Legislature(2003 - 2004)

01/20/2004 09:35 AM RLS

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 288-CHANGING NAME OF DEPT OF COMM & ECON DEV.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE  BILL  NO.  288,  "An Act  changing  the  name  of  the                                                               
Department of Community and Economic Development."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0110                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE McGUIRE  moved to adopt  2d CSHB 288,  Version 23-                                                               
LS1030\H,  Bullock,  1/15/04, as  the  working  document.   There                                                               
being no objection, Version H was before the committee.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0129                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VIC  KOHRING, Alaska  State Legislature,  spoke as                                                               
the sponsor  of HB  288.   Representative Kohring  explained that                                                               
the original  intent of HB 288  was to achieve the  desire of the                                                               
administration   by  including   the  word   "Commerce"  in   the                                                               
Department of Community & Economic  Development's name because it                                                               
would  more accurately  reflect  the intent  and  mission of  the                                                               
department.    However, when  the  proposal  to delete  the  word                                                               
"Community"  from the  department's  name was  made some  members                                                               
expressed the  need to maintain  "Community" in  the department's                                                               
name in order to reflect the  rural programs that are part of the                                                               
department.     Therefore,   Version  H   would  keep   the  word                                                               
"Community"  in  the department's  name.    Under Version  H  the                                                               
department's  name  would  be  the  Department  of  Commerce  and                                                               
Community and Economic Development.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0207                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  McGUIRE inquired  as  to  the difference  between                                                               
commerce and economic development.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG explained that economic  development refers to new                                                               
development whereas  commerce refers  to existing  or established                                                               
development.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  McGUIRE inquired  as  to whether  this change  is                                                               
necessary.   She  turned  to  the analysis  section  of the  zero                                                               
fiscal note, which specifies that  the "department will implement                                                               
the change to  the new name as supplies need  to be replenished".                                                               
Although the aforementioned  may be a good way to  deal with this                                                               
change in that it results in  a zero fiscal note, she related her                                                               
belief  that  it could  create  confusion  because there  may  be                                                               
letterhead circulating  under both  names.  She  highlighted that                                                               
this department interacts with foreign nations and other states.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOHRING  agreed  that  changing  the  name  of  a                                                               
department  would likely  bring confusion  until time  passes and                                                               
people become  accustomed to the  change.  Furthermore,  any name                                                               
change  would  necessitate some  expense  due  to the  change  in                                                               
letterhead and  business cards.   He reminded the  committee that                                                               
the  aforementioned  was  experienced  back  in  1999  when  this                                                               
department's name  was changed when  two agencies  were combined.                                                               
The  question  is  whether  a  greater  benefit  is  achieved  in                                                               
comparison to the confusion and expense involved.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0498                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  McGUIRE  maintained   her  belief  that  economic                                                               
development  incorporates enough  of  the  commerce concept  that                                                               
[the department's current name] isn't confusing to people.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOHRING  noted that for many  years "Commerce" was                                                               
included  in  the   department's  name.    He   also  noted  that                                                               
"Commerce" is  used in  the name  describing similar  agencies in                                                               
other  states.   Therefore, this  name change  will minimize  any                                                               
confusion with  regard to  what this  department does  in Alaska.                                                               
Similar agencies in  North Dakota, South Dakota,  Utah, and other                                                               
western states include the name "Commerce".                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA asked if  there is any evidence regarding                                                               
the  confusion surrounding  what  the Department  of Community  &                                                               
Economic  Development  does  in   terms  of  supporting  economic                                                               
development in Alaska.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0673                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SALLY  SADDLER,   Legislative  Liaison,  Division   of  Community                                                               
Advocacy,  Department   of  Community  &   Economic  Development,                                                               
announced that  the department  does support  the name  change as                                                               
proposed  in Version  H.   Part of  the reason  for this  is that                                                               
there  is   some  confusion  with  regard   to  the  department's                                                               
identity;  the  department  is  frequently  referred  to  as  the                                                               
Department of Commerce.  With  regard to the department's role in                                                               
addressing the international community,  Ms. Saddler informed the                                                               
committee that  there is  a executive order  to transfer  many of                                                               
those functions to the governor's  office.  Ms. Saddler noted her                                                               
agreement   with   Chair   Rokeberg   regarding   the   differing                                                               
definitions   of  commerce   and  economic   development.     The                                                               
department  views  its  commerce   functions  as  regulating  and                                                               
enforcing industry  to help  protect the consumer  as well  as to                                                               
provide  a stable  business climate.   The  department views  its                                                               
economic development  functions as those in  which the department                                                               
coordinates, develops,  and implements those programs  that bring                                                               
about sustainable economic development for the state.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0743                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG related  his  understanding  that the  department                                                               
currently has two fundamental divisions.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SADDLER   clarified  that  the  department   houses  several                                                               
divisions such  as the Division  of Community Advocacy,  which is                                                               
one of the larger divisions.   The Division of Community Advocacy                                                               
is dedicated to providing support  to local communities.  Many of                                                               
the  regulatory  functions  occur  in the  Division  of  Banking,                                                               
Securities, &  Corporations; the  Division of Insurance;  and the                                                               
Division of  Occupational Licensing.   The  department's economic                                                               
development  activities  have been  housed  in  the [Division  of                                                               
Trade and Development].  She noted  that part of the functions of                                                               
the aforementioned  division were  previously in the  Division of                                                               
Community  Advocacy.   As the  members will  see in  the proposed                                                               
budget, an  office of  economic development  is being  created in                                                               
order  to deal  with resource-based  issues and  promote economic                                                               
development activities.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0816                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA inquired  as  to what  happens in  rural                                                               
Alaska when  the departmental  name changes  such as  this occur.                                                               
She mentioned the  sense of loss of identity  for communities and                                                               
inquired as to what the department is doing to overcome that.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. SADDLER  pointed out that  Version H still includes  the word                                                               
"Community",  which the  department  believes to  be  one of  the                                                               
three core  functions the  department provides.   She  noted that                                                               
the  department  will continue  to  have  many functions  in  the                                                               
various communities  in the state that  try to meet the  needs of                                                               
the communities that try to achieve self-sufficiency.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  inquired as to  what is going  to happen                                                               
with the stationary.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. SADDLER said  that the department would  probably reflect the                                                               
new name by placing a sticker over the old name.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0912                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG directed  attention to  the committee  packet and                                                               
highlighted  that   HB  288   originally  deleted   the  language                                                               
"Community and Economic Development"  and inserted "Commerce" and                                                               
thus  changed the  name  of Department  of  Community &  Economic                                                               
Development to  the Department of  Commerce.  Then  CSHB 288(STA)                                                               
re-inserted "and  Economic Development".  The  version before the                                                               
committee today,  Version H, would re-insert  "Community".  Chair                                                               
Rokeberg informed  the committee that  due to a  grammatical rule                                                               
the   proposed  departmental   name   would   read  as   follows:                                                               
Department of  Commerce and  Community and  Economic Development.                                                               
He  also informed  the committee  that the  acronym for  this new                                                               
name would  be DCCED.   After determining  no one else  wished to                                                               
testify, Chair Rokeberg closed public testimony.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1003                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL moved  to report 2d CSHB  288, Version 23-                                                               
LS1030\H,  Bullock, 1/15/04,  out  of  committee with  individual                                                               
recommendations and the accompanying zero fiscal note.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA   related  her   belief  that   this  is                                                               
unnecessary and  pointed out that the  dictionary's definition of                                                               
commerce  is  "the  buying  and   selling  of  goods"  while  the                                                               
definition for  the economic  development "is  of or  relating to                                                               
the development,  production, and  management of  material wealth                                                               
as  of  a  country,  household, or  business  enterprise".    She                                                               
mentioned that  the definition of  economic development  seems to                                                               
be more  in line  with what  the department  does.   However, she                                                               
noted her appreciation to the chair's addition to the name.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, 2d  CSHB 288(RLS) was reported from the                                                               
House Rules Standing Committee.                                                                                                 

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