H. R. 3055
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
August 2, 2013
Mr. Southerland (for himself, Mr. Reed, Ms. Jenkins, Mr. Austin Scott of Georgia, Mr. Bentivolio, Mr. Price of Georgia, Mr. Westmoreland, Mrs. Blackburn, and Mr. Kingston) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture
To reform the Federal supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) so that States have the option of conducting pilot projects to require that able-bodied individuals participate in work activities as a condition of receiving benefits under such program.
This Act may be cited as the
Providing Relief to Individuals
Desiring Employment (PRIDE) Act of 2013
Pilot projects to promote work and increase State accountability in the supplemental nutrition assistance program
Effective October 1, 2013, section 17 of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2026) is amended by adding at the end the following:
Pilot projects To promote work and increase State accountability in the supplemental nutrition assistance program
The Secretary shall carry out pilot projects to develop and test methods allowing States to run a work program with certain features comparable to the State program funded under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act ( 42 U.S.C. 601 et seq. ), with the intent of increasing employment and self-sufficiency through increased State accountability and thereby reducing the need for supplemental nutrition assistance benefits.
In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary shall enter into cooperative agreements with States in accordance with pilot projects that meet the criteria required under this subsection.
To be eligible for a cooperative agreement under this paragraph, a State shall submit to the Secretary a plan that complies with requirements of this subsection beginning in fiscal year 2014. The Secretary may not disapprove applications which meet the requirements of this subsection as described through its amended supplemental nutrition assistance State Plan.
A State shall include in its plan assurances that its pilot project will—
operate for at least three 12-month periods but not more than five 12-month periods;
have a robust data collection system for program administration that is designed and shared with project evaluators to ensure proper and timely evaluation; and
intend to offer a work activity described in paragraph (4) to adults assigned and required to participate under paragraph (3)(A) and who are not exempt under paragraph (3)(F).
Number of pilot projects
Any State may carry out a pilot project that meets the requirements of this subsection.
Extent of pilot projects
Pilot projects shall cover no less than the entire State.
Other program waivers
Waivers for able-bodied adults without dependents provided under section 6(o) are void for States covered by a pilot project carried out under paragraph (1).
For purposes of this
subsection, the term
work activity means any of the
Employment in the public or private sector that is not subsidized by any public program.
Employment in the private sector for which the employer receives a subsidy from public funds to offset some or all of the wages and costs of employing an adult.
Employment in the public sector for which the employer receives a subsidy from public funds to offset some or all of the wages and costs of employing an adult.
A work activity that—
is performed in return for public benefits;
provides an adult with an opportunity to acquire the general skills, knowledge, and work habits necessary to obtain employment;
is designed to improve the employability of those who cannot find unsubsidized employment; and
is supervised by an employer, work site sponsor, or other responsible party on an ongoing basis.
Training in the public or private sector that is given to a paid employee while he or she is engaged in productive work and that provides knowledge and skills essential to the full and adequate performance of the job.
Job search, obtaining employment, or preparation to seek or obtain employment, including—
life skills training;
substance abuse treatment or mental health treatment, determined to be necessary and documented by a qualified medical, substance abuse, or mental health professional; or
Structured programs and embedded activities—
in which adults perform work for the direct benefit of the community under the auspices of public or nonprofit organizations;
that are limited to projects that serve useful community purposes in fields such as health, social service, environmental protection, education, urban and rural redevelopment, welfare, recreation, public facilities, public safety, and child care;
that are designed to improve the employability of adults not otherwise able to obtain unsubsidized employment;
that are supervised on an ongoing basis; and
with respect to which a State agency takes into account, to the extent possible, the prior training, experience, and skills of a recipient in making appropriate community service assignments.
Career and technical training programs (not to exceed 12 months with respect to any adult) that are directly related to the preparation of adults for employment in current or emerging occupations and that are supervised on an ongoing basis.
Training or education for job skills that are required by an employer to provide an adult with the ability to obtain employment or to advance or adapt to the changing demands of the workplace and that are supervised on an ongoing basis.
Education that is related to a specific occupation, job, or job offer and that is supervised on an ongoing basis.
In the case of an adult who has not completed secondary school or received such a certificate of general equivalence, regular attendance—
in accordance with the requirements of the secondary school or course of study, at a secondary school or in a course of study leading to such certificate; and
supervised on an ongoing basis.
Providing child care to enable another recipient of public benefits to participate in a community service program that—
does not provide compensation for such community service;
is a structured program designed to improve the employability of adults who participate in such program; and
is supervised on an ongoing basis.
Work activities under this subsection shall
be subject to all applicable health and safety standards. Except as described
in clauses (i), (ii), and (iii) of subparagraph (A), the term
activity shall be considered work preparation and not defined as
employment for purposes of other law.
Pilot projects carried out under paragraph (1) shall include interventions to which adults are assigned that are designed to reduce unnecessary dependence, promote self sufficiency, increase work levels, increase earned income, and reduce supplemental nutrition assistance benefit expenditures among households eligible for, applying for, or participating in the supplemental nutrition assistance program.
Adults assigned to interventions by the State shall—
be subject to mandatory participation in work activities specified in paragraph (4), except those with 1 or more dependent children under 1 year of age;
participate in work activities specified in paragraph (4) for a minimum of 20 hours per week per household;
be a maximum age of not less than 50 and not more than 60, as defined by the State;
be subject to penalties during a period of nonparticipation without good cause ranging from, at State option, a minimum of the removal of the adults from the household benefit amount, up to a maximum of the discontinuance of the entire household benefit amount; and
not be penalized for nonparticipation if child care is not available for 1 or more children under 6 years of age.
The State shall allow certain individuals to be exempt from work requirements—
those participating in work programs under a State program funded under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) for an equal or greater number of hours;
1 adult family member per household who is needed in the home to care for a disabled family member;
an adult who is receiving temporary or permanent disability benefits issued by governmental sources; and
those with a good cause reason for nonparticipation, such as victims of domestic violence, as defined by the State.
Evaluation and reporting
The Secretary shall provide for each State that enters into an agreement under paragraph (2) an independent, longitudinal evaluation of its pilot project under this subsection to determine total program savings over the entire course of the pilot project with results reported in consecutive 12-month increments.
The purpose of the evaluation is to measure the impact of interventions provided by the State under the pilot project on the ability of adults in households eligible for, applying for, or participating in the supplemental nutrition assistance program to find and retain employment that leads to increased household income and reduced dependency.
The independent evaluation under subclause (I) shall use valid statistical methods which can determine the difference between supplemental nutrition assistance benefit expenditures, if any, as a result of the interventions as compared to a control group that—
is not subject to the interventions provided by the State under the pilot project under this subsection; and
maintains services provided under 16(h) in the year prior to the start of the pilot project under this subsection.
States shall have the option to evaluate pilot projects by matched counties or matched geographical areas using a constructed control group design to isolate the effects of the intervention of the pilot project.
Constructed control group means there is no random assignment, and instead program participants (those subject to interventions) and non-participants (control) are equated using matching or statistical procedures on characteristics that may be associated with program outcomes.
Not later than 90 days after the end of fiscal year 2014 and of each fiscal year thereafter, until the completion of the last evaluation under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate, a report that includes a description of—
the status of each pilot project carried out under paragraph (1);
the results of the evaluation completed during the previous fiscal year; and
to the maximum extent practicable—
baseline information relevant to the stated goals and desired outcomes of the pilot project;
the impact of the interventions on appropriate employment, income, and public benefit receipt outcomes among households participating in the pilot project;
equivalent information about similar or identical measures among control or comparison groups;
the planned dissemination of the report findings to State agencies; and
the steps and funding necessary to incorporate into State employment and training programs the components of pilot projects that demonstrate increased employment and earnings.
In addition to the reporting requirements under subparagraph (B), evaluation results shall be shared broadly to inform policy makers, service providers, other partners, and the public in order to promote wide use of successful strategies, including by posting evaluation results on the Internet website of the Department of Agriculture.
From amounts made available under section 18(a)(1), the Secretary shall make available—
up to $1,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2014 through 2017 for evaluations described in paragraph (5) to carry out this subsection, with such amounts to remain available until expended; and
amounts equal to one-half of the accumulated supplemental nutrition assistance benefit dollars saved over each consecutive 12-month period according to the evaluation under paragraph (5) for bonus grants to States under paragraph (7)(B).
A State operating a pilot project under this subsection shall not receive more funding under section 16(h) than the State received the year prior to commencing a project under this subsection and shall not claim funds under 16(a) for expenses that are unique to the pilot project under this subsection.
Any additional funds required by a State to carry out a pilot project under this subsection may be provided by the State from funds made available to the State for such purpose and in accordance with State and other Federal laws, including the following:
Section 403 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 603).
The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 ( 29 U.S.C. 9201 et seq. ).
The social services block grant under subtitle A of title XX of the Social Security Act ( 42 U.S.C. 1397 et seq. ).
Use of funds
Funds provided under this subsection for evaluation of pilot projects shall be used only for—
pilot projects that comply with this subsection;
the costs incurred in gathering and providing information and data used to conduct the independent evaluation under paragraph (5); and
the costs of the evaluation under paragraph (5).
Funds provided for bonus grants to States for pilot projects under this subsection shall be used only for—
pilot projects that comply with this subsection;
amounts equal to one-half of the accumulated supplemental nutrition assistance benefit dollars saved over each consecutive 12-month period according to the evaluation under paragraph (5); and
any State purpose, not to be restricted to the supplemental nutrition assistance program or its beneficiary population.
Improved wage verification using the National Directory of New Hires
Effective October 1, 2013, section 11(e) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 ( 7 U.S.C. 2020(e) ) is amended—
in paragraph (3)
and after compliance with the requirement specified in
section 16(e) of this Act
in paragraph (22) by striking
and at the end,
in paragraph (23
by striking the period at the end and inserting
by adding at the end the following:
that the State agency shall request wage data directly from the National Directory of New Hires established under section 453(i) of the Social Security Act ( 42 U.S.C. 653(i) ) relevant to determining eligibility to receive supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits and determining the correct amount of such benefits.