Legislature(1995 - 1996)
02/14/1996 03:13 PM L&C
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 369 - PROCUREMENT PREF FOR DISABLED CHAIRMAN PETE KOTT announced the first order of business would be HB 369, "An Act extending to certain partnerships and corporations the 10 percent procurement preference currently given to certain sole proprietorships who are Alaska bidders and owned by persons with disabilities," sponsored by Representative James. REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER said the bill was heard in the House State Affairs Committee. He explained the bill provides to disabled sole proprietors the same allowances that are given to corporations and partnerships that are totally owned by disabled people. The same allowances that are given to sole proprietorships that are owned by people with disabilities. The bill provides the opportunity for small businesses, in general terms, that are owned and operated by people with disabilities to benefit from the business structures of partnerships and corporations. CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there was discussion in the State Affairs Committee as to what it is that the bill is trying to fix. He noted it seems like this is similar legislation that was before the Labor and Commerce Committee last year. He noted the bill was introduced in December, 1995. Number 327 DUGAN PETTY, Director, Central Office, Division of General Services, Department of Administration, explained HB 369 is the original version of HB 288 that was before the committee last year. While HB 288 had some minor changes in the House Labor and Commerce Committee, it did pass out of the committee. There were more amendments adopted in the Senate. Some of those amendments had nothing to do with anything that was in the bill. Those Senate amendment caused the Governor to veto that bill. Mr. Petty explained the Department of Administration supports the bill and noted there is a zero fiscal note. Number 450 REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES, Alaska State Legislature, came before the committee to give her sponsor statement for HB 369. She informed the committee the bill is identical to the bill that passed through the House last year. She explained the House Finance Committee attached an amendment regarding a procurement and extension of leases that expired last year. It had the House, Senate and the Administration's support. When the bill went to the Senate, another amendment was added regarding the marine highway which was controversial. In the end, the Governor vetoed the bill because of the marine highway amendment. She said HB 369 is the same as HB 288. She stated existing law allows severally disabled people to have a bidders preference when they're doing business. Existing law says they can do it if they're a sole proprietorship. The bill allows them to also be a corporation, a partnership or another entity besides the sole proprietorship, and of course, in a corporation or a partnership all of the partners or shareholders must also be severely disabled. She said the doesn't allow them to have someone else come in, assist them and then just be a spokesman, they have to manage their own business. There is no reason they should be precluded from having the choice of the other business entities that might give them either some insurance protection and/or some tax advantage by having a corporation or a partnership. Representative James stated it is a simple bill. CHAIRMAN KOTT asked how many entities would qualify. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said she doesn't know, but there may be an ability for people who are severely disabled to get some financing if they could have a corporate or partnership structure. She said it is possible for two seriously disabled people to go into business and benefit from it. She informed the committee she doesn't know an exact number but would say at least two dozen or more. Number 644 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Representative James if anything has been done to the title to ensure the amendment offered in the Senate won't be added again. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES explained the title is specific and talks about exactly what the bill does. Number 626 DWAYNE FRENCH, Director, Statewide Programs, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Department of Education, testified in support of HB 369 and commended Representative James for introducing the bill. It does allow wholly owned corporations, operated by people with disabilities, to gain the bidders preference. The mission of his division is to encourage and support Alaskans with significant disabilities in entering or reentering the work force, and to be active productive members of the community. This legislation would aide people with disabilities to gain employment and have business that would be able to get bids from the state. Number 773 REPRESENTATIVE JERRY SANDERS pointed out Mr. French was one of his constituents. He asked Mr. French if he wanted him to vote for the bill. MR. FRENCH answered in the affirmative. Representative Sanders said he would be happy to vote in favor of the bill. MR. FRENCH corrected Representative Sander by saying he has moved into Representative Porter's district. CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Mr. FRENCH if he wishes for Representative Porter to support the measure. He indicated he does. Number 860 There being no further testimony, REPRESENTATIVE GENE KUBINA made a motion to pass HB 369 out of committee with individual recommendations. CHAIRMAN KOTT objected for the purpose of the roll call vote so Mr. French would know who is on record in favor of the bill. Number 877 A roll call vote was taken. Representatives Sanders, Masek, Porter, Kubina, Elton, Rokeberg and Kott voted in favor of moving the bill. So HB 369 was passed out of the House Labor and Commerce Committee.