< Back to H.R. 4210 (107th Congress, 2001–2002)

Text of the Working From Poverty to Promise Act of 2002

This bill was introduced on April 11, 2002, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Apr 11, 2002 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

HR 4210 IH

107th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4210

To reauthorize and improve the program of block grants to States for temporary assistance for needy families.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

APRIL 11, 2002

Mrs. ROUKEMA (for herself and Mr. TIERNEY) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means


A BILL

To reauthorize and improve the program of block grants to States for temporary assistance for needy families.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Working From Poverty to Promise Act of 2002’.

SEC. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    The table of contents of this Act is as follows:

      Sec. 1. Short title.

      Sec. 2. Table of contents.

TITLE I--POVERTY REDUCTION

      Sec. 101. Modification of a purpose of the program.

      Sec. 102. States required to include poverty reduction plan in annual State plan.

      Sec. 103. States required to identify barriers to employment of recipients and develop and revise self-sufficiency plans.

TITLE II--ACHIEVING LONG TERM SELF-SUFFICIENCY

Subtitle A--Education and Training

      Sec. 201. Elimination of limitation on participation in education and training activities.

      Sec. 202. Limited participation in vocational or educational training (including postsecondary education), work-study, and related internships as allowable work activities.

Subtitle B--Encouraging States to Meet the Needs of Employers and Workers

      Sec. 251. State plan required to include certification that the State will assess its regional economies and provide information to local political subdivisions.

      Sec. 252. Assessment of State economies to identify higher-entry level wage opportunities in industries experiencing labor shortages.

      Sec. 253. Economic opportunity and accountability bonus.

TITLE III--TIME LIMITS

      Sec. 301. Effect of wage subsidies on 5-year limit.

      Sec. 302. Improving hardship exception to 5-year limit on assistance.

      Sec. 303. Requirement that States have case management plan for hardship clients with multiple barriers to employment.

TITLE IV--FUNDING

      Sec. 401. Inflation adjustment of family assistance grants.

      Sec. 402. Inflation adjustment of maintenance of effort requirement.

TITLE V--WAIVERS

      Sec. 501. Continuation of waivers.

TITLE VI--EFFECTIVE DATE

      Sec. 601. Effective date.

TITLE I--POVERTY REDUCTION

SEC. 101. MODIFICATION OF A PURPOSE OF THE PROGRAM.

    Section 401(a)(1) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601(a)(1)) is amended to read as follows:

      ‘(1) provide assistance to needy families to reduce the extent and severity of poverty in families with children;’.

SEC. 102. STATES REQUIRED TO INCLUDE POVERTY REDUCTION PLAN IN ANNUAL STATE PLAN.

    Section 402(a)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 602(a)(1)(A)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

          ‘(vii) Establish goals and take action to reduce the extent and severity of poverty experienced by families seeking assistance.’.

SEC. 103. STATES REQUIRED TO IDENTIFY BARRIERS TO EMPLOYMENT OF RECIPIENTS AND DEVELOP AND REVISE SELF-SUFFICIENCY PLANS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Section 408(b) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 608(b)) is amended--

      (1) in the subsection heading, by striking ‘INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY’ and inserting ‘SELF-SUFFICIENCY’;

      (2) in paragraph (1), by inserting ‘(including any barriers to employment)’ after ‘employability’;

      (3) in paragraph (2)--

        (A) in subparagraph (A)--

          (i) in the matter preceding clause (i)--

            (I) by striking ‘may’ and inserting ‘shall’; and

            (II) by striking ‘individual responsibility’ and inserting ‘self-sufficiency’;

          (ii) in clause (i), by striking ‘immediately’; and

          (iii) in clause (ii), by inserting ‘self-sufficient’ before ‘and remain employed’;

        (B) in subparagraph (B)--

          (i) in clause (i), by striking ‘(or, at the option of the State, 180 days)’; and

          (ii) in clause (ii), by striking ‘30 days (or, at the option of the State, 90 days)’ and inserting ‘60 days’; and

        (C) by adding at the end the following:

        ‘(C) REVISION OF PLAN- The State agency shall reassess the matters described in paragraph (1) with respect to an individual who has signed a self-sufficiency plan developed pursuant to this subsection and, in consultation with the individual, shall develop a revised self-sufficiency plan for the individual, if--

          ‘(i) the individual has good cause for failing to comply with the plan; or

          ‘(ii) the State agency otherwise determines that the plan is not appropriate for the individual.’;

      (4) in paragraph (3)--

        (A) by striking ‘may’ and inserting ‘shall’;

        (B) by striking ‘individual responsibility’ and inserting ‘self-sufficiency’; and

      (5) by striking paragraph (4).

    (b) PENALTY FOR FAILURE OF STATE TO ASSESS EMPLOYABILITY OR BARRIERS TO EMPLOYMENT, OR DEVELOP SELF-SUFFICIENCY PLAN- Section 409(a) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 609(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

      ‘(13) FAILURE TO ASSESS EMPLOYABILITY OR BARRIERS TO EMPLOYMENT, OR DEVELOP SELF-SUFFICIENCY PLAN- If the Secretary determines that a State has not complied with paragraph (1) or (2) of section 408(b) during a fiscal year, the Secretary shall reduce the grant payable to the State under section 403(a)(1) for the immediately succeeding fiscal year by an amount equal to not more than 5 percent of the State family assistance grant.’.

TITLE II--ACHIEVING LONG TERM SELF-SUFFICIENCY

Subtitle A--Education and Training

SEC. 201. ELIMINATION OF LIMITATION ON PARTICIPATION IN EDUCATION AND TRAINING ACTIVITIES.

    Section 407(c)(2) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 607(c)(2)) is amended by striking subparagraph (D).

SEC. 202. LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN VOCATIONAL OR EDUCATIONAL TRAINING (INCLUDING POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION), WORK-STUDY, AND RELATED INTERNSHIPS AS ALLOWABLE WORK ACTIVITIES.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Section 407(d) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 607(d)(8)) is amended--

      (1) by redesignating paragraphs (9) through (12) as paragraphs (11) through (14), respectively; and

      (2) by striking paragraph (8) and inserting the following:

      ‘(8) participation in vocational training or educational training (including postsecondary education), at an eligible educational institution (as defined in section 404(h)(5)(A)) leading to attainment of a credential from the institution;

      ‘(9) participation in a State or Federal work-study program under part C of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 or an internship related to vocational or postsecondary education, supervised by an eligible educational institution (as defined in section 404(h)(5)(A));

      ‘(10) occupational training leading to employment;’.

    (b) LIMITATIONS- Section 407(c)(2) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 607(c)(2)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

        ‘(D) LENGTH OF TIME FOR WHICH PARTICIPATION IN VOCATIONAL OR EDUCATIONAL TRAINING (INCLUDING POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION) COUNTS AS WORK- Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection, an individual who has been determined under a State program funded under this part to be engaged in work for 24 months by virtue of participation in 1 or more activities described in subsection (d)(8) shall not be considered to be engaged in work by virtue of participation in any such activity--

          ‘(i) for more than 16 hours per week during any subsequent period of 24 months (whether or not consecutive) in which the individual is participating in vocational training or educational training (including postsecondary education) at an eligible educational institution (as defined in section 404(h)(5)(A)) leading to attainment of a credential from the institution; or

          ‘(ii) for any period thereafter.’.

    (c) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS- Section 407(c)(1) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 607(c)(1)) is amended in each of subparagraphs (A), (B)(i), and (B)(ii), by striking ‘or (12)’ and inserting ‘(9), (10), or (14)’.

Subtitle B--Encouraging States to Meet the Needs of Employers and Workers

SEC. 251. STATE PLAN REQUIRED TO INCLUDE CERTIFICATION THAT THE STATE WILL ASSESS ITS REGIONAL ECONOMIES AND PROVIDE INFORMATION TO LOCAL POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS.

    Section 402(a) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 602(a)) is amended by redesignating paragraph (7) as paragraph (8) and inserting after paragraph (6) the following:

      ‘(7) CERTIFICATION THAT THE STATE WILL ASSESS ITS ECONOMY AND SHARE THE RESULTS WITH ITS POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS- A certification by the chief executive officer of the State that, during the fiscal year, the State will provide for the conduct of an assessment of the economy of the State in accordance with section 411(b)(1), and share the results of the assessment with the governments of the political subdivisions of the State.’.

SEC. 252. ASSESSMENT OF STATE ECONOMIES TO IDENTIFY HIGHER-ENTRY LEVEL WAGE OPPORTUNITIES IN INDUSTRIES EXPERIENCING LABOR SHORTAGES.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Section 411 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 611) is amended by redesignating subsection (b) as subsection (c) and inserting after subsection (a) the following:

    ‘(b) ASSESSMENT OF STATE ECONOMIES TO IDENTIFY HIGHER-ENTRY LEVEL WAGE OPPORTUNITIES IN INDUSTRIES EXPERIENCING LABOR SHORTAGES-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- Within 1 year after the date of the enactment of this subsection and every 2 years thereafter, each eligible State shall provide

for the conduct of an assessment (directly or through the collection of information obtained by other sources) of the economy of the State, which is designed to identify any area in the State in which there is an industry that is experiencing a labor shortage and that offers entry-level employment opportunities paying wages at a rate greater than the minimum wage rate in effect under section 6 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which shall include the following:

        ‘(A) LABOR MARKET- The assessment shall--

          ‘(i) identify any industry or occupation that is growing or that expects growth, has lost or expects to lose skilled workers, or that has or expects to have a shortage of workers;

          ‘(ii) identify the entry-level education and skills requirements for any such industry or occupation; and

          ‘(iii) analyze the entry-level wages and benefits provided in any such industry or occupation.

        ‘(B) PROFILE OF JOB SEEKERS- The assessment shall create a profile of the characteristics of the unemployed and underemployed residents of the State, including educational attainment, barriers to employment, geographic concentrations, and access to needed support services.

        ‘(C) EDUCATION AND TRAINING INFRASTRUCTURE- The assessment shall create a profile of the education, training, and support services in place in the State to prepare individuals for employment in any industry or occupation identified under subparagraph (A).

        ‘(D) ALIGNING INDUSTRIES AND JOB SEEKER NEEDS- The assessment shall compare the characteristics of each industry or occupation identified under subparagraph (A) with the profiles created under subparagraphs (B) and (C).

      ‘(2) SHARING OF INFORMATION WITH LOCAL GOVERNMENTS- The State shall share with the governments of the political subdivisions of the State any information gleaned by an assessment conducted pursuant to this subsection regarding--

        ‘(A) the existence of any industry described in paragraph (1); or

        ‘(B) opportunities for collaboration with institutions of higher education, community-based organizations, and economic development and welfare agencies.

      ‘(3) REPORTS OF ASSESSMENT OF REGIONAL ECONOMIES- An eligible State shall submit to the Secretary a written report that contains the results of any assessment conducted under paragraph (1).’.

    (b) TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE- Section 413 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 613) is amended by adding at the end the following:

    ‘(k) TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE IN ASSESSING REGIONAL ECONOMIES-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary may provide technical assistance for the purpose of assisting States in complying with section 411(b).

      ‘(2) LIMITATIONS ON AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- To carry out paragraph (1), there are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary not more than $1,500,000 for each fiscal year.’.

SEC. 253. ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY BONUS.

    Section 403(a) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 603(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

      ‘(6) BONUS TO REWARD STATES FOR ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ACCOUNTABILITY-

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall make a grant to the eligible States to which the Secretary has assigned the 5 greatest scores in providing economic opportunity and accountability for a fiscal year, based on training, placing, and retaining welfare leavers in employment identified in an assessment conducted under section 411(b).

        ‘(B) SCORING- The Secretary shall devise a system for assigning scores to States under subparagraph (A).

        ‘(C) APPROPRIATION- Out of any money in the Treasury of the United States not otherwise appropriated, there are appropriated $150,000,000 for each fiscal year for grants under this paragraph.’.

TITLE III--TIME LIMITS

SEC. 301. EFFECT OF WAGE SUBSIDIES ON 5-YEAR LIMIT.

    Section 408(a)(7) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 608(a)(7)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

        ‘(H) LIMITATION ON MEANING OF ‘ASSISTANCE’ FOR FAMILIES WITH INCOME FROM EMPLOYMENT- For purposes of this paragraph, a benefit or service provided to a family during a month under the State program funded under this part shall not be considered assistance under the program if, during the month, the family includes an adult or a minor child head of household who has received at least such amount of income from employment as the State may establish.’.

SEC. 302. IMPROVING HARDSHIP EXCEPTION TO 5-YEAR LIMIT ON ASSISTANCE.

    (a) AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE FURTHER EXEMPTIONS- Section 408(a)(7)(C)(ii) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 608(a)(7)(C)(ii)) is amended by adding at the end the following: ‘, except as otherwise provided in a State plan provision that has been approved by the Secretary’.

    (b) CLARIFICATION OF SCOPE OF HARDSHIP EXCEPTION- Section 408(a)(7)(C)(i) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 608(a)(7)(C)(i)) is amended by inserting ‘(as defined by the State in a manner that includes mental illness and disability that is not sufficient to make the sufferer eligible for supplemental security income benefits under title XVI)’ after ‘hardship’.

SEC. 303. REQUIREMENT THAT STATES HAVE CASE MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR HARDSHIP CLIENTS WITH MULTIPLE BARRIERS TO EMPLOYMENT.

    Section 402(a)(1)(B) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 602(a)(1)(B)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

          ‘(v) Establish a plan to provide appropriate case management planning and services for individuals who have a hardship defined under section 408(a)(7)(C)(i) and have multiple barriers to employment.’.

TITLE IV--FUNDING

SEC. 401. INFLATION ADJUSTMENT OF FAMILY ASSISTANCE GRANTS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Section 403(a)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 603(a)(1)(A)) is amended by striking ‘of fiscal years 1996’ and all that follows through ‘2002’ and inserting ‘fiscal year’.

    (b) INFLATION ADJUSTMENT- Section 403(a)(1) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 603(a)(1)) is amended--

      (1) in subparagraph (B)--

        (A) by striking ‘means the greatest of--’ and inserting ‘means, with respect to a fiscal year referred to in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph--

          ‘(i) the greatest of--’;

        (B) by redesignating each of clauses (i), (ii)(I), (ii)(II), and (iii) as subclauses (I), (II)(aa), (II)(bb), and (III), respectively;

        (C) by indenting each of the provisions specified in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph 2 additional ems to the right;

        (D) by striking the period and inserting ‘; multiplied by’; and

        (E) by adding at the end the following:

          ‘(ii) 1.00, plus the inflation percentage (as defined in subparagraph (F) of this paragraph) in effect for the fiscal year referred to in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph.’; and

      (2) by adding at the end the following:

        ‘(F) INFLATION PERCENTAGE- For purposes of subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, the inflation percentage applicable to a fiscal year is the percentage (if any) by which--

          ‘(i) the average of the Consumer Price Index (as defined in section 1(f)(5) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) for the 12-month period ending on September 30 of the immediately preceding fiscal year; exceeds

          ‘(ii) the average of the Consumer Price Index (as so defined) for the 12-month period ending on September 30, 2001.’.

SEC. 402. INFLATION ADJUSTMENT OF MAINTENANCE OF EFFORT REQUIREMENT.

    Section 409(a)(7) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 609(a)(7)) is amended--

      (1) in subparagraph (A), by inserting ‘inflation-adjusted’ before ‘historic State expenditures’; and

      (2) in subparagraph (B), by adding at the end the following:

          ‘(vi) INFLATION-ADJUSTED HISTORIC STATE EXPENDITURES- The term ‘inflation-adjusted historic State expenditures’ means, with respect to a fiscal year, historic State expenditures with respect to the fiscal year, multiplied by the sum of 1.00 plus the inflation percentage (as defined in section 403(a)(2)(F)) in effect for the fiscal year.’.

TITLE V--WAIVERS

SEC. 501. CONTINUATION OF WAIVERS.

    Section 415 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 615) is amended by adding at the end the following:

    ‘(e) CONTINUATION OF WAIVERS APPROVED BEFORE JULY 1, 1997- Notwithstanding paragraphs (1)(A) and (2)(A) of subsection (a), a State that has operated under a waiver described in subsection (a) which would otherwise expire on a date in the period that begins on January 1, 2002, and ends on September 30, 2007, may continue to operate under the waiver, on the same terms and conditions as applied to the waiver on the day before such otherwise occurring expiration date, through September 30, 2007.’.

TITLE V--EFFECTIVE DATE

SEC. 601. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    This Act shall take effect on October 1, 2002.