Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/07/1995 09:15 AM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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       HB 108 USE PFD'S TO RECOVER WELFARE OVERPAYMENTS                      
                                                                               
 Number 240                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN introduced  HB 108  as the next order of business              
 before the committee.                                                         
                                                                               
 MARVEEN COGGINS, staff to Representative Toohey, explained that               
 HB 108 would give the Department of Health & Social Services (DHSS)           
 the authority to collect delinquent public assistance overpayments            
 by administrative garnishment of any individual's permanent fund              
 dividend.  Currently, there is in excess of half a million dollars            
 in outstanding delinquent debts.  She explained that often persons            
 receiving the overpayment agree to repay the debt, but frequently             
 requests to repay the debt are ignored.  HB 108 would allow DHSS to           
 recover overpayments with a less expensive and more expedient                 
 administrative procedure.  She noted that recovery of debt would be           
 handled in the same manner in which delinquent student loans are              
 pursued.  DHSS supports HB 108.  She informed the committee that              
 there are two revenue generating fiscal notes from DHSS and a zero            
 fiscal note from the Department of Revenue.  She urged the                    
 committee's support of HB 108.                                                
                                                                               
 JIM DALMAN, Claims Collection Section of the Division of Public               
 Assistance, said that the department supports HB 108 because it               
 would give the department more leverage in the collection of those            
 overpayment debts.  He pointed out that the state retains a portion           
 of those collections; HB 108 is a good tool in order to have some             
 accountability in the collection of those debts.                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN moved that HB 108 be moved out of the committee with            
 individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes.                 
 Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.                                      

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