Legislature(2009 - 2010)BUTROVICH 205

04/08/2010 01:00 PM Senate TRANSPORTATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSSB 152(TRA) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 366(JUD) Out of Committee
Moved HJR 47 Out of Committee
                     ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                 
             SENATE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                         
                          April 8, 2010                                                                                         
                            1:01 p.m.                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Albert Kookesh, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Linda Menard, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Bettye Davis                                                                                                            
Senator Kevin Meyer                                                                                                             
Senator Joe Paskvan                                                                                                             
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 152                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to municipal transportation systems and to                                                                     
regional transit authorities."                                                                                                  
     - MOVED CSSB 152(TRA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 366(JUD)                                                                                
"An Act relating to indemnification agreements that relate to                                                                   
motor carrier transportation contracts."                                                                                        
     - MOVED CSHB 366(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 47                                                                                                   
Urging the United States Coast Guard to amend its regulations                                                                   
relating to small vessels transporting fuel and supplies to                                                                     
remote communities and businesses in the state.                                                                                 
     -MOVED HJR 47 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                             
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SB 152                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: TRANSPORTATION; TRANSIT AUTHORITIES                                                                                
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) HUGGINS                                                                                                  
03/18/09       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/18/09       (S)       TRA, FIN                                                                                               
03/18/10       (S)       TRA AT 1:00 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/18/10       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/18/10       (S)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
04/08/10       (S)       TRA AT 1:00 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
BILL: HB 366                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MOTOR CARRIER INDEMNIFICATION AGREEMENTS                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) JOHNSON                                                                                           
02/23/10       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/23/10       (H)       TRA, JUD                                                                                               
03/11/10       (H)       TRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
03/11/10       (H)       Moved CSHB 366(TRA) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/11/10       (H)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
03/12/10       (H)       TRA RPT CS(TRA) 5DP 1NR                                                                                
03/12/10       (H)       DP:   JOHNSON,    T.WILSON,   GRUENBERG,                                                               
                         PETERSEN, P.WILSON                                                                                     
03/12/10       (H)       NR: JOHANSEN                                                                                           
03/19/10       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/19/10       (H)       Moved CSHB 366(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/19/10       (H)       MINUTE (JUD)                                                                                           
03/22/10       (H)       JUD RPT CS(JUD) 7DP                                                                                    
03/22/10       (H)       DP: LYNN, GRUENBERG, HERRON, DAHLSTROM,                                                                
                        HOLMES, GATTO, RAMRAS                                                                                   
03/26/10       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
03/26/10       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 366(JUD)                                                                                 
03/29/10       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/29/10       (S)       TRA                                                                                                    
04/08/10       (S)       TRA AT 1:00 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
BILL: HJR 47                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SMALL VESSEL CARGO EXEMPTION                                                                                       
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) JOHANSEN                                                                                          
02/23/10       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/23/10       (H)       TRA                                                                                                    
03/23/10       (H)       TRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
03/23/10       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
03/23/10       (H)       MINUTE (TRA)                                                                                           
03/24/10       (H)       TRA RPT 5DP 1AM                                                                                        
03/24/10       (H)       DP:    JOHANSEN,     MUNOZ,    T.WILSON,                                                               
                         GRUENBERG, PETERSEN                                                                                    
03/24/10       (H)       AM: P.WILSON                                                                                           
04/01/10       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/01/10       (H)       VERSION: HJR 47                                                                                        
04/02/10       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/02/10       (S)       TRA                                                                                                    
04/08/10       (S)       TRA AT 1:00 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
JODIE SIMSON                                                                                                                    
Staff to Senator Charlie Huggins                                                                                                
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information on SB 125 on behalf of                                                              
the sponsor.                                                                                                                    
JEFFERY C. OTTESEN, Director                                                                                                    
Division of Program Development                                                                                                 
Department of Transportation and Public Facilities                                                                              
Juneau, AK (DOTPF)                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified that DOTPS should be part of the                                                               
process to form an RTA.                                                                                                         
BRAD SWORTS, Transportation and Environmental Manager                                                                           
Mat-Su Borough                                                                                                                  
Palmer, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of creating regional                                                                
transit authorities.                                                                                                            
JODY KARCZ, Public Transportation Director                                                                                      
Municipality of Anchorage (MOA)                                                                                                 
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided supporting information related to                                                               
developing an RTA.                                                                                                              
RALPH DUERRE, Assistant Attorney                                                                                                
Municipality of Anchorage (MOA)                                                                                                 
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified that MOA supports the conceptual                                                               
amendment that Senator Paskvan proposed related to SB 152.                                                                      
JEANNE OSTNES                                                                                                                   
Staff to Representative Craig Johnson                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 366 on behalf of the sponsor.                                                               
AVES THOMPSON, Executive Director                                                                                               
Alaska Trucking Association (ATA)                                                                                               
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 366.                                                                          
DEAN MCKENZIE, President                                                                                                        
Alaska West Express                                                                                                             
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 366.                                                                           
JAMES C. DOYLE, Vice President                                                                                                  
Weaver Brothers Trucking                                                                                                        
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 366.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE KYLE JOHANSEN                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HJR 47.                                                                                       
DAVE SPOKELY                                                                                                                    
Power Systems and Supplies of Alaska (PSSA)                                                                                     
Ketchikan, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HJR 47.                                                                          
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:01:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR ALBERT  KOOKESH called  the Senate  Transportation Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 1:01  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were Senators Menard, Davis, Meyer, Paskvan, and Kookesh.                                                                 
            SB 152-TRANSPORTATION; TRANSIT AUTHORITIES                                                                      
1:01:39 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KOOKESH announced  the consideration of SB  152. The bill                                                               
was heard previously.                                                                                                           
JODIE  SIMSON, Staff  to Senator  Charlie  Huggins, informed  the                                                               
committee   that  a   representative  from   the  Department   of                                                               
Transportation  and Public  Facilities  (DOTPF)  was present  and                                                               
representatives from the Municipality  of Anchorage and the MatSu                                                               
Borough were online to respond to questions and concerns.                                                                       
1:02:35 PM                                                                                                                    
JEFFERY C.  OTTESEN, Director,  Division of  Program Development,                                                               
Department  of  Transportation  and  Public  Facilities  (DOTPF),                                                               
stated that  the fundamental  reason that DOTPF  has not  taken a                                                               
position on the  legislation is that the bill  doesn't identify a                                                               
role for DOTPF  in either the formative stages  or the operations                                                               
of a regional transit authority (RTA).                                                                                          
MR. OTTESEN  said DOTPF  believes that it  should be  involved in                                                               
any future  RTA, and that there  is also a need  for metropolitan                                                               
planning  organizations  (MPO)  -   the  planning  authority  for                                                               
transportation   funding  from   the   federal  government.   Any                                                               
community  with  a population  of  50,000  that meets  a  certain                                                               
density standard  becomes an MPO, he  said. There are two  in the                                                               
state  - the  Anchorage Metropolitan  Area Transportation  System                                                               
(AMATS)  and  the   Fairbanks  Metropolitan  Area  Transportation                                                               
System (FMATS).  It's likely  that Mat-Su  will become  one after                                                               
the 2010 census is calculated, he added.                                                                                        
MR. OTTESEN informed the committee  that RTAs often span multiple                                                               
local  government  boundaries. An  RTA  is  likely to  be  partly                                                               
within an MPO and partly outside  and thus dealing with the state                                                               
for funding  decisions. He explained  that RTAs may  include rail                                                               
and light rail transit and  almost certainly rubber-tire transit.                                                               
Even  when the  primary goal  is  to build  a rail-based  system,                                                               
rubber-tire  transit  is  necessary   to  bring  people  in  from                                                               
outlying  areas to  the  rail  system. There's  a  great deal  of                                                               
overlap and DOTPF needs to  be included in operational agreements                                                               
with respect  to operating on rights-of-way,  building bus stops,                                                               
building  park-and-rides, and  signal  preemption  to give  buses                                                               
priority. He  noted that  buses already  get priority  at traffic                                                               
lights in Anchorage.                                                                                                            
He described  Sound Transit in  Seattle as  one of the  newer and                                                               
more innovative  RTAs in the  nation. It is doing  commuter rail,                                                               
light  rail,  and has  several  rubber-tire  transit routes.  The                                                               
Washington state  transportation department  saw an  obvious need                                                               
to be a  part of that RTA and it  has a commissioner-level voting                                                               
member on that transit board.                                                                                                   
1:06:33 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. OTTESEN  explained to the  committee that  if an RTA  were to                                                               
straddle  a borough  and the  unorganized  borough, DOTPF's  role                                                               
might  be useful  because the  unorganized borough  has no  local                                                               
government at  the borough level.  In that case,  the Legislature                                                               
would act as the borough assembly  and the state would act as the                                                               
local  government. He  cited a  potential RTA  in Fairbanks  with                                                               
routes to Delta  Junction or Nenana as an example.  These are the                                                               
reasons for  the need for  both MPOs and DOTs  to have a  role in                                                               
RTAs, he said. Whether it's permissive  or mandatory is up to the                                                               
Legislature, but it ought to at least be allowed.                                                                               
SENATOR KOOKESH observed that that isn't part of this bill.                                                                     
MR. OTTESEN  agreed the bill  is silent  on that point,  which in                                                               
the future would lead to a question about the intent.                                                                           
CHAIR KOOKESH  asked DOTPF's  position on  the bill  as currently                                                               
MR. OTTESEN  replied DOTPF believes  that RTAs are  necessary and                                                               
appropriate in Alaska.                                                                                                          
CHAIR KOOKESH asked if DOTPF believes that this is a first step.                                                                
MR. OTTESEN said yes  and it would be better if  the role of MPOs                                                               
and DOTPF were clarified in the formation of the RTA.                                                                           
1:08:48 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR DAVIS  asked if  he brought an  amendment or  language to                                                               
clarify the role of DOTPF.                                                                                                      
MR. OTTESEN offered to provide  language. Responding to a further                                                               
question, he  said he prefers to  have the intent clear  from the                                                               
SENATOR MENARD asked if he  is suggesting that someone from DOTPF                                                               
should be on the RTA board.                                                                                                     
MR.  OTTESEN replied  it's probably  appropriate  for each  DOTPF                                                               
regional director to be in that role.                                                                                           
SENATOR MENARD asked him to clarify the priority issue.                                                                         
MR.  OTTESEN explained  that bus  prioritization  works much  the                                                               
same as it does for  emergency vehicles. Priority is always given                                                               
to  the  emergency vehicle  at  intersections  while priority  is                                                               
given to a bus  if it is full. If the bus is  empty, it would not                                                               
receive priority.                                                                                                               
1:11:47 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MENARD  mentioned  the   stimulus  money  and  said  she                                                               
supports the bill.                                                                                                              
MR. OTTESEN  said there will be  additional money and most  of it will                                                          
run  through  the  MPO  or  state DOT.  That's  why  RTAs  want  those                                                          
representatives on  their board,  he said. At  the federal  level MPOs                                                          
are the  planning authority. The best  example in Alaska is  AMATS and                                                          
the Knik  Arm Bridge and  Toll Authority  (KABATA) Board, he  said. He                                                          
related that KABATA was established  by the Legislature, yet the AMATS                                                          
MPO is  driving whether or  not that project proceeds.  Recently there                                                          
was a vote to potentially shut that project down for a decade and                                                               
although that didn't happen, the message is that MPOs and other                                                                 
regional transportation organizations need to collaborate.                                                                      
1:14:12 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR PASKVAN  asked if he is  saying that the bill  is a first                                                               
step, but that DOTPF needs to be involved at some point in time.                                                                
MR.  OTTESEN replied  it's  appropriate because  of  the way  the                                                               
federal funding works  and it would increase the  likelihood of a                                                               
successful RTA.                                                                                                                 
SENATOR  PASKVAN  asked  if  a   conceptual  amendment  would  be                                                               
appropriate that  says, "A regional transit  authority created in                                                               
this section may participate with a RTA created by this act."                                                                   
MR. OTTESEN agreed that permissive  language would be fine. DOTPF                                                               
controls the funding strings to a  degree so there is impetus for                                                               
having it at the table.                                                                                                         
MR.  OTTESEN suggested  the amendment  language  also include  "a                                                               
representative   from   any  coincident   metropolitan   planning                                                               
organization."  He noted  that the  draft transportation  bill in                                                               
Congress sends money  directly to the MPOs so it  would no longer                                                               
run through the state DOT or be appropriated by the Legislature.                                                                
1:17:03 PM                                                                                                                    
BRAD  SWORTS, Transportation  and  Environmental Manager,  Mat-Su                                                               
Borough,   stated   support   for   creating   regional   transit                                                               
authorities.  He related  that  Mat-Su Borough  has been  working                                                               
closely  with the  Municipality of  Anchorage on  the matter.  He                                                               
related that  transit operations  within the borough  and between                                                               
the   borough   and   Anchorage  continue   to   increase.   It's                                                               
increasingly  clear  that  the  management  and  coordination  of                                                               
improved  transit operations  should  be carried  out through  an                                                               
RTA,  he said.  Municipalities  and communities  in Alaska  would                                                               
benefit from passage of SB 152.                                                                                                 
JODY  KARCZ,  Public  Transportation  Director,  Municipality  of                                                               
Anchorage (MOA),  pointed out  that when  the Mat-Su  Borough and                                                               
the  MOA began  talking about  the process  to establish  an RTA,                                                               
DOTPF was  brought to the table  and it continues to  be a strong                                                               
Referring to the "Opticom" transit  priority bus project that Mr.                                                               
Ottesen  mentioned, she  explained  that  the municipal  assembly                                                               
approved a one-year pilot program for  two bus routes. Just 20 of                                                               
the 217 traffic  signals within Anchorage are  equipped to accept                                                               
bus priority during  peak hours in peak directions,  she said. So                                                               
far there has been minimal impact on cross streets.                                                                             
1:21:32 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  PASKVAN asked  if she  would have  any problem  with the                                                               
conceptual   amendment   to    include   DOTPF   and   coincident                                                               
metropolitan  planning organizations  in the  RTA created  by the                                                               
MS. KARCZ replied it's a good amendment.                                                                                        
SENATOR MENARD  said she would  like the language to  say "shall"                                                               
instead of "may" to ensure that DOTPF is included.                                                                              
CHAIR KOOKESH clarified that this is a conceptual amendment.                                                                    
SENATOR  PASKVAN  said he  has  no  problem  with that  if  DOTPF                                                               
1:22:52 PM                                                                                                                    
RALPH  DUERRE,  Assistant  Attorney,  Municipality  of  Anchorage                                                               
(MOA), said  MOA supports the  conceptual amendment  that Senator                                                               
Paskvan proposed. He  related that SB 152 is flexible  to allow a                                                               
variety of transportation plans. There  is no question that DOTPF                                                               
and  MPOs will  play vital  role in  the success  of the  RTA and                                                               
their  participation  is most  welcome.  However,  DOTPF and  MPO                                                               
participation should be on a permissive basis.                                                                                  
SENATOR KOOKESH closed public testimony.                                                                                        
1:25:46 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  PASKVAN  moved  conceptual  Amendment 1  to  add  a  new                                                               
section (b)(3) to read as follows:                                                                                              
     The Department of  Transportation and Public Facilities                                                                    
     may   participate   and/or   a  representative   of   a                                                                    
     coincident   metropolitan  planning   organization  may                                                                    
     participate with  a regional transit  authority created                                                                    
     by this Act.                                                                                                               
SENATOR  MENARD objected  to the  word  "may" because  it is  too                                                               
CHAIR KOOKESH asked Mr. Ottesen to provide his perspective.                                                                     
MR. OTTESEN stated a preference for the permissive language.                                                                    
SENATOR KOOKESH agreed with that position.                                                                                      
1:28:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MENARD removed her objection.                                                                                           
CHAIR  KOOKESH  found no  further  objection  and announced  that                                                               
conceptual  Amendment 1  was adopted.  He asked  the will  of the                                                               
1:28:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR PASKVAN moved to report  SB 152, as conceptually amended,                                                               
from  committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  attached                                                               
fiscal  note(s). There  being no  objection, CSSB  152(TRA) moved                                                               
from the Senate Transportation Standing Committee.                                                                              
At ease from 1:29 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.                                                                                             
         HB 366-MOTOR CARRIER INDEMNIFICATION AGREEMENTS                                                                    
SENATOR  KOOKESH   announced  consideration  of  HB   366.  [CSHB
366(JUD) was before the committee.]                                                                                             
1:30:54 PM                                                                                                                    
JEANNE  OSTNES, Staff  to Representative  Craig Johnson,  said HB
366 places a  provision in statute to clarify  that both shippers                                                               
and motor  carriers are responsible  for their own  negligence or                                                               
1:32:03 PM                                                                                                                    
AVES  THOMPSON, Executive  Director, Alaska  Trucking Association                                                               
(ATA), stated  support for HB  366. He related that  one priority                                                               
of  ATA this  year  is  to achieve  tort  reform  with regard  to                                                               
indemnification  agreements   in  motor   carrier  transportation                                                               
contracts.  Motor carriers  must  comply with  the federal  motor                                                               
carrier  safety regulations  when transporting  goods as  well as                                                               
common  law or  statutory duties  or responsibilities.  Likewise,                                                               
shippers   and    other   parties    have   legal    duties   and                                                               
responsibilities   to   fulfill    when   providing   goods   for                                                               
transportation. However,  it's becoming more common  for shippers                                                               
to  include language  in motor  carrier  contracts requiring  the                                                               
motor carrier  to indemnify  and hold  harmless the  shipper even                                                               
when   the  shipper   fails  to   meet  its   legal  duties   and                                                               
The  CS  for  HB  366  provides  statutory  language  that  voids                                                               
contractual   provisions  in   a  motor   carrier  transportation                                                               
contract  that  indemnifies  either  the  shipper  or  the  motor                                                               
carrier for their own negligent  or intentional acts or omissions                                                               
that  lead to  claims. This  levels the  playing field  and makes                                                               
everyone responsible  for their own actions  without establishing                                                               
new  duties  or  responsibilities.  The bill  doesn't  limit  the                                                               
freedom to contract  and each party can control  its employees or                                                               
agents to improve unsafe practices.  Industry groups that support                                                               
the  legislation  include   BP,  ConocoPhillips,  Association  of                                                               
General  Contractors,  Alaska  Miners Association,  Alaska  State                                                               
Chamber of Commerce, and the  Ocean Carriers Equipment Management                                                               
Association. He  noted that twelve  states have similar  laws and                                                               
eight states have legislation pending.                                                                                          
1:35:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR PASKVAN  stated that HB  366 advances good  social policy                                                               
and will  promote safety; each  person should be  responsible for                                                               
his or  her own  conduct. To  allow private  parties to  say that                                                               
someone  else will  pay for  their omissions  or negligence  is a                                                               
troubling concept, he said.                                                                                                     
SENATOR MENARD said she imagines he  has heard the input from the                                                               
Alaska Insurance Company about shifting responsibility.                                                                         
MR. THOMPSON said he isn't aware of that.                                                                                       
MS. OSTNES said Linda Hall,  the division director for insurance,                                                               
looked at the  bill and had no problem with  it. Ms. Ostnes added                                                               
that  the intent  of  the  legislation is  not  to  void a  whole                                                               
contract, just the portion dealing with omissions or neglect.                                                                   
1:37:35 PM                                                                                                                    
DEAN  MCKENZIE,  President,  Alaska West  Express  (AWE),  stated                                                               
support for  HB 366. He noted  that he submitted a  letter to the                                                               
sponsor  citing an  unresolved  issue with  a  company that  does                                                               
drilling  work   in  Alaska,  nationally,   and  internationally.                                                               
Currently  AWE  is working  with  two  more companies  that  have                                                               
similarly lopsided  language in their master  service agreements,                                                               
which takes  a lot of  time. Smaller contractors or  carriers may                                                               
not  have the  ability  to devote  this much  time,  he said.  As                                                               
others  have stated,  we should  all be  responsible for  our own                                                               
actions; we should  not be forced to take  responsibility for the                                                               
actions of others over whom we have no control, he said.                                                                        
1:39:00 PM                                                                                                                    
JAMES C. DOYLE, Vice President,  Weaver Brothers Trucking, stated                                                               
support for HB 366. He cited  an example of a situation that this                                                               
legislation would  prevent. Four  or five  days after  a trucking                                                               
company delivered  fuel to a  gas station, a customer  was burned                                                               
while  filling  a  portable  gas  tank because  of  an  arc.  The                                                               
trucking company had to pay the  claim even though it had nothing                                                               
to  do  with  the  actual  incident  because  it  had  signed  an                                                               
agreement indemnifying the gas station  from any type of loss. HB
366 would correct this type of wrong, he said.                                                                                  
1:40:39 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KOOKESH  closed public  testimony and  asked the  will of                                                               
the committee.                                                                                                                  
SENATOR  PASKVAN moved  to report  CS for  HB 366  from committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal  note(s).                                                               
There being  no objection,  CSHB 366(JUD)  moved from  the Senate                                                               
Transportation Standing Committee.                                                                                              
At ease from 1:41 p.m. to 1:42 p.m.                                                                                             
               HJR 47-SMALL VESSEL CARGO EXEMPTION                                                                          
SENATOR KOOKESH announced the consideration of HJR 47.                                                                          
1:42:46 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KYLE  JOHANSEN,  sponsor  of  HJR  47,  said  the                                                               
resolution  asks the  U.S. Coast  Guard to  amend regulations  to                                                               
allow small  vessels to transport  concurrently fuel,  cargo, and                                                               
passengers. He  related that  constituents of  his are  trying to                                                               
fill a  niche market  to deliver  supplies to  remote communities                                                               
along the coast that  are too large for a plane  but too small to                                                               
warrant delivery  by barge.  He explained that  a father  and son                                                               
partnership  designed and  received  certification  to build  and                                                               
operate one  vessel. They are not  able to build a  second vessel                                                               
without a change  in Coast Guard regulations, which  has not been                                                               
HJR   47  asks   the   Coast  Guard   to   consider  the   unique                                                               
transportation   challenges   in   Alaska   and   other   coastal                                                               
communities nationwide and change the regulations.                                                                              
SENATOR MENARD  stated support for  the resolution and  asked how                                                               
much fuel oil the vessel carries.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHANSEN  said  he  has someone  online  who  can                                                               
provide details.                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MEYER asked  if the  vessel was  built in  the Ketchikan                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHANSEN said  no;  he isn't  sure  where it  was                                                               
built,  but this  class of  vessel would  certainly interest  the                                                               
shipyards in Ketchikan, Sitka and others in Alaska.                                                                             
1:47:10 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVE SPOKELY, Power  Systems and Supplies of  Alaska (PSSA), said                                                               
that with the change in the  timber industry there was a need for                                                               
smaller  vessels to  deliver fuel  and supplies  to small  remote                                                               
communities. He and his partner  designed the high-speed, 44-foot                                                               
aluminum landing  craft in conjunction  with the Coast  Guard and                                                               
the  Alaska Department  of Environmental  Conservation (DEC).  It                                                               
carries 3000 gallons  of fuel and is a  spill-response vessel. It                                                               
was built  in the  Seattle area,  but he owns  the design  and is                                                               
prepared to build the vessels in Alaska.                                                                                        
SENATOR  MENARD asked  if Homeland  Security has  any issue  with                                                               
this type of vessel.                                                                                                            
MR.  SPOKELY said  yes. Homeland  Security didn't  initially take                                                               
issue, but their attorneys said  the current regulations wouldn't                                                               
allow   aluminum  vessels   to  commercially   carry  bulk   fuel                                                               
regardless of  the quantity. Coast  Guard Station  Juneau started                                                               
the  process  to write  the  regulations,  but Homeland  Security                                                               
wouldn't authorize  funding for  development of  the regulations.                                                               
Without new regulations he is unable to expand his fleet.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN  added that  his office has  been working                                                               
with Alaska's congressional delegation  and all three members are                                                               
1:51:46 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MENARD  asked if it is  safe to say that  new regulations                                                               
in this regard could promote up to 100 jobs.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHANSEN  replied he  isn't  sure  how many  jobs                                                               
might  result,  but he  understands  that  Mr. Spokely  has  been                                                               
overwhelmed  with requests  for the  vessel's services.  He added                                                               
that he  and other Southeast  legislators are trying to  create a                                                               
marine center in southern Southeast Alaska.                                                                                     
SENATOR KOOKESH closed public testimony and asked the will of                                                                   
the committee.                                                                                                                  
1:53:15 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  PASKVAN  moved to  report  HJR  47 from  committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  attached  fiscal note(s).  There                                                               
being no objection,  HJR 47 moved from  the Senate Transportation                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             
1:53:43 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Kookesh adjourned the meeting at 1:53 p.m.                                                                                

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