Legislature(2001 - 2002)

2002-01-22 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

2002-01-22                     Senate Journal                      Page 2003
SB 252                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 252 BY THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                                                   
BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR, entitled:                                                               
          "An Act renaming the Alaska Human Resource                                                
          Investment Council as the Alaska Workforce                                                
          Investment Board and relating to its membership;                                          
          repealing the termination date of the state training                                      
          and employment program; relating to employment                                            
          and training activities; and providing for an effective                                   
was read the first time and referred to the Labor and Commerce and                                  
Finance Committees.                                                                                 
The following fiscal information was published today:                                               
 Fiscal Note No. 1, Department of Labor and Workforce                                               
 Fiscal Note No. 2, Department of Labor and Workforce                                               
 Fiscal Note No. 3, Department of Labor and Workforce                                               
Governor's transmittal letter dated January 21:                                                     
Dear President Halford:                                                                             
Training of our workforce is key to keeping the Alaska economy                                      
competitive in the future and making our state an attractive place for                              
new business development. The State Training and Employment                                         
Program (STEP) has proven to be a valuable player in helping                                        
Alaskans find and retain jobs. The STEP is due to sunset on June 30.                                
This bill I transmit today continues and makes permanent the STEP                                   
and its vital work.                                                                                 

2002-01-22                     Senate Journal                      Page 2004
Since 1989 the STEP has successfully served more than 10,000                                        
eligible Alaskans. The training and employment program is financed                                  
by employee contributions to the unemployment compensation fund                                     
and has actually reduced claims against the fund by bringing                                        
unemployed Alaskans back into the workforce.                                                        
The STEP is under the oversight of the Alaska Human Resource                                        
Investment Council, renamed the Alaska Workforce Investment Board                                   
under this bill. The STEP was first established as a pilot program, but                             
its success has led to its continued reauthorization  through the years.                            
It supplements and compliments federal employment and training                                      
programs, providing services when many other programs cannot.                                       
Renaming the oversight board the Alaska Workforce Investment                                        
Board clearly signifies the important role that body plays in guiding                               
the development of our workforce. The name change also is in line                                   
with terminology under the federal Workforce Investment Act of                                      
1998.  In addition, the bill removes the limitation on the number of                                
times the board could meet in a year. It also proposes miscellaneous                                
amendments to update the statutes regarding employment and training                                 
I urge your prompt and favorable action on this measure.                                            
Tony Knowles