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House Bill No. 5769

PUBLIC ACT NO. 96-262

AN ACT CONCERNING CHILD DAY CARE SERVICES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 12-635 of the general statutes, as amended by section 7 of public act 95-268, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The Commissioner of Revenue Services shall grant a credit against any tax due under the provisions of chapter 207, 208, 209, 210, 211 or 212 in an amount not to exceed sixty per cent of the total cash amount invested during the taxable year by the business firm in programs operated or created pursuant to proposals approved pursuant to section 12-632 AS AMENDED for energy conservation projects directed toward properties occupied by persons, at least seventy-five per cent of whom are at an income level not exceeding one hundred fifty per cent of the poverty level for the year next preceding the year during which such tax credit is to be granted, or at properties occupied by charitable corporations, foundations, trusts or other entities as determined under regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter; in employment and training programs directed at youth, at least seventy-five per cent of whom are at an income level not exceeding one hundred fifty per cent of the poverty level for the year next preceding the year during which such tax credit is to be granted; in employment and training programs directed at handicapped persons as determined under regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter; in employment and training programs for unemployed workers who are fifty years of age or older [or] in education and employment training programs for recipients in the aid to families with dependent children program OR IN CHILD CARE SERVICES. Any other program which serves persons at least seventy-five per cent of whom are at an income level not exceeding one hundred fifty per cent of the poverty level for the year next preceding the year during which such tax credit is to be granted and which meets the standards for eligibility under this chapter shall be eligible for tax credit under this section.

Sec. 2. Subdivision (11) of subsection (b) of section 17b-112 of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of public act 95-194 and section 1 of public act 95-351, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(11) To create a pilot program to issue a recipient of benefits from the aid to families with dependent children program an "opportunity certificate". For purposes of this subdivision, an "opportunity certificate" means a voucher in the amount of fifteen hundred dollars to be used by a recipient to negotiate for employment opportunities. THE COMMISSIONER MAY ENCOURAGE SUCH RECIPIENT TO UNDERTAKE EMPLOYMENT IN PRESCHOOL CHILD CARE PROGRAMS, CHILD DAY CARE CENTERS, GROUP DAY CARE HOMES AND FAMILY DAY CARE HOMES. Such a certificate shall be redeemable for credit against a tax imposed by chapters 207 to 212a, inclusive, 214, 214a, 219 to 227, inclusive, and 228d to 229, inclusive.

Sec. 3. Section 17b-734 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The Commissioner of Social Services shall establish and administer a program of grants to municipalities and state agencies for the purpose of planning, site preparation, construction, renovation or acquisition of facilities for use as child care facilities to be used primarily by the children of employees of such municipalities or state agencies AND OTHER POTENTIAL PARTICIPANTS. IF OPENINGS OCCUR FOR OTHER POTENTIAL PARTICIPANTS IN SUCH A CHILD CARE FACILITY, PRIORITY FOR SUCH OPENINGS SHALL BE GIVEN TO FAMILIES AT OR BELOW SEVENTY-FIVE PER CENT OF THE STATE'S MEDIAN INCOME.

Sec. 4. Section 17b-737 of the general statutes, as amended by sections 12 and 21 of public act 95-257 and section 18 of public act 95-360, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The Commissioner of Social Services shall establish a program, within available appropriations, to provide grants to municipalities, boards of education and child care providers to encourage the use of school facilities for the provision of child day care services before and after school. In order to qualify for a grant, a municipality, board of education or child care provider shall guarantee the availability of a school site which meets the standards set by the Department of Public Health in regulations adopted under sections 19a-77 [to 19a-80, inclusive] 19a-79, AS AMENDED19a-80, AS AMENDED, and sections 19a-82 to 19a-87a, inclusive, AS AMENDED and shall agree to provide liability insurance coverage for the program. Grant funds shall be used by the municipality, board of education or child care provider for the maintenance and utility costs directly attributable to the use of the school facility for the day care program, for related transportation costs and for the portion of the municipality, board of education or child care provider liability insurance cost directly attributable to the day care program. The municipality or board of education may contract with a child day care provider for the program. The contract shall limit the amount the provider may charge under the program to the provider's base cost per capita plus a percentage of the base cost. The Commissioner of Social Services may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 for purposes of this section. THE COMMISSIONER MAY UTILIZE AVAILABLE CHILD CARE SUBSIDIES TO IMPLEMENT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION AND ENCOURAGE ASSOCIATION AND COOPERATION WITH THE HEAD START PROGRAM ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO SECTION 10-16n, AS AMENDED.

Sec. 5. Section 17b-738 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The Commissioner of Social Services shall establish and administer a program of loans to [corporations] BUSINESS FIRMS, AS DEFINED IN SUBSECTION (a) OF SECTION 12-631, AS AMENDED for the purpose of planning, site preparation, construction, renovation or acquisition of facilities, within the state, for use as [child care facilities] LICENSED CHILD DAY CARE CENTERS, FAMILY DAY CARE HOMES OR GROUP DAY CARE HOMES to be used primarily by the children of employees of such corporations and children of employees of the municipalities in which such facilities are located. Such loans shall be made in accordance with the terms and conditions as provided in regulations adopted by the Commissioner of Social Services, in accordance with chapter 54, shall be made for a period not to exceed five years and shall bear interest at a rate to be determined in accordance with subsection (t) of section 3-20 AS AMENDED.

Sec. 6. Section 17b-739 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Whenever the state (1) constructs, acquires, or receives as a gift any office building which accommodates three hundred or more state employees or (2) alters, repairs or makes additions to an existing state building which accommodates three hundred or more employees and such alterations, repairs or additions affect at least twenty-five per cent of the square footage of such building, the Department of Public Works shall notify the Department of Social Services. The Department of Social Services, with the assistance of the Department of Administrative Services, shall determine the need for child care services for the employees in such building and other potential participants. If a demonstrated need for child care exists for thirty or more children of such employees and other potential participants and such care is unavailable, the Department of Public Works shall set aside adequate space for child care facilities in such building. IF OPENINGS OCCUR FOR OTHER POTENTIAL PARTICIPANTS IN SUCH A CHILD CARE FACILITY, PRIORITY FOR SUCH OPENINGS SHALL BE GIVEN TO FAMILIES AT OR BELOW SEVENTY-FIVE PER CENT OF THE STATE'S MEDIAN INCOME. Such facilities shall meet all state licensure requirements. The provisions of this section shall not apply to correctional institutions.

Sec. 7. Section 17b-740 of the general statutes, as amended by sections 12 and 21 of public act 95-257, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) As used in section 12-634, this section and sections 17b-741 and 17b-742, "business firm" means any business entity authorized to do business in the state and subject to the corporation business tax imposed under chapter 208, or any insurance company, hospital or medical services corporation subject to the insurance companies, hospital and medical services corporations tax imposed under chapter 207, or any air carrier subject to the air carriers tax imposed under chapter 209, or any railroad company subject to the railroad companies tax imposed under chapter 210, or any express, telegraph, telephone, cable or community antenna television company subject to the express, telegraph, telephone, cable and community antenna television companies tax imposed under chapter 211, or any utility company subject to the utility companies tax imposed under chapter 212, or any public service company subject to the public service companies tax imposed under chapter 212a.

(b) Any business firm which desires to provide subsidies to its employees for child day care from registered or licensed providers, providers giving day care in the child's home or a relative of the child giving day care in the relative's home, approved by the Commissioner of Social Services pursuant to this section, may apply to the Commissioner of Social Services for an allocation for a tax credit in an amount as provided in section 17b-741. The application for a tax credit under this subsection shall set forth [the cost of the day care provided to the employees; the salary of each employee to whom such subsidy is provided; the number of the employees' children who benefit from the subsidy; the name and address of the day care provider caring for the employees' children; and the weeks in which such children will be under the care of such provider] INFORMATION THE COMMISSION DEEMS NECESSARY IN REGULATIONS ADOPTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH CHAPTER 54.

(c) Any business firm which desires to pay or incur expenditures in any income year for planning, site preparation, construction, renovation or acquisition of facilities for the purposes of establishing a child day care facility ON OR OFF SITE and purchasing and installing equipment for permanent use within or immediately adjacent to such facility, including kitchen appliances, to the extent that such equipment or appliances are necessary in the use of such facility for purposes of child day care, may apply to the Commissioner of Social Services for an allocation for a tax credit in an amount as provided in section 17b-741, provided (1) such facility is operated under the authority of a license issued by the Commissioner of Public Health in accordance with sections 19a-77 19a-79 to 19a-87, inclusive, AS AMENDED (2) such facility is operated without profit or is operated for profit by such taxpayer related to any charges imposed for the use of such facility for purposes of child day care and (3) the amount of tax credit allowed any taxpayer under the provisions of this subsection for any income year may not exceed twenty thousand dollars. If two or more taxpayers share in the cost of establishing such a facility for the children of their employees, each such taxpayer shall be allowed such credit in relation to the respective share, paid or incurred by such taxpayer, of the total expenditures for the facility in such income year. No business firm which regularly engages in the construction or operation of child day care facilities shall be eligible for any tax credit under the provisions of this subsection.

(d) ANY BUSINESS FIRM WHICH DESIRES TO PAY OR INCUR EXPENDITURES IN ANY INCOME YEAR FOR PROVIDING PARENT EDUCATION PROGRAMS TO ITS EMPLOYEES MAY APPLY TO THE COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES FOR AN ALLOCATION FOR A TAX CREDIT IN AN AMOUNT OF FORTY PER CENT OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT INVESTED DURING THE TAXABLE YEAR BY THE BUSINESS FIRM FOR SUCH CLASSES. SUCH PARENT EDUCATION PROGRAMS SHALL CONSIST OF PROVIDING INFORMATION AND ADVICE TO PARENTS ON THEIR CHILD'S LANGUAGE, COGNITIVE, SOCIAL AND MOTOR DEVELOPMENT AND TO PROVIDE REFERRALS FOR PARENTS WHO NEED SPECIAL ASSISTANCE OR SERVICES. SUCH TAX CREDITS SHALL ONLY BE AVAILABLE AFTER TAX CREDITS FOR CHILD CARE SUBSIDIES ARE EXHAUSTED. THE APPLICATION FOR A TAX CREDIT UNDER THIS SUBSECTION SHALL SET FORTH THE COST OF SUCH TRAINING PROGRAMS PROVIDED TO THE EMPLOYEES AND THE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES PARTICIPATING IN SUCH CLASSES.

(e) THE COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE COMMISSIONERS OF REVENUE SERVICE, LABOR AND ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND BUSINESS RELATED ORGANIZATIONS, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE, SHALL DEVELOP MARKETING STRATEGIES TO EDUCATE AND ATTRACT BUSINESSES TO ACCESS TAX CREDITS AVAILABLE PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION.

[(d)] (f) Applications shall be submitted to the Commissioner of Social Services after October first of the year before such expenditures are to be made and on or before June first of the year in which such expenditures are to be made. The commissioner shall approve or disapprove each application within sixty days of its submission to the commissioner based on (1) the compliance of such application with the provisions of this section, (2) regulations adopted pursuant to section 17b-742, and (3) the amount of tax credits remaining in the annual allotment provided in this section for the year involved. The commissioner shall first approve applications under subsection (b) of this section which give preference to low-income workers in accordance with regulations adopted pursuant to section 17b-742. If the commissioner approves the application of the business firm and if the limit for tax credit for that year has not yet been allocated, the commissioner shall allocate and commit to such business firm an amount of tax credits not exceeding the estimated amount which will be expended during the current or subsequent year by such firm on eligible child day care expenditures. Any business firm receiving such an allocation shall, within thirty days of the end of the year, submit a report on its actual expenditures under this section for such year.

[(e)] (g) Any tax credit not used in the period during which the expenditure was made may be carried forward or backward for the five immediately succeeding or preceding calendar or fiscal years until the full credit has been allowed.

[(f)] (h) In no event shall the total amount of all tax credits allowed to all business firms pursuant to the provisions of this section exceed two million dollars in any one fiscal year.

[(g)] (i) No credit under subsection (c) of this section shall be allowed for any taxpayer who has been granted a tax credit for the same year pursuant to section 12-634.

Sec. 8. (NEW) (a) Notwithstanding any provision of sections 19a-80 and 19a-87 of the general statutes, as amended, the Commissioner of Public Health may establish, within available appropriations, a limited amnesty program in effect commencing October 1, 1996, and ending September 30, 1997, for any unlicensed family day care home or group day care home that voluntarily comes forth during said calendar year to apply for licensure. Such program shall exempt such a family day care home or group day care home from penalties for operating without a license if a plan for compliance with the applicable statutes and regulations is developed and agreed to by the commissioner and such family day care home or group day care home.

(b) The Commissioner of Social Services shall conduct a community outreach program and media campaign to notify the public of such amnesty program. The commissioner may allocate grants or loans to such unlicensed day care homes to meet the standards of licensure.

Sec. 9. Section 17b-683 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The Department of Social Services shall be the single state agency responsible for the administration of the JOBS program established in section 17b-680. Until the JOBS program is implemented, the department shall continue to administer the existing work incentive program authorized by Title IV of the Social Security Act.

(b) The Department of Social Services shall develop with appropriate agencies, including but not limited to the state Departments of Education, Higher Education and Labor, such interagency agreements as are deemed necessary to ensure referral to and provision of available employment, education and training resources necessary to assist AFDC recipients to achieve unsubsidized employment. Such resources shall include, but not be limited to, adult basic education, English as a second language; vocational education, including training in skilled craft and technical trades, bilingual vocational training, apprenticeship, two-year training in community and technical college programs for occupations for which there is a high potential for employment; employment and training opportunities afforded under the Job Training Partnership Act and other opportunities for on-the-job training in the private sector. The department shall provide information to all appropriate JOBS staff concerning the availability of education and training opportunities in the state for participants in the JOBS program. In addition, the Department of Social Services shall coordinate with public and private employers to ensure that AFDC recipients are being prepared to meet existing and projected labor needs of the state and that job-ready participants are successfully placed in unsubsidized jobs.

(c) The Department of Social Services may enter into contracts with interested local or regional boards of education to provide services for qualified participants. Local or regional boards of education that contract with the department pursuant to this subsection shall consult with the Department of Education concerning the educational methods and contents of the programs, which shall include English as a second language, where appropriate.

(d) The Department of Social Services shall report on or before January first of each year, to the Governor and the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to human services, labor and education on the operation of JOBS. The report shall include a description of the activities of the department. The report shall include statistics concerning the number of participants placed in unsubsidized positions, their wages and occupations, the number of participants who returned to AFDC after placement in such positions, the number of participants referred to other activities, an identification of the other activities, the number of participants who completed and the number who failed to complete such activities and the reason for each such failure. The report shall also include (1) a listing of the providers of employment, educational activities and support services and such providers' success in helping participants become self-supporting; (2) the number of participants who are members of the target populations set forth in section 17b-15; and (3) a summary of dispute resolutions and sanctions imposed on participants. The department shall collect the required data concerning participants so that results may be analyzed according to racial or ethnic groups, educational background, prior work history and number and age of children.

(e) Repealed by P.A. 87-411, S. 8, 9.

(f) The Department of Social Services in accordance with the Family Support Act of 1988, Public Law No. 100-485, shall (1) provide payments for child care, not exceeding the market rate, to AFDC recipients to the extent necessary for an individual to accept or maintain employment or to participate in the JOBS program or in education and training programs and (2) provide payments for child care, not exceeding the market rate, under a sliding fee scale for former AFDC recipients for a period of up to twelve months after the last month AFDC benefits were received. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL ENSURE THAT PARENTS ENTITLED TO CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE ABLE TO CHOOSE FROM A RANGE OF SERVICES INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, LICENSED DAY CARE CENTERS, LICENSED GROUP DAY CARE HOMES, LICENSED FAMILY DAY CARE HOMES, AND CARE PROVIDED BY INDIVIDUALS NOT REQUIRED TO BE LICENSED.

Sec. 10. (NEW) No child care subsidy shall be paid to an unlicensed child care provider if such provider has been convicted of any crime involving sexual assault of a minor or serious physical injury to a minor or any crime committed in any other state or jurisdiction the essential elements of which are substantially the same as such crimes. If the commissioner has reason to believe that a provider of child care services has been so convicted, he may demand that such provider be subject to state and national criminal history checks. The commissioner shall request the state criminal history records check for such provider from the state police bureau of identification. The commissioner shall arrange for the fingerprinting of such provider and forward the fingerprints to said bureau which shall submit the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history records check. The commissioner may charge such provider a fee for the national criminal history records check which shall not exceed the fee charged by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for performing the check.

Sec. 11. This act shall take effect July 1, 1996, except sections 1, 2 and 7 shall be applicable to income years commencing on or after January 1, 1997.

Approved June 10, 1996. Effective July 1, 1996, and applicable as provided in section 11.

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