Legislature(1993 - 1994)

1994-05-16 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

1994-05-16                     Senate Journal                      Page 4745
SB 141                                                                       
Governor's letter dated May 10:                                                
Dear Mr. President:                                                            
Under the authority of art. II, sec. 15, of the Alaska Constitution, I         
have vetoed the following bill:                                                

1994-05-16                     Senate Journal                      Page 4746
SB 141                                                                       
	HOUSE CS FOR CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 141 (FIN)                                 
"An Act relating to workers' compensation coverage                            
for certain high school students in uncompensated                              
work-study programs."                                                          
I support educational programs that provide appropriate work                   
experience for high school students and other programs designed to             
make the school-to-work transition more successful.  However, one              
of my highest priorities has been, and continues to be, the provision          
of safe and adequate educational facilities.  School districts have            
direct control over the safety of educational facilities.  By providing        
immunity from liability, this legislation eliminates the incentive for         
the school district and the employer to provide a safe work                    
experience for students.  Although some high risk work environments            
may be safe for adults who have the proper training and experience,            
without special consideration, the same workplace may not be safe              
for a young untrained student.  Only the sponsoring school district            
and the employer can make that determination.  The state should not            
be part of these decisions, nor bear any financial responsibility for          
the outcome, other than providing state aid for public schools.                
Expenses related to insurance options and other methods of                     
transferring risk are part of prudent resource management and are              
allowable expenses of public school districts.  Workers'                       
compensation insurance coverage for volunteers and uncompensated               
work experience students may be the least expensive insurance                  
option available to the school districts.  The state provides general          
oversight of the public school system and most of the financial                
support by way of the public school foundation program.  The                   
foundation program provides funds for the basic K-12 program, as               
well as supplementary funds for vocational education and work                  
experience programs.                                                           
The cost of placing students in work experience programs is part of            
the cost of providing an appropriate educational program and should            
be paid with dollars provided for that purpose.  In recognition of             
local control of educational program options and individual course             
offerings, the state should not determine the placement of work                
experience students nor carry the financial responsibility for those           

1994-05-16                     Senate Journal                      Page 4747
SB 141                                                                       
It is my hope that the Legislature and the Department of Education             
can work cooperatively to develop legislation which addresses the              
concerns of potential employers and serves to expand appropriate               
placement opportunities for students without putting the students at           
unreasonable risk.  Resources available through the foundation                 
program are adequate to fund appropriate educational programs.                 
						Walter J. Hickel