Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/27/2003 01:35 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
          HB 146-CHILD SUPPORT/SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE announced HB 146 to be up for consideration.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LESIL MCGUIRE,  sponsor, said HB 146  stems from a                                                               
federal  act that  went into  place in  1996 called  the Personal                                                               
Responsibility and  Work Opportunity  Reconciliation Act  of '96.                                                               
The  act's  goal  is  simply  to  reduce  dependence  on  welfare                                                               
programs  across the  board. The  federal  act required  numerous                                                               
additional  requirements for  child support  enforcement programs                                                               
across  the United  States.  One of  those  requirements was  the                                                               
reporting  of   social  security  numbers  and   matching  it  to                                                               
automated  data from  financial institutions  for the  purpose of                                                               
child support enforcement.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCGUIRE   said  while  the  welfare   system  was                                                               
designed to provide  the basics of food and  shelter to children,                                                               
sometimes  a family  was receiving  welfare because  a "deadbeat"                                                               
mom  or dad  did  not participate  financially  in their  child's                                                               
life.  The Act  recognized that  new  tools were  needed to  help                                                               
state  agencies  crack down  on  "deadbeat"  moms and  dads.  She                                                               
cautioned if  HB 146 is not  enacted, the state would  lose $75.6                                                               
million -  $15.4 million for  Alaska's Child  Support Enforcement                                                               
Division  (CSED)   and  $60.2  million  for   Alaska's  temporary                                                               
assistance program.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
She  explained the  legislature adopted  the law  that is  before                                                               
them in  1997 and readopted it  in 1998 with a  sunset provision.                                                               
HB 146 repeals the sunset provision  that would go into effect on                                                               
July 1 of this year. The  state would continue on with the policy                                                               
that has been in place since 1997.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCGUIRE described  another  part of  the bill  as                                                               
further clarification of existing  policy. The word "resident" on                                                               
page 1,  line 7, was  removed so that  any person applying  for a                                                               
commercial fishing  license shall  provide their  social security                                                               
number. She  noted that would  codify a  policy that has  been in                                                               
effect since 1997.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  BUNDE added  that  a  few years  ago  deadbeats owed  over                                                               
$100,000  in  child  support  arrears and  the  people  were  all                                                               
fathers and most  of them were fishermen. There  being no further                                                               
questions, he held the bill.                                                                                                    

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