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Substitute House Bill No. 5251

Public Act No. 06-164

AN ACT CONCERNING RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CHILD POVERTY COUNCIL RELATED TO JOB TRAINING AND CHILD WELLNESS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2006) Within available appropriations, the Office of Workforce Competitiveness established pursuant to section 4-124w of the general statutes, may establish a pilot program to provide any eligible individual with a minor dependent access to training in order to obtain skills and credentials necessary to obtain and maintain employment. Such skills and credentials may include, but need not be limited to (1) a high school diploma or its equivalent; (2) an alternative degree; (3) English as a second language training; and (4) vocational training. For purposes of this section, an eligible individual is an individual who would qualify for benefits under the temporary assistance for needy families program pursuant to Title IV-A of the Social Security Act.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2006) The Commissioners of Public Health, Social Services and Mental Health and Addiction Services shall jointly establish a program to inform applicants to the Healthy Start program about the availability of, and eligibility for, services provided by the Nurturing Families Network established pursuant to section 17a-56 of the 2006 supplement to the general statutes.

Sec. 3. Subsection (a) of section 17b-261 of the 2006 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2006):

(a) Medical assistance shall be provided for any otherwise eligible person whose income, including any available support from legally liable relatives and the income of the person's spouse or dependent child, is not more than one hundred forty-three per cent, pending approval of a federal waiver applied for pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, of the benefit amount paid to a person with no income under the temporary family assistance program in the appropriate region of residence and if such person is an institutionalized individual as defined in Section 1917(c) of the Social Security Act, 42 USC 1396p(c), and has not made an assignment or transfer or other disposition of property for less than fair market value for the purpose of establishing eligibility for benefits or assistance under this section. Any such disposition shall be treated in accordance with Section 1917(c) of the Social Security Act, 42 USC 1396p(c). Any disposition of property made on behalf of an applicant or recipient or the spouse of an applicant or recipient by a guardian, conservator, person authorized to make such disposition pursuant to a power of attorney or other person so authorized by law shall be attributed to such applicant, recipient or spouse. A disposition of property ordered by a court shall be evaluated in accordance with the standards applied to any other such disposition for the purpose of determining eligibility. The commissioner shall establish the standards for eligibility for medical assistance at one hundred forty-three per cent of the benefit amount paid to a family unit of equal size with no income under the temporary family assistance program in the appropriate region of residence, pending federal approval, except that the medical assistance program shall provide coverage to persons under the age of nineteen up to one hundred eighty-five per cent of the federal poverty level without an asset limit. Said medical assistance program shall also provide coverage to persons under the age of nineteen and their parents and needy caretaker relatives who qualify for coverage under Section 1931 of the Social Security Act with family income up to one hundred fifty per cent of the federal poverty level without an asset limit, upon the request of such a person or upon a redetermination of eligibility. Such levels shall be based on the regional differences in such benefit amount, if applicable, unless such levels based on regional differences are not in conformance with federal law. Any income in excess of the applicable amounts shall be applied as may be required by said federal law, and assistance shall be granted for the balance of the cost of authorized medical assistance. All contracts entered into on and after July 1, 1997, pursuant to this section shall include provisions for collaboration of managed care organizations with the [Healthy Families Connecticut Program] Nurturing Families Network established pursuant to section 17a-56, as amended. The Commissioner of Social Services shall provide applicants for assistance under this section, at the time of application, with a written statement advising them of (1) the effect of an assignment or transfer or other disposition of property on eligibility for benefits or assistance, and (2) the availability of, and eligibility for, services provided by the Nurturing Families Network established pursuant to section 17a-56, as amended.

Sec. 4. Subsection (a) of section 19a-62a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2006):

(a) (1) Within available appropriations, the Commissioner of Public Health, in consultation with the Commissioner of Social Services, shall establish a pilot program for the early identification and treatment of pediatric asthma. The Commissioner of Public Health shall make grants-in-aid under the pilot program for projects to be established in two municipalities to identify, screen and refer children with asthma for treatment. Such projects shall work cooperatively with providers of maternal and child health, including, but not limited to, local health departments, community health centers, Healthy Start and [Healthy Families] the Nurturing Families Network established pursuant to section 17a-56, as amended, to target children who were born prematurely, premature infants or pregnant women at risk of premature delivery for early identification of asthma. Such projects may utilize private resources through public-private partnerships to establish a public awareness program and innovative outreach initiatives targeting urban areas to encourage early screening of children at risk of asthma.

(2) The Commissioner of Public Health shall evaluate the pilot program established under this subsection and shall submit a report of the commissioner's findings and recommendations to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public health, human services and appropriations and the budgets of state agencies, not later than October 1, 2001, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a.

Approved June 6, 2006