Senate Passes Bill to Create Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency

ATLANTA (March 20, 2012) – The Georgia Senate passed HB 1146 on Tuesday by a vote of 46 to 2.  Sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Butch Miller (R-Gainesville), this legislation transfers the Division of Rehabilitation Services from the Department of Labor to the newly created Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency.

“I remain committed to advancing public policy that positively affects Georgians with disabilities,” said Sen. Miller.  “Those with disabilities deserve easy, accessible information about programs and services that can help remove barriers, grant better access to education and employment opportunities.  By passing HB 1146, Georgians with disabilities will have yet another resource to assist them in living independently and achieving their lifelong dreams.”

Currently, the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) oversees the Division of Rehabilitation Services. This division seeks to help individuals with disabilities to become fully productive members of society by achieving independence and meaningful employment.

This bill creates the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency and transfers all the powers and functions of the Division of Rehabilitation Services to the agency as of July 1, 2012.  The agency will be assigned to the Department of Human Services for administrative purposes only and will receive ownership of all real property owned by GDOL pertaining to functions of the Division of Rehabilitation Services.

The agency is to be governed by the newly created Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Services Board.  The board is to be composed of nine members appointed by the Governor to serve three year terms, and the chairperson of the board is to be elected by and from the board membership. The agency will also have an executive director nominated by the Governor and approved by the board.

HB 1146 will now travel to the Governor’s desk for final approval.

March 20, 2012

For Information Contact:
Natalie Dale, Director
Shawna Mercer,Sr. Communications Specialist