Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/06/2004 02:04 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
   2D CSHB 288(RLS)-CHANGING NAME OF DEPT OF COMM & ECON DEV.                                                               
CHAIR CON BUNDE announced HB 288 to be up for consideration.                                                                    
MR.  BEN   GRENN,  staff  to  Representative   Kohring,  sponsor,                                                               
explained  that HB  288 changes  the  name of  the Department  of                                                               
Community  & Economic  Development  (DCED) to  the Department  of                                                               
Commerce, Community  and Economic Development.  Confusion existed                                                               
as to the actual mission of  the department on whether Alaska had                                                               
an agency  that is  tasked with  promoting commerce  and economic                                                               
development, which  has somewhat  complicated efforts  to attract                                                               
investment to the  state. Adding the word commerce  back into the                                                               
title also makes it consistent with numerous other states.                                                                      
CHAIR BUNDE  asked if  community or  commerce has  any connection                                                               
with coalbed methane.                                                                                                           
MR. GRENN replied no at this point in time.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE VIC  KOHRING, sponsor,  joined the  committee, and                                                               
exhorted the committee to pass it.                                                                                              
MS. SALLY SADLER, Legislative Liaison,  Department of Community &                                                               
Economic Development (DCED), supported HB 288.                                                                                  
     We  believe the  new  name does  encompass those  three                                                                    
     core  missions   and  functions  that   the  department                                                                    
     embraces  -   first  being  the   commerce,  regulating                                                                    
     business through  our banking  securities corporations,                                                                    
     through  our   Division  of   Insurance,  as   well  as                                                                    
     Occupational  and Business  Licensing. We  believe that                                                                    
     it also captures the work  of our Division of Community                                                                    
     Advocacy, which  is one of  our largest  divisions that                                                                    
     reaches out  and helps  communities achieve  that self-                                                                    
     sufficiency  and  govern   themselves  and  last,  that                                                                    
     certainly  not  least,   those  functions  of  economic                                                                    
     development in  which we have our  business development                                                                    
     specialists    who    promote   economic    development                                                                    
     opportunities  not only  for fishing  and tourism,  but                                                                    
     also for small business and mining....                                                                                     
A  zero fiscal  note accompanies  the legislation  and the  costs                                                               
will be absorbed as part of the department's on-going functions.                                                                
SENATOR RALPH  SEEKINS moved  to pass SCS  2D CSHB  288(STA) from                                                               
committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  attached  zero                                                               
fiscal note. Senators Bettye Davis,  Ralph Seekins, Gary Stevens,                                                               
Hollis French,  and Chair Con  Bunde voted  yea; and SCS  2D CSHB
288(STA) moved from committee.                                                                                                  

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