Legislature(2019 - 2020)BARNES 124
02/24/2020 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE
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HB 235-AK WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD:ALLOCATIONS 4:29:58 PM CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ announced that the next order of business would be HOUSE BILL NO. 235, "An Act relating to allocations of funding for the Alaska Workforce Investment Board; and providing for an effective date." 4:30:16 PM REPRESENATIVE ADAM WOOL, Alaska State Legislator, as prime sponsor, provided a brief reintroduction to HB 235. Basically, he said, it's a program that was renewed three years ago that is seeking reauthorization. It takes a portion of collected unemployment funds and distributes them to 10 recipients according to a formula. 4:30:59 PM ASHLEY CARRICK, Staff, Representative Adam Wool, Alaska State Legislature, stated that HB 235 would reauthorize the TVEP program for another three years, until 2023. She proceeded to correct a statement from the previous bill hearing, noting that the governors amended budget added additional funding for the TVEP program this year into direct allocations, rather than to the unemployment insurance fund, as was incorrectly stated previously. 4:31:51 PM REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN questioned the reason for a three-year renewal as opposed to a longer period of time. REPRESENTATIVE WOOL said there's no reason it must be three years, adding that it could be longer. He explained that they were trying to repeat what was done in the past. CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ questioned whether TVEP has ever been reauthorized for longer than three years in the past. MS. CARRICK replied the TVEP program was reauthorized for one year at its inception in 2000. It was reauthorized for three years for the first time in 2014 and has never been renewed for a longer period of time. 4:33:07 PM REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN asked if it is possible to make sure that this program is always renewed in the first year of a legislative cycle. She expressed her concern about nearing the end of session, which makes it difficult to move legislation through. CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ said that is a fair point for consideration by future legislators. 4:33:51 PM REPRESENTATIVE WOOL suggested a two or four-year renewal instead of three years so that it wouldn't end up in the middle. CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ explained if the program is reauthorized for three years this time it would come up the first year of the two-year session next time around. After which, future reauthorization could be set for an even number of years to avoid this problem from happening in the future. 4:35:23 PM REPRESENTATIVE STORY said she would prefer to leave the renewal at three years because Alaska's career and technical education is constantly changing. 4:36:12 PM CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ opened public testimony. 4:36:32 PM DON ETHERIDGE, Alaska American Foundation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations, reported that the Alaska American Foundation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL CIO) and the Alaska Works Partnership (AWP) are supportive of HB 235, and have been since its inception. He noted that in the past, they have asked for a five-year reauthorization period. He expressed concern about expanding the program because over the years, programs were added without thinking about the work and training that would come out of it. He reiterated that the Alaska AFL CIO supports the program as it is. 4:37:40 PM REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN asked Mr. Etheridge why the five-year renewal hasn't worked in the past. MR. ETHERIDGE explained that they were attempting to stabilize the TVEP program so the recipients would know how long they could count on the funds; however, [the legislature] suggested that a three-year maximum would allow changes to be considered. He went on to say the Alaska AFL CIO would consent to a five- year renewal, adding that the length of renewal isn't important to them. 4:38:40 PM CHARLES MCKEE provided comments not on topic with the published agenda. 4:40:23 PM DOUG WAIRATH, Northwestern Alaska Career & Technical Center, expressed his support for reauthorizing TVEP. He stated that TVEP supports a regional training center network across the state that provides autonomy and flexibility to meet the unique needs of each regions' priority industry. The regional training centers provide workforce development training that would otherwise need to occur outside the region at a much greater expense. TVEP funds and supports industry certification in health care through advanced technical training, which transitions students into employment as certified nurse aides, village health aides, and personal care attendants. Furthermore, NACTEC is the only provider of adult and high school driver education training in the Nome census area and is a DMV approved third-party road test examiner. He said this is important in the region as the budget has become tighter and more cuts have occurred, which resulted in the loss of the Nome DMV office. As the state budget is restricted, he said, it becomes critically important to make earlier outreach to develop a technically skilled workforce. NACTEC supports TVEP reauthorization efforts and its expansive reach across Alaska to train workforces locally to best meet local needs. 4:43:07 PM CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ closed public testimony. CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ announced that HB 235 was held over.