HB 0552 For the Purpose of Transitioning People From Welfare to Work
Sponsor:KASTEN Handling House Bill:
Committee:SSMC LR Number:L0658.01I
Last Action:02/07/95 - Referred H Social Services, Medicaid & the Elderly Comm.
Effective Date:
All Actions | Senate Home Page | List of 1995 House Bills
Current Bill Summary

HB0552 Kasten, Mary C. Kelley, Pat et al


HB 552 -- Public Assistance

Co-Sponsors: Kasten, Kelley and Scott

This bill makes a number of changes in public assistance laws. In its main provisions it:

(1) Limits the receipt of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), including AFDC for unemployed parents, to 24 months;

(2) Changes the priority group for participation in the JOBS program from volunteers to married parents of children receiving AFDC (volunteers are outlined as the second priority);

(3) Disallows the incremental increase in the cash grant for the birth of a child;

(4) Requires persons receiving medical assistance who use the emergency room of a hospital for nonemergency treatment to make a $10 copayment to the hospital at the time of treatment; penalty and appeal provisions are outlined;

(5) Denies public assistance benefits to anyone who has pled guilty to or been convicted of a drug law violation unless enrollment in an approved drug rehabilitation and parenting program is verified;

(6) Reduces the cash grant by 5% for persons not enrolled in job training or an education or community service program within six months of qualifying for AFDC; and reduces the cash grant by an additional 10% if not enrolled in one of these programs within 12 months of qualifying for AFDC; exemptions are outlined;

(7) Pending federal approval, requires AFDC payees to provide child care for the dependents of other AFDC payees in exchange for AFDC benefits, as a community service option;

(8) Establishes a LEARNFARE program whereby pregnant and parenting teenagers receiving assistance and who have less than a high school education are required to attend school; a bonus of $50 per month is paid for teens who attend school at least 90% of the time; cash benefits are reduced by $50 for each month these teens fail to attend school at least 75% of the time; exempted groups and good cause exceptions are outlined;

(9) Allows for petitions to the circuit court for suspension or revocation of professional licenses of those who are in arrears on child support by more than $5,000;

(10) Requires the Department of Social Services to terminate Medicaid benefits immediately when recipients are found to be ineligible, rather than terminating benefits at the end of the calendar month;

(11) Requires the State Board of Education to establish rules for implementing the extended day child care program; current law permits the board to establish rules;

(12) Establishes the "People Attaining Self-Sufficiency Act" which includes the following provisions:

(a) Creates a Public Assistance Reorganization Task Force to explore more efficient ways to implement the programs of the Division of Family Services (DFS);

(b) Creates a County Welfare Commission and a Self-Sufficiency Development Fund in each county implementing the self-- sufficiency program; the commission is to establish policy for the type, scope and extent of services for clients; the fund is comprised of federal block grants, public assistance moneys, and private contributions;

(c) Requires DFS to assess AFDC applicants and recipients for possible referral to the county welfare commission for transition from welfare to work;

(d) Allows the county commissions to require community service participation as a condition of eligibility for support services; exceptions are provided;

(e) Requires the Department of Social Services to provide the staff to implement the self-sufficiency act provisions;

(f) Requires the county welfare commissions to develop an information clearinghouse about the private and public resources available for attaining self-sufficiency;

(g) Requires the Department of Social Services to determine if the education and training components within the JOBS program have increased or decreased AFDC applications; and

(h) Upon federal approval, requires DFS to provide cash benefits in lieu of food stamps to public assistance recipients.