PREFILED DEC 19 2019
REFERENCE TITLE: TANF; lifetime limit; sanctions
State of Arizona
House of Representatives
Second Regular Session
Representatives Powers Hannley: Andrade, Blanc, Cano, DeGrazia, Epstein, Fernandez, Friese, Gabaldón, Pawlik, Rodriguez, Salman, Terán
amending sections 46‑294 and 46‑300, Arizona Revised Statutes; relating to temporary assistance for needy families.
(TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:
Section 1. Section 46-294, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:
46-294. Duration of assistance
A. A needy family is ineligible for a cash assistance grant awarded under this article, except in case of hardship or as provided in subsection G of this section, if any of the following applies:
1. The needy family includes a head of household or the spouse of the head of household who has received cash assistance for himself for a total of twelve sixty months.
2. The needy family includes a cash assistance ineligible parent or the spouse of the ineligible parent who has received cash assistance on behalf of an eligible dependent child for a total of twelve sixty months.
3. The needy family includes an adult nonparent relative head of household or the spouse of the adult nonparent relative head of household who has received cash assistance on behalf of an eligible dependent child for a total of twelve sixty months.
B. The time limit prescribed in subsection A of this section applies retroactively to cash assistance received under this article or the Arizona works program on or after October 1, 2002. The time limit applies regardless of:
1. Whether the twelve sixty months are consecutive.
2. The source of funding for the program.
C. The twelve sixty month time limit prescribed in this section does not apply to child only cases.
D. In determining the number of months that assistance has been received, the department shall disregard any month during which assistance is received by:
1. A foster parent, an unrelated adult or a nonparent relative, in a child only case.
2. An assistance unit during the time in which the assistance unit resides on an Indian reservation in which the unemployment rate of the adults residing on the Indian reservation exceeds fifty percent.
3. An assistance unit if the cash assistance grant is less than the full monthly amount of cash assistance for which the assistance unit qualifies based on the date of the application.
4. An adult recipient who as a minor child was not a head of household or married to a head of household.
E. Except in case of hardship or as provided in subsection G of this section, an assistance unit in which any adult or minor parent of a dependent child who is a head of household or married to a head of household has received sixty months of assistance funded in whole or in part by the temporary assistance for needy families block grant in this or any other state or United States territory or from a tribal temporary assistance for needy families program shall not be eligible to receive under any circumstances more than sixty months of such assistance.
F. Consistent with the adopted state plan, cash assistance shall terminate on July 1, 2016 2020 for any family, without regard to whether the family meets the financial criteria established for a needy family, that has received twelve sixty or more months of cash assistance as of that date.
G. A needy family may receive cash assistance for an additional twelve months if both of the following apply:
1. The head of household or other adult household member who is required to participate in the work program is in full compliance and remains in full compliance with all work activity requirements of the program.
2. Each dependent child in the assistance unit, who is required to attend school pursuant to section 15‑803, not including child only cases, has a school attendance record of at least ninety percent unless the child was excused pursuant to section 15‑802, subsection D, paragraph 1, 3, 5, 6 or 7.
Sec. 2. Section 46-300, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:
A. The department shall impose a series of graduated sanctions as described in subsection D of this section for any noncompliance with:
1. The child support enforcement efforts required by section 46‑292, subsection D unless good cause is established as provided in section 46‑292, subsections F and G.
2. The work activities requirements described in section 46‑299, unless good cause is established as provided in section 46‑299, subsection H and department rules. A recipient who does not comply with the work activities requirements shall demonstrate compliance with the work activities requirements in order to continue benefit eligibility and to avoid sanctions.
3. The school enrollment and attendance requirements of section 46‑292, subsection S.
4. The immunization requirements of section 46‑292, subsection T.
B. In addition to subsection A of this section, the department shall impose a series of graduated sanctions as described in subsection D of this section if either of the following occurs:
1. The recipient voluntarily terminates paid employment without good cause as specified in rules adopted by the director.
2. An adult recipient uses, sells or possesses a controlled substance in violation of title 13 as specified in rules adopted by the director.
C. Noncompliance with one or more of the requirements listed in subsection A of this section during any calendar month is deemed to be a month of noncompliance and shall result in the sanctions prescribed in subsection D of this section. The department shall impose these graduated sanctions even if the instances of noncompliance do not occur in consecutive months.
D. The department shall impose the following sanctions:
1. For the first instance of noncompliance, the department shall reduce the household's cash assistance grant by fifty twenty‑five percent for one month.
2. For a second instance of noncompliance that occurs in a month other than the month in which the first noncompliance occurred, the department shall reduce the household's cash assistance grant by fifty percent for one month.
2. 3. For a second third instance of noncompliance that occurs in a month other than the month in which the first second noncompliance occurred and any instance of noncompliance thereafter, the department shall terminate the household's cash assistance grant for at least one month or until the household complies.
Sec. 3. Retroactivity
Section 46‑294, Arizona Revised Statutes, as amended by this act, applies retroactively to from and after June 30, 2020.