Legislature(2009 - 2010)BARNES 124

03/03/2009 08:00 AM House COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHB 74(CRA) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
Moved Out of Committee
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HB  19-ELIMINATE DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME                                                                                         
8:13:07 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HERRON announced  that the next order  of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE BILL  NO.  19,  "An Act  exempting  the  state and  its                                                               
political subdivisions from daylight saving time."                                                                              
8:13:40 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   ANNA  FAIRCLOUGH,   Alaska  State   Legislature,                                                               
speaking as the sponsor of HB  19, related that over the past two                                                               
years her community  has raised the need to eliminate  the use of                                                               
daylight saving time.                                                                                                           
8:14:32 AM                                                                                                                    
CRYSTAL KOENEMAN,  Staff, Representative Anna  Fairclough, Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  informed the  committee that  daylight saving                                                               
time  (DST) began  in 1918  in  order to  conserve resources  for                                                               
World  War I.    Congress  placed the  nation  on  DST for  seven                                                               
months.   However,  DST was  so unpopular  that it  was repealed.                                                               
During  World War  II  Congress enacted  the  Wartime Act,  which                                                               
reinstated year round DST as a  measure to conserve energy and it                                                               
remained in  effect until  after the war.   From  1945-1966, U.S.                                                               
federal  law  didn't  address  DST,   and  therefore  states  and                                                               
different  localities were  able  to  choose DST  or  not.   Most                                                               
[states and localities] chose to  follow DST from the last Sunday                                                               
in April  until the last Sunday  in September.  During  the 1950s                                                               
many states and localities in  the Northeastern U.S. extended DST                                                               
until  the  last Sunday  in  October.    Therefore, the  lack  of                                                               
federal standardization  resulted in a patchwork  of time [zones]                                                               
caused  some  difficulties  with  regard to  trains  and  general                                                               
travel.  In 1966 the Uniform  Time Act was instated.  Although it                                                               
doesn't require  that states  observe DST, if  it is  observed it                                                               
must be done  uniformly.  In response to the  1973 energy crisis,                                                               
DST in  the U.S. began  earlier in  1974 and 1975,  commencing on                                                               
the first Sunday in January to  the last Sunday in February 1975.                                                               
The extension  of DST wasn't  continued due to  public opposition                                                               
to the last sunrise times during  the winter months.  In 1976 the                                                               
nation  reverted back  to the  Uniform  Time Act.   Ms.  Koeneman                                                               
related  that the  last change  to DST  took place  on March  11,                                                               
2007,  at which  point there  was an  extension to  begin on  the                                                               
second Sunday of March to the first Sunday of November.                                                                         
8:17:31 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE FAIRCLOUGH clarified that  in 1983 Alaska Standard                                                               
Time was  created, which all  but a  remote area of  the Aleutian                                                               
Chain  followed.   She  then  informed  the committee  that  when                                                               
Alaska goes on  and off DST, particularly  the northern latitudes                                                               
are  three hours  off of  their biological  clocks and  sun time.                                                               
Northern  Alaska   communities  are  off  cycle   all  the  time.                                                               
Furthermore, within  a week  of going  on or  off DST,  the light                                                               
[and  the time]  are in  sync in  the Interior  and mid  latitude                                                               
areas.   Daylight saving time  doesn't achieve in Alaska  what it                                                               
is  intended to  do on  a  national level.   She  noted that  the                                                               
multiple  attempts  to  repeal  DST  since  1983  have  not  been                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  FAIRCLOUGH,  referring  to a  letter  her  office                                                               
produced seeking comments from Alaskans  regarding DST, said that                                                               
she received 364  responses of which 264 supported  the repeal of                                                               
DST while 68  opposed the repeal of DST, 12  supported year round                                                               
DST,  15 respondents  didn't care,  and 5  preferred to  be three                                                               
hours  different from  the East  Coast.   The responses  from the                                                               
Northern  regions related  that  there were  disruptions for  the                                                               
schools in terms of student  behavior and testing.  The responses                                                               
from Southeast  Alaska related  the desire to  stay the  same and                                                               
remain in sync with Seattle,  Washington.  She told the committee                                                               
of  a study  performed  in  Sweden, which  found  that the  heart                                                               
attack rate in  hospitals increases during the  transition on and                                                               
off DST.   The aforementioned is attributed to  the disruption in                                                               
sleep,  the  circadian  rhythms,  when the  time  change  occurs.                                                               
Representative  Fairclough  reiterated   that  Alaska's  northern                                                               
communities  are typically  off of  sun time  by three  hours for                                                               
most of the  year.  Still, the northern communities  are asked to                                                               
function like everyone  else who is close to the  equator.  There                                                               
were also  concerns related regarding safety  issues with schools                                                               
and students coming to school in  the dark.  The largest issue in                                                               
support of not repealing DST is  that businesses won't be able to                                                               
communicate on a  regular basis with the East Coast  and the rest                                                               
of  the  world.     However,  many  believe   technology  can  be                                                               
successful  in   communicating  across  the  world.     She  then                                                               
mentioned a  chart that shows  the progression of DST  across the                                                               
world.  This chart illustrates that  the world is seeing the need                                                               
to  repeal  DST.   Representative  Fairclough  related  that  she                                                               
believes  the  biggest  issue  for   folks  is  the  need  to  be                                                               
consistent.   In conclusion, she highlighted  that although there                                                               
has been some  opposition from businesses in  Southeast, there is                                                               
overwhelming support for the repeal of  DST.  In fact, one of the                                                               
presidents of a major bank in  Alaska is in support of the repeal                                                               
of DST.                                                                                                                         
8:24:40 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA  related her understanding  that originally                                                               
the reason  for DST  had to  do with  conserving energy  and fuel                                                               
crises.  She  then opined that Alaska isn't really  in touch with                                                               
the  impacts of  the  market crash  on the  Lower  48.   However,                                                               
Alaska is  in touch  with the enormous  cost of  fuel experienced                                                               
within  the state.   She  expressed the  need for  Representative                                                               
Fairclough's study to include energy.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE FAIRCLOUGH  informed the committee that  there are                                                               
national studies that illustrate that  DST costs more money.  She                                                               
reiterated that DST [correlates with  the actual sun time] within                                                               
a   week.     Typically,  those   in  the   northern  communities                                                               
overwhelmingly dislike DST.                                                                                                     
MS.  KOENEMAN  pointed  out  that  the  committee  packet  should                                                               
include  a National  Geographic  article that  specifies that  in                                                               
Indiana when the  entire state implemented DST,  the Spring 2006,                                                               
the   residential  electricity   bills   of  Indiana   homeowners                                                               
increased by  almost $7 million.   The aforementioned  can mainly                                                               
be attributed to  heating and air conditioning use.   Some of the                                                               
counties  didn't  use DST  while  others  did, which  afforded  a                                                               
comparison in costs.                                                                                                            
8:29:23 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA noted  that rural  Alaska and  Indiana are                                                               
very different.                                                                                                                 
8:29:47 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER related  his  understanding  that in  1983                                                               
when Alaska went  to Alaska Standard Time (AST) it  was a federal                                                               
act not a state act.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  FAIRCLOUGH clarified  that her  understanding was                                                               
that it  was an Alaska issue  that had to be  cleared through the                                                               
federal government.                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER remarked  that he  supports [a  time zone]                                                               
that makes  more sense in  Alaska.   However, he opined  that the                                                               
only choice Alaska has  is to go on or off DST.   He then pointed                                                               
out that there are two  kinds of consistency, that is consistency                                                               
with neighbors  in Alaska  and consistency  with the  East Coast.                                                               
Therefore, he questioned what can be done to address both.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  FAIRCLOUGH  said  she would  follow-up  regarding                                                               
whether it was  a federal decision.  She then  opined it would be                                                               
optimum for everyone in Alaska to stop using DST.                                                                               
8:33:03 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR MUNOZ inquired as to the  net impact of repealing DST on                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE FAIRCLOUGH explained that  when Alaska goes on DST                                                               
in spring,  for seven months the  time is three hours  off.  When                                                               
Alaska goes  off DST, then  Alaska would be four  hours different                                                               
for five  months.   Hawaii and  Arizona don't  rotate on  and off                                                               
8:35:39 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA   asked  if   Representative  Fairclough's                                                               
survey was a random sample or self-selecting responses.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  FAIRCLOUGH explained  that  she put  out a  press                                                               
release  and   then  put  out   her  email  address   to  various                                                               
communities.  Therefore,  it was a random survey  that logged the                                                               
community  from which  the  response came.    The results  relate                                                               
large  differences  in opinion  depending  upon  the latitude  of                                                               
one's residence.                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    CISSNA    suggested    that    sometimes    the                                                               
aforementioned  doesn't  result in  a  cross  section of  people.                                                               
Therefore, she expressed interest in  more of a random sample "by                                                               
energy or by work."                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  FAIRCLOUGH   informed  the  committee   that  two                                                               
surveys that weren't random had  results supporting the repeal of                                                               
DST.  In  2005 Helenthal performed a study showing  49 percent of                                                               
people  in  Alaska favored  repeal  of  DST.   In  2004,  Dittman                                                               
performed  a  study showing  58  percent  [of Alaskans  surveyed]                                                               
supported a repeal of DST of  which 70 percent of the respondents                                                               
were from rural communities.                                                                                                    
8:38:02 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HERRON asked  if there are other states  close to making                                                               
a change similar to what's proposed in HB 19.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  FAIRCLOUGH   informed  the  committee   that  the                                                               
National  Conference  of  State  Legislatures  is  tracking  this                                                               
issue, but no other states are  addressing DST in the same manner                                                               
as  Alaska.     Although  6-10  states   are  continually  asking                                                               
questions  about DST,  most of  the matter  comes back  to asking                                                               
Congress   and  the   Department  of   Transportation  &   Public                                                               
Facilities to perform a study.                                                                                                  
8:40:26 AM                                                                                                                    
LYNN  WILLIS related  support for  HB 19.   Mr.  Willis said,  "I                                                               
simply resent being subjected to  such an invasive law that seems                                                               
to have  no compelling reason for  its continued use."   He noted                                                               
that he maintains a web site  relating to Alaska DST and was part                                                               
of the effort  to place this issue before  voters via initiative.                                                               
Mr. Willis, noting  that the committee packet  should include his                                                               
written testimony, said that today he  would focus on 3 of the 15                                                               
reasons to  repeal DST in  Alaska.   With regard to  the argument                                                               
claiming  that DST  is necessary  to  do business  in Alaska,  he                                                               
highlighted that  advances in communication technology  allows 24                                                               
hour contact.  Furthermore, the  purported benefit of never being                                                               
more than one  hour behind Seattle or four hours  behind New York                                                               
may  not exist  for  all  businesses.   Alaska  now has  business                                                               
relations  with  the  Pacific  Far East  where  DST  isn't  used,                                                               
specifically  China  and  Japan.     He  then  suggested  members                                                               
consider  the impact  of  DST on  an air  cargo  operation.   For                                                               
example, in  Anchorage a scheduled flight  originating from Japan                                                               
where  DST  isn't observed  will  arrive  in Anchorage  at  noon.                                                               
After  the  change  to  DST,  the  flight  will  then  arrive  in                                                               
Anchorage at  1:00 p.m.   He  pointed out  that since  the flight                                                               
must leave Anchorage  for the Lower 48 at the  same local time it                                                               
left  prior  to  the  change  to DST,  valuable  ground  time  in                                                               
Anchorage for maintenance and cargo  sorting will be shortened by                                                               
one hour.   Mr. Willis then  turned to the second  reason for the                                                               
repeal  of DST  that being  that energy  savings is  the official                                                               
reason  the federal  government allows  individual states  to use                                                               
DST.  However, those at  local energy utilities in Anchorage have                                                               
related  the  length of  day  combined  with ambient  temperature                                                               
impacts energy use  in the Railbelt region not  changing the time                                                               
of sunrise and  sunset.  Although nationwide energy  grids show a                                                               
reduction in consumption  when DST is in  use, regional variances                                                               
aren't uniform.   In fact,  Arizona opted out  of DST due  to the                                                               
increased need  for air conditioning  when the time of  sunset is                                                               
delayed during  the summer  months.   The aforementioned  is also                                                               
being found  in Indiana.   Alaska isn't  on any large  power grid                                                               
and  can't   benefit  from  large   power  grid   energy  savings                                                               
attributed to  the use of DST.   Mr. Willis echoed  the sponsor's                                                               
earlier remarks that the Dittman  survey found that 58 percent of                                                               
Alaskans surveyed want  to keep clocks the same  year round while                                                               
37 percent  favor changing  clocks.   The Helenthal  survey found                                                               
that  39.9 percent  of those  surveyed wanted  to repeal  DST and                                                               
36.6  percent wanted  to keep  DST.   In  conclusion, Mr.  Willis                                                               
urged the committee to vote for HB 19.                                                                                          
8:44:28 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER expressed hope  that there is resolution to                                                               
this  issue  that  provides  consistency all  around.    He  then                                                               
thanked Mr. Willis for his work on the issue.                                                                                   
MR. WILLIS pointed  out that the US  Department of Transportation                                                               
creates time zones.   The merger of Alaska's three  time zones in                                                               
1983 was done by the US Department of Transportation.                                                                           
8:45:32 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. WILLIS, in response to  Representative Cissna, specified that                                                               
the Dittman survey asked respondents  whether they wanted to keep                                                               
their  clock the  same  all  year, repeal  DST,  or change  their                                                               
clocks.  In that poll, 5  percent were unsure.  He mentioned that                                                               
this poll is on his web site, www.endalaskadst.com.                                                                             
8:47:03 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HERRON announced that HB 19 would be held over.                                                                        
[HB 19 was taken up later in this meeting.]                                                                                     
HB  19-ELIMINATE DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME                                                                                         
8:56:53 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HERRON returned the committee's attention to HB 19.                                                                    
8:57:03 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HERRON  highlighted that  the committee  packet includes                                                               
written testimony  from Wrangell Public Schools  in opposition to                                                               
HB 19.  However, other Southeast communities support HB 19.                                                                     
8:57:23 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   ANNA  FAIRCLOUGH,   Alaska  State   Legislature,                                                               
speaking as the  sponsor of HB 19, said she  didn't want to speak                                                               
to that.   However,  she stated that  Southeast overall  has been                                                               
the most energetic in wanting to  keep DST.  She reviewed some of                                                               
the responses from Seward, Seward  Chamber of Commerce, and Eagle                                                               
River Chamber of Commerce.                                                                                                      
8:58:40 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HERRON announced that HB 19  would be held over and that                                                               
the sponsor and Representative Cissna should work together.                                                                     
8:59:02 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE FAIRCLOUGH asked  if Representative Cissna's major                                                               
concern is oil consumption and energy costs.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA expressed  the need  for solid  scientific                                                               
information rather than anecdotal and emotional information.                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  FAIRCLOUGH   said  that  she  doesn't   have  the                                                               
resources  to  perform a  scientific  survey,  and therefore  she                                                               
reached out in the manner that she could.                                                                                       
9:01:15 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA suggested that  the Department of Commerce,                                                               
Community,  & Economic  Development  (DCCED)  has resources  that                                                               
could perhaps  address this.   She  also suggested  that Homeland                                                               
Security could be involved since it closely monitors fuel costs.                                                                
9:02:21 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR MUNOZ opined  that it's important to  recognize that HJR
20  has an  additional committee  of  referral.   "And that  it's                                                               
appropriate, we  believe, to move  the bill in the  near future,"                                                               
she related.   She then suggested that  Representative Cissna and                                                               
Representative Fairclough could meet about this issue.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA  indicated the possibility of  tapping into                                                               
information that already exists,  and expressed interest in doing                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE FAIRCLOUGH said that she  is happy to reach out to                                                               
the Alaska  Energy Authority (AEA) and  the departments mentioned                                                               
earlier  in order  to determine  if there  is a  way to  quantify                                                               
those [energy] costs.                                                                                                           
9:04:04 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HERRON announced his intent  to schedule HB 19 for March                                                               
12th at  which time  further debate  can occur.   In  response to                                                               
Representative Fairclough, Co-Chair Herron  said the next hearing                                                               
would have invited testimony only.                                                                                              

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Draft CSHB74(CRA).PDF HCRA 3/3/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 74
HB 153 Presentation_handout.doc HCRA 3/3/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 153
HB153 Packet_2-26-09.pdf HCRA 3/3/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 153
HB 74 Amendment 1.doc HCRA 3/3/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 74
HB19billpacket.PDF HCRA 3/3/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 19
HB019-FISCALNOTEGOV-OMB-3-2-09.pdf HCRA 3/3/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 19
HB153-FISCALNOTE-CED-CRA-03-02-09 .pdf HCRA 3/3/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 153
HJR20 Study-Does Daylight Saving Save Energy.pdf HCRA 3/3/2009 8:00:00 AM
HJR 20
HJR20BillPacket.PDF HCRA 3/3/2009 8:00:00 AM
HJR 20
HJR20FISCALNOTE-LEG-COU-3-2-09.pdf HCRA 3/3/2009 8:00:00 AM
HJR 20
HB074-FISCAL NOTE-DNR-DCOM-02-06-2009.pdf HCRA 3/3/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 74
HB74-FISCALNOTE-DEC-CO-2-6-09.pdf HCRA 3/3/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 74