SENATE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION

 

 

March 21, 2005                                                                                                       Hearing Room C

3:10 P.M.                                                                                                                     Tapes  35 - 36

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Joanne Verger, Chair

Sen. Doug Whitsett, Vice-Chair

Sen. Rick Metsger

Sen. Floyd Prozanski

Sen. Bruce Starr

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Judith Callens, Committee Administrator

James Goulding, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:        

                                                SB 76 – Work Session

                                                SB 868 – Public Hearing                                           

                                                SB 558 – Public Hearing

 

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 35, A

003

Chair Verger

Calls the committee to order at 3:14 p.m.  Remarks that SB 317 will not be heard today.  Opens a work session on SB 76.

SB 76 – WORK SESSION

015

Judith Callens

Committee Administrator.  Explains the bill and the -1 amendments (EXHIBIT A). 

027

Chair Verger

Asks Robin Freeman to come forward to answer question regarding SB 76.

035

Robin Freeman

Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).  Answers Sen. Verger’s question regarding SB 76.

045

Sen. Whitsett

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT SB 76-1 amendments dated 3/18/05.

 

 

VOTE:  3-0-2

EXCUSED:  2 - Sen. Prozanski, Sen. B. Starr

 

Chair Verger

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

050

Sen. Whitsett

MOTION:  Moves SB 76 to the floor with a DO PASS AS AMENDED recommendation.

 

 

VOTE:  4-0-1

EXCUSED:  1 - Sen. Prozanski

 

Chair Verger

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

SEN. WHITSETT will lead discussion on the floor.

060

Chair Verger

Closes work session on SB 76.  Opens public hearing on SB 868.

SB 868 – PUBLIC HEARING

061

Judith Callens

Committee Administrator. Gives overview of SB 868.

070

Bob Russell

President, Oregon Trucking Associations, Inc.  Presents written testimony in favor of SB 868 (EXHIBIT B). Testifies in favor of SB 868.

133

Chair Verger

Asks for an example of why a truck driver would not pay to get the permit.

137

Russell

Replies that they may not know a permit is required or they may not know their permit has expired.

145

Chair Verger

Asks if the reduction in penalty is for first time only.

148

Russell

Replies yes.

150

Sen. Prozanski

Wonders about setting up ignorance as a defense for this class of individuals.

157

Russell

Directs Sen. Prozanski to the section of the bill that specifies a one time only penalty reduction.

173

Chair Verger

Notes a letter submitted for the record from the City of Portland (EXHIBIT C).

175

Bradd Swank

Government Relations, Oregon Judicial Department. Suggests changes to SB 868.  Advises various language changes. 

220

Chair Verger

Asks Mr. Russell to work with Mr. Swank on amendments to SB 868.  Asks if Russell has seen the opposing letter from the City of Portland.

225

Russell

Replies yes.

230

Chair Verger

Closes public hearing on SB 868.  Opens public hearing on SB 558.

SB 558 – PUBLIC HEARING

240

Judith Callens

Committee Administrator. Explains provisions of SB 558.

257

Chair Verger

Puts the committee at ease at 3:33 p.m.

258

Chair Verger

Calls the committee back at 3:35 p.m.

265

Sen. Bill Morrisette

Represents Senate District 6.  Testifies in favor of SB 558. 

325

Rep. Paul Holvey

Represents House District 8.  Testifies in favor of SB 558.

327

Sen. Prozanski

Asks Rep. Holvey to identify himself for the record.

335

Rep. Holvey

Identifies himself for the record.  Presents written testimony in favor of SB 558 (EXHIBIT D). Continues testimony on SB 558.

365

Chair Verger

Asks if Sen. Morrisette thinks that the community at large feels that a change needs to be made.

370

Sen. Morrisette

Responds to Sen. Verger’s question.  

TAPE 36, A

005

Sen. Whitsett

Questions the election methods of transit districts around the state.

010

Sen. Morrisette

Talks about various transportation districts.

017

Sen. Whitsett

Wonders if the transit employees are represented on the Lane Transit District (LTD) Board.

020

Sen. Morrisette

Replies no.

023

Rep. Holvey

Adds that the LTD uses other taxes besides the payroll tax.

033

Roger Martin

Executive Director, Oregon Transit Association.  Testifies in opposition to SB 558.  Provides background on previous efforts to address this issue.   

065

Martin

Relates how the previous legislatures established the transit boards and why it has been effective in selecting members.

100

Martin

Details the few places in the nation that elect their transit board members and the problems involved.  Mentions the recently resolved Lane Transit strike.

107

Sen. Prozanski

Points out he did not draft this bill to address that specific problem.

109

Martin

Clarifies that he was not stating that was the intent behind the legislation.

113

Sen. Prozanski

Asks if Martin is aware that self-employed individuals are taxed under the system.

117

Martin

Affirms he is aware.

140

Doug Barber

Lane Transit District (LTD).  Submits written testimony in opposition to SB 558 (EXHIBIT E). Testifies in opposition to SB 558.

175

Andy Vobora

Director of Marketing, LTD.  Discusses a chart of operating characteristics (EXHIBIT F).  Outlines how the chart demonstrates that the LTD has been effective in its financial management.

230

Jim Markee

Amalgamated Transit Union 757 (ATU).  Testifies in favor of SB 558.  Notes that they are supportive of the bill but clarifies that they were not behind the drafting of the measure. 

270

Markee

Discusses the problem of people appointed by the Governor not being among those that pay the taxes in the district they serve.  Notes that boards can be very political even without the election process. 

310

Markee

Feels an elected process provides greater accountability to the community.  Outlines those served by ATU.

325

Jonathan Hunt

Vice President, ATU.  Testifies in favor of SB 558.  Describes problems with current appointed board membership.  Points out problems with recent LTD strike. 

375

Hunt

Talks about the lack of board interaction in resolving the strike.

410

Hunt

Notes that having a board accountable to the people would assist in resolving such problems.

TAPE 35, B

003

Carol Alldred

Bus driver, ATU.  Testifies in favor of SB 558.

043

Terry Connolly

Director of Government Affairs, Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce.  Submits written testimony in opposition to SB 558 (EXHIBIT G). Testifies in opposition to SB 558.

075

Connolly

Explains why the current executive appointment process is effective.

085

Jack Roberts

Lane Metro Partnership.  Testifies in opposition to SB 558. Feels it should address all districts and not certain areas of the state. 

120

Roberts

Continues testimony in regards to the electoral system not providing the membership needed for such a specific interest group.

140

Roberts

Talks about a problem similar to the transit strike but with an elected school board.  Observes electing board membership will not resolve such problems.

170

Sen. Prozanski

Thanks Mr. Roberts for his role in resolving the strike.  Notes that they don’t have anyone from the board to testify.  Asks if there is a way to provide a fresh perspective to the board outside of the appointment process.

195

Roberts

Notes he is testifying from his own perspective.  Replies that there are a lot of unknowns with his suggestion.  Wonders if it would really solve any problems, but feels it could be considered. 

227

Connelly

Feels the current board is accessible.

240

Chair Verger

Expresses admiration for their metro system. 

257

David Hinkley

Resident, Eugene, Oregon.  Presents written testimony in favor of SB 558, noting some possible changes to the measure (EXHIBIT H).

330

Hinkley

Suggest changes to SB 558.

360

Hinkley

Stresses that the changes should have been made a long time ago. 

395

Joseph Hubbell

Resident, Lane County.  Testifies in favor of SB 558.  Relays some of the history of LTD. 

TAPE 36, B

005

Hubbell

Talks about low rider ship areas and large cuts made to metro service areas.

020

Hubbell

Relates his community involvement and his observations of public dissatisfaction with the current board.

073

Hubbell

Comments that the board follows management recommendations and does not think outside of that perspective.  Feels they do not represent everyone in the district. 

085

Chair Verger

Reiterates his observations.  Asks that he conclude his testimony.

093

Hubbell

Concludes by discussing the decline in service he has witnessed.

103

Chair Verger

Comments on SB 558.

113

Hubbell

Responds to comments.

117

Chair Verger

Observes the discussion has been valuable.  Closes public hearing on SB 558.  Adjourns the meeting at 4:48 p.m.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. SB 76, -1 amendments, staff, 3 pp
  2. SB 868, written testimony, Bob Russell, 2 pp
  3. SB 868, written testimony, Susan Schneider, 1 p
  4. SB 558, written testimony, Rep. Paul Holvey, 1 p
  5. SB 558, written testimony, Doug Barber, 1 p
  6. SB 558, chart, Andy Vobora, 1 p
  7. SB 558, written testimony, Terry Connolly, 1 p
  8. SB 558, written testimony, David Hinkley, 2 pp