S-2171.1          _______________________________________________


                         SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 8405



State of Washington              52nd Legislature             1991 Regular Session


By Senators McDonald, Anderson, Johnson, Matson, Craswell, Roach, Cantu, Thorsness, Oke and McCaslin.


Read first time March 26, 1991.  Referred to Committee on Children & Family Services.Establishing a joint task force to develop a public assistance plan.

     WHEREAS, It is the intent of the legislature to initiate the implementation of a state-wide system, for the support of families and children in poverty, which breaks the cycle of poverty by providing to parents practical work skills and experiences, while encouraging the education of their children;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, By the Senate of the state of Washington, the House of Representatives concurring, That a joint task force of the legislative and executive branches of state government be established for the purpose of developing an implementation plan for a system of public assistance consistent with the requirements and objectives of this resolution.  The membership of the task force shall consist of:

     (1) Three members of the House of Representatives, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.  No more than two of the members may be from the same political party;

     (2) Three members of the Senate, to be appointed by the President of the Senate.  No more than two of the members may be from the same political party; and

     (3) Two citizens appointed by the President of the Senate and two citizens appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.  The citizen members of the task force shall be recognized experts in public assistance, representatives of the business community, or experienced in self-sufficiency and employability training; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Secretary of Social and Health Services is respectfully requested to serve as chair of the joint task force.  Administrative and staff support of the task force is requested to be provided by the Department of Social and Health Services under the direction of a steering group of legislative staff members designated by the task force.  Members of the task force shall be reimbursed for travel expenses pursuant to RCW 43.03.050 and 43.03.060; legislative members of the task force shall be reimbursed pursuant to RCW 44.04.120; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That by December 1, 1991, the joint task force shall develop and submit to the Governor and the Legislature a written plan for the implementation of a system of public assistance beginning in fiscal year 1993 that:

     (1) Maximizes, to the greatest extent permitted by federal law, within available fiscal resources, the placement of nonexempt public assistance recipients in a suitable form of employment or active search for work or, as a secondary priority, in a training program that will result in a job placement;

     (2) Provides support services to recipients to the extent necessary to achieve the self-sufficiency employment objectives of the program.  These support services may include day-care services, transportation assistance, and medical benefits;

     (3) Provides a comprehensive process for an assessment of each public assistance recipient's employability, including work history, education, basic skills, support services requirements, and other factors that influence the recipient's employability;

     (4) Provides for the classification of recipients according to employability, based on demographic characteristics most likely to contribute to successful employment;

     (5) Requires recipients to participate in a program of employment, work search, or job training as a condition of receipt of full public assistance benefits.  This requirement shall be implemented on a phased-in basis, beginning with those recipients that are classified as most employable.  Recipients will be required to accept bona fide employment offers;

     (6) Identifies the level of employment necessary to decrease the recipient's reliance on state support, provide a stable level of household income, and encourage long-term self-sufficiency.  For appropriate recipients who are employed part time, the implementation plan shall require continued work search and job preparation activities designed to secure stable, full-time employment;

     (7) Requires funds expended for education to be targeted to achieve the level of employment described in (6) above;

     (8) Conforms with all applicable federal statutes, regulations, and performance standards; and

     (9) Maximizes the state's receipt of available federal matching funds; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That in developing the implementation plan, the joint task force shall:

     (1) Consider requirements for government or community work experience as a condition of benefits under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program;

     (2) Consider requiring that parents ensure the regular school attendance of their children as a condition of continued full receipt of Aid to Families with Dependent Children; and

     (3) Examine the relative value and tradeoffs among varying grant levels and the costs of providing employment, training, work search assistance, and support services.  The goal of this examination is to develop a plan that provides the most effective use of appropriated funds to achieve self-sufficiency; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the written implementation plan submitted by the joint task force shall include:

     (1) All state legislation necessary to implement the plan;

     (2) The necessary state action plan required for the federal Job Opportunities and Basic Skills program (JOBS);

     (3) Any necessary applications for the waiver of federal statutory or administrative requirements; and

     (4) A proposed budget for fiscal year 1993 for the expenditure of funds held in reserve that:

     (a) Maximizes matching and other federal funds; and

     (b) Projects the cost of fully implementing mandatory work search and job placement requirements to the maximum extent permitted by federal law, including the projected number of cases in each classification, the itemized cost of a phase-in of each employability classification, the education, training, and support services required by each classification, and the average caseload cost of a recipient in each classification.