Legislature(2019 - 2020)BARNES 124


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Audio Topic
11:02:20 AM Start
11:03:29 AM Confirmation Hearing(s):|| Commissioner, Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development
11:29:44 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
Commissioner Designee Julie Anderson, DCCED
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
           HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ARCTIC POLICY,                                                                          
               ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND TOURISM                                                                              
                         March 14, 2019                                                                                         
                           11:02 a.m.                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Sara Hannan, Chair                                                                                               
Representative Zack Fields                                                                                                      
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                                          
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
Representative Josh Revak                                                                                                       
Representative Sara Rasmussen                                                                                                   
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative John Lincoln                                                                                                     
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                        
Commissioner, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and                                                                   
Economic Development                                                                                                          
     Julie Anderson - Anchorage                                                                                                 
     - CONFIRMATION(S) ADVANCED                                                                                                 
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
JULIE ANDERSON, Commissioner-Designee                                                                                           
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development                                                                     
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to the position of                                                                
Commissioner of the Department of Commerce, Community, and                                                                      
Economic Development.                                                                                                           
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
11:02:20 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR SARA  HANNAN called the  House Special Committee  On Arctic                                                             
Policy,  Economic Development,  and Tourism  meeting to  order at                                                               
11:02 a.m.   Representatives Revak,  Rasmussen, Tuck,  and Hannan                                                               
were  present at  the  call to  order.   Representatives  Kreiss-                                                               
Tomkins and Fields arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                      
^CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                       
^Commissioner,  Department of  Commerce, Community,  and Economic                                                               
11:03:29 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR HANNAN announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
a  confirmation  hearing  for   Julie  Anderson,  the  governor's                                                               
appointment  to  Commissioner  of  the  Department  of  Commerce,                                                               
Community, and Economic Development (DCCED).                                                                                    
11:04:02 AM                                                                                                                   
JULIE  ANDERSON, Commissioner-Designee,  Department of  Commerce,                                                               
Community, and  Economic Development  (DCCED) read  the following                                                               
prepared testimony [original punctuation provided]:                                                                             
     Good  morning!  Madame  Chairman  and  members  of  the                                                                    
     Committee,  my name  is  Julie Anderson,  Commissioner-                                                                    
     Designee for the Department  of Commerce, Community and                                                                    
     Economic Development.                                                                                                      
     I  want  to  thank  the  Committee  for  your  time  in                                                                    
     visiting  with me  individually  and  for this  hearing                                                                    
     today.  I  also  want  to express  my  appreciation  to                                                                    
     Governor  Dunleavy for  his confidence  in choosing  me                                                                    
     for this position.                                                                                                         
     Since we have met individually  and and spent time with                                                                    
     together,  I will  abbreviate my  personal history  but                                                                    
     put just a few details on the record:                                                                                      
     ? I  am of Athabaskan  descent on my father's  side and                                                                    
     my  mother's grandparents  moved to  in Eagle  in 1898,                                                                    
     where she resides today.                                                                                                   
     ?  I grew  up all  over the  Interior, worked  pipeline                                                                    
     construction out of high school, later went to college                                                                     
     ? Beyond  my life experiences, my  education includes a                                                                    
     bachelor's  in business  from UAF  and a  master's from                                                                    
     the  Thunderbird School  of Global  Management. I  also                                                                    
     obtained  Certification  as   an  Economic  Development                                                                    
     ?  As  to  my  career,  in the  mid-90's  I  worked  to                                                                    
     implement   the  Community   Development  Quota   (CDQ)                                                                    
     Program.  I also  worked for  Alyeska Pipeline  Service                                                                    
     Company managing  a team  of employees  and contractors                                                                    
     to successfully deliver  contractor management, HSE and                                                                    
     supply  chain   functions,  facilities,   aviation  and                                                                    
     crisis management operations.  Following my time there,                                                                    
     I worked for AEA on the Susitna-Watana hydro project.                                                                      
     Having worked both  in DCRA and AEA, and  worked with a                                                                    
     variety of economic development  efforts, I have a good                                                                    
     working knowledge of the  department, its divisions and                                                                    
     programs, with much more to learn.                                                                                         
     I care  deeply about the  future of the state  and look                                                                    
     forward  to  working   with  administration  to  create                                                                    
     economic  opportunity   for  future   generations.  The                                                                    
     Governor   has   assembled  an   outstanding,   diverse                                                                    
     cabinet, and I am honored to be a part of it.                                                                              
     Which brings  me to  my vision  for our  Department. To                                                                    
     create  economic  opportunity requires  bringing  fresh                                                                    
     ideas  and  new  perspectives   to  both  our  role  in                                                                    
     economic development and  in administering the statutes                                                                    
     that the Legislature has given us to implement.                                                                            
     One of our top goals  is to encourage new investment in                                                                    
     the   state  and   grow   our   economy  by   repealing                                                                    
     unnecessary  regulatory  burdens,   by  not  increasing                                                                    
     taxes,  and   by  creating  stability.  We   intend  to                                                                    
     strengthen  key industries  while  supporting the  free                                                                    
     enterprise system,  building a diverse  economy through                                                                    
     business assistance,  financing, promotion,  and public                                                                    
     policy. At DCCED, we are  working aggressively to break                                                                    
     out  of government  silos and  make sure  our employees                                                                    
     and divisions are pulling together for Alaskans.                                                                           
     We  are  looking  at opportunities  to  modernize,  use                                                                    
     existing  data  and  work smarter.  An  example  is  an                                                                    
     effort  underway to  link  the  new Community  Database                                                                    
     Online (CDO) in the  Division of Community and Regional                                                                    
     Affairs with  a whole  host of  other data  on business                                                                    
     licensing,  land  ownership,   resources  and  economic                                                                    
     development,   to   help    provide   region   specific                                                                    
     information for those looking to invest in Alaska.                                                                         
     There is a  presentation on the CDO  in House Community                                                                    
     and Regional Affairs scheduled  for Tuesday, March 26th                                                                    
     at 8:00 AM                                                                                                                 
     We are also intensely focused  on jobs and capital   it                                                                    
     takes investment  to generate  jobs, and jobs  are what                                                                    
     generate  healthy people  and  healthy communities.  We                                                                    
     are  taking  a  deep  look at  what  helps  or  hinders                                                                    
     investment that creates jobs,  across everything we do.                                                                    
     We need  to focus  on Alaska's  competitive advantages,                                                                    
     reduce barriers,  and let industry know  that Alaska is                                                                    
     open for business.                                                                                                         
     We've already met with dozens  of local venture capital                                                                    
     experts,  business  owners   and  industry  leaders  to                                                                    
     explore ways  in which the  department can  help foster                                                                    
     Alaska's growth.  We are  listening to  suggestions and                                                                    
     seeking their  valuable ideas  to implement  as quickly                                                                    
     as possible.                                                                                                               
     Additionally, our  Department is  committed to  doing a                                                                    
     better   job  administering   the  statutes   that  the                                                                    
     Legislature has  given us to implement,  we've reviewed                                                                    
     thousands of pages of statutes  and regulations with an                                                                    
     eye to reducing burdens on citizens and businesses                                                                         
     We  realize that  a healthy  regulatory environment  is                                                                    
     necessary  for a  strong  economy.  Regulation that  is                                                                    
     reasonable, balanced  and efficient is my  solution. We                                                                    
     must  strike   the  proper  balance   between  economic                                                                    
     development and  public safety  and protection.  We are                                                                    
     actively reviewing  professional licensing requirements                                                                    
     and  the  best  way  to fulfill  our  duty  to  protect                                                                    
     Alaskans while trying to  lighten requirements that are                                                                    
     barriers to growth.                                                                                                        
     We  continue  to work  to  find  this kind  of  balance                                                                    
     across  our programs,  and  are  critically looking  at                                                                    
     licensing to  see if  any of  them have  outlived their                                                                    
     usefulness,  and for  ways to  modernize, digitize  and                                                                    
     streamline  to make  licensing easier  to do  here than                                                                    
     anywhere else.                                                                                                             
     We are at a point where  it is imperative that we focus                                                                    
     on  our core  services at  the  same time  we grow  the                                                                    
     economy. I am  excited to have the  opportunity to help                                                                    
     improve   how   the  government   encourages   business                                                                    
     development  and delivers  high  quality services  more                                                                    
     efficiently to Alaska's citizens and businesses.                                                                           
     As  I  said  in  my  opening,  my  background  includes                                                                    
     fifteen  years with  Alyeska Pipeline,  running my  own                                                                    
     business,  time  working  on the  Susitna-Watana  Hydro                                                                    
     Project, and  working to get  the CDQ program  in place                                                                    
     for  communities   in  Western  Alaska.  I   know  what                                                                    
     Alaskans can do when they put their mind to it.                                                                            
     Let me  close with this:  we all share those  visuals                                                                      
     the  world's  fascination  with Alaska,  our  wild  and                                                                    
     scenic  brand, our  unparalleled beauty,  our extensive                                                                    
     coastline, our  vast stores  of natural  resources, our                                                                    
     fish,  our native  cultures and  corporations, and  our                                                                    
     center  in  trans-pacific  trade. Our  airport  is  the                                                                    
     fourth busiest  cargo hub  in the  world, our  place as                                                                    
     America's entry  in the arctic,  our robust  public and                                                                    
     private  corporations, and  our  millions  of acres  of                                                                    
     Visualize  all  that,  and then  our  people,  and  ask                                                                    
     yourself  what is  holding  us back.  It  is truly  our                                                                    
     ability  to visualize  and build  a better  future, for                                                                    
     ourselves,  our  kids,  and our  grandkids.  I  believe                                                                    
     Alaskan are up to the challenge!                                                                                           
     I  am looking  forward  to helping  in  this effort  to                                                                    
     provide  efficient   services  to  the   residents  and                                                                    
     businesses  in  the state  and  doing  what we  can  to                                                                    
     improve our economy for future generations.                                                                                
     Thank you for your time today.                                                                                             
11:10:46 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS praised  Commissioner Anderson's experience                                                               
and thanked  her for bringing  that experience to  state service.                                                               
He noted that  there are national groups that  lobby to eliminate                                                               
licensing  requirements.     He   shared  an  anecdote   about  a                                                               
constituent   who  requested   new  licensing   requirements  for                                                               
interior  designers.    He   recalled  the  previous  legislature                                                               
working  with   massage  therapy  establishments   to  strengthen                                                               
licensing  requirements   in  order  to  protect   against  human                                                               
trafficking  and   illicit  massage  parlors.     He  asked  that                                                               
Commissioner   Anderson  consider   the  many   cases  in   which                                                               
businesses  have supported  licensing  requirements for  consumer                                                               
transparency,  to  ensure  quality,  and  to  address  underlying                                                               
issues.     He  asked   for  her   thoughts  on   the  unintended                                                               
consequences of any proposed deregulation of licensure.                                                                         
COMMISSIONER  ANDERSON   said  DCCED  would   review  regulations                                                               
through a  risk-based lens  to determine  if they  are protecting                                                               
consumers as  intended or impeding  business with no  real effect                                                               
on protecting the consumer.                                                                                                     
11:12:43 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS  asked  her  to consider  the  impact  [of                                                               
licensure] on wages.  He  noted that plumbing and electrical jobs                                                               
are   strong,  middle-class  jobs    in  part  due  to  licensing                                                               
regulations.     He  asked  her  to   consider  whether  changing                                                               
licensing   requirements   might   unintentionally   change   the                                                               
marketplace for given occupations  and prevent workers with those                                                               
occupations from supporting a family.                                                                                           
COMMISSIONER   ANDERSON  stated   that  DCCED   would  definitely                                                               
consider those  impacts.  She noted  that this is the  first time                                                               
she has heard someone bring  up plumbing and electrical licenses.                                                               
She said she would look into those.                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE   FIELDS  reiterated   the  importance   of  those                                                               
licensure programs.                                                                                                             
11:13:30 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN stated  for the  record that  she is  a                                                               
professional  license holder.   She  asked for  information about                                                               
current licensing  requirements for pull-tab operators  and bingo                                                               
operators,  and "what  kind of  economic drivers  those currently                                                               
COMMISSIONER ANDERSON said she did  not have that information off                                                               
the top of her head.  She added  that this is the first time that                                                               
topic has  been brought to  her attentions.   She said  she would                                                               
look into it.  She  noted that pull-tabs are pervasive throughout                                                               
11:14:19 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  asked her to share  her vision for                                                               
the future of the Commercial Fishing Revolving Loan Fund.                                                                       
COMMISSIONER ANDERSON  said she believes  it is a  very important                                                               
program that serves  many rural Alaskans.  She  stated that DCCED                                                               
intends to continue  operating it.  She praised  the team charged                                                               
with managing it.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS asked  for  confirmation that  the                                                               
fund  would  continue  to  be  managed  within  the  Division  of                                                               
COMMISSIONER ANDERSON answered "no."   She said she is evaluating                                                               
all divisions in DCCED to  identify efficiencies.  She noted that                                                               
process is currently in the analysis stage.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS   noted  that  he   misstated  the                                                               
division that manages  the fund and said it  actually falls under                                                               
the  Division  of Economic  Development.    He asked  what  other                                                               
options are on the table for managing the fund.                                                                                 
COMMISSIONER  ANDERSON said  the department  is currently  in the                                                               
evaluation phase  and has not  come to  any decision.   She noted                                                               
that  the fund  presents some  difficulties because  "they're the                                                               
only ones that  can actually use the permits as  collateral for a                                                               
loan, so that creates some barriers."                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  asked that  he remain  apprised of                                                               
the department's  conclusions and the  direction it elects  to go                                                               
with the fund.                                                                                                                  
COMMISSIONER ANDERSON said she would keep him apprised.                                                                         
11:17:02 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK asked  her to repeat a question  posed in her                                                               
opening statement.                                                                                                              
COMMISSIONER  ANDERSON said  she wants  everyone to  consider the                                                               
question,  What  can we do across  the state ... [to]  envision a                                                               
new future  and put our  efforts toward developing new  ideas and                                                               
new opportunities?"                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  asked her to  share her economic  vision for                                                               
COMMISSIONER  ANDERSON  said she  wants  to  continue to  support                                                               
industries within the  state.  She cited a need  to diversify the                                                               
state's economy  and bring in  new industries.  She  claimed that                                                               
there are untapped areas such  as agriculture and new technology.                                                               
She said  one major impediment she  would like to address  is the                                                               
lack of  broadband internet access  across the state.   She noted                                                               
that Apple  recently came  to Alaska to  run coding  academies in                                                               
three different  communities.   She said that  she would  like to                                                               
see individual  clusters of coding  communities across  the state                                                               
and stressed that they would  need access to high-speed internet.                                                               
She  stated that  she  has  put a  team  together  to assess  the                                                               
challenges in diversifying the whole state's economy.                                                                           
11:19:12 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN  said she is  working on an  E-rate bill                                                               
to  raise the  minimum megabyte-per-second  speed of  internet in                                                               
the state  from 10  to 25.   She added that  it would  bring more                                                               
federal dollars to  Alaska and increase internet  speeds in rural                                                               
Alaska.     She  said  she  agrees   with  Commissioner  Anderson                                                               
regarding the  expansion of agriculture to  generate new revenue.                                                               
She  noted that,  at the  beginning of  statehood, 60  percent or                                                               
more of  Alaska's food was  grown in-state.   She added  that the                                                               
state now  imports over 95 percent  of its food.   She shared her                                                               
concern  that Governor  Michael  J. Dunleavy's  fiscal year  2020                                                               
budget proposal  drastically cuts  the [Division  of] Agriculture                                                               
and some of  the state's key programs  for promoting agriculture.                                                               
She asked if DCCED could absorb some of those losses.                                                                           
COMMISSIONER ANDERSON said  it is a good idea and  that she would                                                               
look into  it.  She  recalled years  ago seeing large  gardens in                                                               
villages  and communities.   She  said she  no longer  sees that.                                                               
She added that she worries about food security.                                                                                 
11:20:51 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE REVAK  asked to what extent  Commissioner Anderson                                                               
sees  the cost  of  energy as  a barrier  to  entry for  economic                                                               
diversification  and value-added  manufacturing.   He asked  what                                                               
she intends to do about the cost of energy.                                                                                     
COMMISSIONER  ANDERSON  stated  that  the cost  of  energy  is  a                                                               
critical component to  attracting industry.  She  said the Alaska                                                               
Energy  Authority  continues to  look  at  ideas to  reduce  high                                                               
energy costs.  She referenced  different ideas submitted to DCCED                                                               
on how to  implement new technology in rural areas  to reduce the                                                               
cost  of energy.    She  stated that  DCCED  is evaluating  those                                                               
ideas.  She said there is not yet a "magic bullet" solution.                                                                    
11:22:15 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   TUCK   said   a  previous   legislature   passed                                                               
legislation to  allow spouses of  military members to  have their                                                               
licenses  reciprocated  for a  short  period  to enable  them  to                                                               
obtain  Alaska  licenses.    He  stated that  SOA  is  behind  on                                                               
implementing  this.   He recalled  a  past hearing  in the  House                                                               
Special Committee on Military and  Veterans' Affairs during which                                                               
DCCED officials  said they were trying  to work on it.   He asked                                                               
for  verification  that,   within  Governor  Dunleavy's  proposed                                                               
budget,  DCCED would  be  able to  ensure  military families  are                                                               
taken care of regarding licensing  and helping discharged members                                                               
find work.                                                                                                                      
COMMISSIONER ANDERSON  said it  is a high  priority and  that the                                                               
Division of Corporations, Business  and Professional Licensing is                                                               
looking to  allow for universal  temporary licensing.   She noted                                                               
that the current [statutory] language  reads "the board may issue                                                               
a temporary  license."  She  said she wants the  language changed                                                               
to "the board shall" to remove ambiguity.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  noted that the previous  administration felt                                                               
restricted by  a lack of resources.   He said he  wants to ensure                                                               
that, under the governor's proposed  budget, DCCED would have the                                                               
necessary resources to focus on the issue.                                                                                      
COMMISSIONER  ANDERSON  said  the  department feels  it  has  the                                                               
necessary resources.                                                                                                            
11:24:53 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  HANNAN  noted that  proposed  cuts  to the  Department  of                                                               
Natural Resources would not only  cut the Division of Agriculture                                                               
but also  a pilot project  to develop industrial hemp  in Alaska.                                                               
She asked if  Commissioner Anderson sees that  as something DCCED                                                               
can  take on.   She  said many  people speculate  industrial hemp                                                               
could be a multimillion-dollar industry.                                                                                        
COMMISSIONER   ANDERSON  answered   that  she   sees  it   as  an                                                               
opportunity.  She said there  are some rich agriculture grants in                                                               
the state  that should be utilized.   She conceded that  she does                                                               
not know anything  about growing industrial hemp  but stated that                                                               
it appears  there are not high  barriers to entry.   She said the                                                               
department would look into it.                                                                                                  
CHAIR HANNAN  referenced Senate Bill  6 [passed in  the Thirtieth                                                               
Alaska  State  Legislature]  that  established  a  $10,000  pilot                                                               
project to  develop pilot regulations  and to sanction  one pilot                                                               
program.   She  said  that project  has been  zeroed  out in  the                                                               
governor's proposed  budget.  She  added that  it is the  view of                                                               
many  that  $10,000  is  a   very  small  investment  that  could                                                               
potentially  lead  to  substantial  returns.    She  noted  that,                                                               
without   the  pilot   project  and   initial  regulations,   the                                                               
opportunity is  at a standoff.   She  said it was  encouraging to                                                               
hear  that   Commissioner  Anderson  understands   the  potential                                                               
economic return to SOA.                                                                                                         
11:27:08 AM                                                                                                                   
The committee took a brief at-ease at 11:27 a.m.                                                                                
11:27:24 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR HANNAN  opened public testimony on  Commissioner Anderson's                                                               
appointment.  After ascertaining no  one wished to testify, Chair                                                               
Hannan closed public testimony.                                                                                                 
11:27:45 AM                                                                                                                   
COMMISSIONER ANDERSON thanked the  committee.  She welcomed ideas                                                               
from the committee members and their constituents.                                                                              
11:28:35 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  stated that  the House Special  Committee On                                                               
Arctic  Policy, Economic  Development, and  Tourism has  reviewed                                                               
the  qualifications of  the governor's  appointee and  recommends                                                               
Julie  Anderson's name  be forwarded  to a  joint session  of the                                                               
House  and  Senate  for consideration  for  Commissioner  of  the                                                               
Department of Commerce, Community,  and Economic Development.  He                                                               
said signing the committee report  does not reflect intent by any                                                               
of the members to vote for  or against this individual during any                                                               
further sessions for the purpose of confirmation.                                                                               
CHAIR  HANNAN   said  Commissioner   Anderson's  name   would  be                                                               
forwarded to other committees and to the joint session.                                                                         
11:29:44 AM                                                                                                                   
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Special Committee On Arctic Policy, Economic Development, and                                                                   
Tourism meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.                                                                                     

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Julie Anderson Resume (002).pdf HAET 3/14/2019 11:00:00 AM
Commissioner Designee Julie Anderson Resume