Thesixth meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Transportation was held on<Day> Tuesday, November 1, 2005, at 1:00 PM, in Room 129 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Brett Guthrie and Representative Hubert Collins Co-Chaired the meeting. Chairman Collins called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Brett Guthrie, Co-Chair; Representative Hubert Collins, Co-Chair; Senators Walter Blevins Jr, Charlie Borders, David E Boswell, Robert J (Bob) Leeper, R J Palmer II, Richard "Dick" Roeding, Gary Tapp, and Damon Thayer; Representatives Eddie Ballard, Carolyn Belcher, Denver Butler, Jim DeCesare, J R Gray, W Keith Hall, Melvin B Henley, Paul H Marcotte, Charles E Meade, Charles Miller, Russ Mobley, Don R Pasley, Marie L Rader, Rick W Rand, Ancel Smith, Jim Stewart III, Tommy Turner, John Vincent, and Mike Weaver.
Guests Appearing Before the Committee: Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Officials: Jim Adams, Deputy Secretary; Asa Swan, Legislative Liaison; Roy Mundy, Commissioner, David Jackson, Deputy Commissioner, Chris Miller, Director, Willie Payton, Assistant Director, and Steve Coffey, Administrative Coordinator, Division of Vehicle Regulation.
LRC Staff: John Snyder, Joe Lancaster, Spring Emerson, and Linda Hughes.
Representative Miller moved to approve the Committee's September 6, 2005 and October 4, 2005 minutes, as presented. Representative Hall seconded the motion, which passed by voice vote.
The first item on the Committee's agenda was the final implementation of 2004 House Bill 29 - electronic reporting of auto insurance. Commissioner Roy Mundy, Director Chris Miller, and Assistant Director Willie Payton presented this testimony. Commissioner Mundy stated that the primary objective of the legislation was to effectively detect uninsured vehicles and initiate enforcement procedure against those drivers. The secondary objective is to automatically verify insurance coverage during vehicle registration process and provide public service of enabling vehicle registration renewal via the internet.
Mr. Payton informed the members that overall the HB 29 legislation project is on track to be fully implemented by April 2006. He said it is the strategy of the Transportation Cabinet to have, by December 12, 2005, a fully implemented public relations campaign in place; by January 1, 2006, all computer programming in place; and by April 1, 2006 begin the process of sending out notice's to registered vehicle owners who have not maintained their insurance. He said that beginning January 1, 2006 all insurance companies are required to supply the state with a list of individualsand vbehicles to which they issue policies.
Senator Roeding asked if the present insurance card would still be required after April 2006. Mr. Payton stated that it was the Cabinet's goal to be as fully electronic as humanly possible by April 2006. However, in some cases he said a card would still be needed, such as when a person first moves into the state and is required to show proof to the clerk of their insurance. Mr. Payton said that that person would need to carry their insurance card until his insurance company has time to comply with Kentucky's law and sends the insurer's data to the Cabinet, which may take up to two months because of reporting timelines.
Representative Belcher stated that she receives numerous calls regarding individuals who purchase six months worth of insurance and then after they get their registration cancel that insurance, and asked if the new system would monitor these individuals. Commissioner Mundy stated that beginning in April 2006 the system will identify such individuals and a notice will be sent to that person telling them that they are in violation and that they must show proof of insurance to their circuit clerk within 30 days.
Representative Miller asked what happens after the 30 days. Mr. Payton said after the 30 days, if they have not shown proof of insurance to their circuit clerk, their registration would be revoked.
Representative Pasley questioned how the system would work for farmers, who only insure and drive their farm vehicles during farming months. Mr. Payton stated that current law and the AVIS system recognizes and allows for seasonal registrations and that that should not be a problem if the farm vehicles are registered properly.
The next item on the Committee's agenda was a presentation on the implementation of 2005 HB 109 - titles for motor vehicles deemed unrebuildable by other states. Chairman Collins told the members that rather than to go into a lengthy discussion on this matter he wanted to report that he had had a meeting earlier this morning with Transportation officials on this subject. Chairman Collins indicated that the Cabinet is working diligently directing the Commonwealth Office of Technology in programming their computers for HB 109 implementation. He said that while the programming is going slower than anticipated, the Cabinet hopes to have the system up and running by March 2006.
At this time Chairman Collins turned the meeting over to Chairman Guthrie. Chairman Guthrie thanked Chairman Collins again for hosting the Committee's October meeting in Paintsville Kentucky.
The next item on the Committee's agenda was a presentation by the Transportation Cabinet on the new Federal REAL-ID Act. Commissioner Jackson and Administrative Coordinator Coffey presented this testimony. Commissioner. Jackson said that as of May 11, 2008 states must have their driver license (DL) or identification (ID) system certified by the Department of Homeland Security. After this date, persons who do not have a Federal sanctioned driver's license or ID will not be permitted to enter into commercial airports, social security offices, or any Federal court buildings.
Mr. Coffey stated that a state must ensure the physical security of the location where DL or IDs are produced and the security of documentation materials and papers from which DL/IDs are produced. Also. he said employees authorized to produce DL/IDs are required to receive security clearance and go through specialized training, such as fraudulent document recognition. Mr. Coffey noted states much adhere to these mandates without any Federal financing.
Mr. Coffey stated that the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Kentucky State Police, and the Cabinet have a monumental task before them. He said that the state does not currently have a centralized or regionalized approach to the issuance of driver licenses, but rather it has 140 different issuance sites. And, he said, that this verification and retention of documents will significantly increase the workload of the state's circuit clerks.
Commissioner Jackson noted that Kentucky and New Hampshire will share in a six million dollar grant that was awarded through US Homeland Security to pilot the REAL-ID project. He said Kentucky, as well as New Hampshire, have been recognized as being forerunners in their security efforts since 9/11. He said that while there is no financing for the mandates, Kentucky will receive grant money to assist in its pilot efforts.
Chairman Guthrie stated that he understands the May 2008 timeframe but asked about the final rules of implementation. Mr. Coffey stated that Kentucky should receive the rules governing this project sometime next fall.
Representative Marcotte stated that he lives in Boone County, one of the fastest growing counties in Kentucky, and that their circuit clerks were already working under financial restraints and he expressed his concerns for any further workload being placed upon them without resources to hire additional employees.
Representative Weaver noted that on the second page of a letter dated October 12, 2005 from NCSL to The Honorable Michael Cherroff, it states that NCSL "will oppose any effort to transform DL/IDs into a de facto national identification card." He said that he believes they are denying reality, because what we current have is a de facto national ID card.
Representative Weaver noted several stipulations contained on the NCSL document in the Committee's folder. Some of the areas of concern were, "states must have a common machine readable technology with defined data elements," which he believed meant bio-metrics; "a state shall not accept any foreign documents other than the official passport," which he assumed was a passport with a visa stamped on it to tell people how long that person is allowed to be in the country; "that no state will issue a DL/ID after this law goes into effect that exceeds eight years." And, "if you do not have a passport with a visa that authorizes you to be in this country for a definite period of time, that the DL will be limited to one year." Representative Weaver said that if there is someone that is in Kentucky for three years they get a Kentucky DL that expires the date the visa expires. However, if we have somebody here that is teaching and they have an open ended visa on their passport Kentucky currently gives them a four year DL and offers renewals. He asked if the Cabinet will be able to sort through all this in the timeframe it has been allowed for this pilot program in order to get the data back to the Office of Homeland Security so they can take the data that Kentucky has collected and impose it upon other states. Mr. Coffey noted that the Cabinet has a challenging time line. Mr. Coffey stated that to Representative Weaver's credit, Kentucky was one of the leading states when dealing with undocumented aliens. He said that Federal government incorporated a lot of Kentucky's language from the 2002 legislation when developing the REAL-ID Act.
Representative Weaver state that Kentucky still have state troopers out in the field who do not know that if you stop someone and they have a drivers license that is good for less than three years, that that person also has to have a passport with a visa. He said this was done for security purposes and Kentucky needs to take advantage of the security we currently have in place.
Representative Mobley asked if Kentucky's driver licenses would go up in price due to the REAL-ID Act. Mr. Coffey said that that was impossible to answer at this time because they do not have the total scope of the Act.
Representative Gray stated that he purchased an automobile a couple of months ago and was required to give the dealership his social security number. He said he remembered that the 1998 General Assembly eliminated reporting social security numbers on forms of this type. Commissioner Mundy said that Secretary Neighbert was made aware of this situation several weeks ago and at that time he asked that all forms requesting a person's social security number, be sent to the Cabinet's legal counsel for review. He said that it is the Cabinet's plan to eliminate social security numbers whereever feasible and to reproduce those forms eliminating that error.
Representative Weaver said that the Cabinet and the Committee needed to be aware that when the state goes to a system of security clearances, i.e., when a background check is done for a person to work in a particular area, then that that person would not be allowed to appear before this committee, in open or closed session, to discuss what they are doing, unless this committee had the same level of clearance as that person did.
Senator Boswell asked how retailers were educated on identifying persons using stolen identifications and credit cards. Mr. Coffey stated there are three levels of security with any drivers license and that it was up to merchants to train their employees to recognize stolen identifications.
The last item on the Committee's agenda was the Transportation Cabinet's 2006 legislative agenda. Deputy Secretary Adams and Asa Swan presented this item. Secretary Adams stated that the Cabinet had three legislative priorities to bring before the Committee.
Mr. Swan informed the members that one of the legislative priorities was a Graduated Driver's License. He said that by creating an intermediate period of six months for teen drivers between the learner's permit and full license the teen gains driving experience while conditions known to be risky are limited (night-time driving, driving with numerous teen passengers and the accompanying distractions, etc.). And, if violation-free, a teen can receive a full license in one year. The Cabinet does not anticipate any fiscal impact with the graduated driver's license proposal.
After a brief discussion of the various ways to accomplish this task, Chairman Collins noted that 2006 BR 10, sponsored by Representative Tom Burch, has been referred to the Committee and they will have the opportunity to discuss the measure in depth during the early weeks in January, when the 2006 General Assembly convenes.
Another legislative priority, Mr. Swan said, was quick clearance. He said that quick clearance, for interstates and parkways only, is the practice of rapidly and safely removing temporary obstructions from the state's roadways. Four main elements make up quick clearance laws. They are: (1) driver stop law - when in an accident, drivers must stop their cars without obstructing traffic as much as possible; (2) driver removal law - in an accident with non-serious or no injuries, drivers must move their cars to the side of the road; (3) authority removal law - the incident commander or surrogate authority at the accident scene can order the removal of vehicles to a safer place (even if the driver objects); and (4) authority tow law - same as authority removal except that it emphasizes removal to a legal parking area or safe refuge. The Cabinet anticipates a cost to the Cabinet of between $100,000 and $200,000 for signage programs, a similar cost as was incurred with signage directing motorists to yield and pull into the passing lane when encountering emergency vehicles on the roadside.
The third priority Mr. Swan spoke of was a KRS Cleanup. He said that over the past year, the Cabinet and the Kentucky Transportation Center reviewed Kentucky's Administrative Regulations and Revised Statutes that are inconsistent, incomplete, and/or out of date with an eye towards making them more understandable and consistent with each other, the Uniform Vehicle Code, and the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Mr. Swan noted that there are no costs associated with this priority.
With no further business before the Committee, the meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m.