Bill S5743-2013

Provides for the local social services district to notify the office of children and family services when there is a change in the eligibility level

Provides for the local social services district to notify the office of children and family services when there is a proposed change in the financial eligibility level.

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  • Jun 20, 2013: SUBSTITUTED BY A3498A
  • Jun 20, 2013: ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1566
  • Jun 11, 2013: REFERRED TO RULES

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Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5743

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation to notice requirements to families and providers when funding cuts are made

PURPOSE OF BILL:

To afford families the time necessary to plan should they experience a disruption in child care services due to a reduction in financial eligibility in relation to child care subsidies.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1 adds a new subdivision to section 34-a of the social services law, which requires a county social services district to notify the office of children and family services GO days prior to a proposed reduction in the financial eligibility level for childcare assistance or an increase in the parental co-payment. The office would be required to post a notice on their website within 5 days, and must send notice to child care providers, the applicable child care resource and referral agency and the certified employee organization representing said child care providers within 20 days. Child care providers, including the certified employee organization representing the providers, are required to post such notice.

Section 2 of the bill establishes the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

In February 2010, with only 10 days notice, the families of 1500 children in Erie County were notified that their child care subsidies would be terminated because the county was lowering its eligibility levels from 200% to 1253 of the poverty level. This short notice left many families in a compromised situation and required some to leave their jobs and others to remove their children from safe, secure and quality child care with little to no time to arrange satisfactory alternatives. These families experienced undue hardship as a result of this inadequate notice timeframe.

State regulations require that an individual be given 10 days notice of a reduction or discontinuance of social services benefits. That notice provision makes sense if the adverse action is caused by a change in the individual's income or resources. However, it does not make sense when a county adjusts their child care eligibility levels or its co-payment structure.

This bill would require that counties notify the Office of Children and Family Services (0CFS) when the social services district plans to lower eligibility levels or lower its co-payment structure. OCFS would in turn notify all of the providers that it regulates, including legally-exempt caregivers, the state child care resource and referral agency and the applicable local child care resource and referral agency, as well as the certified employee organization representing child care providers, that it is proposing to make such an adjustment. This notice will provide families the time needed to make alternative plans.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:

Minimal

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeeding the date on which it shall become a law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5743 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE June 11, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sens. GRISANTI, MONTGOMERY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to notice require- ments to families and providers when funding cuts are made THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 34-a of the social services law is amended by adding a new subdivision 9 to read as follows: 9. (A) IN ORDER TO ALLOW FAMILIES TIME TO PROPERLY PLAN FOR THEIR FINANCIAL NEEDS AND FOR THE SAFETY, SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL NEEDS OF THEIR CHILDREN, IN THE EVENT THAT A SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT PROPOSES TO AMEND ITS CONSOLIDATED SERVICES PLAN, SUBMITS AN ANNUAL PLAN UPDATE, OR TAKES ANY OTHER ACTION THAT WOULD LOWER THE FINANCIAL ELIGIBILITY LEVEL FOR CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE SO THAT FAMILIES RECEIVING SUBSIDIES WOULD LOSE ELIGIBILITY THEREFORE, THE LOCAL SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT SHALL NOTIFY THE OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES OF THAT FACT AT LEAST SIXTY DAYS BEFORE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE PROPOSED CHANGE IN ELIGIBILITY LEVEL. THE OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES SHALL POST NOTICE OF THE PROPOSED CHANGE ON THE OFFICE'S WEBSITE WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF RECEIV- ING SAID NOTICE, AND WITHIN TWENTY DAYS OF RECEIVING SAID NOTICE SHALL NOTIFY ALL LICENSED, REGISTERED AND LEGALLY-EXEMPT CHILD CARE PROVIDERS IN THE AFFECTED DISTRICT, THE STATE CHILD CARE RESOURCE AND REFERRAL AGENCY, THE LOCAL CHILD CARE RESOURCE AND REFERRAL AGENCY, AS WELL AS ALL CERTIFIED EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATIONS REPRESENTING LICENSED, REGISTERED AND LEGALLY-EXEMPT CHILD CARE PROVIDERS IN THE AFFECTED DISTRICT. SAID NOTICE MAY BE MADE BY E-MAIL OR REGULAR MAIL IN THE FORM OF A LETTER OR POSTCARD, AND SHALL INFORM THE RECIPIENT OF THE DATE OF THE PROPOSED CHANGE AND A DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED CHANGE. THE NOTICE SHALL ALSO REQUEST THAT CHILD CARE PROVIDERS THAT RECEIVE THE NOTICE IMMEDIATELY POST THE NOTICE IN A PLACE WHICH IS LIKELY TO BE SEEN BY THE FAMILIES WHO HAVE CHILDREN IN THE PROVIDER'S CARE AND THAT CERTIFIED EMPLOYEE
ORGANIZATIONS REPRESENTING LICENSED, REGISTERED AND LEGALLY-EXEMPT CHILD CARE PROVIDERS IN THE AFFECTED DISTRICT POST THE NOTICE ON THEIR OFFI- CIAL WEBSITE. THIS NOTICE SHALL NOT BE CONSIDERED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR ANY NOTICE TO PARENTS WHICH IS REQUIRED BY LAW. (B) IN ORDER TO ALLOW FAMILIES TIME TO PROPERLY PLAN FOR THEIR FINAN- CIAL NEEDS AND FOR THE SAFETY, SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL NEEDS OF THEIR CHIL- DREN, IN THE EVENT THAT A SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT PROPOSES TO AMEND ITS CONSOLIDATED SERVICES PLAN OR TO SUBMIT AN ANNUAL PLAN UPDATE THAT INCREASES THE PARENTAL CO-PAYMENT MULTIPLIER FOR CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE SO THAT FAMILIES RECEIVING SUBSIDIES WOULD PAY AN INCREASED PERCENTAGE OF THEIR INCOME AS A CHILD CARE CO-PAYMENT, THE LOCAL SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT SHALL NOTIFY THE OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES OF THAT FACT AT LEAST SIXTY DAYS BEFORE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE PROPOSED CHANGE IN ELIGIBILITY LEVEL. THE OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES SHALL POST NOTICE OF THE PROPOSED CHANGE ON THE OFFICE'S WEBSITE WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF RECEIVING SAID NOTICE, AND WITHIN TWENTY DAYS OF RECEIVING SAID NOTICE SHALL NOTIFY ALL LICENSED, REGISTERED AND LEGALLY-EXEMPT CHILD CARE PROVIDERS IN THE AFFECTED DISTRICT, THE STATE CHILD CARE RESOURCE AND REFERRAL AGENCY, THE LOCAL CHILD CARE RESOURCE AND REFERRAL AGENCY, AS WELL AS ALL CERTIFIED EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATIONS REPRESENTING LICENSED, REGISTERED AND LEGALLY-EXEMPT CHILD CARE PROVIDERS IN THE AFFECTED DISTRICT. SAID NOTICE MAY BE MADE BY E-MAIL OR REGULAR MAIL IN THE FORM OF A LETTER OR POSTCARD, AND SHALL INFORM THE RECIPIENT OF THE DATE OF THE PROPOSED CHANGE AND A DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED CHANGE. THE NOTICE SHALL ALSO REQUEST THAT CHILD CARE PROVIDERS THAT RECEIVE THE NOTICE IMMEDIATELY POST THE NOTICE IN A PLACE WHICH IS LIKELY TO BE SEEN BY THE FAMILIES WHO HAVE CHILDREN IN THE PROVIDER'S CARE AND THAT CERTI- FIED EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATIONS REPRESENTING LICENSED, REGISTERED AND LEGAL- LY-EXEMPT CHILD CARE PROVIDERS IN THE AFFECTED DISTRICT POST THE NOTICE ON THEIR OFFICIAL WEBSITE. THIS NOTICE SHALL NOT BE CONSIDERED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR ANY NOTICE TO PARENTS WHICH IS REQUIRED BY LAW. S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.

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