Democratic Substitute on Welfare Reform

Offered by Representatives Cardin, Woolsey and Kind

For Immediate Release:

February 13, 2003

Contact:

The substitute includes the following provisions to reduce poverty, promote State flexibility, and move welfare recipients into real jobs.

INCREASED ACCESS TO EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Expands State flexibility to provide training and education to welfare recipients (such activities would count for up to 24 months against a State's participation requirement).

STRONG WORK REQUIREMENTS: Increases to 70% the number of welfare recipients that are required to be engaged in work-related activities (including education and training).

EMPLOYMENT CREDIT: Counts recipients who have left welfare for work toward a State's work participation requirement for six months.

MAINTAINING CURRENT WORK HOURS: Maintains the current-law requirement on total participation hours (30 per week with a State option to go higher). Includes a requirement that 24 hours be in core activities. Maintains the current 20-hour requirement for mothers with young children.

INCREASED CHILD CARE FUNDING: Increases mandatory funding for child care by $11 billion over the next five years. Also, restores Social Services Block Grant funding to $2.8 billion per year (up from $1.7 billion per year).

ASSISTANCE FOR IMMIGRANTS: Removes various barriers to serving legal immigrants, including the current ban on States providing Federally-funded TANF benefits to immigrant families, the bar on serving pregnant women and children under Medicaid, and the bar on disabled children under SSI.

POVERTY REDUCTION: Includes reducing poverty as a new purpose of the TANF program and provides financial bonuses to States reducing child poverty.

FAMILY FORMATION: Provides $100 million per year to promote the formation of two-parent families, reduce teenage pregnancy, and help non-custodial parents support their children.

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