Legislature(2019 - 2020)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

01/24/2019 01:30 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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01:31:58 PM Start
01:39:57 PM Confirmation Hearing(s):
02:31:54 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
Commissioner-Designee Tamika Ledbetter, Dept. of
Labor & Workforce Development
-- Below Rescheduled from 01/22/2019 --
+ Commissioner-Designee Julie Anderson, Dept. of TELECONFERENCED
Commerce, Community & Economic Development
-- Public Testimony --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          SENATE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                        
                        January 24, 2019                                                                                        
                           1:31 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Lora Reinbold, Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Mia Costello, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                            
Senator Chris Birch                                                                                                             
Senator Elvi Gray-Jackson                                                                                                       
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                        
Commissioner, Department of Labor and Workforce Development                                                                   
Dr. Tamika Ledbetter - Anchorage                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                    
Commissioner, Department of Commerce, Community and Economic                                                                  
Julie Anderson - Anchorage                                                                                                      
     - CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
TAMIKA LEDBETTER, Ph.D., Commissioner Designee                                                                                  
Department of Labor and Workforce Development                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as nominee for commissioner of the                                                              
Department of Labor & Workforce Development.                                                                                    
JULIE ANDERSON, Commissioner Designee                                                                                           
Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as  nominee for commissioner of the                                                             
Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.                                                                     
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:31:58 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LORA  REINBOLD  called  the   Senate  Labor  and  Commerce                                                             
Standing Committee meeting  to order at 1:31 p.m.  Present at the                                                               
call  to  order  were  Senators Costello,  Bishop,  Birch,  Gray-                                                               
Jackson, and Chair Reinbold.                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD  gave  a  brief   view  of  her  vision  for  the                                                               
committee, noting that she strives  for a collaborative approach.                                                               
She  emphasized the  impact crime  has had  on businesses  in the                                                               
state and on labor and commerce.                                                                                                
CHAIR REINBOLD asked committee members to introduce themselves.                                                                 
^CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                       
                    CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                
  Commissioner, Department of Labor and Workforce Development                                                               
1:39:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD  announced that the  only order of  business would                                                               
be the confirmation hearings of  Tamika Ledbetter as commissioner                                                               
of the  Department of Labor  and Workforce Development  and Julie                                                               
Anderson  as   commissioner  of   the  Department   of  Commerce,                                                               
Community and Economic Development.                                                                                             
1:41:06 PM                                                                                                                    
TAMIKA  LEDBETTER, Ph.D.,  Commissioner  Designee, Department  of                                                               
Labor and  Workforce Development (DOLWD), shared  her background,                                                               
experience and vision for the  DOLWD, noting her philosophy for a                                                               
successful life  is to serve others.  She was raised in  New York                                                               
City  in  the Bronx  where  she  attended private  and  parochial                                                               
schools.  She graduated  from Virginia  Union  University with  a                                                               
four-year  [Bachelor  of Arts  Degree  in  History and  Political                                                               
Science.  She also  earned her  Master of  Arts in  Education and                                                               
Adult  Education  and  Doctor  of  Management  in  Organizational                                                               
Leadership from  the University of  Phoenix]. Her work  ethic and                                                               
beliefs  were  formed  by  her  inner-city  experiences  and  her                                                               
grandmother's belief  that education was  key. She served  in the                                                               
U.S.  Air Force  for four  years and  was deployed  to Iraq.  She                                                               
raised two sons  who followed their father's  military service by                                                               
serving in the  U.S. Marine Corps. She said  her teenage daughter                                                               
is being home schooled.                                                                                                         
DR. LEDBETTER  said she  has had  many opportunities  and mentors                                                               
who  recognized  her potential.  She  described  her work  ethic,                                                               
formed  by her  inner-city background  and her  strong desire  to                                                               
work hard  and do  her best  in each position  she has  held. She                                                               
offered her belief that opportunities  for youth can change their                                                               
trajectory in life.                                                                                                             
1:46:31 PM                                                                                                                    
DR. LEDBETTER reviewed  her 12-year work history  at DOLWD, where                                                               
she worked her  way from entry level positions to  manager of the                                                               
Mat-Su job  center and  regional manager  of the  Mat-Su Economic                                                               
Region. She conveyed her belief  that her dedication, work ethic,                                                               
and progressive  positions within the DOLWD  make her well-suited                                                               
to lead  the department. She has  served in management for  10 of                                                               
her  12 years  at  DOLWD and  her colleagues  can  attest to  her                                                               
dedication and management skills, she said.                                                                                     
DR.  LEDBETTER offered  her vision  for  the DOLWD,  which is  to                                                               
provide   training,    worker   safety,   adequate    wages   and                                                               
opportunities  for  all  Alaskans  to  help  them  realize  their                                                               
potential.  She  emphasized  that  she  fully  supports  Governor                                                               
Dunleavy's  pro-business approach  and her  intent to  convey his                                                               
message that "Alaska  is open for business."  That approach means                                                               
the  state  must develop  industries  that  will generate  income                                                               
opportunities for  residents and eliminate barriers.  She must be                                                               
responsive to  business leaders and  industry needs.  She related                                                               
her commitment to  closing the age gap by  promoting awareness of                                                               
industry  opportunities for  Alaska's  youth. She  said when  the                                                               
public  calls a  state office  it  is important  that they  reach                                                               
staff and that staff is  responsive to their inquiry and concern.                                                               
This  means  hiring  staff  who are  highly  qualified  and  have                                                               
appropriate  attitudes   and  skill  sets  for   their  job.  She                                                               
emphasized  the  need  to  increase   public  confidence  in  the                                                               
1:51:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD commended Ms. Ledbetter's  resume and passion. She                                                               
thanked  her for  her  desire  to eliminate  barriers  and to  be                                                               
responsive to business.                                                                                                         
1:52:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GRAY-JACKSON acknowledged that  she recently met with Dr.                                                               
Ledbetter. She asked Dr. Ledbetter how she felt about employees.                                                                
DR. LEDBETTER said  she loves the front-line  worker, noting that                                                               
when  leaders  show  their  employees that  they  are  valued  it                                                               
results in dedicated workers. She  suggested that leaders need to                                                               
do a better  job conveying this since work  cannot happen without                                                               
staff. She added that her staff works with her and not for her.                                                                 
1:53:21 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GRAY-JACKSON  said she was  impressed that  Dr. Ledbetter                                                               
worked her way  up through the department, just as  she had done.                                                               
She asked how she felt about organized labor.                                                                                   
DR.  LEDBETTER  said she  does  not  differentiate between  labor                                                               
types and instead prefers to  focus on the worker. She identified                                                               
her  goal is  to  help  Alaskans obtain  the  skill  sets and  to                                                               
provide needed  opportunities. She said she  considers herself to                                                               
be pro-Alaska, so all workers are important.                                                                                    
1:54:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR   COSTELLO  said   she  was   also  impressed   with  Dr.                                                               
Ledbetter's experience  and passion. She highlighted  that Alaska                                                               
struggles  with veteran  hire and  wondered how  the state  could                                                               
provide more  opportunities for veterans. She  explained she must                                                               
leave today's meeting to briefly  meet with constituents who have                                                               
been impacted by the earthquake.                                                                                                
DR. LEDBETTER  explained that  the DOLWD  was created  because of                                                               
veterans  returning from  World  War II.  She  reported that  the                                                               
DOLWD has developed priorities  for veterans' services, including                                                               
grant funding  and specific programs with  allocated funding. The                                                               
DOLWD's  staff regularly  visits  military bases  to outline  the                                                               
department's strategies  and services in order  to streamline the                                                               
hiring process for veterans leaving the military.                                                                               
1:55:58 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BIRCH  said he  was thrilled to  have her  interested and                                                               
willing to serve. He asked Dr.  Ledbetter to identify some of her                                                               
five-year goals for the department.                                                                                             
DR.  LEDBETTER responded  that her  primary goal  is to  focus on                                                               
young people. She pointed out  that Alaska has an aging workforce                                                               
and employees  who retire must  pass on their  knowledge. College                                                               
is not the only option as  a career path and the department wants                                                               
Alaskans  to know  the vast  array available  to them,  she said.                                                               
Often students have  not identified what career to  choose so she                                                               
encouraged  elder workers  to  mentor a  high  school or  college                                                               
1:58:24 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BIRCH  agreed.   He  said  he  recently   met  with  the                                                               
commissioner-designee for  the Department of Education  about the                                                               
Anchorage's King  Career Center  and Fairbank's  Hutcheson Career                                                               
Center. He  said he saw a  nexus between education and  trade and                                                               
related his  own early job  training experiences in the  trade to                                                               
illustrate the point.                                                                                                           
1:59:06 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BISHOP  acknowledged  he   has  held  several  hours  of                                                               
discussions  with   Dr.  Ledbetter.  He  pointed   out  that  the                                                               
commissioner  wields   significant  power.   He  asked   for  her                                                               
assurance that  the commissioner-designee would apply  that power                                                               
DR. LEDBETTER agreed to do so.                                                                                                  
2:00:35 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  REINBOLD  recognized  former  Representative  Munoz  and                                                               
Gavel Alaska personnel.                                                                                                         
2:01:15 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   REINBOLD  opened   public  testimony   and  after   first                                                               
ascertaining no  one wished to  testify, closed  public testimony                                                               
for the  confirmation hearing of  the commissioner  designee, Dr.                                                               
Tamika Ledbetter, as commissioner of  the Department of Labor and                                                               
Workforce Development.                                                                                                          
2:01:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD  commented  that   she  is  encouraged  that  Dr.                                                               
Ledbetter was  willing to break  down barriers Alaska  has faced.                                                               
She  said  that  people  often  talk  about  diversification  and                                                               
mineral development,  but breaking barriers in  Alaska has proven                                                               
difficult.  She  thanked Dr.  Ledbetter  for  her willingness  to                                                               
serve  as  commissioner.  She  recapped  and  commended  the  Dr.                                                               
Ledbetter for her  goals and ability to define what  it means for                                                               
the state to be open for business.                                                                                              
2:04:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD stated  it  was her  intention  to recommend  the                                                               
appointment  be forwarded  to a  joint session  for consideration                                                               
and asked for Senator Bishop to make a motion.                                                                                  
She  reminded   members  that   signing  the   reports  regarding                                                               
appointments  to  boards  and  commissions  in  no  way  reflects                                                               
individual members'  approval or  disapproval of  the appointees;                                                               
the nominations are merely forwarded  to the full legislature for                                                               
confirmation or rejection.                                                                                                      
2:04:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BISHOP stated  that in accordance with  AS 39.05.080, the                                                               
Senate  Labor  and  Commerce   Standing  Committee  reviewed  the                                                               
following and recommends the appointment  be forwarded to a joint                                                               
session for consideration:                                                                                                      
Commissioner, Department of Labor & Workforce Development                                                                       
Dr. Tamika Ledbetter - Anchorage                                                                                                
2:04:46 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
2:04:54 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD reconvened  the  meeting  and asked  commissioner                                                               
designee Anderson to come to come forward.                                                                                      
2:08:28 PM                                                                                                                    
JULIE  ANDERSON, Commissioner  Designee, Department  of Commerce,                                                               
Community  and Economic  Development (DCCED)  paraphrased written                                                               
remarks, which read as follows, [original punctuation provided]:                                                                
     Good  afternoon.   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 their  time in                                                                    
     visiting with  me and for  this hearing today.   I also                                                                    
     want to  express my  appreciation to  Governor Dunleavy                                                                    
     for his confidence in choosing me for this department.                                                                     
          Let me begin by sharing  some of my background and                                                                    
     family  history.   I  am a  lifelong  Alaskan, with  my                                                                    
     roots on one side tracing  back through my father to my                                                                    
     Athabaskan    grandfather    and    missionary    nurse                                                                    
     Grandmother.     On   my   mother's   side,  my   great                                                                    
     grandfather  followed  the  1898 Gold  Rush  to  Eagle,                                                                    
     where my mother lives today.                                                                                               
          My father, Jules Wright, was born in Nenana, one                                                                      
     of  seven boys.   As  a missionary  family, they  lived                                                                    
     throughout the  interior. He served  in the  U.S. Army,                                                                    
     worked in  construction, owned  his own  company, mined                                                                    
     and built  Manley Hot  Springs Resort.  An entrepreneur                                                                    
     in every sense of the word.   In the early 1960s he was                                                                    
     president  of the  Fairbanks Native  Association for  3                                                                    
     years,  and he  served  on the  Board  of Directors  of                                                                    
     Doyon Ltd.                                                                                                                 
2:09:43 PM                                                                                                                    
          Interestingly  for   this  experience   today,  my                                                                    
     father served  in Alaska's House of  Representatives in                                                                    
     the late 1960's, and I  remember being in this building                                                                    
     as a  fourth grader.  It  is an honor to  be here today                                                                    
     before this committee.                                                                                                     
          I  would   like  to  provide   a  summary   of  my                                                                    
          My master's degree  is in International Management                                                                    
     from  the Thunderbird  School of  Global Management  in                                                                    
     Arizona, with a  focus on the Asia/Pacific  region.  My                                                                    
     bachelor's  degree is  in Business  from UAF.   I  also                                                                    
     obtained  Certification  as   an  Economic  Development                                                                    
     Work Experience                                                                                                            
          At Alyeska  Pipeline Service Company, I  managed a                                                                    
     team of  200 employees and contractors  to successfully                                                                    
     deliver contractor management,  supply chain functions,                                                                    
     facilities, aviation and  crisis management operations.                                                                    
     I was  a member of  the Executive Team  accountable for                                                                    
     safe and effective operation of the Pipeline.                                                                              
          While  accountable for  an annual  budget of  over                                                                    
     $60 million,  I delivered  services under  budget every                                                                    
     year. My  team and  I performed  an annual  analysis of                                                                    
     areas where services could  be delivered with increased                                                                    
     efficiency  and implemented  with performance  tracking                                                                    
          As  a  member of  the  Doyon  Foundation Board  of                                                                    
     Directors, we  successfully increased the value  of the                                                                    
     Foundations  portfolio   by  275%  and   implemented  a                                                                    
     structured  process to  fund  scholarship and  language                                                                    
     While  with  the  Alaska Energy  Authority,  I  managed                                                                    
     stakeholder   relationships   on   the   Susitna-Watana                                                                    
     Hydroelectric  project,   while  working   with  Alaska                                                                    
     Native  corporations  and   other  land  owners,  local                                                                    
     communities, and  federal and state agencies  to ensure                                                                    
     full  participation   in  the   project's  engineering,                                                                    
     design and environmental studies.                                                                                          
2:11:29 PM                                                                                                                    
          In  the mid-90's,  working with  the Commissioners                                                                    
     of Community  and Regional Affairs, Fish  and Game, and                                                                    
     Commerce,  we  implemented  the  Community  Development                                                                    
     Quota (CDQ) Program.  This  program provides 10% of the                                                                    
     harvestable fishery  resource of  the Bering Sea  to 57                                                                    
     western  Alaskan villages.   I  also managed  the State                                                                    
     Rural Development  Initiative Fund,  a loan  program to                                                                    
     benefit rural Alaskans in entrepreneurial ventures.                                                                        
          Much  of my  volunteer time  has been  invested in                                                                    
     supporting  our great  state  through involvement  with                                                                    
     Anchorage  Chamber of  Commerce,  the Doyon  Foundation                                                                    
     Board,  Anchorage  Public  Safety  Commission  and  the                                                                    
     Alaska Native Advisory board, to mention a few.                                                                            
          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.                                                                           
          As we face the challenges of today, I remember                                                                        
     the  challenges  we  faced  in  the  pre-Prudhoe,  pre-                                                                    
     pipeline,  honey  bucket days.    While  we face  tough                                                                    
     choices today, we have  resources our forefathers could                                                                    
     only dream  of.  We  need to utilize those  resource to                                                                    
     provide opportunities  for Alaskans  in all  regions of                                                                    
     the state.   A healthy economy is  essential to healthy                                                                    
     people and healthy  communities. I am eager  to take up                                                                    
     my  duties with  Governor Dunleavy  and work  to better                                                                    
     Alaska's economy.                                                                                                          
          I strongly support the direction the Governor has                                                                     
     outlined to  improve the State's economy.   The diverse                                                                    
     experience   that  I   have   working  within   private                                                                    
     industry,   State   Government    and   Alaska   Native                                                                    
     organizations   will   be    beneficial   in   aligning                                                                    
     stakeholders to realize the Governor's vision.                                                                             
          The goals of the Governor are ambitious and                                                                           
     rightfully so.   The key  to managing our budget  is to                                                                    
     grow the economy and remove  wasteful spending.  I have                                                                    
     a  proven track  record  in  managing for  efficiencies                                                                    
     along with  delivering successful  economic development                                                                    
     programs,  and I  am excited  to bring  that experience                                                                    
     and perspective to  work with those at DCCED  to make a                                                                    
     2:13:36 PM                                                                                                               
          I care deeply about the future of the state and                                                                       
     look  forward to  working  with  the 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 DCCED.  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 all of                                                                    
     our employees  and divisions  are pulling  together for                                                                    
2:14:43 PM                                                                                                                    
          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  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.                                                                         
          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 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.  One key                                                                    
     to doing  so is  in evaluating risk.   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                                                                    
          We continue to work to find this kind of balance                                                                      
     across  our programs,  and are  critically for  ways to                                                                    
     modernize,  digitize  and  streamline  so  as  to  make                                                                    
     licensing easier to do here than anywhere else.                                                                            
          I realize that these goals are not without their                                                                      
     challenges.    Perhaps  our greatest  challenge  is  to                                                                    
     change  the  perspective  of   those  both  within  and                                                                    
     outside of  Alaska.  Yes,  Alaska can be  a challenging                                                                    
     environment, but  we are capable of  visionary thinking                                                                    
     and  working together  to improve  the quality  of life                                                                    
     throughout Alaska.                                                                                                         
          We are at a point where it is imperative that we                                                                      
     focus on our core services at  the same time as 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.                                                                           
2:17:36 PM                                                                                                                    
          Having been involved in one of the biggest                                                                            
     economic development projects  in Alaska's history (the                                                                    
     800 mile Trans Alaska  pipeline), my measure of success                                                                    
     for these efforts  is simple.  That  project enabled me                                                                    
     to attend college and be the  first in my family to get                                                                    
     a college degree.   It has enabled  four generations of                                                                    
     my   family   to   pursue  their   interests,   be   it                                                                    
     entrepreneurism, college or  technical training. It has                                                                    
     raised  the standard  of living  throughout Alaska.   I                                                                    
     would hope  that our current efforts  to strengthen and                                                                    
     diversify the  economy will  do the  same for  at least                                                                    
     another four generations.                                                                                                  
          It is time to close and to take your questions.                                                                       
     While I will  do my best, I will note  that having been                                                                    
     on  the  job  just  seven  short  weeks,  weeks,  I  am                                                                    
     learning more every day!                                                                                                   
2:18:33 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD  said the  Ms. Anderson  has an  impressive broad-                                                               
based resume.  She congratulated  her on  her ability  to deliver                                                               
services under  budget while at Alyeska  Pipeline Service Company                                                               
(APSC).  She  emphasized  that  [onerous]  regulations  were  the                                                               
number one  concern in her  district, so  she was happy  to learn                                                               
the department's goal to repeal unnecessary regulatory burdens.                                                                 
2:19:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BIRCH, speaking  as a  former pipeline  employee in  the                                                               
1990s, said  that he appreciated  the effort and  initiative that                                                               
has been  undertaken. He  recalled the  size of  APAC's workforce                                                               
has been reduced  from 2,200 employees to 800 over  time. He said                                                               
he  always uses  APSC  as a  case study  on  how to  structurally                                                               
organize  a company.  He  offered his  belief  that Ms.  Anderson                                                               
brings  to the  department a  broad range  of qualifications.  He                                                               
asked whether  Ms. Anderson has  had an opportunity to  meet with                                                               
other  department heads  and  if  she has  had  time to  identify                                                               
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE  ANDERSON said she has  met informally with                                                               
other commissioner designees and she  plans to meet soon with Dr.                                                               
Ledbetter  and the  commissioner designee  for the  Department of                                                               
Natural  Resources (DNR).  She hoped  to identify  bottlenecks in                                                               
state government  and work with  other departments  to streamline                                                               
efficiencies for those who conduct business in Alaska.                                                                          
2:21:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GRAY-JACKSON said  she was  impressed with  Commissioner                                                               
Designee Anderson's  resume. She  recalled an  earlier discussion                                                               
she had  with Ms.  Anderson with respect  to the  Municipality of                                                               
Anchorage's (MOA) "angel  fund," which is $8  million [in federal                                                               
funds]  to  provide  low-interest grants  to  entrepreneurs.  She                                                               
asked  if  Ms. Anderson  would  look  for  other ways  to  assist                                                               
entrepreneurs at the state level.                                                                                               
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE ANDERSON agreed  that finding ways to bring                                                               
capital  to Alaska  to  help small  businesses  and all  Alaskans                                                               
would be  a key  focus of  the DCCED. She  stated that  the rural                                                               
communities suffer  as well, and her  goal was to make  it easier                                                               
for them, too.                                                                                                                  
2:22:56 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD  highlighted  her office  has  received  numerous                                                               
complaints  from  individuals  who  have  experienced  delays  in                                                               
obtaining   licensure,  including   health  care   providers  and                                                               
veterans. She characterized the  delays for the medical community                                                               
as significant ones. She related her  intent to hold a hearing to                                                               
identify  reasons for  bottlenecks in  licensure, especially  for                                                               
doctors and veterans.                                                                                                           
2:24:23 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BISHOP disclosed  that  he knows  Ms. Anderson's  family                                                               
well  and acknowledges  her entrepreneurial  skills. He  said the                                                               
state has a lot of room to grow  in terms of tourism and he hopes                                                               
Ms. Anderson will  amp that up. He heard her  remarks that Alaska                                                               
is  "open for  business" and  he understands  that statement.  He                                                               
recalled that he previously served  with former commissioner Emil                                                               
Notti and acknowledged what a pleasure  it was to serve with him.                                                               
He  highlighted problems  rural areas  face, including  that some                                                               
rural   communities  still   have   "honey   buckets"  and   high                                                               
unemployment. He  said he was  encouraged that Ms.  Anderson will                                                               
lunch  with incoming  commissioner  Ledbetter to  discuss how  to                                                               
leverage assets.  He closed by  highlighting that  he understands                                                               
that  Ms.  Anderson is  familiar  with  the 30-year  Trans-Alaska                                                               
Pipeline  System  Reauthorization   that  required  a  20-percent                                                               
Native hire, which was met. He  recalled this was met because the                                                               
company worked with the "crafts."  He expressed hope that the two                                                               
departments  would  work  together  to  continue  to  put  Alaska                                                               
Natives, women  and minorities  to work in  the workforce  in the                                                               
state. He advised her to  work on the [Susitna-Watana] project if                                                               
she wanted  to grow the economy  since it is vital  to have cheap                                                               
energy  to do  so.  He  said that  cheap  energy  could grow  the                                                               
economy of Alaska faster than anything else.                                                                                    
2:27:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD asked to piggyback  onto what Senator Bishop said,                                                               
noting  that  it  is  important to  identify  barriers  in  rural                                                               
Alaska. She  suggested it  might be even  possible to  reduce the                                                               
Department  of Health  and Social  Services budget  if good  jobs                                                               
could be created in all  areas, but particularly in rural Alaska.                                                               
She further stated  she was open to the idea  of holding hearings                                                               
during  the  legislative  interim  to address  crime,  labor  and                                                               
commerce,  or any  area of  hindrance to  the development  of the                                                               
2:29:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   REINBOLD  opened   public  testimony   and  after   first                                                               
determining  no one  wished to  testify, closed  public testimony                                                               
for  the confirmation  of Julie  Anderson, commissioner  designee                                                               
for   the  Department   of  Commerce,   Community  and   Economic                                                               
2:30:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD asked  for final comments and  after hearing none,                                                               
stated it was  her intent to move Ms. Anderson's  name forward to                                                               
a joint session for consideration.                                                                                              
CHAIR REINBOLD asked Senator Bishop for a motion.                                                                               
2:30:51 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BISHOP stated  that in accordance with  AS 39.05.080, the                                                               
Senate  Labor  and  Commerce   Standing  Committee  reviewed  the                                                               
following and recommends the appointment  be forwarded to a joint                                                               
session for consideration:                                                                                                      
Commissioner,  Alaska  Department   of  Department  of  Commerce,                                                               
Community and Economic Development                                                                                              
Julie Anderson - Anchorage                                                                                                      
SENATOR  BISHOP   stated  that  signing  the   reports  regarding                                                               
appointments  to  boards  and  commissions  in  no  way  reflects                                                               
individual members'  approval or  disapproval of  the appointees;                                                               
the nominations are merely forwarded  to the full legislature for                                                               
confirmation or rejection.                                                                                                      
2:31:28 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD reviewed the upcoming committee schedule.                                                                        
2:31:54 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Reinbold adjourned the Senate Labor and Commerce Standing                                                                 
Committee meeting at 2:31 p.m.