H. B. 2859
(By Mr. Speaker, Mr. Kiss)
[Introduced January 14, 1998; referred to the
Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact sections one, two, three, four, five,
six, seven, eight and nine, article twenty-four, chapter
twenty-nine of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to the technology- related assistance revolving loan fund for individuals with
disabilities act; removing obsolete and inconsistent
provisions; clarifying responsibility of board for
administration of article; creating revolving loan fund in
state treasury; providing a maximum interest rate for loans
from fund; establishing compensation and reimbursement rates
for board members; and generally reorganizing content for
closer proximity of related provisions.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight
and nine, article twenty-four, chapter twenty-nine of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended,
be amended and reenacted 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 the present and increasing
needs of West Virginians for technology-related devices and
technology-related services, it is necessary for the state to
that neither supplant nor replace existing state or
federal funds for the technology-related revolving loan fund for
individuals with disabilities that neither supplant nor replace
existing state, federal or private sector funds.
§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 revolving 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.
shall contract to a nonprofit, consumer-driven organization for
administrative purposes only.
(b) The board shall consist of seven members as follows, of
which whom at least three must be individuals with disabilities:
and appointed by the secretary of education and the arts as
(1) Director of division of rehabilitation services, ex
officio, who shall be entitled to vote, or his or her designee;
(2) A representative of the banking industry;
(3) A representative of the medical profession;
(4) A certified public accountant; and
additional members from the public-at-large who
are users or providers of technology-related assistance devices or services for individuals with disabilities. shall be
consumers. Members shall be appointed by the governor, by and
with the advice and consent of the Senate, for terms of three
years. their Of the initial appointments, however, being three
shall be for three-year terms, two shall be for two-year terms
and two for one-year terms: the governor may not appoint any
members to this board until the Legislature has made an
appropriation in a sufficient amount to cover the expenses of
this board. one shall be for a one-year term: Provided, That
members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of
the Senate prior to the effective date of this section shall
continue to serve for the terms for which they were appointed.
State officers or employees may be appointed to the board unless
otherwise prohibited by law. To be eligible for appointment to
the board, 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
(c) In the event a board member fails to attend more than
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
the arts, request in writing that the governor remove the member
and appoint a new member to serve his or her unexpired term.
(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-seven.
(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) (e) 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 regard 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 ten percent of the
revolving loan funds yearly budget.
§29-24-4. Compensation and expenses of board.
Members of the board
shall who are not employees of the
state are entitled to receive a compensation in an amount not to
exceed the state per diem fifty dollars for each day the member
of the board is in attendance at a meeting of the board, plus
either reimbursement for actual transportation cost while
traveling by public carrier or the same mileage allowance for use
of a personal car in connection with such attendance as members
of the Legislature receive. reasonable and necessary expenses
actually incurred in the performance of their duties as a member
of the board in accordance with state travel regulations. Members
with disabilities shall be compensated are also entitled to reimbursement for costs associated with personal assistance,
interpreters and disability related accommodations for the
purpose of conducting the business of the board. Expense
allowances Compensation, reimbursement and other costs authorized
in this section shall be paid from moneys in the revolving loan
§29-24-5. Power, duties and responsibilities of the board; loans.
(a) The board
shall do all of has the following powers,
duties and responsibilities:
(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 written minutes of its meetings;
Adopt rules Propose rules for legislative promulgation
in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter
twenty-nine-a of this code for the transaction of its business.
(4) Promulgate rules and to carry out the purposes of this
chapter which ensure that individuals, profit and nonprofit
corporations and partnerships are eligible for loans; article.
Such rules shall include (A) guidelines, procedures, reporting
requirements, accountability measures and such other criteria as the board deems appropriate and necessary to fulfill its
governance responsibility under this article if it elects to
contract with a nonprofit, consumer-driven organization to carry
out the purposes of this article; (B) an appeals process with
regard to the administration of the fund; and (C) 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;
(4) Employ personnel on a full-time, part-time or contracted
basis. Board personnel may be members of the state civil service
system. Participating agencies shall make staff support and
resources available to the board whenever practicable at the
discretion of the agencies. The compensation of personnel shall
be paid from moneys in the revolving loan fund;
(5) Receive, administer and disburse funds to support
purposes established by this
chapter article and contract with
nonprofit, consumer-based groups dealing with individuals with
disabilities to assist in administering programs established by
this chapter article;
(6) Maintain detailed records of all expenditures of the
board, funds received as gifts and donations and disbursements
made from the revolving loan fund;
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
Legislature 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) Subject to available funds, the board shall enter into
loan agreements with any qualifying borrower, who demonstrates
(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 such interest rates
as the board may determine to be appropriate. However, no loan
may extend beyond sixty months from date of award and may be paid
off anytime without prepayment penalty. The board shall
determine the interest rate to be charged on loans made pursuant to this article, but in no event may the interest rate on any
such loans be less than four or more than twenty-one
percent per annum.
(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
borrower's 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 technology related
devices 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. All
amounts in this fund shall be expended only upon appropriation by
the Legislature, and hereby created in the state treasury to be
expended by the board in accordance with the provisions of and
for the purposes of this article. Nothing contained herein may
be construed to require any level of funding by the Legislature.
§29-24-8. Deposits created by the board.
The board shall
credit to the revolving loan fund deposit
all amounts paid, appropriated, granted or donated to it,
including interest accrued on loan balances, fees charged and
funds received in repayment of loans, in the revolving loan fund.
All funds shall be deposited with, maintained and administered by
a commercial bank or credit union and shall contain
appropriations provided for that purpose, interest accrued on
loan balances, fees charged and funds received in repayment of
§29-24-9. Fund use.
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 and other administrative and
(h) Conducting research and demonstration projects,
including new and future uses of technology-related services; and
(i) Developing a strategic plan.
Administrative costs are not to exceed ten percent of the
revolving loan fund's yearly budget.
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 clarify, strengthen and
make operational the Technology-Related Assistance Loan Fund for
Individuals with Disabilities Act that was enacted during the
1996 legislative session. $100,000 was appropriated to the
Department of Health and Human Resources, Division of Health
Central Office, in a Revolving Loan Fund Assistance Technology
line item for the purposes of this article. The Board has been
appointed and confirmed by the Senate.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.