"This bill will repeal that "sunset" provision, keeping Alaska compliant with federal law, and thus eligible for these greatly needed federal dollars."
- Rep. McGuire
"An Act repealing the termination date of certain provisions that require the reporting of social security numbers and automated data matching with financial institutions for child support enforcement purposes; and providing for an effective date."
House Bill 146 will repeal certain provisions of ch. 54, SLA 2001, regarding the reporting of social security numbers and automated data matching with financial institutions for the purpose of child support enforcement. Without passage and enactment of this bill, the child support enforcement program, and related programs, are in danger of losing substantial federal financial participation. That loss would negatively affect Alaska's children and the state as a whole.
The federal government provides millions of dollars to help finance Alaska's child support enforcement program and, through a block grant under the federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, to help finance the state's Alaska Temporary Assistance Program (ATAP). Many Alaska children depend on these programs to meet their basic needs for feed, shelter, clothing, and other necessities. The child support enforcement program also reduces reliance on state assistance by assuring that Alaska's children receive the support that a court or administrative agency ordered their parents to pay.
In 1996, federal welfare reform legislation was enacted (the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996). That Act was designed to reduce dependence on welfare programs. To achieve this goal, the federal Act imposed numerous additional requirements for state child support enforcement programs. Federal financial participation in this state's child support enforcement and ATAP programs is dependent on compliance with these federal requirements.
In 1997 and 1998, ch. 87, SLA 1997, and ch. 132, SLA 1998, were enacted to meet those federal requirements. However, in 2001, legislation was enacted that imposed "sunset" provisions on two sets of provisions in the 1997 and 1998 legislation. Under the 2001 Act (ch. 54, SLA 2001), the provisions requiring the reporting of social security numbers and the provisions authorizing financial institution data matches will be repealed as July 1, 2003. This bill will repeal that "sunset" provision, keeping Alaska compliant with federal law, and thus eligible for these greatly needed federal dollars.