Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 106

02/02/2010 03:00 PM House HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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Audio Topic
03:09:05 PM Start
03:09:43 PM Children's Justice Task Force Report
04:21:30 PM HB89
04:41:10 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Joint with Senate HSS
+ Children's Justice Task Force Report TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Scheduled But Not Heard
           HB 89-VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION COMMITTEE                                                                        
4:21:30 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR KELLER announced  that the next order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL NO. 89,  "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."                                                                                
[Before the committee was CSHB 89 (L&C).]                                                                                       
4:22:28 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HERRON moved to adopt CSHB 89 (L&C) as the work draft.                                                                 
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
4:23:09 PM                                                                                                                    
PAULA  SCAVERA, Special  Assistant, Office  of the  Commissioner,                                                               
Department of Labor & Workforce  Development (DLWD), said that HB
89 would bring compliance with federal law.                                                                                     
4:23:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHERYL   WALSH,  Director,   Statewide   Programs,  Division   Of                                                               
Vocational  Rehabilitation,  Department   of  Labor  &  Workforce                                                               
Development   (DLWD),  explained   that   the  state   vocational                                                               
rehabilitation   committee   would    function   as   the   state                                                               
rehabilitation  council  and  the assistive  technology  advisory                                                               
committee,  both of  which were  required  by federal  law.   She                                                               
explained  that  the bill  also  addressed  the appointment,  the                                                               
number, the term,  and the composition of  the committee members.                                                               
She shared that the committee members  acted as the voice for the                                                               
stakeholders in  the public rehabilitation program.   She relayed                                                               
that the  primary purpose of  the bill  was to bring  the current                                                               
statutes into compliance with federal law.                                                                                      
4:27:05 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. WALSH  opined that  the committee  would provide  an external                                                               
point of view to assess  the needs of Alaskans with disabilities,                                                               
survey  customer  satisfaction  and  allow  for  public  comment,                                                               
review and make recommendations  for the policies and procedures,                                                               
develop  the  state rehabilitation  plan,  and  keep the  program                                                               
consumer focused.                                                                                                               
4:28:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  KELLER  asked about  the  concern  with tying  this  to                                                               
federal regulation.                                                                                                             
4:29:27 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. WALSH, in response to Co-Chair  Keller, said that the role of                                                               
the  committee  was very  specific  to  oversight of  the  public                                                               
program and the assistive technology program.                                                                                   
4:29:56 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. SCAVERA noted  that, when it was introduced  three years ago,                                                               
the language had  been changed at the request  of the legislature                                                               
to include "as prescribed by the [federal regulations]."                                                                        
4:30:42 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR KELLER commented that  the federal regulations specified                                                               
the board composition, and he asked if this was too restrictive.                                                                
4:31:41 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. WALSH said that it allowed business, labor, and industry.                                                                   
4:32:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  KELLER  shared   his  experience  with  a   tour  of  a                                                               
rehabilitation center in Minnesota.                                                                                             
4:33:08 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  SCAVERA  noted that  DLWD  had  a broad  interpretation  for                                                               
business, to include all sizes.                                                                                                 
4:33:45 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN CANNON shared that he  served on the Governor's Committee on                                                               
Employment and  Rehabilitation of  People With Disabilities.   He                                                               
noted  that he  had worked  in the  disabilities field  in Alaska                                                               
since 1981.  He  spoke in support of HB 89.   He explained that a                                                               
purpose of the committee was  to maximize employment for Alaskans                                                               
with disabilities.   He  emphasized that there  was not  a fiscal                                                               
note attached  to the  bill.   He pointed  out that  the proposed                                                               
name  change   would  reduce  any   confusion  with   a  separate                                                               
governor's  council  of  similar  name.     He  shared  that  the                                                               
Committee had reviewed  and discussed HB 89  and were unanimously                                                               
in support.                                                                                                                     
4:38:07 PM                                                                                                                    
PAMELA STRATTON, Director,  Client Assistance Program, Governor's                                                               
Committee  on  Employment  and   Rehabilitation  of  People  With                                                               
Disabilities, offered  her support of  HB 89,  in order to  be in                                                               
compliance with federal regulation.                                                                                             
4:40:01 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR KELLER announced that HB 89 was going to be held over.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CJTF.PDF HHSS 2/2/2010 3:00:00 PM
hb89pkt.PDF HHSS 2/2/2010 3:00:00 PM
HB 89