Legislature(2009 - 2010)

2009-01-28 House Journal

Full Journal pdf

2009-01-28                     House Journal                      Page 0093
HB 89                                                                                                                         
HOUSE BILL NO. 89 by the House Rules Committee by request of                                                                    
the Governor, entitled:                                                                                                         
     "An Act repealing the governor's committee on employment of                                                                
     people with disabilities; creating the state vocational rehabilitation                                                     
     committee and relating to the committee; and providing for an                                                              
     effective date."                                                                                                           
was read the first time and referred to the Labor & Commerce, Health                                                            
& Social Services, and Finance Committees.                                                                                      
The following fiscal note(s) apply:                                                                                             
1.  Zero, Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development                                                                                
The Governor's transmittal letter dated January 23, 2009, follows:                                                              
"Dear Speaker Chenault:                                                                                                         
Under the authority of Article III, Section 18, of the Alaska                                                                   
Constitution, I am transmitting a bill repealing the Governor's                                                                 
committee on employment of people with disabilities, creating the                                                               
state vocational rehabilitation committee, and relating to the                                                                  
The purpose of this bill is to eliminate the need to change state law                                                           
every time federal requirements change the number and or                                                                        
constituency of the membership required for the Governor's committee                                                            

2009-01-28                     House Journal                      Page 0094
on employment of people with disabilities and to expand its                                                                     
responsibilities to include the functions of an assistive technology                                                            
advisory council as required under federal law.  Since approximately                                                            
70 percent of the financing for the committee comes from the federal                                                            
government, compliance with federal requirements is necessary.                                                                  
Assisting those with disabilities in obtaining employment is vital to the                                                       
economic and social well-being of the state. Given the opportunity,                                                             
these Alaskans have the ability to contribute significantly to our                                                              
workforce and to our communities, while granting them financial                                                                 
independence and affirmation of their value to society.                                                                         
The Governor's committee on employment of people with disabilities                                                              
has been carrying out the responsibilities of the state rehabilitation                                                          
council identified in 29 U.S.C. 725, as amended.  This bill would                                                               
replace the existing committee with a federally compliant committee                                                             
and would allow for adjustments necessary to remain in conformance                                                              
with federal law without the need for further statute changes.  The                                                             
newly created committee's responsibilities would also include the                                                               
functions of an assistive technology advisory council required under                                                            
29 U.S.C. 3001.                                                                                                                 
The bill would also increase the frequency of meetings of the                                                                   
committee, from a minimum of once each year to four times a year.                                                               
The bill would allow telephonic participation in committee meetings,                                                            
and would provide for election of the chair by the committee                                                                    
members, subject to the approval of, rather than appointment by, the                                                            
The bill would also provide a reviser's instruction to change the                                                               
heading of Article 2 of AS 23.15, to reflect the creation of the new                                                            
I urge your prompt and favorable action on this measure.                                                                        
                               Sarah Palin