There is one summary for this bill. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (03/13/1995)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: Block Grants for Temporary Assistance for Needy

Families

Title II: Child Protection Block Grant Program

Title III: Block Grants for Child Care and for Nutrition

Assistance

Subtitle A: Child Care Block Grants

Subtitle B: Family and School-Based Nutrition Block

Grants

Subtitle C: Other Repealers and Conforming Amendments

Subtitle D: Related Provisions

Subtitle E: General Effective Date; Preservation of

Actions, Obligations, and Rights

Title IV: Restricting Welfare and Public Benefits for Aliens

Subtitle A: Eligibility for Federal Benefits Programs

Subtitle B: Eligibility for State and Local Public

Benefits Programs

Subtitle C: Attribution of Income and Affidavits of

Support

Subtitle D: General Provisions

Subtitle E: Conforming Amendments

Title V: Food Stamp Reform and Commodity Distribution

Subtitle A: Commodity Distribution Provisions

Subtitle B: Simplification and Reform of Food Stamp

Program

Subtitle C: Effective Dates and Miscellaneous

Provisions

Title VI: Supplemental Security Income

Title VII: Child Support

Subtitle A: Eligibility for Services; Distribution of

Payments

Subtitle B: Locate and Case Tracking

Subtitle C: Streamlining and Uniformity of Procedures

Subtitle D: Paternity Establishment

Subtitle E: Program Administration and Funding

Subtitle F: Establishment and Modification of Support

Orders

Subtitle G: Enforcement of Support Orders

Subtitle H: Medical Support

Subtitle I: Enhancing Responsibility and Opportunity

for Nonresidential Parents

Subtitle J: Effect of Enactment

Title VIII: Miscellaneous Provisions

Personal Responsibility Act of 1995 - Title I: Block Grants For Temporary Assistance For Needy Families - Amends part A (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) (AFDC) of title IV of the Social Security Act (SSA) to convert the current AFDC program into a block grant program with specified work, job search, and education and training requirements designed to increase State flexibility in providing time-limited assistance and support services (including birth control and child care services) to needy families to enable them to leave the program and become self-sufficient.

(Sec. 101) Prohibits such assistance, generally, to: (1) certain aliens; (2) families without a minor child; (3) families not cooperating in paternity establishment or child support; (4) children born out-of-wedlock to a minor parent (or the parent until such parent turns age 18); (5) families not assigning support rights to the State; (6) minor children born to benefit recipients; and (7) a person convicted of fraudulently misrepresenting residence in order to receive welfare benefits. Withholds a portion of assistance for families which include a child whose paternity is not established.

Provides that in order to be eligible for block grants under such program a State must submit to the Secretary of Health and Human Services a plan that includes: (1) an outline of the assistance the State intends on providing to needy families with children; and (2) certifications that the State will operate revised SSA title IV part B (Child-Welfare Services) and D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity) programs in accordance with this Act.

Allows States to use grants for: (1) providing low-income household heating and cooling assistance; (2) implementing an electronic benefit transfer system for providing assistance to needy families with children; and (3) carrying out a State program pursuant to specified provisions of Federal law, including the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990.

Gives States the authority to treat families moving interstate under the former State program rules if they reside in their new State of residence for less than 12 months. Increases the amount of such grants for States which have reduced their out-of-wedlock births.

Sets out penalties for violations of grant uses and mandatory work requirements.

Establishes in the Treasury a revolving loan fund known as the Federal Rainy Day Fund for making loans to, and receiving payments of principal and interest on such loans from, qualified States under the new State block grant program.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that: (1) the States should require noncustodial, nonsupporting parents who have not attained 18 years of age to fulfill community work obligations and attend appropriate parenting or money management classes after school; and (2) each State that operates a block grant program is encouraged to assign the highest priority to requiring families that include older preschool or school-age children to be engaged in work activities.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) research the costs and benefits of State activities under this title; (2) evaluate innovative approaches to employing program recipients; (3) rank States in order of their success under the grant program; and (4) review the most and least successful State work programs.

Sets forth requirements for: (1) State data collection and reporting; and (2) a Census Bureau study obtaining information for evaluating the impact of this title on a random national sample of recipients of assistance under State block grant programs. Appropriates funds for the latter.

Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) conduct research on the effects, costs, and benefits of State block grant programs under this title; (2) assist States in development and evaluation of innovative approaches to employing welfare recipients; and (3) conduct studies of the caseloads of States operating programs under this title.

Directs the Secretary to develop innovative methods of disseminating information on any research, evaluations, and studies conducted under this title.

(Sec. 102) Directs the Secretary to report to the Congress on automated data processing systems under State block grant programs and the modifications necessary for tracking public program participants and checking case records to prohibit participants from participating in public programs of two or more States.

(Sec. 106) Provides for the continued application of current AFDC standards under the Medicaid program under SSA title XIX.

Title II: Child Protection Block Grant Program - Revises SSA title IV part B's Child-Welfare Services program, converting it also into a program of block grants to the States, in this case, for the protection of children in accordance with specified standards.

(Sec. 201) Sets forth requirements, similar to those in title I, pertaining to: (1) State eligibility plans with appropriate certifications; (2) grant uses; (3) penalties; (4) data collection and reporting; (5) research; (6) a national random sample study; and (7) continued application of current standards under the Medicaid program.

Adds requirements for: (1) citizen review panels for examining specific cases to ensure that State and local agencies are doing their job properly to protect children; (2) a clearinghouse and telephone hotline on missing and runaway children; (3) decreasing the time children wait for adoption; and (4) preventing discrimination in multiethnic placements of children. Authorizes appropriations.

Title III: Block Grants For Child Care And For Nutrition Assistance - Subtitle A: Child Care Block Grants - Amends the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 to add the following as goals for such Act: (1) to allow each State maximum flexibility in developing child care programs and policies that best suit the needs of children and parents within such State; (2) to promote parental choice to empower working parents to make their own decisions on the child care that best suits their family's needs; (3) to encourage States to provide consumer education information to help parents make informed choices about child care; (4) to assist States to provide child care to parents trying to achieve independence from public assistance; and (5) to assist States in implementing the health, safety, licensing, and registration standards established in State regulations.

(Sec. 301) Reauthorizes and extends such Act through 2000.

Makes various specified technical and other changes to the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 with regard to lead State agency designation, State application and plan, and limitations on State allotments.

Repeals earmarked required expenditures. Requires each State to report a plan for annual evaluations of the extent to which the State has achieved each goal established by this Act. Authorizes a State to transfer funds to carry out other State programs operated under specified provisions of Federal law, including State Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC) and Child-Welfare Services programs.

(Sec. 302) Repeals certain child care assistance authorized by specified Acts other than the Social Security Act, including Native Hawaiian Family-Based Education Centers under the Native Hawaiian Education Act.

Subtitle B: Family and School-Based Nutrition Block Grants - Revises the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, among other changes, converting the current child nutrition program under that Act into a State family nutrition block grant program with goals that include the following: (1) to provide nutritional risk assessment, food assistance based on such risk assessment, and nutrition education and counseling to economically disadvantaged pregnant women, postpartum women, breastfeeding women, infants, and young children at nutritional risk; and (2) to provide food assistance, including nutritious meal supplements, to such women in order to reduce incidences of low-birthweight babies and babies born with birth defects as a result of nutritional deficiencies.

(Sec. 321) Sets forth the formula for allotting appropriations among the States. Specifies the use of grant amounts, and establishes penalties for misuse of funds. Requires the appropriate State agency to determine that sufficient grant amounts will remain available during a fiscal year to carry out this subtitle before using any such amounts for the fiscal year.

Sets out State reporting requirements.

Directs the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences to develop, and report to specified congressional committees, model nutrition standards for food assistance provided to economically disadvantaged pregnant women, postpartum women, breastfeeding women, infants, and young children.

Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 341) Amends the National School Lunch Act, among other changes, converting the current school lunch program into a program of school-based nutrition block grants to States to provide assistance to schools to establish and carry out nutritious food service programs that provide affordable meals and supplements to students.

Requires the appropriate State agency to determine that sufficient grant amounts will remain available during a fiscal year to carry out this subtitle before using any such amounts for the fiscal year.

Prohibits a State from requiring a school district, private nonprofit school, of Department of Defense domestic dependents' school to accept commodities, except on request, for use in its food service program.

Directs the States to ensure that schools provided State assistance in establishing and carrying out nutritious food service programs do not: (1) physically segregate children eligible to receive free or low cost meals or supplements on the basis of such eligibility; (2) provide for overt identification of such children by special means; or (3) otherwise discriminate against them.

Provides that if, by reason of any other provision of law, a State is prohibited from providing assistance received from a grant under such Act to private nonprofit schools or Department of Defense domestic dependents' schools, or if the State has substantially failed or is unwilling to provide such assistance, the Secretary of Agriculture shall arrange for its provision to such schools in accordance with the requirements of such Act.

Directs the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences to develop, and report to specified congressional committees, model nutrition standards for meals provided to students under such Act.

Eliminates other current school lunch programs, including the summer food service programs for children in service institutions, the child and adult care food program, meal supplements for children in afterschool care, specified pilot projects, as well as the current publication entitled "Nutrition Guidance for Child Nutrition Programs."

Retains the current program for nutritious food service programs in Department of Defense overseas dependents' schools.

(Sec. 361) Repeals the Commodity Distribution Reform Act and WIC Amendments of 1987 and the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 1989.

Subtitle C: Other Repealers and Conforming Amendments - Repeals the Abandoned Infants Assistance Act of 1988 with conforming amendments to the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973.

(Sec. 371) Repeals the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act with conforming amendments to the Victims of Crime Act of 1984.

Repeals the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment and Adoption Reform Act of 1978.

Makes technical amendments to the Temporary Child Care for Children with Disabilities and Crisis Nurseries Act of 1986, eliminating the crisis nursery demonstration program, among other changes.

Repeals: (1) the Missing Children's Assistance Act; (2) the family center support provisions of the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act; (3) certain investigatory and prosecutory provisions of the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990; and (4) the family unification program provisions of the United States Housing Act of 1937.

Subtitle D: Related Provisions - Directs the Secretary to produce and publish data on the incidence of poverty for each State, county, and local government for which data have been compiled, as well as for each school district. Requires a report to the Congress, if such data cannot be produced, enumerating each government or school district excluded and giving the reasons for the exclusion. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 382) Requires the Secretary to produce data relating to participation in programs authorized by this Act by families and children. Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle E: General Effective Date; Preservation of Actions, Obligations, And Rights - Specifies the effective date of this Act and the application of its amendments and repeals.

Title IV: Restricting Welfare and Public Benefits for Aliens - Declares that: (1) it is a compelling government interest to enact new rules for eligibility and sponsorship agreements in order to assure that aliens be self-reliant in accordance with national immigration policy; and (2) it is a compelling government interest to remove the incentive for illegal immigration provided by the availability of public benefits.

Subtitle A: Eligibility for Federal Benefits Programs - Makes illegal and lawful nonimmigrant aliens ineligible for any Federal means-tested public benefits program, with exceptions for: (1) non-cash, in-kind emergency services and certain types of housing-related assistance; and (2) certain aliens granted asylum and temporary agricultural workers.

(Sec. 403) Makes aliens lawfully present in the United States (other than as a nonimmigrant) ineligible for SSI, block grant temporary assistance for needy families, social services block grant assistance, Medicaid, and food stamps.

Exempts from such eligibility restrictions on lawful aliens: (1) refugees until five years after their arrival in the United States; (2) all eligible resident aliens until one year after enactment of this Act; and (3) all lawful permanent residents 76 years of age or older who have resided in the United States for at least five years.

(Sec. 404) Requires each Federal agency administering a program covered by this title to post information and provide general notification to the public and program recipients, either directly or through the States, of the requirements concerning alien eligibility for any such program pursuant to this title.

Subtitle B: Eligibility for State and Local Public Benefits Programs - Makes illegal and nonimmigrant aliens ineligible for any State or local means-tested public benefits programs, with certain exceptions including those for non-cash, in-kind emergency services, aliens granted asylum, and temporary agricultural workers.

(Sec. 413) Authorizes States to determine eligibility requirements for aliens who are lawfully present in the United States (other than as nonimmigrants) for any State or local means-tested public assistance program except non-cash, in-kind emergency assistance.

Exempts from such eligibility restrictions on lawful aliens: (1) refugees until five years after their arrival in the United States; (2) all eligible resident aliens until one year after enactment of this Act; and (3) all lawful permanent residents 76 years of age or older who have resided in the United States for at least five years.

Subtitle C: Attribution of Income and Affidavits of Support - Provides that in determining the eligibility and the amount of benefits of any alien for any means-tested public benefits program (except those for certain housing-related assistance), the income and resources of the alien shall be deemed to include: (1) the income and resources of any person who executed an affidavit of support on the alien's behalf; and (2) the income and resources of the person's spouse (if any). Applies such requirement with respect to an alien until such time as the alien achieves U.S. citizenship through naturalization.

(Sec. 422) Sets forth requirements for sponsor's affidavit of support.

Subtitle D: General Provisions - Sets forth definitions and provides for the determination of lawful presence.

Subtitle E: Conforming Amendments - Makes conforming amendments relating to assisted housing under the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980.

Title V: Food Stamp Reform and Commodity Distribution - Food Stamp Reform and Commodity Distribution Act - Subtitle A: Commodity Distribution Provisions - Commodity Distribution Act of 1995 - Authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) to purchase and distribute food assistance commodities.

(Sec. 513) Requires the Secretary to establish procedures for supplemental State, local, and private commodity donations.

(Sec. 514) Requires a State seeking commodity assistance to submit an administrative plan every four years to the Secretary.

(Sec. 515) Establishes program allocation guidelines. Requires States to make emergency feeding organizations their first priority.

(Sec. 517) Authorizes the Secretary to use Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) funds to pay initial commodity processing and packaging costs.

(Sec. 519) Authorizes program appropriations, including separate authorization of appropriations for administrative costs.

(Sec. 520) Obligates specified funds for a commodity supplemental food program for women, infants, and children or the elderly. Requires the CCC to donate specified amounts of cheese and nonfat dry milk to such program.

(Sec. 521) States that commodities received under this title shall not be considered income or resources for any Federal, State, or local means-tested program.

(Sec. 528) Repeals specified food and commodity distribution programs.

Subtitle B: Simplification and Reform of Food Stamp Program - Food Stamp Simplification and Reform Act of 1995 - Chapter 1: Simplified Food Stamp Program and State Assistance for Needy Families - Amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (Act) to authorize a State to operate a program under which households receiving cash assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant program established by this Act would receive food stamp benefits based upon TANF rules and procedures. Sets forth the conditions for a State to use TANF rules for food stamp benefits.

Chapter 2: Food Stamp Program - Amends the Act to revise the thrifty food plan annual adjustment.

(Sec. 552) Eliminates: (1) the food stamp program (program) income exclusion for energy assistance; and (2) annual inflation indexing for income and excess shelter deductions and vehicle allowances.

(Sec. 554) Revises work requirements.

(Sec. 555) Provides for comparable treatment of disqualified individuals under the program and TANF.

(Sec. 556) Encourages States to implement electronic benefit transfer systems.

(Sec. 559) Revises State error tolerance level provisions.

Chapter 3: Program Integrity - Amends the Act to direct the Secretary to establish authorization periods for retail food stores and wholesale food concerns to redeem food stamps or benefits through an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) system.

(Sec. 572) Provides that no food store or concern be approved for program participation without a prior visit by a Department of Agriculture employee, or whenever possible, a designated State or local official.

(Sec. 573) Establishes a six-month reapplication waiting period for a denied food store or concern.

(Sec. 574) States that a food store or concern disqualified from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) shall be similarly disqualified from the program.

(Sec. 575) Makes a permanent disqualification of a food store or concern effective from the date of receipt of the notice of disqualification.

(Sec. 576) Replaces existing administrative forfeiture provisions with criminal forfeiture provisions.

(Sec. 578) Increases specified penalties for program violations.

(Sec. 579) Provides for the permanent disqualification of a person convicted of trafficking in food stamp benefits of $500 or more.

(Sec. 580) Requires collection of claims against recipients from Federal income tax refunds and pay.

Subtitle C: Effective Dates and Miscellaneous Provisions - Sets forth effective dates for provisions of this Act.

(Sec. 592) Expresses the sense of the Congress that States that operate electronic benefit systems to transfer food stamp benefits should operate compatible systems.

(Sec. 593) Expresses the sense of the House Committee on Agriculture that reductions in outlays resulting from this title shall not be taken into account for certain deficit reduction purposes.

Title VI: Supplemental Security Income - Amends SSA title XVI (Supplemental Security Income) (SSI) to: (1) deny SSI by reason of disability to drug addicts and alcoholics; (2) place restrictions on eligibility for cash benefits for disabled children; (3) establish a program of block grants to States for children with disabilities; and (4) repeal the maintenance of effort requirements applicable to optional State programs for supplementation of SSI benefits.

Provides funding for the: (1) Federal Capacity Expansion Program for drug treatment; and (2) medication development project to improve drug abuse and treatment research.

(Sec. 603) Amends the Social Security Independence and Program Improvements Act of 1994 to provide for the examination of certain mental disorder listings in determining the eligibility of children for SSI benefits by reason of disability.

(Sec. 604) Amends SSA title XI to limit the total amount payable under SSA titles I (Old Age Assistance), X (Aid to the Blind), XIV (Aid to the Permanently and Totally Disabled), and XVI (SSI) to Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam.

(Sec. 605) Repeals maintenance of effort requirements applicable to optional State programs for supplementation of SI benefits.

Title VII: Child Support - Subtitle A: Eligibility for Services, and Distribution of Payments - Revises SSA title IV part D's child support and paternity establishment program to make various specified changes with regard to: (1) case registries; (2) State obligation to provide child support enforcement services; (3) distribution of child support collections; and (4) privacy safeguards.

Subtitle B: Locate and Case Tracking - Modifies such program further to make various additional specified changes with regard to: (1) automated State case registries and new hire directories for tracking cases, exchanging and comparing information, handling locate requests, and other specified matters; (2) collection and disbursement of support payments through State disbursement units; (3) income withholding; (4) locate information from interstate networks and the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS); (5) reimbursement for information from Federal agencies and for reports by State agencies; (6) an expanded FPLS containing the automated Federal Case Registry of Child Support Orders and the National Directory of New Hires; and (7) collection and use of social security numbers for use in child support enforcement.

Subtitle C: Streamlining and Uniformity of Procedures - Requires each State to have in effect the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, as approved by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in August 1992, and modified by this Act, and the procedures required to implement such Act. Requires such law to be applied to any case involving an order which is established or modified in a State and which is sought to be modified or enforced in another State.

(Sec. 722) Amends the Federal judicial code to modify provisions concerning the full faith and credit for child support orders.

(Sec. 723) Requires each State to have in effect laws: (1) requiring the use of procedures for administrative enforcement in interstate cases; and (2) providing expedited procedures for establishing paternity and for establishing, modifying, and enforcing support obligations using automated means.

Subtitle D: Paternity Establishment - Modifies State law procedures for paternity establishment, among other changes, providing for voluntary paternity acknowledgment.

(Sec. 732) Provides for outreach for voluntary paternity establishment.

(Sec. 733) Requires a State plan for child and spousal support to provide for the cooperation by applicants for and recipients of temporary family assistance in establishing the paternity of, and in establishing, modifying, or enforcing a support order for, any child of the individual.

Subtitle E: Program Administration and Funding - Makes various specified changes to State payment provisions, including incentive payment requirements. Revises State plan and other provisions with respect to, among other items, Federal and State reviews and audits and State procedures for collecting and reporting information required by SSA title IV part D.

(Sec. 745) Revises automated data processing requirements, requiring State agencies to have a single statewide automated data processing and information retrieval system capable of performing specified tasks relating to the management of the State's SSA title IV part D program.

(Sec. 746) Provides funding for technical assistance to States for improving their SSA title IV part D programs and for operation of the FPLS.

(Sec. 747) Makes changes with regard to annual congressional reports and data collection by the Secretary.

Subtitle F: Establishment and Modification of Support Orders - Revises the process for the review and adjustment of child support orders.

Subtitle G: Enforcement of Support Orders - Amends the Internal Revenue Code and SSA title IV part D with regard to enforcement of child support orders, among other changes: (1) providing for changed order of refund distribution; (2) eliminating the disparities in treatment of assigned and non-assigned arrearages; (3) consolidating and revising authorities for collecting support from Federal employees; (4) providing for laws voiding fraudulent transfers; (5) providing for procedures to ensure that persons owing past-due support work or have a plan for payment of such support; and (6) defining the term "support order."

(Sec. 763) Provides for enforcement of child support obligations of members of the armed forces.

(Sec. 765) Expresses the sense of the Congress that each State should suspend any driver's license, business license, or occupational license issued to any person who owes past-due child support.

Subtitle H: Medical Support - Amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to make a technical correction to the definition of medical child support order under that Act.

Subtitle I: Enhancing Responsibility and Opportunity for Nonresidential Parents - Amends SSA title IV part D to require the Administration for Children and Families to make grants to enable States to establish and administer programs to support and facilitate absent parents' access to and visitation of their children.

Subtitle J: Effect of Enactment - Sets forth the effective dates of this Act.

Title VIII: Miscellaneous Provisions - Provides that none of the changes in direct spending resulting from this Act shall be reflected in estimates under the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings).

Amends such Act to provide for adjustments for discretionary programs resulting under this Act.

(Sec. 802) Amends the Electronic Fund Transfer Act to encourage electronic benefit transfer systems.