H.R.2915 - Work Opportunity Act of 1995104th Congress (1995-1996)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Hayes, James A. [R-LA-7] (Introduced 01/31/1996)|
|Committees:||House - Ways and Means; Agriculture; Economic and Educational; Banking and Financial Services; Government Reform; Commerce; Judiciary; International Relations|
|Latest Action:||House - 02/20/1996 Referred to the Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights. (All Actions)|
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Summary: H.R.2915 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)
Introduced in House (01/31/1996)
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Title I: Block Grants for Temporary Assistance for Needy
Title II: Supplemental Security Income
Subtitle A: Eligibility Restrictions
Subtitle B: Benefits for Disabled Children
Subtitle C: Studies Regarding Supplemental Security
Subtitle D: National Commission on the Future of
Subtitle E: State Supplementation Programs
Subtitle F: Retirement Age Eligibility
Title III: Food Stamp Program
Subtitle A: Food Stamp Reform
Subtitle B: Anti-Fraud and Trafficking
Title IV: Child Nutrition Programs
Subtitle A: Reimbursement Rates
Subtitle B: Grant Programs
Subtitle C: Other Amendments
Subtitle D: Reauthorization
Title V: Noncitizens
Title VI: Child Care
Title VII: Protection of Battered Individuals
Title VIII: Adoption Expenses
Title IX: 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 X: Reform of Public Housing
Title XI: Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment
Subtitle A: General Program
Subtitle B: Community-Based Child Abuse and Neglect
Subtitle C: Family Violence Prevention and Services
Subtitle D: Adoption Opportunities
Subtitle E: Abandoned Infants Assistance Act of 1986
Subtitle F: Reauthorization of Various Programs
Title XII: Reductions in Federal Government Positions
Title XIII: Miscellaneous Provisions
Work Opportunity Act of 1995 - Title I: Block Grants For Temporary Assistance For Needy Families - Replaces the current Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (SSA), and the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training Program (JOBS) under part F as well, with a single program of block grants to eligible States with plans approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) for operating statewide temporary assistance (TEA) programs for helping welfare recipients make the transition into the work world, and for preventing and reducing the incidence of teenage pregnancies.
(Sec. 101) Includes within the general program framework certain mandatory work, education, and job preparation requirements, as well as certain optional community service requirements, outlined in detail, as the primary program components for providing needy families either already having or expecting a child with the specific assistance and support services (including child care) they need to overcome any unique circumstances and become self-sufficient. Requires families to achieve such independence within a certain negotiated time-limited period (generally no more than five years except in certain cases involving minor children and hardship situations) pursuant to either a limited benefit plan or personal responsibility contract. Requires such instruments to be entered into with the particular participating State and to outline the steps for families to take to get off welfare after receiving an appropriate assessment by the relevant State agency's case manager of the family member's skills, prior work experience, and employability.
Provides, additionally, within the general program framework for the following by participating States as subsidiary matters: (1) establishment of annual goals and institution of actions to prevent and reduce out-of-wedlock pregnancies, with special emphasis on teenage pregnancies, with respect to FY 1996 through 2000; (2) strategic plans for assessing program outcomes over a three-year period and estimating the total amount of State and local expenditures under the program for the fiscal year in which such plan is submitted; and (3) certain certifications that the State will, among other things, operate a child support enforcement program under SSA title IV part D, operate a child protection program under SSA title IV part B, and operate a foster care and adoption assistance program under SSA title IV part E.
Allows States to determine the treatment of aliens and families moving inter-State under their respective State TEA plans.
Details grant administrative provisions, including those for: (1) determining the amounts of State and Indian tribe grants under the TEA program; (2) outlining grant uses, with a limit on how much of the grant may be used for administrative purposes; (3) setting up a Federal loan program using the newly established Treasury Federal Loan Fund for State Welfare Programs for State TEA program anti-fraud and other specified activities; (4) providing for job placement performance bonuses for States based on the number of families that became ineligible for TEA program assistance as a result of unsubsidized employment; and (5) establishing a Contingency Fund for State Welfare Programs in the Treasury for payments to certain eligible States; (6) providing supplemental grant amounts for population increases in certain States; and (7) increasing grants for States that reduce out-of-wedlock births. Authorizes appropriations, including additional amounts for certain current SSA title IV part A demonstrations and for the cost of developing and evaluating innovative approaches for reducing welfare dependency and increasing the well-being of minor children, among other things.
Penalizes States and individual families for specified grant and program violations, respectively, through reduced grants and assistance payments, allowing States to terminate such payments to certain adult family members without small children needing child care who refuse to engage in the required number of hours per week in mandatory program work and other activities. Limits the amount of any penalty reduction in the State's quarterly grant payment.
Denies TEA assistance in certain cases, for example where an individual family member is a fugitive felon or a probation or parole violator, and suspends it for ten years in certain other cases where an individual is found to have fraudulently misrepresented residence in order to obtain TEA assistance in two or more States. Provides for the exchange of TEA program information with law enforcement agencies under certain conditions.
Outlines congressional findings with regard to the importance of marriage in a successful society and the negative consequences of out-of-wedlock births and the raising of children in single-parent homes. Expresses the sense of the Congress that prevention of out-of-wedlock pregnancy and reduction in out-of-wedlock births are important Government interests and that the policy in this title is intended to address such interests.
Gives States certain options for promoting responsible parenting, including the ability to deny assistance for a child born out-of- wedlock to an individual who has not attained 18 years of age, or for the individual, until the individual attains such age, and for a minor child who is born to a recipient of assistance under the TEA program or an individual who received such benefits at any time during the ten-month period ending with the birth of the child.
Requires, in addition, certain mandatory adult-supervised living arrangements for unmarried teenage parents, with certain exceptions, and the participation of certain teenage parents with a minor child at least 12 weeks of age in high school or approved alternative educational activities in order to receive full TEA assistance (or, with regard to the latter, and at the option of the State, reduced assistance). Authorizes appropriations to provide States with assistance for providing or locating adult-supervised living arrangements for unmarried teenage parents.
Provides for a separate reduction in State TEA grant payments for States failing to comply with Federal requirements under SSA title IV part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity).
Expresses the sense of the Congress that State TEA programs should assign the highest priority to requiring adults in two-parent families and in single-parent families with older preschool or school-age children to be engaged in required program activities.
Outlines specific program audit, data collection and reporting requirements as well as certain research, evaluation, and study requirements, among other things requiring quarterly reports by the States on family case record information and research by the HHS Secretary on the benefits, effects, and costs of operating different State TEA programs.
Directs the Bureau of the Census to expand the Survey of Income and Program Participation as necessary to obtain information that will enable interested persons to evaluate the impact of the changes made by this title on a random national sample of recipients of assistance under State programs funded under this title, and on other appropriate low-income families.
Provides for the treatment of certain State AFDC waivers in effect or approved by the HHS Secretary as of October 1, 1995.
Provides that nothing in SSA title IV part A shall be construed as limiting a State's ability to conduct demonstration projects for the purpose of identifying innovative or effective program designs in one or more political subdivisions of the State, provided that such State contains more than one county with a population of greater than 500,000. Requires the HHS Secretary and the Secretary of Agriculture to enter jointly into negotiations with all counties having a population greater than 500,000 which desire to conduct such a demonstration project for the purpose of establishing appropriate rules to govern the establishment and operation of such project.
Provides for direct funding, by way of three-year tribal family assistance grants, to Indian tribes (including Indian tribes in Alaska) for tribal administration of TEA programs.
Makes the HHS Assistant Secretary for Family Support the official responsible for administering SSA title IV part A and D programs.
Sets forth the mechanism for State appeal of Federal adverse decisions with respect to State TEA plans or imposition of penalties, providing for notification of any program violation.
Discusses performance bonuses and high performance bonuses for States making the most progress in certain measurement categories, such as a reduction in the average length of time families in the State receive TEA assistance during a fiscal year, and an increase in the percentage of families receiving such assistance that receive child support payments under SSA title IV part D. Authorizes appropriations.
Specifies amounts for child care allocations to the States to be used to provide child care assistance as a support service under the State TEA program. Requires determination of eligibility for such assistance by the appropriate State agency in accordance with State- determined criteria. Authorizes appropriations.
Outlines the mechanism for collecting the amount of any overpayments under an approved State TEA plan from Federal tax refunds.
(Sec. 102) Allows States to contract with charitable, religious, and private organizations to provide services and administer programs established or modified under titles I, II, and X of this Act. Prohibits the expenditure of financial assistance under such programs for sectarian worship or instruction, except where such assistance is provided to or on behalf of beneficiaries of assistance in the form of certificates, vouchers, or other forms of disbursement, if such beneficiary may choose where such assistance shall be redeemed.
(Sec. 104) Provides for the continued application of AFDC standards under the Medicaid program.
(Sec. 105) Directs the Secretary of Commerce to expand census data collection efforts to enable the Bureau of the Census to collect statistically significant data on grandparent caregivers.
(Sec. 105A) Directs the Commissioner of Social Security to: (1) develop a prototype of a counterfeit-resistant social security-card that also provides proof of citizenship or legal resident alien status; and (2) conduct a study and report to the Congress on different methods of improving the social security card application process. Authorizes appropriations.
(Sec. 106) Makes conforming amendments to SSA, the Food Stamp Act of 1977, and related provisions of other specified Federal laws.
(Sec. 109) Directs the HHS Secretary to study and report to the Congress on the impact of the amendments of this Act on grandparents who have assumed the responsibility of providing care to their grandchildren.
(Sec. 110) Requires any organization accepting Federal funds under this Act to disclose that fact in any communication it makes that in any way intends to promote public support or opposition to any Federal, State, or local government policy through any broadcasting station, periodical, or other specified type of general public advertising. Makes any organization failing to make such a disclosure ineligible to receive Federal funds under this Act.
(Sec. 110A) Amends the Family Support Act of 1988 to remove the "demonstration" status of the Job Opportunities for Certain Low-Income Individuals (JOLI) program and give it an increased annual authorization for any fiscal year.
(Sec. 110B) Directs the Secretary of Education to make demonstration grants to States to enable them to increase the number of hours during each day when existing public school facilities are available for use in expanding the scope of student programs offered before and after pre-existing school hours and for making school facilities available for educational, recreational, and social activities. Authorizes appropriations.
(Sec. 110C) Requires the Federal Government, prior to assessing a penalty against a State under any program established or modified under this Act, to: (1) notify the State of the violation of law for which such penalty would be assessed; and (2) allow the State the opportunity to enter into a corrective compliance plan outlining how it will correct any violations for which such penalty would be assessed, and how it will insure continuing compliance with the requirements of such program. Provides that if a State has not corrected the violation in a timely manner under the plan, some or all of the penalty shall be assessed.
(Sec. 110D) Details specifics of parental responsibility contracts, as well as penalties for noncompliance with such contracts.
(Sec. 110E) Sets forth provisions similar to those for corrective compliance plans with regard to corrective action plans, giving States specified grace periods from notification of law violation to submission of a proposed corrective action plan, and from Federal Government acceptance of such a plan till imposition of any penalty if the State corrects the violation.
Title II: Supplemental Security Income - Subtitle A: Eligibility Restrictions - Amends SSA title XVI (Supplemental Security Income) (SSI) to: (1) deny SSI by reason of disability to drug addicts and alcoholics if addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor material to the disability determination; (2) revise representative payee requirements; (3) provide for treatment services for individuals with a substance abuse condition; (4) provide for limited eligibility of certain noncitizens for SSI benefits; (5) deny SSI benefits for ten years to individuals found to have fraudulently misrepresented residence in order to obtain benefits simultaneously in two or more States; (6) deny SSI benefits for fugitive felons and probation and parole violators; and (7) provide for exchange of SSI information with law enforcement agencies. Provides for certain supplemental funding for alcohol and substance abuse treatment programs.
Subtitle B: Benefits for Disabled Children - Revises the rules with respect to childhood eligibility, with corresponding changes to childhood SSI regulations modifying the medical criteria for evaluation of mental and emotional disorders, and discontinuing the use of individualized functional assessments for children. Requires the Commissioner of Social Security to redetermine the eligibility of any individual under age 18 who is receiving SSI benefits based on a disability as of enactment of this Act, and whose eligibility for such benefits may terminate by reason of the above amendments.
(Sec. 212) Provides that not less frequently than once every three years the Commissioner shall review the continued SSI eligibility of each individual who has not attained 18 years of age, and is eligible for such benefits by reason of an impairment (or combination of impairments) which may improve (or, which is unlikely to improve, at the option of the Commissioner). Requires a parent or guardian of a recipient whose case is so reviewed to present, at the time of review, evidence demonstrating that the recipient is, and has been, receiving treatment, to the extent considered medically necessary and available, of the condition which was the basis for providing benefits under the SSI program.
Provides that if an individual is eligible for SSI benefits by reason of disability for the month preceding the month in which the individual attains age 18, the Commissioner shall redetermine such eligibility: (1) during the one year period beginning on the individual's 18th birthday; and (2) by applying the criteria used in determining the initial eligibility for applicants who have attained age 18.
Outlines specific requirements governing: (1) continuing disability reviews for low birth weight babies; and (2) benefit payments through representative payees to eligible individuals and their spouses.
Subtitle C: Studies Regarding Supplemental Security Income Program - Requires the Commissioner of Social Security to report annually to the President and the Congress regarding the SSI program.
(Sec. 222) Requires the Commissioner to issue a request for comments in the Federal Register regarding improvements to the disability evaluation and determination procedures for individuals under age 18 to ensure a comprehensive assessment of such individuals.
Directs the Commissioner to review such comments and issue regulations implementing any necessary changes not later than 18 months after this Act is enacted.
(Sec. 223) Requires the Commissioner to make arrangements with the National Academy of Sciences, or other independent entity, to study the disability determination process under SSA titles II and XVI for reports to the President and the Congress.
(Sec. 224) Directs the Comptroller General to study and report on the impact of the amendments made by, and the provisions of, this title on the SSI program.
Subtitle D: National Commission on the Future of Disability - Establishes the National Commission on the Future of Disability to make a comprehensive study of all matters related to the nature, purpose, and adequacy of all Federal programs serving individuals with disabilities, including the programs under SSA titles II and XVI, with resulting recommendations for appropriate action submitted to the President and the Congress.
Subtitle E: State Supplementation Programs - Repeals maintenance of effort requirements applicable to optional State programs for supplementation of SSI benefits.
Subtitle F: Retirement Age Eligibility - Provides that, for purposes of determining an aged individual under SSI, the age used shall be the retirement age used under the Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program under SSA title II.
Title III: Food Stamp Program - Subtitle A: Food Stamp Reform - Amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (Act) to establish a maximum 24- month food stamp program (program) authorization period for households whose adult members are elderly or disabled.
(Sec. 302) Treats children who are themselves parents living with their children and married children living with their spouses as part of an existing household rather than as a separate household.
(Sec. 303) Authorizes States to establish additional criteria for separate household determinations.
(Sec. 304) Revises thrifty food plan adjustment provisions.
(Sec. 305) Revises the definition of "homeless individual" to limit the length of time a person may temporarily live in another person's residence.
(Sec. 307) Revises household income exclusion provisions regarding: (1) students; and (2) Federal energy assistance.
(Sec. 309) Revises household income deduction provisions regarding: (1) standard deductions; (2) earned income; (3) dependent care; (4) child support payments; (5) homeless shelter assistance; (6) excess medical expenses; and (7) excess shelter expenses.
(Sec. 310) Eliminates a specified auto asset increase.
(Sec. 311) Increases the income and resources attribution period for sponsored aliens.
(Sec. 312) Revises provisions regarding disqualification for refusal to register for or accept employment.
(Sec. 314) Revises work requirement and employment and training provisions. Extends employment and training authorizations.
(Sec. 315) Authorizes comparable program disqualification based upon welfare or public assistance disqualification.
(Sec. 316) Requires at State option: (1) cooperation with child support agencies in order to maintain program eligibility; and (2) program disqualification for child support arrears.
(Sec. 318) Disqualifies permanently an individual who participates in the program in two or more States.
(Sec. 319) Defines "work program." Makes nonexempt persons ineligible for program benefits if during the preceding 12-monyh period they received food stamps for four months or more without working at least 20 hours per week, or participating in a workfare program. Sets forth exempted persons and situations.
(Sec. 319A) Disqualifies a fleeing felon from program participation.
(Sec. 320) Authorizes States to implement electronic benefit transfer systems.
(Sec. 321) Eliminates annual minimum allotment adjustments.
(Sec. 323) Authorizes a combined allotment for expedited households.
(Sec. 324) Authorizes program reductions for failure to comply with a public assistance reduction requirement.
(Sec. 325) Authorizes program assistance for households residing in a homeless shelter or drug or alcohol treatment center.
(Sec. 326) Revises: (1) food stamp office operating provisions; and (2) expedited coupon service requirements.
(Sec. 327) Eliminates certain certification personnel training requirements.
(Sec. 328) Provides for the exchange of information with law enforcement or Immigration and Naturalization Service personnel.
(Sec. 330) Authorizes a family to withdraw a fair hearing request.
(Sec. 331) Permits States to use income, and immigration eligibility verification systems other than a specified system under the Social Security Act.
(Sec. 332) Includes among the means that States shall use to collect coupon overissuances: (1) withholding of unemployment compensation; and (2) recovery from Federal pay or Federal tax refund. Establishes family hardship and maximum reduction provisions.
(Sec. 333) Terminates Federal matching requirements for program recruitment activities.
(Sec. 335) Authorizes States to use funds otherwise available to a participating household for a work supplementation or support program.
(Sec. 336) Authorizes waiver of program requirements as necessary to conduct related pilot projects. Authorizes appropriations.
(Sec. 337) Authorizes States to carry out private sector employment initiatives. Sets forth program provisions.
(Sec. 340) Authorizes appropriations for: (1) program operations; and (2) Puerto Rico block grants.
(Sec. 342) Authorizes States to carry out a Simplified Food Stamp Program in lieu of existing program requirements. Sets forth Program provisions.
(Sec. 343) Establishes an optional State food assistance block grant program in lieu of the food stamp program. Sets forth program provisions.
Subtitle B: Anti-Fraud and Trafficking - Expands the definition of "coupon."
(Sec. 352) Increases penalties for specified program violations.
(Sec. 353) Authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) to establish specific time periods for: (1) retail food stores and wholesale food concerns (stores) to apply for food stamp program (program) participation; and (2) prohibition of program participation based on lack of business integrity.
(Sec. 355) Includes income and sales tax information among the types of eligibility verification information which may be requested.
(Sec. 356) Establishes a six-month reapplication waiting period for a store that does not meet participation requirements.
(Sec. 358) Authorizes suspension of a store pending administrative and judicial review. (States that the Secretary shall not be liable for lost sales during such period.)
(Sec. 359) Provides for disqualification of a store that is disqualified from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
(Sec. 360) Provides for permanent disqualification of a store that knowingly submits a falsified application.
(Sec. 361) Expands civil and criminal forfeiture for specified violations of the Act.
Title IV: Child Nutrition Programs - Subtitle A: Reimbursement Rates - Amends the National School Lunch Act (NSLA) to terminate the additional lunch payment for schools with high percentages of free or reduced price lunches.
(Sec. 402) Revises NSLA annual adjustment provisions for: (1) value of food assistance; and (2) lunches, breakfasts, and supplements.
(Sec. 404) Revises NSLA service institution payment provisions for the summer food service program for children.
(Sec. 405) Amends the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (CNA) to revise annual adjustment provisions for: (1) the special milk program; and (2) the school breakfast program.
(Sec. 407) Conforms reimbursement for CNA school breakfasts with that for NSLA school lunches.
Subtitle B: Grant Programs - Amends CNA to: (1) terminate school breakfast startup grants; and (2) reduce annual authorization of appropriations for nutrition education and training programs.
Subtitle C: Other Amendments - Amends NSLA and CNA to set forth free and reduced price policy statements for the school lunch program and the school breakfast program.
(Sec. 422) Revises NSLA provisions for the summer food service program for children. Allows participating school food authorities to permit a child to refuse not more than one item of a meal that the child does not intend to consume. Provides that a refusal of an offered food shall not affect the amount of payments to a school for the meal. Removes a requirement that States submit a plan or schedule as part of notice to institutions.
(Sec. 423) Revises NSLA provisions for the child and adult care food program with respect to payments to certain sponsor employees. Revises provisions regarding day care home reimbursements. Requires reservation of certain funds for grants to States for assistance for family or group day care homes. Requires Federal and State provision of certain data to family or group day care home sponsoring organizations. Disallows certain meal claims. Eliminates certain requirements involving State paperwork and outreach. Requires States to provide training, technical assistance, and monitoring.
Sets deadlines for the Secretary's issuance of specified interim and final regulations.
Directs the Secretary of Agriculture, in conjunction with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to study the impact of amendments made by this section on various aspects of program participation and family day care licensing, and to submit a report on such study to specified congressional committees.
(Sec. 424) Requires a review of all NSLA and CNA reporting requirements and a report recommending elimination of any that impose a paperwork burden on agencies and schools which cannot be justified by their contribution to program effectiveness.
Subtitle D: Reauthorization - Amends the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973 to reauthorize appropriations for the commodity distribution program.
(Sec. 432) Amends the Emergency Food Assistance Act of 1983 and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 to extend authority and reauthorize appropriations for the emergency food assistance program.
(Sec. 433) Amends the Hunger Prevention Act of 1988 to reauthorize appropriations for the soup kitchens program.
(Sec. 434) Amends the Agriculture and Food Act of 1981 to extend authority for processing of agricultural commodities into food products.
(Sec. 435) Amends the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973 to extend authority for the commodity supplemental food program.
Title V: Noncitizens - Authorizes States to prohibit use of Federal funds received for any means-tested public assistance program for noncitizens (with specified exceptions).
(Sec. 502) Includes a sponsor's and spouse's income and resources actually provided to a sponsored alien as part of such alien's income and resources for purposes of Federal and federally funded assistance program eligibility. Makes such provision inapplicable to: (1) certain emergency medical services; (2) short-term emergency disaster relief; (3) National School Lunch Act or Child Nutrition Act of 1966 benefits; (4) public health immunization and communicable disease assistance; (5) Head Start; and (6) specified community services.
(Sec. 503) Requires a sponsor affidavit of support to be legally enforceable.
(Sec. 504) Amends the Social Security Act to limit noncitizen eligibility for supplemental security income (SSI).
(Sec. 505) Prohibits any need-based Federal or federally-funded assistance (with specified exceptions) to be given to a noncitizen for the first five years after such person's entry into the United States.
(Sec. 506) Amends the Social Security Act and the United States Housing Act of 1937 to provide for State reporting of certain illegal alien information to the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
(Sec. 507) Prohibits Federal benefits to be paid or provided to any person not lawfully in the United States. Specifies exceptions for: (1) certain emergency medical services; (2) short-term emergency disaster relief; (3) National School Lunch Act or Child Nutrition Act of 1966 benefits; and (4) public health immunization and communicable disease assistance. Authorizes appropriations.
Title VI: Child Care - Child Care and Development Block Grant Amendments Act of 1995 - Amends the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 to authorize appropriations for FY 1996 through 2000. Revises program implementation requirements. Repeals the mandate for State early childhood development and before- and after-school services; but allows States to offer such services.
(Sec. 602) Prescribes guidelines under which an Indian tribal organization may use for facility construction or renovation Federal financial assistance earmarked for child care and development services, subject to certain conditions.
(Sec. 603) Repeals: (1) the State Dependent Care Development Grants Act; and (2) the Child Development Associate Scholarship Assistance Act of 1985.
Title VII: Protection of Battered Individuals - Provides for administrative exemption of battered individuals from specified requirements of this Act, the Social Security Act and the Food Stamp Act, if the physical, mental, or emotional well-being of the individual would be endangered by compliance with such requirements.
Title VIII: Adoption Expenses - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) allow up to $5,000 of qualified adoption expenses as a tax credit to certain income-level individuals; (2) exclude from gross income employee or military adoption assistance benefits; and (3) permit individual retirement account (IRA) withdrawals without penalty for qualified adoption expense purposes.
Title IX: Child Support - Subtitle A: Eligibility for Services; Distribution of Payments - Amends part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity) of SSA title IV to require State plans for child and spousal support to provide: (1) certain services relating to paternity establishment or enforcement of child support obligations; and (2) continuation of services for families ceasing to receive assistance under Aid to Families with Dependent Children.
(Sec. 902) Revises payment distribution guidelines for support obligations collected by the State on behalf of a family.
(Sec. 903) Requires State plans to establish procedural guidelines for: (1) notification of all proceedings and orders affecting child support obligations; and (2) privacy safeguards regarding paternity and child support actions.
Subtitle B: Locate and Case Tracking - Mandates that single statewide automated data systems include a State case registry containing records of: (1) each case in which services are provided by the State agency; and (2) each support order established on or after a specified date. Permits the linking of local registries to establish such a State registry.
(Sec. 912) Requires State plans to include a centralized, automated State disbursement unit for the collection and disbursement of support payments.
(Sec. 913) Requires State plans to: (1) provide for an automated State Directory of New Hires containing prescribed information furnished by employers on new personnel; and (2) transmit such information to the National Directory of New Hires.
(Sec. 914) Revises the requirement for State procedures for mandatory income withholding for support payments subject to enforcement. Requires procedures under which child support orders issued before October 1, 1996, shall become subject to withholding from wages if arrearages occur, without the need for a judicial or administrative hearing. Revises the procedural guidelines for such income withholding.
(Sec. 915) Requires the States to have statutorily prescribed procedures to ensure that Federal and State agencies conducting income-withholding activities have access to State locator systems for motor vehicle or law enforcement purposes.
(Sec. 916) Revises the Federal Parent Locator Service to provide for additional information which may be transmitted to locate individuals and assets for purposes of: (1) establishing parentage; (2) executing child support obligations; and (3) enforcing visitation orders.
(Sec. 917) Requires States to have statutorily prescribed procedures requiring recordation on such documents of the Social Security number of: (1) specified driver's, marriage, and occupational, and professional license applicants; (2) individuals subject to certain domestic relations orders; and (3) death records.
Subtitle C: Streamlining and Uniformity of Procedures - Requires each State to have the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act in effect as of January 1, 1997. Amends the Federal judicial code to revise the procedures for the court to apply when determining which State order to recognize for purposes of continuing, exclusive jurisdiction and enforcement for child support orders.
(Sec. 923) Requires the States to have statutorily prescribed procedures requiring: (1) expedited administrative enforcement in interstate cases and support orders; and (2) expedited administrative and judicial procedures for establishing paternity and enforcing support obligations.
Subtitle D: Paternity Establishment - Revises the guidelines for State laws governing paternity establishment. Requires State procedures under which the name of the father shall be included on the birth certificate only: (1) if the mother and father have signed a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity; or (2) pursuant to a judicial or administrative order.
(Sec. 933) Requires State plans for child and spousal support to provide that the State agency administering the plan will make a determination as to whether a program recipient is cooperating in good faith with State efforts to establish paternity and secure support.
Subtitle E: Program Administration and Funding - Revises the guidelines for Federal performance-based incentive payments to the States for effective child support enforcement programs.
(Sec. 942) Requires a State plan for child and spousal support to include prescribed procedures for State reviews and audits. Revises the guidelines for Federal evaluation and audit of State programs governing paternity, child and spousal support, and parent location.
(Sec. 944) Revises the automated data processing requirements for State plans to mandate a single statewide automated data processing and information retrieval system which can perform specified tasks.
(Sec. 945) Makes funds available to the Secretary for: (1) training of Federal and State staff, research and demonstration programs, and special projects of regional and national significance; and (2) operation of the Federal Parent Locator Service.
Subtitle F: Establishment and Modification of Support Orders - Establishes the National Child Support Guidelines Commission to determine the need for consideration by the Congress of national child support guidelines.
(Sec. 952) Revises the requirements for State plan procedures for the review and adjustment of support orders.
(Sec. 953) Amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act to authorize a consumer agency to furnish a consumer report: (1) in response to a request by a governmental child support enforcement agency; or (2) to the State administrative agency which sets child support awards.
(Sec. 954) Shields a depository institution from Federal or State liability for disclosing any financial record of an individual to a State child support enforcement agency. Prohibits such agency from disclosing such a financial record except for the purpose of, and to the extent necessary in, establishing, modifying, or enforcing a child support obligation. Sets forth civil penalties for any person knowingly or negligently violating such prohibition.
Subtitle G: Enforcement of Support Orders - Amends Internal Revenue Code procedural guidelines for the collection of arrearages to provide that no additional fee may be assessed for adjustments to a previously certified amount.
(Sec. 962) Amends part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity) of SSA title IV to revise procedural guidelines for: (1) consent by the United States to income withholding, garnishment, and similar proceedings for enforcement of child support and alimony obligations of current and retired Federal employees; and (2) enforcement of child support obligations of members of the Armed Forces.
(Sec. 964) Requires a State plan for child and spousal support to have in effect the Uniform Fraudulent Conveyance Act of 1981, the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act of 1984, or a similar law, as well as certain procedures governing the voiding of fraudulent transfers by a child support debtor.
(Sec. 965) Requires a State plan for child and spousal support to include specified procedures: (1) to ensure that persons owing past-due support work or participate in work activities the court deems appropriate; (2) to report to credit bureaus the name of the parent in arrears for child support; (3) to provide for liens against real and personal property for the support arrearages of an absent parent; and (4) to implement the restriction of driver's, professional, occupational, and recreational licenses of individuals owing support arrearages.
(Sec. 970) Requires the Secretary of State to deny, revoke, or limit a passport upon certification of nonpayment of child support.
(Sec. 971) Authorizes the Secretary of State to negotiate reciprocal agreements with foreign nations: (1) regarding international enforcement of child support obligations; and (2) designating the Department of Health and Human Services as the central authority for such enforcement.
(Sec. 972) Denies means-tested Federal benefits to a non-custodial parent who is more than two months delinquent in paying child support.
(Sec. 973) Requires a State plan for child and spousal support to provide that such State will make reasonable efforts to enter into cooperative agreements with an Indian tribe or tribal organization having an established tribal court system with child support enforcement powers for the cooperative delivery of child support enforcement services.
Authorizes the Secretary to make direct payments (analogous to payments to a State plan for spousal and child support) to an Indian tribe or tribal organization with an approved child support enforcement plan.
(Sec. 974) Requires States to have statutorily prescribed procedures under which a State agency shall enter agreements with financial institutions doing business within the State to develop and operate a data match system to provide identifying information for each absent parent targeted by the State who maintains an account at the institution, and to encumber such parent's assets at the institution pursuant to a lien or levy.
Subtitle H: Medical Support - Amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to include within the definition of medical child support order an order issued through a State administrative process.
(Sec. 976) Amends part D of SSA title IV to mandate statutorily prescribed procedures under which all enforced child support orders shall include a provision for the health care coverage of the child.
(Sec. 977) Requires States to have statutorily prescribed procedures under which child support orders relating to the child of minor parents, where the mother is receiving assistance, are enforceable against the child's paternal grandparents.
Subtitle I: Enhancing Responsibility and Opportunity for Nonresidential Parents - Amends part D of SSA title IV to prescribe guidelines under which the Administration for Children and Families shall make grants to enable States to establish and administer access and visitation programs to facilitate absent parents' access to their children.
Subtitle J: Effect of Enactment - Sets forth effective dates for the provisions of this title.
Title X: Reform of Public Housing - Amends the United States Housing Act of 1937 to revise public housing rent provisions, including: (1) ceiling rents; and (2) definition of adjusted income.
(Sec. 1003) Prohibits increased public housing assistance based upon reduced family income resulting from a failure to comply with other welfare or public assistance programs.
(Sec. 1004) Makes the provisions of this title applicable to Indian housing.
(Sec. 1006) Makes the "take-one-take-all" requirement (acceptance of one voucher holder requires acceptance of all similar applicants) under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 inapplicable to a specified housing project in Madison, Wisconsin.
(Sec. 1007) Prohibits an assistance increase to a person based upon reduced income resulting from a fraud reduction in benefits from another means-tested assistance program.
Title XI: Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment - Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act Amendments of 1995 - Subtitle A: General Program - Revises the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act to replace provisions directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect with provisions authorizing the Secretary to establish an Office on Child Abuse and Neglect to execute and coordinate functions and activities under the Act.
(Sec. 1114) Changes from mandatory to discretionary the Secretary's authority to appoint the Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect. Requires the Advisory Board to report to the Secretary and the appropriate congressional committees its: (1) recommendations on coordinating Federal, State, and local child abuse and neglect activities with similar activities pertaining to family violence prevention; (2) specific modifications needed in Federal and State laws and programs to reduce the number of unfounded or unsubstantiated reports of child abuse or neglect; and (3) recommendations for modifications needed to facilitate coordinated national data collection.
(Sec. 1115) Repeals the mandate to establish an Interagency Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect.
(Sec. 1116) Requires the Secretary to establish the National Clearinghouse for Information Relating to Child Abuse either through the Department of HHS (currently, through the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect) or by one or more contracts let through competition (currently, by one contract only). Requires the HHS Secretary to develop a Federal data collection which: (1) includes data on false and unsubstantiated reports and data on deaths resulting from child abuse and neglect; and (2) collects and makes available State child abuse and neglect reporting information which is universal and case specific, and integrated with other case-based foster care and adoption data.
(Sec. 1117) Directs the Secretary to restructure the interdisciplinary program of research to provide information needed to better protect children from abuse or neglect and to improve the well-being of abused or neglected children, with at least a portion of such research being field initiated.
Directs the Secretary to require research on additional specific issues, including research on: (1) the causes, prevention, assessment, identification, treatment, cultural and socio-economic distinctions, and consequences of child abuse and neglect; (2) incidence of substantiated and unsubstantiated reported child abuse cases; (3) number of unsubstantiated cases that result in a judicial finding of child abuse or neglect or related criminal court convictions; and (4) the extent to which the lack of adequate resources and adequate training of reporters has contributed to the inability of a State to respond effectively to serious cases of child abuse and neglect. Expands the types of technical assistance which may be provided to State and local public and nonprofit agencies to include, among other things, ways to mitigate psychological trauma to the child victim. Allows the Secretary of disseminate information.
Revises requirements for peer review.
(Sec. 1118) Changes from mandatory to discretionary the program of grants to, and contracts with, public or nonprofit private agencies or organizations for time limited, child abuse prevention and treatment demonstration programs and projects, especially grants for the establishment of resource centers. Revises the requirements for certain innovative projects to: (1) eliminate specified programs, but provide, instead, for collaborative partnerships between the State child protective service agency, community social service agencies and family support programs, schools, churches and synagogues, and other community agencies to allow for establishment of a triage system of report assessment; and (2) provide for kinship care and supervised visitation centers for families.
(Sec. 1119) Revises the program of mandatory development and operation grants to assist States in improving their child protective service systems in specified ways, including grant purposes (especially services to disabled infants), eligibility requirements (especially provision for prompt expungement of public records in unsubstantiated or false cases), and State program plan elements.
Directs the Secretary within six months after receiving the State reports, to prepare and submit an annual report to the Secretary.
(Sec. 1120) Repeals provisions regarding: (1) technical assistance to States for child abuse prevention and treatment programs; and (2) the requirement that the Secretary ensure that a majority of assistance under the Act is available for discretionary research and demonstration grants.
(Sec. 1122) Redefines "child abuse and neglect" to mean, at a minimum, any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death or serious physical, sexual, or emotional harm, or presents an imminent risk of serious harm.
(Sec. 1123) Authorizes appropriations for FY 1996 through 2000 to carry out child abuse and neglect program activities, including specified allocations for discretionary activities and demonstration projects.
(Sec. 1124) Declares that nothing in such Act shall be construed: (1) as establishing a Federal requirement that a parent or legal guardian provide a child any medical service or treatment against the religious beliefs of the parent or legal guardian; or (2) requiring that a State find, or prohibiting a State from finding, abuse or neglect in cases in which a parent or legal guardian relies solely or partially upon spiritual means rather than medical treatment, in accordance with the religious beliefs of the parent or legal guardian.
Requires a State, at a minimum, to have in place authority under State law to permit the State child protective service system to pursue any legal remedies, including the authority to initiate legal proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction, to provide medical care or treatment for a child when such care or treatment is necessary to prevent or remedy serious harm to the child, or to prevent the withholding of medically indicated treatment from children with life threatening conditions. Places case by case determinations concerning the exercise of such authority within the sole discretion of the State.
Subtitle B: Community-Based Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Grants - Revises the Act with regard to community-based family resource and support formula grants.
(Sec. 1131) Revises program purposes to emphasize: (1) developing, operating, expanding, and enhancing statewide networks of community-based, prevention-focused, family resource and support programs that provide specified services (statewide networks); (2) fostering the development of a continuum of preventive services for children and families through State and community-based collaborations and partnerships; (3) financing the start-up, maintenance, expansion, or redesign of specific family resource and support program services identified as an unmet need, and integrated with the network of community-based family resource and support program to the extent practicable given funding levels and community priorities; (4) maximizing funding for specified activities for establishing, operating, or expanding a statewide network; and (5) financing specified public information activities.
Revises requirements for: (1) grant eligibility (repealing the requirement of a State trust fund, but requiring the State to designate an existing public, quasi-public, or nonprofit private entity as lead entity to administer the funds involved and create or enhance a Statewide network of programs); (2) grant amounts; (3) existing and continuation grants; (4) grant applications; (5) local programs; and (6) performance measures.
Authorizes the Secretary to allocate funds to support the activities of the lead entity in the State to: (1) create, operate, and maintain a peer review process, an information clearinghouse, and a computerized communication system between lead entities; (2) fund a yearly symposium on State system change efforts that result from the operation of the Statewide networks; and (3) fund State-to-State technical assistance through biannual conferences.
Authorizes appropriations for such grant programs through FY 2000.
(Sec. 1132) Repeals the Temporary Child Care for Children with Disabilities and Crisis Nurseries Act of 1986 and provisions of the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act regarding family support centers. Subtitle C: Family Violence Prevention and Services - Revises the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act to prohibit a grant to an entity other than a State or an Indian tribe unless the entity provides for a non-Federal matching local share: (1) of not less than 20 percent with respect to an entity operating an existing program; and (2) of not less than 35 percent with respect to an entity intending to operate a new program.
(Sec. 1143) Requires that each State be allotted not less than one percent of amounts available for grants for the fiscal year in which the allotment is made or $400,000 (currently, $200,000), whichever is the lesser amount.
(Sec. 1144) Requires that, of amounts appropriated for family violence prevention and services in a fiscal year, not less than: (1) 70 (currently, 80) percent be used for making grants to States; and (2) ten percent be used by the Secretary for making grants for State domestic violence coalitions.
Requires that Federal funds made available to a State be used to supplement and not supplant other Federal, State, and local public funds expended.
Subtitle D: Adoption Opportunities - Amends the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment and Adoption Reform Act of 1978, revising the findings and purposes, and directing the Secretary to study: (1) the nature, scope, and effects of the placement of children in kinship care arrangements or pre-adoptive as well as in (as currently) adoptive homes; and (2) the efficacy of States contracting with public or private nonprofit agencies, organizations, or sectarian institutions to recruit potential adoptive and foster families and to provide assistance in the placement of children for adoption.
(Sec. 1153) Requires each State entering into an agreement regarding grants for improving State efforts to increase the placement of foster care children legally free for adoption to submit an application that describes the manner in which the State will use funds during the three fiscal years subsequent to the date of the application to accomplish the purposes of the Act.
Directs the Secretary to provide: (1) technical assistance and resource and referral information to assist State or local governments with termination of parental rights issues, in recruiting and retaining adoptive families, in successful placement of children with special needs, and in the provision of pre- and post-placement services; and (2) other assistance to help State and local governments replicate successful adoption-related projects from other areas in the United States.
(Sec. 1154) Authorizes appropriations for FY 1996 through 2000.
Subtitle E: Abandoned Infants Assistance Act of 1986 - Extends the authorization of appropriations for the Abandoned Infants Assistance Act of 1988 through FY 2000. Subtitle F: Reauthorization of Various Programs - Extends the authorization of appropriations through FY 1997 for the Missing Children's Assistance Act (and directs that not more than five percent of the amount appropriated for a fiscal year be used to evaluate the effectiveness of specified programs and activities established and operated under the Act).
(Sec. 1172) Extends the authorization of appropriations for the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 for two years.
Title XII: Reductions in Federal Government Positions - Outlines the mechanism for various specified Federal executive agency workforce reductions, requiring submission to specified congressional committees of certain determinations about the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) positions of their respective departments by the Secretaries of Agriculture, of Education, of Labor, of Housing and Urban Development, and of HHS. Requires the Secretaries to make FTE reductions, including reductions-in-force, resulting from such determinations. Requires the Comptroller General to analyze and report to such committees on such determinations, with recommendations for further FTE reductions, if appropriate.
(Sec. 1202) Requires the HHS Secretary to reduce the Federal workforce within HHS: (1) by 75 percent of the FTE positions relating to any direct spending program, or any program funded through discretionary spending, that has been converted into a block grant program by this Act; and (2) by 75 percent of a proportionate number of the total FTE departmental management positions.
Requires reduction of FTE positions in HHS: (1) by 245 FTE positions related to the Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC) program converted by this Act into TEA block grants; and (2) by 60 FTE managerial positions.
(Sec. 1203) Encourages the HHS Secretary to reduce personnel in the Washington, D.C., area office (agency headquarters) before reducing field personnel.
Title XIII: Miscellaneous Provisions - Provides, among other things, for: (1) the expenditure of Federal funds received by a State under TEA and certain other Federal programs only in accordance with laws and procedures applicable to expenditures of the State's own revenues; (2) elimination of housing assistance under the United States Housing Act of 1937 with respect to fugitive felons and probation and parole violators; (3) certain options for State consideration of the income and resources of an ineligible household member when determining under the Food Stamp Act of 1977 the food stamp eligibility and allotment of such individual's household; and (4) an increase in funding for sexual abstinence education under SSA title XX.
(Sec. 1302) Amends the United States Housing Act of 1937 to provide for the exchange of housing information with law enforcement agencies.
(Sec. 1303) Expresses the sense of the Senate that the Congress should adopt enterprise zone legislation in the 104th Congress providing for various specified incentives, regulatory reforms, and school reform pilot projects.
(Sec. 1304) Expresses the sense of the Senate that States: (1) should diligently continue their efforts to enforce child support payments by the non-custodial parent; and (2) are encouraged to pursue pilot programs in which the parents of a non-adult, non-custodial parent who refuses to or is unable to pay child support must pay or contribute to the child support owed by the non-custodial parent or otherwise fulfill all financial obligations and meet all conditions imposed on the non-custodial parent, such as participation in a work program or other related activity.
(Sec. 1306) Expresses the sense of the Senate that before the Senate acts on the conference report on either H.R. 4 or any other legislation including welfare reform provisions, the Congressional Budget Office shall prepare an analysis of the conference report to include estimates of the costs to States of requirements imposed on them by such legislation, the resources available to meet such requirements, and the amount of any additional revenue needed by the States to meet such requirements.
(Sec. 1307) Expresses the sense of the Senate that any legislation enacted by the Congress should not eliminate or in any way weaken the present competitive bidding requirements for the purchase of infant formula with respect to any program supported wholly or in part by Federal funds.
(Sec. 1308) Directs the HHS Secretary to: (1) implement a certain strategy for preventing out-of-wedlock teenage pregnancies and assuring that at least 25 percent of U.S. communities have teenage pregnancy prevention programs; and (2) report to the Congress on the State programs so implemented to determine their progress.
Provides under SSA title XX (Block Grants to States for Social Services) for a study to determine the effectiveness of State out-of- wedlock and teenage pregnancy prevention programs for a report to the Congress.
(Sec. 1309) Expresses the sense of the Senate that States and local jurisdictions should aggressively enforce statutory rape laws.
(Sec. 1310) Declares that States shall not be prohibited by the Federal Government from sanctioning welfare recipients who test positive for use of controlled substances.
(Sec. 1311) Amends SSA title V (Maternal and Child Health Services) to provide for a set-aside for sexual abstinence education.