H-1202.1  _______________________________________________


                          HOUSE BILL 1640



State of Washington      57th Legislature     2001 Regular Session


By Representatives Miloscia, Dunn, Casada, Conway and Santos


Read first time 01/31/2001.  Referred to Committee on State Government.

Providing for expanded employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

    AN ACT Relating to employment opportunities for people with disabilities; adding new sections to chapter 43.19 RCW; and providing an effective date.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The purpose of this section is to further the policy of the state of Washington to encourage and assist persons with disabilities to achieve personal independence, through expanded employment and employment opportunities.  The legislature intends to accomplish this purpose specifically by increasing the number of persons with disabilities employed, improving wages earned, and enhancing opportunities for integrated employment.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.

    (1) "Central nonprofit agency" means a private tax-exempt organization with relationships to a statewide network of community rehabilitation programs and with experience and capability in both procurement and contracting, and disability employment issues.

    (2) "Certified community rehabilitation program" means a program approved by the department of social and health services that directly provides or facilitates the provision of vocational rehabilitation and employment services to people with disabilities to enable them to maximize opportunities for employment, including career advancement.

    (3) "Commission" means the commission for purchase of products and services from persons with disabilities.

    (4) "Disabilities" means physical, mental, or sensory impairments that would impede a person from obtaining and maintaining permanent employment and obtaining opportunities for promotion.  The impairments must be material rather than slight and must be static and permanent in that they are seldom fully corrected by medical replacement, therapy, or surgical means.

    (5) "Equitable market value" means the price determined by the commission.  The equitable market value shall be determined through consideration of current market pricing for goods or services of equal quality and value.  It may include a negotiated bid process that takes into consideration:  Last price bid, established pricing as derived through averaging of current comparable contracts, the effect of changes in specifications, supply costs, and other current market variables.

    (6) "State agency" means all offices, departments, agencies, institutions, boards, and commissions of state government including those headed by an elected official but not including institutions of higher education.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  State agencies shall, where possible, purchase products and services from certified community rehabilitation programs provided that such services and products are of standard price and quality, and have been certified by the commission, and placed on the commission's list of certified products and services.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.  (1) A commission for purchase of products and services from persons with disabilities is created in the division of vocational rehabilitation in the department of social and health services to facilitate and oversee the purchase of products and services produced by persons with disabilities who are employed by certified community rehabilitation programs.  The commission is composed of eight members, five of whom are appointed by the governor, consisting of one representative from:

    (a) One division from the health and rehabilitation cluster of the department of social and health services;

    (b) The governor's committee on disability issues;

    (c) An advocacy organization for people with disabilities;

    (d) A certified community rehabilitation program; and

    (e) The department of general administration.

    (2) The commission members appointed by the governor shall appoint three additional at-large members.

    (3) Members of the commission serve four-year terms.  Members may not receive compensation for their service on the commission, but they are entitled to reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred in performing their duties as members as set forth in RCW 43.03.050 and 43.03.060.

    (4) The commission shall meet four times per year, or as often as necessary to conduct its business.  The commission shall select a chairperson from among its members at its first meeting.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.  The commission shall:

    (1) Develop and administer policies and procedures to be followed by certified community rehabilitation programs, consistent with sections 1 through 7 of this act;

    (2) Develop criteria for certification and certify community rehabilitation programs;

    (3) Review all products, services, and bids, and establish an equitable market value for all products and services provided by persons who are disabled and employed by certified community rehabilitation programs.  Such price shall recover all reasonable direct and indirect costs associated with the production and delivery of products and services to the state;

    (4) Approve and issue a publication that lists all products and services currently available from certified community rehabilitation programs.  Such a list and revisions shall be made available to the purchasing officers of all state agencies;

    (5) Prepare and issue a report annually to the governor and the legislature.  The report shall be consistent with the purposes of sections 1 through 7 of this act, and shall describe the benefits of certified community rehabilitation programs to the state of Washington and to persons with disabilities.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6.  The commission shall immediately designate a central nonprofit agency that has as its main purpose the representation of the interests of individuals who are disabled and are employed by certified community rehabilitation programs, and the certified community rehabilitation programs providing rehabilitation services and employment for persons with disabilities.  The purpose of the designated central nonprofit agency is to provide support for the activities and purposes of the commission.  The central nonprofit agency is authorized for the purposes of coordinating the activities among the commission, certified community rehabilitation programs, and the department of general administration.  It shall provide administrative support as necessary to the commission in the conduct of its duties and responsibilities.  It shall be financed by a fee generated through the contracts between certified community rehabilitation programs and the state and regulated by the commission.  It shall assist the commission in determining eligibility of certified community rehabilitation programs for certification, and it shall oversee for the commission the compliance with contract and quality standards required by the purchasing authority.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 7.  Sections 1 through 6 of this act shall not apply in any case where products and services are available by prior agreement between any state agency with another state agency.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 8.  Sections 1 through 7 of this act are each added to chapter 43.19 RCW.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 9.  If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 10.  This act takes effect January 1, 2002.


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