Legislature(1995 - 1996)

1996-01-19 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

1996-01-19                     Senate Journal                      Page 2180
SB 229                                                                       
SENATE BILL NO. 229 BY THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                              
BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR, entitled:                                          
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.                                                         

1996-01-19                     Senate Journal                      Page 2181
SB 229                                                                       
was read the first time and referred to the Community and Regional             
Affairs, Labor and Commerce and Finance Committees.                            
Fiscal notes published today from Department of Community and                  
Regional Affairs (2), Department of Labor.                                     
Governors transmittal letter dated January 19:                                 
Dear President Pearce:                                                         
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18 of the Alaska Constitution, I         
am transmitting a bill making the state training and employment                
program (STEP) a permanent state program.                                      
The STEP is an integral component of Alaskas job training program              
and has enabled participants to increase their average quarterly               
earnings from nine to 12 percent.  The STEP was established as a               
temporary, pilot program in 1989 and has been extended twice -- in             
1991 and 1993.  Since its inception, STEP has trained 4,890 Alaska             
workers at an average cost of $2,000 per participant which is                  
covered by Alaska employees.   The program is financed entirely by             
employee payroll contributions with no employer contributions or               
general fund monies.                                                           
The STEP serves workers who would often be ineligible for                      
employment training assistance through other programs.  It offers              
workers the opportunity to acquire skills by investing in themselves,          
and helps those workers who have been displaced from their jobs to             
learn more skills.  Nearly 60 percent of those entering the program            
are receiving unemployment benefits, and over 80 percent of the                
participants successfuly complete the training and increase their              
employment opportunities.                                                      
The STEP will expire June 30, 1996, unless renewed by the                      
Legislature.  As federal training money decreases from year to year,           
continuing STEP and making it a permanent program will help                    
Alaskans receive the training they need to respond to the changing             
needs of business and industry.                                                

1996-01-19                     Senate Journal                      Page 2182
SB 229                                                                       
I urge your support of this important bill.                                    
						Tony Knowles