  In the                
 summer, the driving portion is offered for about $300.  Mr.                   
 Steadman asked if the driving portion of driver's education was               
 eliminated across the state.  SENATOR LINCOLN did not know.                   
 Number 230                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN pointed out that Juanita Hensley was present             
 and could perhaps, better answer such questions.                              
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked Mr. Steadman if he had an opinion regarding             
 the six points.  JOSH STEADMAN felt that six points could be                  
 reached quickly, for example, drinking and driving.  Mr. Steadman             
 reiterated that six points could be reached quickly.                          
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if the point system should be left at 12           
 so that a teenager could drink and drive at least one time.  JOSH             
 STEADMAN said no.                                                             
 Number 248                                                                    
 JUANITA HENSLEY, Chief of Drivers Services with the DMV, offered to           
 answer any questions from the committee.                                      
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked if someone with a suspended license would               
 automatically be subject to SR 22.                                            
 JUANITA HENSLEY specified that a person would be subject to SR 22             
 if the violation involved a moving motor vehicle.  She pointed out            
 that the "use it or lose it" legislation passed a couple of years             
 ago included an exemption for SR 22 because it did not require the            
 use of a motor vehicle to have the license revoked.  A court                  
 revocation of a license also does not apply to SR 22 for the                  
 aforementioned reason.  She explained that SR 22 is a form number             
 given by the insurance industry to file with the motor vehicle                
 agencies throughout the nation.  SR 22 in Alaska is the basic                 
 limits of liability required for anyone to hold a driver's license.           
 Any time that a license is suspended or revoked due to a points               
 violation, SR 22 would be required in order to obtain the license             
 Number 277                                                                    
 Ms. Hensley explained that once six points is reached in a 12 month           
 period under the current system, the DMV is required to send a                
 warning notice.  At this point, the individual could take a                   
 defensive driving course in order to reduce his/her total points by           
 two.  The division sent 17,000 warning letters last year informing            
 individuals that they had reached the halfway point and advising              
 them to take part in the defensive driving course.  Only 2,500                
 license were suspended.  Ms. Hensley emphasized that the division             
 does not like to reach the point of suspending someone's license.             
 Under HB 57, a young person would receive a warning letter when               
 he/she receives three points.  At that time, the young person could           
 participate in a defensive driving course and reduce his/her total            
 points by two.  If the young person reaches the point of                      
 suspension, six points, he/she would receive 30 days notice to take           
 a defensive driving course in order to receive a two point                    
 reduction in their total points.  Taking a defensive driving course           
 is advantageous to the young person as well as the DMV.                       
 Number 316                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked Ms. Hensley if she had an estimate of the               
 difference of the premium per year for a driver insured under an              
 average SR 22 policy as compared to a driver covered under the                
 family's policy as a youth.  JUANITA HENSLEY did not have that                
 information.  As a parent, Ms. Hensley noted that factors such as             
 the age and cost of the vehicle, the age of the parents, the grade            
 point average of the youth, and whether the youth took a driver's             
 education course effected the cost of the policy.                             
 SENATOR GREEN understood that the SR 22 premium was approximately             
 a 10 percent on property and bodily damage plus the surcharge.  She           
 indicated that transferring back to normal coverage from the SR 22            
 was cumbersome.  JUANITA HENSLEY interjected that those who must              
 file SR 22 are habitual problem drivers.  Such drivers cost the               
 state and individuals a lot of money.                                         
 Number 343                                                                    
 SENATOR LINCOLN believed that Ms. Hensley meant that the majority             
 of folks with SR 22 are the habitual problem drivers.  She related            
 the following scenario in which the person does not fall into the             
 normal categories associated with SR 22 drivers.  A person driving            
 another person's vehicle, not knowing that the owner did not have             
 automobile insurance, could be hit by someone else; such a person             
 still has to get SR 22 insurance.  Furthermore, an inebriated youth           
 behind the wheel of an automobile, even if he/she is not driving,             
 would fall under SR 22.  Senator Lincoln requested that Ms. Hensley           
 provide her office with the statistics to which she referred.                 
 With regards to the defensive driving course, Senator Lincoln                 
 expressed concern that the course is not available in rural or bush           
 communities.  People in those communities would have to travel to             
 an urban area for the course as well as the driver's training; that           
 would be cost prohibitive.                                                    
 JUANITA HENSLEY informed the committee that some areas offer                  
 defensive driving courses through correspondence courses.  In order           
 to have the course approved, the curriculum and outline would need            
 to be submitted to the division for approval.  The course is                  
 available, it's a matter of whether someone would monitor and                 
 return the courses to bush and rural areas.                                   
 Number 390                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR inquired as to how many states have adopted the                
 "Cinderella Law" to which Ms. Duvlea referred.  JUANITA HENSLEY               
 said that there are currently two stages of a graduated license               
 program in the U.S.  Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, and Vermont have           
 at least five components of a full graduated license program.                 
 Three states have three components of a full graduated license                
 program.  In all, approximately 16 states have some form of a                 
 graduated license program.                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR indicated that Alaska would qualify for the                    
 graduated license program now because a 14-year-old can obtain a              
 driver's license to operate a certain horsepower level scooter and            
 then move to a learner's permit and then the license at 16.                   
 JUANITA HENSLEY clarified that a instruction permit is permissible.           
 With regards to the motor scooter, a young person can only operate            
 a scooter with less than 50 cc until the age of 16.  Ms. Hensley              
 pointed out that the Province of Ontario includes every age, any              
 new applicant, in their graduated driver's license.  Every new                
 applicant must go through an 18 month period of the same                      
 restrictions proposed in HB 57.  Ms. Hensley expressed concern with           
 Alaska's transient population which may become licensed in their              
 local area without training, now they can drive anywhere - L.A.,              
 Seattle, Washington, D.C.  She did not believe that it could be               
 determined how such an individual would drive in those situations.            
 SENATOR TAYLOR emphasized that the knowledge of whether these                 
 drivers are succeeding or failing is known.  However, the knowledge           
 of the extent to which the driver's proficiency would increase                
 under this system is not known.  He asked Ms. Hensley if the                  
 numbers to which Ms. Duvlea referred to earlier were correct.  What           
 are the statistics from other states which were used to justify the           
 implementation of the graduated license program?                              
 Number 421                                                                    
 JUANITA HENSLEY reported the following information:                           
  * California and Maryland had a five percent reduction in                    
        crashes for drivers age 15-17;                                         
  * Maryland had a 10 percent reduction in traffic convictions                 
    for ages 16-17;                                                            
  * Oregon had a 16 percent reduction in crashes for male                      
    drivers ages 16-17.                                                        
 With regard to Alaska, 16 to 20-year-olds represent 6.2 percent of            
 the licensed drivers in the state, however, they account for 12.9             
 percent of the total traffic crashes in Alaska.  Also 28.8 percent            
 of the total fatal crashes involved that age group.                           
 SENATOR TAYLOR surmised that about six percent of the driving                 
 population is having 12 percent of the crashes.  Therefore, 16 to             
 20-year-olds are crashing at twice the rate as the rest of the                
 driving population.  Are there similar statistics for other age               
 JUANITA HENSLEY said that she could have a statistical report                 
 prepared.  Nationwide, ages 16-20 are the most troublesome age                
 group; they are issued the most traffic citations, their insurance            
 rates are higher and they are involved in more serious accidents.             
 The number of miles driven must also be reviewed.  She offered to             
 provide the committee with national statistics as well as Alaskan             
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked if there was a time when the 12 points                   
 accumulated over a period of three or four years.  JUANITA HENSLEY            
 replied no, there has been either 12 points in a 12 month period or           
 18 points in a 24 month period.  In response to Senator Taylor, Ms.           
 Hensley said that a curfew violation would result in a two point              
 penalty.  The curfew violation would be driving in violation of a             
 restricted driver's license which is the same as a driver's license           
 restriction to wear corrective lenses.  Ms. Hensley reiterated that           
 a youth reaching the six point level could take a defensive driving           
 course in order to have two points credited to his/her license.               
 Number 471                                                                    
 SENATOR GREEN asked if the SR 22 coverage could be waived when a              
 license is reissued.  JUANITA HENSLEY explained that the SR 22                
 requirement is set in statute, therefore the only way would be to             
 waive the requirement by statute.                                             
 SENATOR GREEN asked if there were any violations, such as a curfew            
 violation, which should not have the SR 22 coverage attached.                 
 JUANITA HENSLEY clarified that points are based on the severity and           
 potential to cause injury and fatalities.  For instance, speeding             
 through a school zone carries six points.  Drunk driving and                  
 reckless driving both carry 10 points as well as revocation of the            
 license.  In those two cases, the court would revoke a person's               
 license regardless of the number of points.                                   
 SENATOR TAYLOR stated that doing three miles per hour over the                
 speed limit would be a two point violation.  Two such violations              
 would amount to four points, a curfew violation would place the               
 youth at the six point limit.  Would the youth be entitled to a               
 jury trial since a license and a privilege would be revoked?                  
 JUANITA HENSLEY pointed out that the violation would not cause the            
 loss of the driver's license, but rather the accumulation of                  
 Number 506                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR informed everyone that there is a bill in House                
 Finance in which the Department of Law has determined that if a               
 judge revokes or suspends a person's driver's license because of              
 failure to pay traffic fines, that person is retroactively entitled           
 to a jury trial.  That bill also has a $160,000 fiscal note.  He              
 was confused due to the conflicting information from the                      
 JUANITA HENSLEY clarified that the points system is an                        
 administrative suspension of a driver's license and does not fall             
 under the recommendations of a jury trial.  The individual does               
 have the right to an administrative hearing in order to contest the           
 suspension of their license for point accumulation.  Currently,               
 very few people contest the loss of license due to point                      
 accumulation.  A person cannot contest a violation for which he/she           
 has already been convicted, the person can only contest the fact              
 that his/her driver's license is being suspended.  Ms. Hensley                
 estimated that less than five such hearings occur per year.                   
 In response to Senator Taylor, JUANITA HENSLEY explained that when            
 the third citation is received, as well as a points notice, that              
 informs the person that his/her license is being suspended.  By               
 current law, the person must be informed that he/she has 30 days              
 before the suspension takes affect.  Within that 30 days, the                 
 person could take the defensive driving course and reduce their               
 points by two which would nullify the suspension.  Ms. Hensley                
 emphasized that the division does not like to reach the point of              
 suspending licenses because it is not cost effective.  In response            
 to Senator Green, Ms. Hensley clarified that the defensive driving            
 course can only be taken once in a 12 month period.                           
 Number 548                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked if the previous testimony stating that other            
 states with the "Cinderella Law" only apply to those under 18 years           
 of age was correct.  JUANITA HENSLEY pointed out that Ontario has             
 no tolerance for any age.  CHAIRMAN RIEGER rephrased his question;            
 are there any states that apply the "Cinderella Law" to those 18              
 and older?  JUANITA HENSLEY stated that it varies from state to               
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER said that he had not heard a state yet that applied           
 to youth 18 or over; is there one?  JUANITA HENSLEY noted that                
 California has a minimum age of 18 to receive a full license.                 
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER repeated his question regarding those states which            
 have a "Cinderella Law" that applies to 18-year-olds or do all the            
 states apply to those 17 years of age and under?  JUANITA HENSLEY             
 informed the committee of the minimum age to receive a license in             
 the following states:  Colorado - under 21, Massachusetts - 18                
 years old, New York - 17 years old, Oregon - 18 years old,                    
 Pennsylvania -17 years old, Vermont - 18 years old, and Wisconsin -           
 18 years old.  HB 57 would allow a youth to receive a full license            
 at the age of 17 in Alaska providing that the youth went through              
 the instructional permit and the provisional stage.                           
 TAPE 96-4, SIDE B                                                             
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER surmised that anyone under 21 in Colorado would be            
 subject to a curfew when driving.                                             
 JUANITA HENSLEY reported that Colorado does not have a nighttime              
 restriction.  Colorado does not have a full graduated license                 
 program.  In order to receive a license in Colorado, the person               
 must have had driver's education, a visually distinct driver's                
 license, a mandatory seatbelt, a learner's permit, and been through           
 an intermediate stage.  Those are all required up to age 21.                  
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER said then that in Colorado, one could have a                  
 restricted license with regards to the driver's education                     
 requirement and the different color of the license.  JUANITA                  
 HENSLEY added that the learner's permit and intermediate stage                
 would also be necessary.  She offered to provide the committee with           
 this information.                                                             
 Number 575                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR reiterated Ms. Hensley's comment that a 17-year-old            
 could receive a full driver's license when asking; would that 17-             
 year-old still be restricted with regard to the "Cinderella Law"?             
 JUANITA HENSLEY replied not under a full license.  SENATOR TAYLOR             
 believed that a full license would be obtained at age 17 and a                
 half.  JUANITA HENSLEY explained that an instruction permit could             
 be obtained at age 14 which could be held for two years.  At age              
 16, a provisional license could be obtained which must be held for            
 one year.  Therefore, at age 17 an unrestricted full license could            
 be obtained.                                                                  
 JOANNA FIMPLE, student from Glennallen and Eureka, felt that HB 57            
 was discriminating against youth.  The "Cinderella Law" could                 
 actually take away power from the parents.  She felt it unfortunate           
 that these restrictions must be placed on the new driver.  Driving            
 is a privilege and one becomes better with experience.  Ms. Fimple            
 did not believe that there should be a change in the driver's                 
 license procedure.  However, it is unfortunate that deaths occur              
 due to car accidents, but accidents occur even with those who have            
 driven many years.                                                            
 SENATOR LINCOLN appreciated Ms. Fimple's testimony.  She informed             
 the committee that she had held a teleconference with people in               
 Glennallen regarding their opinions of HB 57.  Senator Lincoln                
 agreed that all the lives that could be saved should be, no matter            
 the age.  Too often, youth are isolated and categorized as those              
 causing violent crimes, deaths, etc.  Senator Lincoln did not want            
 to categorize young people as terrible drivers because a great                
 number of young people are responsible.  If HB 57 saves a life,               
 then it is worth it.  However, the bill is unfair to the good young           
 drivers with regards to the curfew provision.                                 
 Number 518                                                                    
 MARK JOHNSON, Chief of Community Health & Emergency Medical                   
 Services, said that he had a chart which clarifies that teenagers             
 are the most dangerous drivers on the highway.  He offered to share           
 this information with the committee.  The hospital records in                 
 Alaska, illustrate that 24 percent of the youth in accidents were             
 drinking at the time of the injury.  The average cost of                      
 hospitalization for the injured youth is $20,000 per patient.  Mr.            
 Johnson informed the committee that 40 percent of the youth                   
 fatalities are motor vehicle related.                                         
 Driver's education has been studied in the East.  Those studies               
 determined that those districts having driver's education in                  
 schools experienced more accidents, injuries, and fatalities than             
 those districts without driver's education.  Mr. Johnson explained            
 that the study found that more high school aged youth would obtain            
 their license after having the driver's education than in the                 
 school districts without driver's education.  The study concluded             
 that high school aged youth, regardless of participation in                   
 driver's education, was the most dangerous age group on the road.             
 From a public health perspective, Mr. Johnson supported HB 57.                
 Number 493                                                                    
 SENATOR GREEN said that the problem seems to be with the points.              
 Perhaps, eight points could be the solution.  Senator Green moved             
 that on page 3, line 15, the word " six " be deleted and "eight" be         
 SENATOR LINCOLN thought that Senator Adams had intended to make a             
 motion to change the points to 10.  She did not know the difference           
 between eight points versus 10 points.  Senator Lincoln supported             
 an increase over the six points, but seemed to be unsure as to                
 whether it should be eight or 10.                                             
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER noted that HB 57 would be heard in Senate Judiciary           
 next and then Senate Finance.                                                 
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER mentioned that running a stop sign at 1:30 a.m.               
 would use all six points.  JUANITA HENSLEY interjected that there             
 may be two violations, but points would only be assessed for one              
 violation since they occurred at the same time.                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN pointed out that his scenario assumed that the           
 youth was not going between work and home in the most direct route.           
 Hearing no objection, the amendment was adopted.                              
 SENATOR TAYLOR moved that the effective date be changed from                  
 "January 1, 1996" to "January 1, 1997."  Hearing no objection, the            
 motion passed.                                                                
 SENATOR GREEN moved that SCS HB 57(TRA) be moved out of committee             
 with individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes.                
 Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.                                      
 STRA - 2/27/96                                                                
       SB 274 NOISE AT AIRPORTS & SPORT SHOOTING RANGES                      
 Number 455                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER introduced  SB 274  as the next order of business             
 before the committee.                                                         
 SENATOR HALFORD, Prime Sponsor, noted that the committee packet               
 should contain the sponsor statement, zero fiscal notes, and                  
 letters of support from various groups.  SB 274 would prohibit                
 suits against existing airports and sport shooting ranges for noise           
 nuisance.  Noise cannot be used to sue facilities that predated the           
 SENATOR LINCOLN assumed that the sponsor statement's reference to             
 the population shift from urban to rural referred to the lower 48,            
 not Alaska.  SENATOR HALFORD replied yes.                                     
 SENATOR HALFORD acknowledged that this is not a significant problem           
 in Alaska yet.  The objective is to establish a policy in order to            
 eliminate the possibility of this becoming a problem.  In response            
 to Senator Lincoln, Senator Halford stated that he had not seen a             
 specific example of this.  There may be some areas that receive               
 complaints after the fact.                                                    
 Number 424                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked if a municipality could not maintain an                 
 action or does it refer only to an individual.  SENATOR HALFORD               
 clarified that it would be exempt from a noise ordinance after the            
 fact.  Senator Halford intended that all considerations other than            
 noise would remain available.                                                 
 SENATOR GREEN asked if heliports should be specifically included as           
 suggested in the letter from the Alaska Air Carriers Association.             
 SENATOR HALFORD supported the inclusion of helicopter operations.             
 The drafter has suggested that a conceptual amendment could be used           
 to add a definition of "aircraft" which would include rotorcraft.             
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked if the definition of sport shooting facility            
 referred to that being the primary operation of the facility.                 
 SENATOR HALFORD assumed that it could also be an incidental                   
 operation.  That is a legal question.                                         
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked if the facility's sport shooting was                    
 incidental, would changing the definition to specify that the sport           
 shooting must be the primary use of the facility would constitute             
 a substantial change in the use of the facility.  SENATOR HALFORD             
 suggested that it would constitute a change of use.  Senator                  
 Halford reiterated that this only applies to noise considerations.            
 Number 379                                                                    
 SAM KITO III, Legislative Liaison for the Department of                       
 Transportation & Public Facilities, said that the department has              
 some general concerns which could be addressed by the Federal                 
 Aviation Administration.  Mr. Kito asked the committee why state              
 airports were not included.                                                   
 There was discussion about how to deal with the conceptual                    
 SENATOR GREEN moved the following amendment:  page 2, line 29,                
 after "aircraft," add "including fixed wing or rotorcraft".                   
 Hearing no objection, the amendment was adopted.                              
 SENATOR GREEN moved that CSSB 274 (TRA) be moved out of committee             
 with individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so             
 There being no further business before the committee, the meeting             
 was adjourned at 2:45 p.m.                                                    

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