Senate Bill No. 40
(By Senators Oliverio, Craigo, Manchin and Tomblin, Mr.
[Originating in the Committee on Finance;
reported February 23, 1996.]
A BILL to amend chapter twenty-nine of the code of West Virginia,
one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article twenty-four,
relating to establishing the technology-related assistance
revolving loan fund for individuals with disabilities and
the technology-related assistance revolving loan fund for
individuals with disabilities board; providing short title,
defining certain terms; providing for the membership of the
technology-related assistance revolving loan fund for
individuals with disabilities board and its powers, duties and compensation; allowing a nonprofit, consumer-driver
organization as contracted by the board and other related
associations to develop criteria for funds; and providing
for disbursement of the revolving loan fund money.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter twenty-nine of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by
adding thereto a new article, designated article twenty-four, to
read as follows:
ARTICLE 24. TECHNOLOGY-RELATED ASSISTANCE REVOLVING LOAN FUND
FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES ACT.
§29-24-1. Legislative findings and declarations.
Individuals with disabilities comprise a significant and
increasing percentage of West Virginia's population. The
Legislature finds and declares that action is necessary to assist
these individuals in their homes, schools, employment and
communities to become more independent citizens of the state.
Many of these individuals require technology-related devices and
technology-related services in order to perform functions, such as caring for themselves, performing manual tasks, mobility,
seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing and learning in order to
have the ability to more independently participate in society and
the work force. In order to meet present and increasing needs of
West Virginians for technology-related devices and
technology-related services, it is necessary for the state to
provide funds that neither supplant nor replace existing state or
federal funds for the technology-related revolving loan fund for
individuals with disabilities.
§29-24-2. Terms defined.
As used in this article, the term:
(a) "Board" means the technology-related assistance
revolving loan fund for individuals with disabilities board.
(b) "Individual with disability" means any individual, of
any age who, for the purposes of state or federal law, is
considered to have a disability or handicap, injuries and chronic
health conditions, whether congenital or acquired; and who is or
would be enabled by technology-related devices or
technology-related services to maintain or improve his or her ability to function in society and the workplace.
(c) "Qualifying borrower" means any individual with
disabilities and their family members, guardians, authorized
representatives or nonprofit entity who demonstrates that such a
loan will improve their independence or become more productive
members of the community. The individual must demonstrate credit
worthiness and repayment abilities to the satisfaction of the
board. No more than twenty percent of all loan funds are to be
provided to nonprofit entities in a single year.
(d) "Technology-related assistance" means either the
provision of technology-related devices or technology-related
services to improve the independence, quality of life or
productive involvement in the community of individuals with
(e) "Technology-related device" means any item, piece of
equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially
off-the-shelf, modified or customized, that is used to increase,
maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with
(f) "Technology-related service" means any service that
directly assists an individual with a disability in the
selection, acquisition or use of a technology-related device,
(1) The evaluation of the needs of an individual with a
disability, including a functional evaluation in the individual's
(2) Purchasing, leasing or otherwise providing for the
acquisition of technology-related devices by individuals with
(3) Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting,
applying, maintaining, repairing or replacing technology-related
(4) Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions,
or services with technology-related devices, such as those
associated with existing education and rehabilitation plans and
(5) Training or technical assistance for individuals or the
family of an individual with disabilities.
(g) "Revolving loan fund" means the technology-related
assistance loan fund for individuals with disabilities
established in this article.
(h) "Consumer" means individuals with disabilities and, when
appropriate, their family members, guardians, advocates or
§29-24-3. Board created, membership, terms, officers and staff.
(a) There is established the technology-related assistance
revolving loan fund for individuals with disabilities board that
shall contract to the statewide independent living council funded
through the division of rehabilitation services, a consumer-
driven organization, for administrative purposes only.
(b) The board shall consist of seven members of which at
least three must be individuals with disabilities and appointed
by the secretary of education and the arts as follows:
(1) Director of division of rehabilitation services or his
or her designee;
(2) A representative of the banking industry;
(3) An advocate from advocacy services;
(4) A certified public accountant;
(5) Three additional members from the public-at-large shall
be consumers. Members shall be appointed by the governor, by and
with the consent of the Senate, for terms of three years, their
initial appointments, however, being three for three-year terms,
two for two-year terms and two for one-year terms. State
officers or employees may be appointed to the board unless
otherwise prohibited by law. As a group, the citizen members
shall demonstrate knowledge in the area of technology-related
assistance as users or providers of the rehabilitative services
to the extent practicable. The board shall approve all proposed
rules and the established nonprofit consumer-driven organization
shall then promulgate and implement same.
(c) In the event a board member is unable to attend
twenty-five percent of the scheduled meetings in a twelve month
period, the board may elect to remove that member after written
notification to that member and the secretary of education and
(d) In the event of death, resignation, disqualification or removal for any reason of any member of the board, the vacancy
shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment
and the successor shall serve for the unexpired term.
(e) The initial terms for all members shall be on the first
day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-six.
(f) Membership on the board does not constitute public
office and no member shall be disqualified from holding public
office by reason of his or her membership.
(g) The board shall elect from its membership a chairperson,
treasurer and secretary as well as any other officer as
appropriate. The term of the "chairperson" is for two years in
duration and he or she cannot serve more than two consecutive
(h) The board has the power and authority to establish an
appeals process with regards to the administration of the fund.
The selected nonprofit, consumer-driven organization contracted
by the board shall submit to the board proposed rules governing
the operation of the fund including, but not limited to,
eligibility of receipt of funds and all other matters consistent with and necessary to accomplishing the purpose of this fund.
(i) The board may contract to a nonprofit entity to be the
authority to carry out the purposes of this article. The
compensation of personnel shall be paid from moneys in the loan
fund. Board personnel may be members of the state civil service
system. The board shall utilize existing state resources and
staff of participating departments whenever practicable.
Personnel expenses and other costs authorized in this subsection
shall be paid from moneys in the revolving loan fund.
Administrative costs are not to exceed five percent of the
revolving loan funds yearly budget.
§29-24-4. Compensation and expenses of board.
Members with disabilities shall be compensated for costs
associated with transportation, meals, personal assistance,
interpreters and disability related accommodations for the
purpose of conducting the business of the board. Expense
allowances and other costs authorized in this section shall be
paid from moneys in the loan fund.
§29-24-5. Power, duties and responsibilities of the board;
(a) The board shall do all of the following:
(1) Meet at such times (minimum of four times each fiscal
year) and at places as it determines necessary or convenient to
perform its duties. The board shall also meet on the call of the
chairperson or secretary of education and the arts;
(2) Maintain minutes of its meetings;
(3) Adopt rules for the transaction of its business;
(4) Promulgate rules to carry out the purposes of this
chapter, which ensure that individuals, profit and nonprofit
corporations and partnerships are eligible for loans;
(5) Receive, administer and disburse funds to support
purposes established by this chapter and contract with a
nonprofit, consumer-based groups dealing with individuals with
disabilities to assist in administering programs established by
(6) Maintain detailed records of all expenditures of the
board, funds received as gifts and donations and disbursements
made from the revolving loan fund;
(7) During the first three years of operation of the fund,
the contracted nonprofit consumer-driven organization shall
submit to the secretary of education and the arts and the board
annually a summary report concerning programmatic and financial
status of the technology revolving loan fund. Future year annual
reports will be provided to the board;
(8) Develop and implement a comprehensive set of financial
standards to ensure the integrity and accountability of all funds
received as well as loan funds disbursed; and
(9) Conform to the standards and requirements prescribed by
the state auditor.
(b) The board shall enter into loan agreements with any
qualifying borrower, who demonstrates that:
(1) The loan will assist one or more individuals with
disabilities in improving their independence, productivity and
full participation in the community; and
(2) The applicant has the ability to repay the loan. Any
necessary loan limitation shall be determined by the board. All
loans must be repaid within such terms and at an interest rate of four percent. However, no loan may extend beyond sixty months
from date of award and may be paid off anytime without prepayment
(c) The board may authorize loans up to ninety percent of
the cost of an item or items.
(d) The board may award loans to qualifying borrowers for
purposes, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) To assist one or more individuals with disabilities to
improve their independence through the purchase of
technology-related devices; and
(2) To assist one or more individuals with disabilities to
become more independent members of the community and improve such
individuals quality of life within the community through the
purchase of technology-related devices.
(e) In the event of the failure of the borrower to repay the
loan balance due and owing, the board shall seek to recover the
loan balance by such legal or administrative action available to
it. Persons or representatives of persons who default on a loan
are not eligible for a new loan. The board shall retain ownership of all property, equipment or devices until the
borrowers loan is paid-in-full.
(f) A new loan may not be issued to, or on behalf of, a
disabled person if a previous loan made to, or on behalf of, such
person remains unpaid.
(g) The board may charge a fee for loan applications and
processing. All funds generated by fee charges shall be directly
placed into the revolving loan fund to off-set the costs of
The board may accept federal funds granted by Congress or
executive order for the purposes of this chapter as well as gifts
and donations from individuals, private organizations or
foundations. The acceptance and use of federal funds does not
commit state funds and does not place an obligation upon the
Legislature to continue the purposes for which the federal funds
are made available. All funds received in the manner described
in this article shall be deposited in the revolving loan fund to
be disbursed as other moneys in the revolving loan fund.
Loans may be made for amounts ranging from a minimum of five
hundred dollars to a maximum of five thousand dollars. The loan
must be used to purchase essential equipment or directly related
services that will assist the person with a disability to
overcome barriers in daily living.
§29-24-7. Fund created.
The technology-related assistance revolving loan fund for
individuals with disabilities is created as a separate fund and
placed with a selected bank or credit union. The revolving loan
fund may be expended only as provided in this chapter. The West
Virginia Legislature shall appropriate two hundred fifty thousand
dollars to establish and initiate the revolving loan fund.
§29-24-8. Deposits created by the board.
The board shall credit to the revolving loan fund all
amounts paid, appropriated or donated to the revolving loan fund.
All funds shall be deposited with, maintained and administered by
a commercial bank or credit union in an interest bearing account
and shall contain appropriations provided for that purpose,
interest accrued on loan balances, fees charged and funds received in repayment of loans.
§29-24-9. Priority of fund use.
The moneys collected in the revolving loan fund shall be
used only for the following purposes:
(a) Implementing revolving loan program for
(b) Providing technology-related devices to individuals with
severe disabilities who meet economic criteria established by the
(c) Providing support for technology-related assistance;
(d) Providing technology-related and disability prevention
education and research;
(e) Disseminating public information;
(f) Conducting program evaluation and needs assessment;
(g) Operating the board;
(h) Conducting research and demonstration projects,
including new and future uses of technology-related services; and
(i) Developing a strategic plan.
All unexpended moneys contained in this fund at the end of the fiscal year shall be carried forward from year to year.
(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish a
technology-related assistance revolving loan fund and board for
individuals with disabilities. The bill provides for a fund to
be established to receive moneys by appropriation, gift or
otherwise to be available for use by the board to pay for
evaluations, equipment, purchases, training and other items and
services to help qualified people with disabilities to maintain
jobs and live independently.
Article twenty-four, chapter twenty-nine is new; therefore,
strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.)