Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/04/2004 01:55 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
    CSHCR 32(EDT)am-AK INFO INFRASTRUCTURE POLICY TASK FORCE                                                                
CHAIR  CON  BUNDE  announced  CSHCR  32(EDT)  am  to  be  up  for                                                               
MS. SUE STANCLIFF, staff to  Speaker Kott, sponsor, said that HCR                                                               
32 establishes the Alaska  Information Infrastructure Policy Task                                                               
Force, which will be charged  with consideration of Alaska's role                                                               
and    interest   in    long-term   information    infrastructure                                                               
development. In summary, the sponsor statement said:                                                                            
     It will  provide communities  with access  to broadband                                                                    
     connectivity   and   provide  for   telecommunications,                                                                    
     health care  education, homeland security  and economic                                                                    
     development  opportunities.   Access  to   fiber  optic                                                                    
     connectivity   will  help   bridge   the  divide   that                                                                    
    separates   rural   Alaska    and   the   benefits   of                                                                     
     technological advances realized in urban Alaska.                                                                           
The Progressive  Policy Institute  has a  new economy  index that                                                               
shows where  Alaska is in  the new  economy. In 1999,  Alaska was                                                               
ranked 13  most  competitive state; by 2002 it had dropped to the                                                               
31   most  competitive state,  the  sharpest drop  among all  the                                                               
states. "We're losing  ground, Mr. Chairman, and  this task force                                                               
can  address  the  question  of   how  Alaska  can  get  back  on                                                               
MR.  STAN  HERRERA,  Chief   Technology  Officer,  Department  of                                                               
Administration, said the resolution  identifies 13 members to the                                                               
task  force without  any representation  from  the Department  of                                                               
Administration.   The  Department   of  Enterprise   Technologies                                                               
Services  currently  provides  all centralized  data  processing,                                                               
data   communications  and   telecommunications  for   the  state                                                               
agencies  identified  by Alaska  statute.  He  has submitted  his                                                               
concerns to  the Speaker  of the House  and recommended  that the                                                               
Department of Administration be represented on the task force.                                                                  
MS. STANCLIFF commented  that the sponsor did  not support adding                                                               
a representative from the Department of Administration.                                                                         
CHAIR BUNDE said he had  concerns about unequal representation in                                                               
the Legislature and  asked for an amendment to delete  one of the                                                               
members  of   the  Legislature  and   have  him  replaced   by  a                                                               
commissioner or designee of the Department of Administration.                                                                   
SENATOR HOLLIS FRENCH agreed with him.                                                                                          
SENATOR   GARY  STEVENS   conceptually   moved   to  reduce   the                                                               
legislative  members  to two  and  to  add  one member  from  the                                                               
Department of Administration.                                                                                                   
SENATOR  BETTYE  DAVIS  said  that  although  she  supported  the                                                               
concept, it was  close to the end of session  and the sponsor did                                                               
not  support  the  amendment  and  felt  that  was  an  important                                                               
MS.   WYNETTA  AYERS,   Executive   Director,  Southwest   Alaska                                                               
Municipal Conference  (SWAMC), supported  HCR 32. The  task force                                                               
is  needed  to  develop  a   cohesive  strategy  for  information                                                               
technology and infrastructure in  Alaska. She related how several                                                               
other states  had successfully developed programs.  She hoped the                                                               
state's opportunities  could be leveraged in  Southwest Alaska to                                                               
develop its economy.                                                                                                            
SENATOR  GARY STEVENS  said  he took  Senator  Davis' comment  to                                                               
heart and  didn't want to kill  this bill by dragging  it out and                                                               
withdrew his amendment.                                                                                                         
CHAIR BUNDE said he would let this  bill set until the end of the                                                               
    CSHCR 32(EDT)am-AK INFO INFRASTRUCTURE POLICY TASK FORCE                                                                
CHAIR CON  BUNDE announced  CSHCR 32(EDT)  am to  be back  up for                                                               
SENATOR  GARY  STEVENS  moved  to  pass  CSHCR  32(EDT)  am  from                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
notes. Senators  Seekins, French,  Gary Stevens, Davis  and Chair                                                               
Bunde voted yea; and CSHCR 32(EDT) am moved from committee.                                                                     

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