HOUSE HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
HOUSE BILL 244
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023
RELATING TO PUBLIC ASSISTANCE; INCREASING THE BENEFIT FOR GENERAL ASSISTANCE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 27-2-7 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1973, Chapter 376, Section 10, as amended by Laws 1998, Chapter 8, Section 27 and by Laws 1998, Chapter 9, Section 27) is amended to read:
"27-2-7. GENERAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM--QUALIFICATIONS AND PAYMENTS.--
A. Subject to the availability of state funds, public assistance shall be provided under a general assistance program to or on behalf of eligible persons who:
(1) are under eighteen years of age and meet all eligibility conditions for the New Mexico Works Act except the relationship to the person with whom they are living;
(2) are over the age of eighteen and are disabled, according to rules of the department, and are not receiving cash assistance or services pursuant to the New Mexico Works Act;
(3) meet the qualifications under other rules for the general assistance program as the department shall establish; or
(4) are lawful resident immigrants who would otherwise be eligible for cash assistance or services pursuant to the New Mexico Works Act except that they began residing in the United States after August 22, 1996.
B. General assistance program payments may be made directly to the recipient or to the vendor of goods or services provided to the recipient. The department may by rule limit the grants that are made to general assistance recipients.
[C. Whenever the department makes an adjustment in the standard of need for the New Mexico Works Act, subject to the availability of state funds, it shall make a commensurate adjustment in the standard of need for the general assistance program.]
C. The standard of need for general assistance shall be updated annually and shall be no less than fifty percent of the federal poverty level as published in the federal register.
D. The maximum benefit per recipient shall be no less than fifty percent of the department's standard of need and may be increased by the department if state funds are available.
E. New payment levels required by this section shall become effective on January 1 each year beginning on January 1, 2024."
SECTION 2. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is January 1, 2024.
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