1997 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare; Appropriations
By: Representative Taylor
House Bill 147
AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES SHALL CONDUCT A TWO-YEAR WELFARE REFORM PILOT PROGRAM IN WAYNE COUNTY IN WHICH A LIMITED NUMBER OF AFDC RECIPIENTS MAY VOLUNTEER TO ASSIST HOME HEALTH PERSONNEL IN PROVIDING IN-HOME SERVICES TO PERSONS WHO OTHERWISE WOULD NEED NURSING HOME CARE IN THE ABSENCE OF RECEIVING SUCH HOME HEALTH SERVICES; TO PROVIDE THAT PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS WILL BE PAID THE FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE IN LIEU OF RECEIVING THEIR REGULAR AFDC BENEFITS; TO PROVIDE FOR TRAINING OF PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS; TO PROVIDE FOR A PENALTY FOR ANY PROGRAM PARTICIPANT WHO WITHDRAWS FROM THE PROGRAM WITHOUT A VALID REASON AND WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES; TO AMEND SECTION 43-17-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) The State Department of Human Services shall conduct a welfare reform pilot program in Wayne County in accordance with this section and any applicable waivers from the Secretary of the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
(2) The program shall provide that current or future recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) benefits in Wayne County may volunteer to assist home health service personnel in providing in-home services to persons who otherwise would need nursing home care in the absence of receiving such home health services. The program shall be limited to a maximum of twenty-five (25) persons at any one time, and shall be conducted for a period of two (2) years. In lieu of receiving their regular AFDC benefits, participants in the program shall be paid for their services a wage equal to the federal minimum wage, which shall be paid from funds in the Medicaid program. Participants shall be given a course of training in providing assistance in home health services, which training shall be in accordance with guidelines approved by the Division of Medicaid. Such training guidelines shall permit the training to be conducted by nurses on a volunteer basis. Participants shall be supervised by personnel of the county department of human services in Wayne County. Any participant who withdraws from the pilot program without a valid reason and without the permission of the Department of Human Services shall not be eligible to receive AFDC payments for a period of ninety (90) days after withdrawal from the program.
(3) The Department of Human Services shall request waivers from the Secretary of the federal Department of Health and Human Services to permit the implementation of the program in this section. This section shall not be implemented unless the federal waivers have been granted.
SECTION 2. Section 43-17-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-17-1. Assistance may be granted under this chapter to any dependent child and a caretaker relative who are living in a suitable family home meeting the standards of care and health fixed by the laws of this state, and the rules and regulations of the State Department of Human Services. However, the eligibility for assistance of any child or caretaker relative to whom Sections 43-49-8 through 43-49-11, applies shall be determined under the applicable standards of the appropriate section, and any applicant who fails to comply with that section shall be suspended until such time as the eligibility requirements are met. In addition, the eligibility of any person who participates in the program authorized under Section 1 of this act shall be determined under the standards of that section and any applicable federal waivers.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.