SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately.
Purpose: The department is proposing to amend by emergency adoption WAC 388-478-0030 in order to decrease the grant payment standards to disability lifeline (DL) and Alcohol and Drug Addition Treatment and Support Act (ADATSA) recipients effective April 1, 2011.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-478-0030 Payment standard for disability lifeline and ADATSA.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.08.090, 74.04.005, and 74.04.770.
Other Authority: ESHB 1086.
Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that state or federal law or federal rule or a federal deadline for state receipt of federal funds requires immediate adoption of a rule; and that in order to implement the requirements or reductions in appropriations enacted in any budget for fiscal years 2009, 2010, or 2011, which necessitates the need for the immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the fiscal needs or requirements of the agency.
Reasons for this Finding: The department needs to make further reductions to DL in order to achieve a reduction in expenditures required by the supplemental budget, ESHB 1086, signed by Governor Gregoire on February 18, 2011, which imposed an additional $7.9 million reduction in state funding for DL.
Expenditures for the program are anticipated to exceed the funds appropriated by $23.1 million for the current fiscal year (which ends June 30, 2011). This shortfall is the result of increased demand for DL benefits, reductions in appropriated funds, and the department's inability to implement benefit month time limits due to the temporary restraining order signed by United Stated [States] District Judge Pechman on October 6, 2010. In the last two years, the DL caseload has grown by more than eighteen percent, from 33,171 cases in July 2008 to 39,192 cases in June of this year.
In December 2010:
|•||During December 11, 2010, special session, HB 3225 approved by legislature modified appropriations for the 2009-11 operating budget. The state general fund appropriations were reduced by $490.4 million, while the total budgeted amount was reduced by $336.5 million. The department appropriations included a reduction of $856,000 GF-S for the remaining of SFY 2011.|
|•||December 15, 2010, Governor Gregoire announced proposed 2011-2013 budget cuts needed to close an additional $4.6 billion projected shortfall in the next state fiscal biennium, and proposed eliminating or restructuring many state programs, agencies, boards and commissions. "We face unprecedented times," the governor said. "Few alive today have witnessed a recession of this magnitude and length." See the governor's proposed budget for SFY 2011-2013 at this link http://www.governor.wa.gov/priorities/budget/press_packet.pdf.|
The department implemented a twenty-one percent ratable reduction to DL grants on January 1, 2011, to address the cost savings lost by the inability to implement benefit time limits and to comply with the across-the-board reductions of state general fund allotments by 6.287 percent ordered by the governor.
The timing of the proposed budget reductions will lessen the adverse impact on clients. If immediate budget reductions are not realized, the department will have to make additional cuts in the future to DL assistance programs to stay within budget. Additional cuts could include greater reduction in grants than those currently proposed, or eliminating benefits rather than reducing them. The department is making reductions to begin to address the reduction in appropriations and allow the legislature additional time the [to] supplement the DL budget to avoid larger grant reductions that would have a more detrimental effect on vulnerable adults in need.
The department is concurrently working on the permanent rule-making process.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: March 14, 2011.
Katherine I. Vasquez
(1) The payment standards for disability lifeline (DL) and Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment and Support Act (ADATSA) program assistance units with obligations to pay shelter costs are:
|Assistance Unit Size||Payment Standard|
(2) The payment standards for DL and ADATSA assistance units with shelter provided at no cost are:
|Assistance Unit Size||Payment Standard|
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.08.090, 74.04.005, and 74.04.770. 10-24-070, § 388-478-0030, filed 11/30/10, effective 1/1/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, § 388-478-0030, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]