Legislature(2015 - 2016)SENATE FINANCE 532
02/24/2015 09:00 AM Senate FINANCE
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SENATE BILL NO. 6 "An Act exempting the state from daylight saving time; and providing for an effective date." 10:33:13 AM ERIN SHINE, STAFF, SENATOR ANNA MACKINNON, explained the legislation. She stated that SB 6 exempted Alaska from observing daylight saving time. She shared that in 1966, uniform time map, provided in Title 15 of the United States Code, in chapter 6, subchapter 4, Section 260(a) provided the option for states to exempt themselves from daylight saving time. She announced that the legislation was similar in essence, but technically different from the 2009 legislature bill, HB 19. She shared that daylight saving time was extensively studied, which showed negative health consequences and safety concerns related to the daylight saving time in the spring. Some data showed that the rates of heart attacks among men increased at that time. She added that the suicide rates among men increased at that time. She stated that there was also an uptick in fatal car crashes. She remarked that the school test scores fell during that time. She understood that there was opposition with the time zone difference, and the impact of those working in tourism, broadcasting, and finance industries. She shared that the original intent of the bill was to go onto daylight saving time in the spring, and remain on daylight saving time. Legislative Legal found that the uniform time map of 1966 did not allow for that intent. She shared that the result of the finding was a twostep process: 1) eliminate the state from daylight saving time; and 2) petition the U.S. Department of Transportation to address Alaska's time zone. She clarified an incorrect statement that she made in the State Affairs Committee. In that committee she said that there were five time zones, when in fact there were only four time zones. Co-Chair MacKinnon added that the effective date was extended to 2017 in order to adjust to some issues from businesses. Ms. Shine agreed. 10:37:35 AM HOLLY JOHNSON, PRESIDENT, WINGS AIRWAYS, JUNEAU, testified against the legislation. She shared that the legislation would negatively affect her business. She announced that the bill would cause a loss of 15 to 20 percent of business that could not be recouped. She felt that a self-imposed loss of business would be unfortunate in the time of economic strife. She understood the health concerns, but reiterated her concern of the negative impact to businesses. Senator Olson wondered how the legislation may affect the accident rate, related to those that may need to fly later in the evening or too early in the morning. Ms. Johnson replied that safety was the most important concern. She stated that there was a "buffer" at the end of the day, due to possible weather changes and allowing the pilots enough time to sleep. She remarked that there were voluntary compliances that restricted early morning flights. She did not believe that the legislation would affect the pilots' safety. 10:39:43 AM Vice-Chair Micciche wondered how the legislation would cause of loss of business. Ms. Johnson responded that there were certain hours of the day that the business could operate. Her business was primarily cruise line guests, and the planes flew every hour. The ships would not arrive earlier in the day to adjust to the light in the morning. The schedule matched the cruise ship schedule. She stated that the darkness in May and September would force the cancellation of an entire evening tour option. Co-Chair MacKinnon understood that the federal government required a certain daylight for float planes to lang. Ms. Johnson agreed Senator Olson did not believe that all float planes were under that federal restriction. Ms. Johnson replied that the civil twilight times were the focus of her business operations. 10:42:11 AM RON PHILEMONOFF, TANADAGUSIX (TDX) CORPORATION, ST. PAUL ISLAND (via teleconference), spoke in support of SB 6. He felt that Alaska did not need daylight saving. He remarked that Alaska already stretched across four time zones. Co-Chair MacKinnon shared that there was a survey that Alaskans could take regarding the legislation. 10:48:11 AM MICHAEL WARD, MANAGER, TAKU LODGE, JUNEAU, spoke in opposition to the legislation. He shared that his company relied on float plane traffic. He echoed Ms. Johnson's remarked. Co-Chair MacKinnon appreciated the comments regarding how the legislation affects business. 10:49:25 AM DR. PETER HANSEN, SELF, KENAI (via teleconference), testified in support the legislation. He had observed some negative side effects of daylight savings. He announced that the early morning sunlight had a positive impact on his life. 10:52:08 AM AT EASE 10:52:48 AM RECONVENED 10:53:22 AM PETER NAOROZ, STAFF, SENATOR DENNIS EGAN, testified against the legislation. He shared that the legislation would not work for Southeast Alaska. Co-Chair MacKinnon shared that there was a survey online related to the legislation. SB 6 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further consideration.