Legislature(2009 - 2010)BELTZ 211

02/24/2009 09:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSSJR 6(STA) Out of Committee
Moved SB 50 Out of Committee
Moved CSSB 19(CRA) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
              SB  50-IDITAROD REGISTRATION PLATES                                                                           
9:12:07 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MENARD announced the consideration of SB 50.                                                                              
9:12:30 AM                                                                                                                    
SHARON  LONG,  staff to  Senator  Charlie  Huggins, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, said  SB 50 --  Iditarod finisher license  plates --                                                               
honors  those who  have shown  the dedication,  perseverance, and                                                               
exemplary athletic ability to finish  the Iditarod sled dog race.                                                               
The  Department  of Administration  will  approve  the new  plate                                                               
design. The  finishers will be  able to purchase  these exclusive                                                               
plates by  providing proof of  completing the race.  The finisher                                                               
must have  a vehicle registered  in Alaska that will  display the                                                               
plate. There  is a  zero fiscal  note. "Senator  Huggins requests                                                               
your support  for this new  category of specialty  license plates                                                               
honoring the  mushers who have  endured the challenges  and shown                                                               
the courage  and ability to complete  what's affectionately known                                                               
as the last great race on earth."                                                                                               
9:14:55 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR PASKVAN asked about "$50 for  some people ... and $30 for                                                               
other categories. What are we trying to create?"                                                                                
MS. LONG  said, "It seemed  to fall more  in the category  of the                                                               
custom collector plates."                                                                                                       
SENATOR PASKVAN asked if $50 is an additional registration fee.                                                                 
MS. LONG  said it  is the  charge for the  plate, and  she thinks                                                               
that is separate from the registration fees.                                                                                    
WHITNEY   BREWSTER,  Director,   Division   of  Motor   Vehicles,                                                               
Anchorage, said  the cost of  the plate  would be in  addition to                                                               
the regular registration fee.                                                                                                   
9:16:16 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BREWSTER said  this  is not  like a  previous  bill where  a                                                               
special  fund  is created  for  fundraising  purposes. This  will                                                               
simply create  a new plate  that the  DMV will make  available to                                                               
Iditarod  finishers. The  funds  collected above  and beyond  the                                                               
cost of producing the plates will go to the general fund.                                                                       
ANDY  MODEROW,  staff  to Senator  Hollis  French,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, said  he did the Iditarod  in 2001 and had  a blast.                                                               
As a musher  he can say that  many people who have  done the race                                                               
will  use  the plates.  It  will  advertise  the race  to  people                                                               
visiting  from out  of state.  His most  vivid memory  of license                                                               
plates was during  a visit to Connecticut where  he saw different                                                               
states represented. This bill will  establish something that will                                                               
represent Alaska very  well and bring up images  of adventure and                                                               
wilderness. It will be fun for visitors to see the plates.                                                                      
9:18:56 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH asked how long it  took him to finish the race and                                                               
what place he took.                                                                                                             
MR. MODEROW  said it  took him  12 days and  44 minutes.  He took                                                               
17th place out of about 80 entrants.                                                                                            
SENATOR FRENCH  asked how cold  it got and the  farthest distance                                                               
he traveled in 24 hours.                                                                                                        
MR. MODEROW said it never got much lower than negative 10 or 20.                                                                
He ran  16 to 17  hours during one  24-hour period. He  said both                                                               
his mom  and dad have finished  the race as well,  and they would                                                               
be excited about this license plate.                                                                                            
9:20:29 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH  asked if  more people  have summited  Mt. Everest                                                               
than have finished the Iditarod.                                                                                                
MR. MODEROW said he has heard that.                                                                                             
9:21:10 AM                                                                                                                    
STAN  HOOLEY,  Executive   Director,  Iditarod  Trail  Committee,                                                               
Anchorage, said his  organization supports SB 50.  "We think it's                                                               
a great thing to recognize  this relatively small yet elite group                                                               
of adventurers." He  said Mr. Moderow was the  youngest person at                                                               
the time to complete the Iditarod.  In the 36 years of this race,                                                               
only  663  people have  laid  claim  to  the most  expensive  and                                                               
coveted belt buckle on the planet.                                                                                              
CHAIR  MENARD said  if the  canines are  included it  would be  a                                                               
large group, and they will be honored to be on the plates.                                                                      
MR. HOOLEY said  they will be part of the  design. The two-legged                                                               
athletes work as a team with the four-legged athletes.                                                                          
9:23:28 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  FRENCH  moved  to  report  SB  50  from  committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  attached  fiscal note(s).  There                                                               
being no objection, SB 50 moved out of committee.                                                                               
SENATOR KOOKESH suggested differentiating  between a person and a                                                               
dog in  the bill. An  owner of a dog  that finished the  race may                                                               
want to buy the license plate.                                                                                                  
SENATOR FRENCH noted that the bill specifies a "person".                                                                        

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