January 23, 2007
"These Subcommittees do the real heavy lifting during the Operating Budget process. We meet every day and comb through the detail budget books of these State Agencies. It is a very intense process for us and for the Departments," said Johansen.
The Department of Administration has been called the 'catch all' for state government. Administration provides centralized administrative duties to other state departments. Also, the department oversees agencies ranging form the Division of Motor Vehicles to the Public Defender, and Labor Relations to the Oil and Gas Commission.
A strong economy and healthy communities are the primary goals of the Department of Commerce. The department regulates banking, securities, and insurance. Commerce also advises and assists local governments with technical and financial assistance under the Division of Community Advocacy. Other entities under the auspices of Commerce include the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, the Alaska Energy Authority, the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, the Alaska Railroad Commission and the Alaska Salmon Marketing Institute.
The Department of Environmental Conservation oversees spill prevention and response for the oil and gas industry in Alaska. DEC also regulates air and water quality as well as environmental health which impacts the restaurant, bar and seafood industries in particular.
Johansen continued, "I am extremely pleased to have a seat on the Transportation Subcommittee. As chair of the standing Transportation Committee, part of our job is making sure the department is following their statuary requirements. With a seat on the Finance Subcommittee for Transportation we get to talk about the money side of the equation as well. It is a nice position, they will come to my standing Committee and tell us what they want to accomplish, then we'll see them in subcommittee when they want to pay for it."
House Finance Subcommittees are beginning work on the operating budget next week.
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