Senate Bill No. 307

(By Senators Manchin, Wiedebusch, Tomblin, Mr. President,

Macnaughtan, Oliverio, Anderson, Sharpe, Bailey, Ross, Schoonover, Craigo, Dittmar, Kimble, Buckalew, Deem, Scott and Wooton)

[Introduced February 9, 1995; referred to the Committee
on Health and Human Resources; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

A BILL to amend article three, chapter nine of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated section six, relating to incentives to persons receiving public or welfare assistance to become gainfully employed.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article three, chapter nine of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section six, to read as follows:
§9-3-6. Incentives to become gainfully employed.
Notwithstanding any provisions of this chapter to the contrary, any person who is receiving any form of welfare assistance as defined by section two, article one, chapter nine of this code, may continue to receive a portion of such assistance after becoming continuously and gainfully employed in a job or position for thirty or more hours per week, according to the following schedule:
Period of Employment Assistance Retained
First 6 months 30% above poverty level
Next 6 months 20% above poverty level
Next 12 months 10% above poverty level
After 24 months No further income supplement
(a) The foregoing schedule notwithstanding, the medical benefits of such person shall not be reduced during the first twenty-four months of employment, but after the expiration of twenty-four months of employment the department will then pay either fifty percent of or the employers share, whichever is less, of the premiums for any health care plan or program which the person becomes a participant in as a result of such employment with such person paying the balance of such medical care premiums. After a period of five years the department will discontinue all health care premium payments.
(b) The director is hereby authorized to apply for a waiver of the federal restrictions against the incentives provided by this section and to promulgate other rules, forms and policies to effectuate the purposes provided by this section.
(c) Any person who avails himself or herself of the benefits and incentives provided by this chapter and section, and who subsequently quits the employment without good reason or just cause, or who is fired from such employment for reasons related to neglect of work, excessive absence not related to a serious illness or serious illness of a child, spouse, mother or father living within the person's household, habitual tardiness, defrauding an employer, reprehensible insubordination, repeated acts of general misconduct or misbehavior during work hours and other similarly related offenses, shall be penalized by having the welfare assistance received by such person during the period of employment withheld from future assistance entitlements for the period of time such person was employed, but not for more than a period of twenty-four months.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to permit persons receiving welfare assistance to be gradually weaned away from the assistance after becoming gainfully employed, if their income does not exceed the poverty line.

This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.