PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Adopt rules to implement the new sections in chapter 50.40 RCW, Laws of 2003 regular session (SHB 1813) expanding employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: SHB 1813, an act relating to employment opportunities for people with disabilities, chapter 192-33 WAC.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Current law encourages state agencies to contract with "sheltered workshops" by allowing agencies to negotiate contracts directly with the workshops, avoiding the usual bid and review and requirements.
This law would transfer that preference from "sheltered workshops" to "community rehabilitation programs" (CRPs) which provide a broader range of employment options and services beyond traditional sheltered employment. It also extends the preference to businesses owned and operated by persons with disabilities. CRPs and businesses owned and operated by people with disabilities that met some additional criteria are put on a listing of "vendors in good standing" (VIGS). The law would increase the contracting preference for VIGS by requiring any agency purchasing a good or service offered by a VIGS to solicit and consider in good faith a proposal from at least one such vendor before making that purchase.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: We will draft the rules to be adopted in consultation with representatives from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Department of Services for the Blind, the Developmental Disabilities Commission, General Administration, and Rehabilitation Enterprises of Washington.
Process for Developing New Rule: The department held informal meetings with stakeholders and interested parties to obtain input on the proposed rules.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Toby Olson, Governor's Committee on Disability Issues and Employment, Employment Security Department, P.O. Box 9046, Olympia, WA 98507-9046, (360) 438-3168, TOlson2@ESD.WA.GOV.
July 12, 2004
Dr. Sylvia P. Mundy