Legislature(2009 - 2010)SENATE FINANCE 532

02/08/2010 09:00 AM FINANCE


Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 163 MAXIMUM BENEFIT FROM FISHERMEN'S FUND TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 98 ALCOHOL: MINOR CONSUMING/LOCAL OPTION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 83 VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION COMMITTEE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 83(L&C)                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     "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."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHERYL    WALSH,    DIRECTOR,   DIVISION    OF    VOCATIONAL                                                                    
REHABILITATION,   DEPARTMENT   OF    LABOR   AND   WORKFORCE                                                                    
DEVELOPMENT, read the sponsor statement:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Senate  Bill  83 is  an  act  repealing the  Governor's                                                                    
     Committee  on Employment  and Rehabilitation  of People                                                                    
     with  Disabilities;   creating  the   State  Vocational                                                                    
     Rehabilitation Committee.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     The  primary purpose  of this  legislation is  to bring                                                                    
     current  state  statute  into compliance  with  federal                                                                    
     laws. During the  first week in May,  a monitoring team                                                                    
     from     the     Federal    Rehabilitation     Services                                                                    
     Administration  will be  in Alaska  so the  division is                                                                    
     very  interested  in having  this  bill  pass prior  to                                                                    
     their visit.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     The   bill   repeals   the  Governor's   Committee   on                                                                    
     Employment  of  People  with Disabilities  (GCEPD)  and                                                                    
     creates the  State Vocational  Rehabilitation Committee                                                                    
     which  will   function  as  the   State  Rehabilitation                                                                    
     Council   and   the   Assistive   Technology   Advisory                                                                    
     Committee, both  of which are  required by  federal law                                                                    
     to accept  funding for  the Assistive  Technology grant                                                                    
     and  to operate  the  Vocational Rehabilitation  Client                                                                    
     Services   Program   which    assists   Alaskans   with                                                                    
     disabilities    to   obtain    employment.   Membership                                                                    
     requirements  of the  State Rehabilitation  Council and                                                                    
     the  Assistive Technology  Advisory Committee  are very                                                                    
     similar.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     The   bill    addresses   the    appointment,   number,                                                                    
     composition of committee  members. Membership described                                                                    
     in current state statute is  related to a board that no                                                                    
     longer required and is no  longer relevant. The bill is                                                                    
     designed to  allow the composition of  the committee to                                                                    
     change  without  revising  state statutes,  if  federal                                                                    
     regulations    change.   This    was   done    at   the                                                                    
     recommendation   of   legislators   during   the   2007                                                                    
     legislative  session.  Since  the committee  is  funded                                                                    
     from  same  funds used  to  provide  services and  make                                                                    
     assistive   technology  available   to  Alaskans   with                                                                    
     disabilities,  the   division  is  not   interested  in                                                                    
     growing  the  size  of the  committee  beyond  what  is                                                                    
    required. There is no paid staff on the committee.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     The bill also  addresses the selection and  term of the                                                                    
     committee  chair.  It  eliminates   the  need  for  the                                                                    
     governor  to appoint  the  chair,  allowing the  voting                                                                    
     members of  the committee to make  a selection, subject                                                                    
     to disapproval by the governor.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     The bill provides for four  meetings per year which may                                                                    
     be  conducted telephonically.  The committee  currently                                                                    
     makes  sure that  at least  one  meeting is  held in  a                                                                    
     rural  location.   The  ability  to   conduct  meetings                                                                    
     telephonically   allows   for  committee   members   to                                                                    
     participate   when   their  disability   makes   travel                                                                    
     difficult.  If  necessary,  and when  appropriate,  the                                                                    
     committee  could hold  telephonic  meetings to  control                                                                    
     expenses.                                                                                                                  
     The  bill allows  for a  smooth  transition of  current                                                                    
     members   to   the  State   Vocational   Rehabilitation                                                                    
     Committee.                                                                                                                 
     In  closing I'd  like speak  specifically to  the value                                                                    
     that  this   committee  brings   to  the   Division  of                                                                    
     Vocational  Rehabilitation.  This committee  brings  an                                                                    
     important external  view to the agency.  Members act as                                                                    
     a  voice for  consumers and  other stakeholders  in the                                                                    
     public rehabilitation system.  Without the structure of                                                                    
     a  volunteer,  governor-appointed board;  the  division                                                                    
     would  not  have  access  to  the  talent,  wisdom  and                                                                    
     experience that members bring.  The majority of members                                                                    
     also bring the  perspective of what it is  like to live                                                                    
     with  a  disability.  Their  perspective  enriches  the                                                                    
     program  greatly  as  we conduct  the  statewide  needs                                                                    
     assessment,   survey    consumer   satisfaction,   host                                                                    
     community  forums,  review  agency policies,  and  make                                                                    
     recommendations to  improve service provision.  At each                                                                    
     of  their quarterly  meetings, they  reserve an  entire                                                                    
     hour to  receive public testimony from  individuals who                                                                    
     are currently  receiving services. This hour  is always                                                                    
     filled with incredibly valuable feedback.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Committee  members recently  met  with legislators  and                                                                    
     handed  out their  annual report  to the  governor. The                                                                    
     report     describes     their    purpose,     history,                                                                    
     responsibilities,  goals, and  results of  the consumer                                                                    
     satisfaction surveys. If you  have not received a copy,                                                                    
     I would be happy to give you one.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     One   final  note,   creating   the  State   Vocational                                                                    
     Rehabilitation  Committee   would  end   the  confusion                                                                    
     between  the  Governor's  Council on  Disabilities  and                                                                    
     Special Education  and The Governor's Committee  on the                                                                    
     Employment   and   Rehabilitation    of   People   with                                                                    
     Disabilities.  Although the  purpose of  each board  is                                                                    
     very different, the public  often confuses them because                                                                    
     the names are so similar.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:51:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman commented that the  bill was due to federal                                                                    
regulations. He  wished to  know more  about the  costs, and                                                                    
whether  it  was  an  unfunded  mandate.  He  requested  the                                                                    
administration's opinion  and wondered if the  bill required                                                                    
future legislative adjustments.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Walsh explained  that the  committee is  funded by  the                                                                    
Client   Services  budget   for   $65,000   per  year.   The                                                                    
legislation  requires  that  the  committee  have  about  15                                                                    
members, of which 51 percent  have disabilities. The bill is                                                                    
correcting   the  composition   of   the  committee,   which                                                                    
currently caps the members at  12. The difference in cost of                                                                    
three more members would be  about $7,500 per year and would                                                                    
be grant funded.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:53:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman summarized that  the three additional seats                                                                    
would be  fully funded by  the federal government,  which is                                                                    
requesting the new committee. Ms.  Walsh said the department                                                                    
has  a match  requirement. She  did  not foresee  a need  to                                                                    
change this  legislation in the  future because its  goal is                                                                    
to correct a statute which has been out of alignment.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  wondered what response  the administration                                                                    
would have if  the federal government decided  to reduce the                                                                    
$7,500 amount. Ms.  Walsh reported that there  were a number                                                                    
of ways  the committee  could meet, such  as telephonically,                                                                    
in order to save money.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:55:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Thomas asked  if there was a  measuring mechanism to                                                                    
see  the impacts  of job  placement. Ms.  Walsh wondered  if                                                                    
Senator  Thomas was  asking how  many people  were employed.                                                                    
Senator  Thomas  wished to  see  evidence  of job  placement                                                                    
results related  to the committee.  Ms. Walsh  clarified the                                                                    
role  of the  committee regarding  policy changes,  business                                                                    
development,  and surveys.  The  committee  is not  actually                                                                    
tied  to placements  of individuals.  She reported  that 549                                                                    
individuals  with significant  disabilities  were placed  in                                                                    
competitive  employment last  year. Senator  Thomas wondered                                                                    
if that  was as  a result of  the committee's  activity. Ms.                                                                    
Walsh believed  that the committee increased  the quality of                                                                    
placement.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:58:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Huggins wondered  which  categories  of people  are                                                                    
represented  on  the  committee. He  restated  the  question                                                                    
related to  page 2, line  5 of  the bill. Ms.  Walsh replied                                                                    
that the  current member representatives  are listed  in the                                                                    
bill.   The    required   members   are:    one   vocational                                                                    
rehabilitation   counselor,  one   certified  rehabilitation                                                                    
provider, four business,  industry or labor representatives,                                                                    
one person  from the Alaska Workforce  Investment Board, the                                                                    
Statewide  Independent Living  Council designee,  one Parent                                                                    
Training     representative,    one     Tribal    Vocational                                                                    
Rehabilitation   representative,   one   Client   Assistance                                                                    
Program   representative,   the  Vocational   Rehabilitation                                                                    
Director, a Statewide Education  representative, a former or                                                                    
current   Vocational   Rehabilitation    consumer,   and   a                                                                    
representative   of   individuals    who   have   difficulty                                                                    
representing themselves because of their disabilities.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  asked if  the administration  supports the                                                                    
bill. Ms. Walsh said it did.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Scavera offered to answer questions.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:02:43 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
KARLA JUTZI,  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,  CENTER FOR THE  BLIND AND                                                                    
VISUALLY  IMPAIRED, OFFICE  OF THE  GOVERNOR, testified  via                                                                    
teleconference.  She  spoke in  support  of  the bill  which                                                                    
corrects  an outdated  statute that  makes it  difficult for                                                                    
the governor's  office to  make committee  appointments that                                                                    
are in compliance with current federal regulations.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  noted one fiscal note  from the Department                                                                    
of  Labor  and  Workforce  Development  which  reflects  the                                                                    
$7,500  increase  in  travel  and per  diem  for  the  three                                                                    
additional  members  of  the committee.  The  cost  will  be                                                                    
absorbed in the division's current budget.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SB  83  was   heard  and  HELD  in   Committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB163_Backup_Condition_of_Fish_Fund.pdf SFIN 2/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 163
SB163_Letters_of_Support.pdf SFIN 2/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 163
SB163_Sponsor_Statement.pdf SFIN 2/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 163
New Courts FN CSHB 98 (FIN) am.pdf SFIN 2/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 98
Sponsor Statement.pdf SFIN 2/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 98
Explanation of Changes.pdf SFIN 2/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 98
Sectional.pdf SFIN 2/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 98
Westlake statutes.pdf SFIN 2/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 98
statutes.pdf SFIN 2/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 98
CS SB83 L&C fiscal note 2-10.pdf SFIN 2/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 83
CS SB 83 (L&C) section analysis.pdf SFIN 2/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 83
29 USC 725.pdf SFIN 2/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 83
SB 83 additional letters of support.pdf SFIN 2/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 83
29 USC 3003.pdf SFIN 2/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 83
sb 83 letter of support boynton.pdf SFIN 2/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 83
SB 83 letters of support.pdf SFIN 2/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 83
SB 83 Commissioner's letter.pdf SFIN 2/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 83
New FN SB163-DOLWD-FF-02-05-10.pdf SFIN 2/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 163
DOLW License Revenue Activity.pdf SFIN 2/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 163
Fish Fund Claims by Residency.pdf SFIN 2/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 163
Fishfund Claims by year and amount.pdf SFIN 2/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 163
Residency Requirements for Crewmember License.pdf SFIN 2/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 163
Residency Requirements for Limited Entry Permits.pdf SFIN 2/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 163