Legislature(1995 - 1996)

1996-01-08 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

1996-01-08                     Senate Journal                      Page 2064
SB 206                                                                       
SENATE BILL NO. 206 BY THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                              
BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR, entitled:                                          

1996-01-08                     Senate Journal                      Page 2065
SB 206                                                                       
An Act relating to welfare reform by establishing the Alaska Family            
Independence Program; repealing the aid to families with dependent             
children and job opportunity and basic skills programs; relating to an         
exemption to Alaska Wage and Hour Act for certain work activities              
of the Alaska Family Independence Program; relating to the duty to             
support children of minor parents; relating to certain licenses and            
applications for a license for persons who are not in substantial              
compliance with orders, judgments, or payment schedules for child              
support; relating to an exemption to the state procurement code for            
certain services for the general relief program and Alaska Family              
Independence Program; relating to eligibility for day care benefits            
administered by the Department of Community and Regional Affairs;              
authorizing the Department of Health and Social Services to operate            
a public assistance program consistent with the Alaska Family                  
Independence Program under federal waivers and providing certain               
immunity from liability for activities of that program; amending               
Alaska Rule of Civil Procedure 90.3; and providing for an effective            
was read the first time and referred to the Community and Regional             
Affairs, Health, Education and Social Services, Judiciary and Finance          
Fiscal notes published today from Department of Health and Social              
Services (5), Department of Commerce and Economic Development                  
(3), Department of Revenue, Department of Labor (2), Department                
of Education, Department of Public Safety.  Zero fiscal notes                  
published today from Department of Law, Department of Health and               
Social Services, Department of Administration, Department of Fish              
and Game, Department of Community and Regional Affairs,                        
Department of Labor, Department of Environmental Conservation,                 
Department of Public Safety.                                                   
Governors transmittal letter dated January 8:                                  
Dear President Pearce:                                                         
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution,          
I am transmitting a bill designed to reform our welfare system, move           
more Alaskans into jobs, and save the state millions of dollars over           
the next five years.                                                           

1996-01-08                     Senate Journal                      Page 2066
SB 206                                                                       
The bill establishes the Alaska Family Independence Program while              
repealing the former Aid to Families with Dependent Children and               
Job Opportunity and Basic Skills programs.  This plan stresses job             
training and child-care funding, but also sets a five-year limit on            
public assistance benefits and orders most welfare recipients into             
work or training programs within two years.                                    
Last years welfare reform measure that I vetoed was tough on                   
children.  Its provisions would have barred a child whose parents use          
the program from ever receiving help again in his or her lifetime.             
This bill orders tough work requirements while protecting Alaskas              
Last year, I submitted a welfare reform bill that directed the                 
Department of Health and Social Services to seek approval from the             
federal government to operate waiver programs as demonstration                 
projects. This bill builds on my previous proposal and the proposal            
unanimously adopted by the House.  It also incorporates the publics            
observations as expressed in extensive public hearings conducted over          
the summer. All of the changes I propose will continue to focus on             
reshaping our public assistance programs to help families achieve              
economic independence.                                                         
This bill contains four major elements:  1) establishes a new family           
independence program that is designed to move families from                    
dependency to self-sufficiency by providing temporary assistance and           
job-related services; 2) establishes a grandparent support obligation          
when a minor has a child; 3) restricts professional, occupational and          
drivers licenses if a parent is not providing support in accordance            
with an established support order; and 4) authorizes the department            
to initiate the new program under waivers if federal welfare reform            
is not accomplished.                                                           
Even though the federal welfare reform bill has not yet been enacted,          
this measure fits well within the parameters of likely federal reform          
scenarios.  If federal law changes are enacted during the legislative          
session, I will promptly inform the legislature of any necessary               
conforming amendments.  If federal law changes are not enacted this            
year, the state will still be in a position to move forward with a             
dramatic new program designed to help families achieve economic                

1996-01-08                     Senate Journal                      Page 2067
SB 206                                                                       
This bill will enable the state to reshape its public assistance               
program to meet Alaskas unique circumstances and to provide                    
opportunities for dependent families to move to self-sufficiency in            
the workplace.  I urge your support of this bill.                              
						Tony Knowles