Legislature(2001 - 2002)

2002-06-24 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

2002-06-24                     Senate Journal                      Page 3777
SB 252                                                                                            
Message dated June 20 and received June 21, stating:                                                
Dear President Halford:                                                                             
On this date I have signed the following bill passed by the second                                  
session of the Twenty-Second Alaska State Legislature and am                                        
transmitting the engrossed and enrolled copies to the Lieutenant                                    
Governor's Office for permanent filing:                                                             
             HOUSE CS FOR CS FOR SENATE BILL NO.                                                    
             252(FIN) "An Act renaming the Alaska Human                                             
             Resource Investment Council as the Alaska                                              

2002-06-24                     Senate Journal                      Page 3778
             Workforce Investment Board and relating to its                                         
             membership; relating to repayment on promissory                                        
             notes for work-related items paid for by grant                                         
             programs; extending the termination date of the state                                  
             training and employment program; relating to                                           
             employment and training activities; and providing for                                  
             an effective date."                                                                    
                              Chapter 86, SLA 2002                                                 
                          Effective Date: See Chapter                                              
I am signing this bill into law because the negative consequences of                                
not allowing it to become law are too high of a price to pay by denying                             
vital training opportunities through the State Training Employment                                  
Program (STEP). However, I am greatly disturbed by this blatant                                     
tactic of holding the STEP hostage to guarantee funds for specific                                  
education programs rather than letting those programs compete openly                                
for grants under the system set up for this reason.                                                 
This is the third time the Legislature has chosen to use the Alaska                                 
Technical and Vocational Education Program account for specific                                     
grants to the University of Alaska, Kotzebue Technical Center and                                   
Alaska Vocational Technical Center and the second time for the                                      
Galena Vocational Training Center. And this bill is promising the                                   
funds to these four entities for another three years-through 2006.                                  
The first time these grants were made, in 2000, they were presented as                              
a one-time, transitional provision until the Alaska Human Resource                                  
Investment Council was able to establish the grant program. Rather,                                 
the Legislature is making this an annual grant, attempting to bind                                  
future legislatures and totally circumventing the appropriate grant                                 
process that is now in place.                                                                       
Employers should be equally outraged at this grant process because                                  
the funds come out of the taxes they pay into the Unemployment                                      
Insurance Trust Fund. Furthermore, employers should be concerned                                    
that this statutory deferral from the UI Trust Fund of Training                                     
Vocational Education Program funds is not being used for it's stated                                
purpose, technical and vocational training, but rather for capital                                  
expenditures at selected institutions.                                                              

2002-06-24                     Senate Journal                      Page 3779
I hope next year's Legislature will recognize the errors of this process,                           
reverse it, and allow this program to proceed as originally designed                                
and intended.                                                                                       
Tony Knowles