TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation
to exemption from participation in work activities for applicants or
recipients of public assistance; and providing for the repeal of such
provisions upon expiration thereof
PURPOSE OF THE BILL: The bill would amend the social Services Law
(SSL) to allow a parent or other relative of a child under the age of
one to be exempt from welfare work requirements.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill would amend SSL § 332 (d) to allow for a parent
or other relative of a child up to age two to be exempt from welfare
work requirements for a maximum period of twelve.
EXISTING LAW: SSL § 332 (d) currently provides that a parent or other
relative of a child under one year of age shall not be required to
participate in work activities for a maximum period of twelve months,
only three months of which shall be attributable to any one child,
except as otherwise extended up to the twelve month period by the
social services official to be.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12 Session - S. 5586 - referred to
Social Services, no further action.
STATEMENT IN SUPPORT: New York State has a $55 million early
childhood education budget gap for SFY 2011-12. Across the state,
local districts' children and families are facing the loss of
subsidized child care. New York City announced a cut of 17,000 child
care subsidies. During these difficult economic times, subsidized
early childhood education programs play an especially vital role in
helping families to maintain or find employment. A loss of $55 million
could result in a loss of capacity to serve 6,000 children. These cuts
will continue eroding the capacity and quality of New York State's
early care and education infrastructure for years to come.
This bill would temporarily modify work requirements for welfare
recipients who are single-parent heads of households (SPHH) to
significantly reduce spending on TANF child care subsidies. The
exemption would protect non-TANF child care subsidies from cuts and
allow the working poor to remain in their jobs. This is consistent
with New York's position on helping the working poor and protecting
New York Social Services Law already provides exemptions from welfare
work requirements for individuals caring for an ill or incapacitated
person or in their last month of pregnancy or they themselves are ill
or have a child under 12 months of age, only three months of which is
attributable to any one child, unless extended.
Child care subsidies need to be preserved for children's educational
and social development and to support parents' ability to maintain
their jobs. Hundreds of low-income families across the state have
already lost and will continue to lose critically needed subsidies
that serve as a linchpin in parents' ability to secure and maintain
It is anticipated that this bill would be a cost savings.
The savings reflected below are based on data from OTDA and OCFS.
Please note - this is 2009 data.
If New York allows an exemption up to age two:
* Gross savings if single-parent heads of households (SPHH) with
children under age two are exempted, with full exemptions: $73,724,208
* Savings if SPHH with children under age two are exempted, assuming
40% opting out of the exemption by PA employed households:
These are the numbers used to calculate savings above:
Number of TA recipients receiving childcare 62,929
Families w/ Average
child under annual child
one care costs Gross savings Minus 40%** Net Savings
3,713 7,368.00 27,357,384.00 10,942,953.60 16,414,430.40
Families w/ Average
child under annual child
two care costs Gross savings Minus 40% ** Net Savings
10,006 7,368.00 73,724,208.00 29,489,683.20 44,234,524.80
**(Assumes PA-employed individuals would not receive the exemption or
would opt out)
This is a conservative estimate for several reasons. First, the cost
per slot used ($614 per month) is the average for children under 5 and
infant care is the highest of all child care slots. For example, the
infant rate for center-based care in New York City is $338 per week
($1,453/mo) and $160 per week ($688/mo) in a family day care home.
Additionally, the state of California enacted a similar provision and
estimated a $376.8 million annual savings which was comprised of
$215.3 million in child care savings plus $161.5 million of employment
services savings through the elimination of the connected work program
expenses (e.g. expense of the workfare or soft skills program).
Administrative savings account for about 42% of the total savings
achieved in California. If we assume the same percentage for
administrative savings in New York, we could produce an additional $12
to $33 million in savings depending on which upper age limit is
Following the California budget methodology assumption, we estimated a
full take up rate for those exempted. California legal advocates state
that these assumptions have proven to be correct and almost all
eligible recipients were waived. California achieved this via
implementation by opting eligible in; those not wanting the exemption
would request an 'opt out'.
Analysis of potential impact to the federal welfare participation
rates: In calculating the work rate, the federal Temporary Assistance
for Needy Families (TANF) law allows states to exempt households with
children under age 1. For children under age 2, a state can exempt
families with children over age 1 although the TANF law does not
exclude them in calculating the work participation rate. New York has
met the work participation rate in recent years and its target
participation rate requirement through 2011 is about 35.8%. New York
can avoid affecting its participation rate by creating a "separate
state program" for these newly exempt families. If New York does not
create a separate state program, and in the unlikely event that New
York was not able to meet its participation rate, New York could
correct the noncompliance with a "corrective compliance plan."
Furthermore, the federal penalty may be reduced if the state meets the
definition of a "needy state" -- related to high unemployment or food
stamp caseload growth.
Two final notes: New York State would not experience a back-end loss
in tax revenue for the PA employed population. According to OTDA's
December monthly report, the average gross monthly income for SPHHs
was $842 per month after application of disregards, which equates to
$10,104 per year. Take the following into consideration. New York tax
payers receive a standard deduction, a personal exemption per child
and a household credit. This means that the first $11,500 of a SPHH's
income is exempt from taxes. The population of PA employed individuals
who would qualify for a work-exemption under our proposal mostly earn
too little to have to pay New York State taxes each year.
There is substantial evidence that high quality early childhood
education has great benefit to individual families and society at
large. A 2004 report by Legal Momentum and the MIT Workplace Center,
"Early Childhood Education for All: A Wise Investment," found that
every dollar invested in early childhood programs saves taxpayers $13
in future costs. A few benefits of making high quality programs
available to all children include: reduced costs for remedial
education, increased school performance, and a foundation that sets
young students on the path to earning higher income levels as adults.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately and shall
expire and be deemed repealed on July 31, 2015.