The1st meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Economic Development and Tourism was held on Thursday, September 20, 2001, at 1:00 PM, in Room 149 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Katie Stine, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Katie Stine, Co-Chair; Representative Thomas Kerr, Co-Chair; Senators Dick Adams, Walter Blevins, David Boswell, Ernie Harris, Alice Kerr, Vernie McGaha, Joey Pendleton, and Richard Roeding; Representatives Royce Adams, Rocky Adkins, Eddie Ballard, Carolyn Belcher, John Bowling, Scott Brinkman, Buddy Buckingham, Perry Clark, Howard Cornett, Brian Crall, Tim Feeley, Gippy Graham, J. R. Gray, Keith Hall, Jeffrey Hoover, Dennis Horlander, Stan Lee, Thomas McKee, Russ Mobley, Ruth Ann Palumbo, Tanya Pullin, Tom Riner, Brandon Smith, Johnnie Turner, Ken Upchurch, Charles Walton, Mike Weaver, and Robin L. Webb.
Guests: Aldona Valicenti, Chief Information Officer for the Commonwealth; Secretary Gene Strong, Commissioner Bill Brundage, Cabinet for Economic Development; Dr. Paul Coomes, Professor of Economics, University of Louisville; Kris Kimel, President of Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation; Secretary Ann Latta, Commissioner Kenny Rapier, and Deputy Commissioner Bob Bender, Tourism Development Cabinet. Other guests included: Tony Sholar, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; Mark Kaser, Kentucky Wood Products; Jack Couch, Kentucky Council of ADD’s; Bert May, KLC; D. Ray Gillespie, Kentucky Hotel Motel Association; L.D. Cobb, Cobb Associates; Bob Benson, City of Louisville; Bobby Marshall, UTU; Mike Ridenour, Lexington Chamber of Commerce; Chris Nolan, MMLK, and Ronny Pryor, Capitol Solutions, LLC.
LRC Staff: Mary Yaeger, Committee Staff Administrator, John Buckner and Laura Taylor, Committee Analysts, and Jessica Graves, Committee Assistant.
Senator Stine welcomed all of the members, particularly the new members of the Interim Joint Committee on Economic Development and Tourism, and introduced the staff.
Senator Stine then introduced Aldona Valicenti, Chief Information Officer for the Commonwealth, Governor’s Office of Technology (GOT). Ms. Valicenti brought with her, Mark McChesnea, Acting Security Director. Ms. Valicenti discussed the measures taken in the Commonwealth to secure state electronic data. She gave the committee an overview of what GOT has been doing over the last year and a half to secure our computer systems. The state has made major investments in security. They now have an acting security director, and have increased their staff from four to eleven. They protect the mainframe as well as many other servers in a secure facility. The six buildings that deal with sensitive information are very well secured. They have taken steps to avoid viruses, to implement more appropriate policies and procedures, and to recover from disasters. There are now tools in place that allow for the scanning of viruses at the time of an employee’s sign-in. Security reporting is done on a daily basis. They are now doing a pilot on PKI which is a secure way of transferring data. GOT protects the invisible infrastructure in the state with firewalls. As traffic comes in, the firewalls protect and exclude certain traffic from passing through. They have invested in anti-intrusion software and devices so that they are notified when someone is trying to “hack” into the system.
Security awareness throughout the state has also been an issue of concern. There are programs for contractors and new employees which explain what are and what are not acceptable practices. Newsletters, security awareness posters, and an upcoming security summit are additional measures being taken.
Representative Feeley asked Ms. Valicenti if we have the ability to trace e-mails back to the individual computer from where they originated. This question related to a newspaper article about hate e-mail that traveled within state government. Mr. McChesnea explained that the suspects had been narrowed down to approximately three individuals. He went on to explain that the e-mail came from outside state government, and that the three government computers were key distribution points. Ms. Valicenti commented that there is a policy that explains proper use of the e-mail. There have been notices sent out to all state employees regarding this policy.
Senator Stine thanked Ms. Valicenti for attending, and then introduced Secretary Gene Strong from the Cabinet for Economic Development. Secretary Strong introduced Dr. Bill Brundage, Commissioner of the New Economy, and Dr. Paul Coomes, Economics Professor, University of Louisville.
Secretary Strong discussed the past and current strategic planning process. In 1992, the General Assembly passed House Bill 89, which established the Economic Development Partnership Board. It was designed to create continuity and stability in the Economic Development Cabinet and to encourage private sector involvement. One of the first things mandated by House Bill 89 was the development of a strategic plan for economic development in Kentucky. The mission of that plan was to create more and higher quality opportunities for all Kentuckians by building and expanding sustainable economy. Secretary Strong said that it has been a successful road map for the Cabinet over the years. The planning process has been instrumental in creating certain changes, including:
· The Foreign Trade Office within the Economic Development Cabinet;
· A regulatory expediting process in the Cabinet;
· Ongoing seminars throughout the state for businesses;
· An increase in Kentucky’s employment over the last decade by 362,000 jobs;
· Growth in manufacturing;
· Growth in exports;
· Creation of the Regional Industrial Park Program; and
· Use of the Geographic Information System for marketing.