Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/29/2003 09:01 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
     SENATE BILL NO. 146                                                                                                        
     "An Act relating to a commemorative veterans' license plate;                                                               
     and providing for an effective date."                                                                                      
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Co-Chair Wilken  explained this bill "allows Alaskans  to purchase a                                                            
special request license plate commemorating veterans."                                                                          
SENATOR  GRETCHEN  GUESS,  Sponsor,  testified  that  many  Alaskans                                                            
support veterans and some  have requested a way to show that support                                                            
as  well  as contribute  to  veterans'  services.  She  stated  this                                                            
legislation  would implement  a special  license  plate program  for                                                            
veterans similar to the  Children's Trust license plate program. She                                                            
noted an  exception would  be a  $35 biannual  fee to allow  vehicle                                                            
owners to continue to donate for veterans' services.                                                                            
Senator Guess  estimated the program would generate  between $20,000                                                            
and  $60,000,   and  reiterated  this   would  allow  motorists   to                                                            
demonstrate their support of veterans.                                                                                          
Senator Guess  informed that many other states have  similar license                                                            
plates to commemorate veterans.                                                                                                 
Senator Bunde  noted discrepancies  in the  fiscal note between  the                                                            
$2,900 operating expenditures and $13,500 change in revenues.                                                                   
Senator Guess  explained that the  Division of Motor Vehicles  based                                                            
these estimates  on the Children's  Trust license plate program  and                                                            
predicted  the revenue  generated  from the veterans'  plates  would                                                            
exceed the manufacturing costs.                                                                                                 
Senator Bunde clarified the program would generate revenue.                                                                     
Senator  Guess affirmed  revenue  would be  generated  and that  the                                                            
Legislature would  have the option of appropriating  those funds for                                                            
veterans'   services.  She   clarified  that   the  Legislature   is                                                            
restricted from dedicating funds.                                                                                               
Senator  Bunde  asked   if  the  veterans'  plates  would   generate                                                            
approximately $10,000 profit.                                                                                                   
Senator  Guess affirmed  and  qualified  that the  Children's  Trust                                                            
license plate program has generated more income.                                                                                
Senator  Bunde noted the  current veterans'  license plates  contain                                                            
military  affiliated lettering  and asked how  the lettering  on the                                                            
proposed plates would relate.                                                                                                   
Senator Guess replied that  the current plates are only available to                                                            
military veterans,  whereby the proposed  plates would be  available                                                            
to the general public as well.                                                                                                  
Senator  Bunde   established  that   this  legislation  implies   no                                                            
dedication of revenue funds for veterans programs.                                                                              
Co-Chair  Green commented  that  the  revenue performance  of  other                                                            
specialized  license  plates  has  been  less  than  predicted.  She                                                            
surmised this  is because of the numerous  special plates  programs.                                                            
Co-Chair  Green  asked about  vehicle  registration  fee  exemptions                                                            
based on age.                                                                                                                   
DWAYNE BANNOCK, Director,  Division of Motor Vehicles, Department of                                                            
Administration,   testified  via   teleconference  from   an  offnet                                                            
location.  He  noted  senior  citizens   qualify  for  free  vehicle                                                            
registration  but would not be exempted  from the $100 fee  of these                                                            
special license plates.                                                                                                         
Co-Chair Wilken ordered the bill HELD in Committee.                                                                             

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