Legislature(2015 - 2016)CAPITOL 17

03/22/2016 01:00 PM TRANSPORTATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
-- Public & Invited Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 319 Out of Committee
              HB 319-SNOWMOBILE REGISTRATION FEES                                                                           
1:31:49 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HUGES announced  that the final order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL NO. 319, "An  Act relating to registration fees for                                                               
snowmobiles and off-highway vehicles."                                                                                          
1:32:00 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TILTON,  Alaska State Legislature,  explained that                                                               
the  impetus  for HB  319  was  brought  to  her attention  by  a                                                               
snowmobile  and off-highway  vehicle user  group.   She said  the                                                               
bill increases the registration fee,  at the group's behest, from                                                               
$10 to $20.  She informed  the committee that the legislature has                                                               
supported  a  fund for  several  years  that takes  snow  machine                                                               
registration fees and  puts them back into  trail maintenance and                                                               
1:33:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR FOSTER offered acknowledged  the efforts of the Division                                                               
of Parks and  Outdoor Recreation staff ensure  that rural locales                                                               
are being addressed.                                                                                                            
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES stated  her understanding  that the  Division of                                                               
Motor Vehicles  (DMV) would  be improving  its records  system to                                                               
provide  more effective  registration renewal  distributions, and                                                               
revenue  collections.   She  asked for  an  update regarding  the                                                               
timeframe of the upgrades and  expected results; specifically the                                                               
actual  number  of snow  machines  versus  the number  for  which                                                               
registration fees are collected.                                                                                                
1:34:38 PM                                                                                                                    
AMY  ERICKSON,  Director,  Division   of  Motor  Vehicles  (DMV),                                                               
Department   of  Administration,   said  DMV   is  undergoing   a                                                               
modernization project, which she  surmised is the reference being                                                               
made by Representative Hughes.                                                                                                  
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES   said  that   the  committee   heard  testimony                                                               
regarding  a disparity  between the  amount of  registration fees                                                               
being collected and  the actual number of snow  machines that are                                                               
operating across  the state.   She stated her  understanding that                                                               
the improvements being made at DMV would rectify this situation.                                                                
MS. ERICKSON reported that there are currently 39,000 off-                                                                      
highway  vehicles   registered  with  DMV.     The  majority  are                                                               
registered for a  two-year period, a few for six  years, and some                                                               
under a four year category which is being eliminated.                                                                           
CO-CHAIR HUGHES asked the sponsor  to explain the DMV upgrade, as                                                               
it  relates  an  increase  in   fee  collection.    She  recalled                                                               
testimony  from  the  previous hearing  that  the  DMV  currently                                                               
collects  $200 thousand  annually  in  snow machine  registration                                                               
fees, and  witnesses stating  that they  lacked awareness  of the                                                               
requirement to register, nor had they received renewal notices.                                                                 
1:36:07 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TILTON answered  that  it  was her  understanding                                                               
that  the  DMV was  upgrading  its  systems functionality,  which                                                               
might help with notifications.                                                                                                  
MS. ERICKSON  explained that  without entering  registered owners                                                               
into  the  database,  the  DMV  has no  basis  to  issue  renewal                                                               
notices.  She pointed out  that dealerships, in some rural areas,                                                               
were not collecting registration fees.   She pointed out that the                                                               
DMV  is  not   an  enforcement  agency,  but   could  review  the                                                               
responsibility for dealerships to register.                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR   HUGHES   voiced   concern  about   noncompliance   for                                                               
registering/registration  renewal  if  snow machines,  and  asked                                                               
whether the DMV has plans to address the issue.                                                                                 
MS. ERICKSON answered no it does not.                                                                                           
CO-CHAIR HUGHES  opined that  the concern  for search  and rescue                                                               
(SAR) is  statewide, and  ties into the  registration fees.   She                                                               
opined that  the state is obligated  to respond on behalf  of the                                                               
public's welfare and bear the associated costs.                                                                                 
1:38:52 PM                                                                                                                    
LIEUTENANT STEVEN  ADAMS, Coordinator,  Search and  Rescue (SAR),                                                               
Alaska State  Troopers (AST), Department of  Public Safety (DPS),                                                               
said  the  annual estimate  for  SAR  is  $690 thousand,  and  30                                                               
percent of  the "call outs"  are snow machine  related incidents;                                                               
representing  about  $207 thousand.    Every  response is  unique                                                               
depending on the geographical locale  and the resources required.                                                               
He stated  that $1,600  dollars is the  average amount  spent per                                                               
CO-CHAIR HUGHES  suggested that the department  could potentially                                                               
lower  costs if  it  used drones  for  SAR reconnaissance  versus                                                               
manned aircraft.                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FOSTER  asked if the  trooper's pay was included  in the                                                               
cost $1,600 estimate.                                                                                                           
1:41:20 PM                                                                                                                    
LIEUTENANT ADAMS answered  that the estimate did  not include the                                                               
extra  cost for  personnel,  including the  payroll  for any  DPS                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  TILTON acknowledged  the  importance  of SAR  and                                                               
said costs were  split between user groups:  hiking, fishing, and                                                               
snow machining.   She  expressed her concern  over how  the state                                                               
could help to fund SAR overall.                                                                                                 
1:42:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES closed  public testimony  after ascertaining  no                                                               
one wished to testify.                                                                                                          
1:43:08 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE FOSTER  moved to report  HB 319, out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.   There being no objection,  HB 319 was reported  from the                                                               
House Transportation Standing Committee.                                                                                        

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB230 Sponsor Statement.pdf HTRA 3/22/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 230
HB0230 ver A.pdf HTRA 3/22/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 230
HB230-Fiscal Note-DOT-DES-1-30-16.pdf HTRA 3/22/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 230
HB230 Sectional Analysis.pdf HTRA 3/22/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 230
HB230 Supporting Documents-Letter Howard Theis 2-8-2016.pdf HTRA 3/22/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 230