SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately.
Purpose: The department is extending the emergency rule filed as WSR 11-09-029, amending by emergency adoption WAC 388-478-0005 Cash assistance need and payment standards and grant maximum.
The department reduced the cash assistance grant maximum to $726 effective May 1, 2011, by emergency adoption, which affected households with more than five members.
These changes are necessary to comply with the department's appropriation for the 2011-2013 biennium, per RCW 34.05.350 as amended by ESSB [ESHB] 1248 and as documented in the 2011-2013 TANF/WorkFirst spending plan.
The department continues the emergency rule filed as WSR 11-09-029 to allow the department to complete the permanent rule-making process. The department filed a preproposal statement of inquiry on July 6, 2011, as WSR 11-14-115 after the budgetary impacts of the emergency rule were assessed and plans to file a proposed rule making (CR-102) on August 19, 2011.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-478-0005.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08A.100, 74.04.770, and 74.08.090.
Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest; and that in order to implement the requirements or reductions in appropriations enacted in any budget for fiscal year 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013, 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: A second emergency adoption of this rule is required to realize the $3.2 million in budgetary reductions, as documented in the TANF/WorkFirst spending plan for the 2011-2013 biennium. The department must make these changes to comply with the department's appropriation, per RCW 34.05.350 as amended by ESSB [ESHB] 1248.
The department has experienced a budgetary shortfall since October 1, 2010, as a result of increased demand for TANF benefits due to the economic recession. The WorkFirst caseload grew by more than thirty percent, from 51,106 cases in July 2008 to 66,634 cases in June 2010. As of June 2011, the WorkFirst caseload is 58,610 cases, which is still well above the July 2008 levels, despite various program reductions in the past year.
The Governor's Executive Order 10-04 (Ordering
Expenditure Reductions in Allotments of State General Fund
Appropriations), signed on September 13, 2010, found that:
|•||Revenues have fallen short of projections;|
|•||The official state economic and revenue forecast of general fund revenues was less than the official estimate upon which the state's 2009-2011 biennial operating budget and supplemental operating budget were enacted; and|
|•||The anticipated revenues combined with the beginning cash balance of the general fund are insufficient to meet anticipated expenditures from this fund for the remainder of the current fiscal period.|
Continuance of the emergency rule until a permanent rule is in place will lessen the adverse impact on families. If planned budget reductions are not realized, the department will have to make additional cuts in the future to TANF/WorkFirst assistance programs to stay within budget. Additional cuts could include greater reduction in services than those currently proposed, and/or eliminating benefits rather than reducing them. These reductions would have a much greater detrimental effect on vulnerable families with children in need.
The department filed the rule by emergency adoption on April 14, 2011, under WSR 11-09-029 with a May 1, 2011, effective date. A second emergency is required to allow the department to complete the permanent rule-making process. The department filed the CR-101 on July 6, 2011, under WSR 11-14-115 following an assessment of the impacts of the rule and will file the CR-102 on, or shortly after, August 19, 2011.
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 1, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: August 16, 2011.
Katherine I. Vasquez
(2) Payment standards for assistance units in medical institutions and other facilities are based on the need for clothing, personal maintenance, and necessary incidentals (see WAC 388-478-0040 and 388-478-0045).
(3) Need and payment standards for persons and families who do not reside in medical institutions and other facilities are based on their obligation to pay for shelter.
(a) Eligibility and benefit levels for persons and families who meet the requirements in WAC 388-478-0010 are determined using standards for assistance units with an obligation to pay shelter costs.
(b) Eligibility and benefit levels for all other persons and families are determined using standards for assistance units who have shelter provided at no cost.
(c) For recent arrivals to Washington state who apply for temporary assistance for needy families (TANF), see WAC 388-468-0005.
(4) Effective May 1, 2011, the monthly cash assistance
grant for an assistance unit ((
containing eight or more
persons)) cannot exceed (( the grant maximum payment standard
for a family of eight listed in WAC 388-478-0020(1))) seven
hundred and twenty-six dollars.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08A.100, 74.04.770, 74.08.090, and 2008 c 329 § 207 (1)(e). 08-21-134, § 388-478-0005, filed 10/20/08, effective 10/28/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057. 04-05-010, § 388-478-0005, filed 2/6/04, effective 3/8/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, § 388-478-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]