49.265(3)(a)5. 5. Involve members of the community in planning, conducting and evaluating its programs.
49.265(3)(a)6. 6. Conduct its program in a manner free of discrimination based on political affiliation and of personal or familial favoritism. Each community action agency shall establish policies and procedures to carry out this requirement and to hold staff members accountable for complying with matters governed by this section and by other state or federal laws, rules or regulations.
49.265(3)(a)7. 7. Release any record of the community action agency for examination or copying upon request, unless disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of an individual's privacy. Each community action agency shall require its agents to make their records similarly available. Each community action agency shall hold public hearings on request to provide information and to receive comments about its activities.
49.265(3)(a)8. 8. Appoint a representative or representatives to the citizen advisory committee under s. 49.325 (3) (a), in order to participate in developing and implementing programs designed to serve the poor.
49.265(3)(b) (b) A community action agency may:
49.265(3)(b)1. 1. Approve program plans and priorities.
49.265(3)(b)2. 2. Resolve internal personnel or fiscal matters.
49.265(3)(b)3. 3. Create a community action program. If the community action agency creates a program, it shall plan, coordinate, administer and evaluate the program. A community action program may include provisions that will help poor persons:
49.265(3)(b)3.a. a. Secure and retain employment.
49.265(3)(b)3.b. b. Improve their education.
49.265(3)(b)3.c. c. Make better use of available income.
49.265(3)(b)3.d. d. Obtain and maintain adequate housing and a suitable living environment.
49.265(3)(b)3.e. e. Secure needed transportation.
49.265(3)(b)3.f. f. Obtain emergency assistance. Through its program, the community action agency may provide emergency supplies or services to meet basic needs.
49.265(3)(b)3.g. g. Participate in community affairs.
49.265(3)(b)3.h. h. Use more effectively other available programs.
49.265(3)(b)4. 4. Create methods by which poor persons can work with private groups to solve common problems.
49.265(3)(b)5. 5. Research the causes of and problems created by poverty in the community.
49.265(3)(b)6. 6. Determine if programs to reduce poverty are working effectively.
49.265(3)(b)7. 7. Initiate and sponsor projects to aid poor persons that provide otherwise unavailable services.
49.265(3)(b)8. 8. Transmit information between public and private organizations and otherwise coordinate the provision of public and private social services programs to eliminate overlap and ensure effective delivery of the programs.
49.265(3)(b)9. 9. Contract with other persons to perform the community action agency's functions. The community action agency may delegate responsibility for funding or administering its programs or for making policy determinations concerning a particular geographic area of the community it serves only if poor persons represent at least one-third of the members of the governing body of the agent being delegated this responsibility.
49.265(3)(b)10. 10. Apply for funds from various sources to support a community action program.
49.265(3)(b)11. 11. Provide, to individuals who work at least 20 hours per week and whose earned income is at or below 150 percent of the poverty line, a program of skills enhancement that shall include access to transportation, child care, career counseling, job placement assistance, and financial support for education and training.
49.265(4) (4)Funding.
49.265(4)(a)(a) The department shall distribute the federal community services block grant funds received under 42 USC 9903 and credited to the appropriation account under s. 20.437 (2) (mg).
49.265(4)(b) (b) The department shall allocate at least 90% of the funds received under 42 USC 9903 to community action agencies and organizations.
49.265(4)(c) (c) The department may not allocate more than 5% of the funds received under 42 USC 9903 for state administrative expenses.
49.265(4)(cm) (cm) From the appropriation under s. 20.437 (2) (fr), the department of children and families shall distribute grants to community action agencies to provide the skills enhancement services specified under sub. (3) (b) 11.
49.265(4)(d) (d) Before January 1 of each year the department shall contract with each agency and organization being funded, specifying the amount of money the organization will receive under this section and the activities to be carried out by the organization.
49.265(5) (5)City, village or town assistance. A city, village or town may appropriate funds for promoting and assisting a community action agency.
49.265(6) (6)Reports. At least annually, the secretary shall submit a report to the chief clerk of each house of the legislature, for distribution to the appropriate standing committees under s. 13.172 (3), concerning activities of community action agencies under this section and their effectiveness in promoting social and economic opportunities for poor persons.
49.265 History History: 1983 a. 27, 538; 1985 a. 29; 1989 a. 31; 1991 a. 39; 1995 a. 27; 1997 a. 27; 1999 a. 150 ss. 451, 672; 2007 a. 20 ss. 796, 1076 to 1095; Stats. 2007 s. 49.265; 2009 a. 11, 265; 2011 a. 32.
49.27 49.27 Legal actions. The department may sue and be sued.
49.27 History History: 2007 a. 20.
49.273 49.273 Research, investigations. The secretary shall plan for and establish within the department a program of research designed to determine the effectiveness of the treatment, curative, and rehabilitative programs of the various divisions of the department. The secretary may inquire into any matter affecting children and families, hold hearings, subpoena witnesses and make recommendations on those matters to the appropriate public or private agencies.
49.273 History History: 2007 a. 20.
49.275 49.275 Cooperation with federal government. The department may cooperate with the federal government in carrying out federal acts concerning public assistance under this subchapter and child welfare under ch. 48 and in other matters of mutual concern under this subchapter pertaining to public welfare and under ch. 48 pertaining to child welfare.
49.275 History History: 1995 a. 27; 2007 a. 20.
49.29 49.29 Loss of eligibility. If a court finds or it is determined after an administrative hearing that meets the requirements in regulations of the federal department of health and human services under 42 USC 616 (b) that an individual who is a member of a family applying for or receiving aid under s. 49.19, for the purpose of establishing or maintaining eligibility for aid under s. 49.19 or of increasing the amount of aid received under s. 49.19, intentionally made a false or misleading statement, intentionally misrepresented or withheld facts or committed an act intended to mislead or to misrepresent or withhold facts, the department shall consider the income and assets of the person but shall remove the needs of the person in determining the amount of any payment made to the person's family under s. 49.19 as follows:
49.29(1) (1) Upon the first occurrence, for 6 months.
49.29(2) (2) Upon the 2nd occurrence, for one year.
49.29(3) (3) Upon the 3rd occurrence, permanently.
49.29 History History: 1985 a. 29; 1991 a. 313; 1993 a. 16; 1995 a. 27 ss. 2787, 2919.
49.32 49.32 Department; powers and duties.
49.32(1) (1) Uniform fee schedule, liability and collections.
49.32(1)(a)(a) Except as provided in s. 49.345 (14) (b) and (c), the department shall establish a uniform system of fees for services provided or purchased under this subchapter and ch. 48 by the department, or a county department under s. 46.215, 46.22, or 46.23, except as provided in s. 49.22 (6) and except when, as determined by the department, a fee is administratively unfeasible or would significantly prevent accomplishing the purpose of the service. A county department under s. 46.215, 46.22 or 46.23 shall apply the fees that it collects under this program to cover the cost of those services. The department shall report to the joint committee on finance no later than March 1 of each year on the number of children placed for adoption by the department during the previous year and the costs to the state for services relating to such adoptions.
49.32(1)(am) (am) Paragraph (a) does not prevent the department from charging and collecting the cost of adoptive placement investigations and child care as authorized under s. 48.837 (7).
49.32(1)(b) (b) Except as provided in s. 49.345 (14) (b) and (c), any person receiving services provided or purchased under par. (a) or the spouse of the person and, in the case of a minor, the parents of the person, and, in the case of a foreign child described in s. 48.839 (1) who became dependent on public funds for his or her primary support before an order granting his or her adoption, the resident of this state appointed guardian of the child by a foreign court who brought the child into this state for the purpose of adoption, shall be liable for the services in the amount of the fee established under par. (a).
49.32(1)(c) (c) The department shall make collections from the person who in the opinion of the department is best able to pay, giving due regard to the present needs of the person or of his or her lawful dependents. The department may bring an action in the name of the department to enforce the liability established under par. (b). This paragraph does not apply to the recovery of fees for the care and services specified under s. 49.345.
49.32(1)(d) (d) The department may compromise or waive all or part of the liability for services received. The sworn statement of the secretary shall be evidence of the services provided and the fees charged for the services.
49.32(1)(e) (e) The department may delegate to county departments under s. 46.215, 46.22 or 46.23 and other providers of care and services the powers and duties vested in the department by pars. (c) and (d) as it considers necessary to efficiently administer this subsection, subject to such conditions as the department considers appropriate.
49.32(1)(g) (g) The department shall return to county departments under s. 46.215, 46.22 or 46.23 50% of collections made by the department for delinquent accounts previously delegated under par. (e) and then referred back to the department for collections.
49.32(2) (2)Payment of benefits.
49.32(2)(a)(a) The department may make payments directly to recipients of public assistance or to such persons authorized to receive such payments in accordance with law and rules of the department on behalf of the counties. The department may charge the counties for the cost of operating public assistance systems which make such payments.
49.32(2)(b) (b) The department may make social services payments directly to recipients, vendors or providers in accordance with law and rules of the department on behalf of the counties which have contracts to have such payments made on their behalf.
49.32(2)(c) (c) A county department under s. 46.215, 46.22 or 46.23 shall provide the department with information which the department shall use to determine each person's eligibility and amount of payment. A county department under s. 46.215, 46.22 or 46.23 shall provide the department all necessary information in the manner prescribed by the department.
49.32(2)(d) (d) The department shall disburse from state or federal funds or both the entire amount and charge the county for its share under s. 48.569.
49.32(3) (3)Uniform manual. The department shall adopt policies and procedures and a uniform county policy and procedure manual to minimize unnecessary variations between counties in the administration of the aid to families with dependent children program. The department shall also require each county to use the manual in the administration of the program.
49.32(4) (4)Employment of aid recipients. The department shall assist state agencies in efforts under s. 230.147 to employ recipients of aid under s. 49.19.
49.32(5) (5)Employment and training and education manual. The department shall produce a manual describing employment and training and education programs for which recipients of public assistance benefits under this subchapter may qualify. The department shall distribute the manual, free of charge, to each county department under s. 46.215, 46.22 or 46.23.
49.32(6) (6)Welfare reform studies. The department shall request proposals from persons in this state for studies of the effectiveness of various program changes, referred to as welfare reform, to the aid to families with dependent children program, including the requirement that certain recipients of aid to families with dependent children with children under age 6 participate in training programs, the learnfare school attendance requirement under s. 49.26 (1) (g) and the modification of the earned income disregard under s. 49.19 (5) (am). The studies shall evaluate the effectiveness of the various efforts, including their cost-effectiveness, in helping individuals gain independence through the securing of jobs and providing financial incentives and in identifying barriers to independence.
49.32(7) (7)Periodic records matches.
49.32(7)(a)(a) The department shall conduct a program to periodically verify the eligibility of recipients of aid to families with dependent children under s. 49.19 and of participants in Wisconsin works under ss. 49.141 to 49.161 through a check of school enrollment records of local school boards as provided in s. 118.125 (2) (i).
49.32(7)(b) (b) The department shall conduct a program to periodically match the records of recipients of aid to families with dependent children under s. 49.19 and, if the department of health services contracts with the department under s. 49.197 (5), recipients of medical assistance under subch. IV and food stamp benefits under the food stamp program under 7 USC 2011 to 2036 with the records of recipients under those programs in other states. If an agreement with the other states can be obtained, matches with records of states contiguous to this state shall be conducted at least annually.
49.32(7)(c) (c) The department shall conduct a program to periodically match the address records of recipients of aid to families with dependent children under s. 49.19 and, if the department of health services contracts with the department under s. 49.197 (5), recipients of medical assistance under subch. IV and food stamp benefits under the food stamp program under 7 USC 2011 to 2036 to verify residency and to identify recipients receiving duplicate or fraudulent payments.
49.32(7)(d) (d) The department, with assistance from the department of corrections, shall conduct a program to periodically match the records of persons confined in state correctional facilities with the records of recipients of aid to families with dependent children under s. 49.19 and, if the department of health services contracts with the department under s. 49.197 (5), recipients of medical assistance under subch. IV and food stamp benefits under the food stamp program under 7 USC 2011 to 2036 to identify recipients who may be ineligible for benefits.
49.32(8) (8)Periodic earnings check by department. The department shall make a periodic check of the amounts earned by recipients of aid to families with dependent children under s. 49.19 and by participants under Wisconsin works under ss. 49.141 to 49.161 through a check of the amounts credited to the recipient's social security number. The department shall make an investigation into any discrepancy between the amounts credited to a social security number and amounts reported as income on the declaration application and take appropriate action under s. 946.93 when warranted. The department shall use the state wage reporting system under 1985 Wisconsin Act 17, section 65 (1), when the system is implemented, to make periodic earnings checks.
49.32(9) (9)Monthly reports of recipients of aid to families with dependent children.
49.32(9)(a)(a) Each county department under s. 46.215, 46.22, or 46.23 administering aid to families with dependent children shall maintain a monthly report at its office showing the names of all persons receiving aid to families with dependent children together with the amount paid during the preceding month. Each Wisconsin Works agency administering Wisconsin Works under ss. 49.141 to 49.161 shall maintain a monthly report at its office showing the names of all persons receiving benefits under s. 49.148 together with the amount paid during the preceding month. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to authorize or require the disclosure in the report of any information (names, amounts of aid or otherwise) pertaining to adoptions, or aid furnished for the care of children in foster homes under s. 48.645 or 49.19 (10).
49.32(9)(b) (b) The report under par. (a) shall be open to public inspection at all times during regular office hours and may be destroyed after the next succeeding report becomes available. Any person except any public officer, seeking permission to inspect such report shall be required to prove his or her identity and to sign a statement setting forth his or her address and the reasons for making the request and indicating that he or she understands the provisions of par. (c) with respect to the use of the information obtained. The use of a fictitious name is a violation of this section. Within 7 days after the record is inspected, or on the next regularly scheduled communication with that person, whichever is sooner, the county department or Wisconsin works agency shall notify each person whose name and amount of aid was inspected that the record was inspected and of the name and address of the person making such inspection. County departments under ss. 46.215, 46.22 and 46.23 administering aid to families with dependent children and Wisconsin works agencies administering Wisconsin works under ss. 49.141 to 49.161 may withhold the right to inspect the name of and amount paid to recipients from private individuals who are not inspecting this information for purposes related to public, educational, organizational, governmental or research purposes until the person whose record is to be inspected is notified by the county department or Wisconsin works agency, but in no case may the county department or Wisconsin works agency withhold this information for more than 5 working days. The county department or Wisconsin works agency shall keep a record of such requests. The record shall indicate the name, address, employer and telephone number of the person making the request. If the person refuses to provide his or her name, address, employer and telephone number, the request to inspect this information may be denied.
49.32(9)(c) (c) It is unlawful to use any information obtained through access to such report for political or commercial purposes. The violation of this provision is punishable upon conviction as provided in s. 49.83.
49.32(10) (10)Release of information to law enforcement officers.
49.32(10)(a)(a) Each county department under s. 46.215, 46.22, or 46.23 may release the current address of a recipient of food stamps or of aid under s. 49.19, and each Wisconsin works agency may release the current address of a participant in Wisconsin works under ss. 49.141 to 49.161, to a law enforcement officer if the officer meets all of the following conditions:
49.32(10)(a)1. 1. The officer provides, in writing, the name of the recipient or participant.
49.32(10)(a)2. 2. The officer satisfactorily demonstrates, in writing, all of the following:
49.32(10)(a)2.a. a. That the recipient or participant is a fugitive felon under 42 USC 608 (a) (9), is violating a condition of probation, extended supervision or parole imposed under state or federal law or has information that is necessary for the officer to conduct the official duties of the officer.
49.32(10)(a)2.b. b. That the location or apprehension of the recipient or participant under subd. 2. a. is within the official duties of the officer.
49.32(10)(a)2.c. c. That the officer is making the request in the proper exercise of his or her duties under subd. 2. b.
49.32(10)(b) (b) If a law enforcement officer believes, on reasonable grounds, that a warrant has been issued and is outstanding for the arrest of a Wisconsin works participant, the law enforcement officer may request that a law enforcement officer be notified when the participant appears to obtain his or her benefits under the Wisconsin works program. At the request of a law enforcement officer under this paragraph, an employee of a Wisconsin works agency who disburses benefits may notify a law enforcement officer when the participant appears to obtain Wisconsin works benefits.
49.32(10m) (10m)Release of addresses of recipients involved in legal proceedings.
49.32(10m)(a)(a) A county department, relief agency under s. 49.01 (3m) or Wisconsin works agency shall, upon request, and after providing the notice to the recipient required by this paragraph, release the current address of a recipient of relief under s. 49.01 (3), aid to families with dependent children or benefits under s. 49.148 to a person, the person's attorney or an employee or agent of that attorney, if the person is a party to a legal action or proceeding in which the recipient is a party or a witness, unless the person is a respondent in an action commenced by the recipient under s. 813.12, 813.122, 813.123, 813.125 or 813.127. If the person is a respondent in an action commenced by the recipient under s. 813.12, 813.122, 813.123, 813.125 or 813.127, the county department, relief agency or Wisconsin works agency may not release the current address of the recipient. No county department, relief agency or Wisconsin works agency may release an address under this paragraph until 21 days after the address has been requested. A person requesting an address under this paragraph shall be required to prove his or her identity and his or her participation as a party in a legal action or proceeding in which the recipient is a party or a witness by presenting a copy of the pleading or a copy of the subpoena for the witness. The person shall also be required to sign a statement setting forth his or her name, address and the reasons for making the request and indicating that he or she understands the provisions of par. (b) with respect to the use of the information obtained. The statement shall be made on a form prescribed by the department and shall be sworn and notarized. Within 7 days after an address has been requested under this paragraph, the county department, relief agency or Wisconsin works agency shall mail to each recipient whose address has been requested a notification of that fact on a form prescribed by the department. The form shall also include the date on which the address was requested, the name and address of the person who requested the disclosure of the address, the reason that the address was requested and a statement that the address will be released to the person who requested the address no sooner than 21 days after the date on which the request for the address was made. County departments, relief agencies and Wisconsin works agencies shall keep a record of each request for an address under this paragraph.
49.32(10m)(b) (b) No person may use an address obtained under this subsection for a purpose that is not connected with the legal action or proceeding to which the person requesting the address is a party. No person may use an address obtained under this subsection for political or commercial purposes. No person may request an address under par. (a) using a fictitious name. Any person who violates this paragraph is subject to the penalties under s. 49.83.
49.32(11m) (11m)Consolidation of allocated tribal funds. The department may consolidate funds appropriated under s. 20.437 that are authorized or required to be allocated to federally recognized American Indian tribes or bands into a single distribution for each tribe or band in each fiscal year.
49.32(12) (12)Administrative hearings and appeals. Any hearing under s. 227.42 granted by the department under this subchapter or ch. 48 may be conducted before the division of hearings and appeals in the department of administration.
49.32 Annotation Sections 46.03 (18) and 46.10 do not constitute an unlawful delegation of legislative power. In Matter of Guardianship of Klisurich, 98 Wis. 2d 274, 296 N.W.2d 742 (1980).
49.32 Annotation Section 46.03 (18) and s. 46.10 (3) permit the department to promulgate rules that consider non-liable family members' incomes in determining a liable family member's ability to pay. In Interest of A.L.W. 153 Wis. 2d 412, 451 N.W.2d 416 (1990).
49.32 Annotation Section 46.03 (18) (b) imposes liability upon minors and parents for the costs of services, but does not give counties an automatic right of recovery. Section 46.10 governs enforcement procedure and allows courts to exercise discretion. In Matter of S.E. Trust, 159 Wis. 2d 709, 465 N.W.2d 231 (Ct. App. 1990).
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2013 Wis. Act 380 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before Dec. 13, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after Dec. 13, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 12-13-14)