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S.F. No. 1207 - Simplifying the Treatment of Income for Public Assistance Programs (First Engrossment with A-2 Amendment)
Author: Senator Tony Lourey
Prepared By: Joan White, Senate Counsel (651/296-3814)
Date: April 13, 2015


        S.F. No. 1207 contains language implementing the second phase of the administrative simplification of public assistance programs. Last session, Minnesota Statutes, chapter 256P was established, which made uniform the treatment of income, assets, and household composition for MFIP, GA, MSA, and GRH. This bill builds on chapter 256P by making uniform income calculations, reporting of income and changes to income, and correcting overpayments and underpayments, and incorporating child care assistance into chapter 256P, where applicable.

Sections 1 to 21 (119B.011, subd. 15, 119B.025, subd. 1, 119B.035, subd. 4, 119B.09, subd. 4, 256D.01, subd. 1a, 256D.02, subds. 1a and 1b, 256D.02, subd. 8, 256D.06, subd. 1, 256D.405, subd. 3, 256I.03, subds. 1b and 7, 256I.04, subd. 1, 256I.06, subd. 6, 256J.08, subds. 26 and 86, 256J.30, subds. 1 and 9, 256J.35, 256J.40, 256J.95, subd. 19) amend the child care assistance, general assistance, group residential housing programs, and MFIP to define terms, incorporate references to chapter 256P, and to make conforming changes.  The amendment adds a definition for the term "cash assistance benefit." 

Sections 21 to 32 amend chapter 256P.

Section 21 (256P.001) modifies the applicability of chapter 256P to include child care assistance programs.

Section 22 (256P.01, subd. 2a) defines the term "assistance unit."

Section 23 (256P.01, subd. 3) modifies the definition of "earned income."

Section 24 (256P.01, subd. 8) defines the term "unearned income."

Sections 25, 26, 27 and 29 (256P.02, subd. 1a, 256P.03, subd. 1, 256P.04, subd. 1, 256P.05, subd. 1) exempt child care programs from several requirements in 256P that were passed last year because the child care programs contain specific policies that are unique to that program, which include different documentation requirements related to authorized hours of care and authorized activities, and the use co-pays instead of income disregards.  Child care programs must, however, comply with the new requirements related to the calculation of income and reporting requirements in sections 30 and 31.  (Section 26 is deleted in the amendment.)

Section 28 (256P.04, subd. 4) requires certain nonrecurring income to be verified.

Section 30 (256P.06) adds a new section of law specifying the calculation of income, and what is included in determining the income of an assistance unit.

Section 31 (256P.07) adds a new section of law related to reporting income and reporting changes in income. This section requires that changes in income listed in this section must be reported within a specific period of time.

Section 32 (256P.08) adds a new section of law specifying the procedure for the correction of overpayments and underpayments.  The amendment clarifies procedures for general assistance and the Minnesota supplemental aid programs.

Section 33 repeals redundant language in law and rule.

Section 34 makes this bill effective August 1, 2016.


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