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HF 2080

2nd Engrossment - 87th Legislature (2011 - 2012) Posted on 03/01/2012 03:35pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language. underscored = added, new language.

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Current Version - 2nd Engrossment

A bill for an act
relating to human services; modifying persons ineligible for MFIP; modifying
MFIP sanctions; modifying MFIP time limits; modifying the MFIP exit level;
regulating use of electronic benefit transfer cards;amending Minnesota Statutes
2010, sections 256J.08, subdivisions 34b, 51b; 256J.24, subdivision 10; 256J.26,
subdivision 1; 256J.415; 256J.42, subdivisions 1, 4, 5, 6; 256J.425, subdivisions
1, 4, 4a, 5, 6; 256J.45, subdivision 2; 256J.46, subdivision 1; 256J.50,
subdivisions 6, 10; 256J.575, subdivision 3; 256J.621; 256J.626, subdivision 2;
256J.751, subdivision 1; Minnesota Statutes 2011 Supplement, section 256.987,
by adding a subdivision.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2011 Supplement, section 256.987, is amended by
adding a subdivision to read:


Subd. 3.

EBT use restricted to certain states.

EBT debit cardholders in programs
listed under subdivision 1 are prohibited from using the cash portion of the EBT card at
vendors and automatic teller machines located outside of Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota,
South Dakota, or Wisconsin. This subdivision does not apply to the food portion.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 256J.08, subdivision 34b, is amended to read:


Subd. 34b.

Family violence waiver.

"Family violence waiver" means a waiver
of the 60-month time limit under section 256J.42, subdivision 1, for victims of family
violence who meet the criteria in section 256J.545 and are complying with an employment
plan in section 256J.521, subdivision 3.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 256J.08, subdivision 51b, is amended to read:


Subd. 51b.

Learning disabled.

"Learning disabled," for purposes of an extension
to the 60-month time limit under section 256J.425, subdivision 3, clause (3), means
the person has a disorder in one or more of the psychological processes involved in
perceiving, understanding, or using concepts through verbal language or nonverbal means.
Learning disabled does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of
visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; developmental disability; emotional disturbance; or
due to environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 256J.24, subdivision 10, is amended to read:


Subd. 10.

MFIP exit level.

The commissioner shall adjust the MFIP earned
income disregard to ensure that most participants do not lose eligibility for MFIP until
their income reaches at least 115 100 percent of the federal poverty guidelines at the
time of the adjustment. The adjustment to the disregard shall be based on a household
size of three, and the resulting earned income disregard percentage must be applied to all
household sizes. The adjustment under this subdivision must be implemented whenever a
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program adjustment is reflected in the food portion of
the MFIP transitional standard as required under subdivision 5a.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 256J.26, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Person convicted of drug offenses.

(a) Applicants or participants
An individual
who have has been convicted of a drug offense committed after July
1, 1997, may, if otherwise eligible, receive MFIP benefits subject to the following
conditions:
during the previous ten years from the date of application or recertification is
disqualified from receiving MFIP.

(1) Benefits for the entire assistance unit must be paid in vendor form for shelter and
utilities during any time the applicant is part of the assistance unit.

(2) The convicted applicant or participant shall be subject to random drug testing as
a condition of continued eligibility and following any positive test for an illegal controlled
substance is subject to the following sanctions:

(i) for failing a drug test the first time, the residual amount of the participant's grant
after making vendor payments for shelter and utility costs, if any, must be reduced by an
amount equal to 30 percent of the MFIP standard of need for an assistance unit of the same
size. When a sanction under this subdivision is in effect, the job counselor must attempt
to meet with the person face-to-face. During the face-to-face meeting, the job counselor
must explain the consequences of a subsequent drug test failure and inform the participant
of the right to appeal the sanction under section 256J.40. If a face-to-face meeting is
not possible, the county agency must send the participant a notice of adverse action as
provided in section 256J.31, subdivisions 4 and 5, and must include the information
required in the face-to-face meeting; or

(ii) for failing a drug test two times, the participant is permanently disqualified from
receiving MFIP assistance, both the cash and food portions.
The assistance unit's MFIP
grant must be reduced by the amount which would have otherwise been made available to
the disqualified participant. Disqualification under this item does not make a participant
ineligible for food stamps or food support. Before a disqualification under this provision is
imposed, the job counselor must attempt to meet with the participant face-to-face. During
the face-to-face meeting, the job counselor must identify other resources that may be
available to the participant to meet the needs of the family and inform the participant of
the right to appeal the disqualification under section 256J.40. If a face-to-face meeting is
not possible, the county agency must send the participant a notice of adverse action as
provided in section 256J.31, subdivisions 4 and 5, and must include the information
required in the face-to-face meeting.

(3) A participant who fails a drug test the first time and is under a sanction due to
other MFIP program requirements is considered to have more than one occurrence of
noncompliance and is subject to the applicable level of sanction as specified under section
256J.46, subdivision 1, paragraph (d).

(b) Applicants requesting only food stamps or food support or participants receiving
only food stamps or food support, who have been convicted of a drug offense that
occurred after July 1, 1997, may, if otherwise eligible, receive food stamps or food support
if the convicted applicant or participant is subject to random drug testing as a condition
of continued eligibility. Following a positive test for an illegal controlled substance, the
applicant is subject to the following sanctions:

(1) for failing a drug test the first time, food stamps or food support shall be reduced
by an amount equal to 30 percent of the applicable food stamp or food support allotment.
When a sanction under this clause is in effect, a job counselor must attempt to meet with
the person face-to-face. During the face-to-face meeting, a job counselor must explain
the consequences of a subsequent drug test failure and inform the participant of the right
to appeal the sanction under section 256J.40. If a face-to-face meeting is not possible,
a county agency must send the participant a notice of adverse action as provided in
section 256J.31, subdivisions 4 and 5, and must include the information required in the
face-to-face meeting; and

(2) for failing a drug test two times, the participant is permanently disqualified from
receiving food stamps or food support. Before a disqualification under this provision is
imposed, a job counselor must attempt to meet with the participant face-to-face. During
the face-to-face meeting, the job counselor must identify other resources that may be
available to the participant to meet the needs of the family and inform the participant of
the right to appeal the disqualification under section 256J.40. If a face-to-face meeting
is not possible, a county agency must send the participant a notice of adverse action as
provided in section 256J.31, subdivisions 4 and 5, and must include the information
required in the face-to-face meeting.

(c) (b) For the purposes of this subdivision, "drug offense" means an offense that
occurred after July 1, 1997, of sections 152.021 to 152.025, 152.0261, 152.0262, or
152.096. Drug offense also means a conviction in another jurisdiction of the possession,
use, or distribution of a controlled substance, or conspiracy to commit any of these
offenses, if the offense occurred after July 1, 1997, and the conviction is a felony offense
in that jurisdiction, or in the case of New Jersey, a high misdemeanor.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2012, for all new MFIP
applicants who apply on or after that date and for all recertifications occurring on or
after that date.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 256J.415, is amended to read:


256J.415 NOTICE OF 12 MONTHS OF TANF ASSISTANCE REMAINING.

(a) The county agency shall mail a notice to each assistance unit when the assistance
unit has 12 months of TANF assistance remaining and each month thereafter until the
60-month time limit under section 256J.42, subdivision 1, has expired. The notice must be
developed by the commissioner of human services and must contain information about the
60-month time limit, the number of months the participant has remaining, the hardship
extension policy, and any other information that the commissioner deems pertinent to an
assistance unit nearing the 60-month time limit.

(b) For applicants who have less than 12 months remaining in the 60-month time
limit because the unit previously received TANF assistance in Minnesota or another state,
the county agency shall notify the applicant of the number of months of TANF remaining
when the application is approved and begin the process required in paragraph (a).

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 256J.42, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Time limit.

(a) Except as otherwise provided for in this section, an
assistance unit in which any adult caregiver has received 60 months of cash assistance
funded in whole or in part by the TANF block grant in this or any other state or
United States territory, or from a tribal TANF program, MFIP, the AFDC program
formerly codified in sections 256.72 to 256.87, or the family general assistance program
formerly codified in sections 256D.01 to 256D.23, funded in whole or in part by state
appropriations, is ineligible to receive MFIP. Any cash assistance funded with TANF
dollars in this or any other state or United States territory, or from a tribal TANF program,
or MFIP assistance funded in whole or in part by state appropriations, that was received
by the unit on or after the date TANF was implemented, including any assistance received
in states or United States territories of prior residence, counts toward the 60-month
limitation. Months during which any cash assistance is received by an assistance unit
with a mandatory member who is disqualified for wrongfully obtaining public assistance
under section 256.98, subdivision 8, counts toward the time limit for the disqualified
member. The 60-month limit applies to a minor caregiver except under subdivision 5. The
60-month time period does not need to be consecutive months for this provision to apply.

(b) The months before July 1998 in which individuals received assistance as part of
the field trials as an MFIP, MFIP-R, or MFIP or MFIP-R comparison group family are
not included in the 60-month time limit.

(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), beginning July 1, 2012, an applicant in which
no adult caregiver has received cash assistance funded in whole or in part by the TANF
block grant in this or any other state or United States territory, or from a tribal TANF
program, MFIP, the AFDC program formerly codified in sections 256.72 to 256.87, or
the family general assistance program formerly codified in sections 256D.01 to 256D.23,
funded in whole or in part by state appropriations, is limited to 36 months of MFIP
assistance. Months during which any cash assistance is received by an assistance unit with
a mandatory member who is disqualified for wrongfully obtaining public assistance under
section 256.98, subdivision 8, counts toward the time limit for the disqualified member.
The 36-month time limit applies to a minor caregiver except under subdivision 5. The
36-month time period does not need to be consecutive months for this provision to apply.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 256J.42, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Victims of family violence.

Any cash assistance received by an assistance
unit in a month when a caregiver complied with a safety plan, an alternative employment
plan, or an employment plan under section 256J.521, subdivision 3, does not count toward
the 60-month limitation time limit under section 256J.42, subdivision 1, on assistance.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 256J.42, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Exemption for certain families.

(a) Any cash assistance received by an
assistance unit does not count toward the 60-month time limit on assistance during a
month in which the caregiver is age 60 or older.

(b) From July 1, 1997, until the date MFIP is operative in the caregiver's county of
financial responsibility, any cash assistance received by a caregiver who is complying
with Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 256.73, subdivision 5a, and Minnesota Statutes
1998, section 256.736, if applicable, does not count toward the 60-month time limit
on assistance. Thereafter, any cash assistance received by a minor caregiver who is
complying with the requirements of sections 256J.14 and 256J.54, if applicable, does not
count towards toward the 60-month time limit under section 256J.42, subdivision 1,
on assistance.

(c) Any diversionary assistance or emergency assistance received prior to July 1,
2003, does not count toward the 60-month time limit under section 256J.42, subdivision 1.

(d) Any cash assistance received by an 18- or 19-year-old caregiver who is complying
with an employment plan that includes an education option under section 256J.54 does not
count toward the 60-month time limit under section 256J.42, subdivision 1.

(e) Payments provided to meet short-term emergency needs under section 256J.626
and diversionary work program benefits provided under section 256J.95 do not count
toward the 60-month time limit under section 256J.42, subdivision 1.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 256J.42, subdivision 6, is amended to read:


Subd. 6.

Case review.

(a) Within 180 days, but not less than 60 days, before the end
of the participant's 60th last month on assistance, the county agency or job counselor must
review the participant's case to determine if the employment plan is still appropriate and
attempt to meet with the participant face-to-face.

(b) During the face-to-face meeting, a county agency or the job counselor must:

(1) inform the participant how many months of counted assistance the participant
has accrued and when the participant is expected to reach the 60th month;

(2) explain the hardship extension criteria under section 256J.425 and what the
participant should do if the participant thinks a hardship extension applies;

(3) identify other resources that may be available to the participant to meet the
needs of the family; and

(4) inform the participant of the right to appeal the case closure under section
256J.40.

(c) If a face-to-face meeting is not possible, the county agency must send the
participant a notice of adverse action as provided in section 256J.31, subdivisions 4 and 5.

(d) Before a participant's case is closed under this section, the county must ensure
that:

(1) the case has been reviewed by the job counselor's supervisor or the review team
designated by the county to determine if the criteria for a hardship extension, if requested,
were applied appropriately; and

(2) the county agency or the job counselor attempted to meet with the participant
face-to-face.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 256J.425, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Eligibility.

(a) To be eligible for a hardship extension, a participant
in an assistance unit subject to the time limit under section 256J.42, subdivision 1, must be
in compliance in the participant's 60th last counted month. For purposes of determining
eligibility for a hardship extension, a participant is in compliance in any month that the
participant has not been sanctioned. In order to maintain eligibility for any of the hardship
extension categories a participant shall develop and comply with either an employment
plan or a family stabilization services plan, whichever is appropriate.

(b) If one participant in a two-parent assistance unit is determined to be ineligible for
a hardship extension, the county shall give the assistance unit the option of disqualifying
the ineligible participant from MFIP. In that case, the assistance unit shall be treated as a
one-parent assistance unit and the assistance unit's MFIP grant shall be calculated using
the shared household standard under section 256J.08, subdivision 82a.

(c) Prior to denying an extension, the county must review the sanction status and
determine whether the sanction is appropriate or if good cause exists under section
256J.57. If the sanction was inappropriately applied or the participant is granted a good
cause exception before the end of the last month 60, the participant shall be considered for
an extension.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 12.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 256J.425, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Employed participants.

(a) An assistance unit subject to the time limit
under section 256J.42, subdivision 1, is eligible to receive assistance under a hardship
extension if the participant who reached the time limit belongs to:

(1) a one-parent assistance unit in which the participant is participating in work
activities for at least 30 hours per week, of which an average of at least 25 hours per week
every month are spent participating in employment;

(2) a two-parent assistance unit in which the participants are participating in work
activities for at least 55 hours per week, of which an average of at least 45 hours per week
every month are spent participating in employment; or

(3) an assistance unit in which a participant is participating in employment for fewer
hours than those specified in clause (1), and the participant submits verification from a
qualified professional, in a form acceptable to the commissioner, stating that the number
of hours the participant may work is limited due to illness or disability, as long as the
participant is participating in employment for at least the number of hours specified by the
qualified professional. The participant must be following the treatment recommendations
of the qualified professional providing the verification. The commissioner shall develop a
form to be completed and signed by the qualified professional, documenting the diagnosis
and any additional information necessary to document the functional limitations of the
participant that limit work hours. If the participant is part of a two-parent assistance unit,
the other parent must be treated as a one-parent assistance unit for purposes of meeting the
work requirements under this subdivision.

(b) For purposes of this section, employment means:

(1) unsubsidized employment under section 256J.49, subdivision 13, clause (1);

(2) subsidized employment under section 256J.49, subdivision 13, clause (2);

(3) on-the-job training under section 256J.49, subdivision 13, clause (2);

(4) an apprenticeship under section 256J.49, subdivision 13, clause (1);

(5) supported work under section 256J.49, subdivision 13, clause (2);

(6) a combination of clauses (1) to (5); or

(7) child care under section 256J.49, subdivision 13, clause (7), if it is in combination
with paid employment.

(c) If a participant is complying with a child protection plan under chapter 260C,
the number of hours required under the child protection plan count toward the number
of hours required under this subdivision.

(d) The county shall provide the opportunity for subsidized employment to
participants needing that type of employment within available appropriations.

(e) To be eligible for a hardship extension for employed participants under this
subdivision, a participant must be in compliance for at least ten out of the 12 months the
participant received MFIP immediately preceding the month after the participant's 61st
last
month on assistance. If ten or fewer months of eligibility for TANF assistance remain
at the time the participant from another state applies for assistance, the participant must
be in compliance every month.

(f) The employment plan developed under section 256J.521, subdivision 2, for
participants under this subdivision must contain at least the minimum number of hours
specified in paragraph (a) for the purpose of meeting the requirements for an extension
under this subdivision. The job counselor and the participant must sign the employment
plan to indicate agreement between the job counselor and the participant on the contents
of the plan.

(g) Participants who fail to meet the requirements in paragraph (a), without good
cause under section 256J.57, shall be sanctioned or permanently disqualified under
subdivision 6. Good cause may only be granted for that portion of the month for which
the good cause reason applies. Participants must meet all remaining requirements in the
approved employment plan or be subject to sanction or permanent disqualification.

(h) If the noncompliance with an employment plan is due to the involuntary loss of
employment, the participant is exempt from the hourly employment requirement under
this subdivision for one month. Participants must meet all remaining requirements in the
approved employment plan or be subject to sanction or permanent disqualification. This
exemption is available to each participant two times in a 12-month period.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 13.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 256J.425, subdivision 4a, is amended to read:


Subd. 4a.

Hardship extension pending documentation.

If the documentation
needed to determine if a participant is eligible for a hardship extension under subdivision 2
or 3 is not available by the 60th participant's last month under section 256J.42, subdivision
1
, the county agency may extend the participant pending receipt of the documentation if
the county believes the participant is likely to qualify for a hardship extension and the
participant is cooperating with efforts to obtain the documentation. If the participant
is found to be not eligible for an extension, the participant may be responsible for an
overpayment.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 14.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 256J.425, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Accrual of certain exempt months.

(a) Participants who are not eligible
for assistance under a hardship extension under this section shall be eligible for a hardship
extension for a period of time equal to the number of months that were counted toward
the 60-month time limit under section 256J.42, subdivision 1, while the participant was a
caregiver with a child or an adult in the household who meets the disability or medical
criteria for home care services under section 256B.0651, subdivision 1, paragraph (c), or a
home and community-based waiver services program under chapter 256B, or meets the
criteria for severe emotional disturbance under section 245.4871, subdivision 6, or for
serious and persistent mental illness under section 245.462, subdivision 20, paragraph (c),
and who was subject to the requirements in section 256J.561, subdivision 2.

(b) A participant who received MFIP assistance that counted toward the 60-month
time limit while the participant met the state time limit exemption criteria under section
256J.42, subdivision 4 or 5, is eligible for assistance under a hardship extension for a
period of time equal to the number of months that were counted toward the 60-month
time limit while the participant met the state time limit exemption criteria under section
256J.42, subdivision 4 or 5.

(c) After the accrued months have been exhausted, the county agency must
determine if the assistance unit is eligible for an extension under another extension
category in subdivision 2, 3, or 4.

(d) At the time of the case review, a county agency must explain to the participant
the basis for receiving a hardship extension based on the accrual of exempt months.
The participant must provide documentation necessary to enable the county agency to
determine whether the participant is eligible to receive a hardship extension based on the
accrual of exempt months or authorize a county agency to verify the information.

(e) While receiving extended MFIP assistance under this subdivision, a participant
is subject to the MFIP policies that apply to participants during the first 60 unextended
months of MFIP, unless the participant is a member of a two-parent family in which one
parent is extended under subdivision 3 or 4. For two-parent families in which one parent
is extended under subdivision 3 or 4, the sanction provisions in subdivision 6 shall apply.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 15.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 256J.425, subdivision 6, is amended to read:


Subd. 6.

Sanctions for extended cases.

(a) If one or both participants in an
assistance unit receiving assistance under subdivision 3 or 4 are not in compliance with
the employment and training service requirements in sections 256J.521 to 256J.57,
the sanctions under this subdivision apply. For a first occurrence of noncompliance,
an assistance unit must be sanctioned under section 256J.46, subdivision 1, paragraph
(c), clause (1). For a second or third occurrence of noncompliance, the assistance unit
must be sanctioned under section 256J.46, subdivision 1, paragraph (c), clause (2). For a
fourth occurrence of noncompliance, the assistance unit is disqualified from MFIP. If a
participant is determined to be out of compliance, the participant may claim a good cause
exception under section 256J.57.

(b) If both participants in a two-parent assistance unit are out of compliance at the
same time, it is considered one occurrence of noncompliance.

(c) When a parent in an extended two-parent assistance unit who has not used 60
36
months of assistance is out of compliance with the employment and training service
requirements in sections 256J.521 to 256J.57, sanctions must be applied as specified in
clauses (1) and (2).

(1) If the assistance unit is receiving assistance under subdivision 3 or 4, the
assistance unit is subject to the sanction policy in this subdivision.

(2) If the assistance unit is receiving assistance under subdivision 2, the assistance
unit is subject to the sanction policy in section 256J.46.

(d) If a two-parent assistance unit is extended under subdivision 3 or 4, and a parent
who has not reached the 60-month time limit under section 256J.42, subdivision 1, is
out of compliance with the employment and training services requirements in sections
256J.521 to 256J.57 when the case is extended, the sanction in the 61st month after the
last
month of the time limit under section 256J.42, subdivision 1, is considered the first
sanction for the purposes of applying the sanctions in this subdivision, except that the
sanction amount shall be 30 percent.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 16.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 256J.45, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

General information.

The MFIP orientation must consist of a presentation
that informs caregivers of:

(1) the necessity to obtain immediate employment;

(2) the work incentives under MFIP, including the availability of the federal earned
income tax credit and the Minnesota working family tax credit;

(3) the requirement to comply with the employment plan and other requirements
of the employment and training services component of MFIP, including a description
of the range of work and training activities that are allowable under MFIP to meet the
individual needs of participants;

(4) the consequences for failing to comply with the employment plan and other
program requirements, and that the county agency may not impose a sanction when failure
to comply is due to the unavailability of child care or other circumstances where the
participant has good cause under subdivision 3;

(5) the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of participants;

(6) the types and locations of child care services available through the county agency;

(7) the availability and the benefits of the early childhood health and developmental
screening under sections 121A.16 to 121A.19; 123B.02, subdivision 16; and 123B.10;

(8) the caregiver's eligibility for transition year child care assistance under section
119B.05;

(9) the availability of all health care programs, including transitional medical
assistance;

(10) the caregiver's option to choose an employment and training provider and
information about each provider, including but not limited to, services offered, program
components, job placement rates, job placement wages, and job retention rates;

(11) the caregiver's option to request approval of an education and training plan
according to section 256J.53;

(12) the work study programs available under the higher education system; and

(13) information about the 60-month time limit exemptions under the family violence
waiver and referral information about shelters and programs for victims of family violence.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 17.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 256J.46, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Participants not complying with program requirements.

(a)
A participant who fails without good cause under section 256J.57 to comply with the
requirements of this chapter, and who is not subject to a sanction under subdivision 2,
shall be subject to a sanction as provided in this subdivision. Prior to the imposition of
a sanction, a county agency shall provide a notice of intent to sanction under section
256J.57, subdivision 2, and, when applicable, a notice of adverse action as provided
in section 256J.31.

(b) A sanction under this subdivision becomes effective the month following the
month in which a required notice is given. A sanction must not be imposed when a
participant comes into compliance with the requirements for orientation under section
256J.45 prior to the effective date of the sanction. A sanction must not be imposed
when a participant comes into compliance with the requirements for employment and
training services under sections 256J.515 to 256J.57 ten days prior to the effective date
of the sanction. For purposes of this subdivision, each month that a participant fails to
comply with a requirement of this chapter shall be considered a separate occurrence of
noncompliance. If both participants in a two-parent assistance unit are out of compliance
at the same time, it is considered one occurrence of noncompliance.

(c) Sanctions for noncompliance shall be imposed as follows:

(1) For the first occurrence of noncompliance by a participant in an assistance unit,
the assistance unit's grant shall be reduced by ten percent of the MFIP standard of need
for an assistance unit of the same size with the residual grant paid to the participant. The
reduction in the grant amount must be in effect for a minimum of one month and shall be
removed in the month following the month that the participant returns to compliance.

(2) For a second, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth occurrence of noncompliance by a
participant in an assistance unit, the assistance unit's shelter costs shall be vendor paid
up to the amount of the cash portion of the MFIP grant for which the assistance unit is
eligible. At county option, the assistance unit's utilities may also be vendor paid up to
the amount of the cash portion of the MFIP grant remaining after vendor payment of the
assistance unit's shelter costs. The residual amount of the grant after vendor payment, if
any, must be reduced by an amount equal to 30 percent of the MFIP standard of need for an
assistance unit of the same size before the residual grant is paid to the assistance unit. The
reduction in the grant amount must be in effect for a minimum of one month and shall be
removed in the month following the month that the participant in a one-parent assistance
unit returns to compliance. In a two-parent assistance unit, the grant reduction must
be in effect for a minimum of one month and shall be removed in the month following
the month both participants return to compliance. The vendor payment of shelter costs
and, if applicable, utilities shall be removed six months after the month in which the
participant or participants return to compliance. If an assistance unit is sanctioned under
this clause, the participant's case file must be reviewed to determine if the employment
plan is still appropriate.

(d) For a seventh third occurrence of noncompliance by a participant in an assistance
unit, or when the participants in a two-parent assistance unit have a total of seven three
occurrences of noncompliance, the county agency shall close the MFIP assistance unit's
financial assistance case, both the cash and food portions, and redetermine the family's
continued eligibility for food support payments. The MFIP case must remain closed for a
minimum of one full month. Before the case is closed, the county agency must review
the participant's case to determine if the employment plan is still appropriate and attempt
to meet with the participant face-to-face. The participant may bring an advocate to the
face-to-face meeting. If a face-to-face meeting is not conducted, the county agency must
send the participant a written notice that includes the information required under clause (1).

(1) During the face-to-face meeting, the county agency must:

(i) determine whether the continued noncompliance can be explained and mitigated
by providing a needed preemployment activity, as defined in section 256J.49, subdivision
13
, clause (9);

(ii) determine whether the participant qualifies for a good cause exception under
section 256J.57, or if the sanction is for noncooperation with child support requirements,
determine if the participant qualifies for a good cause exemption under section 256.741,
subdivision 10
;

(iii) determine whether the work activities in the employment plan are appropriate
based on the criteria in section 256J.521, subdivision 2 or 3;

(iv) determine whether the participant qualifies for the family violence waiver;

(v) inform the participant of the participant's sanction status and explain the
consequences of continuing noncompliance;

(vi) identify other resources that may be available to the participant to meet the
needs of the family; and

(vii) inform the participant of the right to appeal under section 256J.40.

(2) If the lack of an identified activity or service can explain the noncompliance, the
county must work with the participant to provide the identified activity.

(3) The grant must be restored to the full amount for which the assistance unit is
eligible retroactively to the first day of the month in which the participant was found to
lack preemployment activities or to qualify for a family violence waiver or for a good
cause exemption under section 256.741, subdivision 10, or 256J.57.

(e) For the purpose of applying sanctions under this section, only occurrences of
noncompliance that occur after July 1, 2003 2012, shall be considered. If the participant
is in 30 percent sanction in the month this section takes effect, that month counts as the
first occurrence for purposes of applying the sanctions under this section, but the sanction
shall remain at 30 percent for that month.

(f) An assistance unit whose case is closed under paragraph (d) or (g), may
reapply for MFIP and shall be eligible if the participant complies with MFIP program
requirements and demonstrates compliance for up to one month. No assistance shall be
paid during this period.

(g) An assistance unit whose case has been closed for noncompliance, that reapplies
under paragraph (f), is subject to sanction under paragraph (c), clause (2), for a first
occurrence of noncompliance. Any subsequent occurrence of noncompliance shall result
in case closure under paragraph (d).

Sec. 18.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 256J.50, subdivision 6, is amended to read:


Subd. 6.

Explanatory materials required.

The county must:

(1) explain to applicants and recipients and provide explanatory materials regarding
the relationship between the 60-month time limit under section 256J.42, subdivision 1, on
assistance funded with TANF dollars and the receipt of various benefits, including cash
assistance, food stamps or food support, medical assistance, and child care assistance; and

(2) provide assistance to applicants and recipients to enable them to minimize the
use of their 60 allowable months of TANF-funded assistance.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 19.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 256J.50, subdivision 10, is amended to read:


Subd. 10.

Required notification to victims of family violence.

(a) County
agencies and their contractors must provide universal notification to all applicants and
recipients of MFIP that:

(1) referrals to counseling and supportive services are available for victims of family
violence;

(2) nonpermanent resident battered individuals married to United States citizens or
permanent residents may be eligible to petition for permanent residency under the federal
Violence Against Women Act, and that referrals to appropriate legal services are available;

(3) victims of family violence are exempt from the 60-month limit under section
256J.42, subdivision 1,
on assistance if they are complying with an employment plan
under section 256J.521, subdivision 3; and

(4) victims of family violence may choose to have regular work requirements waived
while the individual is complying with an employment plan under section 256J.521,
subdivision 3
.

(b) If an employment plan under section 256J.521, subdivision 3, is denied, the
county or a job counselor must provide reasons why the plan is not approved and document
how the denial of the plan does not interfere with the safety of the participant or children.

Notification must be in writing and orally at the time of application and
recertification, when the individual is referred to the title IV-D child support agency, and
at the beginning of any job training or work placement assistance program.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 20.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 256J.575, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Eligibility.

(a) The following MFIP participants are eligible for the
services under this section:

(1) a participant who meets the requirements for or has been granted a hardship
extension under section 256J.425, subdivision 2 or 3, except that it is not necessary for the
participant to have reached or be approaching 60 months of eligibility the time limit under
section 256J.42, subdivision 1,
for this section to apply;

(2) a participant who is applying for Supplemental Security Income or Social
Security disability insurance;

(3) a participant who is a noncitizen who has been in the United States for 12 or
fewer months; and

(4) a participant who is age 60 or older.

(b) Families must meet all other eligibility requirements for MFIP established in
this chapter. Families are eligible for financial assistance to the same extent as if they
were participating in MFIP.

(c) A participant under paragraph (a), clause (3), must be provided with English as a
second language opportunities and skills training for up to 12 months. After 12 months,
the case manager and participant must determine whether the participant should continue
with English as a second language classes or skills training, or both, and continue to
receive family stabilization services.

(d) If a county agency or employment services provider has information that an
MFIP participant may meet the eligibility criteria set forth in this subdivision, the county
agency or employment services provider must assist the participant in obtaining the
documentation necessary to determine eligibility.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 21.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 256J.621, is amended to read:


256J.621 WORK PARTICIPATION CASH BENEFITS.

(a) Effective October 1, 2009, upon exiting the diversionary work program (DWP)
or upon terminating the Minnesota family investment program with earnings, a participant
who is employed may be eligible for work participation cash benefits of $25 per month
to assist in meeting the family's basic needs as the participant continues to move toward
self-sufficiency.

(b) To be eligible for work participation cash benefits, the participant shall not
receive MFIP or diversionary work program assistance during the month and the
participant or participants must meet the following work requirements:

(1) if the participant is a single caregiver and has a child under six years of age, the
participant must be employed at least 87 hours per month;

(2) if the participant is a single caregiver and does not have a child under six years of
age, the participant must be employed at least 130 hours per month; or

(3) if the household is a two-parent family, at least one of the parents must be
employed an average of at least 130 hours per month.

Whenever a participant exits the diversionary work program or is terminated from
MFIP and meets the other criteria in this section, work participation cash benefits are
available for up to 24 consecutive months.

(c) Expenditures on the program are maintenance of effort state funds under
a separate state program for participants under paragraph (b), clauses (1) and (2).
Expenditures for participants under paragraph (b), clause (3), are nonmaintenance of
effort funds. Months in which a participant receives work participation cash benefits
under this section do not count toward the participant's MFIP 60-month time limit under
section 256J.42, subdivision 1
.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 22.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 256J.626, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Allowable expenditures.

(a) The commissioner must restrict expenditures
under the consolidated fund to benefits and services allowed under title IV-A of the federal
Social Security Act. Allowable expenditures under the consolidated fund may include, but
are not limited to:

(1) short-term, nonrecurring shelter and utility needs that are excluded from the
definition of assistance under Code of Federal Regulations, title 45, section 260.31, for
families who meet the residency requirement in section 256J.12, subdivisions 1 and 1a.
Payments under this subdivision are not considered TANF cash assistance and are not
counted towards toward the 60-month time limit under section 256J.42, subdivision 1;

(2) transportation needed to obtain or retain employment or to participate in other
approved work activities or activities under a family stabilization plan;

(3) direct and administrative costs of staff to deliver employment services for
MFIP, the diversionary work program, or family stabilization services; to administer
financial assistance; and to provide specialized services intended to assist hard-to-employ
participants to transition to work or transition from family stabilization services to MFIP;

(4) costs of education and training including functional work literacy and English as
a second language;

(5) cost of work supports including tools, clothing, boots, telephone service, and
other work-related expenses;

(6) county administrative expenses as defined in Code of Federal Regulations, title
45, section 260(b);

(7) services to parenting and pregnant teens;

(8) supported work;

(9) wage subsidies;

(10) child care needed for MFIP, the diversionary work program, or family
stabilization services participants to participate in social services;

(11) child care to ensure that families leaving MFIP or diversionary work program
will continue to receive child care assistance from the time the family no longer qualifies
for transition year child care until an opening occurs under the basic sliding fee child
care program;

(12) services to help noncustodial parents who live in Minnesota and have minor
children receiving MFIP or DWP assistance, but do not live in the same household as the
child, obtain or retain employment; and

(13) services to help families participating in family stabilization services achieve
the greatest possible degree of self-sufficiency.

(b) Administrative costs that are not matched with county funds as provided in
subdivision 8 may not exceed 7.5 percent of a county's or 15 percent of a tribe's allocation
under this section. The commissioner shall define administrative costs for purposes of
this subdivision.

(c) The commissioner may waive the cap on administrative costs for a county or tribe
that elects to provide an approved supported employment, unpaid work, or community
work experience program for a major segment of the county's or tribe's MFIP population.
The county or tribe must apply for the waiver on forms provided by the commissioner. In
no case shall total administrative costs exceed the TANF limits.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 23.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 256J.751, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Monthly county caseload report.

The commissioner shall report
monthly to each county the following caseload information:

(1) total number of cases receiving MFIP, and subtotals of cases with one eligible
parent, two eligible parents, and an eligible caregiver who is not a parent;

(2) total number of child only assistance cases;

(3) total number of eligible adults and children receiving an MFIP grant, and
subtotals for cases with one eligible parent, two eligible parents, an eligible caregiver
who is not a parent, and child only cases;

(4) number of cases with an exemption from the 60-month time limit under section
256J.42, subdivision 1,
based on a family violence waiver;

(5) number of MFIP cases with work hours, and subtotals for cases with one eligible
parent, two eligible parents, and an eligible caregiver who is not a parent;

(6) number of employed MFIP cases, and subtotals for cases with one eligible
parent, two eligible parents, and an eligible caregiver who is not a parent;

(7) average monthly gross earnings, and averages for subgroups of cases with one
eligible parent, two eligible parents, and an eligible caregiver who is not a parent;

(8) number of employed cases receiving only the food portion of assistance;

(9) number of parents or caregivers exempt from work activity requirements, with
subtotals for each exemption type; and

(10) number of cases with a sanction, with subtotals by level of sanction for cases
with one eligible parent, two eligible parents, and an eligible caregiver who is not a parent.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2012.

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700 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 ♦ Phone: (651) 296-2868 ♦ TTY: 1-800-627-3529 ♦ Fax: (651) 296-0569