HB1537 - WELFARE TO WORK PROTECTION ACT - Troupe, Charles Quincy
HB1537 PROVIDES EMPLOYMENT PROTECTIONS FOR PUBLIC ASSISTANCE RECIPIENTS.
Sponsor: Troupe, Charles Quincy (62) Effective Date:00/00/00
CoSponsor: LR Number:3204-01
Last Action: COMMITTEE: SENATE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE
05/04/98 - Public Hearing Held (S)
HCS HB 1537
Next Hearing:Hearing not scheduled
Calendar:Bill currently not on calendar
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BILL SUMMARIES BILL TEXT FISCAL NOTES
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Available Bill Summaries for HB1537 Copyright(c)
| Perfected | Committee | Introduced

Available Bill Text for HB1537
| Perfected | Committee | Introduced |

Available Fiscal Notes for HB1537
| House Committee Substitute | Introduced |

BILL SUMMARIES

PERFECTED

HCS HB 1537 -- WELFARE TO WORK PROTECTION ACT (Troupe)

This substitute creates the Welfare to Work Protection Act.  In
its main provisions, the substitute:

(1)  Requires all adults receiving Work First Program benefits,
the public assistance program established under federal welfare
reform in 1996, and who are employed or assigned to a work
activity, to be considered an employee of the employer for the
purpose of coverage under all state and federal labor laws;

(2)  Requires that each Work First Program participant receive
leave time on the same basis as regular employees;

(3)  Prohibits the creation of supplemental wage assistance
employment positions if such positions displace current
employees; the filling of such positions would otherwise be
promotional opportunities for current employees; the positions
create or are created as a result of a strike or labor dispute,
or violate any existing collective bargaining agreement; or such
positions are created by termination, layoff, or reduction in
workforce; and provides for a grievance and appeals procedure
for those who believe they have been adversely affected by
violations of these provisions;

(4)  Prohibits the use of direct placement programs as a means
of sanctioning or threatening to sanction public assistance
recipients under certain conditions, including situations in
which there are 3 or fewer employers who are direct placement
program participants in counties with more than 1,000 active
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cases;

(5)  Requires applicants for TANF benefits to complete a work
readiness assessment at the time the application is made;

(6)  Requires direct placement programs to sanction public
assistance recipients who have been convicted on or after July
1, 1998 of certain felony offenses related to the distribution
of controlled substances and who were at least age 17 at the
time of the commission of the felony.  All applicants for
benefits are required to state in writing whether any member of
the household has been convicted of any such felony.  The
Division of Family Services is to evaluate the suitability of
the home environment for children residing in a household in
which an adult has been sanctioned for any such felony, and to
make an immediate foster care placement if the environment is
determined to be unsuitable for the children;

(7)  Prohibits the granting of public assistance to applicants
or disbursing any benefits to recipients who have outstanding
felony arrest warrants, until such warrants have been
satisfied.  The Missouri Highway Patrol is required, on a
monthly basis, to provide a list of those with outstanding
arrest warrants.  The Department of Social Services is required
to review this listing before disbursing public assistance to
recipients, and to reimburse the general revenue fund for the
amount of any such prohibited disbursements; and

(8)  Requires the Director of the Department of Social Services
to convene, at least biannually, a Caseload Standards Committee,
to recommend minimum and maximum caseloads for each category of
employees in the department.  The committee will include 7
nonsupervisory departmental employees and 3 division directors
or their designees.  A representative of the employees'
certified majority organization will also serve on the
committee, but in a nonvoting, advisory capacity.  The
department director is also required to develop caseload
standards for employees in each program area within the
department, based on the actual duties of caseworkers, and
consistent with existing professional caseload standards, taking
into account the recommendations of the Caseload Standards
Advisory Committee.  In developing caseload standards, the
director is to consider the standards developed by other states
for workers employed in similar positions.  The caseload
standards developed by the director must form the basis for the
Department's annual personnel budget request, and will be used,
subject to appropriations, to assign caseloads to individual
employees.  Good faith efforts on the part of an employee who
does not meet assignments exceeding caseload standards will be
considered in evaluating the employee's work performance.  A
provision is made for employee grievances should a performance
evaluation be lowered or discipline imposed, based on work
expectations which exceed caseload standards.

FISCAL NOTE:  Partial Estimated Net Cost to General Revenue Fund
is Unknown in FY 1999, FY 2000, and FY 2001.  Totals do not
include unknown costs for the Department of Labor Relations
which are expected to exceed $100,000 annually and unknown costs
for the Department of Social Services expected to be less than
$100,000 annually.


COMMITTEE

���������������������������CORRECTED

HCS HB 1537 -- WELFARE TO WORK PROTECTION ACT

SPONSOR:  Gunn (Troupe)

COMMITTEE ACTION:  Voted "do pass" by the Committee on Social
Services, Medicaid and the Elderly by a vote of 9 to 7.

This substitute creates the Welfare to Work Protection Act.  In
its main provisions, the substitute:

(1)  Requires all adults receiving Work First Program benefits,
the public assistance program established under federal welfare
reform in 1996, and who are employed or assigned to a work
activity, to be considered an employee of the employer for the
purpose of coverage under all state and federal labor laws;

(2)  Requires the Department of Social Services to determine the
workplace impact of wage supplementation, direct placement, or
other welfare to work placement programs, before assigning
workers or granting subsidies to employers;

(3)  Requires that each Work First Program participant receive
leave time on the same basis as regular employees;

(4)  Prohibits the creation of supplemental wage assistance
employment positions if such positions displace current
employees; the filling of such positions would otherwise be
promotional opportunities for current employees; the positions
create or are created as a result of a strike or labor dispute,
or violate any existing collective bargaining agreement; or such
positions are created by termination, layoff, or reduction in
workforce; and provides for a grievance and appeals procedure
for those who believe they have been adversely affected by
violations of these provisions; and

(5)  Prohibits the use of direct placement programs as a means
of sanctioning or threatening to sanction public assistance
recipients under certain conditions, including situations in
which there are 3 or fewer employers who are direct placement
program participants in counties with a population of 35,000 or
more.

FISCAL NOTE:  Partial Estimated Net Cost to General Revenue Fund
of $1,400,000 to $2,800,000 in FY 1999, $70,000 to $140,000 in
FY 2000, and $73,200 to $147,200 in FY 2001.  Totals do not
include unknown costs for the Department of Labor Relations
which are expected to exceed $100,000 annually.

PROPONENTS:  Supporters say that as individuals move off of
public assistance, the state needs to create an environment to
help them succeed permanently.

Testifying for the bill were Representative Troupe; Welfare Law
Center; Reform Organization of Welfare; Service Employees
International Union; and Missouri Association for Social Welfare.

OPPONENTS:  Those who oppose the bill say that it is unfair and
unwise to treat employees with little or no experience the same
as employees with experience.

Testifying against the bill was Missouri Chamber of Commerce.

Debra Cheshier, Senior Legislative Analyst


INTRODUCED

HB 1537 -- Welfare to Work Protection Act

Sponsor:  Troupe

This bill creates the Welfare to Work Protection Act.  In its
main provisions, the bill:

(1)  Requires all adults receiving Work First Program benefits,
the public assistance program established under federal welfare
reform in 1996, and who are employed or assigned to a work
activity, to be considered an employee of the employer for the
purpose of coverage under all state and federal labor laws;

(2)  Requires that the wages and benefits for employees
receiving Work First Program benefits not be less than the wages
and benefits provided to regular employees of the employer
performing the same or similar duties;

(3)  Requires the employer to contribute to the Unemployment
Insurance and Workers' Compensation Fund for Work First Program
participants on the basis of the combined value of the wages
received and the amount of public assistance granted, unless
prohibited by federal law;

(4)  Requires that each Work First Program participant receive
leave time on the same basis as regular employees;

(5)  Prohibits the creation of supplemental wage assistance
employment positions if such positions displace current
employees; the filling of such positions would otherwise be
promotional opportunities for current employees; the positions
create a strike or labor dispute, or violate any existing
collective bargaining agreement; or such positions are created
by termination, layoff, or reduction in workforce; and provides
for a grievance and appeals procedure for those who believe they
have been adversely affected by violations of these provisions;
and

(6)  Prohibits the use of direct placement programs as a means
of sanctioning or threatening to sanction public assistance
recipients.


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Last Updated November 12, 1998 at 1:50 pm