Legislature(1995 - 1996)

1995-03-06 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

1995-03-06                     Senate Journal                      Page 0498
SB 111                                                                       
SENATE BILL NO. 111 BY THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                              
BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR, entitled:                                          
"An Act relating to the payment of Aid to Families                            
with Dependent Children in the case of pregnant                                
minors and minors who are parents; authorizing                                 
special projects within the program of Aid to                                  
Families with Dependent Children to create                                     
self-sufficiency and training opportunities;                                   
authorizing the Department of Health and Social                                
Services to seek waivers from the federal                                      
government necessary to implement the special                                  
projects; affecting disbursement of child support                              
payments under certain circumstances for purposes                              
of one of the special projects; and providing for an                           
effective date."                                                               
was read the first time and referred to the Health, Education and              
Social Services and Finance Committees.                                        
Fiscal notes published today from Department of Health and Social              
Services (11).  Zero fiscal notes published today from Department              
of Revenue, Department of Commerce and Economic Development.                   
Governor's transmittal letter dated March 6:                                   
Dear President Pearce:                                                         
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution,          
I am transmitting a bill that requires the Department of Health and            
Social Services (department) to operate four demonstration projects            
designed to reshape the state's Aid to Families with Dependent                 
Children  (AFDC)  public  assistance  program  to  enable  Alaska's            

1995-03-06                     Senate Journal                      Page 0499
SB 111                                                                       
families with dependent children to move from dependency to                    
economic self-sufficiency.  The bill directs the department to seek            
waivers and approval from the federal government necessary to                  
implement the demonstration projects.  This bill also authorizes the           
department to make changes, by regulation, to the AFDC public                  
assistance program that are consistent with the demonstration projects         
if federal law is revised so that waivers are not required.  The bill          
additionally makes a change generally to the AFDC program to                   
require unmarried minor parents to live with their parent, guardian,           
or other adult as a condition of eligibility.  Certain exemptions from         
this requirement are provided in the bill.                                     
The four demonstration projects proposed by the bill are:  1) a                
diversion project that will provide an alternative to long-term AFDC           
benefits for families that require only a brief period of assistance; 2)       
a community work pilot project in which an urban area grantee and              
a rural grantee each will administer the project on a local basis to           
provide job training and community-based alternatives to families; 3)          
an unemployed parent project that will establish a family contract             
designed to establish family self-sufficiency within three years; and          
4) a self-employment project that will allow recipients of assistance          
with an approved business plan to accumulate assets for a                      
microenterprise while establishing a business.  All of these projects          
place the focus of the AFDC program on preparing dependent                     
families for jobs and self-sufficiency.                                        
Section 3 sets out the short title of the jobs portion of the bill as          
"The Jobs for Families with Dependent Children Act."  Sections 4               
and 5 of the bill set out the purpose of the bill and establish the            
findings that guide the reshaping of the AFDC program to provide               
jobs for dependent families.                                                   
Section 6 of the bill requires the department to establish the                 
demonstration projects proposed in the bill by requesting waivers              
from the federal government.  It also outlines alternatives if changes         
in federal law make waivers unnecessary or if the projects would no            
longer be cost effective.                                                      
Section 7 of the bill outlines a diversion program in which certain            
job-ready AFDC applicants may be diverted from long-term                       
dependency by means of a lump-sum cash payment and related                     

1995-03-06                     Senate Journal                      Page 0500
SB 111                                                                       
services aimed at promptly establishing self-sufficiency.  By meeting          
immediate needs and by providing immediate referrals to resources,             
this project is intended to provide a safety net for families that might       
have become dependent upon AFDC.                                               
Section 8 of the bill outlines community work pilot projects that              
would operate in at least two areas of the state, in which grants may          
be provided to community  organizations  to design a set of services           
and activities to meet job training and community service needs.  In           
this program, it is expected that by placing project control in the            
hands of local organizations, the individual's and the community's             
needs can be better met.                                                       
Section 9 of the bill outlines an unemployed parent project in which           
two-parent families that receive AFDC would be expected to develop             
a family plan to establish self-sufficiency within three years after           
entering the project.  Each participating family would sign a contract         
that sets out the benchmarks of the plan and the services and                  
referrals that would be designed to achieve the plan.                          
Section 10 of the bill establishes a self-employment project in which          
AFDC recipients with approved business plans may accumulate                    
business assets and deduct business expenses from income while                 
working to establish a microenterprise.  This project is very similar          
to the one proposed in HB 14.                                                  
The bill also provides regulation-adoption authority so that the               
department can set detailed program guidelines in regulations.                 
The bill provides an immediate effective date for sec. 6 of the bill,          
so that the department can begin the process of designing and                  
securing federal approval for the demonstration projects.  The                 
specific projects will take effect as the department receives federal          
demonstration project authority or makes a determination that waivers          
are no longer necessary because of changes in federal law.  The bill           
contains a July1, 2001 repeal date for the demonstration projects.             
Sections 1, 2, 13, and 15 of the bill contain the provisions that allow        
the department to immediately implement the new AFDC eligibility               
requirement for unmarried minor parents.                                       

1995-03-06                     Senate Journal                      Page 0501
SB 111                                                                       
The demonstration projects proposed in this bill will enable the state         
to reshape its AFDC public assistance program to provide jobs for              
dependent families.  I urge your support of this bill.                         
						Tony Knowles