Legislature(1993 - 1994)
02/23/1994 09:15 AM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
CSHJR 36 Urging the federal Department of Health and Human (HES) Services to repeal the "100-hour rule" relating to employment of certain persons receiving AFDC and to replace it with a regulation that will serve as an incentive for AFDC recipients to accept employment of more than 100 hours a month. Raymond Goad, aide to Representative Brice, sponsor of HJR 36, spoke in support of the resolution. Elmer Lindstrom, Special Assistant, Department of Health & Social Services attempted to answer Co-chair Frank's question regarding the "100 hour rule." Senator Sharp asked a question regarding Medicaid eligibility. CSHJR 36(HES) was REPORTED OUT of committee with a "do pass" and a zero fiscal note for the Department of Health & Social Services. CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 36(HES): Urging the federal Department of Health and Human Services to repeal the "100-hour rule" relating to employment of certain persons receiving AFDC and to replace it with a regulation that will serve as an incentive for AFDC recipients to accept employment of more than 100 hours a month. Co-chair Pearce announced that HJR 36 was before the committee that repealed the "100 hour rule" for the AFDC program. She invited Raymond Goad, aide to Representative Brice to come to the table. She also noted that Ella Fitzgerald, Public Assistant Program Manager I, Division of Medical Assistance, Department of Health & Social Services, was in the audience to answer questions. RAYMOND GOAD said that the DH&SS had developed regulations relating to the aid to families with dependent children unemployed parent program. This set out the number of hours a parent could work without losing eligibility for the program. The threshold was set at 100 hours per month. If a job was exceeded by 100 hours per month, that family become ineligible for AFDC and Medicaid even if employment earnings were less than the amount of the AFDC grant. This discouraged people that want to work from taking full time employment. Many families stay on AFDC because a job would not support them or provide medical benefits. It meant the state incurred increased cost to the program. Repealing the "100 hour rule" would enable people to accept employment that exceeded 100 hours per month that may partially support them and reduce the amount of aid received. He mentioned that a working group for President Clinton's plan may include such a recommendation. In answer to Senator Jacko, Mr. Goad said the reason for the joint resolution was because it was a federal regulation and not in state statute. In answer to Co-chair Frank, ELMER LINDSTROM explained that if a person had a job for less than 100 hours per month, it was counted as income and a reduction in their AFDC payment would occur. He said he did not know all the details but knew the "100 hour rule" was a dis-incentive for people to take low paying jobs. He said it was even more apparent to him since he had worked with the JOBS program. This only applied to the two parent family case load. Governor Hickel had already petitioned the federal government to include this in the national welfare reform effort. The resolution would be timely in that regard. He said it was supported by the Public Welfare Association, the National Organization of Welfare Directors, and also was in one of the welfare reform proposal in the state. Co-chair Frank continued to make comments and asked questions of Mr. Lindstrom. He said that a welfare reform waiver would be before the legislation this year and they could address those questions. In answer to Senator Sharp, Mr. Lindstrom said that if a person was eligible for AFDC, he or she would be eligible for Medicaid. Senator Rieger MOVED for passage of HJR 36 from committee with individual recommendations. No objection being heard, it was REPORTED OUT of committee with a "do pass" and zero fiscal note for the Department of Health & Social Services. Senators Sharp, Jacko, Kelly, Rieger, and Kerttula signed "do pass." Co-chairs Pearce and Frank signed "no recommendation." ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:30 a.m.