Article - Human Services
(a) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, the Governor shall provide sufficient funds in the budget to:
(i) ensure that the value of temporary cash assistance, combined with federal food stamps, is equal to at least 61% of the State minimum living level; and
(ii) maintain the FIP at the level of the fiscal year 1997 appropriation.
(2) The funds provided under this subsection may be less than the amount required under paragraph (1) of this subsection if the Governor reports to the General Assembly, in accordance with § 2-1246 of the State Government Article, on the reasons for the reduced funding for temporary cash assistance and food stamps.
(3) This subsection does not limit the flexibility of local departments regarding the provision of services.
(b) If the Secretary determines during the fiscal year that the funds available for the FIP are insufficient to make payments in accordance with the amount of assistance otherwise established by law, the Secretary shall:
(1) provide for a uniform method of adjusting individual payments; and
(2) submit emergency regulations, in accordance with Title 10, Subtitle 1 of the State Government Article, to implement the adjustment.
(c) Effective July 1 of each year, the Department shall make available for reallocation within its budget any savings the Department anticipates from funds appropriated for the FIP during the current fiscal year as a result of:
(1) caseload reductions; or
(2) other reductions in the total amount of temporary cash assistance paid to recipients compared to the total amount of temporary cash assistance appropriated.
(d) Except as provided in subsection (e)(1) of this section, savings made available for reallocation may be used for:
(1) child care;
(2) work activities;
(3) welfare avoidance grants;
(4) drug treatment for targeted recipients;
(6) emergency funds for applicants and recipients;
(7) administration to the extent that additional administrative costs are required to effectively implement the FIP; or
(8) any other direct service to applicants or recipients that the Secretary and the local department consider appropriate to further the purposes of this subtitle.
(e) (1) Savings shall be made available for reallocation as follows:
(i) 10% of the savings to the operating costs for one or more of the following:
1. demonstration projects established under § 5-317 of this subtitle;
2. second chance homes not subject to the restrictions of § 12 of Chapter 351 of the Acts of the General Assembly of 1996; or
3. demonstration projects to empirically evaluate strategies to reduce the incidence of nonmarital births in the State;
(ii) 45% of the savings to local departments, in accordance with the savings achieved by each local department, for the purposes authorized under subsection (d) of this section; and
(iii) 45% of the savings for the purposes authorized under subsection (d) of this section.
(2) Notwithstanding § 7-302 of the State Finance and Procurement Article, any savings allocated under this subsection that remain unexpended at the end of a fiscal year may be carried over into the next fiscal year.