Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/18/1996 01:35 PM CRA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB 229 STATE TRAINING & EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM Number 070 CHAIRMAN TORGERSON brought up SB 229 as the next order of business before the Senate Community & Regional Affairs Committee. The chairman called Mr. Perkins to testify. Number 075 DWIGHT PERKINS, Special Assistant to the Commissioner, Department of Labor, stated committee members should have in their bill packets a letter addressed to Senator Torgerson from Mr. Perkins. Mr. Perkins asked if he should review the letter. CHAIRMAN TORGERSON asked Mr. Perkins to get to the money. The committee's main concern is to balance the fiscal note. MR. PERKINS responded, regarding the Municipality of Anchorage, and Fairbanks, that the committee has information before it. A representative of the Department of Community & Regional Affairs could best answer questions regarding those numbers. REMOND HENDERSON, Director, Division of Administrative Services, Department of Community & Regional Affairs, stated the committee has a sheet that breaks down the cost by department. That is the summary document. Mr. Henderson runs through the documents in members' bill packets. The next document in members' packets is the estimated FY97 budget. This is the FY97 request, but allocations are based on the budget. The total amount on that document matches the figure on the fiscal notes prepared for SB 229. The next item in members' packets is the FY96 estimated budget by category. Again, the allocation between various categories was based on estimates. The next document is the FY95 actuals by category. The next document in members' packets is a description of the various categories. It defines what is in the employment assistance category. The support service category is not an administrative cost. Those are support service costs, such as health care, special services, temporary shelter, all kinds of regional expenses related to the training. MR. HENDERSON stated that the next document in members' bill packets is a summary of the FY95 actuals by category. The next document shows a summary of the totals for each category. Following the summary, it's broken down by sub-grant and individual referrals. Behind that document are all the grantees that receive funds, and the total of that agrees with the summary. Behind that is a list of individual referrals. That total also agrees with the summary. This is for the statewide service delivery area. The next document is further detail, and provides classification of expenses by category and information by grantee. SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked what one would buy from Bon Marche. Senator Phillips acknowledged he is overly critical of the program. MR. HENDERSON responded $96.00 was paid for support services, which went for purchase of clothing. Number 235 SENATOR KELLY asked, regarding a figure of $121,950.00 in the FY95 actuals document for the STEP pilot project, since the whole program is the STEP pilot project, what was that money for? MR. HENDERSON replied that figure was money the department RSA'd back to the Department of Labor for a project. He thinks Ms. Williams did some research on that project. ARBE WILLIAMS, Director, Division of Administrative Services, Department of Labor, stated that information is outlined in the packet previously supplied to the committee. There were two small RSAs. One funded three positions - they were for vocational counselors for reemployment services in Ketchikan, Anchorage, and Fairbanks. The other RSA funded a total of 3/4 of vocational counselors to provide services specific to STEP recipients. CHAIRMAN TORGERSON asked if there were other questions. MS. WILLIAMS made a correction to her testimony: the second RSA funded a full-time position in Juneau and Kenai, and a half-time position in Ketchikan. SENATOR KELLY asked if that money is included in what we're looking at as administrative expenses. MS. WILLIAMS responded, no. SENATOR KELLY asked if they are planning to do that same thing next year. MS. WILLIAMS responded they haven't gotten as far as next fiscal year. They do have one in place for 1996. Number 269 SENATOR KELLY asked if that is within or outside existing administrative expenses, as we have identified them. MS. WILLIAMS replied it is outside those administrative expenses. Community & Regional Affairs would give that grant. If they did not want us to provide those services, we just wouldn't do it. We would stay with the employment services that are paid for by the Federal Wegner-Piser Grant. Number 274 MR. HENDERSON asked Ms. Williams if those would be considered administrative fees or direct services. MS. WILLIAMS responded those are direct services to STEP recipients, such as workshops on how to complete a resume, those kinds of specialized services. CHAIRMAN TORGERSON asked if there are any other questions. SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked what the school of integrating shiatsu is. Number 290 DAVID DEAN, Director - Fairbanks Private Industry Council, testifying from Fairbanks, responded it is massage therapy training. It's legitimate. They have been able to get good jobs. [Due to commentary by committee members, all of Mr. Dean's testimony is not understandable.] SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked if the school is in Fairbanks. MR. DEAN replied it is. We also have a person who went through this training and is now employed at the Fairbanks Hospital. Number 300 CHAIRMAN TORGERSON informed members that there are three amendments before the committee for consideration. The amendments have been discussed with Mr. Perkins, not that he supports or opposes them, but he does know of their existence. CHAIRMAN TORGERSON introduced amendment #1. Amendment #1: Page 1, line 1: Delete " making " Page 1, line 2: Delete " a permanent state program " Page 5, following line 25: Insert a new bill section to read: " *Sec. 3. AS 23.15.620, 23.15.625, 23.15.630, 23.15.635, 23.15.640, 23.15.645, 23.15.651, and 23.15.660 are repealed June 30, 1998." Renumber the following bill section accordingly. CHAIRMAN TORGERSON stated the amendment would put a sunset date in the program. The idea is to review the program again in two years to see if the concerns of the committee have been met. That is the intent of amendment #1. Number 312 SENATOR KELLY made a motion to adopt amendment #1. SENATOR ZHAROFF asked if the committee could get the department's reaction to amendment #1. MR. PERKINS responded the department does not have a problem with the amendment. CHAIRMAN TORGERSON asked if there were other questions. Hearing none, the chairman asked if there was objection to the amendment. CHAIRMAN TORGERSON, hearing no objection, stated amendment #1 was adopted. CHAIRMAN TORGERSON introduced amendment #2. Amendment #2: Page 1, line 1: Delete " making " Page 1, line 2: Delete " a permanent state program " Page 4, following line 30: Insert a new subsection to read: "(d) In making a grant under this section, the council must require that the qualified entity and grantees of the qualified entity limit the amount of the grant proceeds spent on administration so that the total spent on administration from the proceeds of the employment assistance and training program account, including amounts spent by the council itself, does not exceed 20 percent." CHAIRMAN TORGERSON stated amendment #2 would basically cap administrative expenses at 20%. He asked Senator Kelly to move the amendment. SENATOR KELLY stated there is a line to add. CHAIRMAN TORGERSON stated he has that line. There will be an amendment to the amendment. SENATOR KELLY stated the idea is that there is about $250,000.00 that is required by a federal agreement, so we would exclude that amount from the 20%. Amendment to Amendment #2: Insert: "Administrative expenses exclude the amount collected in accordance with the shared cost requirements of the federal government's OMB Circular A-87 'Cost Principles for State and Local Governments'." SENATOR KELLY made a motion to adopt the amendment to amendment #2. He stated it would increase the amount available for administrative expenses. They love it. MR. PERKINS replied, they do love it. He wondered if that language might not be best suited to go on page 2, in the language that begins on line 22. CHAIRMAN TORGERSON stated he didn't really look at where to put the amendment. Legal Services put the amendment together. He would rather leave it where Legal Services had it. But we can raise the issue with them to see if it would be better there. He doesn't think it matters to the committee. SENATOR KELLY made a motion to adopt amendment #2 as amended. CHAIRMAN TORGERSON asked if there was discussion. SENATOR ZHAROFF asked if the committee would work with Legal Services to make sure the amendment is in the appropriate place. CHAIRMAN TORGERSON responded, yes. He asked if there was any objection to amendment #2 as amended. CHAIRMAN TORGERSON, hearing no objection, stated amendment #2 as amended was adopted. CHAIRMAN TORGERSON introduced amendment #3. Amendment #3: Page 1, line 1: Delete " making " Page 1, line 2: Delete " a permanent state program " Page 4, following line 30: Insert a new subsection to read: "(d) The council shall establish grant administration requirements including uniform accounting procedures that apply to qualified entities and their grantees." CHAIRMAN TORGERSON stated this amendment is a direct result of the paper-work shuffle we went through the last three weeks, trying to get this information. Some committee members believe that would not have happened if the program had some type of uniform accounting system. Number 365 SENATOR KELLY made a motion to adopt amendment #3. CHAIRMAN TORGERSON asked if there was reaction from the department. Is this another "Love It"? SENATOR ZHAROFF asked what this would call for, other than what is being done now? Isn't there some sort of standardized reporting form already in place? Number 374 MR. HENDERSON thinks the intent of this section is to try to implement a system that all grantees and the state would follow. There is a problem with that in that we are bound by the state accounting system, and grantees are not. He is sure that they probably do not want to modify their systems to comply with the state accounting system. Nor does he think the state will be able to modify their accounting system to comply with grantees' accounting systems. Mr. Henderson stated the problem they ran in to in gathering information was the level of detail they were asked to provide. We could provide the information by cost category, but we could not tell you by grantee, who spent what on each program. So that was information that had to be gathered by going through individual files. There are systems that could be set up to accumulate that information, but he doesn't know if it's something that we necessarily need to collect. He also does not know if they could get all parties to agree on any one data-collecting system. SENATOR KELLY stated, in that case, he would make a motion to strike the word "uniform". Amendment #3 would then read, "The council shall establish grant administration requirements including accounting procedures that apply to qualified entities and their grantees." That will give some structure, without requiring it all to be exactly the same. SENATOR KELLY moved the amendment to the amendment, striking the word "uniform". CHAIRMAN TORGERSON asked if there was objection. He asked if the department loved it. MR. PERKINS responded they loved it. SENATOR ZHAROFF thinks taking the word "uniform" out makes it a little more acceptable, but he thinks if they are going to get the message across that this is going to sunset in two years, a letter of intent would have been acceptable to accomplish. MR. PERKINS responded to Senator Zharoff's comment that it may make Senator Zharoff feel more comfortable to know that the department has heard loud and clear the committee's message about wanting more easily obtainable information. MR. HENDERSON concurred with Mr. Perkins that DC&RA has also heard the message loud and clear regarding the level of detailed information that's necessary. They will have that information prepared beforehand next time. We won't wait for the request; we now know what kind of information the committee wants to see, and we will have it ready. Number 410 SENATOR KELLY doesn't think amendment #3 would hurt anything, and he made a motion to adopt amendment #3. CHAIRMAN TORGERSON asked if there is objection to adopting amendment #3 as amended. SENATOR ZHAROFF objected for the purpose of making a statement. He hopes that this doesn't become part of the focal point in trying to get everything accomplished within the next two years, and that it detracts to some degree from the rest of the program. He knows it's a major concern but he hopes it doesn't become a major priority of the program. SENATOR KELLY stated it hasn't been in the past, so he doubts if it will be in future. CHAIRMAN TORGERSON imagines that the procedures used to gather this information are the procedures that will be used from now on. CHAIRMAN TORGERSON, hearing no further objection, stated amendment CHAIRMAN TORGERSON asked if there is discussion on SB 229 as amended. Number 420 SENATOR KELLY made a motion to discharge CSSB 229(CRA) as amended from the Senate Community & Regional Affairs Committee with individual recommendations. CHAIRMAN TORGERSON asked if there was objection. Hearing none, he stated that SB 229 was discharged from committee.