Number: 105-16
Date: October 29, 1998

THE PRESIDENT SIGNS H.R. 4328/P .L. 105-277
THE OMNIBUS CONSOLIDATED AND EMERGENCY
SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT OF 1999

 

On October 21, 1998, the President signed into law H.R. 4328 (P.L. 105-277), the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1999, appropriations. The Senate cleared the House-passed version of the bill on October 21, 1998 by a vote of 65 to 29; the House passed the measure on October 20 by a vote of 333 to 95.

Below are descriptions of programrnatic SSA-related provisions of the law:

Supplemental Security Income┬ĚRelated Provisions

Redeterminations

  • The President's request for $50 million to conduct additional non-medical SSI redeterminations was not specifically funded. However, SSA's regular "Limitation on Administrative Expenses" (LAE) account was increased by $47 million over the President's budget request. SSA intends to use the additional LAE funds to conduct SSI redeterminations . Effective on enactment.

Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Demonstration Project

  • Requires the Commissioner to direct $6 million for Federal-State partnerships to evaluate methods to promote Medicare buy-in programs targeted to elderly and disabled individuals whose incomes are specified percentages of the poverty line and whose resou rces generaly are less than twice the resource limits. Effective on enactment.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit

  • Extends the work opportunity tax credit available to employers of SS! beneficiaries
    and other targeted groups until June 3D, 1999. The tax credit had expired on June 3D,
    1998.

Other Provisions

Social Security Coverage Agreements with the States

  • Permits States to modify their Social Security coverage agreements with the Commissioner of Social Security between January 1, 1999 and March 31, 1999 to exclude from Social Securi ty coverage services performed by students employed by a public school, university, or college in that State.
  • The exclusion will apply to student services performed after June 30, 2000.

Perfecting Amendments Related to Withholding from Social Security Benefits

  • Amends section 207 of the Social Security Act to allow voluntary withholding from Social Security benefits for income tax purposes. Effective for benefits paid on or after December 1, 1998.

Paperwork Elimination/Electronic Signature

  • Requires that, not later than 18 months after enactment, the Director of the Oftice of Management and Budget (OMB), in consultation with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) develop proced ures for use and acceptance of electronic signatures by Executive Agencies.
  • Provides that, not later than 5 years after enactment, the Director of OMB will ensure that Executive Agencies allow the option of electronic maintenance, submiss ion, or disclosure of information. when practicable; and allow the use of electronic signatures, when practicable.
  • Provides for the development by OMB of procedures to allow private employers to electronically file employee records with Executive agencies.
  • Provides that electronic records or signatures developed in compliance with the procedures in the law will not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability because they are in electronic form.

No DOT Funding for Changes in Drivers Licenses

  • Provides that no funds appropriated for the Department of Transportation (DOT) may be used to issue the final regulations required by section 656(b) of the IIIegal Immigrat ion Reform and Responsibility Act of 1996. Section 656(b) prohibits Federal agencies from accepting as proof of identification a drivers license that does not meet standards promulgated by the DOT. The standards include a document that contains a Social Security number that can be read electronically or visually and is in a form that includes security features to limit tampering and counterfeiting .