Truly Agreed, 2016

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CCS HCS SB 607, 2016    (Amended Section - Proposed Language)

208.952. 1. There is hereby established a permanent "Joint Committee on Public Assistance". The committee shall have the following purposes:
     (1) Studying, monitoring, and reviewing the efficacy of the public assistance programs within the state;
     (2) Determining the level and adequacy of resources needed
for the public assistance programs within the state; and
     (3) Developing recommendations to the general assembly on the public assistance programs within the state and on promoting independence from safety net programs among participants as may be appropriate.
The committee shall receive and obtain information from the departments of social services, mental health, health and senior services, and elementary and secondary education, and any other department as applicable, regarding the public assistance programs within the state including, but not limited to, MO HealthNet, the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP), and temporary assistance for needy families (TANF). Such information shall include projected enrollment growth, budgetary matters, trends in childhood poverty and hunger, and any other information deemed to be relevant to the committee's purpose.
     2. The directors of the department of social services, mental health, and health and senior services shall each submit an annual written report to the committee providing data and statistical information regarding the caseloads of the department's employees involved in the administration of public assistance programs.
     3. The committee shall consist of ten members:
     (1) The chair and the ranking minority member of the house of representatives committee on the budget;
     (2) The chair and the ranking minority member of the senate committee on appropriations ;
     (3) The chair and the ranking minority member of the standing house of representatives committee designated to consider public assistance legislation and matters;
     (4) The chair and the ranking minority member of the standing
senate committee designated to consider public assistance legislation and matters;
     (5) A representative chosen by the speaker of the house of representatives; and
     (6) A senator chosen by the president pro
tempore of the senate.
No more than four members from each chamber shall be of the same political party.
     4. A chair of the committee shall be selected by the members of the committee.
     5. The committee shall meet at least twice a year. A portion of the meeting shall be set aside for the purpose of receiving public testimony. The committee shall seek recommendations from social, economic, and public assistance experts on ways to improve the effectiveness of public assistance programs, to improve program efficiency and reduce costs, and to promote self-sufficiency among public assistance recipients as may be appropriate.
     
     6. The committee is authorized to hire staff and enter into employment contracts including, but not limited to, an executive director to conduct special reviews or investigations of the public assistance programs within the state in order to assist the committee with its duties. Staff appointments shall be approved by the president pro tempore of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives. The compensation of committee staff and the expenses of the committee shall be paid from the joint contingent fund or jointly from the senate and house of representatives contingent funds until an appropriation is made therefor.
     7. The committee shall annually conduct a rolling five-year forecast of the public assistance programs within the state and make recommendations in a report to the general assembly by January first each year, beginning in 2018, on anticipated growth of the public assistance programs within the state, needed improvements, anticipated needed appropriations, and suggested strategies on ways to structure the state budget in order to satisfy the future needs of such programs.


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