Legislature(1995 - 1996)

1996-01-19 House Journal

Full Journal pdf

1996-01-19                     House Journal                      Page 2488
HB 435                                                                       
HOUSE BILL NO. 435 by the House Rules Committee by request of                  
the Governor, entitled:                                                        
An Act relating to employment contributions and to making the                 
state training and employment program a permanent state program;               
and providing for an effective date.                                           
was read the first time and referred to the Labor & Commerce, Health,          
Education & Social Services, State Affairs and Finance Committees.             
The following fiscal notes apply:                                              
Fiscal notes (2), Dept. Of Community & Regional Affairs, 1/19/96               
Fiscal note, Dept. of Labor, 1/19/96                                           
The Governor's transmittal letter, dated January 19, 1996, appears             
Dear Speaker Phillips:                                                         
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18 of the Alaska Constitution, I am      
transmitting a bill making the state training and employment program           
(STEP) a permanent state program.                                              
The STEP is an integral component of Alaskas job training program              
and has enabled participants to increase their average quarterly               
earnings from nine to 12 percent.  The STEP was established as a               
temporary, pilot program in 1989 and has been extended twice -- in             
1991 and 1993.  Since its inception, STEP has trained 4,890 Alaska             
workers at an average cost of $2,000 per participant which is covered          
by Alaska employees.   The program is financed entirely by employee            

1996-01-19                     House Journal                      Page 2489
HB 435                                                                       
payroll contributions with no employer contributions or general fund           
The STEP serves workers who would often be ineligible for                      
employment training assistance through other programs.  It offers              
workers the opportunity to acquire skills by investing in themselves,          
and helps those workers who have been displaced from their jobs to             
learn more skills.  Nearly 60 percent of those entering the program are        
receiving unemployment benefits, and over 80 percent of the                    
participants successfully complete the training and increase their             
employment opportunities.                                                      
The STEP will expire June 30, 1996, unless renewed by the                      
Legislature.  As federal training money decreases from year to year,           
continuing STEP and making it a permanent program will help                    
Alaskans receive the training they need to respond to the changing             
needs of business and industry.                                                
I urge your support of this important bill.                                    
						Tony Knowles