Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/14/1996 03:13 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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              
 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           

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