FINAL BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
C 126 L 18
Synopsis as Enacted
Brief Description: Establishing the legislative-executive WorkFirst poverty reduction oversight task force.
Sponsors: House Committee on Early Learning & Human Services (originally sponsored by Representatives Sawyer, Kagi, Stambaugh, Caldier, Robinson, Springer, Hargrove, Tarleton, Ormsby, Doglio and Stanford).
House Committee on Early Learning & Human Services
House Committee on Appropriations
Senate Committee on Human Services, Mental Health & Housing
Senate Committee on Ways & Means
Senate Committee on Human Services & Corrections
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a federal block grant that provides temporary cash assistance, subsidized childcare, and work programs for families. With limited exceptions, adult TANF recipients must participate in one or more WorkFirst activities. These activities may include paid and unpaid employment-based training programs, career development, community service, work skills assessment and job hunting training, and vocational training programs. WorkFirst participants may receive additional services such as child support collection, food assistance, and subsidized childcare.
The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) administers the WorkFirst program in partnership with the Department of Commerce (COM), the Department of Early Learning (DEL), the Employment Security Department (ESD), the Office of Financial Management (OFM), and the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC).
Legislative-Executive WorkFirst Oversight Task Force.
The Legislative-Executive WorkFirst Oversight Task Force (Task Force) was established in 2011 to oversee a redesign of the WorkFirst program and the operation of the TANF program.
The Task Force is composed of eight legislative members and six Governor-appointed agency representatives. Agencies represented include the DSHS, the COM, the DEL, the ESD, the OFM, and the SBCTC.
Intergenerational poverty refers to two or more consecutive generations of a family experiencing poverty. According to the United States Census Bureau, approximately 12 percent of Washington's population was living under the federal poverty guideline in 2016. The 2016 federal poverty guideline for a household of four is a monthly income of $2,025.
Legislative-Executive WorkFirst Poverty Reduction Oversight Task Force.
The Legislative-Executive WorkFirst Poverty Reduction Oversight Task Force (Poverty Reduction Task Force) is established and the Legislative-Executive WorkFirst Oversight Task Force is eliminated. The Poverty Reduction Task Force must:
oversee the operation of the WorkFirst and TANF programs;
determine evidence-based outcome measures for the WorkFirst program;
develop accountability measures for WorkFirst recipients and agencies responsible for recipient progress toward self-sufficiency;
develop and monitor strategies to prevent and address adverse childhood experiences and reduce intergenerational poverty;
seek input on best practices for poverty reduction from service providers, community-based organizations, legislators, state agencies, stakeholders, the business community, and subject matter experts;
collaborate with partner agencies and the Committee to analyze available data and information regarding intergenerational poverty; and
recommend policy actions to the Governor and the Legislature to effectively reduce intergenerational poverty and promote and encourage self-sufficiency.
Staff support for the Poverty Reduction Task Force must be provided by the state agency members. Additional staff support for the legislative members of the Poverty Reduction Task Force must be provided by Senate Committee Services and the Office of Program Research.
Intergenerational Poverty Advisory Committee.
The Committee is created to advise the Poverty Reduction Task Force. Committee members are appointed by the Secretary of the DSHS, and staff support is provided by the DSHS. The Committee must choose co-chairs from among its membership.
Committee members must include representatives of advocacy groups; academic experts in childhood poverty, education, or early childhood education; faith-based organizations; tribal governments; families impacted by poverty; local government; the business community; a subject matter expert in infant mental health; the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF); and the DSHS.
Poverty Reduction Task Force Membership.
The Poverty Reduction Task Force membership must include diverse, statewide representation reflecting regional, racial, and cultural diversity. Voting members include four members of the Senate, four members of the House of Representatives, and eight members representing the following state agencies: the DSHS, the DCYF, the COM, the ESD, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Department of Health, the Department of Corrections, and the SBCTC. The Poverty Reduction Task Force must choose one legislative member and one executive branch member to serve as co-chairs.
The Governor must appoint five nonvoting members to the Poverty Reduction Task Force representing the Commission on African American Affairs, the Commission on Hispanic Affairs, the Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, the Governor's Office of Indian Affairs, and the OFM.
The co-chairs of the Committee must serve as nonvoting members of the Poverty Reduction Task Force.
The partner agencies must provide the Poverty Reduction Task Force with regular reports on progress toward meeting the outcome and performance measures established by the Poverty Reduction Task Force, caseload trends and program expenditures information, and characteristics of families who have been unsuccessful on TANF and have lost their benefits.
The Poverty Reduction Task Force must direct the DSHS to develop a five-year plan to address intergenerational poverty and promote self-sufficiency, subject to oversight and approval by the Task Force. The DSHS must submit the plan to the Governor and the Legislature by December 1, 2019. The Poverty Reduction Task Force must review the five-year plan by December 1, 2024 and direct the DSHS to update the plan as necessary.
Votes on Final Passage:
June 7, 2018