Senate Bill No. 40
(Senators Oliverio, Craigo, Manchin and Tomblin, Mr. President,
[Passed March 9, 1996; in effect from passage.]
AN ACT 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-driven organization as contracted by the board and other related
associations to develop criteria for funds; providing for
disbursement of the revolving loan fund money; setting forth
the minimum amount of interest the board may charge; including
a provision regarding funding; setting a cap on the maximum
amount which may be expended from the fund for administrative
expenses; and specifying maximum time such loans may be
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
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
§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 disabilities.
(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, including:
(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 programs; 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 a nonprofit, 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
(2) A representative of the banking industry;
(3) A representative of the medical profession;
(4) A certified public accountant; and
(5) Three additional members from the public-at-large 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 initial appointments, however, being three for three-year terms, two for two-year terms and two for one-year terms:
Provided, That 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. 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 same.
(c) In the event a board member fails 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 the arts.
(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) 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
§29-24-4. Compensation and expenses of board.
Members of the board shall receive a compensation in an amount
not to exceed the state per diem 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. Members with disabilities shall be
compensated for costs associated with 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 written 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 nonprofit, consumer-
based groups dealing with individuals with disabilities to assist in administering programs established by this chapter;
(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 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 per centum 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
(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. All amounts
in this fund shall be expended only upon appropriation by the
Legislature, and 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 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 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 technology-related
(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.