Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/01/2004 03:32 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 32                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Relating to information infrastructure and establishing                                                                    
     the Alaska Information Infrastructure Policy Task                                                                          
     Force.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SUE  STANCLIFF,  STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE  KOTT,  testified  in                                                                   
support  of HCR  32.   The bill  would  establish the  Alaska                                                                   
Information  Infrastructure  Policy  Task  Force.   The  task                                                                   
force would  be charged with  consideration of  Alaska's role                                                                   
and   interest  in   long-term   information   infrastructure                                                                   
development.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Stancliff stated  that  the development  of  information                                                                   
infrastructure would  provide Alaska communities  with access                                                                   
to   broadband   connectivity   and  provide   for   improved                                                                   
telecommunications,   health    care,   education,   homeland                                                                   
security and economic development opportunities.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Access  to fiber  optic  connectivity  will help  bridge  the                                                                   
divide  that separates  rural  Alaska  from the  benefits  of                                                                   
technological advances realized in urban areas.  Public-                                                                        
private partnerships  have been used successfully  around the                                                                   
globe to facilitate information infrastructure development.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Stancliff noted that the task  force would be composed of                                                                   
thirteen members.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
   ·    The Commissioner of Military and Veteran's Affairs                                                                      
        or the Commissioner's designee.                                                                                         
   ·    The   Commissioner   of   Community    and   Economic                                                                   
        Development or the Commissioner's designee.                                                                             
   ·    Three members of the Legislature chosen by the                                                                          
        Speaker of the House and the President of the                                                                           
        Senate.                                                                                                                 
   ·    Seven members at-large chosen jointly by the Speaker                                                                    
       of the House and the President of the Senate.                                                                            
   ·    One member chosen by the University of Alaska                                                                           
        President.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Stancliff  pointed out  that the  task force would  begin                                                                   
work in  early June  2004 and would  terminate no  later than                                                                   
                                         th                                                                                     
the close of the  first session of the 24  Legislature.   The                                                                   
task force would develop a comprehensive  package and provide                                                                   
recommendations  including legislation,  if  needed, to  meet                                                                   
the needs for Alaska.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
[Members  were presented  with  a 2  minute DVD  clip on  the                                                                   
Alaska Fiber Project.]                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
WANETTA  AYERS,  (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  EXECUTIVE                                                                   
DIRECTOR,  SOUTHWEST ALASKA  MUNICIPAL CONFERENCE,  testified                                                                   
in  support  of  the  legislation   on  behalf  of  their  54                                                                   
community members.  She emphasized  the financial benefits of                                                                   
the project  and the opportunities  it would provide  for the                                                                   
State of Alaska.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
WALT EBELL, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE),  GENERAL COUNSEL,                                                                   
KODIAK-KENAI   FIBER  CO.,  testified   in  support   of  the                                                                   
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  WILLIAMS  stated  that  HCR  32 would  be  HELD  in                                                                   
Committee for further consideration.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                

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