NCSL letter regarding the regulation process regarding the implementation of Section 4004 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96)
June 11, 2012
Director, Office of Family Assistance
901 D Street SW, 5th Floor
Washington, DC 20447
Dear Director Johnson,
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has some concerns about the regulation process regarding the implementation of Section 4004 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96). As you know, state legislators are concerned about the inappropriate use of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)benefits and NCSL looks forward to working with the Office of Family Assistance (OFA) to address this concern.
There are a broad array of methods to restrict TANF Electronic Benefit Transactions (EBT) transactions and several states have already implemented policies that restrict TANF EBT transactions. We encourage OFA to make the regulation flexible enough to encompass current state policies, where they exist. Flexibility is also important due to continued difficult fiscal conditions in states.
NCSL encourages OFA to limit its regulation focus to what is mentioned in section 4004 of P.L.112-96, namely, TANF EBT transactions, and not go beyond the scope of what is outlined in the law. It is clear that Congressional intent is limited only to TANF EBT transactions detailed in the establishments outlined in P.L. 112-96. It is possible to deliver TANF benefits through different means than EBT technology and this law does not address other forms of benefit delivery. Therefore, OFA would be going beyond the scope of the law if it considered regulating these other forms of benefit delivery.
We look forward to working with you as you develop regulations regarding restricting certain TANF EBT transactions. If you have any questions regarding what states are doing to address the concerns of P.L.112-96 or to discuss the law, please do not hesitate to contact either Sheri Steisel or Emily Wengrovius by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (202)624-5400.
The Honorable Tom Hansen The Honorable Barbara W. Ballard
South Dakota Senate Kansas House of Representatives
Chair NCSL Human Services & Welfare Committee Chair NCSL Human Services & Welfare Committee