CSHB 65(HES): "An Act establishing a loan guarantee and interest rate subsidy program for assistive technology."

00 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 65(HES)                                                                                           
01 "An Act establishing a loan guarantee and interest rate subsidy program for                                             
02 assistive technology."                                                                                                  
03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
04    * Section 1.  AS  23.15 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                  
05  Sec. 23.15.125.  ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY LOAN GUARANTEE AND                                                              
06 INTEREST SUBSIDY PROGRAM.  (a)  An assistive technology loan guarantee fund                                             
07 is established in the agency.   The fund consists of money appropriated to it.  The                                     
08 agency may solicit and accept available public and private money for distribution from                                  
09 the fund.                                                                                                               
10  (b)  Subject to (c) and (d) of this section, the agency may use money in the                                          
11 fund established under this section to guarantee 90 percent of the principal amount of                                  
12 a loan or to subsidize the interest rate of a loan guaranteed by the agency for                                         
13 appropriate assistive technology that is best suited for enabling a person with a                                       
14 disability to                                                                                                           
01   (1)  obtain or maintain employment; or                                                                               
02   (2)  live more independently.                                                                                        
03  (c)  The agency may guarantee a loan or subsidize the interest rate of a loan                                         
04 guaranteed under this section if                                                                                        
05   (1)  the loan is made to a person with a disability or a member of the                                               
06 person's family to obtain assistive technology for the person with a disability;                                        
07   (2)  the loan is originated and serviced by a state or federally chartered                                           
08 financial institution located in the state;                                                                             
09   (3)  before a loan guarantee or subsidy is requested from a lending                                                  
10 institution, the agency determines that the person requesting the loan guarantee or                                     
11 subsidy is not able to obtain the needed assistive technology from a less costly source;                                
12   (4)  the lending institution determines that the person or the family of                                             
13 a child reasonably can be expected to repay the loan given their expected income or                                     
14 other resources; and                                                                                                    
15   (5)  for a loan to modify a vehicle to provide transportation for a person                                           
16 with a disability, the applicant has been steadily employed for the 90 days immediately                                 
17 preceding the date of the loan application.                                                                             
18  (d)  The director shall establish an assistive technology loan committee within                                       
19 the agency.  The committee shall consist of the director, or the director's designee, a                                 
20 representative of a financial institution who is experienced with consumer loans, and                                   
21 at least one but not more than three persons with disabilities.  The committee shall                                    
22   (1)  establish guidelines for providing loans under this section, including                                          
23 guidelines relating to the maximum amounts and duration of loans and guidelines to                                      
24 ensure that persons with disabilities who live in rural or remote areas of the state have                               
25 adequate access to loans under this section;                                                                            
26   (2)  annually establish the percentage of money in the fund that may be                                              
27 used for subsidizing the interest rates on loans guaranteed under this section; and                                     
28   (3)  make reports and recommendations to the legislature on the                                                      
29 operation of the loan program.                                                                                          
30  (e)  In this section,                                                                                                 
31   (1)  "assistive technology" means durable equipment, adaptive aids, and                                              
01 assistive devices;                                                                                                      
02   (2)  "person with a disability" means a handicapped individual or an                                                 
03 individual having a physical or mental disability.