Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/05/1994 01:00 PM ECO

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  SB 310 - STATE/PRIVATE/MUNI TIMBER OPERATION/SALE                            
                                                                               
  MR. GATES presented the Task Force with Senate Bill 310,                     
  sponsored by Senator Frank, regarding forestry management                    
  agreements.  The administration has given Senator Frank some                 
  amendments which will allow all agencies to work together                    
  and have an administratively approved version of SB 310.  He                 
  admitted it was a very controversial bill but encouraged the                 
  Task Force to look at it hard as a tremendous tool to create                 
  a strong, vital forest industry in Alaska.                                   
                                                                               
  Number 465                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES commented that her concern with SB 310                  
  was the public input was allowed after the RFP was                           
  completed, which was discouraging to the developers when                     
  their proprietary and competitive interests were invaded and                 
  put at risk.  She suggested that public scrutiny be allowed                  
  earlier in the process.                                                      
                                                                               
  MR. GATES responded that the administrative amendments deal                  
  with this by having the public submit a list of concerns                     
  after the proposal is submitted, then including these in the                 
  contract.  There would be no way to involve the public any                   
  earlier, because it would not be known on which forests the                  
  bids were focused or what issues were involved.                              
                                                                               
  CHAIR MACLEAN said the Task Force would review the bill.                     
                                                                               
  Number 515                                                                   
                                                                               
  COMMISSIONER FUHS distributed and discussed "The State of                    
  the Economy", issued by Commerce and Economic Development,                   
  which outlined the past and current economy of Alaska.                       
                                                                               
  Number 574                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE MOSES pointed out that the document could be                  
  misleading, because of the large influx of national retail                   
  stores and military, which actually detract from the basic                   
  economy, such as mom and pop stores because the money                        
  doesn't stay in Alaska.                                                      
                                                                               
  COMMISSIONER FUHS agreed and replied that is addressed in                    
  the "new money" aspect of the report, and that value-added                   
  processing is needed to create a balance.                                    
                                                                               
  Number 605                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES commented that the large retail stores                  
  mainly create low paying jobs which then require Alaska to                   
  spend its basic wealth to support them.                                      
                                                                               
  COMMISSIONER FUHS replied that some of the stores did cut                    
  down on catalog shopping or people leaving Alaska to shop,                   
  which did help keep some money in the state.  He added the                   
  intent was to diversify Alaska's economy as oil income                       
  decreases, not necessarily to increase the population.                       
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said she did not think it was possible                  
  to just sustain; life is either growing or shrinking, and                    
  plans should aim at either going up or down.                                 
                                                                               
  Number 640                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS asked if tourism was included in the                 
  report.                                                                      
                                                                               
  COMMISSIONER FUHS replied that there was no separate                         
  statistical category for tourism, because the impact of                      
  tourism was felt throughout all of the other industries.                     
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS said he needed more information to                   
  make decisions regarding the Governor's $3 million cut in                    
  the Division of Tourism's budget.                                            
                                                                               
  COMMISSIONER FUHS stated, the cut reflected the                              
  Administration's opinion that the tourism industry ought to                  
  pay more of their own costs, rather than being supported by                  
  the general fund.  No other industry's advertising is paid                   
  from the general fund like tourism has been.  For example,                   
  seafood marketing is paid almost entirely by the fishermen's                 
  program receipts.  The Division of Tourism's contract with                   
  the Alaska Visitor's Association will expire in June 1994                    
  and will have to be renegotiated, and input as to regional                   
  advertising policies can be dealt with then.                                 
                                                                               
  TAPE 94-06, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   

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