Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/22/1995 01:07 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 HJUD - 02/22/95                                                               
 HB 108 - USE PFD'S TO RECOVER WELFARE OVERPAYMENTS                          
                                                                               
 Number 070                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY, sponsor of the bill, read the following                
 sponsor statement:                                                            
                                                                               
 "House Bill 108 would give the Department of Health and Social                
 Services the administrative authority to garnish permanent fund               
 dividends of individuals who have received public assistance                  
 overpayments and are delinquent in repaying the debt.                         
                                                                               
 "Frequently persons receiving overpayments agree to repay the debt,           
 but fail to do so.  If a person is still on public assistance, the            
 person's benefit can be reduced as a means of collection, but if a            
 person is off assistance, collection becomes difficult.  There is             
 currently over half a million dollars in outstanding debt due the             
 Department.                                                                   
                                                                               
 "Collection through the court system can be time-consuming and                
 costly, House Bill 108 would allow the Department to pursue in the            
 same manner that delinquent loans are pursued."                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY said this legislation is supported by the               
 Department of Health and Social Services.  There are two positive             
 revenue generating fiscal notes from the Department of Health and             
 Social Services, and a zero fiscal note from the Department of                
 Revenue.  She introduced Elmer Lindstrom who came to testify.                 
                                                                               
 ELMER LINDSTROM, Special Assistant, Office of the Commissioner,               
 Department of Health and Social Services, had nothing to add,                 
 except that they do support the bill.                                         
                                                                               
 Number 135                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN assumed the department currently has the           
 power to garnish permanent fund dividends (PFDs) for someone who is           
 a current recipient.                                                          
                                                                               
 MR. LINDSTROM answered if the person is a current recipient of                
 public assistance, it would be a matter of reducing their future              
 payments.  This is only an issue for people who have left the                 
 caseload, and have been overpaid.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 150                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked if the first sentence, AS 09.38              
 applies to PFDs taken under this new section we were making.                  
                                                                               
 ANNE CARPENETI, House Judiciary Committee Aide, said there are                
 exceptions for bankruptcy.                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked if you would still have this debt            
 if you went bankrupt.                                                         
                                                                               
 MS. CARPENETI said that was right.                                            
                                                                               
 Number 170                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS made a motion to move the bill out of                    
 committee with accompanying fiscal notes and individual                       
 recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects