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Introduced Version House Bill 2508 History

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hb2508 intr
H. B. 2508


(By Delegates Frederick, Stalnaker, Walters,

Rowan and Cann)

[Introduced February 21, 2005; referred to the Committee

on Industry and Labor, Economic Development and Small Business then Finance.]


A BILL to amend the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §5B-2B-10, relating generally to the self-employment assistance act.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §5B-2B-10, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2B. WEST VIRGINIA WORKFORCE INVESTMENT ACT.
§5B-2B-10. Self-Employment Assistance Act.

(a) The following words and phrases when used in this section shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(1) "Center" means the Small Business Development Center of the West Virginia Development Office.
(2) "Full-time basis" means the devoting of such amount of time as is prescribed by the Small Business Development Center of the West Virginia Development Office, on its own or in consultation with its designated service provider, to be necessary for a program participant to establish a business and become self-employed.
(3) "Program" means the Self-Employment Assistance Program established in this section.
(4) "Program participant" means an individual: (A) who is selected for participation in the program, at the discretion of the Small Business Development Center of the West Virginia Development Office from among individuals who are eligible for regular benefits and are identified to the West Virginia Development Office, through a worker profiling system as likely to exhaust regular benefits; (B) who is eligible for funding for participation in the program; (C) for whom funding for participation in the program is available; and (D) who has not been terminated from or voluntarily left the program.
(5) "Regular benefits" means benefits payable to an individual under chapter twenty-one-a of this code known as the Unemployment Compensation Law, or unemployment compensation benefits payable to Federal civilian employees and to ex-service members pursuant to Federal law, other than additional and extended benefits.
(6) "Self-employment assistance activities" means activities, including, but not limited to, entrepreneurial training, business counseling and technical assistance, approved by the Small Business Development Center of the West Virginia Development Office, on its own or in consultation with its designated service provider, for the program participant. These activities may be provided by either the Small Business Development Center of the West Virginia Development Office or its designated service provider.
(7) "Self-employment assistance allowance" means an allowance in lieu of regular benefits and funded in the same manner as regular benefits, payable to a program participant who meets the requirements of this section.
(8) "Unemployment Compensation Law" means chapter twenty-one- a of this code, known as the Unemployment Compensation Law.
(b) The center shall establish a self-employment assistance program in accordance with the provision of this section, subject to the availability of all funds necessary for the program. The center may implement the program on a pilot basis. Information about the program shall be made available to potential program participants.
(c) Subject to the provisions of subsection (d) of this section, the weekly self-employment assistance allowance payable under this section to a program participant shall be equal to the weekly benefit amount for regular benefits otherwise payable. The sum of the allowances paid under this section and regular benefits paid with respect to any benefit year shall not exceed the maximum amount payable for the benefit year under article six, chapter twenty-one-a of this code.
(d) Eligibility.
(1) General Rule. The self-employment assistance allowance described in subsection (c) of this section shall be payable to a program participant who participates in self-employment assistance activities and is actively engaged on a full-time basis in efforts to establish a business and become self-employed. The self- employment assistance allowance shall be payable at the same interval, on the same terms and subject to the same conditions as regular benefits, with the following exceptions: (A) the requirements of subdivision (1), section one, article six, chapter twenty-one-a, and subdivision (3), section three, article six, chapter twenty-one-a of this code are not applicable to such program participant; and (B) Such program participant shall be considered to be unemployed under article six, chapter twenty-one-a of this code known as the Unemployment Compensation Law.
(2) Ineligibility. A program participant who fails to participate in self-employment assistance activities or who fails to actively engage on a full-time basis in efforts to establish a business and become self-employed shall be ineligible for self- employment assistance allowance for a week in which such failure occurs.
(e) A program participant may be terminated from the program by the center if the individual fails to participate in self- employment assistance activities or fails to actively engage on a full-time basis in efforts to establish a business and become self- employed. Individuals who are terminated from or voluntarily leave the program may receive, if otherwise eligible, regular benefits with respect to the benefit year, provided that the sum of the regular benefits paid and self-employment assistance allowances paid with respect to the benefit year shall not exceed the maximum amount payable for the benefit year under article six, chapter twenty-one-a of this code.
(f) For a specific time period, the number of program participants receiving a self-employment assistance allowance under this section may not exceed five percent of the number of individuals receiving regular benefits during that time period.
(g) Self-employment assistance allowances paid under this section shall be charged to employers as regular benefits are charged under the Unemployment Compensation Law.
(h) Applicability of Unemployment Compensation Law.
(1) Except where inconsistent with this section, all terms and conditions of Federal law and the Unemployment Compensation Law applicable to regular benefits shall be applicable to self- employment assistance allowances under this section.
(2) Article seven, chapter twenty-one-a of this code shall apply to determinations under this section.
(i) The center may propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to carry out the purposes of this section.
(j) The center shall make a report of the program provided for in this section to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Workforce Investment for Economic Development by the first day of January two thousand six and annually by the first day of January thereafter.
This report shall include annual data on the number of program participants and the number of businesses developed under the program, business survival data, the cost of operating the program, compliance with the program requirements and data related to business income, the number of employees and wages paid in the new businesses and the incidence and duration of unemployment after business start-up. The report may also include any recommended changes in the program.
(k) The provisions of this section shall apply to those weeks commencing after the following, whichever is later: (1) ninety days after the enactment of this section; or (2) the date of notice published state register that this act and the center's implementation plan have been approved by the United States Department of Labor. The application of this act shall terminate as of the end of the week preceding the date that Federal law no longer authorizes the provisions of this act.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create the Self- Employment Assistance Act.


This is an interim bill that was proposed for introduction in the 2005 Legislative Session by the Legislative Oversight Commission on Workforce Investment for Economic Development.

§5B-2B-10 is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
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