"This bill will change the powers and duties for DOT&PF to reflect the world in which it now operates. I urge your support of this important measure."
- Sen. Stevens
While CS for SSSB 16 is essentially a housekeeping bill, this important measure will update several statutes related to the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF).
Passage of this bill will remove the requirement that the department consider cost & benefits for all projects, but will add language requiring a cost-effectiveness analysis when evaluating new highways, airports, terminals, ferries, and other major components except those that only serve local needs. In the recent past, opponents of DOT&PF projects vital to the health and wellbeing of Alaska's citizens have utilized some of these obsolete statutes to halt construction, costing the state valuable time and money in litigation, while significantly increasing project costs.
This bill also removes language restricting the department's ability to pass along other grant funding it receives, such as money for the transit and scenic byways programs. It further clarifies that only grants authorized through Legislative appropriation may be awarded, and requires the department to retain its eligibility to receive federal funding.
Additionally, CS for SSSB 16 changes statute by removing the department from participation in setting "thermal and lighting energy standards." With other national and local organizations now responsible for such standards, DOT&PF no longer has a role in establishing these standards.
Changes in other laws, technology, budgetary changes and governmental reorganization have intervened in such a way to make portions of the existing powers and duties language obsolete. This bill will change the powers and duties for DOT&PF to reflect the world in which it now operates. I urge your support of this important measure.