CHN: WIA Reauthorization Postponed in Senate HELP Committee

Articles from September 26, 2003
More Americans Living in Poverty
The number of Americans who live in poverty has risen for the second year in a row to 34.6 million, an increase of nearly 3 million people since 2000, according to a report released by the Census Bureau on Friday, September 26. The proportion of Americans living in poverty increased to 12.1 percent in 2002, up from 11.7 percent the year before. Children remained the age group most likely to be poor, with 16.7 percent of all children living in poverty, up from 16.3 percent in 2001. Poverty is defined by the Census Bureau as less than $14,494 for a parent and two children in 2002.

TANF Bonus Funds Distributed to States
This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released two sets of bonus funds to states under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The first was $200 million in “high performance bonuses” to states with the best outcomes for employment, earnings, and job retention. In addition, for the first time HHS distributed bonuses to states that did a good job providing food stamps, Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and child care to eligible families, and to states that showed an increase in the proportion of children living in 2-parent families. Forty-one states and the District of Columbia received bonuses.

TANF Assistance to be Extended
On Wednesday, September 24, the House passed legislation (HR 3146) to extend the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program for six months through March 31, 2004. The law is currently set to expire September 30, 2003. The Senate is expected to pass an extension in the coming days. This extension will be the fifth time that Congress has extended TANF within the past year.

WIA Reauthorization Postponed in Senate HELP Committee
Plans to markup the Senate’s Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization bill in the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on Thursday, September 25 were indefinitely postponed due to the passing of Chairman Judd Gregg’s father. A rescheduled markup will be announced at a later date.

Job Training and Education
Labor and Employment