SB 229: "An Act relating to employment contributions and to making the state training and employment program a permanent state program; and providing for an effective date."

00SENATE BILL NO. 229 01 "An Act relating to employment contributions and to making the state training 02 and employment program a permanent state program; and providing for an 03 effective date." 04 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 * Section 1. FINDINGS. The legislature finds that 06 (1) an inadequate number of jobs exist in this state to meet the needs of those 07 seeking employment; 08 (2) many Alaskans are having difficulty finding jobs, especially in trying to 09 meet the changing technology needs in this state; 10 (3) employer and employee contributions paid into the unemployment 11 insurance system are used for payment of compensation to unemployed workers and allocation 12 of a small portion of employment contributions paid by employees would provide money to 13 develop a state training and employment program to meet the training needs of Alaskans; 14 (4) a state training and employment program would

01  (A) help prevent future claims against unemployment benefits; 02  (B) foster new jobs by encouraging businesses to locate in the state due 03 to availability of a skilled labor force and by minimizing employers' unemployment 04 costs; and 05  (C) increase training opportunities to those workers severely affected 06 by the fluctuations in the state economy or technological changes in the workplace in 07 the state; 08 (5) it would be beneficial to the state for state training and employment 09 programs funded by the state training and employment program to supplement, but not to 10 displace, programs funded by money available to a training entity for public or private 11 training, and not to replace, parallel, compete with, or duplicate existing federally approved, 12 jointly administered apprenticeship and training programs; 13 (6) it would be beneficial to the state to make the state training and employment 14 program a permanent state program to benefit Alaska workers, businesses, and industry. 15 * Sec. 2. AS 23 is amended by adding a new chapter to read: 16 CHAPTER 23. STATE TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM. 17  Sec. 23.23.010. STATE TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM. 18 There is created in the department a program to finance and award grants to 19 employment assistance and training entities. Employment assistance and training 20 entities shall give appropriate state agencies full access to accounting records 21 concerning grants received to assure compliance with program standards. 22  Sec. 23.23.020. EMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE AND TRAINING 23 PROGRAM ACCOUNT. The employment assistance and training program account 24 is established in the general fund. The commissioner of administration shall separately 25 account for money collected under AS 23.23.030 that the department deposits in the 26 general fund. The annual estimated balance in the account may be appropriated by the 27 legislature to the department to implement AS 23.23. The legislature may appropriate 28 the lapsing balance of the account to the unemployment compensation fund established 29 in AS 23.20.130. 30  Sec. 23.23.030. SPECIAL EMPLOYEE UNEMPLOYMENT CREDIT AND 31 CONTRIBUTIONS FOR PROGRAM. (a) In the manner provided in AS 23.20, the

01 department shall collect from each employee an amount equal to one-tenth of one 02 percent of the wages, as set out in AS 23.20.175, on which the employee is required 03 to make contributions under AS 23.20.290(d). The department shall remit to the 04 Department of Revenue, in accordance with AS 37.10.050, money collected under this 05 subsection. 06  (b) Notwithstanding AS 23.20.290(d), the department shall credit each 07 employee with an amount equal to the amount collected from the employee under (a) 08 of this section against unemployment contributions owed by the employee under AS 09 23.20. 10  (c) The department shall assess and collect, under AS 23.20.185 - 23.20.275, 11 interest and penalties for delinquent reports and payments due under this section. 12 Interest and penalties collected shall be handled in accordance with AS 23.20.130(d). 13  Sec. 23.23.040. PEOPLE TO BE SERVED. Within the limits of its grant, an 14 employment assistance and training entity receiving a grant under AS 23.23.070 shall 15 provide services set out in AS 23.23.050 to state residents who, immediately before 16 beginning training or receiving benefits under a grant financed by this program, 17  (1) are unemployed and 18  (A) are receiving unemployment insurance benefits; or 19  (B) have exhausted the right to unemployment insurance 20 benefits within the past three years; 21  (2) are employed, but liable to be displaced within the next six months 22 because of 23  (A) reductions in overall employment within a business; 24  (B) elimination of the worker's current job; or 25  (C) a change in conditions of employment requiring that, to 26 remain employed, the employee must learn substantially different skills that the 27 employee does not now possess; or 28  (3) have worked in a position covered by AS 23.20 at any time during 29 the last three years, and are not currently eligible for unemployment insurance benefits 30 because 31  (A) their employment has been seasonal, temporary, part-time,

01 or marginal; 02  (B) their qualifying wages are insufficient because of limited 03 job opportunity; or 04  (C) they are employed but, because they are underemployed, 05 they are in need of employment assistance and training to obtain full 06 employment. 07  Sec. 23.23.050. SERVICES FOR ELIGIBLE PEOPLE. Subject to the limits 08 of its grant, an entity receiving a grant under AS 23.23.070 shall provide one or more 09 program elements. The program elements include 10  (1) industry-specific training; 11  (2) on-the-job training; 12  (3) institutional or classroom job-linked training; 13  (4) support services, including allowances; 14  (5) relocation assistance; or 15  (6) provisions of necessary tools, work-related clothing, safety gear, or 16 other necessities to obtain or retain employment. 17  Sec. 23.23.060. DUTIES OF THE DEPARTMENT. (a) The department may 18 award a grant to the council to 19  (1) administer a state training and employment program; and 20  (2) award pilot project grants to qualified entities. 21  (b) If a grant is awarded to the council, the department shall annually provide 22 to the council a priority list of targeted projects or services, based on unemployment 23 statistics, unemployment insurance claims, occupational and industrial projections, 24 availability of other training and employment programs, and other relevant data. The 25 department shall also provide annually to the council a priority list of criteria for 26 eligibility to maximize services to those people most in need of training under 27 AS 23.23. In developing the priority list for targeted projects and services, the 28 department shall solicit comments from the Department of Community and Regional 29 Affairs, Department of Education, Department of Commerce and Economic 30 Development, University of Alaska, organized labor, the council, and the 31 administrative entities of the sub-state service delivery areas established for the

01 council. 02  (c) The department may adopt regulations necessary to implement this chapter. 03  Sec. 23.23.070. DUTIES OF ALASKA HUMAN RESOURCE INVESTMENT 04 COUNCIL. (a) In implementing this program under a grant received under 05 AS 23.23.060, and subject to the limit of its grant, the council shall award a pilot 06 project grant for a period of up to two years, in accordance with the priority list 07 established by the department under AS 23.23.060(b), to an employment assistance and 08 training entity if the entity meets program requirements and can demonstrate that 09  (1) its accounting systems include controls adequate to check the 10 accuracy and reliability of accounting data, promote operating efficiency, and assure 11 compliance with program requirements and generally accepted accounting principles; 12 and 13  (2) its activities do not replace or compete in any way with a federally 14 approved jointly administered apprenticeship program or any other existing training 15 programs. 16  (b) The council may not award a pilot project grant if the grant would displace 17 money available through existing public or private training programs. 18  (c) To provide administration of the program, the council may use the 19 administrative entities of the substate service delivery areas established for the council. 20  (d) The council shall annually provide the department with financial and 21 performance reporting on the activities of the program and recommendations 22 concerning continuation of funding. 23  Sec. 23.23.900. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter, 24  (1) "council" means the Alaska Human Resource Investment Council 25 established in AS 44.19.620; 26  (2) "department" means the Department of Labor; 27  (3) "program" means the state training and employment program 28 established in this chapter; and 29  (4) "substate service delivery areas" means those areas designated by 30 the governor under 29 U.S.C. 1532. 31 * Sec. 3. This Act takes effect July 1, 1996.