senate Bill S1419

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Allows for baccalaureate and advanced degree programs and certain educational and training activity to count towards the work participation rate

download bill text pdf

Sponsored By

Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

do you support this bill?

Actions

view actions (2)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to social services
Jan 09, 2013 referred to social services

Co-Sponsors

view additional co-sponsors

S1419 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A3473
Current Committee:
Senate Social Services
Law Section:
Social Services Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§335-a, 336, 336-a & 131-n, Soc Serv L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S2323, A2471
2009-2010: S5846B, A1827A

S1419 - Bill Texts

view summary

Allows for baccalaureate and advanced degree programs to count towards the work participation rate and further provides for certain educational and training activity to count towards the satisfaction of the participant's work activity requirement.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S1419

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the social services law, in relation to clarifying the
definitions of vocational educational training and educational
activities

PURPOSE OF THE BILL:
The bill would amend the social Services Law (SSL) to allow attendance
in up to four years of post-secondary education to count toward, an
individual's public assistance employment requirement where the
attendance is consistent with the individual's employment and
assessment plan goals, and make corresponding changes to income and
resource exemptions for monies set aside for paying' for education.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill would amend SSL § 335 (a) to match with the
corresponding law in §335-a.

Sections 2 and 3 of the bill would amend SSL § 336(1) (h) and (1) (i)
to include up to four years of postsecondary education in the
definition of "vocational educational training."

Section 4 of the bill would amend SSL § 336-a(1) to allow for up to
four years of postsecondary education to count as participation for
purposes of an individual's public assistance employment requirement
and provide that all assignments to vocational educational training
and educational activities will be permitted only to the extent that
such an assignments consistent with an individual's assessment and
employment plan.

Section 5 of the bill would amend SSL §131-n(1)(c), which provides
that up to $1,400 maybe kept in a separate bank account and deemed
exempt and disregarded in calculating the amount of public assistance
benefits where the funds are to be used for payment of tuition at a
two-year accredited post-secondary institution, to add an accredited
four-year institution.

Section 6 of the bill would provide for an immediate effective date,
provided that the amendments to paragraph (c) of subdivision 1 of
section 131-n of the social services law made by section five of this
act shall not affect the expiration of such section and shall be
deemed to expire therewith.

EXISTING LAW:
SSL §§ 336 and 336-a currently provide that a public assistance
recipient may be assigned no more than two years of post-secondary
education as part of public assistance employment activities.

SSL § 131-n(1)(c) currently provides that up to $1,400 may be kept in
a separate bank account and deemed exempt and disregarded in
calculating the amount of public assistance benefits where the funds
are to be used for payment of tuition at a two year accredited
post-secondary institution.


PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
S.5846-B; Died in Finance
2011-2012: S.2323 - Died in Committee

STATEMENT IN SUPPORT:
This bill would permit social service districts to exercise the
flexibility permitted by recent changes to the federal regulations in
the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF). The
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act
(PRWORA) of 1996 required states to meet certain work participation
rates for recipients o.f assistance funded by the TANF program or
face severe fiscal penalties. The federal law and implementing
regulations specified which kinds of work activities counted towards
meeting the work participation rate. Participation in a four year
college program was not a countable activity. State law, SSL §330 et
seq., mirrored the federal requirements in imposing work obligations
on public assistance recipients and not permitting participation in a
four-year college program to count towards that requirement.

Changes in federal regulations in response to the federal Deficit
Reduction Act of 2005 (Pub.L. 109-171) now permit states to count
four-year college attendance by recipients toward the work
participation requirements in certain circumstances. The changes
proposed by this bill would permit New York to take advantage of this
federal change which would, benefit both recipients and social
services districts. While a four-year college degree may not be a
viable option for many public assistance recipients, for whom there
exists an array of services and programs, a four-year diploma is a
realistic goal for some recipients.

For those recipients, a college diploma is a proven way out of poverty
and an important tool in staying off assistance. This is particularly
true for recipients who were already attending college when the
current spell of neediness occurred. This would alleviate concerns
that a recipient would have to drop out of college in order to
perform his or her public assistance work requirements to maintain
necessary assistance.

The bill will also benefit social services districts. It will give
them one more option in fashioning a program for public assistance
recipients. It will also help them meet work participation
requirements. The bill does not require districts to approve every
recipient for attendance in a four-year college. Instead, it permits
a district to consider such activity for its local employment plan
and to make individual assignments consistent with its evaluation and
assessment of employability.

Consistent with the general purpose of permitting four-year colleges
as a permissible work activity, the bill would amend section SSL
131-n, which specifies income and resources an applicant or recipient
of public assistance may have and still be eligible for assistance.
Currently, an applicant or recipient can maintain up to $1,400 in a
bank account for the purpose of paying for a two-year secondary
education. Without changing the amount, this bill would permit a
person to maintain an account for a four year secondary education.
The bill also provides that any assignment to any vocational
educational training or educational activity will be permitted only


to the extent that it is consistent with the individual's assessment
and employment plan goals. This provision reflects the goals of the
assessments and employability plans as set forth in SSL § 335 and
§ 335-a and the State's policy of meeting the educational needs of
public assistance recipients in order to enhance their employment
opportunities.

BUDGET IMPLICATIONS:
It is anticipated that this bill would have a minimal fiscal impact.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This bill would become effective immediately; provided, however, that
the amendments to paragraph (c) of subdivision 1 of section 131-n of
the social services law made by section five of this act shall not
affect the expiration of such section and shall be deemed to expire
therewith.

view full text
download pdf
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1419

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced   by   Sens.   MONTGOMERY,   ADAMS,   AVELLA,   DIAZ,  DILAN,
  HASSELL-THOMPSON, KRUEGER, PARKER, PERKINS, SAMPSON, SAVINO, SQUADRON,
  STAVISKY, STEWART-COUSINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and  when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Social Services

AN  ACT  to amend the social services law, in relation to clarifying the
  definitions of vocational educational training and educational  activ-
  ities

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1.  Paragraph (a) of subdivision 2 of  section  335-a  of  the
social  services law, as amended by section 148 of part B of chapter 436
of the laws of 1997, is amended to read as follows:
  (a) Based on the  assessment  required  by  subdivision  one  of  this
section,  the social services official, in consultation with the partic-
ipant, shall develop an employability plan in writing  which  shall  set
forth the services that will be provided by the social services official
and  the  activities  in which the participant will take part, including
supportive services and shall set  forth  an  employment  goal  for  the
participant.  [A local social services district may assign recipients in
households without dependent children to any activity.]  TO  THE  EXTENT
POSSIBLE,  THE  EMPLOYABILITY  PLAN SHALL REFLECT THE PREFERENCES OF THE
PARTICIPANT IN A MANNER THAT IS  CONSISTENT  WITH  THE  RESULTS  OF  THE
PARTICIPANT'S ASSESSMENT AND THE NEED OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT TO
MEET FEDERAL AND STATE WORK ACTIVITY PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENTS, AND, IF
SUCH  PREFERENCES CANNOT BE ACCOMMODATED, THE REASONS SHALL BE SPECIFIED
IN THE EMPLOYABILITY PLAN. The employability plan also shall  take  into
account  the  participant's supportive services needs, available program
resources, local employment opportunities, and where the social services
official is considering an  educational  activity  assignment  for  such
participant,  the  participant's liability for student loans, grants and

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00782-01-3

S. 1419                             2

scholarship awards.  The employability plan shall be  explained  to  the
participant. Any change to the participant's employability plan required
by  the social services official shall be discussed with the participant
and shall be documented in writing.
  S  2.  Paragraph  (h)  of  subdivision  1 of section 336 of the social
services law, as amended by chapter 214 of the laws of 1998, is  amended
to read as follows:
  (h)  vocational  educational  training as time limited by federal law.
For the purposes of this title, "vocational educational training"  shall
include  but not be limited to organized educational programs offering a
sequence of courses which are directly related  to  the  preparation  of
individuals  for current or emerging occupations [requiring other than a
baccalaureate or advanced degree] INCLUDING PROGRAMS THAT REQUIRE UP  TO
FOUR  YEARS  OF  POST-SECONDARY  EDUCATION.  Such programs shall include
competency-based applied learning which contributes to  an  individual's
academic  knowledge, higher-order reasoning, and problem-solving skills,
work attitudes, general employability skills, and the  occupational-spe-
cific  skills  necessary  for  economic  independence.  Such  term  also
includes applied technology education;
  S 3. Paragraph (i) of subdivision 1  of  section  336  of  the  social
services  law,  as  added by section 148 of part B of chapter 436 of the
laws of 1997, is amended to read as follows:
  (i) job skills training directly related to employment.    JOB  SKILLS
TRAINING DIRECTLY RELATED TO EMPLOYMENT SHALL INCLUDE BUT NOT BE LIMITED
TO  PARTICIPATION IN UP TO FOUR YEARS OF POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION TO THE
EXTENT CONSISTENT WITH FEDERAL AND STATE REQUIREMENTS;
  S 4. Subdivision 1 of section 336-a of the  social  services  law,  as
amended  by section 148 of part B of chapter 436 of the laws of 1997, is
amended to read as follows:
  1. Social services districts shall make  available  vocational  educa-
tional  training  and  educational  activities  INCLUDING  PROGRAMS THAT
REQUIRE UP TO FOUR YEARS OF POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION.   Such  activities
may  include but need not be limited to, high school education or educa-
tion designed to prepare a participant for  a  high  school  equivalency
certificate,  basic  and  remedial  education,  AND education in English
proficiency and SHALL INCLUDE no more than a total of [two]  FOUR  years
of  post-secondary  education  (or the part-time equivalent if full-time
study would constitute an undue hardship) [in].  EDUCATIONAL  ACTIVITIES
PURSUANT  TO  THIS  SECTION  MAY  BE  OFFERED  WITH any of the following
providers which meet the performance or assessment standards established
in regulations by the commissioner for  such  providers:    a  community
college,  licensed  trade  school, registered business school, or a two-
year OR FOUR-YEAR college; provided, however, that  such  post-secondary
education must be necessary to the attainment of the participant's indi-
vidual  employment  goal as set forth in the employability plan and such
goal must relate directly to obtaining useful employment in a recognized
occupation.   WHEN MAKING ANY ASSIGNMENT  TO  ANY  EDUCATIONAL  ACTIVITY
PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION, SUCH ASSIGNMENT SHALL BE PERMITTED ONLY TO
THE  EXTENT  THAT  SUCH  ASSIGNMENT  IS CONSISTENT WITH THE INDIVIDUAL'S
ASSESSMENT AND EMPLOYMENT PLAN GOALS IN ACCORDANCE WITH  SECTIONS  THREE
HUNDRED  THIRTY-FIVE  AND  THREE HUNDRED THIRTY-FIVE-A OF THIS TITLE AND
SHALL  REQUIRE  THAT  THE  INDIVIDUAL  MAINTAINS  SATISFACTORY  ACADEMIC
PROGRESS.   FOR   PURPOSES  OF  THIS  PROVISION  "SATISFACTORY  ACADEMIC
PROGRESS" SHALL MEAN SATISFACTORY PROGRESS AS DEFINED IN 20 USC 1091(C).

S. 1419                             3

  S 5. Paragraph (c) of subdivision 1 of section  131-n  of  the  social
services  law, as amended by chapter 373 of the laws of 2003, is amended
to read as follows:
  (c)  an  amount  up to one thousand four hundred dollars in a separate
bank account established by an individual while currently in receipt  of
assistance  for the purpose of paying tuition at a two-year OR FOUR-YEAR
accredited post-secondary educational institution, so long as the  funds
are not used for any other purpose,
  S  6.  This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that
the amendments to paragraph (c) of subdivision 1 of section 131-n of the
social services law made by section five of this act  shall  not  affect
the expiration of such section and shall be deemed to expire therewith.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.