Legislature(1993 - 1994)

1993-02-05 Senate Journal

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1993-02-05                     Senate Journal                      Page 0260
SB 101                                                                       
SENATE BILL NO. 101 by the Senate Rules Committee by request                   
of the Governor, entitled:                                                     
"An Act relating to eligibility for and payments of                           
public assistance; and providing for an effective                              
was read the first time and referred to the Health, Education and              
Social Services, Judiciary and Finance Committees.                             
Fiscal notes published today from Department of Health and Social              
Services (5).                                                                  
Governor's transmittal letter dated February 5:                                
Dear Mr. President:                                                            
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution,          
I am  transmitting a bill  relating to  eligibility for and payments of        

1993-02-05                     Senate Journal                      Page 0261
SB 101                                                                       
public assistance.  The bill represents the Administration's proposal          
to control the growth of expenditures in formula welfare programs.             
Section 1 of the bill would amend AS47.25.320(a) to require that               
the maximum monthly amount of aid-to-families-with-dependent-                  
children (AFDC) assistance for a second adult in a two-parent AFDC             
household be the same as for a second dependent child in a home                
where there is one adult.  Currently, the monthly amount for a three-          
person household composed of two adults and one child is $88 more              
than for a three-person household composed of one adult and two                
children; this difference increased to $90 on January1, 1993.                  
Section 1 also amends the standards for families that include one or           
more dependent children living with a nonneedy relative, to bring the          
AFDC program into conformity with federal requirements that the                
increment for a second child be the same as the increment for any              
additional children.                                                           
The maximum grant amounts in AS47.35.320(a) were last amended                  
in 1982.  However, under AS47.35.320(d) those maximum amounts                  
have been increased a number of times to reflect cost-of-living                
increases.  Section 1 amends the maximum grant amounts, starting               
July1, 1993, to roll back those amounts to the 1991 benefit level.             
Section 2 of the bill amends AS47.25.320(d) to provide that the                
department may not increase those monetary maximums based on an                
increase in benefits that takes effect anytime during the calendar year        
that begins on January 1, 1994, nor on an increase in benefits that            
took effect on or before January 1, 1993.                                      
Section 3 of the bill would allow DHSS to adopt regulations to                 
establish a monthly need standard for AFDC that equals or exceeds              
the monthly payment standard for AFDC.  In combination with the                
reduction of AFDC grant amounts in sec. 1 of the bill, this provision          
will provide an incentive for an AFDC family to augment its income             
within limits without automatically jeopardizing eligibility.                  
Section 4 would amend AS47.25.430(b), relating to cost-of-living               
increases in  the adult  public assistance program, to provide that the        

1993-02-05                     Senate Journal                      Page 0262
SB 101                                                                       
department will not increase the maximum state contribution to                 
recipients by any cost-of-living increase that takes effect during the         
calendar year beginning on January 1, 1994, and to conform to the              
changes made by sec. 5 of the bill.                                            
Section 5 of the bill requires DHSS to reduce the maximum state                
contribution to recipients in the adult public assistance program to           
the 1990 level and to adjust monthly grants of assistance                      
Section 6 of the bill would amend AS47.25.455 to provide for                   
reimbursement for interim assistance and to eliminate retroactive              
adult public assistance payments to interim assistance recipients.  The        
existing statute requires DHSS to pay $280 per month to eligible               
individuals while the Social Security Administration (SSA) is                  
processing their disability applications; once an individual is                
determined eligible, the SSA makes a retroactive payment to that               
person.  With this change in AS 47.25.455, an applicant for interim            
assistance would have to agree at the time of initial application to           
have retroactive SSI benefits paid to DHSS to reimburse the state for          
the interim assistance received by the applicant.                              
Section 7 repeals AS47.25.320(e) to conform to the change made                 
in sec. 1 related to reducing grant amounts for two-parent                     
Section 8 provides transitional authority to allow DHSS to adopt               
regulations before July 1, 1993, but the regulations cannot take effect        
before that date.  This provision should facilitate timely                     
implementation of the new statutory changes.                                   
Sections 9 and 10 provide for an effective date for the bill.                  

1993-02-05                     Senate Journal                      Page 0263
SB 101                                                                       
I urge your serious consideration of these proposals to control the            
growth of the state budget.                                                    
      Walter J. Hickel