Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/25/1993 03:00 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  Number 057                                                                   
                                                                               
  HB 139 - ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY LOAN GUARANTEES                                
                                                                               
  REP. JOHN DAVIES, PRIME SPONSOR OF HB 139, read a sponsor                    
  statement.  Rep. Davies  explained that HB 139 is a "jobs                    
  bill" that will help people experiencing disabilities                        
  improve their ability to get and keep a job or live                          
  independently.                                                               
                                                                               
  Number 124                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON inquired if the $100,000.00 referenced in                    
  the bill was available now.                                                  
                                                                               
  REP. DAVIES answered that it was.                                            
                                                                               
  Number 141                                                                   
                                                                               
  DAN LABROUSE, DEAF COMMUNITY SERVICES, testified via                         
  teleconference in support of HB 139.  Mr. LaBrouse stated                    
  that in his experience assistive technology would be of                      
  benefit to many Alaskans.  Mr. Labrouse noted that assistive                 
  technology would be helpful in providing the means for some                  
  people to lead a more productive life, including the                         
  opportunity for more meaningful jobs.                                        
                                                                               
  Number 168                                                                   
                                                                               
  TOM TORVIE, ACCESS ALASKA, testified via teleconference in                   
  support of HB 139.  Mr. Torvie echoed the comments of Mr.                    
  LaBrouse.                                                                    
                                                                               
  Number 229                                                                   
                                                                               
  PAULA SMITH, VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION, testified in favor                   
  of HB 139.  Ms. Smith noted that the Department of Education                 
  supports this bill.  It would meet an identified need by a                   
  group of individuals in the State of Alaska which is not now                 
  being addressed.  It is recommended that the mechanics of                    
  the loan guarantee and interest subsidies be clarified.                      
  Other than student loans by the Commission on Post Secondary                 
  Education, the Department is not in the loan business, and                   
  does not have the infrastructure to support significant                      
  responsibilities in this area.  This would best be handled                   
  by banking institutions.                                                     
                                                                               
  Number 270                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. MULDER asked if the state would in effect be the co-                    
  signer of a loan provided.                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. SMITH responded that it would and noted that the program                 
  would guarantee 90 percent of a loan from another                            
  institution.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Discussion ensued as to the mechanics of the loan program.                   
                                                                               
  Number 346                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. MULDER moved to delete "and" on page 2, line 16, and                    
  renumber accordingly.                                                        
                                                                               
  REP. GREEN moved to add a friendly amendment to Rep.                         
  Mulder's amendment.  No objections were noted; it was so                     
  ordered.                                                                     
                                                                               
  REP. GREEN asked what collateral would be asked for.                         
                                                                               
  MS. SMITH replied that the program would require collateral.                 
                                                                               
  REP. DAVIES added that all of the loans would go through the                 
  standard banking scrutiny.                                                   
                                                                               
  Number 462                                                                   
                                                                               
  MICHAEL DAVIS, SOUTHEAST ALASKA INDEPENDENT LIVING,                          
  testified in support of the bill and listed three primary                    
  reasons:                                                                     
                                                                               
  1) He has seen many people who couldn't otherwise get the                    
  assistance needed to purchase the assistive technology.                      
                                                                               
  2) The bill allows for the parents of persons needing this                   
  technology to obtain it for their children.                                  
                                                                               
  3) It allows disabled citizens the dignity to apply for                      
  loans themselves.                                                            
                                                                               
  Number 510                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. DAVIES noted that the banking industry is supportive of                 
  the program.                                                                 
                                                                               
  REP. MULDER moved for passage of CSHB 139(L&C) with a zero                   
  fiscal note.  No objections were heard; it was so ordered.                   

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