Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/18/1996 02:20 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 49                                                    
       Proposing amendments to  the Constitution of the  State                 
       of Alaska creating a highway fund.                                      
  REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE  JAMES testified in support  of HJR                 
  49  which  would  provide  amendments  to the  Alaska  State                 
  Constitution creating a dedicated  transportation fund.  The                 
  amendments would be  placed before the  voters of Alaska  at                 
  the next general election.                                                   
  The bill would  not address  a motor fuel  tax increase,  it                 
  merely would provide a mechanism for allocating the proceeds                 
  from collection of fuel taxes.                                               
  Representative James stated that the resolution has received                 
  wide support  relative to the  current level of  fuel taxes,                 
  but Alaska's citizens would be much  more likely to accept a                 
  necessary increase  in their motor  fuel taxes if  they knew                 
  the  money would be  utilized to address  the desperate need                 
  for improved maintenance of Alaska's roads and highways.                     
  Co-Chair Hanley explained the changes  in the version before                 
  the Committee  which would dedicate the motor  fuel taxes to                 
  highways  and  also  would dedicate  the  receipts  from the                 
  marine  highway  system  to  marine  highway  operation  and                 
  maintenance.  He  added that the  ports and harbors  section                 
  was no longer included.                                                      
  Representative  Mulder  MOVED  to adopt  the  work  draft 9-                 
  LS1178\R,  Chenoweth, 3/22/96,  as  the version  before  the                 
  Committee.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted.                        
  Representative Mulder MOVED to report CS HJR 49 (FIN) out of                 
  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                 
  accompanying fiscal notes.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was                 
  so ordered.                                                                  
  Co-Chair Foster  commented that  the controversy  within the                 
  Legislature  often  becomes urban  versus  rural areas.   He                 
  stated that he  would not  want to see  any dedicated  funds                 
  broken down  between Anchorage  and the  rural areas,  in as                 
  much as  that would  make it  very difficult  for the  rural                 
  areas  to sustain  their  infrastructure.   Co-Chair  Hanley                 
  reminded  members that the fund was only dedicated and would                 
  have to be used strictly for those purposes.                                 
  CS HJR  49 (FIN)  was reported out  of Committee with  a "do                 
  pass" recommendation and with fiscal notes by the Department                 
  of  Transportation and Public  Facilities and the Department                 
  of Revenue.                                                                  

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