A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT REQUIRING A COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES (DSS) TO VERIFY WHETHER AN APPLICANT FOR OR RECIPIENT OF TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES (TANF) BENEFITS OR FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICES (FNS) BENEFITS IS A FLEEING FELON OR A PROBATION OR PAROLE VIOLATOR, TO DIRECT INTERAGENCY COOPERATION AND INFORMATION SHARING IN ORDER TO VERIFY THE ELIGIBILITY STATUS OF AN APPLICANT OR RECIPIENT, TO DENY TANF OR FNS BENEFITS TO AN APPLICANT OR RECIPIENT WHO IS A FLEEING FELON OR A PROBATION OR PAROLE VIOLATOR, AND TO REQUIRE DRUG SCREENING AND TESTING FOR CERTAIN APPLICANTS AND RECIPIENTS OF WORK FIRST PROGRAM ASSISTANCE.
Conference report makes the following changes to the 5th edition.
Amends the proposed language of GS 108A-26.1(a), clarifying that the release of confidential information from the applicant's records may not be protected if there is an outstanding arrest warrant against the applicant for program/public assistance (previously, if a warrant for arrest was issued). Makes organizational changes to GS 108A-26.1(b). Provides additional guidelines for the criminal history check, establishing that criminal history checks using accessible databases must be conducted by the county department of social services, subject to GS 114-19.34, and to the extent permitted by allocated county and state resources. Further provides that nothing in GS 108A-26.1 requires fingerprints to be taken of every applicant for or recipient of a program of public assistance. Deletes language which stated that the Secretary of DHHS must oversee the implementation of the rules the Social Services Commission must adopt regarding the sharing of information between county departments of social services and local law enforcement agencies. Also deletes language requiring rules for the accuracy of information shared.
Makes several changes to proposed GS 114-19.34, concerning criminal record checks of applicants for public assistance, providing that the NC Department of Justice (DOJ) will provide to county departments of social services the criminal history from the State or National Repositories of Criminal Histories. Deletes the requirement for social services to submit fingerprints to the NC DOJ. Requires the consent form for background checks to also provide consent to the use of any necessary identifying information required by the State or National Repositories. Makes organizational changes.
Amends proposed GS 108A-29.1, concerning drug screening and testing for Work First Program applicants and recipients, deleting language that made the cost of the drug testing the responsibility of the individual tested. Adds language that states that an applicant or recipient that fails a drug test can take one or more additional tests at his or her own expense (previously, did not state that the costs of the additional tests were to be borne by the applicant/recipient). Deletes language that stated that those that pass drug tests will have the amount paid by the applicant/recipient added into the initial assistance amount. Provides than an applicant/recipient that is deemed ineligible can reapply for program assistance after the expiration of 30 days from the date of the positive drug test if the individual can document either the successful completion of or the current satisfactory participation in a substance abuse treatment program offered by approved providers (previously, did not provide a 30-day wait period and did not allow current participation in a treatment program to serve as approval to reapply). Adds new GS 108A-29.1(b2), providing that applicants/recipients that are deemed ineligible for the Work First Program assistance can reapply after 30 days from the date of the positive drug test if a qualified professional in substance abuse or a physician certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine determines a substance abuse program is not appropriate for the individual and that individual has passed a subsequent drug test. Subsequent tests are at the cost of the individual being tested and applicants/recipients that reapply for Work First pursuant to this subsection can only do so once. Directs the Social Services Commission to adopt rules pertaining to the successful completion of, or the satisfactory participation in, approved treatment programs, including rules regarding the timely reporting of program completion. Provides that child-only cases are exempt from the requirements of GS 108A-29.1. Makes conforming and clarifying changes.
Directs the Social Services Commission to adopt rules implementing the act, allowing the issuing of temporary rules, in addition to its permanent rule-making authority in order to enforce this act. Requires the rules for the implementation of GS 108A-29.1 to be adopted no later than February 1, 2014.
Requires that DHHS report to the General Assembly by April 1, 2014 (was, July 1, 2014) on the implementation of GS 108A-29.1.
Provides that proposed GS 108A-29.1 will become effective August 1, 2014.
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