Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. The sum set forth in section two for the several purposes and subject to the conditions specified in said section two and section four is hereby appropriated from the General Fund, subject to the provisions of law regulating the disbursement of public funds and the approval thereof, for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and ninety-two.
SECTION 2. `tm;keep=no `tcol=6,B4;c1=1,9,tu,T;c2=1,78,tuc;c3=1,78,tuc;c4=12,53,tfh1;c5=16,49,tu;c6=66,13,tur `tc3 EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE. `tc1 4408-1000 `tc4 For a program of cash assistance to certain residents of the commonwealth entitled emergency aid to the elderly, disabled and children found by the department of public welfare to be eligible for such aid, pursuant to regulations promulgated by said department and subject to the limits of appropriation therefor; provided, however, that said program may include a program of medical benefits as defined by regulations of the department of public welfare; provided, further, that the department may provide benefits to persons over the age of sixty-five who have applied for benefits under chapter one hundred and eighteen A of the General Laws, to persons suffering from those physical or mental incapacities designated by the department, and which have been verified by a medical practitioner designated by the department, and to certain persons caring for a disabled person; provided, further, that the costs of verifying disability may be paid from this item; provided, further, that in designating those physical or mental incapacities which are disabling, the department may include those impairments listed in 20 C.F.R. 404, Subpart P, Appendix I; provided, further, that the department may apply age, educational and vocational standards to those individuals who have a medical disability which does not meet the medical standards established by regulations of the department; provided, further, that the payment standard shall not exceed the payment standard in effect for the General Relief program in fiscal year nineteen hundred and ninety-one; provided, further, that a thirty-five dollar rent benefit, to the extent determined to be possible within the appropriation by the department, shall be paid to all households incurring a rent or mortgage expense and not residing in public housing or subsidized housing; provided, further, that families with dependent children, whose sole reason for ineligibility under chapter one hundred and eighteen is either an inability to satisfy the work history requirement of said program or an inability to satisfy the relationship requirement, may be eligible under this program; provided, further, that the department may provide participants in the Vocational Rehabilitation program of the Massachusetts rehabilitation commission, as defined in 106 CMR 312, benefits under this program if otherwise eligible; provided, further, that benefits may be provided to an otherwise eligible student under age twenty-one who is regularly attending full-time a grade, high school, technical or vocational school not beyond the secondary level; provided, further, that the department is authorized to promulgate emergency regulations pursuant to section three of chapter thirty A of the General Laws to implement this program promptly and within the appropriation; provided, further, that the department may begin the eligibility determination process prior to the effective date of regulations hereunder; provided, further, that no ex-offender, person over age forty-five without a prior work history, or person in a residential treatment facility shall be eligible for benefits under this program unless said person otherwise meets the eligibility criteria described herein and defined by regulations of the department; provided, further, that benefits under this program shall be provided only to residents who are citizens of the United States or aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence or otherwise permanently residing in the United States under color of law and shall not be provided to illegal or undocumented aliens, provided further, that in promulgating, amending or rescinding its regulations with respect to eligibility or benefits, including the payment standard, medical benefits, and any other benefits, under this program, the department shall take into account the amounts available to it for expenditure under this chapter so as not to exceed the appropriation, and may, in its discretion, depart from prior practices in accordance with the provisions of this item; provided, further, that notwithstanding the provisions of any special or general law to the contrary, or this line item, thirty days before implementing eligibility or benefit changes or both to the program, the commissioner shall file with the house and senate committees on ways and means and with the clerk of the house of representatives and the clerk of the senate a report setting forth such proposed changes; provided, further, that the report shall contain detailed information concerning the current and proposed operation of the program, including categories of eligibility, number of eligible persons in each category, demographic information regarding said persons, services rendered to said persons, direct service costs, administrative costs, and an explanation of the need for the proposed changes in eligibility requirements or benefit levels or both which shall be implemented and a determination by the secretary of human services that available appropriations for said program will be insufficient to meet projected expenses; provided, further, that the department is authorized to promulgate emergency regulations pursuant to chapter thirty A of the General Laws to implement these eligibility or benefit changes or both, provided, further that in establishing the initial program only, the department shall include all eligibility categories permitted herein at the payment standard in effect for the former general relief program in fiscal year nineteen hundred and ninety-one; provided, further that nothing herein shall be construed as creating any right accruing to recipients of the former general relief program; provided, further, that any person incarcerated in a correctional institution shall not be eligible for benefits under said program; provided, further, that the secretary of health and human services shall report on December first, nineteen hundred and ninety-one, and every three months thereafter to the house and senate committees on ways and means for the preceding three months on the numbers of persons applying for benefits under this program, by category, age, and disability, if any, and the number of persons receiving and denied benefits under this program by category, age, and disability, if any; provided, further, that notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, that the funds made available herein shall be the only funds available for said program, and the department shall not spend funds for said program in excess of the amount made available herein, and subject to the condition that no funds appropriated herein shall be expended for the payment of abortions not necessary to prevent the death of the mother `tc6 $102,517,000 `tcol;end
SECTION 3. Chapter one hundred and seventeen of the General Laws is hereby repealed.
SECTION 4. The General Laws are hereby further amended by inserting after chapter 117 the following chapter:- `tuc CHAPTER 117A. Support By the Commonwealth.
Section 1. There is hereby established within the department of public welfare a program of emergency aid for elderly and disabled residents of the commonwealth found by the department to be eligible for such aid, pursuant to regulations promulgated by said department and subject to appropriation. In promulgating, amending, or rescinding its eligibility regulations from time to time, the department may take into account the amounts available to it for expenditure under this chapter. The department shall by regulation provide that an applicant or recipient who lives with one or more family members who receives assistance pursuant to chapter one hundred and eighteen and who is legally obligated to support such family member shall receive assistance, pursuant to this chapter, which, when combined with the assistance being received by the family member of the applicant or recipient pursuant to chapter one hundred and eighteen, does not exceed the assistance available under chapter one hundred and eighteen to an assistance unit of the same household size as the applicant or recipient and such family member.
Any person (i) who is eligible for assistance under the provisions of this chapter, (ii) who is not maintaining his or her own home, and (iii) who is receiving care in a licensed nursing home, a licensed chronic hospital, a licensed rest home or an approved public medical institution, shall retain the first sixty dollars of monthly income for clothing, personal needs allowance, and leisure time activities. If there is no such income, or if such income is less than sixty dollars, the recipient shall be paid the difference between such income and sixty dollars.
Section 2. No employable person shall be eligible for aid or assistance under this chapter who willfully fails without good cause, as determined by the department, to maintain his registration for work or to accept a referral to or offer of suitable employment. He shall be required to report to the department information with respect to any job to which he has been referred. The department shall, not less frequently than once every three months, request verification from the department of employment and training of an applicant's record with that agency.
No individual shall be considered ineligible for aid or assistance because of failure to comply with the provisions of this section, if such failure is due to illness or disability. In no event shall such failure affect the eligibility of minor children for assistance under this chapter.
No recipients of assistance under chapter one hundred and eighteen A or recipients of assistance with dependent children under age three years, shall be subject to the provisions of this section; provided, however, that in a two parent household, only one parent shall be exempt from the provisions of this section.
Section 3. A person shall not be eligible for assistance under the provisions of this chapter if said person is eligible to receive assistance under chapter one hundred and fifteen or one hundred and eighteen or who would be eligible under chapter one hundred and eighteen but for income or assets, or who is eligible to receive unemployment compensation under chapter one hundred and fifty-one A.
The department shall not consider ex-offenders, persons over the age of forty-five with no recent work history, or persons in residential treatment facilities as eligible solely by virtue of such status.
Section 4. A person who is neither a citizen of the United States nor lawfully admitted for permanent residence or otherwise permanently residing in the United States under color of law shall be ineligible for assistance under the provisions of this chapter.
Section 5. No person dependent on public support shall be placed by the department or by any veteran's agent, board of health, or other public authority, in any hospital, nursing home, infirmary or institution not operated by the commonwealth which is not licensed as required by chapter one hundred and eleven. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than twenty-five or more than one hundred dollars.
Section 6. A person shall be liable in contract to the commonwealth for expenses incurred by it under this chapter for his support to which he was not entitled, and action may be taken by the commonwealth to compel payment at any time within six years after the date when said person last received support or assistance under this chapter or chapter one hundred and eighteen A. The executor or administrator of such person shall likewise be liable for such expenses.
Section 7. The parents of such poor persons, if of sufficient ability, shall be bound to support such poor persons in proportion to their ability; provided, however, that said parents shall not be required to support or contribute to the support of any of their children eighteen years of age or over.
Section 8. A treasurer of a savings bank, national bank, trust company, co-operative bank, state-chartered or federally-chartered credit union, benefit association, insurance company or safe deposit company authorized to do business in the commonwealth who, upon written request, signed by an officer of the department, unreasonably refuses to inform him of the amount deposited in the corporation or association to the credit of a person named in such request as a charge upon the commonwealth, or as an applicant to the commonwealth for public assistance under chapter one hundred and seventeen A, one hundred and eighteen, one hundred and eighteen A or one hundred and eighteen D, or who willfully renders false information in reply to such request, shall forfeit fifty dollars to the use of the commonwealth. Upon such request, a treasurer, as aforesaid shall furnish the records on deposits and withdrawals during the past five years, concerning any applicant for or recipient of public assistance under chapter one hundred and seventeen A, one hundred and eighteen, one hundred and eighteen A or one hundred and eighteen D to any officer of the department.
Section 9. The department shall provide for the decent burial of all deceased persons who are at the time of death recipients of aid or assistance under this chapter, all deceased persons who, although without means of support at the time of death, did not apply for such aid or assistance; and all unknown persons found dead. It shall also provide for the grave of each such deceased person a suitable marker bearing the name and dates of birth and death of such deceased person, if known, and for the opening of such grave. The expense thereof may be recovered of their kindred, if any, chargeable by law for their support in the manner provided in this chapter; and if the expense of their funeral and burial is not paid by such kindred, an amount not exceeding eleven hundred dollars; provided, however, that the total expense of the funeral and burial does not exceed fifteen hundred dollars; and provided, further, that any payment made by the department shall be reduced by whatever resources may exist in the estate of said person.
Section 10. In case of the decease of a poor and indigent person the commonwealth shall pay for the expense of the funeral and burial of such person a sum not exceeding eleven hundred dollars; provided, however, that the total expense of the funeral and burial does not exceed fifteen hundred dollars; and provided, further, that any payment made by the commonwealth shall be reduced by whatever resources may exist in the estate of said person. The funeral director engaged in conducting the funeral and burial of said deceased person shall perform the services and furnish the materials in connection therewith as follows:- removal of body; procuring of death certificate and burial permit; embalming and dressing of body; furnishing suitable burial garment; furnishing suitable casket, bearing metal plate with name of deceased engraved thereon; furnishing outer case of pine wood; furnishing hearse for transporting body of the deceased to a cemetery; furnishing conveyance for transporting to such cemetery the immediate family of the deceased; procuring of a clergyman, of the religion that the deceased professed, to officiate at the funeral; procuring a burial place for the body of the deceased; opening the grave, and obtaining the use of interment devices.
SECTION 5. On the effective date of this act, items 4406-2000 and 4406-5000 in section two of chapter one hundred and thirty-eight of the acts of nineteen hundred and ninety-one are hereby repealed; item 4406-5000 in section two of chapter one hundred and forty-five of the acts of nineteen hundred and ninety-one is hereby repealed; and item 4406-2000 in section two of chapter one hundred and seventy-six of the acts of nineteen hundred and ninety-one is hereby repealed, and any unexpended balances in said items are hereby transferred to item 4406-5000 in section two of chapter one hundred and seventy-six of the acts of nineteen hundred and ninety-one.
SECTION 6. Item 4406-5000 of said section 2 of said chapter 176 is hereby amended by inserting after the word "mother", in line 14, the words:- ; and provided, further, that payment be made only for services rendered on or before October twelfth, nineteen hundred and ninety-one.
SECTION 7. This act shall take effect on October thirteenth, nineteen hundred and ninety-one.