Senate Transportation Committee

 

2003 Minutes

 

January 14, 2003
January 16, 2003
January 21, 2003
January 23, 2003
January 28, 2003
January 30, 2003

February 4, 2003
February 6, 2003
February 11, 2003
February 13, 2003
February 18, 2003
February 20, 2003
February 25, 2003
February 27, 2003

March 6, 2003
March 13, 2003

April 1, 2003
April 8, 2003

DATE: January 14, 2003
TIME: 1:30 pm
PLACE: Room 426
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Ingram, Vice Chairman Keough, Senators, Brandt, Little, Bailey, McWilliams, Marley, Calabretta
MEMBERS ABSENT/EXCUSED: Senator Geddes
Introductions Chairman Ingram called the meeting to order and welcomed members of the Senate Transportation Committee noting that Senators Brandt, Little, Bailey, McWilliams, and Calabretta are new to the committee. He also introduced Peggy Moyer as the committee secretary and Michael Infanger who will serve as the committee's Page for the first half of the 2003 session.
Chairman Ingram indicated administrative rules for the Idaho State Police, State Tax Commission and the Idaho Transportation Department would be reviewed today. He turned the gavel to Vice-Chair Keough who conducted the rules review hearing.
Administrative Rules Review

Dennis Stevenson, Office of Administrative Rules for the Department of Administration, gave a brief overview of the rules process explaining the three types of rules (fee, pending, and temporary).
Idaho State Police Rules Margaret P. White, Deputy Attorney General for the Idaho State Police, presented Docket 11-1301-0201 (temporary and proposed rules) covering changes to the Motor Carrier administrative rules which will further clarify the rule by adding the adoption of federal regulations pursuant to registration enforcement.. A copy of the temporary and proposed rule is held in the office of the Senate Transportation Committee.

Captain Lamont Johnson, Commercial Vehicle Section of the Idaho State Police, said this rule would incorporate by reference the federal rules. Federal authorities want to check at roadside to find those out of compliance and the state has the authority to stop trucks and do inspections. The rule change will not add people or any additional expense. Vice Chair Keough requested a copy of the federal rules to be incorporated by reference. They are found in the "Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways" (MUTCD) published by the Federal Highway Administration of the U. S. Department of Transportation. A copy is held in the office of the Senate Transportation Committee.

State Tax Commission Rules Ted Spangler, Chief Legal Counsel for the State Tax Commission, discussed Docket 35-0105-0201 (pending rules) covering changes to Motor Fuels Tax administrative rules. The rules have been adopted by the agency and are now pending review and final approval by the 2003 Legislature. A copy of the pending rules is held in the office of the Senate Transportation Committee.
Idaho Transportation Department

The following ITD staff members presented pending as well as temporary and proposed administrative rules. A copy of all administrative rule changes is held in the office of the Senate Transportation Committee.
ITD Pending Rules Ed Pemble, Idaho Transportation Driver Services Manager, presented Docket 39-0273-0201, regarding the accident prevention course.
Greg Laragan, Idaho Transportation Assistant Chief Engineer, reviewed Docket 39-0346-0201, regarding studded tires to extend the allowable date for use of studded tires from April 15 to April 30.
Leonard Hill, Idaho Transportation Right-of-Way Manager, presented Docket 39-0360-0201, regarding the regulation of electronic advertising and moveable message signs to meet the needs of the outdoor advertising industry while protecting the safety of the traveling public.
Alan Frew, Idaho Transportation Port of Entry Manager, presented Docket 39-0381-0102, regarding the issuance of temporary permits in lieu of full registration.
ITD Temporary & Proposed Rules

Lance Johnson, Idaho Transportation Traffic Engineer, discussed Docket 39-0341-0201, regarding traffic control devices. This rulemaking updates the incorporation by reference, adopting the most recent publication of the MUTCD, including Revision Number 1, dated December 28, 2001, and identifies 19 specific exceptions.
Steve Holland, Idaho Transportation Staff Engineering Assistant, reviewed Docket 39-0363-0201 regarding traffic accident memorials.
A copy of all rule changes is held in the office of the Senate Transportation Committee. The pending rules referred to above have been adopted by the State Tax Commission and the Idaho Transportation Department and are now awaiting review and final approval by the 2003 Legislature. The Idaho State Police and the Idaho Transportation Department have adopted the temporary rules and have initiated proposed rulemaking procedures.

Vice-Chair Keough indicated Committee action would be taken at the next meeting, pending public input, to give committee members additional time for detailed review of all administrative rules changes presented today. She returned the gavel to Chairman Ingram.

Adjourn The meeting adjourned at 3:08 p.m.




DATE: January 16, 2003
TIME: 1:30 pm
PLACE: Room 426
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Ingram, Vice Chairman Keough, Senators Geddes, Brandt, Little, Bailey, McWilliams, Marley, Calabretta
MEMBERS ABSENT/

EXCUSED:

None
Senator Bailey moved that the minutes of Tuesday, January 14, 2003, be accepted as written. The motion was seconded by Senator Calabretta and approved by voice vote.
RS 12394 Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility

Ed Pemble, Driver Services Manager for the Idaho Transportation Department, introduced RS 12394 which clarifies that individuals who do not own motor vehicles must still comply with proof of financial responsibility requirements preliminary to reinstatement of driving privileges after suspension of those privileges for certain convictions.

Motion Senator Keough moved, seconded by Senator Marley, that RS 12394 be introduced for print. The motion carried by voice vote.
RS 12415 Establish a Motorcycle Safety License Plate Program

Ron Shepard, Motorcycle Coordinator for the Idaho Star Program, Department of Education, presented RS 12415 that will create a motorcycle safety program license plate for motor vehicles.

Motion Senator McWilliams moved that RS 12415 be introduced for print. The motion was seconded by Senator Keough and approved by voice vote.
RS 12543 Fees Waived for Disabled Veterans' Use of State Park Facilities

Charlie Chapin, representing Disabled American Veterans (DAV), introduced RS 12543. The legislation would give the Park and Recreation Board the authority to waive fees to any resident of Idaho who is a disabled veteran and whose disability is rated at 100%.

Motion Senator Keough moved, seconded by Senator Bailey, that RS 12543 be introduced for print. The motion carried by voice vote.
RS 12446C1 Require all Motor Vehicle Occupants to Use Safety Restraints

Phyllis Smith, private individual whose son was killed in a car accident, presented RS 12446C1 which would require all occupants riding in a motor vehicle to use seatbelts. The legislation would also require an additional $5.50 from each citation be paid to the county indigent fund. A violation under this amended section does not result in violation point counts, and a conviction is not deemed a moving violation for establishing motor vehicle insurance rates.

Motion Senator Marley moved that RS 12446C1 be introduced for print. The motion was seconded by Senator Little and carried by voice vote.
Presentation Local Highway Technical Assistance Council

Joe Haynes, Local Highway Administrator for the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council (LHTAC), reported that the Council was created by the Legislature in 1994, under Title 40, Chapter 24 and its mission is to assist the local highway jurisdictions with utilizing the available resources for maintenance and construction of Idaho's local highway system in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Mr. Haynes emphasized the following 3 areas of authority given to the Council. LHTAC has the authority to develop uniform standards and procedures that can be recommended to its member jurisdictions for the construction, maintenance, use, operation and administration of local highways. It can also make recommendations to the Idaho Transportation Board for the distribution and prioritization of federal funds for local highway projects and further can assist the Legislature by providing research and data relating to transportation matters affecting local highway jurisdictions within the state. He also commented on some of the Council's publications. LHTAC also provides administration and project selection for both local federal-aid incentive programs and the Local Rural Highway Investment Program. The Council works closely with federal and state agencies as well as tribal governments.

Byron Keely, Deputy Administrator of LHTAC, gave a broad overview of the highway system, funding, and challenges facing the Council. There are 288 local high jurisdictions. The local highway system is made up of roads, bridges and railroad crossings. All roads are classified according to how well they function in a network of roads in providing access and mobility. Roads are either classified as rural or urban. Local roads are for land access and provide little mobility. Collector roads provide a balance of access and mobility and arterial roads are primarily for mobility and provide limited access. The Cost Responsibility Model of how roads should be funded recommends 70% from highway user revenue and 30% from nonuser funds. Idaho's 2001 funding figures reflect about 49% from users and 51% from nonusers. 2001 expenditures indicate 8.7% of the budget was spent on administration, 48.1% was spent on construction and rehabilitation, and 31% was spent on maintenance. Just under 5% of current revenues was held back as a hedge against future increased costs. Some of the challenges facing local highway jurisdictions are (1) subjection to increased regulations, (2) added mileage in the past ten years and population growth has increased the need to retrofit and/or expand existing highway facilities, (3) added mileage and urbanization has unbalanced the distribution of HUR funding in some areas, and (4) dealing with rural to urban migration and generational turnover has increased the need for trained personnel. The local highway system is growing.

The Local Highway Technical Assistance Council report is attached to the minutes.

Presentation Indian Valley Cut-Off

Representative Kathy Skippen from District 11 (Gem and Canyon Counties) gave a power point presentation on the Indian Valley Cut-Off which is a proposed improvement to Highway 95. The Indian Valley Cut-Off, a north-south route, would start in Emmett and join Highway 95 at Mesa. The Cut-Off would be about 35 miles shorter, would be almost entirely on public land, would move traffic away from the environmentally sensitive river, would be a safer year-round highway, would accommodate traffic into Valley County and relieve truck traffic, and would link to Highway 16. The Indian Valley Cut-Off is a viable alternative to using Highway 55.

Adjourn The meeting adjourned at 2:35 p.m.




DATE: January 21, 2003
TIME: 1:30 pm
PLACE: Room 426
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Ingram, Vice Chairman Keough, Senators Geddes, Brandt, Little, Bailey, McWilliams, Calabretta
MEMBERS ABSENT/

EXCUSED:

Senator Marley was excused.
Senator Calabretta moved, seconded by Senator Bailey, that the minutes of Thursday, January 16, 2003, be approved as written. The motion carried by voice vote.
Presentation Idaho Transportation Department - Annual Report

Charles L. Winder (Chuck), Chairman of the Idaho Transportation Board, briefly discussed the background of the six board members who represent different areas of the state. They are John McHugh (Post Falls District 1), Bruce Sweeney (Lewiston - District 2), Monte McClure (Meridian - District 3), Gary Blick (Castleford - District 4), Neil Miller (Blackfoot - District 5), and John Combo (Idaho Falls - District 6). Board members serve for six-year terms and the chairman serves at the pleasure of the Governor. The purpose of the Transportation Board is to plan, develop, construct and maintain a system of state highways.

The Board oversees highways, railroads, airports, public transit, and north Idaho's barging system. The Board sets policy for the ITD and reviews the budget in depth.

ITD is taking efficiency measures to reduce costs and number of employees while still producing a quality service for Idaho and its citizens. The ITD Board has interviewed several candidates and is hoping to fill the Director's vacancy in the near future. The Board is involved in the scheduling, budgeting, and prioritization process for projects for construction. They reach out to elected officials in local communities to help them with community needs. They go to each of the districts once a year to look at local projects and meet local citizens.

Mr. Winder also mentioned the Governor's Blue Ribbon Task Force whose purpose is to produce a blueprint that will guide development of an efficient, effective system of government for the next 20 years. To date, the Task Force has only one transportation recommendation and that is to create a task force or committee to study and report issues related to public transportation coordination and funding for urban and rural areas.

There are a lot of public transportation needs and providers in Idaho, lots of different sources of funding and there needs to be a better coordinated effort to make sure services are provided, that the money is used wisely, and there are not overlapping services. Some of these recommendations could require additional legislation. He acknowledged all the work accomplished to date by various committees, including the Interagency Work Group, stating there has been a lot of cooperation but indicated there are still a lot of issues that need to be dealt with. He asked the Committee to keep in mind that this Blue Ribbon Task Force recommendation and others that might be forthcoming are looking at where Idaho wants to be in the year 2020.

Larry Falkner, Division Administrator for Public Transportation, explained that this recommendation is an additional effort to involve local people. ITD knows what is happening at the federal and state level but this would focus on coordination of public transportation at the local level.

Jim Ross, Interim Director and Chief Engineer for ITD, indicated the Department would give a financial overview including trend indicators, current revenue and budget requests, holdback strategies and a summary of FY03 and FY04. The budget is based on forecasts two years in advance. When trends indicate revenue shortfalls, adjustments are made (which has been the case the past two years). ITD will not being going to JFAC with a revised budget.

The Department uses the following six key trend indicators: miles traveled, cars registered, drivers licensed, population, total fuel taxed and gasoline taxed. All of these indicators have experienced uptrends, some more dramatic than others. Traffic volumes are used as indicators to make safety decisions and plan for the future; they also help predict revenue coming into the highway distribution account. Taxes are assessed on gallons consumed, not on the price at the pump. Revenue into the highway distribution account comes from the amount of gasoline and diesel fuel consumed as well as from the registration of vehicles. Revenue trends are down showing a projected revenue shortfall for FY03 from original projections of $14.9 million which is a 3.5% reduction of ITD's total appropriation and a 7.2% reduction of the State appropriation. He also discussed total funding sources and distribution of all money received noting that, by federal law, any funds ITD administers must be shown as revenue and then passed through to the intended local entity. Each year the federal government passes an appropriation that comes to each state, called the Transportation Equity Act, currently known as TEA-21. It is yet to be passed this year so Congress is working on a continuing resolution through January 31, 2003. TEA-21 ends in October of this year so there is a need for a new highway act known as reauthorization. ITD's federal reauthorization goals are to increase federal funding for surface transportation, continue federal funding support for transportation in rural states, maximize program flexibility and minimize federal regulation, promote safety programs, enhance Federal Lands funding and eligible use, and to identify high-priority projects for funding. Idaho is a donee state meaning Idaho receives more money from the highway trust fund than the state generates from within. Since FY98 under TEA-21, Idaho has experienced increased federal funding.



Transportation is a driving force in Idaho's economy. In FY02, ITD invested $241.3 million in transportation infrastructure, creating approximately 10,000 jobs for the citizens of Idaho. Of those jobs about 2,000 were related to on-site construction and 8,000 were related to supply and support positions.

When the Department was asked about the status of the University of Idaho study entitled, "Weight-Distance Conversion Study," Morris Detmar indicated the study is ongoing and they are expecting an update during this legislative session. The 1997 projection was $41.3 million and that figure might be scaled forward to adjust for growth. The purpose of the study was to determine the impact of the change in the truck registration system brought on by settlement of the American Trucking Association's lawsuit against Idaho.

When asked about administration costs to locals, Mr. Ross indicated it usually runs 12% to 15% to develop a project. Susan Simmons said ITD does not currently charge locals any administrative fee for processing work for the Federal Highway Administration. ITD is working with FHWA on an indirect cost allocation plan so they will be able to charge administration fees to federal projects. ITD is yet to decide whether to pass those costs on to local entities.

Susan Simmons, Division Administrator for Management and Administrative Services, ITD, presented her division's overview. The Division's mission states that through effective leadership, they provide the tools, resources, and systems to enhance the ability of the Idaho Transportation Department to fulfill its mission. The core responsibilities of the Division are executive management and legal services, internal services, information services, financial services, employee services and facilities management. The Division's goals are to increase customer satisfaction in their service delivery, to streamline systems and programs to better utilize resources, and to proactively plan, design and implement improvement initiatives utilizing quality principles.

Charles Rountree, Transportation Planning Division Administrator for ITD, stated that the basis for successful and efficient implementation for what is done at ITD begins with planning. The Division of Planning directs the statewide planning process including data collection, analysis and distribution to support an efficient transportation system. The Division is dedicated to serving customers including local agencies, the public and others interested in transportation. The Division is coordinating the development of an integrated statewide transportation vision called "Idaho's Transportation Future - Getting There Together." As ITD moves forward it is critical that there is vision and guiding principles and values for decisions. The Division manages the process for developing transportation system planning which involves many partners who contribute to transportation planning within Idaho including highway districts, counties, cities, tribes and other public entities. The Division also works closely with the metropolitan planning organizations (MPO's) which are areas with populations over 50,000. With the 2000 census there are three new urbanized areas: Coeur d'Alene, Lewiston and Nampa which will bring the total number of metropolitan planning organizations (MPO's) in Idaho to six. The Planning Division utilizes an extensive traffic counting system that is used by developers, school boards, highway commissioners and others. They provide information for

maps, and reports and also do traffic forecasts for a variety of planning purposes.

The Division also analyzes pavement conditions for the entire state highway system so they know which sections have the greatest need. Decisions on highway funds are based on objective, reliable and consistent information. The Mapping Services unit integrates data from a variety of federal, state, local and private sources. The data collection and analysis that takes place in the Planning Division using the pavement management and traffic monitoring systems is used so projects can be efficiently planned. Mapping this information provides a visual tool needed to understand regional and statewide conditions on Idaho's transportation system.

Morris (Mo) Detmar, Division Administrator for Motor Vehicles, ITD, said his division's core responsibilities included (1) driver licensing and identification, (2) passenger vehicle and truck registration and titling,

(3) size and weight compliance, and (4) revenue collections. Included in those responsibilities are drivers safety, personal and vehicle identification, vehicle ownership documentation, vehicle dealer and salesmen occupational licensing, motor carrier account auditing, and compliance monitoring. The Motor Vehicle Division's most important service tool is the highly successful partnership with county assessors and sheriffs. Daily operational goals include searching for and implementing ways to serve customers more conveniently, streamlining business processes and making each customer's experience positive. The following improvements occurred in 2002: issuance of digitized driver's license, registration for selective service by driver's license applicants, and improvement in the organ donor registration process. There are two pieces of legislation being proposed this year. One bill will allow DMV notifications to be mailed first class instead of by certified mail. The other proposed bill relates to proof of financial responsibility and clarifies that individuals who do not own motor vehicles must still comply with proof of financial responsibility requirements preliminary to reinstatement of driving privileges after suspension of those privileges for certain convictions.

Steve Hutchinson, Acting Chief Engineer for Highway Operations (including Contract Construction and Right-of-Way Acquisition) for ITD,

discussed the following five areas in his division: population growth, program priorities, performance measures, partnering and process improvement. Idaho's population increased this past decade, the largest growth areas being Boise (District 3) and Coeur d'Alene (District 1). During this same10-year period there was a 2 billion mile growth in vehicle miles traveled. With increased population and growth in vehicle miles traveled more congestion is experienced. The state has added 209 lane miles to help relieve congestion. ITD is sensitive to the growth and has programmed projects throughout the state to address the problem. Program priorities are operations, preservation, rehabilitation, and improvements. He discussed the pavement lifecycle. New pavement will deteriorate over time and to slow the deterioration, a method of preservation activity (sealcoat or thin overlay) slows the deterioration process. ITD expects to do some type of rehabilitation every 12 years and schedules between 400 and 500 lane miles annually for rehab work. The cycle of preservation and rehabilitation goes on for many years but, on average, after about 40 years the pavement wears out and has to be reconstructed. Road improvements include widening shoulders, reshaping slopes and approaches and installing new culverts. The Division's mission and vision addresses safety in all aspects of design, maintenance and construction. There is a system to identify high accident locations and analyze the data so projects can be scheduled to address safety needs. For the last 6 years the Department has focused on the following four performance areas: pavement conditions, restricted bridges, traffic congestion and highway safety. ITD made a commitment to the Legislature that if they had additional funds ITD would improve pavement conditions at 18% deficient by the year 2006. In order to do that ITD had to expend $31 million annually. That original goal was exceeded and they are currently at 15% which was accomplished by expending more than the $31 million annually. The Department has applied all savings realized each year to additional pavement improvement projects. ITD intends to maintain that goal and continue to commit $31 million annually.

Partnering with others agencies over the years has helped streamline environmental processes and get quicker clearances on projects and has saved labor and communication costs. The Division's only legislative proposal would allow the use of lighter weight studs for tires which would significantly reduces pavement wear while not reducing safety.

The Committee questioned ITD as to whether local contractors were being bypassed on highway projects. ITD indicated that local companies are asked to submit bids; selection of the successful bidder is done through a qualification process on a rating system.

In 2001, of the 212 traffic deaths, 149 people were not wearing seatbelts (70%) and 22 of those not belted were between the ages of 4 and 17 years old. When asked if Idaho was foregoing any federal funding, Mr. Hutchinson indicated that was not the case but that Idaho might be eligible for additional funds if a primary seatbelt law was in place. The Committee requested information on what strings would be attached if additional federal funds were available should the proposed seatbelt law pass.

Bob Martin, Division Administrator for Aeronautics, ITD, gave a brief history of Idaho aviation. He reviewed his core responsibilities which are to encourage development of commercial and general aviation, support improvement of airports and air navigation facilities, and to promote safety in aviation. The state aircraft pool consists of one twin-engine and two single-engine aircraft. Safety and education programs are important. Idaho is internationally known for its background airstrips; they provide access to Idaho's wilderness area, they support recreation and tourism not only for the general aviation flying public but also for river outfitters and guides, hunters, hiking, and fishing. The Division also provides staging areas for aerial support for emergency services such as wildfires.

The state manages and maintains 30 backcountry airstrips. In order to have better information to manage the airstrips, some electronic aircraft counters were installed from May through October, 2002 at four backcountry airports (Big Creek, Garden Valley, Johnson Creek, and Stanley) which revealed there were 16,282 take-offs and landings representing 8,141 aircraft (usage much higher than the Department had estimated). The airport development program funding goal is to provide federal match assistance of $300,000 dedicated to 7 commercial airports and for general aviation to provide 50% of match requirements to 32 airports. The goal is also to provide the remainder of available funds (state-aid only) to 29 airports. In FY04 the Division is expecting $19,350,000 in federal funds will be directed to Idaho airports for improvements which, combined with state funds, should amount of $21,737,600.

Larry Falkner, Division Administrator for Public Transportation, ITD, said they are looking forward to the future of public transportation. Currently public transportation in Idaho is provided by local agencies via local governments or non-profit agencies. The state does not directly offer transit services but depends on partnerships with agencies in local communities where the state is able to provide funds from the federal government. Core responsibilities include overseeing transit administration grant programs. The Division works with grantees to document compliance throughout the year and follow up with site visits. This past year was a transition year for transit funding and transit operations in Idaho. With three new urbanized areas that will be establishing metropolitan planning organizations (MPO's) in the state, the Federal Transit Administration funding requires significant changes for the delivery of public transportation services. To date, those three areas (Coeur d'Alene, Lewiston, and Nampa) have been served by non-profit agencies receiving federal funds. Now these areas will be funded with urbanized area federal funds. In this program, federal funds flow directly to a designated local government agency. There will be new funds coming to these three areas to provide services and the new designation will generate about $2 million in additional funding. Local governments are looking for ways to raise matching dollars so they can access these funds. The Public Transportation Division will continue to provide technical assistance to these areas as they make the transition to the new program. The state will receive approximately the same amount of money as last year. Funds that were previously used in the new urbanized areas must now be used to provide services in the remaining rural areas. In the past several months, the Division has been working with local communities and elected officials to develop new projects and to expand services in the rural areas of Idaho.

One of the Division's most successful programs is the vehicle investment program started in 2000. By combining federal, state, and local funds the Division has been able to purchase 12 to 15 vehicles each year to help meet the ADA requirements. This vehicle investment program is focused on the rural areas of the state and the Public Transportation Division looks forward to working with communities that have not previously participated in the program. The Division is working to bring increased funding to the rural program with the new federal reauthorization program and is helping local communities look for local dollars that will serve as a match to federal programs. With increased funds available to Idaho, it is vital to have the support of the Legislature and local government officials.

The Division looks forward to helping coordinate transportation services throughout the State.

A copy of the Annual Report and Budget for the Idaho Transportation Department is held in the Senate Transportation Office.

Adjourn The meeting adjourned at 3:20 p.m.




DATE: January 23, 2003
TIME: 1:30 pm
PLACE: Room 426
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Ingram, Vice Chairman Keough, Senators Geddes, Little, Bailey, McWilliams, and Marley.
MEMBERS ABSENT/

EXCUSED:



Senators Brandt and Calabretta were excused.
Senator Keough moved, seconded by Senator Bailey, that the minutes of Tuesday, January 21, 2003, be approved as written. The motion carried by voice vote.
ITD BUDGET

PRESENTATION

Note: The FY04 Budget Briefing is bound as part of the ITD Annual Report and can be found at the back of the report. A copy is held in the Senate Transportation Office.

Charles (Chuck) Winder, Chairman of the Idaho Transportation Board, indicated that the budget presented at this meeting has been a year-long effort of the Board and staff. The Board endorses the budget which is tight but balanced.

Jim Ross, Interim Director and Chief Engineer for ITD, presented an overview of the Governor's pending, revised FY04 budget request which amounts to $432,583,200. About 48% of the budget comes from dedicated funds and about 50% from federal sources. The budget includes four program enhancements which total $2,916,000. Refer to pages 2 through 5 of the Budget Briefing Report referenced above.

Mr. Ross introduced Steve Moreno who is the Division Administrator for the Federal Highway Administration. Mr. Moreno indicated that the federal government is operating under a continuing resolution for federal highway funds (TEA-21) until January 31, 2003. He also gave each member of the committee a copy of the Federal Highway Administration's 2001 Annual Report. A copy is held in the Senate Transportation Office.

Susan Simmons, Division Administrator for Management and Administrative Services for ITD, indicated the FY04 budget request for her division is $23,026.900, and 98% of that amount comes from state dedicated funds. There is one program enhancement for Business Continuity (Disaster Recovery) for $372,000. Refer to pages 7 through 13 of the Budget Briefing Report referenced above.

Charles Rountree, the Administrator for Transportation Planning for ITD, indicated his division's FY04 budget request is $3,642,000. Approximately 76% of the division's funds come from federal sources. There is one program enhancement which transfers one person from operating to personnel so there are no additional dollars involved. Refer to pages 15 through 21 of the Budget Briefing Report referenced above.

Morris Detmar, Motor Vehicle Administrator for ITD, presented his FY04 budget request of $17,944,800 which comes entirely from state dedicated funds. There are no program enhancements in the FY04 budget request. Refer to pages 23 through 27 of the Budget Briefing Report referenced above.

Steve Hutchinson, Administrator for Highway Operations for ITD, presented his FY04 budget request of $380,437,300 ($127,095,100 for highway operations and $253,342,200 for contract construction). The FY04 budget includes a program enhancement for contract construction spending authority totaling $1,753,200. Refer to pages 30 to 38 of the Budget Briefing Report referenced above.

Bob Martin, Division Administrator for the Division of Aeronautics for ITD, presented his FY04 budget request for $3,333,100. Federal funding makes up 32% of his budget and 60% comes from state dedicated funds. The FY04 budget includes a program enhancement for a non-primary entitlement program totaling $790,800 which is one-time rather than ongoing as shown on page 44 of the Budget Briefing Report. Please refer to pages 40 through 47 of the briefing report referenced above.

Larry Falkner, Public Transportation Division Administrator for ITD, presented his FY04 budget request of $4,199,100 of which 87.4% comes from federal funds and 12.6% from state dedicated funds. There are no budget enhancements this year. Refer to pages 49 through 55 of the Budget Briefing Report referenced above.

Administrative Rules Discussion

Senator Ingram turned the meeting over to the Vice-Chair, Senator Keough, for a brief discussion of administrative rules. She referred to a handout from the Idaho State Police regarding questions raised on ISP's Motor Carrier rules which should satisfy those concerns. ( A copy is held in the Senate Transportation Office.) She indicated all administrative rules before the committee would be acted on next week. She returned the gavel to the Chairman.
Adjourn The meeting was adjourned at 2:47 p.m.




DATE: January 28, 2003
TIME: 1:30 pm
PLACE: Room 426
Chairman Ingram, Vice Chairman Keough, Senators Geddes, Brandt, Little, Bailey, McWilliams, Marley, Calabretta
MEMBERS ABSENT/

EXCUSED:



None
Senator Little moved that the minutes of Thursday, January 23, 2003, be approved as written. The motion was seconded by Senator Marley and approved by voice vote.
RS 12584 Groomed Snowmobile Trails; change in registration

Senator Bailey introduced RS 12584 which would exclude certain all- terrain vehicles from snowmobile registration requirements. Any all- terrain vehicle required to be registered under any other provision of Idaho law, and in compliance with those registration requirements, would not be subject to the snowmobile registration requirements of Section 67-7112.

Motion Senator Marley moved, seconded by Senator Calabretta, that RS 12584 be introduced for print. The motion carried by voice vote.
RS 12658 Dissolution of Highway Districts; revise election requirements

Senator Bunderson presented RS 12658 which would increase the number of electors required to dissolve a highway district from twenty-five people to twenty percent of the qualified electors of the district who voted in the last election held for the election of highway district commissioners.

Motion Senator Brandt moved that RS 12658 be introduced for print. The motion was seconded by Senator Marley and approved by voice vote.
RS 12611 Passenger Safety; restrain children up to 6 years old or 60 pounds

Jeannette Risch explained the purpose of RS 12611 is to increase the age for mandatory restraint of children in a motor vehicle from 4 years of age or 40 pounds to six years of age or 60 pounds.

Motion Senator Calabretta moved, seconded by Senator Brandt, that RS 12611 be introduced for print. The motion carried by voice vote.
RS 12418C1 Motor Vehicles; signage display in windows

Senator Brandt introduced RS 12418C1 which will update Section

49-943, Idaho Code, to a more modern description of vehicle windows and allow vehicles to display signage in rear and rear-side windows.

Motion Senator Bailey moved that RS 12418C1 be introduced for print. The motion was seconded by Senator Keough and approved by voice vote.
RS 12678 Establish an Idaho White Water License Plate Program

Senator Burkett introduced RS 12678 which would establish an Idaho White Water license plate program. The plates will cost $35.00 for the initial plate and $25.00 for renewal plates. $10.00 of the cost will go to the State Highway Account. $25.00 of each initial fee and $15.00 of each renewal fee will be transferred to the State Treasurer for deposit to the Tourism and Promotion Fund of the Department of Commerce to be used for the general education and promotion of Idaho's white water rivers and industries. The Department of Commerce will consult with representatives of the white water river communities and industries before expending any money from the fund.

Motion Senator Calabretta moved, seconded by Senator Brandt, that RS 12678 be introduced for print. The motion carried by voice vote.
RS 12663 Licensing of Vehicle Dealers; exam and continuing education

Doug Gaskell, Executive Director of the Idaho State Independent Automobile Dealers Association, explained that RS 12663 would provide examination and continuing education requirements for licensure of vehicle dealers.

Motion Senator Marley moved that RS 12663 be introduced for print. Senator Keough seconded the motion which was approved by voice vote.
RS 12667 Limit Number of License Plates a Dealer may be Issued

Doug Gaskell, Executive Director of the Idaho State Independent Automobile Dealers Association, presented RS 12667 which would limit the number of license plates a dealer may be issued. A dealer could receive two license plates for twenty vehicles sold during the previous dealer licensing period and one license plate for each ten additional vehicles sold during that same period. The proposed legislation would authorize an audit of vehicle sales upon renewal of a dealer's license.

Motion Senator McWilliams moved, seconded by Senator Bailey, that RS 12667 be introduced for print. The motion carried by voice vote.
RS 12669 Release of Liability on Motor Vehicle Sale; additional information

Doug Gaskell, Executive Director of the Idaho State Independent Automobile Dealers Association, explained that RS 12669 would require additional information on a motor vehicle release of liability statement upon the owner's sale or transfer of a vehicle to another party. It also provides that an owner who files a release of liability statement will not be liable for subsequent towing, storage, repair or service changes. The proposed legislation would also make it unlawful for any person to knowingly file or attempt to file a release of liability statement which contains false information.

Motion Senator Bailey moved that RS 12669 be introduced for print. The motion was seconded by Senator Keough and approved by voice vote.
RS 12608 Allow Use of W-7 to obtain Driver's License in some circumstances

Senator Ingram introduced RS 12608 which would provide that an applicant for a driver's license or instruction permit who is not eligible for a social security number can present an individual tax identification number (W-7) issued by the Internal Revenue Service in lieu of a social security number.

Motion Senator Marley moved, seconded by Senator McWilliams, that RS 12608 be introduced for print. The motion carried by voice vote.
RS 12582 Parking for Persons with a Disability; increase availability

Mike Keithly, Vice Chair of the Idaho State Independent Living Council, explained that the purpose of RS 12582 is to increase the number of designated available parking spaces for people with disabilities. The proposed legislation would increase the fine for illegally parking in an accessible parking space from $50.00 to $100.00, clarify existing language that one parking space will be designated for every thirty-five spaces of on-street parking available on each downtown block, create a fine of $100.00 for people who park in the striped access aisle adjacent to an accessible parking space, and allow licensed physician assistants and licensed advanced practice professional nurses to verify that the applicant's stated impairment qualifies as a disability. The bill also adds a $1,000 fine, possible imprisonment and community service for people who steal or unlawfully sell, copy or duplicate disabled license plates or placards.

When asked about the designated parking space requirement when there are 34 or less parking spaces on one downtown block, Mr. Keithly responded that a designated parking space would not be required for that block.

Motion Senator Bailey moved that RS 12582 be introduced for print. The motion was seconded by Senator Brandt and approved by voice vote.
Confirmation Hearing Gubernatorial Reappointment to Aeronautics Advisory Board

Scott Patrick of Boise, Idaho, previously served a partial term of 1-1/2 years on the Board. He is a native of Boise, graduating from Boise State University in 1975. He earned his Commercial, Instrument, Certified Flight Instructor, and Airframe and Powerplant ratings in 1980. Aviation has been his full-time career since 1980. He has owned and operated SP Aircraft since 1982 and the Boise Pilot Shop since the late l980's. SP Aircraft operates 11 aircraft for charter, instruction and rental. He is married and has four children. Mr. Patrick listed his political affiliation as "independent."

Chairman Ingram indicated the Committee would make their recommendation on Mr. Patrick's reappointment at the next meeting.

Presentation Ada County Highway District Presentation

Skip Smyser thanked the Committee for giving the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) the opportunity to make a presentation. ACHD is one of the ten largest government entities in Idaho and has countywide jurisdiction over all non-state and non-federal public roads, including streets within the cities. It is a unique entity that can be learned from as other highway districts reach out for help and assistance to better understand transportation issues. Mr. Smyser introduced the current ACHD Commissioners: Sherry Huber who is the president, Susan Eastlake, Dave Bivens, David Wynkoop, and John Franden.

Sherry Huber, ACHD Commission President, also thanked the Committee for the opportunity to present information on ACHD. She introduced other staff members to the Committee. The Commissioners serve four-year terms with the terms staggered so that at least two Commissioners are up for election every two years. The Commission sets overall policy and the annual budget for the District and hires the Director.

Craig Quintana, Public Relations Officer for ACHD, said the purpose of this presentation is to acquaint the Committee with facts about ACHD and how it continues to accomplish its assigned mission. ACHD was created in 1971 and its mission is to provide the best public highway system for the safe and efficient movement of people and goods in Aa County. The FY03 budget is $63,416,500. ACHD spends more than half of its budget on capital projects, including construction of new roads, bridges and other improvements. One-fifth of the District's budget is spent on maintenance. Each local road receives significant work on a nine-year cycle. ACHD also promotes alternative transportation through car- and van-pooling.

ACHD programs roadway, intersection and associated highway work construction and reconstruction projects in a five-year work program which is updated each year. It also has a 20-year listing of capacity expansion projects based on forecasts of population and associated traffic that are made by the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS).

When asked how projects are coordinated between the highway district and the rest of the projects going on statewide, Mike Brokaw, ACHD Treasurer, indicated a lot of the federal funding is being coordinated through LHTAC and ACHD puts its projects into the mix.

Stuart Davis, Executive Director, Idaho Association of Highway Districts,

explained that there are some federal funds designated for rural areas. Highways and cities in those rural areas apply for those funds by submitting their projects to the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council (LHTAC) who rates the projects and makes recommendations to the Idaho Transportation Board . Then the Idaho Transportation Board adds those to the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and ultimately determines how the funds will be distributed in accordance with federal guidelines.

David Wynkoop, an ACHD Commissioner, said when it rains hard in an urban area, often there is no place for the water to go. That is becoming a major expense for doing road projects in urban areas. They tried to address that issue about ten years ago and found out how complicated it was. They are still working on a solution.

Dorrell Hansen, Assistant Manager of Engineering for ACHD, discussed drainage issues and how they affect the Ada County Highway District. ACHD is primarily responsible for building and maintaining roads in Ada County. Runoff comes off the roads. When it rains hard, it comes off a lot heavier and faster, so ACHD must use existing drainage features in order to convey and treat the water. The existing facilities for handling runoff are very fragmented. There are over 60 different entities within Ada County that deal with drainage. There are also new federal mandates that require the water to be cleaned before it is discharged. ACHD is seeking solutions to manage the storm water that is on the roadways. It is not just the roadways but some of the storm water is coming from private property. Unfortunately, a lot of irrigation water also gets onto the roadways. He briefly gave a legislative history beginning in 1975 of how ACHD has attempted to look for solutions for drainage in Ada County. There have been various task forces and legislative proposals but, to date, they have not been successful in getting a drainage bill through the legislature. The Ada County Highway District stands ready to help solve the problem.

Steve Price, ACHD General Counsel, introduced Ryan Armbruster, an attorney with Elam & Burke, who represents drainage districts.

David Bivens, an ACHD Commissioner, was a farmer and a legislator when they began working to satisfy the drainage problem. Years ago he also served as President of the drainage ditch district in Payette County. He currently serves on the Water Committee with Community Planning and continues to work with others trying to get all of the common problems identified relating to drainage. In looking at the big picture of drainage irrigation, the situation changes from one mile to the next. Progress has been made but more has to be done to come up with a reasonable compromise and solution to the drainage problem.

Adjourn The meeting adjourned at 2:50 p.m.




DATE: January 30, 2003
TIME: 1:30 pm
PLACE: Room 426
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Ingram, Vice Chairman Keough, Senators Geddes, Little, Bailey, McWilliams, Marley, Calabretta
MEMBERS ABSENT/

EXCUSED:



Senator Brandt
Senator Keough moved that the minutes of Tuesday, January 28, 2003, be approved as written. The motion was seconded by Senator Marley and approved by voice vote.
Confirmation

Recommendation

Gubernatorial Reappointment to Aeronautics Advisory Board

Senator Keough moved that the Senate Transportation Committee recommend the Senate confirm the gubernatorial appointment of Scott Patrick of Boise, Idaho, to the Aeronautics Advisory Board for a term commencing January 13, 2002, and expiring January 13, 2007. The motion was seconded by Senator Bailey.

Roll Call Vote A roll call vote was requested.

Ayes: Senators Ingram, Keough, Geddes, Little, Bailey, McWilliams

Nays: Senator Marley

Note: Senator Brandt was excused and Senator Calabretta was not present during the vote.

By a 6 to 1 vote, the motion carried.

RS 12444C1 Establish a Boy Scout License Plate Program

Senator Hill presented RS 12444C1 for Senator Bunderson which would create a special motor vehicle license plate for Boy Scout youth programs in Idaho.

Motion Senator Marley moved, seconded by Senator Keough, that RS 12444C1 be introduced for print. The motion carried by voice vote.
RS 12606 Relating to Highways & Bridges; revise definition of "expenditure"

Stuart Davis, Executive Director, Idaho Association of Highway Districts, introduced RS 12606 which would revise the definition of "expenditure." It would allow highway districts the ability to enter into personal service contracts based upon competence and qualifications rather than lowest bid.

Motion Senator Marley moved that RS 12606 be introduced for print. The motion was seconded by Senator Keough and carried by voice vote.
RS 12616 Compensation of Local Highway Technical Assistance Council

Stuart Davis, Executive Director, Idaho Association of Highway Districts, presented RS 12616 which provides that services performed by Council members may be compensated at the rate determined by the members' respective associations. Members of the Transportation Committee indicated they would be more comfortable if there was a cap listed on the daily compensation rate.

Motion Senator Geddes moved that RS 12616 be returned to sponsor for a change in some wording. The motion was seconded by Senator Calabretta and approved by voice vote.
RS 12621 Highway Districts; makes grammatical and procedural corrections

Stuart Davis, Executive Director, Idaho Association of Highway Districts, presented RS 12621 which would make grammatical and procedural corrections to highway district law. Reference to the disposal of highway district property is deleted from the county law, and clarified in the highway district section. It also amends Section 40-1308 to correct a previous deletion in Idaho Code on the ability to pay for legal actions, judgments, and emergencies. The proposed legislation would also clarify the procedure for disposing of property over $5,000 in value and restricts employees and their families from having a personal interest in the property to be sold.

Motion Senator Keough moved, seconded by Senator Bailey, that RS 12621 be introduced for print. The motion carried by voice vote.
Rules Approval Chairman Ingram turned the gavel to Vice Chair Keough so the Committee could complete the administrative rules process. On January 14, 2003, the Idaho Transportation Department, the State Tax Commission, and the Idaho State Police presented pending and/or temporary rules to the Senate Transportation Committee. Vice-Chair Keough said a motion indicating the Committee's recommendation would be in order since the Committee has reviewed the rules in detail.
Motion Senator McWilliams moved that the Senate Transportation Committee recommend that all pending and temporary administrative rules for the Idaho Transportation Department (IDAPA 39), Docket 35.0105.0201 covering Motor Fuels Tax for the State Tax Commission (IDAPA 35), and Docket 11.1301.0201 covering Motor Carrier rules for the Idaho State Police (IDAPA 11) be accepted. The motion was seconded by Senator Marley and approved by voice vote.

The Committee does not recommend the rejection of any rules and does not object to any temporary rules adopted by the agencies. A letter will be sent to the President Pro Tem indicating the Committee action, a copy of which is attached to the minutes. Vice-Chair Keough returned the gavel to Chairman Ingram.

Presentation Overview of Budget Process & Oversight of ITD's Budget

Eric Milstead, an analyst for the Legislative Budget Office, introduced the participants as follows: Joel Drake, Idaho Transportation Department; David Hahn, Division of Financial Management (DFM) , Eric representing the Legislative Budget Office; and Ray Ineck, Legislative Audits. Each group will focus on the budget process as it relates to the Idaho Transportation Department and will explain what happens in each step of the budget cycle. The budget process begins with the annual budget development manual which is a collaboration between DFM and Legislative Services Office (LSO). The manual provides instructions to assist agencies in preparing their operating budget requests. It ensures general consistency in the presentation and review of requests which provides agencies the flexibility to clearly describe programs, objectives, and needs. The manual is sent to agencies in May and budget requests are due in early September. From September through December the budget requests are analyzed and the hearing process occurs in January and February. Budgets are usually set in March and then approved by the Governor.

A copy of the powerpoint presentation used by all presenters entitled, "Overview­Budget Process" is held in the Senate Transportation Office.

Joel Drake, Office of Budget, Policy and Intergovernmental Relations for the Idaho Transportation Department, explained his department's internal budget development timeline, the steps involved in developing the appropriation request (including linking their strategic and business plans to the budget process, forecasting revenues, identifying non-standard cost increases, fielding and approving enhancement requests, balancing to available revenues, etc.), the internal parties involved in the review and approval of budget requests, and the department's process for monitoring revenues and spending against the appropriation during each year. A copy of his testimony is held in the Senate Transportation office.

David Hahn, an analyst for the Division of Financial Management (DFM), provided a brief overview of his division, reviewed DFM's statutory authority, and explained the role DFM plays in developing the Governor's transportation budget recommendation. A copy of his testimony is held in the Senate Transportation office.



Eric Milstead, legislative analyst for the Legislative Budget Office, explained that the Office of Budget and Policy Analysis supports Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee (JFAC) and all legislators providing them with state budget and appropriation detail as well as policy research and analysis. The office analyzes all agency budgets submitted and compares requests to revenues and expenditures (actual and estimated). They also focus their analysis on requests for enhancements which are requests for funds or spending authority or full-time positions that are above the agency's base budget. (Enhancements usually reflect new programs or additions to existing programs.) Following submission of the Governor's budget recommendations in early January, Legislative Services Office publishes a legislative budget book which provides comprehensive comparisons of agency requests to the Governor's recommendations. Then JFAC spends about six weeks hearing agencies present their budgets which gives the agencies an opportunity to highlight critical issues and further, gives JFAC the time to delve deeper into budget requests during a question-and-answer period. Then JFAC hears testimony from germane committee chairs; this step is designed to provide a link between policy action and budget setting. The next step in the process is for JFAC to begin setting budgets which takes about 15 working days. Following a successful motion on appropriation bills in committee, the bills are sent to the floor for debate and action by both the House and Senate. The appropriation process concludes when the appropriation bills are passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor. The Legislative Budget Office then prepares a Legislative Fiscal Report that reflects the accomplishments of the just-completed legislative session. Mr. Milstead's comments refer to the attached one-page sheet entitled "Idaho State Budget Process."

Ray Ineck, Supervisor of Legislative Audits, Legislative Services Office, gave an overview of the Legislative Audit organization and duties which included an explanation of their audit authority, audit scheduling, report release and follow-up process. He gave examples of statewide audit reports and focused on their audit approach on the Idaho Transportation Department. A copy of his testimony is held in the Senate Transportation Committee.

Adjourn The meeting adjourned at 3:10 p.m.




DATE: February 4, 2003
TIME: 1:30 pm
PLACE: Room 426
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Ingram, Vice Chairman Keough, Senators Geddes, Little, Bailey, McWilliams, Marley, Calabretta
MEMBERS ABSENT/

EXCUSED:



Senator Brandt
Senator Bailey moved that the minutes of Thursday, January 30, 2003, be approved as written. The motion was seconded by Senator Calabretta and approved by voice vote.
RS 12717 Change method of notices to Motor Vehicle Drivers

Ed Pemble, Drivers Services, Division of Motor Vehicles, Idaho Transportation Department, explained that RS 12717 would allow ITD to change the method of notification of driver's license suspensions, title cancellations and vehicle registration cancellations from certified mail to first class mail. Sending notifications via first class mail will be more effective because it is forwarded (certified mail is not) and is not subject to refusal. There would be an estimated cost savings to ITD of $240,000 per year; currently certified mail costs about $4.00 per letter. The Attorney General's office proposed the language in this bill.

Motion Senator Calabretta moved, seconded by Senator Bailey, that RS 12717 be introduced for print. The motion carried by voice vote.
Transportation

Presentation



Boise Airport

John Anderson, Director of the Boise Airport, said the airport is owned and operated by the city of Boise. It is very highly regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Homeland Security and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They also do business with the Departments of Defense (through the Idaho National Guard), Interior and Agriculture. The Idaho Division of Aeronautics did a study a few years ago on the economic impact of airports in Idaho and found the Boise Airport's economic impact on Idaho is about $1 billion annually. Employers based on airport property (National Guard, National Interagency Fire Center, airlines, auto rentals, concessionaires, and other leasehold tenants) employ over 4,300 people; the airport's staff totals about 130 people. The airport has room to grow because it owns about two miles of property off the east end of the runways and is trying to buy as much land as possible on the west. The Department of Homeland Security is in charge of security at all U.S. airports and has required increased security locally. The Boise Airport now has four security checkpoints but has no room for additional expansion until the new facility is completed. In July 2001 ground was broken on 364,000 sq. ft. building with an elevated roadway and an integrated security system­the beginning of a long-term expansion program. The facility has been reinforced in many ways (for security purposes) at an additional cost of approximately $6 million. The total cost of the project is about $104 million which is one of the largest non-highway public works projects in Idaho's history.

Projects are funded without any local tax dollars; 67% of their funding comes from passenger facility charges (paid when a ticket is purchased), 18% comes from FAA grants, 6% comes from the airport capital improvement fund, and the remaining 9% comes from other revenues. The airport's top revenue sources are from parking lot charges, car rentals, airline landing fees, terminal rent from airlines, industrial land rent, concession revenue, and freight landings. Compared to others, Boise is a low-cost airport; i.e., low landing fees, low terminal rent, etc. Last year the airport lost about eight percent of its revenue but management cut expenses to control costs. Since 2000, enplanement numbers (paying passengers) are down.

Aviation concerns include passenger numbers rebounding slowly because of the economy due to the 1) cost of oil, 2) possibility of a war, and 3) stability of the airlines. Fortunately Boise has 4 low-cost airline carriers. Future projects include constructing a new air traffic control tower, relocating Gowen Road in order to move the Interagency Fire Center and existing cargo facilities, and changing the Vista Avenue Interchange. If the airport is successful in getting a cargo hub in Boise and bringing in National Guard C-17 aircraft, Mr. Anderson estimates it will create about 6,000 jobs.

Mr. Anderson expressed frustration that Congress authorized $750 million to TSA for airport projects. Other airports, including Boise, believe airports have not received any benefits from those funds. He believes that local governments and their airports through Idaho's congressional delegation need to get some sense back into what is being done in the security area so control is decentralized and brought back to the local level. Increased security has cost the airport industry a tremendous amount of money.

A copy of Mr. Anderson's powerpoint presentation is held in the Senate Transportation Office.

Presentation Railroads

Charlie Clark, special representative to the President of Union Pacific Railroad, said railroads experience some frustration with local, state and federal policymakers because a lot of federal policies shape the railroad industry, such as ICC, NAFTA, GATT, etc. Railroads are private companies; they own, operate and maintain their roads and other property. Union Pacific Railroad (UP) grew into a Class I railroad which is a railroad with revenues over $500 million annually. There are also Class II and Class III railroads. Class I railroads (Union Pacific and Burlington Northern) operate the interstates of the U.S. rail system, the Class II and III's (short lines) operate the arterials and farm-to-market roads.

Union Pacific has been in business 141 years and has been an "online" company all of that time; it was created by Congress in 1862 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the legislation. UP's mainline and branches in southern Idaho eventually served all of southern Idaho's communities. Jointly with Burlington Northern and Great Northern, UP also served north Idaho.

After deregulation was approved in the early 1980's, there was a flurry of mergers, acquisitions, sales, leases and abandonments of rail line companies and their roads. Over the last 20 years, not just UPRR, but all the surviving Class 1 railroads look and operate very differently. Today there are only five Class I railroads remaining in the United States: Union Pacific and Burlington Northern in the west, CSX and Norfolk Southern in the east, and Kansas City in the midwest. These five railroads are today's interstates of America's rail system. Union Pacific lost about $1.5 billion putting its last merger with Southern Pacific together. Today Union Pacific is an efficient and successful franchise that has become the largest railroad in North America. Currently, Union Pacific operates in 23 states, has 33,035 miles of mainline track, 48,000 employees, an annual payroll of $2.7 billion, operates 6,886 locomotives and has 96,776 freight cars.

One of the benefits of the last merger is the diversity of UP's business mix that consists of agriculture products, intermodal (containers), industrial products, energy (coal), chemicals, and autos. In Idaho, UP has almost 900 miles of track, about 1,000 employees, an annual payroll of $50.6 million, and pays approximately $5 million in taxes (the majority in property tax). UP's biggest customers are Amalgamated Sugar, Simplot, Monsanto, New West, and Potlatch. The company moves thousands of cars of potatoes, grain and lumber.

Union Pacific owns about 26% of the Mexican railroad. NAFTA, a federal policy, has helped open company business in Mexico and Canada. The General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade (GATT) will allow UP to create new corridors north and south with Canada and Mexico.

The company continually works to reduce overhead costs and intends to become even more competitive and efficient. UP's challenges in today's soft economy include paying increased wages and the double-digit health care benefits. UP is concerned about world strife which could increase fuel costs. (next to the U. S. Navy, UP is the second largest user of fuel--­ in 2002 they used 1.3 billion gallons. The company also has concerns about soaring insurance costs. Last year's longshoremen strike cost UP and other rail carriers a lot of money. Union Pacific is very competitive and uses its own infrastructure, saving taxpayers millions of dollars in highway maintenance costs.



Steve Thomas, a local attorney representing Burlington Northern (BN), introduced Pat Keim from Helena, Montana who is in charge of public affairs for Burlington Northern in four western states.

Pat Keim, briefly discussed Burlington Northern Sante Fe's history. The railroad began in 1846, one of the oldest, continuous railroads in the U.S. Its western expansion began in the 1870's. Today they operate in Idaho's Panhandle which is their critical link in the Northwest. In Idaho they have about 80 miles of mainline track and 40 miles of branch line, 130 employees, and a payroll of about $5.5 million. Last year Burlington Northern originated 14,500 cars and terminated about 3,700 loads in Idaho so it is largely an outbound business shipping lumber. BN has a concern about continuing pressures on the lumber industry, pressures from the unavailability of federal lands for forest cutting.

Burlington Northern's other big business in northern Idaho is intermodal -- flatcars on trailers (piggyback). They serve northern Idaho out of their Spokane intermodal hub center­one of BN's major hub operations. Intermodal is a very important component of BN's market mix. They are the largest provider of railroad intermodal service in the world. Using rail lines helps save highways while providing service to customers. Their business mix consists of 25% intermodal, 25% coal, 25% grain, and the remaining 25% is made up of lumber and other products. BN is the largest grain hauler in the world.

Their major facility in Idaho is the Hauser fueling plant which is a major investment for BN. The plant will fuel 25 trains a day and is designed to relieve congestion. When completed it will employ about 50 people. The facility has sophisticated leak controls and is a completely contained system that is computer controlled.

BN is in a highly competitive business; they compete both inside and outside the business. Their four largest shippers are motor carriers: UPS, Roadway, Yellow Freight, and J. B. Hunt.

Mr. Keim briefly referred to S1053 which will allow trucks to be 10 feet longer­from 105' to 115'. The bill does not have the same wording as the statement of purpose which states that the additional 10' would be on the pulling unit, or tractor only. He requested that it be clearly spelled out in the bill so the language would be consistent with the statement of purpose. He was assured by the Chairman that a correction is being made in the form of an amendment to S1053.

He said his business has been heavily impacted by the state of the economy in that BN's revenues have been flat for the last 18 months and it appears that will continue for some time. They have been effective at instituting cost controls to keep expenses mostly flat but inflation has caused the price of some things to increase, such as the cost of medical insurance. The investment in their company is down significantly so they are in a maintenance mode. In the last five years they spent heavily in the expansion area but have now curtailed expansion almost in half--

from $2 billion to $1 billion. During their expansion period, they purchased over 1,500 locomotives so 50% of their locomotives are less than 5 year old. They look forward to the time they will be able to expand as the economy recovers.

Ed McKechnie, from Eastern Idaho Railroad, was unable to attend the meeting. Ron Kerr will discuss the short line railroads.

Carl Tueller, Deputy Director for the Department of Commerce, explained that they were the lead agency when the 2001 Idaho Legislature created a short-term rail transportation Advisory Group charged with assessing the impact of rail transportation on the economic vitality of Idaho, with emphasis on rural locations. The Advisory Group members were from the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Transportation, the Idaho Historical Society and the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. He acknowledged the work of Ron Kerr from ITD and Richard Twight from the Department of Commerce both of whom worked diligently to do the research and surveys.

A copy of the Report is held in the Senate Transportation Office.

Ron Kerr, Senior Transportation Planner for Rail, Waterways and Intermodal, Idaho Transportation Department, described briefly the rail system in Idaho. Class I railroads in Idaho are Union Pacific and Burlington Northern; the regional railroad is Montana Rail Link and there are six short lines.

In the early 1900's the big railroads were buying the little railroads and by the end of the century they were selling them back to smaller, short line carriers. The short lines take over routes the Class I carriers find unprofitable or abandon. With a lower cost structure and more flexible service, the short lines have been able to keep most, but not all, of the rural lines operational. The advantages of short lines are lower labor costs, local ownership, and the ability and incentive to develop additional business. In some instances the revenue is not adequate to make up for decades of sometimes insufficient capital investment in the rail infrastructure because of lack of sufficient business to justify it.

The rail system is important to Idaho's economy contributing $137 million in 1999 through wages to 1,558 employees and retirement benefits. During that same time, railroads originated a total of 12.8 million tons and terminated 10.4 million tons of freight traffic and carried over 23 millions tons of farm products, non-metallic minerals, lumber and wood products, food products, chemicals, petroleum and other products. Rural areas rely heavily on the rail freight system to facilitate movement of products to local, national and international markets. Rail abandonment can substantially increase the cost of transporting many commodities to market, especially heavy or bulk commodities.



Some of the observations from the report are as follows. There will probably be more light-density rail abandonment in Idaho and rail line abandonment may not be limited to light-density lines. Uncertainty in the minds of shippers can drive a self-fulfilling process that ultimately could result in rail line abandonment. Main-line track capacity is becoming limited in some areas. More freight might be removed from highways if intermodal shipping is not priced by the railroads as a premium service.

Rail-line operators and users and the Port of Lewiston are generally receptive to supportive state action to keep rail lines operating when cost-benefit analysis demonstrates that the benefits exceed costs. Short lines indicated they are interested in participating financially with the State on economically justified rail capital improvement projects under the Idaho Rail Preservation Program.

Since 1975, Idaho has lost over one-third of its rail miles to abandonment. The motor-vehicle freight traffic from rail abandonment increases the burden on state highways and local roads. The economy of the state and the competitiveness of Idaho's freight shippers will be best served by a policy of maintaining and encouraging a healthy rail freight system by creating mechanisms that keep rail freight lines operating if the benefits outweigh the costs.

The duties of ITD in implementing the Idaho Rail Service Preservation Program are to monitor the state's rail system through a rail planning process, develop criteria for evaluating and prioritizing freight rail projects and ensure that the state maintains a contingent interest in equipment, property, rail line or facility that has grants and/or loans. Qualified rail lines for this program are Class III short lines, branch lines of Class I or Class II railroads and lines owned by public entities including port districts. To date, funds have not been appropriated for this program.

A copy of Mr. Kerr's powerpoint presentation and two maps showing railroad locations are held in the Senate Transportation Office.

Adjourn The meeting adjourned at 3:15 p.m.




DATE: February 6, 2003
TIME: 1:30 pm
PLACE: Room 426
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Ingram, Vice Chairman Keough, Senators Bailey, McWilliams, Marley, and Calabretta
MEMBERS ABSENT/

EXCUSED:



Senators Geddes, Brandt, and Little
Senator Bailey moved that the minutes of Tuesday, February 4, 2003, be accepted as written. The motion was seconded by Senator Calabretta and approved by voice vote.
Confirmation Hearing

Gubernatorial appointment to the Aeronautics Advisory Board

Robert Hoff from Idaho Falls, Idaho, has been reappointed to the Aeronautics Advisory Board by Governor Kempthorne. Mr. Hoff has been an aviation business owner of a fixed-wing operation since 1983 and is a backcountry pilot and has his commercial and instrument ratings. He was first appointed to the Aeronautics Advisory Board in February, 2000 and his reappointment will expire on January 31, 2008.

The Committee will vote on Mr. Hoff's reappointment to the Aeronautics Advisory Board at the next meeting to be held Tuesday, February 11, 2003.

RS 12898C1 Parking for Persons with Disability; more accessible parking

Steve Tobiason, representing AARP, introduced RS 12898C1. When he looked at an earlier version of the proposed legislation sponsored by the Idaho Independent Living Council, Mr. Tobiason, an attorney experienced in criminal prosecution, had some concerns about the clarity of the language regarding criminal penalties in the back portion of the bill. He offered some modifications to the Idaho Independent Living Council that all parties concerned could agree on. The main purpose of the legislation is to increase the availability of designated accessible parking places for those with disabilities. The legislation would increase the fine for unauthorized parking from $50.00 to $100.00 and adds a fine not to exceed $1,000.00 for unlawful possession, use, distribution or manufacture of a special plate or placard.

Motion Senator Marley moved that RS 12898C1 be introduced for print. The motion was seconded by Senator Keough and approved by voice vote.
RS 12616C1 Local Highway Technical Assistance Council; compensation

Stuart Davis, Executive Director of the Idaho Association of Highway Districts, presented RS 12616C1 which would put a ceiling of $100.00 per day on the amount a Council member can be compensated.

Motion Senator Keough moved that RS 12616C1 be introduced for print. The motion was seconded by Senator Marley and approved by voice vote. Senator Calabretta voted "no."
RS 12942 Establish a "Killed in Action" License Plate Program

Chairman Ingram introduced RS 12942 for Senator Cameron. The proposed legislation will establish a license plate program honoring members of the United States armed services killed in action. The license plates may be purchased and displayed by family members. $15.00 of each initial fee and $5.00 of each renewal fee will be transferred by the State Treasurer into the Veterans Cemetery maintenance fund to be used to operate and maintain a state veterans cemetery.

Motion Senator Bailey moved, seconded by Senator Marley, that RS 12942 be introduced for print. The motion was approved by voice vote with Senator Calabretta recorded as voting "no."
RS 12935C1 Dissolution of Highway Districts

Senator Bunderson presented RS 12935C1 that allows for the dissolution of a highway district by changing the number of electors from 25 people to the greater of 25 qualified electors or 20% of those qualified electors who voted in the last election held for highway district commissioners. This legislation came about because of an issue in a large district where a very small number of people were attempting to act without a vote of a majority of those governed. There is no controversy to this piece of legislation.

Motion Senator Marley moved that RS 12935C1 be introduced for print. The motion was seconded by Senator Keough and approved by voice vote.
RS 12927 Establish an Idaho White Water Rafting License Plate Program

Senator Burkett presented RS 12927 which would establish an Idaho white water rafting license plate program. This proposed legislation was rewritten to more narrowly define those white water interests of rafting and kayaking. The design of this bill is to have an advisory committee to the Department of Commerce decide how funds would be spent. Half of the advisory committee would be represented by users and the other half would be representatives from the commercial side. Perhaps in the future the jet boaters might want to work on a plate for their area of interest. This is a compromise piece of legislation.

Motion Senator Calabretta moved that RS 12927 be introduced for print. The motion was seconded by Senator Bailey and approved by voice vote. Senator Keough was recorded as voting "no."
Transportation Presentation Port of Lewiston

Dave Doeringsfeld, Manager of the Port of Lewiston, shared some information about the Port's mission, background, and objectives. The Port of Lewiston is a public organization serving the citizens of Nez Perce County as an intermodal transportation center with a mission to foster job creation and job retention activities to maximize the value of its assets to enhance the economic stability of the county and state. The Port was formed in 1958 and has three elected officials who serve as commissioners. The Port's three primary objectives are intermodal transportation, economic development and international trade. The Port of Lewiston is located 465 river miles from the Pacific Ocean and is the most inland and eastern port of the Columbia/Snake River System, the nation's second largest water transportation highway. All major modes of transportation are available to Port shippers and receivers. Grain shipments are the number one export at the Port. Forest products, primarily in the form of pulp and paper products account for the second largest tonnage. Potlatch Corporation is a major user of the Port in moving paper products. The Port has a large multi-modal warehouse located in the waterfront area and is accessible by truck, rail and barge. A copy of Mr. Doeringsfeld presentation is held in the Senate Transportation Committee.

Idaho Trucking Association

Skip Smyser, an attorney and lobbyist for the Idaho Trucking Association, introduced Paul Sudmeier, Executive Director; Dar Oberding who is familiar with agricultural segments of the trucking industry; and Jerry Whitehead, the owner of Western Trailer, (a trailer manufacturer in Boise) who works with every segment of the trucking industry. Mr. Smyser thanked the Committee for the opportunity for the trucking industry to make a presentation.

Paul Sudmeier, Executive Director of the Idaho Trucking Association, said he represents 290 members in Idaho, 190 of whom are motor carriers and the balance are allied members. He gave an overview on the role of trucking in Idaho, observations on what is good and not good about the industry and some recommendations for the Committee to consider. About 70% of Idaho's communities are solely dependent on trucking to move freight in and out of their communities. The trucking industry in Idaho accounts for over 39,000 jobs, has a payroll over $1 billion and it is estimated that the trucking industry contributed 5.3 percent to Idaho's gross product in the year 2000. He referred to an Executive Summary of a Highway Cost Allocation Study from 1993 that indicated trucks in Idaho were overpaying their fair share by 37% which is the relationship expected when Idaho ranks 6th in fees on trucks and 42nd in the fees on cars. Fees on autos could be increased by $200 per year and still be below the median of fees charged in the United States. If auto fees were increased, it would produce an additional $220 million in revenue.

The carrier industry in Idaho has an increasingly positive safety record. The crash rates for high gross weight doubles and triple configurations are much less than the regular 5-axle combination (18 wheeler). One of the things that handicaps the industry today is the inability to make meaningful improvement in allowable gross weights. The primary reason for that is the inclusion in the 1991 Highway Bill the "longer combination vehicle (LCV) freeze" that said no combination in excess of 80,000 pounds authorized by federal law can operate unless it was in operation on June 1, 1991. It put Idaho at a disadvantage because it did not increase the gross weight poundage prior to that date as did Montana, Wyoming, Nevada and Utah who increased their gross weight laws prior to that arbitrary date. The result has been that Idaho's shippers need to run six trucks to do the work of five in competitive states. Mr. Sudmeier encouraged the Committee to consider a joint memorial to Congress to eliminate the LCV freeze. Idaho's congressional representatives need to hear from the Idaho legislature.

The Idaho Trucking Association would like Idaho to collect all the revenue to which it is entitled. Today there is a significant amount of dyed fuel that is entitled to be run offroad that is being burned on highways and there is no enforcement program in place to capture the road tax. The state is allowing subsidies for ethanol and biodiesel ; those subsidies should come from the general fund not from the highway distribution account. It would be better tax policy if user fees in Idaho were fixed rather than variable. Since 9-11-01, both commercial and passenger miles dropped by about 40%.

The Association urged the Committee to spend more efficiently. The state could spend less on pavement if it allowed more widespread use of LCV's which reduce truck trips and tire pressure per trip is reduced in an LCV combination over a federally legal combination. Labor costs could be reduced by simplifying user fees; currently ITD has an unnecessary audit expense with five levels of mileage auditing for registration. The Association encourages fairness so that any time there is a new user fee, equity for class of vehicles would be considered. An example of a four cent per gallon increase in gas tax, would increase the annual user fees for a car by $28.00 but the same four cents would increase the annual cost of operating a typical truck about $700.

Dar Oberding, a lobbyist for the Idaho Grain Producers, discussed the significance of highway transportation in Idaho in relation to agriculture. Idaho experiences unfair rates, especially in southern Idaho. The cost of shipping out of southeastern and south central Idaho where about 25 million bushels of soft white wheat is transported is $.70 per bushel. The same mileage from Bonners Ferry to the Port of Portland is about $.46 per bushel. From Emmett to Portland it costs about $.49 and from Moscow to Portland is about $.39. Without the competition of the river freight, heavier trucks are needed. There is only one railroad in southern Idaho and they are captive shippers. The only way for competition to occur is to allow heavier weights on trucks. He asked the Committee to assist efforts in lifting the LCV freeze so there would be a more level playing field.



Jerry Whitehead, the owner of Western Trailers, has over 200 Idaho employees and his company builds about 500 trailers annually. He currently ship trailers to Maine and other northeastern states which costs between $2,700 and $3,000 per trailer. To expand his market he either needs to increase productivity or get trailers to market at a better price. In Idaho, freight is a big factor to any manufacturer; there needs to be a better way to get freight in and out of the state. He encouraged the Committee to consider the memorial proposed by Mr. Sudmeier to end the LCV freeze. Anything done to help trucking would, in turn, help manufacturing.

S 1011

Establish a Motorcycle Safety License Plate Program

Ron Shepard, Coordinator for the Motorcycle Safety Program, Idaho Department of Education, presented S 1011 which would establish a motorcycle safety license plate program. The Skills Training Advantage for Riders (STAR) program was created in 1996 and has grown 469% or an average of 38% per year with no increase in the base funding. Since its inception the STAR program has trained over 7,200 Idahoans to ride motorcycles safely and/or improve their skills. Since the program began, fatalities have decreased 66%. $25 of the initial fee and $15 of each renewal fee for the purchase of license plates will be deposited in the motorcycle safety program fund. The license plate will be displayed on automobiles not on motorcycles.

Motion Senator Marley moved that S 1011 be sent to the floor with a Do Pass recommendation. The motion was seconded by Senator McWilliams and approved by voice vote. Senator Calabretta voted "no."
S 1054 Highways/Bridges; revise definition of "expenditure"

Stuart Davis, Executive Director, Idaho Association of Highway Districts,

presented S 1054 which would exclude from the definition of "expenditure" personal service contracts. It will allow highway districts the ability to enter into personal service contracts based on competence and qualifications rather than lowest bid. There would not be a fiscal impact. When questioned about people being shut out because they are not on a "preferred list,"

Mr. Davis did not believe it would keep anyone from being on such a list. This method would streamline the process. It is often used in right-of-way acquisitions. "Personal services" is not defined in Idaho Code per se but it would include services like land acquisitions, or accounting or legal services but it excludes architects and engineers. Some Committee members expressed concern that it might eliminate fair business practices.

Mr. Davis indicated he would like the bill held until the next meeting so he can have a representative from the Ada County Highway District speak to those areas of concern.

Motion Senator Morley moved that S 1054 be held until the next meeting on Tuesday, February 11, 2003. The motion was seconded by Senator McWilliams and approved by voice vote.
S 1055

S 1052

Unanimous
Consent Request

Highway Districts; grammatical/procedural corrections

Establish an Idaho Boy Scout License Plate Program

On request by Chairman Ingram, granted by unanimous consent,
S 1055 and S 1052 will be held until the next meeting on Tuesday, February 11, 2003.

Adjourn The meeting adjourned at 3:05 p.m.




DATE: February 11, 2003
TIME: 1:30 pm
PLACE: Room 426
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Ingram, Vice Chairman Keough, Senators Geddes, Brandt, Little, Bailey, McWilliams, Marley, Calabretta
MEMBERS ABSENT/

EXCUSED:



None
Senator Calabretta moved that the minutes of Thursday, February 6, 2003, be approved as written. The motion was seconded by Senator Bailey and carried by voice vote.
Gubernatorial Confirmation to Aeronautics Advisory Board

A hearing to reappoint Robert Hoff to the Aeronautics Advisory Board was held Thursday, February 6, 2003.

Motion Senator Keough moved that the Senate Transportation Committee recommend that the Senate confirm the Gubernatorial reappointment of Robert Hoff of Idaho Falls, Idaho, to the Aeronautics Advisory Board for a term commencing January 31, 2003, and expiring January 31, 2008. The motion was seconded by Senator Brandt and carried by voice vote.
Presentation Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)

Steve Allred, Director of DEQ, introduced Jess Byrne who assisted him with the powerpoint presentation and Steve West, the new manager of DEQ's Air Quality Program.

Federal regulations and laws are difficult for DEQ's Air Quality to deal with. Federal law tends to be reactive and not to deal with problems until such time as it is past the point of taking corrective actions. State law is more productive because it allows proactive actions to be taken. Idaho works with local units of government, cities and counties, to try to put in place air quality measures that are workable. These issues are very important because the federal government withholds federal highway funding when standards are not met.

He discussed some of the federal regulations and some of the challenges that Idaho is facing. The federal ambient air quality standards cover 7 criteria (pollutants); these are federal standards that must be met under the Clean Air Act. Idaho does not enforce federal law. So far, state law has been deemed to be sufficient to substitute for federal law. EPA delegates the authority to monitor at the state level as long as Idaho meets the requirements of the state implementation plan which includes laws and regulations. Because Idaho has had some non-attainment areas, federal requirements can include 1) extensive monitoring for ambient background and individual sources, 2) stringent permits for industrial facilities, 3) expensive plans and modeling to show control measures and contingencies to achieve and maintain attainment, and 4) transportation control measures. Transportation conformity is required (Section 176(c) of the Clean Air Act) in non-attainment areas to ensure that federally supported highway and transit projects adhere to Air Quality Improvement Plans.

Another concern is ozone. When there is a combination of chemcials and high heat it forms ozone and last year in the Boise area the levels were exceeded. A series of violations could cause a non-attainment for ozone and, once that happens, it is very difficult to get out of that designation.

PM 2.5 and ozone are significant health impacts. When an area goes into non-attainment, the federal government imposes requirements which can include sanctions prescribed in the Clean Air Act; they do two things. The first is to impose limits on highway funds through conformity which means it could require that every road project be reviewed to determine whether it will adversely affect the non-attainment area, and if it does, federal highway funds cannot be used. Secondly, it also impacts industries because it can double requirements for the industries to operate in non-attainment areas. Either one of these can have a significant economic impact on the non-attainment area. Mr. Allred said he was not aware of any location in the United States that was able to get out of non-attainment for ozone once that designation was applied. If the national air quality ambient standards on the gauges are exceeded for a selected number of times, the area is classified as non-attainment. To get out of that determination, an area must be in attainment for a long period of time. Idaho is facing a serious situation but with an aggressive, comprehensive program at both state and local levels, things can be done to keep from going into non-attainment status, which in turn, will keep Idaho from losing federal funds for the maintenance and building of roads. Ozone is not the only area to be affected but is certainly a primary one.

In the future non-attainment areas will be designated by airshed. If Boise were to be designated a non-attainment area, it is Mr. Allred's belief that it would affect the whole Treasure Valley including Ada and Canyon Counties as well as those activities that affect the airshed even outside those counties (including Ontario and perhaps Nyssa).

The Clean Air Act uses the highway funds as a sanction. He feels it will not be land or water that limits growth in the Treasure Valley but the air quality. If EPA were to determine the Treasure Valley to be in non-attainment, Mr. Allred believes that most industries would look elsewhere and a doubling of requirements could occur, so it would have a huge economic impact. DEQ is working actively with COMPASS and local governments to help them design programs to deal with current issues so the gauges do not determine the status.

In north Idaho, Mr. Allred is concerned about the area around Spokane and Coeur d'Alene. It is similar to what is happening in the Treasure Valley regarding air quality. DEQ gives local governments and chambers of commerce information so they can make wise choices in taking proactive action. If non-attainment occurs, regulation moves from local to state to federal oversight.

The Committee would like information from DEQ on what is happening outside of Idaho­how other areas are working on these problems.

Mr. Allred also discussed statewide issues relating to ground water. There are many influences on ground water and, unfortunately, there has been considerable deterioration in ground water. It has been affected by septic tanks, fertilizer applications (nitrogen), landfills, livestock, leaking or inadequate sewer systems, etc. To deal with ground water issues, people need to be mobilized, much like what is being done with air quality. In Twin Falls, Burley and the Boise areas safe drinking water standards (particularly for nitrates) have been exceeded. In some areas there is also concern with biological contamination. There is a very comprehensive ground water law which provides that resources must be protected. It will require developing extensive plans and then implementing them. Most nitrogen exceedences are in rural areas. In urbanized areas the water is drinkable because there are centralized systems but in rural areas there are individual wells.

When one looks at transportation issues relating to ground water, runoff from roads, waste water, etc. must be dealt with actively. It is a statewide problem and cannot be solved by dealing with a single source. In the future, the problem will occupy a lot more time and attention and take years to solve. DEQ offered to brief the Committee on the runoff issue later this legislative session.

A copy of Mr. Allred's powerpoint presentation is held in the Senate Transportation office.

S 1052 Establish a Boy Scout License Plate Program

Senator Bunderson presented S 1052 which allows people to make a free will offering to support areas of interest to them. This program will benefit the four Idaho Boy Scout councils made up of over 34,000 scouts and over 18,000 leaders. The license plates can be purchased for $30, $20 of which will be deposited to the respective boy scout council in which the selling county is located. Boy Scout councils whose boundaries extend outside of Idaho must use the funds in Idaho.

Motion Senator Brandt moved that S 1052 be sent to the floor with a Do Pass recommendation. The motion was seconded by Senator Marley and carried by voice vote.
S 1054 Highways/Bridges; revise the definition of "expenditure"

Stuart Davis, Executive Director, Idaho Association of Highway Districts, said his association represents 64 highway districts and over 12,000 miles of secondary roads. The discussion on S 1054 continues from the last meeting because there were some unanswered questions. Mr. Davis introduced Steve Price who is General Counsel for Ada County Highway District.

Steve Price, General Counsel for the Ada County Highway District, explained more fully the definition of "expenditure." In Idaho Code Section 40-901 and 906 relating to the competitive bid process sets the parameters highway districts must use in the competitive bid process. It states that expenditures in excess of $5,000 up to $25,000 require the district to take the lowest of three bids regardless of the person's or company's qualifications. Cities and counties are provided the opportunity to exclude "personal services" from the expenditure definition. He referred to wording in Idaho law relating to cities (I.C. Section 50-341) and counties (I.C. Section 31-4002) wherein it states that disbursement of funds for "personal services" are excluded from the definition of "expenditure" in the competitive bid process. This legislation is to afford the highway districts the same opportunity. Per a decision from the Idaho Supreme Court, to be exempt from technical bidding requirements, "personal services" was interpreted as "requiring special skill or technical learning." This would allow the highway districts to not only get the best bid but to also take into consideration the person's qualifications which will allow the district to get the best cost as an agency. This would not exclude others from the opportunity of bidding because personal service needs are posted on an agenda as a "consent" items so other competitors could present their case.

Motion Senator McWlliams moved that S 1054 be sent to the floor with a Do Pass recommendation. The motion was seconded by Senator Brandt and carried by voice vote. Senators Calabretta and Marley were recorded as voting "no."
S 1055 Highway Districts; grammatical and procedural changes

Stuart Davis, Executive Director, Idaho Association of Highway Districts, explained that S 1055 is a housekeeping measure to clean up several conflicts in Idaho Code regarding highway districts. Reference to the disposal of highway district property is deleted from the county law and clarified in the highway district section. The bill amends Section 40-1308 to correct a previous deletion in Idaho Code on the ability to pay for legal actions, judgments, and emergencies and it clarifies the procedure for disposing of property over $5,000 in value and restricts employees and their families from having a personal interest in property to be sold. It also grants highway districts the same power as cities to purchase items at public auction; it changes the requirement for highway districts to publish proposed commissioner salaries from the provisions of Title 40-206 and replaces it with the requirement that the proposed salary shall be printed as a separate line item in the annual budget. Finally, the legislation allows highway district commissioners from a countywide highway district the option to establish their salaries in accordance with I.C., Title 40, Chapter 13.

Motion Senator Keough moved that S 1055 be sent to the floor with a Do Pass recommendation. The motion was seconded by Senator Bailey and carried by voice vote.
S 1044 Allow Use of Fed Form W-7 to obtain driver's license if no SS#

Jessica Fry, representing Idaho Citizens Action Network, explained that S 1044 would simplify the process of applying for a driver's license if a person is not eligible for a social security number. The proposed bill will allow a person to use a Federal Form W-7, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for a driver's license. The proposed bill is modeled after Utah's legislation passed in 1999 and is in response to the thousands of working immigrants in Idaho who are currently barred from obtaining a driver's license. These people are working, paying taxes, raising families, and driving in Idaho. In the U. S., 22 states currently have no immigration-related requirements. Federal law does not require states to deny drivers' licenses to individuals who do not have social security numbers; it just requires that if they do have social security numbers, they must report them. Issuing a driver's license is a state government function and there is no federal statute that requires states to impose immigration-related requirements for obtaining a driver's license. An opinion from the former Attorney General's office stated there is no federal law that would keep Idaho from issuing drivers' licenses regardless of the applicant's immigration status. Federal law does not prohibit the use of an ITIN for purposes other than filing tax returns; it was created by the IRS to provide a numerical identifier for those taxpayers who are not eligible for social security numbers.

There has been some opposition to using the ITIN by a group known as the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) who are working for a national identification card. Making the ITIN available for use to obtain a driver's license for those who do not have social security numbers would make our roads and communities safer. It would be a tool for law enforcement and would also assure that people could be tested for their knowledge and skills for driving.

When asked by the Committee if it would allow those who are in the United States illegally to drive, Ms. Fry replied that it would allow those with undetermined status to get a driver's license when they are probably already driving. She said further that it would mean those who cannot prove their status to the government would be able to legally drive.

There are five other states that use an ITIN; Idaho is the only state in the northwest that has an immigration requirement. Sometimes those who are here illegally do not have any form of identification and it can become a hindrance to effective law enforcement. Law enforcement could use this as a tool. It would allow people to have insurance coverage on their vehicles.

Gary Brown, Sheriff of Boise County representing the Idaho Sheriffs Association, spoke in opposition to S 1044 because these are illegal people who are in our country. Terry Derden with the U. S. Attorney's office has told the Idaho Sheriffs Association that it is illegal for county sheriffs to issue a driver's license to a person who is in the United States illegally. Mr. Brown does not have Mr. Derden's comments in writing. Idaho is the only state in the nation where the driver's license is issued by the county sheriff. This issue is a concern to Homeland Security because a driver's license is used for many things, not just to drive a vehicle; it is used to get on an airplane, etc. If you give drivers' licenses to people who are illegally in the United States, it would open other doors for them.

Erik Johnson, an attorney and Co-Chair for Idahoans for Farmworker Justice, spoke in support of S 1044. He was aware of Mr. Derden's comments and tried to contact him; they exchanged e-mails. Mr. Derden suggested Erik contact the IRS and then contact the INS. The U. S. Attorney's office has not issued an opinion to date stating that a sheriff would be prosecuted for issuing a driver's license to an undocumented person. Mr. Johnson feels there is no legal basis for that statement which he has explained in detail in a letter held in the Senate Transportation office. The law requires a direct causal connection between the act that the sheriff is committing and knowingly encouraging a specific alien to come knowing that he is undocumented. Criminal law is very specific and it does not provide a basis for some general inducement like providing a driver's license. State and local governments can provide public benefits to undocumented people without any sanction from the federal government. One can make the argument that Idaho should not offer a driver's license to someone who is in the country illegally. Mr. Johnson's counters the argument with the fact that people are here and they are here in great numbers­some 10 to 20 million by various estimates. They need to be able to get drivers' licenses and insure their vehicles so the issues of safety are addressed. Nothing in this proposed legislation precludes INS from deporting people even if they are issued drivers' licenses because federal immigration law takes precedence over state law. This proposed bill would only allow them to drive, it does not give them any status to be in the country.

When asked if there was any way to check/verify an ITIN the answer was negative. The system social security has does not exist within the IRS.

Sam Byrd, Executive Director, Idaho Migrant Council, spoke in support of S 1044. There are social reasons to support this bill; people need to remember where they came from­their roots. This issue is a states rights issue. This is an issue that will not be solved by the Legislature. People want to go to work, they are driven­they want to make a better life for their families. Opportunity is a magnet to come to this country and to carve out a better life. Hispanic Immigrants are dependable. They make up the majority of the agricultural work force and many of them work in nurseries, construction, the meat processing industry, etc.­those both documented and undocumented. With regard to Idaho, many constituents need this law so they can get to their jobs and also meet their familial responsibilities. There are chiefs of police who will support this bill. This bill will provide driving privileges and it will get the sheriffs' offices and anyone issuing drivers' licenses out of the business of having to play the INS. I believe people who are in this country should be documented. Child support could be collected, taxes could be paid. When people are not tracked the taxpayers pay. This bill would allow privileges for driving while at the same time not impacting what can happen to these individuals in terms of their legal status in the United States. It makes economic sense for Idaho to be able to track those individuals who are residents in various communities. It would honor those individuals who are the backbone of this state in terms of the labor they provide.

Mo Detmar, Administrator for the Division of Motor Vehicles, Idaho Transportation Department, said the general purpose of the driver's license is to test an individual's knowledge of driving law and skill. Based on that limitation, ITD would be neutral but the problem is the driver's license or identification card (they are the same) becomes the first line of defense and detection of ID fraud. His department has a great deal of difficulty in working with foreign documents but they are successful.

This can become a national security issue. It is Mr. Detmar's understanding that the ITIN is unverifiable and if it is used to replace a social security number, it would help illegal aliens blend into society and never have to deal with the INS. What that means is once people have drivers' licenses issued by any state, they can buy homes, drive vehicles, and get insurance. He sympathizes with people who need those things but the driver's license is the key to society today. Mr. Detmar believes this change, however intended, has a chance to erode national security efforts and may subject Idaho's drivers' licenses to criticism as a weak link in the country. As an example, because Utah accepts ITIN documents, the state of Arizona will not honor reciprocity. That sets us all up. As long as legal precedence is required, and if legal precedence is not proven and the ITIN is not verifiable, Idaho will have problems. Today Idaho verifies electronically--one of the first states to verify social security numbers. Electronic verification has done a great deal for Idaho citizens; many social security numbers, names and transmission problems have been corrected by the verification process. The verification process has been very helpful in proving a person's identity which is a requirement for legal presence. States are getting tougher on this issue per the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL). One last point, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), on whose Board Mr. Detmar sits, does not favor national ID cards.

The hearing on S 1044 will continue on Thursday, February 13, 2003.

Adjourn The meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m.




DATE: February 13, 2003
TIME: 1:30 pm
PLACE: Room 426
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Ingram, Vice Chairman Keough, Senators Brandt, Bailey, McWilliams, Marley, and Calabretta
MEMBERS ABSENT/

EXCUSED:



Senators Geddes and Little
Senator Calabretta moved that the minutes of Tuesday, February 11, 2003, be approved as written. The motion was seconded by Senator Bailey and carried by voice vote.
Presentation Ethanol

Russ Hendricks, Idaho Farm Bureau Federation, expressed appreciation for the opportunity his group was given to explain how ethanol can be a vital tool in cleaning the air as well as providing for rural economic development in Idaho. He spoke about air quality issues and touched briefly on other positive impacts of growing and producing ethanol in the state.

Ethanol is an ethyl alcohol derived usually from grain although it can also be made from anything containing sugars or starches including potatoes, sugar beets, wood waste, straw and other crop residues, whey, and a variety of other renewable resources. Ethanol is 35% oxygen in its chemical makeup (C2H5OH) whereas gasoline contains no oxygen. The increase in combustible oxygen allows for a more complete burn of the fuel so it reduces emissions. It is also much higher in octane than gasoline which allows refineries to scale back on the amount of aromatics to keep octane within the same grade of gasoline using an ethanol blend. (This is the entire basis of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) oxygenated fuel program used by more than 30 major metropolitan areas to reduce carbon monoxide and ground level ozone.) Studies show that using a 10% ethanol blend will reduce carbon monoxide by up to 30% and will also significantly reduce volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxides, PM10 and other toxic emissions. In addition, ethanol will give immediate results­the minute ethanol blended gasoline is used, the reduction in emissions begins.

Idaho consumes 600 million gallons of gasoline annually which is imported since Idaho does not have any oil production facilities. If Idahoans were to use 10% ethanol in gasoline, they would use 60 million gallons less imported fuel. The Energy Division of Idaho Department of Water Resources recently commissioned a study to determine the feasibility of doing just that. The study found that there is conservatively the potential to produce around 100 million gallons of ethanol using only 25% of the state's current grain production. This would provide millions of dollars in state and local taxes, create hundreds of good paying jobs, and would provide additional markets for local crops, which in turn, would provide additional income for Idaho's farmers. Ethanol can provide a win-win situation by cleaning the air and providing for rural economic development within the state.

He used the Minneapolis-St. Paul area as an example of an EPA declared non-attainment area. In 1992 they implemented an oxygenated fuel program which required all fuel sold in a 10-county metropolitan area to contain 10% ethanol. They soon realized they could build their own ethanol plants which would add value to their crops and provide additional jobs and tax revenues in rural areas. In 1997 Minnesota's legislature passed a law requiring all gasoline sold statewide to contain 10% ethanol. Minnesota has not been in violation of clean air standards since the inception of the program in 1992 and has since come off the non-attainment list. They have been able to abolish their auto emissions program because they now have a cleaner burning fuel. Last fall Mr. Hendricks visited ethanol plants in Minnesota and South Dakota. All of the money from ethanol production stays in the local areas and benefits the rural economy. The plants are clean, low impact, and environmentally friendly facilities and have brought new life to rural areas.

Mr. Hendricks introduced two other speakers involved in proposed ethanol plants in Idaho. Brad Frazee is working with a group to build a plant in the Magic Valley and John Hamilton is working with another group to build a plant in Payette County.

Brad Frazee, General Manager, Ethanol Division, Intrepid Technology and Resources, Inc., from Idaho Falls, gave a brief powerpoint presentation on what is happening with ethanol across the United States, and why his company sees potential in developing ethanol facilities in Idaho. The Clean Air Act requires extra oxygen in gasoline because it improves tailpipe emissions. In the past 10 years MTBE, a petroleum derivative, was used as an oxygenator but has been banned in 14 states because it can be a water contaminate. The only replacement material available today is ethanol because it has the same combustion characteristics. Demand for ethanol is expected to triple in the next decade­it has doubled in the last five years. In 1973, the U.S. was importing 30% of its oil from overseas; today the U.S. imports 60%. Every barrel of ethanol produced means two less barrels of crude oil coming into the country. Today ethanol is only supplied by midwestern states with over 60 plants in operation. Idaho's two small plants, owned by the J. R. Simplot Company, are only one-tenth the size of single plants in other states.

Mr. Frazee believes Idaho has the production capacity; the beef and dairy cattle can take the secondary product (spent grain), there is a multi-crop basis, good rail access and truck routes (to haul cattle feed), and natural gas supply. With the next generation of technology (cellulose-based technology), plant emissions will be more efficient because they can take straw and other products and convert them to ethanol. Straw that normally is burned in the fields could be burned in the plants. The secondary product will then be lignon, not cattle feed. The lignon is a coal-like material with almost no sulfur or nitrogen and the lignon can be burned to produce the plant's own power needs and the excess renewable energy can be sold. He briefly discussed the benefits of ethanol. He mentioned the Minneapolis and Denver areas which were once in non-attainment status and now experience cleaner air. Today about half of Idaho's ethanol comes from the two Simplot plants and the other half is imported from Wyoming.

John Hamilton, Manager, Treasure Valley Renewable Resources,

explained his company is composed of a group of farmer-owned people who have formed a limited liability company in the pursuit of developing ethanol. The plant they are designing will utilize barley, wheat and corn which is locally grown in a six-county area; the size of the plant is 16 million gallons. They will not have as much cattle feed to sell because they are taking the value added content out of the product before ethanol is produced. Their products will be not only ethanol, but CO2 (which will be captured and sold), certain starches, protein that will go to aquaculture and some protein for human consumption, plus fiber. The concept is to take everything out prior to the ethanol process so that just starch or corn will be fed into the ethanol process.

The second area they are engineering is bio-diesel. It will be a blend of bio-diesel which is generated from vegetable oil and in the end process, ethanol will be used to make the bio-diesel. There could be several government and school fleets using bio-diesel. When a bushel of grain (corn, wheat, or barley) is put through the ethanol process, the result is about one-third ethanol and one-third CO2. Today in Idaho CO2 is railed in from California because of the plant closing in Pocatello, so there is a market for it.

Through an SBA rural development grant which the LLC matched, funds are available to begin preliminary engineering, site plans, etc. Treasure Valley Renewable Resources will go before the Payette County Planning and Zoning Commission tonight to begin the first step in the process.

Tracy Walton, a former Idaho senator and farmer from Emmett who is involved in the Treasure Valley Renewable Resources, LLC, said his group is committed to adding value to local grain crops, stimulate the regional economy, and help Idaho become less dependent on foreign oil supplies. One of his concerns as a farmer is if they produce this bio-diesel ethanol product where are they going to sell it. Farmers have several mandates but one that bothers him is that Shell, Chevron, and Texaco will not allow any of their Idaho stations to sell ethanol or bio-diesel. Perhaps there needs to be a mandate requiring state vehicles to use ethanol the first year and then expand the law to include others. Spokane mandates the use of ethanol, so Texaco, Shell and Chevron do use ethanol in their gasoline in that area. In 2006, sulfur has to be removed from diesel and it can be replaced with 2% bio-diesel. It is estimated that the Payette County facility would produce between $300,000 to $400,000 in property taxes annually.

S 1044 (Hearing continued from Tuesday, February 11, 2003)

Allow Use of W-7 ID Form to obtain Driver's License

Jessica Fry, representing the Idaho Citizens Action Network, introduced Julie Chinitz, a staff attorney with Northwest Federation of Community Organizations.

Julie Chinitz, an attorney with Northwest Federation of Community Organizations, stated that providing more immigrants with the opportunity to be licensed is the right thing to do for the safety and security of all Idahoans. A driver's license does not make individuals eligible for public benefits and it does not grant them status under federal immigration law. It is a document that shows they have been tested to drive on the roads and it shows their identity. Idaho currently requires applicants for drivers' licenses to prove who they are and this bill will not change that.

She addressed two legal issues regarding S 1044. First, there is the complexity of immigration law. Federal law does not divide non-citizens into those who are legal and those who are illegal. These materials show just a portion of the scores of immigrant and non-immigrant statuses and the ways in which they can be documented. The fact that a person may have improperly entered the country does not mean that he or she does not now have permission to remain in the United States. Determining immigration status is extremely difficult and Idaho's current law puts the staff of sheriffs' departments in a very difficult position and sometimes errors occur. She gave an example of someone born in Bulgaria who could not use her passport as proof of her legal status to apply for a driver's license.

Second, there is no federal legal impediment to S 1044. Congress has had the opportunity to impose immigration-related restrictions on drivers' licenses and has specifically not removed that authority from the states. The idea that federal criminal liability could attach to issuance of driver's licenses in accordance with state law is unfounded. There is no basis for this on the face of the statutes, no basis in the case law, and no basis in the overall structure of federal law relating to non-citizens. (For example, federal law requires state Medicaid agencies to provide emergency medical assistance regardless of immigration status. The idea that federal law would tell employees of the Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) to give Medicaid to a person of unknown immigration status and then hold that DHW employee criminally liable defies logic and the law.)

Would this bill allow some undocumented people to get drivers' licenses? Yes, it would. But who? People coming to Idaho to make better lives for their families. They are the backbone of Idaho's agricultural economy. Denying them drivers' licenses makes no sense.

She said there are some people who are here legally who cannot obtain a driver's license under Idaho's system. There are some immigration statuses that are especially complex. It can also be complex to get a social security number. It is her understanding that a work authorization card does not grant lawful status but shows that a work authorization card allows them to work in the United States. Immigration laws are difficult and cumbersome. She said that Idaho's undocumented population is estimated to be about 19,000 but she is not sure how many of those people are of driving age.

Father Jesus Comacho, a priest serving the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise currently assigned to the state prison and Ada County jail, spoke in support of S 1044. He is an immigrant who has lived in Idaho for 22 years. He asked the Committee to let undocumented workers drive legally. Idaho needs those people. They serve in hotels, restaurants, and in agriculture. Undocumented workers have expertise; they are good farm workers­they love the earth and soil. They have a strong sense of service and loyalty. Idaho needs immigrants. In his 22 years of living here, he has watched Idaho become better, to a great extent because of immigrants who live and work here. They work jobs because they need them but the system denies them the right to drive. Many policymakers condemn the presence of the undocumented people while benefitting from their labor but not recognizing their basic rights.

Mia Crosthwaite, a legislative advisor for the Catholic Church and Catholic Charities in Idaho, talked about moral rather than legal issues relating to S 1044. Most of the people who migrate into this country seek a better life for themselves and their families. It is our duty to care for our neighbors who are everyone who needs us. She does not just think of "Idahoans," or "Americans," but the common good of all people. She quoted a Catholic Bishop who said, "while the Church does not advocate undocumented immigration into the United States, it affirms the human dignity of the undocumented who live within our midst and makes every effort to make sure their basic human needs are met and their human rights are not trampled on." People are being forced into a choice of suffering injustice for their children or breaking the law. The Catholic Church supports S 1044.

George Nourse, Canyon County Sheriff, said every sheriff has a different jurisdiction with a different set of problems. He discussed the situation within his own jurisdiction. The problem he is dealing with involves three areas: courts, incarceration, and immigration. Regarding the courts, the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution gives everybody the right to a trial if they are arrested. Probably less than 5% are given a trial which means there is a 95% trial deficit. Canyon County's courts are no different. Because of pressure coming from prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges, the tendency is to make a deal because there is not money, time or resources to have a trial. The courts are totally overloaded.

The second phase of the problem deals with incarceration. In the U. S. today over 2 million people are incarcerated­more than any other country in the world. Canyon County built a new jail to hold 350 people and it was suppose to be adequate for 20 years; it worked for five years. The old jail was remodeled to give them 100 more beds. Today the jails are overloaded again ­ there are 30 to 40 people sleeping on the floor. At least 22 people are there for suspended license charges. There are an additional 100 people in the work center (those who spend nights in jail and work in the daytime) and probably one-third of them are on suspended license charges. How do people get to work when they leave his jail? He knows they don't ride bikes and they don't walk. He tells his staff not to watch and not to ask questions because he has no room for more people.

The third part of the problem deals with immigration. In the 1960's and 1970's immigration was very active in Canyon County where illegal immigrants were picked up, put on buses and shipped back to Mexico. Sheriff Nourse recalled they shipped about four to six busloads of illegal aliens back to Mexico each week. In the 1980's the practice stopped. In talking to immigration officials who worked on the street, it became politically incorrect to enforce immigration laws; he was told not to do it.

The reality of the situation is that the jails are full and the courts are full. Illegal aliens live in the community and they are not going away. That puts Sheriff Nourse in a dilemma of how to handle the problem. Obviously, if they drive without a license, they will eventually be stopped and arrested, brought to the court and jail systems, and then they go back out on the street where they drive again. Basically, it is a revolving door and they are being cycled through the system. Sheriff Nourse is not dealing with a few illegal aliens driving without licenses ­ he is dealing with a few thousand illegal aliens who drive without licenses. This presents a totally different problem for him than it does for other sheriffs in Idaho. Does he have an answer? No, he does not. When he drives in Mexico, that country recognizes his Idaho driver's license. Something like that might be part of a solution. If people who are here legally have green cards and get a denial from the social security office, they can use their denial letters to get a driver's license. The only people being talked about are those who are in the United States illegally. They make up a significant number of Canyon County's population and they present a very big problem for law enforcement, the courts, and the justice system.

People can be jailed for driving without privileges, it is at the discretion of the sheriff but Sheriff Nourse can only control those who work for him in his jurisdiction. He does not envy the Committee's position of trying to solve these types of social problems.

Representative Wendy Jaquet, from District 25, spoke in support of the legislation so that people who drive can be insured and not put their families in jeopardy. She gave two examples of people who had problems trying to obtain drivers' licenses.

Senator Shawn Keough gave Committee members a copy of the Idaho statute pertaining to election day registration which states that an individual who is eligible to vote may register on election day by appearing in person. One of the things that is accepted to prove residency is an Idaho driver's license or identification card issued by the Idaho Department of Transportation. This issue of making drivers' licenses available to undocumented workers is not simple.

Mike Kane, an attorney and lobbyist for the Idaho Sheriffs Association, said his association does not stand against immigration or any member of society. The legislature decided many years ago that the county sheriffs would be the ones to handle driver's license transactions. In all other states it is handled differently. Last year the Idaho Sheriffs Association was approached with this issue by those sponsoring S 1044. The sheriffs debated the issue and were somewhat divided. The association did not vote on policy. The sheriffs wanted to know if it would be legal for them to issue a license if they have reason to believe a person is an illegal alien ­ were they allowed under federal law to sell a driver's license to that person. When Mr. Kane called the U. S. Attorney's office in Idaho he was told that it was illegal to issue a driver's license in that instance and, further, the sheriff would be committing a crime. The same deputy U. S. Attorney for Idaho came to the Association's December, 2002, meeting and was asked the same question. He responded to the membership the same way. As a lawyer Mr. Kane cannot counsel his clients otherwise. He does not know if the U. S. Attorney would really prosecute a sheriff.

He understands that before the Idaho U.S. Attorney can make a statement in writing, clearance must be received from their Washington, D.C. office. When asked if there was a basis for the response that it would be illegal for a sheriff to issue a driver's license to an illegal alien, he replied that there is a concept of aiding and abetting or assisting in a crime. If a sheriff were to know or have reason to know that he is assisting in that crime, known as misprision of a felony, he could be liable. (In most counties, it would be a sheriff's deputy who would be issuing the driver's license.) The sheriffs run the risk of breaking federal law. Until that issue is solved, the Idaho Sheriffs Association cannot support S 1044.

Unanimous Consent Request

Denied

Chairman Ingram indicated that it has become obvious that the driver's license is a breeder document meaning that when people have a driver's license it affords them many other privileges such as voting, check cashing, home buying, etc. In view of that, Chairman Ingram requested unanimous consent that S 1044 be returned to Committee. Senator Calabretta objected.
Motion Senator Brandt moved that S 1044 be held in Committee at the call of the Chair. Senator Keough seconded the motion which carried by voice vote. Senator McWilliams voted "no."
Additional Testimony Chairman Ingram allowed one more person to testify.

Robert Boester, an immigrant who became a U. S. citizen in 1959, spoke in opposition to S 1044. He has been an American for over 30 years and had to wait for a couple of years to become a citizen. He had a criminal background check, he was fingerprinted, he had to swear that he was not a communist, that he would not try to overthrow the government of the U.S., he had to report his whereabouts every year, and was subject to deportation any time a law was broken. It was hard for him but he did it, all the while obeying the laws of this country. He is astounded that the Committee would even consider making it easier for illegal aliens to obtain drivers' licenses because they have broken immigration laws. He

urged the Committee to reject S 1044. A copy of his testimony is held in the Senate Transportation office.

Committee

Discussion

This issue is more involved than just the issuance of a driver's license. The Committee needs to talk to insurance carriers, the Idaho Transportation Department, the Idaho State Police, the sheriffs and the counties. Chairman Ingram will request a written opinion from the U. S. Attorney for Idaho. All ideas need to be considered. Ultimately, the result must be legal and within the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Idaho.
Adjourn The meeting adjourned at 3:35 p.m.




DATE: February 18, 2003
TIME: 1:30 pm
PLACE: Room 426
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Ingram, Vice Chairman Keough, Senators Geddes, Brandt, Little, Bailey, McWilliams, Marley, Calabretta
MEMBERS ABSENT/

EXCUSED:



None
MINUTES: Senator McWilliams moved that the minutes of Thursday, February 13, 2003, be approved as written. The motion was seconded by Senator Bailey and carried by voice vote.
S 1010 Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility; proof of responsibility
Unanimous Consent Request By unanimous consent, Chairman Ingram requested that S 1010 be returned to Committee to be rescheduled at a later date. The sponsors are working on amendments to the bill.
S 1038 Passenger Safety to Children; 6 yrs. & 60 pounds must be restrained

Jeannette Risch, a private individual, presented S 1038 which would provide that no non-commercial motor vehicle operator shall transport a child under the age of 6 years and who weighs less than 60 pounds unless the child is properly restrained in a car safety seat that meets the requirements of federal motor vehicle safety standard No. 213. The current statute requires children who are 4 years of age and 40 pounds to be restrained in car safety seats. When children graduate into a lap shoulder belt, they do not properly fit into that lap belt until they are 4' 9" tall. If children graduate into the lap belt too early there is a greater risk for injury, particularly head injuries. The economic impact of moving a child from a one-piece safety seat to a seat that allows them to fit in a lap belt is minimal; she bought one recently for $15.00 (it is similar to a booster chair used at the dinner table). She emphasized that if a child is over 6 years of age, the child must still weigh over 60 pounds ­ both criteria must be met. An older child weighing under 60 pounds must be restrained in a safety seat until he/she weighs over 60 pounds.

Nancy Rush, Injury Prevention Coordinator at Central District Health, spoke in support of S 1038 to increase the age/weight criteria to 6 years of age and 60 pounds. The western states of Oregon, Washington, and California have laws with a similar requirement of 6 years and 60 pounds. In response to an inquiry, she suggested if a vehicle does not have the lap belt as well as the shoulder belt, the law needs to be worded to say there would be an appropriate restraint. There are some devices that work with a lap-only belt and a tether restraint that a child can wear up to 100 pounds. For low-income clients, grant funding is available which allows Central District Health to offer car seats for as little as $20.00.

Dr. Jerry Hirschfield, a local pediatrician and the Administrator of St. Luke's Children's Hospital who also represents 110 pediatricians in Idaho and 70,000 members of the American Academy of Pediatricians, spoke in support of S 1038. The leading cause of death in children before the age of 14 is traumatic injury from car crashes. In Idaho, about five children under the age of five die in car crashes each year. About 50% of U. S. children under the age of five are unrestrained; in Idaho there is limited data but that figure is somewhere between 60% and 75%.

Deaths are terrible tragedies but there are many children, hundreds in Idaho, who end up in the hospital, often with permanent disability because of traumatic car crashes because they were unrestrained. Idaho children die in car crashes at twice the rate per population of U. S. children. Idaho's children are less restrained. Car/safety/child restraints decrease the incidents of death by 50% to 75% when used properly. That means in Idaho each year there would be two to three more children under the age of five who would be living and many more children who would be spared the pain and suffering of recovery.

There are three frameworks to consider. The first is engineering which insures that restraint devices have been engineered to be as effective as possible at preventing death and disability. The second important thing is education which is growing in frequency and amount. St. Luke's has an extensive program on prevention and education about car seats. And lastly, sometimes legislation is needed to reinforce to parents and other protectors of children that there is a need to protect children when they are in cars. Children under the age of 6 do not have a choice ­ it is the parents' choice about whether to protect the children. Most parents who start their children in infant seats at birth usually maintain that posture. Please protect the rights of children and reinforce to the parents through legislation the need to restrain children properly by implementing S 1038.

Jo O'Connor, Office of Highway Safety, Idaho Transportation Department, indicated support for S 1038.

Mary Hunter, Office of Highway Safety, Idaho Transportation Department, indicated support for S 1038.

Allyn Dingel, an attorney representing State Farm Insurance on behalf of all insurance companies, spoke in support S 1038. As a trial lawyer, he has represented families whose children became missiles when they were not properly restrained in vehicles. Adults must make the choice for children by supporting S 1038.

Dave Carlson, a public affairs representative for AAA Idaho representing 65,000 Idaho members, spoke in support of S 1038. While there might

be better language to delineate some of the changes his organization supports the bill.

Motion Senator Calabretta moved that S 1038 be sent to the full Senate with a Do Pass recommendation. The motion was seconded by Senator Brandt and approved by voice vote. A "no" vote was recorded for Senator Keough.
S 1039 Motor Vehicles; signage in windshields

Senator Brandt explained that S 1039 is not more restrictive but actually relaxes the law regarding signage in windshields in motor vehicles. The law does allow for signage that would not obstruct the driver's clear view of the highway or any intersecting highway. He used some of the wording in the window tinting statute (IC. 49-944) in this proposed legislation. This legislation, for example, will allow a suburban with signage in the back side windows or a pickup with a "for sale" sign in the back window the same viewing requirements and/or restrictions that a pickup with a camper has.

Motion Senator McWilliams moved that S 1039 be sent to the floor of the Senate with a Do Pass recommendation. The motion was seconded by Senator Bailey and approved by voice vote.
S 1041 Licensing of Vehicle Dealers; examination and continuing education

Doug Gaskell, Executive Director, Idaho Independent Automobile Dealers Association representing 255 members, presented S 1041 which would provide examination and continuing education requirements for licensure of vehicle dealers. A new dealer would have to complete an open-book examination approved by the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD). Upon renewal of a license, the dealer would have to provide certification from an accredited educational institution approved by ITD stating that the dealer satisfied the four-hour continuing education requirement.

Amy Smith, Vehicle Services Manager for the Idaho Transportation Department, indicated both the Department and the Dealer Advisory Board support S 1041.

Bobby Petersen, current Chairman of the Board for the Idaho Independent Auto Dealers Association and owner of Fairly Reliable Bob's in Boise, supports S 1041. He has witnessed first-hand the lack of knowledge in his industry and the need for this legislation. Dealers need to know how to do things right; they need to be educated. This program is simple; it is an open-book examination which will expose dealers to the material they need to know.

Jodi Hoalst, a new independent dealer and a member of the Idaho Independent Auto Dealers Association, supports S 1041 because it will help to legitimize dealers.

Upon questioning, Mr. Gaskell indicated that owners of dealerships are the ones who must take the test and complete the continuing education requirements. The curriculum must be approved by the Idaho Transportation Department and Ms. Smith from ITD who testified earlier said ITD is given authority to promulgate rules.

Kyle Durham, a dealer and member of the Idaho Independent Auto Dealers Association, also spoke in support of S 1041. He indicated that in 2000, the Oregon auto dealers started a similar program which has been very beneficial to their membership; dealer complaints dropped by 45% . In 2001, it was the first time in history the Oregon independent auto dealers had less complaints than franchise dealers. Dealer education is a win-win situation because the dealers end up with more time to sell product because they are dealing with less complaints and the consumers win because they have a better buying experience.

Keri Ballard, an Idaho dealer and member of the Idaho Independent Auto Dealers Association, spoke in support of S 1041.

Motion Senator Marley moved that S 1041 be sent to the Senate floor with a Do Pass recommendation. The motion was seconded by Senator Keough and approved by voice vote. A "no" vote was recorded for Senator Little.
S 1042 Dealer & Manufacturer License Plates; limit number of plates issued

Doug Gaskell, Executive Director, Idaho State Independent Auto Dealers Association (ISIADA), explained that the proposed legislation would limit the number of license plates that a dealer may be issued based on the number of vehicles sold. There appears to be a problem of unauthorized use of dealer plates and this legislation should reduce, among other things, the illegal usage of dealer plates by salesmen working under a dealer's license. The bill would allow two dealer plates for the first twenty vehicles sold during the previous dealer licensing period and one additional dealer plate for each ten additional vehicles sold during the previous licensing period. The bill will also authorize ITD to audit vehicle sales.

Jodi Hoalst, an ISIADA member, spoke in support of S 1042. She indicated that according to the formula in this bill, her dealership would be entitled to 35 dealer license plates which would be more than enough for her dealership's needs.

Amy Smith, Vehicle Services Manager for the Idaho Transportation Department, spoke in support of S 1042. Through the use of computer programs, ITD can track sales without it being a burden to the Department.

Bobby Petersen, a dealership owner and Board Chairman of ISIADA, spoke in support of S 1042 stating that this legislation will reduce the amount of work for ITD because there will be fewer dealer plates.

Motion Senator Marley moved that S 1042 be sent to the Senate floor with a Do Pass recommendation. The motion was seconded by Senator Bailey and approved by voice vote. A "no" vote was recorded for Senator Geddes.
S 1043 Release of Liability upon Sale of Motor Vehicle

Doug Gaskell, Executive Director of the Idaho State Independent Auto Dealers Association, presented S 1043 and explained the reason for the change is to make Idaho Code 49-426 conform with the information needed on the release of liability statement which sellers must send to the Idaho Transportation Department. The bill also provides that an owner who files a release of liability statement will not be liable for subsequent towing, storage, repair or service charges. And further, the proposed bill provides that it is unlawrful for any person to knowingly file a release of liability statement which contains false information.

Amy Smith, Vehicle Services Manager for the Idaho Transportation Department, spoke in support of S 1043. Once the former owners sign a release of liability, they are no longer liable for subsequent charges incurred by the new vehicle owner. Often the charges are for things like service repairs or abandonment which occur after the sale but before the new owner has transferred the title to his/her name.

Motion Senator Geddes moved that S 1043 be sent to the Senate floor with a Do Pass recommendation. Senator Brandt seconded the motion which carried by voice vote. Senators McWilliams and Calabretta voted "no."
S 1053 Size of Vehicles and Loads; combination length not to exceed 115'

Skip Smyser, representing the Idaho Trucking Association, presented

S 1053 and requested that S 1053 be sent to the 14th Order with an amendment attached. Some railroad organizations expressed concern that the federal act referred to in the bill should be specifically stated in the legislation in case the federal government should change language in the federal act. It was not the trucking association's intent to change what is currently allowed for the load limits in Idaho. Over the years, the design of trucks has changed substantially. This proposed bill would allow trucks used in states such as Utah and Montana to be used in Idaho. Again, this bill would not increase the weight or the size of the loads now allowed in existing law.

Allen Frew, Port of Entry, Idaho Transportation Department, said his department reviewed S 1053 and the bill does specify that it is for routes currently approved for 105 feet. His department has analyzed those routes and feels there is not a problem with adding another 10 feet for a total combination length of 115 feet. The bill keeps within the 95 feet requirement for cargo-carrying capacity.

Dave Cunningham, Branch Manager for Yellow Truck, spoke in support of S 1053. Yellow Truck has 3 terminals and 35 employees within the state and over 300 terminals across the U. S. with more than 28,000 employees. This bill would give his company more flexibility with the equipment it has. It would allow Yellow Truck to be more productive and provide better service for Idaho. As his company goes to more conventional sleeper units, the company would not have the flexibility to come into Idaho with triples should this bill not pass. The safety of the conventional sleepers is better than the cabover sleepers. When asked if this tractor would be able to pull 129,000 pounds, he was not sure but acknowledged it is the same tractor that pulls trailers in Montana.

Motion Senator Little moved that S 1053 be sent to the 14th Order with the amendment attached. The motion was seconded by Senator Marley and carried by voice vote. Senators Geddes and Keough voted "no."
S 1064 Notices to Drivers of Motor Vehicles to be sent by First Class Mail

Ed Pemble, Drivers Services, Division of Motor Vehicles, Idaho Transportation Department, introduced S 1064 which will allow driver's license suspension, revocation or disqualification to be sent via first class mail. Current law requires that written notifications be sent by certified mail which was intended to be an effective tool. More often than not, certified mail has been a less effective means of notification because about one-third of the letters are returned due to incorrect addresses and another one-third of the letters are refused because people do not want the bad news. First class mail can be forwarded, certified mail cannot be, and first class mail is not subject to refusal. Including Idaho, there are only 9 states that use certified mail; 35 states use first class mail notification. By changing from the use of certified mail at a cost of $4.00 per item, it is estimated that the Division of Motor Vehicles could save about $240,000 per year.

When asked about proving a case beyond a reasonable doubt if the signed certified mail receipt is not available because the notice was sent by first class mail, Mr. Pemble replied that only one-third of the mailings had signed receipts. He stated further that the Attorney General's office provided the language for this legislation and that office felt the wording was sufficient. He also indicated there is an upgrade within first class mail where, by paying an additional amount of about twenty-five cents, the post office will issue a "certification of mailing." Some committee members were still concerned about a possible violation of due process if it could not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that notification was received. Committee members would like to know how other states handle this problem.

The hearing on S 1064 will be continued to Thursday, February 20, 2003.

Adjourn The meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m.




DATE: February 20, 2003
TIME: 1:30 pm
PLACE: Room 426
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Ingram, Vice Chairman Keough, Senators Geddes, Brandt, Little, Bailey, McWilliams, Marley, Calabretta
MEMBERS ABSENT/

EXCUSED:



None
MINUTES: Senator Bailey moved that the minutes of Tuesday, February 18, 2003, be approved as written. The motion was seconded by Senator Marley and carried by voice vote.
S 1081 Dissolution of Highway Districts

Senator Bunderson introduced S 1081 which would revise the minimum signature requirements for a petition of dissolution of a highway district. It changes the number of electors required to dissolve a highway district from 25 persons to the greater of 25 qualified electors of the district or 20% of those qualified electors who voted in the last election held for highway district commissioners.

Senator McWilliams moved that S 1081 be sent to the Senate floor with a Do Pass recommendation. The motion was seconded by Senator Bailey and carried by voice vote.

Presentation Idaho Associated General Contractors

Jerry Deckard, a lobbyist for the 700-member Associated General Contractors organization, explained that his association represents highway, building and specialty contractors. He introduced Jack Snyder from Western Construction who will present the contractors' perspective on transportation issues in Idaho.

Jack Snyder, a project manager for Western Construction, representing the Associated General Contractors, explained his association's motto is skill, integrity, and responsibility. He said the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is the major overseer of Idaho's transportation system. Idaho has a good highway infrastructure. His company has been a client of ITD's for many years. He briefly referred to a problem a few years ago about complaints from an ex-employee of a testing company who alleged fraud was being perpetrated against ITD. Mr. Snyder does not give credence to those allegations. It is his opinion the contractors in the state of Idaho deliver as good a product as anywhere in the country, due in part, to ITD's stringent specifications. He believes the citizens of Idaho are getting the most for their money on transportation products. His company works with ITD in lobbying Congress for maximum funding to improve Idaho's highway system. The state has strong leadership in funding. Not only do they get the funds they are entitled to under the highway bill but they are also very proactive about receiving demonstration highway funding as well as discretionary funding.

He estimated that probably 70% of Idaho's roads could not be built today under current environmental regulations. It is his understanding that ITD uses some of its funding for positions with agencies like Water Resources and Fish & Wildlife to help ITD move its projects through from conception to development and construction. Even though funding is provided, it seems some agencies come with an agenda that is detrimental to the interests of the citizenry they are paid to represent. Sometimes he wonders whether costs incurred on project development, particularly with environmental issues, produce any real benefit. Some of these circumstances occur because the state is trying to comply with best management practices of EPA's Clean Water Act regarding erosion control. He sometimes questions the cost-benefit ratio on projects but understands that if states takes federal dollars, they must comply with federal regulations.

S 1064 Notices to Drivers of Motor Vehicles by First Class Mail (continued)

Ed Pemble, Drivers Services Manager for the Motor Vehicles Division of the Idaho Transportation Department, continued the discussion on

S 1064 which began on Tuesday, February 18, 2003. The proposed legislation will allow driver's license suspension, revocation or disqualification notices to be sent first class rather than certified mail saving the Department an estimated $240,000 annually. As he stated in the previous meeting, certified mail is ineffective because only one-third of it is delivered.

Tim Thomas, Deputy Attorney General for the Idaho Transportation Department, responded to proof-of-knowledge questions from the previous meeting. Section 18-8001 of Idaho Code does not require proof of actual knowledge by the defendant in a trial. It requires proof of compliance with the statute and the statute requires four things to require knowledge. One is actual knowledge and the other three are an inference of knowledge.

Other states have changed from certified to first class mailings. Mr. Thomas cited the Kansas case of State of Kansas v. Lewis, 935 P.2d 1072 (1997) which referred to U. S. Supreme Court case Mullane v. Central Hanover Bank & Trust Company, 339 US 306 (1950) regarding what is required for due process. The Kansas case stated that a number of states (Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington) have upheld service of notice of license suspension and/or revocation by ordinary mail at the licensee's last known address. The decision concluded that the majority of states have held that sending suspension notices by ordinary mail comports with due process. Such notices reasonably calculated to provide actual notice to the licensee, especially in light of the fact that the above-mentioned states, much like Idaho, require licensees to timely notify the responsible state agency of a change of address. The ruling has been challenged in other states but has been upheld. Idaho Code 49-320 requires that the Idaho Department of Transportation must be notified within 30 days of a change of address.

When asked how a prosecutor goes about proving that the person failed to receive the notice and learn of its contents due to his/her own unreasonable conduct of not reading the notice, he responded that the statute requires it. Currently, when someone signs off on the certificate, it is immediate that they were in possession of the notice. With this proposed legislation the standard would be lowered to first-class mail so the signed certified mail receipt would no longer be required. With this amended language, the prosecutor would only need to prove that a notice was mailed in the ordinary course of business. Case law provides for inference. He cited an Idaho Appeals Court case in State v. Bird wherein it concluded that compliance with statute requirements for notifying the party of a license suspension creates an inference that the party had received the notice and, additionally, that the party has knowledge of the suspension.

Mo Detmar, Administrator for the Motor Vehicle Division, Idaho Transportation Department, spoke in support of S 1064 stating that ITD has been actively working in the current economic downturn to find efficiency measures to help government reduce unnecessary expenditures while still performing their work. It is understood that this change will affect other government entities and their concerns must be weighed in the Committee's deliberations. Sending notices by first-class mail has been successful in 35 other states and ITD believes it will also be successful in Idaho.

Motion Senator Brandt moved, seconded by Senator Keough, that S 1064 be sent to the Senate floor with a Do Pass recommendation. The motion carried by voice vote.
S 1078 Parking for Persons with a Disability; accessible parking spaces

Mike Keithly, representing the Idaho Independent Living Council, presented S 1078 which would provide more accessible parking for Idahoans with disabilities. The legislation would provide one parking space for every 35 spaces of on-street parking available on each downtown street block. The bill would also prohibit anyone parking within the hashmark area. Fines for infractions would increase from $50 to $100. The bill also amends the statute so licensed physician assistants and advanced professional nurses could verify that an applicant's impairment qualifies as a disability; currently only a physician can do that. In addition, any person who unlawfully possesses, sells, copies or distributes placards would be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and/or jail time up to 30 days.

Ken Jones, retired from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and an active participant in drafting this legislation since 1979, spoke in support of S 1078. He also works with the city of Boise on the Disability Action Committee. The proposed legislation requires disability parking signs to be posted adjacent to and visible from each designated parking space. Signs painted on the ground are not always visible when it snows and that has caused some problems in the past. Since he was deputized four years ago to issue citations to those who park illegally, he has never been called into court regarding the $50 fine. S 1078 would strengthen the handicap parking statute and he urged the Committee to send the bill to the floor with a favorable recommendation.

Ron Moran, who has been disabled since 1958 and driving with hand controls since 1963, spoke in support of S 1078. He discussed personal experiences he has had in finding available parking spaces. At times, he has been able to park but could not get out of his vehicle because other vehicles had parked too close; this law would make it illegal to park in the hashmark area.

Charlie Chapin, representing the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) spoke in support of S 1078.

Kate Bell, representing the Association of Idaho Cities, expressed support of S 1078 and explained that Idaho cities have been involved with drafting this legislation.

Steve Rutherford, an attorney employed for the city of Boise, indicated the city has worked on the legislation with many other interested parties. Several issues have been address, the most positive of which, in his opinion, is having a penalty for parking in hashmark areas. He urged the Committee to support S 1078.

Steve Tobiason, representing the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), spoke in support of S 1078. Earlier he had some suggestions regarding criminal penalty language which has been incorporated into the bill. He urged the Committee to support the bill.

Clyde Daley, the State Director for AARP representing 147,000 Idaho members, urged the Committee to send S 1078 to the Senate floor with a do pass recommendation. Restrictions in mobility are frustrating and this legislation attempts to address the most serious situations. When people intentionally disregard the law, they should be held accountable.

Motion Senator Bailey moved that S 1078 be sent to the Senate floor with a Do Pass recommendation. The motion was seconded by Senator Calabretta and carried by voice vote.
S 1079 Local Highway Technical Assistance Council; compensation

Stuart Davis, Executive Director of the Idaho Association of Highway Districts, introduced S 1079 on behalf of cities, counties, and highway districts. The proposed legislation provides that services performed by Local Highway Technical Assistance Council (LHTAC) members may be compensated at a rate not to exceed $100 per day as determined by the members' associations. The Council is made up of 3 county officials, 3 city officials and 3 highway district officials. Those who are full-time employees are not compensated for their service on the Council; part-

time employees' pay would be set by their respective government units. LHTAC meets four times per year.

Motion Senator Keough moved, seconded by Senator Marley, that S 1079 be sent to the Senate floor with a Do Pass recommendation. The motion carried by voice vote.
S 1080 Establish "Killed In Action" License Plate for Veterans' Families

Chairman Ingram requested unanimous consent that S1080 be held until Thursday, February 27, 2003. There were no objections.

S 1044 Allow Use of W-7 to obtain Driver's License if no social security #

(Testimony heard on February 11 and 13, 2003)

Chairman Ingram indicated a letter from Tom Moss, the U. S. Attorney for Idaho, had been received. The letter stated that individuals who are not U. S. citizens who have entered the U.S. without inspection are in violation of federal criminal laws (Title 8, U.S.C., Section 1325). If local law enforcement officers encounter individuals who are in violation of the above-referenced federal criminal statute, the local officers or agencies should contact the Immigration and Naturalization Service. His letter indicated they are committed to enforcing immigration laws and restoring the rule of law to the immigration system and Mr. Moss welcomes the State of Idaho's assistance in pursuing those goals. He further indicated that allowing aliens illegally present in the United States to obtain driver's licenses will make it easier for such aliens to move freely throughout the country. The possession of a driver's license makes it possible for an alien to fraudulently assert U. S. citizenship. A copy of the letter is attached to the minutes.

S 1082 Establish an Idaho White Water Rafting License Plate

Senator Burkett, introduced S 1082 which will establish an Idaho white water rafting license plate program. The money raised from the sale of license plates will be managed and dispensed by the Department of Commerce under the advice of a consulting panel representing white water river communities and the rafting and kayaking industries. Twenty-five dollars of each initial fee and fifteen dollars of each renewal fee will be deposited into the account to be used for the general education and promotion of Idaho's white water rivers and the rafting and kayaking industries.

Jackie Nefzger, owner of Mackay Rivers and representing the Outfitters and Guides association, helped to organize the effort to get a license plate program established so there would be funds to advertise what Idaho has to offer on a national and international level. People in her organization understood they needed the support of all the white water rafting and kayaking community in Idaho which includes outfitters, communities, chambers, businesses and, most of all, the private boating community.

Tom Wilkins spoke on behalf of Salmon Air and the Chambers of Commerce of Salmon, Stanley, Garden Valley, Kooskia, and Riggins. He flies many people into the backcountry and his passengers realize what a treasure the backcountry is and that it is one of the best kept secrets in the United States. Mr. Wilkins said the backcountry industry supports a lot of sub-industries. Outfitters are not the only ones who gain from tourism. Salmon hotels depend on the backcountry industry for 70% to 80% of their business; restaurants, 30% to 40%; and Salmon Air, 35% to 40%. The last few years have been difficult for backcountry businesses. In 2000 there were many fires, in 2001 the water level was extremely low and then came 9/11 which is still affecting their industry. He urged support for S 1082 and said it might be the first step in helping the industry recover from recent hard times.

Troy Cooley who works for Aire Inflatables in Meridian, Idaho, spoke in support of S 1082. His company is the largest manufacturer of inflatable boats in the United States. His company depends on private boaters and outfitters to purchase Aire's products.

Mette Bernvall, who is employed by Idaho River Sports, expressed support for S 1082. Her company, located in Hyde Park in Boise, has been in business for 17 years. They are the largest retailer of kayaks, rafts, and paddle sports in southwestern Idaho. She feels there is a want and a need for a white water license plate in Idaho.

Bill Latta, an attorney for the Idaho White Water Association who is also on the Board of Directors, said the aspect they focused on most was that money from the license plate program could come into the community for safety and awareness education which is needed to avoid preventable deaths. The White Water Association is very enthused about S 1082 and urged the Committee to support the bill. The people involved in the white water industry spend their money in Idaho; this would be a voluntary tax on themselves to support their sport, the rivers, and industries.

Bill Sedivy, Executive Director of Idaho Rivers United, also spoke in support of S 1082. His organization's main mission is to protect and restore the rivers of Idaho but their mission also calls on them to support the various communities that depend on Idaho rivers. His group believes that S 1082 will be good for Idaho's rural economies as well as the various industries, manufacturing, service, and tourism that depend on Idaho's rivers for their livelihood.

Ron Moore, representing the Idaho Western Whitewater Association comprised primarily of jet power boat operators, spoke in opposition to

S 1082. His association has over 500 members. Jet boat manufacturing, purchases, operations, boat registrations and other associated items account for millions of dollars of revenue each year to Idaho. His group feels S 1082 is misplaced and not in the best interest of the white water community because 1) white water is not associated only with rafting and kayaking, 2) thousands of people from out of state take jet boat tours throughout the state, 3) the proposed bill designates funds to be used not only to promote white water rivers but the rafting and kayaking industries, and 4) the bill appears to benefit a select few Idaho outfitters and guides

and his association feels the jet boat industry should be included. A copy of his testimony is held in the Senate Transportation office.

Motion Senator Brandt moved that S 1082 be sent to the Senate floor with a Do Pass recommendation. The motion was seconded by Senator Marley and carried by voice vote.
Adjourn The meeting adjourned at 3:15 p.m.




DATE: February 25, 2003
TIME: 1:30 pm
PLACE: Room 426
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Ingram, Vice Chairman Keough, Senators Geddes, Brandt, Little, Bailey, McWilliams, Marley, Calabretta
MEMBERS ABSENT/

EXCUSED:



None
MINUTES: Senator Bailey moved that the minutes of Thursday, February 20, 2003, be accepted as written. The motion was seconded by Senator Marley and carried by voice vote.
Gubernatorial

Hearing

Gubernatorial Appointment to the Idaho Transportation Board

Monte C. McClure has been reappointed, subject to confirmation by the Senate, to the Idaho Transportation Board for a term commencing January 31, 2003 and expiring January 31, 2009. Mr. McClure, the owner of Owyhee Construction, Inc., resides in Meridian, Idaho, and has been a member of the Board since 1995. He has been involved in the construction industry for over 45 years and his company is involved in all aspects of the construction industry with particular emphasis on underground utilities and trenchless technology. He also owns McClure Enterprises, a development consulting and project management firm. Additionally, he is the controlling partner in Sigma Land Company, LLC, which specializes in the development of residential and commercial subdivisions and buildings. He is a past president of the Associated General Contractors and is currently on the Chapter Board of Directors and is the National Director from Idaho.

Motion Senator Keough moved that the Senate Transportation Committee recommend that the Senate confirm the gubernatorial appointment of Monte C. McClure of Meridian, Idaho, to the Idaho Transportation Board for a term commencing January 31, 2003 and expiring January 31, 2009. The motion was seconded by Senator Bailey and carried by voice vote.
H 104 Multi-State Highway Transportation Agreement (MHTA)

Representative Wood, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, introduced H 104 which will amend Idaho Code, Section 49-1901 to provide changes to the agreement mutually agreed upon by the participating jurisdictions made up of the 10 western states. The proposed bill would revise Article I - Findings and Purposes by deleting some redundant language and including additional language to facilitate communications between legislators, agencies, and industry. Because of organizational changes on how business is conducted, in Article II the definition of a "cooperating committee" was changed with the help of the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL). Article IV clarifies representation on the cooperating committee, revises existing powers, and provides for additional powers. Article IX is a new section regarding funding. Article X is also new and relates to the selection of designated representatives. She clarified that each designated representative has one vote. Idaho would have a total of two votes - one vote for the House Transportation Chairman and one vote for the Senate Transportation Chairman.

Concern was expressed by the Committee that designated representatives could, in fact, be people other than legislators. Mr. Detmar suggested that designated representatives could assign proxies. Chairman Wood confirmed that by participating in the agreement, representatives are authorized to execute the Multi-State Highway Transportation agreement, and therefore Idaho agrees, as a state, to everything in the agreement.

Alan Frew, Port of Entry for the Idaho Transportation Department, responded to a question about the following formula (known as Bridge Formula B) W = 500 ((LN/N-1) + 12N + 36) and explained that the top weight the formula would translate to would be a maximum allowable gross weight which, in Idaho, would be 105,500 pounds.

Paul Sudmeier, Executive Director of the Idaho Trucking Association, said MHTA is a very important and unique organization because there is representation from legislators, agencies and industry. The work product that comes from that cross-section is very useful. This amendment has been enacted in 8 of the 10 western states involved. The substantive significance of this amendment, in his opinion, is in the expansion of the scope of the work of this organization in emerging issues such as uniform emission testing, intelligent transportation systems, and boutique fuels.

Mr. Sudmeier was asked how many states are required to adopt the amendment before it takes effect. He responded by saying MHTA is already operating under these rules, and so far, Idaho has been allowed to participate even without adopting these amendments. He believes the only way Idaho would not be included is for the state to take steps to disassociate itself as a participant.

Skip Smyser, an attorney representing the Idaho Trucking Association, said he felt it was beneficial for him to be involved in MHTA when he served as Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. He believes it is important to have interchange through MHTA with neighboring states. Very few Idaho products are totally consumed in Idaho, so interstate commerce is important. If Idaho does not participate, it would be missing an opportunity.

Representative Wood was asked to recap MHTA's history regarding NCSL's assisting in rewriting the bylaws. She explained that when the previous Executive Director died, some organization members began to question how MHTA operated because many things had changed since its inception, so the members agreed to pay NCSL $15,000 to obtain lawful, quality operating procedures. Last year, the House voted to pass the legislation but the Senate did not.

Senator Geddes expressed concern that even though the legislation did not pass the Senate last year, Idaho still participated in the program. He felt the Committee should proceed with caution and questioned what legislation actually means when it is passed by one body and not by the other body and yet Idaho still participates in an organization and function as if it were approved.

Representative Wood said according to Idaho Code, Idaho is still a participating member. The Code requires Idaho to seek Congressional approval of the compact. If Idaho does not do that, it could be criticized for non-compliance. This amendment would allow Idaho to comply with the law.

Motion Senator McWilliams moved that H 104 be sent to the floor of the Senate with a Do Pass recommendation. The motion was seconded by Senator Calabretta. Senator Geddes requested a roll call vote.
Roll Call Vote: Ayes: Senators Ingram, Bailey, McWilliams, Calabretta

Nays: Senators Keough, Geddes, Brandt, Little

Absent: Senator Marley (when the roll call was taken)

On a 4-4 vote, the motion died and H 104 will be held in Committee.

H 103 Class D Motor Vehicle Driver's License; Night Driving under 16

Representative Wood introduced H 103 which amends existing law to allow a person under 16 years of age who holds a valid Class D driver's license to drive after dark if the person is accompanied by another person who holds a valid driver's license and is 21 years of age or older and is occupying the seat beside the licensee under 16 years of age, and the two licensed drivers are the only occupants of the front passenger section of the vehicle. Currently, the law is inconsistent because it allows 15 year old people to obtain a driver's permit which requires them to have 50 hours of driving time with an adult, 10 of which must be at night. After the course completion and they are still 15 years of age, they are no longer allowed to drive at night until they turn 16 years of age.

Austyn Lewis, a student from Middleton High School, completed driver's training when she was still l5. She received her license so she was able to drive without restriction during daylight hours but for six months she could no longer drive at night because she was not 16. She feels she would be a better driver if she would have been able to drive at night for the last 6 months. She turned 16 two weeks ago. H 103 will allow young people to gain more night driving experience as long as they have a licensed adult in the front seat.

Bob Wells, representing the Oregon-Idaho American Automobile Association (AAA), spoke in support of H 103. His organization was instrumental in getting the graduated driver's license bill passed. This bill will create a safe environment for people to learn. The number one problem in young people driving today is the lack of experience and this bill will give them that opportunity.

Mo Detmar, Administrator of the Motor Vehicles Division, Idaho Transportation Department, expressed ITD's support for H 103 because it will give continued experience to young drivers.

Other students who supported H 103 were Lindsey Peterson, Marcus Ellis, and Melisa Lokken.

Motion Senator Keough moved that H 103 be sent to the Senate floor with a Do Pass recommendation. The motion was seconded by Senator Geddes and carried by voice vote.
S 1010 Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility; required to show proof

Ed Pemble, Drivers Services Manager for the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), introduced S 1010. In the event of certain driving convictions and driver's license suspensions, proof of financial responsibility is necessary for driver's license reinstatement. Proof is reported on Form SR-22 to ITD by the driver's insurance company wherein they confirm that insurance has been secured for all of the driver's vehicles. Insurance companies also notify the Department if insurance has been cancelled or changed. Driving privileges are resuspended if a cancellation is reported within the period for which proof of financial responsibility is required.

Current law has not been fully implemented because the tools to do so have never been in place. The Department has relied on the registrant's self-certification on the registration form. To implement existing law, the Department would need a system to collect driver's license numbers for each and every vehicle owner on vehicle registrations and refuse to issue or renew registrations for anyone who failed to report the information to ITD. Vehicle information would also need to be entered on the driver record. To accommodate this extra information and functionality, it would require a rewrite of the vehicle registration system and the drivers system estimated to cost $4 million to entirely rebuild both systems. This bill removes the need for vehicle driver cross-checking and allows existing programs to remain in place. There may be undue exposure to liability which is the underlying reason ITD is proposing this legislation.

There is an amendment proposed by the insurance industry that would limit the changes proposed with this legislation for a period of six years and reinstitute the old language in 2009. The sunset clause would give ITD time and, hopefully, the resources to implement the law.

Motion Senator McWilliams moved, seconded by Senator Brandt, that S 1010 be sent to the 14th Order for amendment. The motion carried by voice vote. Senator Bailey voted "no."
H 138 Farm Vehicles; size and speed

Representative Ridinger, Vice-Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, explained that H 138 applies only on farm-to-farm equipment and provides that limitations as to size of vehicles shall not apply to any trailer not wider than the implement used in the transportation of vehicles for agricultural operations. The reason for this change in the law occurred when a piece of equipment was unloaded that was wider than the trailer, legally the trailer could not return to its place of origin (another farm) without an overwidth permit. The proposed legislation would also remove the 25 miles per hour speed limit on farm tractors or implements being transported on highways.

Alan Frew, Port of Entry, Idaho Transportation Department, responded to a question and explained the bill does not change the requirement (Idaho Code, Section 49-1012) to have a slow-moving emblem on equipment.

Dar Olberding, representing the Idaho Grain Producers Association, also supported this legislation and emphasized the amended language is for farm-to-farm hauling; it does not apply to custom farming.

Dr. Greg Nelson, Idaho Farm Bureau, indicated support for H 138 and his testimony is held in the Senate Transportation Committee office.

Motion Senator Little moved H 138 to the Senate floor with a Do Pass recommendation. Senator Brandt seconded the motion which carried by voice vote.
Adjourn The meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.




DATE: February 27, 2003
TIME: 1:30 pm
PLACE: Room 426
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Ingram, Senators Geddes, Brandt, Little, Bailey, McWilliams, Marley, Calabretta
MEMBERS ABSENT/

EXCUSED:



Senator Keough
MINUTES: Senator Bailey moved that the minutes of Tuesday, February 25, 2003, be approved as written. The motion was seconded by Senator Calabretta and carried by voice vote.
S 1080 Establish an Idaho "Killed in Action" License Plate Program

Senator Cameron presented S 1080 which will establish an Idaho "Killed in Action" special license plate program for family members of United States armed forces veterans killed in action. Funds generated from this plate would go to the Idaho Veterans Cemetery; $15.00 of the initial fee and $5.00 of the renewal fee would be deposited into the account. The bill would allow spouses, children, siblings, grandparents and grandchildren to display the license plates on their automobiles. This program, as in other military plate programs, would be exempt from the 1,000 minimum sales requirement. The plate is for all branches of the armed services and for all past and future conflicts/wars.

When asked if this program would include those killed in action in military service not specifically during a defined conflict or war (such as a helicopter crash, training missions or exercises), Senator Cameron was not sure but indicated perhaps that issue could be included through the rules process.

Nels Moller, a private individual who lost his son in the Desert Storm conflict, spoke in support of H 1080 so those who have relatives killed in action in military service can have their deceased loved ones remembered by displaying license plates on family vehicles.

Mo Detmar, Division Administrator of Motor Vehicles, Idaho Transportation Department, confirmed that the "Killed in Action" license plate program does meet the Department's standards and specifications.

Motion Senator Bailey moved, seconded by Senator McWilliams, that S 1080 be sent to the floor of the Senate with a Do Pass recommendation.

A roll call vote was requested.

Roll Call Vote Ayes: Senators Ingram, Bailey, McWilliams

Nays: Senators Geddes, Brandt, Little, Calabretta

Absent: Senators Keough, Marley

Motion failed On a 3 to 4 vote with 2 absent, the motion on S 1080 failed.
S 1132 Apportionment of Funds from Highway Distribution Account

Chairman Ingram and Senator Bunderson are co-sponsoring H 1132.

Senator Bunderson explained that S 1132 implements a 1995 recommendation of the Legislative Interim Committee on Transportation Resource Management that state highway funds allocated to local highway jurisdictions be allocated to one county entity. Further distributions to other highway jurisdictions within the county will be the decision of appointed local representatives. In 2002, Idaho distributed $113 million to the state's 292 highway jurisdictions. The proposed legislation will allow the State Controller to write a single check to a specified county entity who, in turn, has the option of prioritizing the funds to meet countywide economic development objectives through road and street construction and maintenance and distribute the funds in accordance with the original allocation formula. If the appointed local representatives cannot reach a conclusion, the money would be disbursed based on the original formula. The distributions per highway jurisdiction range from a low of just under $500 to a high of $18,300,000. This legislation should promote economic development within each county. He suggested that S 1132 be sent to the amending order to work out the details of how local representatives would be appointed, etc.

Stuart Davis, Executive Director, Idaho Association of Highway Districts, spoke in opposition to S 1132 stating he had serious concerns with the legislation because 1) it appears that some entities would get less money, 2) it does not specify who would write the check to other county entities, and 3) of the 44 Idaho counties, 11 do not have any jurisdiction over roads. The study referred to in the statement of purpose for S 1132 was completed 8 years ago and since then there has been a concerted effort to do multi-jurisdictional planning. Another concern is the highway distribution account is already down 5.9% this year. Mr. Davis encouraged the Committee to hold S 1132.

Ken Harward, Executive Director, Association of Idaho Cities, thanked the Committee for the opportunity to review S 1132. While he agrees with some elements of the statement of purpose, he has several questions about the details of the distribution of the money. He recommended that S 1132 be sent to the 14th Order for amendment to allow time to work on the details.

Motion failed Senator Geddes moved, and Senator Bailey seconded, a motion to send S 1132 to the 14th Order for amendment. By voice vote, the motion failed and the bill will be held in Committee.
H 204 All-Terrain Vehicles; revise the definition of ATV

Rick Collignon, Director, Department of Parks and Recreation, presented H 204 which will change the existing definition of an all-terrain vehicle. When last defined in law, there were about 14,000 all-terrain vehicles; today, there are about 70,000 and 13 of the 23 models available on the market exceed a number of size and weight limits in existing Idaho Code. The proposed legislation would change the number of wheels from two to three or more, increase the weight from 650 pounds to 850 pounds, allow a width of 48 inches or less, a wheelbase of 61 inches or less, and low pressure tires of 10 psi or less. This updated definition will allow new machines being manufactured which are designed to carry two people, one in front of the other, to have a limited wheelbase of 61 inches; the turning radius is compromised if the machine is longer. The bill is supported by ATV manufacturers.

A lot of vehicles not classified as ATV's are causing off-road damage. If a machine weighs 851 pounds, it is defined as a tractor not an ATV. There was also some discussion about soil dislocation on 5- and 10-pound tires. There needs to be additional work/legislation to identify and register non-ATV units because of their damaging effects on off-road public areas.

Ron Stricklin, past president of the Idaho ATV Association, spoke in support of H 204. He agrees with increasing the size and weight limits for ATV's but would not be in favor of expanding those limits in the future.

Motion Senator Brandt moved that H 204 be sent to the floor fo the Senate with a Do Pass recommendation. The motion was seconded by Senator Little and carried by voice vote.
Adjourn The meeting adjourned at 2:50 p.m.




DATE: March 6, 2003
TIME: 1:30 p.m.
PLACE: Room 426
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Ingram, Vice Chairman Keough, Senators Geddes, Brandt, Little, Bailey, McWilliams, Marley, Calabretta
MEMBERS ABSENT/

EXCUSED:



None
MINUTES: Senator Bailey moved that the minutes of Thursday, February 27, 2003, be approved as written. The motion was seconded by Senator McWilliams and approved by voice vote.
Presentation Highway 16 (Boise/Eagle to Emmett)

Eric Shannon, Assistant District Engineer for District 3, Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), explained that Idaho's first "Safety Corridor" is 14 miles of highway connecting Boise to the Emmett Valley. It is a rural two-lane highway. He reviewed recently completed construction projects as well as approximately $15 million worth of future planned construction, a copy is attached to the minutes. He complimented the citizens group of approximately 30 people who make up the Idaho 16 Task Force; they provide local information and input into the planning process for Highway 16. ITD is currently doing a Highway 16 Improvement Study which should be completed in 2004. The study will result in a concept and environmental document on which the remaining construction projects will be based to upgrade the remainder of Highway 16 to a 4-lane highway with limited access and frontage roads. This study must be completed to meet federal requirements in order for federal funding to be available for the project.

Don Kosteler, a planner for Ada County Highway District (ACHD), explained that his organization does not have direct jurisdiction over Highway 16 but ACHD is involved in regional planning efforts. There is a State Highway 16 river crossing planned in the future around either Black Cat or Ten Mile Road. ACHD has also has taken the lead on a 3-city river crossing between State Street and Chinden, Highway 55 on the north, and a point between Cloverdale and Maple Grove Road on the south. Each year they discuss project request lists with each city in Ada County. This year Ada County and the city of Star requested that the State Highway river crossing be examined by both the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS) and ACHD. This has been Star's priority request since 2001.

Jeff Patlovich, Director of Ada County Development Services, discussed what is allowed in Ada County along the Highway 16 corridor by referring committee members to a letter dated March 6, 2003, written by Steve Hopkins, a planner for his department. A map is also attached. The area surrounding the corridor is a rural zone which can be either rural residential or rural preservation. Industrial and commercial uses are not allowed (with some exceptions) in a rural zone. A planned winery in the area is considered a rural, not a commercial, zone (permitted by Ada County as a special conditional use permit). The golf course being built in association with the winery is an open area. Ada County Development Services would like the Highway 16 corridor kept outside the area of impact in order to keep allowable land uses as rural as possible so property values will remain affordable when ITD needs to purchase rights-of-way land to expand the highway to four lanes.

Capt. Stephen C. Jones, Commander of Region III, Idaho State Police, said he is in charge of 39 ISP officers in a 10-country area in southwestern Idaho. His three officers patrolling Highway 16 reported the following 3 problems with Highway 16: slow-moving vehicles impeding traffic, passing violations (passing across solid lines, passing over hill crests, passing in no passing zones, and passing vehicles on the right) and speeding violations. The officers believe their enforcement efforts are making some impact because crash statistics are down but the area is becoming more congested as the population increases.

Lilas McColm-Traska, Chairperson for Safe Highway 16, discussed safety concerns the citizens of Gem and Ada counties have about State Highway 16, the traffic fatalities that have occurred, and her group's desire to have Highway 16 become a 4-lane highway. Her granddaughter was killed on Highway 16 last year.

Chad Smith's testimony was read by Chris Erlebach. Mr. Smith feels strongly that Highway 16 must be improved because the road is not safe. Two of his friends died in a traffic accident last year on Highway 16. Since many people who work in Boise live in Gem County, the highway needs to be safe for commuter traffic.

Nissa Watts, a member of Citizens for a Safe Highway 16, discussed her concerns about Highway 16. Emmett's population has increased rapidly and the traffic volume is increasing at a higher rate than the population. In 2002, the average daily count was 9,374 which was a 36% increase over a 2-year period. She compared Highway 69 from Amity to Kuna to Highway 16 and reported that Highway 69 was upgraded to a 4-lane highway. She requested that construction projects on Highway 16 be given top priority.

Chris Erlebach, who serves as a member of Citizens for a Safe Highway 16, ITD's Highway 16 Task Force, and is a participating member of the Gem Economic Development Association, spoke in support of Highway 16 becoming a four-lane highway. She referred to the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) which is a tool used to organize, fund, and implement changes or additions made to Idaho's highway infrastructure. The current STIP book covers a 5-year period; the first three years are a priority list of projects with the additional two years provided for informational purposes. Out of an estimated 300 projects listed in District 3, only five are related to Highway 16 north. Of those five, only two have been given priority dates in the first three years of the plan. Acquiring affordable right-of-way property along this highway is imperative in order for growth to occur. According to the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS), at the current rate of funding provided in STIP, it will take over 25 years to complete improvements to Highway 16. At that rate, more deaths will occur and time will be an enemy. They need improvements to Highway 16 now.

Cathy Smith, a community volunteer and member of the Board of Directors of the Gem Economic Development Association, thanked those who are working with Gem County to resolve the unsafe traveling conditions which exist on Highway 16. The city of Emmett and Gem County do not have the funds to join COMPASS. Emmett was greatly impacted with the closure of the Boise Cascade Mill which translated to over 250 jobs lost. Emmett's unemployment rate is over 9% at the present time. The community is making efforts to diversify from its agriculture base. With block grant funds, the city is trying to develop a 60-acre industrial park. Upgrading Highway 16 to four lanes will help strengthen the community's ability to attract companies to improve the economic landscape and infrastructure while also improving the safety of those who travel on Highway 16. The future of Emmett depends upon creating a safe entrance to the community while keeping Highway 16 an efficient moving arterial.

Ted Foote, a private citizen who lives off Highway 16 in Star, Idaho, said highway safety on Highway 16 must be improved, especially from the intersection of State Highway 22 north to Firebird Raceway. He has observed several accidents on this part of the highway and is convinced that design, limited capability, and excessive speed are contributing factors. Recent population growth and related increases in traffic in both Ada and Gem Counties have created extremely dangerous conditions. The road shoulders are narrow and vehicles pass at high speeds. Traffic congestion and aggressive driving will continue to increase. School buses load and unload children along Highway 16 and, in some places, when a bus stops, there is little advanced warning to traffic moving about 65 miles per hour. He feels the best overall solution is to build a new four-lane highway and, in the meantime, reduce the speed limit.

Kim Green's letter was read by Ted Foote. In the 14 years she has lived on Highway 16, the area has changed from agricultural to residential. She would like to see the 65 mile per hour speed limit reduced.

A letter from Charles and Donna Strider was also read by Mr. Foote. Traffic on Highway 16 has increased significantly and they recommend widening the highway to improve safety.

H 231 Restrictions on Studded Tires

Jim Ross, Acting Director, Idaho Transportation Department, presented H 231 which will amend Section 49-948, Idaho Code, in an effort to reduce the amount of pavement wear caused by studded winter snow tires by controlling the weights of studs allowed to be installed by commercial tire shops and by controlling how far studs may protrude beyond the tire surface. The proposed legislation would also prohibit using studded tires between May 1 and September 30 annually. It has been proven by laboratory testing that the amount of pavement wear as exhibited by rutting from studded tire erosion is in direct proportion to the weight of studs in tires. Reducing the weights of studs would reduce studded tire pavement wear by approximately half. According to studies conducted in Sweden, Finland, and Norway, the lighter weight studs would perform for traction under winter driving conditions about as well as the heavier weight studs. The weight of studs proposed in the legislation is the same as those currently allowed in both Oregon and Washington. The Department of Transportation in Washington is trying to ban studded tires completely. Commercial tire retailers in Idaho would have until July 1, 2005 to sell off their existing inventory of heavier weight studs. After that date only tires with lightweight studs could be sold. People who own heavier weight studs would still be able to use them.

Motion Senator Geddes moved that H 231 be sent to the floor of the Senate with a Do Pass recommendation. The motion was seconded by Senator Brandt and carried by voice vote.
H 229 Schools to consult with ITD if there is traffic impact on highways

Representative Joan Wood presented H 229 which would require planning and zoning commissions to specifically review permit applications for the effect they will have on adjacent roads and highways when school districts plan to build, remodel, or bond for buildings to determine whether there are traffic impacts on the roads and highways. This will ensure that the state highway system and/or the local highway system can satisfactorily accommodate the proposed school project. The situation also becomes a safety issue, especially regarding school buses loading and unloading school children on busy roads and highways.

Jim Ross, Acting Director, Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), fully supports H 229. ITD encounters problems throughout Idaho regarding schools seeking assistance after problems occur. ITD would like the opportunity to give input prior to building whenever traffic has the potential to impact the state highway system.

Motion Senator Keough moved that H 229 be sent to the Senate floor with a Do Pass recommendation. The motion was seconded by Senator Little and carried by voice vote.




DATE: March 13, 2003
TIME: 1:30 p.m.
PLACE: Room 426
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Ingram, Vice Chairman Keough, Senators Geddes, Brandt, Little, Bailey, McWilliams, Marley, and Calabretta
MEMBERS ABSENT/

EXCUSED:



None
Minutes

Approval

Senator Calabretta moved that the minutes of Thursday, March 6, 2003, be approved as written. The motion was seconded by Senator Bailey and approved by voice vote.
H 303 Mandatory Safety Restraint Use in Motor Vehicles

Representative Wills, a retired Idaho State Police (ISP) officer with more than 30 years of service, presented H 303 which provides mandatory use of safety restraints by all passengers in a motor vehicle. He gave a brief demonstration promoting seat belt use he used during his ISP years educating school children. With this proposed legislation, each adult must take responsibility for his own behavior. It is not the driver's responsibility if an adult passenger does not buckle up. However, any driver under 18 years of age is responsible if other passengers under 18 years old do not wear safety restraints in the vehicle. The underage driver will receive a fine of $10.00 if anyone in the vehicle is not buckled up and must also pay court costs. $5.00 of the $10.00 fine will go to the State Catastrophic Fund. St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center indicates the average cost for a person injured in a car crash not wearing a safety restraint amounts to approximately $80,000 versus about $43,000 for someone who is belted. This bill will reduce health care costs and save lives.

Roy Eiguren, an attorney with Givens Pursley representing St. Al's Regional Medical Center, spoke in support of H 303. Idaho has had a safety restraint law since 1988. The proposed law is designed to change behavior and responds well to Idaho's individual/independent behavior. Members of St. Al's trauma center ask its administration to work for a more strict safety restraint law. The I-Belt coalition, who supports this legislation, has over 40 members and has worked on legislation

the past four years. He urged the committee to support H 303.

Dave Carlson, representing the American Automobile Association (AAA) with over 65,000 members in southwest Idaho, spoke in support of H 303. In Idaho only 63% of people riding in motor vehicles are belted. In the last five years 1,146 people have been killed in vehicle crashes in Idaho, 841 of those were not wearing safety restraints. The "personal choice" issue creates a $215 million price tag to insurers and taxpayers. About 74 cents of every dollar spent on traffic crashes in Idaho is picked up by taxpayers. $2.5 million was paid out of the state catastrophic and indigent funds in 2002. St. Al's indicated it costs taxpayers $3.2 million to cover their costs for care of trauma patients. The issue is not just about belting children. Almost 70% of those who died in crashes were not wearing safety restraints. His organization would prefer more stringent legislation but this bill does close a loophole because it would require that all children must be buckled up. The fine of $10 is still one of the lowest in the nation. He feels that law enforcement officers will continue to be in a difficult position; however, this bill will save lives.

Robert Seehusen, CEO for the Idaho Medical Association (IMA) representing over 1,900 of the 2,100 doctors in Idaho, indicated support for H 303. The medical community sees the results when people do not buckle up. This legislation is a small step but a big step in the right direction. The IMA requested support for H 303.

Melissa Lokken, a high school student from Eagle High School interning at the Idaho Education Association, spoke in support of H 303. She is a member of the Governor's Coordinating Council for Families and Children. In doing research, she found that vehicle crashes are the number one killer of children in Idaho; 60% of children who die are unrestrained. Her main reason for supporting the bill is for the safety of children. Currently, children over four years old are not required to wear a safety restraint. Some people say they should be able to choose whether or not to buckle up but their decisions do affect others -- unrestrained people riding in rear seats become projectiles in car crashes. Not buckling up does affect others because often taxpayers have to pay the bill. By passing H 303, it will give drivers under 18 years of age leverage with their peers to insist that passengers must buckle up because it is the law.

Phyllis Smith, a private individual whose son was killed in an automobile accident almost two years ago, urged the committee to support H 303. She spent the proceeds of her son's insurance money trying to educate people about the importance of buckling up. She came to the conclusion that education is a short-term solution. Education, alone, does not do the job. She feels there must be a three-pronged effort: a good law, enforcement of laws by law enforcement, and education. She shared statistics from various Idaho counties which indicate about 70% of unrestrained people die in car crashes. Ms. Smith asked the Committee to support H 303.

Motion Senator Little moved that H 303 be sent to the Senate floor with a Do Pass recommendation. The motion was seconded by Senator Marley and carried by voice vote. Senator Brandt voted no.
Adjourn The meeting adjourned at 2:00 p.m.




DATE: April 1, 2003
TIME: 1:30 p.m.
PLACE: Room 426
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Ingram, Vice Chairman Keough, Senators Geddes, Brandt, Little, Bailey, McWilliams, and Marley
MEMBERS ABSENT/

EXCUSED:



Calabretta
Minutes Approval Senator Bailey moved and Senator Keough seconded a motion to approve the minutes as written for the last meeting held Thursday, March 13, 2003. The motion carried by voice vote.
HJM 5 Encourage Federal Government to lift freeze imposed by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA)

Speaker Newcomb requested that HJM 5 be pulled from the agenda.

No oral testimony was given. After some Committee discussion, a motion was made to hold HJM 5. Chairman Ingram invited those who came prepared to testify to submit written testimony which will be held in the Senate Transportation Committee office.

Motion Senator Geddes moved that HJM 5 be held in Committee. The motion was seconded by Senator Keough and carried by voice vote.
HJM 10 Request Congress to Preserve Access to Backcountry Airstrips

Bob Martin, Administrator for the Division of Aeronautics, Idaho Transportation Department, introduced House Joint Memorial 10 urging the United States Congress to preserve access to backcountry airstrips by introducing into the current 108th Congress Senate Bill 681, the Backcountry Landing Strip Access Act, from the 107th Congress and its companion legislation, House Resolution1363. Further, HJM 10 would ensure the greatest amount of public access to public recreation lands and would urge Congress to designate as "public use" all non-military aircraft landing areas located on federally-managed lands.

The Central Idaho Wilderness Act of 1980, the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness area, had provisions that protect some airstrips. It does indicate that the federal government cannot close backcountry airstrips without Idaho's approval. Some airstrips are no longer shown on maps which is not a problem for most Idaho pilots. However, pilots from out of state do have problems identifying some airstrips that have been left off maps limiting access to the those airstrips.

Senator Bailey reiterated that last year's federal Senate Bill 681 was put away and this would revive that bill in the 108th Congress. The federal government is trying to limit access to some airstrips and this bill would allow for the greatest amount of public access to public recreation lands.

Representative Wood confirmed there is a need for Idaho to keep airstrips open for handicap activities and for emergencies.

Motion Senator Bailey moved that HJM 10 be sent to the floor with a Do Pass recommendation. The motion was seconded by Senator Brandt and approved by voice vote.
Adjourn The meeting was adjourned at 2:00 p.m.




DATE: April 8, 2003
TIME: 1:30 p.m.
PLACE: Room 426
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Ingram, Vice Chairman Keough, Senators Geddes, Brandt, Little, Bailey, McWilliams, Marley, Calabretta
MEMBERS ABSENT/

EXCUSED:



None
Minutes Approval Senator Bailey moved that the minutes of Thursday, April 3, 2003, be accepted as written. The motion was seconded by Senator McWilliams and approved by voice vote.
H 395 Overweight Vehicle Loads; permits up to 129,000 pounds

Representative Wood, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee introduced H 395 which would establish a new, 10-year pilot project on a small number of state highways for the use of specially configured 129,000 pound gross axle weight trucks, requires ITD permits to operate on designated routes within Idaho, provides authority to local highway districts to allow roads in their jurisdictions to be included in the pilot program if the governing board chooses to do so, and requires the ITD to report to the Legislature on the impacts of the 129,000 trucks on safety, bridges and highways every three years during the pilot project.

The bill is a remake of the 1998 pilot project. There was not enough participation in that project because there were neither enough routes nor financial incentives for people in the trucking industry to put added axles under their trucks to make the 129,000 pound loads. Therefore, not enough data was collected to determine the accuracy of advice given that Idaho's roads could handle heavier weights.

Representative Bruce Newcomb, Speaker of the House and co-sponsor of the bill, testified that H 395 is different from H 282; north and east Idaho would be held harmless. This bill is strictly about a pilot program in southern Idaho to determine under Bridge Formula B whether Idaho's highways are sufficient to handle 129,000 pound loads. In southern Idaho many commodity groups are struggling to survive, such as Monsanto (phosphate) and Amalgamated Sugar which is co-op owned (sugarbeets). Many milk trucks are leaving Idaho only two-thirds full to stay within weight limits; they should be able to leave full. The length of trucks will not be any longer. One of the reasons for a 10-year pilot program is to align with 10-year depreciation schedules in the IRS code. (It could have been either 7 or 10 years, the sponsors chose 10 years.) The blue roads on the map provided by the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) are the pilot project routes. (A copy of the map is held in the Senate Transportation Committee office.) ITD will monitor collected data to determine if there is damage to the roads. They have the authority to change routes or terminate the pilot project. Pilot project routes on nonstate and noninter-state highways shall be determined by the local highway agency for those roads under its jurisdiction. Therefore, people seeking permits are subject to local jurisdictions because they monitor what is happening to their roads and bridges.

In 1991 under ISTEA, the federal government froze truck weights; Idaho was frozen at 105,500 pounds. Several surrounding states were at 129,000 pounds (Utah, Nevada, and Montana). None of those states have chosen to reduce their weights so Rep. Newcomb feels this is a reasonable proposal for Idaho to increase to the 129,000 pound level. Idaho is a long way from major population centers in the United States and one of the biggest costs is transportation. Idaho needs to provide the ability for local people/businesses to have the economies of scale to get products to market.

Both Speaker Newcomb and Chairman Ingram, co-sponsors of H 395, indicated no interest in coming back in future years requesting expanded routes. Both agreed that roads in north Idaho, because of hills and corners, are not conducive to carrying heavier weight trucks.

Senator Geddes asked for some detail about what was accomplished from the last study project in 1998. Speaker Newcomb said the routes established were not ones used very often and with the shortened time (3 years) people did not want to make the investment. Because of those issues there was not sufficient data to determine if Idaho's roads could handle heavier weight trucks.

Senator Geddes expressed concern about the $27 million court settlement from a few years ago because Idaho had established a process that bifurcated the state and allowed commodity shippers a different set of conditions than the rest of the interstate haulers. Does H 395 do that again by making this pilot project available to southern Idaho but eliminating the benefits to northern Idaho? Speaker Newcomb replied that intent language in Section 3 of H 395 indicates that it is a pilot project and not policy for the entire state; it is a study and it is subject to interruption. ITD must report results of its monitoring and evaluation of all important impacts including safety, bridges and pavement in 2007, 2010 and 2013 unless extended or repealed by legislative action.

Mo Detmar, Idaho Transportation Department, indicated that only 8 or 10 permits were issued during the 1998 pilot project.

Clay Larkin, Mayor of Post Falls, spoke in opposition to H 395. He worked 30 years in a grocery distribution center and observed that as trailer weights grew larger and trailer lengths grew longer it created a safety factor. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Idaho Cities, represents the Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Association,

North Idaho Mayors Coalition, and Idahoans for Safe Roads. The sponsors have not asked the southeast metropolitan planning organizations (MPO's) or the Boise COMPASS group for their input. The mission of these groups goes to the heart of H 395: transportation and planning. He referred to a federal primer book authored by several agencies on transportation/planning and indicated when filling out MPO forms safety, freight and inspections must be part of a planned transportation improvement program. The input and advice of these agencies must be considered when creating legislation that would put heavier and/or longer trucks on Idaho roads. Neither the Bannock or Bonneville MPO's have been contacted on H 395. The North Idaho Mayors Coalition and the Kootenai MPO are opposed to H 395. COMPASS, the Boise/Ada County group, remains neutral pending more information. The Association of Idaho Cities opposes H 395. If, in fact, the number of trucks on the road was reduced by one-third, the lost revenue to ITD, the highway programs, the economic local loss is not worth it. He urged the Committee not to pass the bill until they receive all the input needed.

Brent Olmstead, Executive Director of Milk Producers of Idaho, spoke in support of H 395. He said dairies in the southern most parts of Idaho transport milk into Utah. Idaho milk transporters compete at an 18% disadvantage due to transportation costs because of truck weights. Utah allows 129,000 pound trucks but Idaho can only carry 105,500 pounds. Currently, milk prices are at their lowest in 40 years causing a lot of hardship on dairies. This bill will help the dairy industry. When asked about a U.S. DOT Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study (Volume 3, August, 2000, page 8-5) that claims if weights increase, the fatality accident rate will increase at least 11% higher than today's single tractor trailers, Senator Geddes asked if economics are more important than safety? Mr. Olmstead replies that truck weights are never more important than safety. He was not familiar with the study referred to but said he was aware of other studies that concluded the fatality rate is not impacted by heavier trucks. Many companies have extensive training and safety programs and his industry has a very safe record.

Linda Iverson, representing Idaho North Pacific Railroad headquartered in Emmett, spoke in opposition to H 395. Her company has suffered financially from the closing of Boise Cascade mills in her area. North Pacific is rebounding with the purchase of Boise and Wilder branches and they continue to run the tour train on the Cascade branch. They look at every opportunity to build rail traffic, including some in Payette and Gem counties. Her company handled over 11,800 rail cars through Treasure Valley in 2002. H 395 bill will have an impact on the financial future of her company and its ability to maintain branch lines.

.

Pat Keim, representing Burlington Northern Santa Fe, spoke in opposition to S 395 because it is a resurrection of H 282 from earlier this session and is similar to other unsuccessful bills in earlier years which attempted to return to the old days of racheting up truck weight rates on the highways one state versus another, and in H 395, one region of Idaho versus another. This bill seems to make agriculture producers in southern Idaho more competitive against their counterparts in northern Idaho. The 10- year pilot project appears to be an effort to make the routes permanent. Some think with H 395 truckers will operate fewer trucks by carrying more weight per truck; he believes the real goal is actually more trucks. As trucks become more competitive against the rail industry, traffic volume is taken from the rail industry and put on trucks. There are more trucks operating on highways today than 20 years ago and they carry more weight. Regarding the relationship of weight and highway costs (referring to Transportation Research Board Study No. 267), the damage costs to highways due to heavier trucks are not fully recovered in the charges paid by those trucks; the costs are paid by the average taxpayer and other users of the highways. His company operates in northern Idaho but he has a concern because with H 395 it will make southern Idaho shippers more competitive with northern Idaho shippers and it impacts interstate traffic. As the truck becomes more competitive, it will move more traffic from rail to the highways. The rail industry operates on their own rights-of-way paid for by the rail industry whereas highways are operated by the state and paid for by taxpayers.

Regarding the weight of trucks on highways, Mr. Keim referred to an article discussing the bridge crisis in Oregon where weakened/cracked bridges continue to deteriorate at an alarming rate. It is estimated that it will cost about $2 billion to correct the problem and Oregon only allows 105,500 pound trucks. Regarding the "footprint" of trucks with more axles; i.e., the more axles under a truck, the more the weight is spread out, so less damage to roadways occurs, the fact of the matter is when a truck hits its brakes, it does not matter if there are six axles or ten axles, trying to stop 129,000 pounds (stopping power) tears up pavement. A bridge engineer told him that it is not the amount of weight spread over a certain number of axles but the amount of weight bearing down when it gets to the center of the span that causes bridge damage.

Paul Sudmeier, President of the Idaho Trucking Association (Idaho Motor Transport), spoke in support of H 395. The trucking association was incorporated in 1934, has been representing the trucking industry for almost 70 years, and has a billion dollar payroll in Idaho. His association handles over 82% of finished freight by value in Idaho and has been gaining market share and revenue because the economy has been growing. His industry does a good job and delivers product safely. It is the mode of choice for important commodity businesses in Idaho. He received a letter in March of 2003 from Great West Casualty Company, one of the largest truck insurers in the United States, confirming that they do not assign an additional premium or rate to LCV's at any gross weight because data relative to weight or combination length has not shown these units to be any less safe or more prone to loss. If there was any increased risk, insurance companies would reflect that in their rates. He also noted that states that have authorized gross weights to 129,000 pounds have never rolled them back. Transportation efficiencies keep healthy economies.

Charlie Clark, representing Union Pacific Railroad, spoke in opposition to H 395. He discussed the history of proposed legislation in Idaho to increase trucks weights. Within 18 months after the first pilot program began in 1998, new routes appeared. Over the years as roads got better, the branch lines failed. He feels the so-called "10-year pilot project" would be permanent and that, in time if H 395 passes, legislators will be asked to consider making other routes available to 129,000 pound trucks. He also discussed the interstate system regarding the proposed CanaMex Trade Corridor (truck route) which would run from Alberta, Canada south through the western United States to California on to Mexico. Canadians would like to transport large loads of lumber, grain, fertilizer, potatoes, etc. to Mexico and, in turn, Mexico would like to haul fruits, vegetables, etc. north. It is why H 395 is so important because it coincides with the reauthorization of the federal highway bill where there is an attempt to lift the cap off the interstate routes so 129,000 pound trucks can run on the CanaMex Corridor and other interstate routes (corridors) throughout the United States. H 395 is a bill that benefits very few at the expense of many.

Jerry Deckard, Capitol West representing the Associated General Contractors (AGC) and the Potato Growers of Idaho, endorsed H 395. It would provide a better opportunity and an efficient way to get product to market. The AGC hauls heavy loads and would like not to have to buy a permit with each load.

Jim Jones, an attorney , was asked by Union Pacific Railroad to give a legal analysis of H 395. He concluded the following: 1) the legislation is specifically intended to benefit intrastate commerce, making it subject to attack on Commerce Clause and Equal Protection grounds, 2) the legislation favors intrastate commerce over interstate commerce, much like the two-tiered tax scheme that was held to be violative of the Commerce Clause in the American Trucking Association case, 3) the legislation is subject to an Equal Protection challenge by truckers who are arbitrarily excluded, and 4) granting local agencies unrestricted authority to establish pilot routes on non-state and non-interstate roads may constitute an impermissible delegation of power. A copy of his testimony is held in the Senate Transportation Committee office.

Roy Eiguren, an attorney with Givens Pursley representing Amalgamated Sugar, spoke in support of H 395. Amalgamated has operated in Idaho since the 1930's and is owned by over 1,100 sugarbeet growers in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon. The transportation of sugarbeets to the owner's factories and of processed sugar from those factories to market is Amalgamated's second largest cost of production. The company has focused on being able to use 129,000 pound trucks as a more efficient and less costly way to transport sugarbeets from the company's beet receiving stations to three sugar factories in southern Idaho. To Amalgamated, the issue is not trains versus trucks, it is an issue of finding the most cost-effective and competitive way to transport raw and finished products. The company uses both rail and truck transport for the movement of beets. They move most raw product by truck and processed sugar by rail. As railroads terminated service, the company had no choice but to begin transporting product by truck.



Amalgamated supports H 395 for the following two reasons. 1) The previous pilot project was designed to obtain information to determine what the impact of heavier trucks would be on safety, roadways and bridges. That issue was not determined by the previous pilot project because the study period was too short, the routes selected were not ones used by many truckers, and it was not economically feasible for transporters to configure 129,000 pound rigs for only 3 years. Amalgamated strongly supports H 395 which will allow for a long enough time period (10 years) to gather the needed information. The company plans to actively participate in the project. 2) The other reason for supporting H 395 is one of economics. Amalgamated can use two of the routes contained in this bill which should reduce total truck trips and save about $90,000 annually on one route and save another $125,000 on the other route.

This bill is the result of a lengthy process of discussion and compromise between a large number of interested organizations and legislators. It reflects the right choice to be made which should provide actual data on the use of trucks while, at the same time, providing critically needed and substantial cost savings to Idaho's distressed agricultural industry.

William (Bill) Rode, is a professional driver and small business owner who has been involved in the trucking industry for over 40 years. He is a Board member of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and his organization opposes any change in the size and weight of commercial trucks since larger and heavier vehicles are more challenging to operate and the extra risks seem to compromise safety. He said he was able to pay for his $100,000 tractor and trailer in six years. He feels that it would not cost more than $25,000 to reconfigure the trucks to accommodate the heavier weights

Mr. Rode feels it will be difficult to enforce having the heavier trucks stay on designated highways and believes the annual $50 permit charge per truck will not cover the cost of road maintenance. He discussed some studies regarding larger truck sizes and weights that concluded there was no decrease in the number of trucks on highways and truck crash and fatality rates did not go down. In one Australian study, carriers had to buy new trailers and bigger trucks to remain competitive, then industry-wide competition occurred resulting in lower freight rates. He is concerned the same thing could happen in Idaho.

Mark Duffin, Executive Director of the Idaho Sugarbeet Growers Association, spoke in support of H 395. The efficiency issue is very important. Six years ago sugarbeet growers formed a cooperative and purchased the sugar company. It has been a struggle for them and they are trying to make the company more efficient and direct the benefits to the farm families. They grow about 5 million tons of sugarbeets in southern Idaho annually which are hauled from farms to receiving stations to factories. By increasing the truck weight limits to 129,000 pounds it would significantly reduce the number of hauls it takes to get the beets to the factory. The co-op's first concern was the effect on roads and safety because their families use the highways daily. They do not think safety is a problem. With this pilot program they will be able to get the information needed regarding the impact of heavier trucks on roads.

Most of the cooperative members own their own trucks that take sugarbeets from the farm to receiving stations but other companies are hired to deliver the beets to the factories.

Dave Carlson, the Director of Public and Government Affairs for the American Automobile Association (AAA), spoke in opposition to H 395. He was speaking not only for his 65,000 members in southern Idaho but for an additional 30,000 members in north Idaho. He discussed the issue from another perspective: Idaho's motorists. In a survey mailed to 900 AAA Idaho members in 1999, 88% opposed allowing heavier trucks on Idaho roads. To counter one of the claims made that lighter footprints cause equal or lesser damage on the roads, he referred to a 2001 study by Senate Transportation Research in Austin that said while additional axles may mitigate pavement damage, the stress to bridges depends more on the truck's total load than the number of axles because increases to truck weight limits can create large costs for bridges even when they encourage additional axles. This same study also indicated that states that increase truck size and weight limits could attract more industry which would, in turn, place more freight on highways. Also, when truck rates become cheaper, producers may reduce their inventories and consolidate their plants and warehouses. Competition is not finite and competition is not a one-way street going out of Idaho.

He related that Oregon bridges were designed to last 75 to 90 years and are now failing at 50 years leading to numerous bridge closures, detours, and lower load limits. Some of the older bridges were built for 72,000 pounds. There are estimates that about 1,000 bridges might have to be replaced in the next seven years. According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, of the 555 state-owned bridges in Oregon, 487 are cracked and will cost billions of dollars to fix.

Taking February, 2000 information from ITD's website examining Idaho's Ports of Entry, 13% of trucks checked were overweight. This raises some serious questions: Is there effective enforcement in Idaho? Is there any deterrent for operating overweight? Are the regulations working?

He also contends that there are some serious legal questions (see previous testimony from Jim Jones). He feels there is a definite correlation between bigger trucks and safety. This bill would put trucks in harm's way of Idaho's motorists, those who pay taxes in the state. Seventy-five percent of truck fatalities occur on rural, non-interstate roads­the kind shown on the map as blue routes which would be used in this pilot project. There are huge financial profitability issues for some shippers who would use one driver to do the work of two. Also, there is no guarantee that people will see lower prices. A special interest group stands to gain if this legislation is passed. Please consider the safety and cost consequences of legislation that will affect every Idahoan. AAA would like Idaho to implement several of the recommendations that have come out of federal studies the past few years. There are ways to enhance the deficiencies in Idaho's roads, there are ways to toughen enforcement, and there are ways to protect highway investments without a single quick-fix. He urged the Committee to oppose H 395.



Stuart Davis, Executive Director, Idaho Association of Highway Districts (IAHD), said his organization will not oppose H 395 because the sponsors put protections in the bill for local highway jurisdictions. Those who want permits must go to local jurisdictions to obtain the permits meaning they will have to go to cities, counties and highway districts. He would like to come back next year and streamline the process so that it could be a "one-stop shop" for those seeking permits so they do not have to go to each jurisdiction.

Steve Hadley, a Commissioner for Bannock County, was opposed to

H 395. He believes that 129,000 pound trucks will get off pilot routes for fuel and he questions who will fix those secondary routes.

Dennis Tanikuni, representing the Farm Bureau, indicated his support for H 395. A copy of a Farm Bureau letter is held in the Senate Transportation office.

George Millward, Director of the United Transportation Union (all of their members work for Union Pacific Railroad), spoke in opposition to

H 395 because it would be a burden to the railroad and jeopardize jobs. He discussed how the railroad industry was once the major transporter of sugarbeets. In eastern Idaho in the early 1980's they hauled 1,000 cars per day. Today they haul only 100 cars per day in that area during the sugarbeet season. This bill it will affect jobs. He said the places where he starts heavy commodity trains literally tear up the track with the torque from the locomotive and the rail has to be changed frequently. Sometimes when he tries to stop the train at the bottom of a hill he can have up to 500 brakes trying to stop it and it damages the track. Heavy trucks cause damage to roads and the braking system will be the same way; it will take a lot more distance to stop and there are safety issues involved. He also discussed safety issues in crossing some Idaho bridges. He feels those in favor of H395 will be back seeking additional routes in the next year or two. He urged the Committee to oppose the bill.

Evan Hayes, a farmer from Soda Springs, a member of the Idaho Grain Producers Association and newly elected vice president of the National Barley Growers Association, spoke in support of H 395. Idaho is in economic trouble currently; Idaho's farmers and industrial partners are in the same situation. Everything is being done to insure the continued flow of commodities to customers as economical as possible. He just put fuel in a truck yesterday and figured he pays 12.4 cents per mile in taxes. Farmers are not truckers and do not make their living with trucks. Trucks are machines that either move product to market or to the railroad so they can move grain to market. Idaho has worked hard to provide incentives to industries to expand their present operations or to move new business to Idaho to strengthen its economy. The state is also working with communities to enhance the construction of ethanol plants in various Idaho locations. All of this economic development requires a competitive truck transportation environment. Passage of H 395 will greatly encourage the development of such industry therefore building up the economic environment for Idahoans.

Bill Aller, a road supervisor for Bannock County, spoke in opposition to

H 395. Load stress can be seen at ports of entry as trucks re-enter the highway; the trucks are also difficult on uphill grades. Heavy loads will accelerate maintenance on the road system. Since these heavier weight trucks cannot use the interstate highway system, they will put a large burden on local roads and jurisdictions that maintain the routes used by these vehicles. Bannock County would like to be a part of the permitting process because local jurisdictions know the roads best.

Twain Hayden, a farmer and member of the Idaho Grain Producers Association, spoke in support of H 395. If he were able to use heavier weight trucks to haul his product, he could make 18 fewer trips which would be a 22% reduction in truck use and a 19% reduction in his shipping costs. He has operated both 80,000 pound and 105,500 pound trucks, and the one that stops the best is the truck with more brakes and more axles. Safety and economics say H 395 is a move toward more efficiency.

Larry Ghan, the Bannock County Clerk, spoke in opposition of H 395 because heavier weight trucks will end up on secondary roads and maintenance costs will impact his county. Counties only have two ways to support their roads: through property taxes and motor fuel taxes. Currently there is no other revenue source in Bannock County that can be used for additional maintenance costs ­ they cannot afford H 395.

Jeff Ramage, a locomotive engineer for Union Pacific Railroad in Nampa, spoke in opposition to H 395. He mentioned road damage to Highway 45 in Nampa caused by sugarbeet trucks. Wear and tear on the roads will increase if heavier weight trucks are allowed. Road beds are not made to handle 129,000 pound trucks. It was explained to him that the road surface is usually damaged by the road bed. Stress on the roads fractures the ground causing erosion and, eventually, potholes. He referred to comments made by Mayor Garret Nancolas of Caldwell who said that both highway districts and cities would be responsible for increased maintenance on roads caused by trucks with excessive loads. If H 395 passes, it will help subsidize the trucking industry.

Steve Brumbaugh, representing both the Brotherhood of Local Engineers (BLE) in Nampa and locomotive engineers with Eastern Idaho Railroad in Twin Falls, spoke against H 395. He also mentioned damage to Highway 45 in Nampa caused by trucks. These trucks will still have the same number of drive axles so there will be more torque and pressure applied to the road surface. He expressed concern about the safety issue. He thinks the information being requested from this pilot project could be obtained from those states that already allow the 129,000 pound trucks on their highways.



Woody Richards, an attorney representing the Associated Loggers Exchange, spoke in opposition to H 395. Loggers oppose the legislation for all the reasons stated previously. There is no promise that can't be made; there is no guarantee that can't be made that can keep the routes from changing in the future. Legislators and legislators' intentions change over time. Courts will make rulings that say some statutes are not constitutional.

Bob Wells, representing the Association of Logging Contractors spoke in opposition to H 395. There is a $9 billion backlog of maintenance on roads and bridges in Idaho and H 395 will exacerbate that situation. This bill will cause more damage to roads and bridges and Idaho does not have the money for additional repairs. H 395 will bifurcate Idaho because the legislation treats people in Idaho differently­northern Idaho versus southern Idaho.

Steve Thomas, an attorney representing Burlington Northern Santa Fe, spoke in opposition to H 395. The last sentence of the Statement of Purpose for H 395 states, "The Idaho Transportation Department has reviewed and analyzed the selected highways in this bill and have determined that the roadways and bridges are capable of being utilized by 129,000 pound trucks." Speaker Newcomb said the purpose of this bill is to find out whether our highways are adequate to handle those loads. So Mr. Thomas feels the Statement of Purpose is inconsistent with comments by key speakers including the sponsor of the bill. He also referred to comments by Mr. Sudmeier of the trucking association that they have 82% of the market in finished freight and they are "increasing their market share." Their market share is substantial, their trend line is good and they are increasing market share. This bill will help the trucking industry move product off rails and onto highways. Mr. Sudmeier said that there was no state which has authorized 129,000 pound trucks that "ever rolled them back." That is Mr. Thomas' point ­ once you've got it, you've got it. If this gets passed, it will be very difficult to undo.

John Watts, a lobbyist representing Eastern Idaho Railroad, spoke in opposition to H 395. Eastern Idaho Railroad is the largest shortline railroad in southern Idaho with about 270 mainline miles. In his company's advocacy for transportation public policy, they seek equity and fairness. Trucks travel on roads for which they pay a portion but trains pay for the entire cost of maintenance plus property tax for the road beds and tracks. Neither Idaho nor county governments provide any portion of the cost to maintain the rail routes. H 395 is not fair or equitable and places his company's survival at risk. If Idaho allows larger weight trucks to drive to out-of-state destinations on smaller state roads bypassing his company's rails and tracks, they will lose customers and will not be able to make operational margins required to stay in business. This year his business will move abut 39,000 cars which is equivalent to 117,000 trucks. If grower abandonment occurs, there will be more trucks on the highways in southern Idaho. They employ 60 Idahoans and serve 21 rural Idaho communities. To risk losing these jobs during a decade-long pilot project, at a time when Idaho's economy and government struggles to make ends meet, is too risky. Eastern Idaho Railroad urges the Committee to vote against H 395 allowing his company to remain a competitive and viable transportation alternative to Idaho's small, isolated rural communities.

A copy of a letter from Ed McKechnie, Vice President of Strategic Development for Eastern Idaho Railroad, is held in the Senate Transportation Committee office.

Motion Senator Brandt moved, seconded by Senator Little, that H 395 be sent to the Senate floor with a Do Pass recommendation. Senator Keough requested a roll call vote.

AYES: Senators Ingram, Brandt, Little, Bailey, McWilliams

NAYS: Senators Keough, Geddes, Marley, Calabretta

On a 5 to 4 vote, H 395 passed and will be sent to the floor with a Do Pass recommendation.

Adjourn The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m.