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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ind. Gov't. - "How the DOMA Ruling Could Affect State Social Services Programs"

Governing has this story today by Dylan Scott. It begins:

The U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which means same-sex marriages will now be recognized by the federal government, is also going to raise issues for states and the social services programs they administer.

The White House has instructed all federal agencies to examine how the ruling will affect their programs, and states have quietly begun doing the same. They aren’t talking much about it—sources at the American Public Human Services Association, the Council of State Governments and the National Conference of State Legislatures declined to comment—but private consultants say the legwork is underway.

The elephant in the room for these conversations is that many of the most well-known state social programs, such as Medicaid and food stamps, are administered by the states but mostly funded by the feds. So who is going to decide whether same-sex couples receive those benefits?

“This ruling puts the state agencies in the position of having to administer these programs while balancing a responsibility to the federal government, but also their responsibility to the states," says David Hansell, who advises state and local governments on social services programs for KPMG, a consulting firm. “Now they have to figure out how this changes the policy environment in which they work.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 31, 2013 10:20 AM
Posted to Indiana Government