Summary: H.R.4605 — 103rd Congress (1993-1994)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.4605. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (06/21/1994)


Title I: JOBS

Title II: WORK

Title III: Child Care

Title IV: Provisions with Multi-Program Applicability

Title V: Prevention of Dependency

Title VI: Child Support Enforcement

Title VII: Improving Government Assistance and Preventing


Title VIII: Self Employment/Microenterprise Demonstrations

Title IX: Financing

Title X: Effective Dates

Work and Responsibility Act of 1994 - Title I: JOBS - Amends parts A (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) (AFDC) and F (Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training Program) (JOBS) of title IV of the Social Security Act (SSA) to revise the Federal welfare system for the purpose of making AFDC a transitional program with the goal of enabling participants to achieve maximum economic independence and self-sufficiency by, among other changes, imposing time-limited AFDC benefits and requiring participation in modified and new State-administered job training and subsidized employment programs that have been designed to eventually move them into the permanent work force and prepare them for a life without welfare by enabling them to get work experience and by requiring them to perform job searches for suitable nonsubsidized employment.

(Sec. 101) Modifies current AFDC and JOBS participation requirements.

Requires all AFDC recipients (including minor custodial parents not attending school full time) who are able to participate in the JOBS program to so participate, starting in FY 1996 or 1997 on a phased-in basis with custodial parents (including such minor parents) born in 1972 or later, and continuing thereafter with any such additional classes of parents of dependent children or other AFDC applicants or recipients.

Requires a recipient unable to participate in the JOBS program because of a third trimester pregnancy, temporary incapacity, or other specified reason, to participate in related preparatory activities the State in appropriate cases may require pursuant to the recipient's employability plan, in order to prepare the recipient for full JOBS participation.

Requires suspension for up to six months of the AFDC benefits of a family with a member who is required to participate in JOBS but refuses without good cause to accept the required number of weekly hours of employment offered by a public or private sector employer under the program.

Grants States the option of continuing AFDC to the dependent children of any family with a parent who is required to participate in JOBS but fails without good cause to do so and is cut off AFDC for the period specified under current law, while preserving their eligibility under SSA title XIX (Medicaid). Directs the applicable State agency to provide appropriate counseling and other supportive services to assist the parent in addressing such failure.

Requires custodial parents below age 20 who do not have a high school diploma (or its equivalent), and are required to participate in JOBS, to participate in an educational activity, regardless of State resource availability as currently conditioned under law.

Allows States to apply AFDC sanctions to any individual required to get substance abuse treatment as a condition of JOBS participation who fails to get such treatment.

(Sec. 102) Requires the States to implement statewide within two years of initial implementation in FY 1996 or 1997 modified JOBS programs that, with respect to the AFDC recipients required to participate in JOBS, provide for an assessment of such recipient's literacy skills and for expanded education, optional free substance abuse treatment, mandatory job search, and self-employment (including microenterprise) preparation services, in addition to the currently authorized child care and other supportive services. Requires such State JOBS programs to provide any other appropriate services or activities detailed in the recipient's individualized employability plan which the State agrees to provide and the recipient agrees to participate in by signing a personal responsibility agreement, in order to prepare the recipient for either permanent unsubsidized employment or temporary subsidized employment through the new WORK program.

Requires such JOBS programs to address participant training for child care providers and nontraditional employment positions. Requires such JOBS programs to require employability plans to: (1) indicate the overall time for achieving their employment goals; and (2) be extended whenever the 24 month limit on AFDC benefits is extended. Subjects them to periodic review and revision to reflect the recipient's progress towards meeting such goals. (Continues with further modifications in the JOBS program as provided below under title II of this Act.)

(Sec. 103) Revises JOBS program provisions on dispute resolution and service provision, with changes in the latter provisions: (1) extending their applicability (although modified, and along with additional specified wage, benefit, and working condition requirements) to the WORK program; (2) specifying the components of grievance procedures for resolving regular employee complaints alleging violations of worker displacement prohibitions or other specified work-related requirements; (3) requiring written notification of labor organizations when JOBS program participants are assigned to regular employment positions; (4) establishing an alternative expedited grievance procedure for complaints involving such an assignment; and (5) providing for binding arbitration for adverse grievance decisions.

Changes earned income disregards and the limit on Federal reimbursement for State expenditures under work supplementation program provisions.

(Sec. 104) Requires the States to generally limit AFDC benefits to 24 months, subject to extension for certain educational purposes, unless they have opted to participate in a limited number of demonstrations using alternative limits.

(Sec. 105) Places administrative jurisdiction of the WORK program under the Assistant Secretary for Family Support in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Title II: WORK - Adds to SSA title IV part G the WORK program. Requires States to have new programs requiring former JOBS participants who have been cut off AFDC after 24 months without receiving an extension or finding suitable employment to: (1) register with the applicable State agency for an approprate Work assignment of up to one year in the local area, involving placement in a temporary position in a subsidized private or public sector job (including ones as community service and child care providers) that gives them the experience for eventually finding a nonsubsidized job; and (2) conduct job searches for suitable nonsubsidized employment after completing an assignment while awaiting assignment to the next WORK job.

(Sec. 201) Allows registrants to receive supplemental AFDC benefits in addition to their WORK earnings, as well as have their Medicaid-eligibility preserved while participating in WORK. Prohibits the upward adjustment of the amount of such supplemental benefits because of any failure to work the required hours for each assignment. Requires the aplicable State agency to conduct a comprehensive assessment at periodic intervals and either reassign the WORK participant to JOBS for additional training or to another assignment if he or she cannot find unsubsidized employment.

Details other program provisions, chief among them provisions for: (1) local WORK advisory boards for advising administering agencies; (2) child care and other supportive services; (3) sanctions, hearings, and evaluations following WORK violations; and (4) optional joint JOBS and WORK administration and provision of program services through one-stop career centers.

(Sec. 202) Revises current JOBS funding provisions, among other changes: (1) increasing the capped JOBS entitlement beginning in FY 1996, with the level of such entitlement specified for FY 2005 and each fiscal year thereafter adjusted for inflation; (2) limiting entitlement payments under JOBS to a State according to the average monthly number of adult recipients in the State for the preceding fiscal year relative to the number in all States (no longer factoring in the amount allotted to the State for FY 1987); (3) including enhanced Federal matching in the formulae for determining Federal payment with respect to a State's JOBS, WORK, and associated child care support expenditures; (4) establishing similar separate funding for the WORK program and specified set-asides under both programs for Indian tribes and Alaska Native organizations; and (5) earmarking specified funds for use by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) to provide to States requesting additional funding for JOBS or WORK in the following fiscal year beyond that which was originally allocated and subsequently reallocated.

(Sec. 204) Requires the States to implement modified JOBS programs as described above that, additionally, provide: (1) at the State's option, for a separate program for job training and employment opportunities for non-custodial parents without requiring their participation in JOBS or WORK in order to participate in the separate program; (2) for revised components for Indian tribes and Alaska Native organizations, among other changes, making such components applicable to such entities applying to conduct WORK programs, and to provide funding for Indian and Alaska Native child care under the AFDC, JOBS, and WORK programs; and (3) for special rules for territories regarding applicability of the 24 month limit on AFDC benefits and the WORK program.

(Sec. 205) Amends SSA title XI to remove WORK and "at-risk" family child care from the territorial cap.

(Sec. 207) Amends the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) to exempt earnings from WORK employment from being: (1) subject to Federal income and unemployment taxes; and (2) treated as earned income or qualified wages for purposes of the earned income and targeted jobs tax credits.

Title III: Child Care - Makes various specified changes with regard to AFDC's child care support programs, including those largely conforming to the provisions of this Act concerning child care support for JOBS and WORK participants. Provides, in addition, for transitional child care for individuals leaving the WORK program. Provides also, with respect to AFDC recipients, JOBS and WORK participants, transitional child care recipients, and "at-risk" families, for parental rights and child care health and safety standards consistent with those under the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 (Child Care Block Grant Act), including requirements for proper child immunizations and protection against toxic substances and weapons at sites where child care is provided.

(Sec. 302) Provides for: (1) family cost-sharing for transitional and "at-risk" family child care consistent with the methodology used under the Child Care Block Grant Act; (2) "at-risk" family child care only in cases where the family involved is not eligible for other SSA title IV part A child care support programs, and regardless of whether they need child care in order to work; and (3) modified State payment and Federal reimbursement rules, among other changes making State licensing and monitoring activities with respect to child care providers reimbursable as an administrative cost.

(Sec. 304) Provides for: (1) optional administration of AFDC's child care support programs by the lead State agency designated under the Child Care Block Grant Act; (2) establishment of a set-aside in the "at-risk" family child care support program for improving the quality and increasing the supply of appropriate child care for low-income communities; (3) increased Federal funding for the "at-risk" family child care support program as well as a new enhanced Federal match for that program consistent with that for other SSA title IV part A services; and (4) reallotment of unused "at-risk" funds to States with expenditures exceeding applicable limits.

(Sec. 307) Provides for offering working AFDC families a supplement if certain earned income disregard provisions are applied in order to guarantee child care.

Title IV: Provisions with Multi-Program Applicability - Revises current JOBS performance standards and AFDC quality control and management information system provisions. Provides for: (1) an outcome-based performance standards system for measuring the extent to which JOBS and WORK help participants and their families move towards self-sufficiency and economic well-being and away from welfare; and (2) an expanded quality control system, as well as new State automated systems, for use in assessing the State's performance in administering its AFDC, JOBS, WORK and child care support programs, by applying such standards and in assisting the States in monitoring participants, processing payments, providing services, managing information, and performing the other operations involved in administering such programs. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 403) Amends AFDC to require the Secretary to establish and maintain an automated National Welfare Receipt Registry of information on current and past AFDC and WORK participants for assisting States in administering their AFDC, JOBS, and WORK plans. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 404) Earmarks funding out of the capped JOBS and WORK entitlements above for specified demonstration projects, studies, and other activities related to the programs created and modified by this Act and involving, for instance: (1) JOBS placements in positions with significant retention rates; (2) WORK programs conducted outside the State's AFDC program; (3) State Work Support Agencies for assisting former AFDC recipients in retaining unsubsidized employment; and (4) parenting skills for noncustodial parents.

(Sec. 405) Requires the Secretary and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, beginning in FY 1998, to make certain certifications over a six-year period regarding the use of the component databases of the National Welfare Reform Information Clearinghouse (established under title VI of this Act) by State and Federal agencies. Requires the Director to determine whether Federal agencies have used such databases for reducing waste, fraud, and abuse in their programs in order to achieve the mandatory spending reductions assumed in the cost estimates accompanying this Act. Specifies required reductions in mandatory spending for the succeeding fiscal year if the Director certifies before the close of the current fiscal year that despite the full use of such databases mandatory spending was not reduced by the projected amount.

Title V: Prevention of Dependency - Amends AFDC and JOBS to make various specified changes designed to prevent welfare dependency, including changes relating to: (1) supervised living arrangements for unmarried minor parents with dependent children and pregnant women; (2) State options to limit AFDC benefit increases for families on AFDC who have additional children, and to conduct a program of montary incentives and penalties to encourage teen custodial parents and pregnant women to complete high school and participate in parenting activities; and (3) case management for teen custodial parents on AFDC.

(Sec. 505) Amends SSA title XX (Block Grants to States for Social Services) to provide for: (1) grants for development of school-based programs in high risk areas for promoting adolescent personal responsibility and character development with emphasis on drug use and pregnancy prevention; (2) grants for carrying out similar demonstration projects providing comprehensive services for promoting educational advancement, improving community stability, and developing employment opportunities in addition to focusing on personal responsibility and drug use and pregnancy prevention; and (3) establishment by appropriate Federal officials of the National Clearinghouse on Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Programs for disseminating information on and performing other specified functions, including sponsoring training institutes, with regard to adolescent pregnancy prevention programs.

Title VI: Child Support Enforcement - Amends SSA title IV part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity) to revise the Federal child support and paternity establishment system and related IRC and other provisions to mandate among other things: (1) centralized collection and disbursement (including interstate collection and disbursement) of child support payments through a new single statewide automated system linked to a central registry of all child support orders established or modified in the State involved subject to wage withholding; and (2) a National Welfare Reform Information Clearinghouse composed of specified automated registries and directories (including an expanded Federal Parent Locator Service) containing employment, locate, and other specified types of information for assisting the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in verifying employment and States in administering their AFDC, JOBS, WORK, and child support and paternity establishment programs, verifying the income and eligibility of Medicaid, food stamp, and SSI (Supplemental Security Income) (SSA title XVI) program participants, and ruling on unemployment and worker compensation claims.

(Sec. 601) Mandates: (1) outreach for voluntarily establishing paternity and facilitating access to child support enforcement services; (2) annual State reviews of and reports on child support and paternity establishment programs for use by Federal auditors in assessing program performance using new Government standards; and (3) increased Federal matching payments for such programs.

Includes among such changes new State plan requirements regarding: (1) AFDC recipient cooperation in State efforts to establish paternity and secure support; (2) distribution of support payments; (3) due process rights; (4) privacy safeguards; and (5) State and local agency program staff and contractor training.

(Sec. 612) Revises provisions on: (1) State incentive payments, providing for performance-based incentive adjustments to the Federal matching rate for payments to a particular State; and (2) reductions in State AFDC payments for certain failures, adding specific failures to achieve appropriate levels of performance in paternity establishment and child support enforcement or to submit complete or reliable data, and conditioning the effectiveness of such reductions on the State's failure to take sufficient corrective action in the succeeding fiscal year to achieve compliance.

(Sec. 615) Requires the Secretary to conduct staffing studies for a report to the Congress.

(Sec. 616) Earmarks specified funding for Federal technical assistance, training, research, demonstrations, and other activities assisting State child support and paternity establishment programs.

(Sec. 617) Makes specified changes with regard to: (1) annual congressional reports on all SSA title IV part D activities; and (2) data collection and reporting.

(Sec. 623) Revises State law requirements regarding: (1) income withholding; (2) locate networks; (3) labor union cooperation in such State efforts; (4) use of social security numbers on child support and paternity orders and other specified party records; (5) modification of child support orders (including uniform interstate enforcement and modification of such orders); (6) expedited administrative and judicial procedures for establishing paternity (including before the child is born) and establishing, modifying, and enforcing support obligations; (7) imposition of motor vehicle title liens and other specified actions for support arrearages (including mandatory credit bureau reporting of all arrearages); (8) arrearage statute of limitations and interest and penalties; and (9) visitation rights.

(Sec. 625) Directs the Secretary to establish a National Welfare Reform Information Clearinghouse and an automated National Directory of New Hires.

(Sec. 627) Directs the Secretary to conduct studies on: (1) (and make grants to States for demonstrations involving) certain locate activities; and (2) the use of tax return information for modifying child support orders.

(Sec. 642) Provides for: (1) a reduction in State AFDC payments for failure to establish paternity promptly; and (2) State options to provide for incentive payments to families to encourage paternity establishment.

Directs the Secretary to authorize certain State demonstrations involving financial incentives for paternity establishment.

(Sec. 651) Authorizes the Secretary to establish: (1) a revolving loan fund for program improvements to increase child support collections; and (2) the National Commission on Child Support Guidelines to determine whether a national child support guideline is advisable and develop one for congressional consideration if it is. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 662) Amends IRC to make specified changes with regard to the IRS tax refund offset program and collection of arrearages, among other changes: (1) eliminating the disparities between AFDC and non-AFDC cases; and (2) prohibiting additional fees for updating open case arrearages.

(Sec. 664) Consolidates and revises provisions for collecting support from Federal employees and members of the armed forces.

(Sec. 672) Modifies support obligation treatment under the Federal bankruptcy code.

(Sec. 673) Provides for passport denial in cases involving child support arrearages exceeding $5,000.

(Sec. 681) Directs the Secretary to make grants for State demonstrations to determine the effectiveness of programs to provide assured levels of child support to custodial parents of children whose paternity and support obligations have been established. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 691) Authorizes appropriations for State absent parent access and visitation programs.

Title VII: Improving Government Assistance and Preventing Fraud - Amends AFDC, the Family Support Act of 1988, the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (Food Stamp Act), SSA title XI, and the IRC to make various specified changes in income disregard, resource exclusion, and other provisions under the Federal welfare system that are designed to: (1) simplify administration, for example, by changing the policy of obtaining citizenship declarations from each family member in cases where a single family is applying for AFDC, and by conforming program rules between AFDC and the food stamp program on the treatment of educational assistance; and (2) prevent fraud by allowing State agencies to use the IRS to collect AFDC overpayments from Federal tax refunds.

(Sec. 731) Individual Development Account Demonstration Act of 1994 - States that it is U.S. policy to: (1) eliminate barriers that prevent AFDC recipients from becoming self-sufficient through self-employment and asset accumulation; (2) identify and implement cost-effective strategies to encourage saving and entrepreneurship among low-income families that have the potential to reduce Federal spending on transfers and services to them; (3) enhance private-sector opportunities for such families by enabling them to use their own resources through expanded business investment, job creation, home ownership, and human capital investment; and (4) expand the capacity of local organizations to provide asset-related services, such as savings mechanisms and loan funds, that help people to help themselves.

(Sec. 732) Provides for the establishment of State and local demonstration projects designed to determine: (1) the social, psychological, and economic effects of providing low-income individuals with the opportunity to accumulate assets and develop and use entrepreneurial skills; and (2) the extent to which an asset-based assistance policy may be used to enable such individuals to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 734) Amends the IRC to allow the establishment of individual development accounts (IDAs) by or on behalf of an eligible individual for the purpose of accumulating funds to pay his or her qualified expenses. Establishes an annual limit on such contributions (except contributions to IDAs established under the demonstration projects above), and a limit on total contributions for all years of $10,000. Defines qualified expenses as those for: (1) post-secondary education expenses; (2) a first-home purchase; and (3) business capitalization. Declares that contributions to IDAs are not subject to the gift tax or the tax on prohibited transactions.

(Sec. 741) Provides for State demonstrations under which participating residents will receive advanced earned income payments from a responsible State agency in lieu of receiving them from an employer. Authorizes appropriations.

Title VIII: Self-Employment/Microenterprise Demonstrations - Directs the Secretary and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration, subject to available funding, to jointly develop a self-employment/microenterprise demonstration program for welfare recipients and low-income individuals. Authorizes appropriations.

Title IX: Financing - Caps AFDC's emergency assistance program.

(Sec. 902) Establishes uniform eligibility criteria under AFDC, SSI, and Medicaid for all categories of aliens, including those lawfully admitted for permanent residence.

(Sec. 903) Makes the current five-year period of sponsor responsibility permanent law under SSI and increases sponsor periods under AFDC and food stamps to five years, among other changes in AFDC, SSI, and food stamp alien eligibility rules, which include changes disqualifying after five years certain aliens with sponsors having income in excess of applicable limits.

(Sec. 904) Amends the National School Lunch Act, among other things, to: (1) establish a two-tiered reimbursement structure for family or group day care homes; (2) provide family or group day care home sponsoring organizations with additional funding for administrative expenses for each home located in a low-income area; and (3) require the Secretary of Agriculture to provide State assistance grants.

(Sec. 905) Amends the Food Stamp Act to extend expiring provisions reducing the percentage of recovered food stamp overpayments retainable by State agencies.

(Sec. 906) Make persons receiving in excess of $100,000 in off-farm adjusted gross income ineligible for Commodity Credit Corporation crop subsidies.

(Sec. 907) Amends the IRC to: (1)extend the expiring corporate environmental income tax used to finance the Hazardous Substance Superfund; (2) extend the earned income tax credit to military personnel on extended active duty abroad; and (3) deny such credit for non-resident aliens.

(Sec. 908) Amends the Federal Railroad Safety Act of 1970 to extend railroad safety inspection fees permanently.

(Sec. 911) Amends the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 to extend certain customs fees.

Title X: Effective Dates - Specifies the effective dates of this Act.