R 209
2002-S 2978
Enacted 05/01/2002

S  E  N  A  T  E    R  E  S  O  L  U  T  I  O  N



Introduced By: Senators Gibbs, Paiva-Weed, Roney, Roberts, and Parella


Date Introduced: May 01, 2002

WHEREAS, The 1996 Federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act created the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families block grant; and

WHEREAS, Authorization for the TANF program ends September 30, 2002; and

WHEREAS, The United States Congress must pass legislation reauthorizing the program prior to that date; and

WHEREAS, It is likely that Congress and the President will take the opportunity of reauthorization to consider key policy changes; and

WHEREAS, The state of Rhode Island is in the midst of a profound affordable housing shortage, which impacts low income families' ability to obtain and retain stable employment; and

WHEREAS, Rhode Island has experienced a 43.2% increase in population with modest or limited English speaking abilities in the past ten years; and

WHEREAS, The income gap associated with levels of educational attainment in Rhode Island is wide and increasing; parents without high school diplomas experienced a 63.3% real income decline between 1983 and 2000, while those with college degrees saw their incomes increase 53% over the same time; and

WHEREAS, Rhode Island's Family Independence Act has created a program that has generated numerous positive outcomes for families, including:

- nearby doubling the likelihood of parents becoming employed;

- establishing that education and training opportunities increase both the

likelihood of employment and family income;

- improving access to quality childcare for working low and moderate

income families; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby supports using Rhode Island's Family Independence Program as a national model for assisting low income families. Furthermore, this legislature only supports TANF authorization that:

- increases overall federal funding, with a focus on ensuring that TANF parents

are afforded education and training opportunities, from basic education through

post secondary, to succeed in an employment economy which increasingly

rewards high skills;

- grants states the flexibility to use TANF funding to help parents prepare

for work in the best way possible;

- acknowledges that reduced family poverty is the best measure of program


- includes funding for quality case management and necessary support services;

- respects the well-being of families and the healthy development of children

by guaranteeing that individual employment and earned income objectives

proceed from a holistic assessment of parent and child needs;

- supports children in all families, regardless of constitution; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he is hereby authorized and directed to transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to the entire Rhode Island Congressional delegation.

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