58th Legislature
2003 Regular Session

Passed by the House April 24, 2003
  Yeas 91   Nays 0

Speaker of the House of Representatives

Passed by the Senate April 14, 2003
  Yeas 46   Nays 0

President of the Senate

I, Cynthia Zehnder, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is HOUSE BILL 1980 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.

Chief Clerk

Governor of the State of Washington

Secretary of State
State of Washington




Passed Legislature - 2003 Regular Session
State of Washington58th Legislature2003 Regular Session

By Representative Boldt

Read first time 02/18/2003.   Referred to Committee on Children & Family Services.

     AN ACT Relating to work activity requirements under the temporary assistance for needy families program; and amending RCW 74.08A.260, 74.08A.275, and 74.08A.285.


Sec. 1   RCW 74.08A.260 and 1997 c 58 s 313 are each amended to read as follows:
     ((Recipients who have not obtained paid, unsubsidized employment by the end of the job search component authorized in section 312 of this act shall be referred to a work activity.))
     (1) Each recipient shall be assessed ((immediately upon completion of the job search component)) after determination of program eligibility and before referral to job search. Assessments shall be based upon factors that are critical to obtaining employment, including but not limited to education, ((employment strengths, and employment history)) availability of child care, history of family violence, history of substance abuse, and other factors that affect the ability to obtain employment. Assessments may be performed by the department or by a contracted entity. The assessment shall be based on a uniform, consistent, transferable format that will be accepted by all agencies and organizations serving the recipient. Based on the assessment, an individual responsibility plan shall be prepared that: (a) Sets forth an employment goal and a plan for moving the recipient immediately into employment; (b) contains the obligation of the recipient to become and remain employed; (c) moves the recipient into whatever employment the recipient is capable of handling as quickly as possible; and (d) describes the services available to the recipient to enable the recipient to obtain and keep employment.
     (2) Recipients who are not engaged in work and work activities, and do not qualify for a good cause exemption under RCW 74.08A.270, shall engage in self-directed service as provided in RCW 74.08A.330.
     (3) If a recipient refuses to engage in work and work activities required by the department, the family's grant shall be reduced by the recipient's share, and may, if the department determines it appropriate, be terminated.
     (4) The department may waive the penalties required under subsection (3) of this section, subject to a finding that the recipient refused to engage in work for good cause provided in RCW 74.08A.270.
     (5) In implementing this section, the department shall assign the highest priority to the most employable clients, including adults in two-parent families and parents in single-parent families that include older preschool or school-age children to be engaged in work activities.
     (6) In consultation with the recipient, the department or contractor shall place the recipient into a work activity that is available in the local area where the recipient resides.

Sec. 2   RCW 74.08A.275 and 1999 c 340 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
     Each recipient approved to receive temporary assistance for needy families shall be subject to an employability screening under RCW 74.08A.260 after determination of program eligibility and before referral to job search. If the employability screening determines the recipient is not employable, or meets the criteria specified in RCW 74.08A.270 for a good cause exemption to work requirements, the department shall defer the job search requirement under RCW 74.08A.285 ((and refer the recipient immediately to the assessment procedure required under RCW 74.08A.260)).

Sec. 3   RCW 74.08A.285 and 1998 c 89 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
     The WorkFirst program operated by the department to meet the federal work requirements specified in P.L. 104-193 shall contain a job search component. The component shall consist of instruction on how to secure a job and assisted job search activities to locate and retain employment. Nonexempt recipients of temporary assistance for needy families shall participate in an initial job search for no more than twelve consecutive weeks. Each recipient shall receive a work skills assessment upon referral to the job search program. The work skills assessment shall include but not be limited to education, employment history, employment strengths, and job skills. The recipient's ability to obtain employment will be reviewed ((within the first four weeks of job search and)) periodically thereafter and, if it is clear at any time that further participation in a job search will not be productive, the department shall assess the recipient pursuant to RCW 74.08A.260. The department shall refer recipients unable to find employment through the initial job search period to work activities that will develop their skills or knowledge to make them more employable, including additional job search and job readiness assistance.

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