Friday, April 24, 2015

Senate Unanimously Passes County Social Service Funding Bill

Senators approved SB 2206 (47-0) relating to County Social Service funding. The House will now have to vote on the bill as it came out off conference committee. The bill allows for the state to take over the foster care grants portion of social services and other program costs. $23 million will go towards the effort, leading to direct property tax relief. A detailed explaination of the issue is found in the last post. But here are a few highlights of the bill:

  • $23 million direct property tax relief
  • Freeze on social service budgets at 2015 levels
  • Exemptions related to increase case load or other emergency needs can be forwarded to DHS for budgetary consideration
  • Social service employee salaries eligible for same cost of living adjustments as state employees for 2016 & 2017
  • Adjustment for health insurance and retirement
  • Interim legislative committee to study further tax relief related to social services
  • Task Force of human service professionals and county officials to develop feasibility and transition plan during interim to be shared with interim committee
  • Services remain LOCAL.
  • Changes effective Jan 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017

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