Legislature(1993 - 1994)

05/05/1994 08:35 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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  SB 101 "An Act relating to eligibility for and payments of                   
  public               assistance; and providing for an                        
  effective date."                                                             
                                                                               
          HCS CSSB 101 (FIN) was reported out of Committee                     
  with "no               recommendation" and with two fiscal                   
  impact notes by the                Department of Health and                  
  Social Services, dated 4/28/94.                                              
                                                                               
  SENATE BILL NO. 101                                                          
                                                                               
  "An Act relating to eligibility for and payments of public                   
  assistance; and providing for an effective date."                            
                                                                               
  DAVID SKIDMORE, STAFF, SENATOR STEVE FRANK explained that SB
  101 would amend the Interim Assistance provision (IA). He                    
  pointed out that IPA pays individuals $280 dollars a month                   
  while they await determination of eligibility for Social                     
  Security Insurance (SSI) or Adult Public Assistance (APA).                   
                                                                               
  Mr. Skidmore emphasized that the legislation would allow the                 
  Division of Public Assistance to return to its practice of                   
  terminating interim assistance after an initial                              
  determination of SSI ineligibility. This was the                             
  department's practice prior to the 1986 Alaska Supreme Court                 
  ruling, Morre versus Beirne. The court mandated that the                     
  state make payments during the appeal process.                               
                                                                               
  Mr. Skidmore observed that individuals who are eligible for                  
  SSI repay the state for interim assistance received. The                     
  legislation would require that individuals who are                           
  determined ineligible for SSI also repay the state for                       
  interim assistance. The legislation would define interim                     
  assistance owed to the state as an overpayment of public                     
  assistance. Overpayment could be recouped through                            
  garnishment of permanent fund dividend payments.                             
                                                                               
  Mr. Skidmore noted that the legislation directs the Division                 
  of Public Assistance to work with the Division of Vocational                 
  Rehabilitation in establishing consistent standards to                       
  govern the disability determination process.                                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  In response to a question by Representative Brown, Mr.                       
  Skidmore observed the intent to clarify that payments are                    
  terminated after the first determination of ineligibility.                   
  He clarified that APA and IA payments are state funded,                      
  while SSI is federally funded.                                               
                                                                               
  Mr. Skidmore provided members with AMENDMENT 1 (copy on                      
  file). He explained that the amendment would pertain to                      
  applicability. The amendment clarifies that the legislation                  
  applies to new applications, applications pending and                        
  appeals pending at the effective date.                                       
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson MOVED to ADOPT AMENDMENT 1. Representative                   
  Brown OBJECTED. A roll call vote was taken on the MOTION.                    
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Foster, Hanley, Martin, Parnell, Grussendorf,                      
  Larson                                                                       
  OPPOSED: Brown, Hoffman                                                      
                                                                               
  Representatives Navarre and Therriault were not present for                  
  the vote.                                                                    
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED (6-2).                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Brown provided members with AMENDMENT 2 (copy                 
  on file). She explained that the amendment would allow the                   
  Division to make an exception for hardship cases.                            
                                                                               
  JAN HANSEN, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF MEDICAL ASSISTANCE,                        
  DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES observed that                       
  individuals applying for SSI must have an income below                       
  $450.0 dollars a month. She stated that eligibility is based                 
  on a physician's opinion that the individual has a                           
  disability that is and will continue to be incapacitating to                 
  the degree that they are not able to work.                                   
                                                                               
  Mr. Skidmore spoke in opposition to the amendment.                           
                                                                               
  Representative Martin OBJECTED. A roll call vote was taken                   
  on the MOTION to adopt AMENDMENT 2.                                          
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Brown, Grussendorf, Hoffman, Navarre                               
  OPPOSED: Foster, Hanley, Martin, Parnell, Therriault, Larson                 
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean was not present for the vote.                               
                                                                               
  The MOTION FAILED (4-6).                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Brown provided members with AMENDMENT 3 (copy                 
  on file). She explained that the amendment would change                      
  "initial" to "final" in order to initiate the cut off after                  
  the final determination of SSI eligibility. She emphasized                   
  that the amendment would be consistent with the court's                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
  ruling.                                                                      
                                                                               
  Representative Navarre spoke in support of Amendment 3.                      
                                                                               
  Representative Martin OBJECTED. A roll call vote was taken                   
  on the MOTION.                                                               
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Brown, Grussendorf, Hoffman, Navarre                               
  OPPOSED: Foster, Hanley, Martin, Parnell, Therriault, Larson                 
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean was not present for the vote.                               
                                                                               
  The MOTION FAILED (4-6).                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Martin MOVED to report HCS CSSB 101 (FIN) out                 
  of Committee with individual recommendations and with the                    
  accompanying fiscal notes. Representative Brown OBJECTED. A                  
  roll call vote was taken on the MOTION.                                      
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Grussendorf, Foster, Hanley, Martin, Parnell,                      
  Therriault, Larson                                                           
  OPPOSED: Brown, Hoffman, Navarre                                             
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean was not present for the vote.                               
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED (7-3).                                                     
                                                                               
  HCS CSSB 101 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with "no                    
  recommendation" and with two fiscal impact notes by the                      
  Department of Health and Social Services, dated 4/28/94.                     

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