Summary: H.R.4 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (10/03/2003)

Personal Responsibility and Individual Development for Everyone Act or PRIDE Act - Title I: TANF - (Sec. 101) Amends part A (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) (TANF) to require State TANF plans to: (1) establish specific measurable performance objectives for pursuing TANF purposes; (2) describe any strategies and programs the State plans to use to address employment retention and advancement, reduction of teen pregnancy, services for struggling and noncompliant families, and for clients with special problems, and program integration; and (3) describe any strategies and programs the State is undertaking to engage faith-based organizations in the provision of services funded by TANF.

Directs the Secretary to develop a proposed Standard State Plan Form for use by the States to submit their FY 2005 TANF plans. Requires States to ensure that the State plan that is in effect for any fiscal year is available to the public through an appropriate State maintained Internet website and through other means the State deems appropriate. Directs the Secretary to develop uniform performance measures designed to evaluate State TANF programs. Requires the Secretary annually to rank States receiving State family assistance grants in order of their success in placing State TANF recipients into private sector jobs, the success of recipients in retaining employment, the ability of recipients to increase wages, and the degree to which recipients have workplace attachment and advancement.

(Sec. 102) Amends SSA title IV part A, as amended by the Welfare Reform Extension Act of 2003, to reauthorize, revise, and extend State family assistance grants for FY 2004 through 2008 and make annual appropriations.

(Sec. 103) Requires States to express in their State TANF plans how they would operate programs to encourage equitable treatment of healthy two-parent married families. Provides for healthy marriage promotion grants, replacing current bonuses to reward State decreases in illegitimacy ratio (hereby repealed). Makes appropriations for such grants for FY 2004 through 2008. Requires such funds to remain available to the Secretary until expended. Provides that mandatory qualified State maintenance of effort expenditures include those on non-TANF-eligible families to: (1) prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies; (2) establish annual numerical goals for preventing and reducing the incidence of these pregnancies; and (3) encourage the formation and maintenance of healthy, two-parent married families and responsible fatherhood. Makes one purpose of the State TANF program the encouragement of the formation and maintenance of healthy two-parent married families and to encourage responsible fatherhood.

(Sec. 104) Reauthorizes and extends annual supplemental grants for population increases in certain States through FY 2007 and makes appropriations.

(Sec. 105) Replaces the high performance bonus with a bonus to reward employment achievement, and makes appropriations for FY 2004 through 2009. Requires the Secretary's formula for measuring State performance to measure absolute progress towards the goals of job entry, job retention, earnings rate gain, and workplace attachment and advancement for families receiving assistance under TANF. Makes tribal organizations eligible for bonuses and directs the Secretary to consult with tribal organizations in determining the criteria for awards for them.

(Sec. 106) Modifies contingency fund requirements. Eliminates a separately designated Contingency Fund for State Welfare Programs. Limits contingency fund grants to needy States, defined by specified criteria for economy-related increases in the number of families receiving assistance. Limits the total amount paid to a single State during a fiscal year to ten percent of the State family assistance grant. Eliminates the annual reconciliation process. Repeals the penalty for State failure to maintain 100 percent of historic effort.

(Sec. 107) Revises requirements for the use of TANF grants. Repeals the authority of a State operating a TANF program to apply to an interstate immigrant family the rules (including benefit amounts) of the TANF program of another State if the family has moved to the State from the other State and has resided in the new State for less than 12 months.

Restores authority of a State to transfer up to ten percent (currently 4.25 percent) of its TANF State family assistance grant for a fiscal year to carry out State programs pursuant to SSA title XX (Block Grants to States for Social Services).

Revises the current authorization for a State or tribe to reserve TANF block grant amounts for any fiscal year to provide TANF without fiscal year limitation. Permits a State or tribe to designate a portion of its TANF grant as a contingency reserve which may be used, without fiscal year limitation, to provide any benefit or service that may be provided under the State or tribal TANF program.

Authorizes a State receiving a TANF grant to use it to establish an undergraduate postsecondary or a vocational educational training program for up to ten percent of the total number of families receiving TANF, under which support services such as child care and transportation services may be provided, and have the hours of participation in these programs counted toward meeting State work requirements.

(Sec. 108) Repeals the Secretary's authority to make loans to State welfare programs.

(Sec. 109) Revises mandatory work requirements. Eliminates the separate work participation rate for two parent families beginning with FY 2003. Increases the all-family standard from the current 50 percent level to 55 percent for FY 2005, 60 percent for FY 2006, 65 percent for FY 2007, and 70 percent for FY 2008 and thereafter.

Replaces the current caseload reduction credit with an employment credit, while giving States the option to phase-in the replacement. Limits the reduction of a State's required participation rate through the application of employment, caseload reduction, or other credits.

Gives a State the option on a case-by-case basis to: (1) exclude a family from the determination of the State's monthly participation rate during their first month of TANF; or (2) not require a family with a child under age one to engage in work, and disregard such family in determining the State's minimum participation rate for not more than 12 months.

Revises requirements for determining if a TANF recipient is engaged in work for a month. Provides for determination of countable hours engaged in work for a single parent or relative with a child over age six, a single-parent or relative with a child under age six, two-parent families (as under current law), and two-parent families that receive federally funded child care.

Expands the list of activities that may be counted towards meeting work participation requirements by a single parent or relative with a child over age six. Includes, subject to certain conditions, such activities as substance abuse counseling or treatment, and programs or activities designed to remove work barriers. Requires an average of 24 hours per week in participation in direct work activities.

Modifies special rules to: (1) establish a general limitation of 30 percent for the number of individuals in all families in a State who may be treated as engaged in work by reason of participation in educational activities; and (2) give States the option of deeming a single parent caring for a child or adult dependent with a physical or mental impairment to be meeting all or part of a family's work participation requirements for a month. Provides for optional modification of work requirements for recipients residing in areas of Indian country or an Alaskan native village with high joblessness.

(Sec. 110) Eliminates the current State plan requirement for a parent or caretaker receiving TANF to engage in work. Replaces it with requirements for such individuals to engage in work or alternative self-sufficiency activities (as defined by the State), while no longer requiring that such work commence after 24 months of assistance, or once the State determines such an individual as ready to engage in work, whichever is earlier.

Replaces individual responsibility plans with family self-sufficiency plans. Requires a State receiving a TANF grant to establish a family self-sufficiency plan for each family that includes an adult or minor child head of household receiving TANF who has attained age 18 or has not completed high school and is not attending secondary school. Requires the family self-sufficiency plan to specify appropriate work activities, provide for the individual's ongoing participation in them, and assist the family in achieving its maximum degree of self-sufficiency.

Requires a State receiving a TANF grant to: (1) monitor the participation of each adult recipient or minor child head of household in the activities specified in the self-sufficiency plan, and regularly review the family's progress toward self-sufficiency; and (2) revise the plan and the activities required under it, upon such a review, as the State deems appropriate in consultation with the family.

Requires the State, before imposing a sanction against an adult recipient, minor child head of household, or a family for failure to comply with a requirement of the self-sufficiency plan or the State TANF program, to: (1) review the self-sufficiency plan; and (2) make a good faith effort to consult with the family. Applies family self-sufficiency requirements in the case of a family that includes an adult or minor child head of household recipient of assistance who is subject to a partial sanction. Bases the penalty for failure to comply with such requirements on the severity of failure. Gives the Secretary authority to reduce the penalty under certain circumstances. Includes a transitional compliance period for teen parents.

Directs the Comptroller General to evaluate for specified congressional committees the implementation of the universal work engagement requirements added by this Act.

(Sec. 111) Extends through FY 2009 the requirement that States maintain their own funding at 75 percent of its historic level (80 percent in case of failure to satisfy work standards), or incur reductions in funding as a penalty.

(Sec. 112) Extends State quarterly reporting requirements to cover families receiving assistance under State programs funded with other qualified State expenditures. Requires annual reports on program characteristics and monthly reports on caseload. Replaces the quarterly report on transitional services with a quarterly report on the number of families and total number of individuals that, during each month, became ineligible to receive assistance under the State TANF program.

(Sec. 113) Reauthorizes and extends tribal family assistance grants and grants for Native Employment Works programs through FY 2008 at current levels.

Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a tribal TANF improvement fund. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 114) Makes appropriations for FY 2004 through 2008 for research, demonstrations, and technical assistance, of which not less than 80 percent must be expended in connection with marriage promotion activities.

Extends through FY 2008 the current annual appropriation of $15 million (and its designated 50-50 allocation) for the funding of certain research, studies, and demonstration projects.

Establishes a demonstration program for up to ten States to improve coordination of assistance provided under TANF, including TANF's mandatory child care program, and SSA title XX (Block Grants to States for Social Services).

(Sec. 115) Revises requirements for the Census Bureau study of the impact of title I of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 on a random national sample of TANF recipients. Changes the study into a longitudinal survey of program participation to allow for the assessment of the outcomes of continued welfare reform on the economic and child well-being of low-income families with children, including those who received TANF or services from a State program. Requires the Secretary of Commerce to report to Congress on the well-being of children and families using data collected under the study. Makes appropriations to continue such study through FY 2008 at the current level.

(Sec. 116) Increases the level of appropriations for the mandatory child care program for FY 2004 through 2008, and includes a set-aside of such funds for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

(Sec. 117) Defines "assistance" as payment, by cash, voucher, or other means, to or for an individual or family for the purpose of meeting a subsistence need (including food, clothing, shelter, and related items, but not including costs of transportation or child care). Excludes from such definition any payment to or for an individual or family on a short-term, nonrecurring basis (as defined by the State in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary).

(Sec. 118) Amends the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 to add to TANF a new part C (Responsible Fatherhood Program) directing the Secretary to award grants to: (1) up to ten eligible States to conduct demonstration programs to promote responsible fatherhood through, among other means, marriage promotion; and (2) eligible entities, such as charities or faith-based organizations, to conduct demonstration programs to carry out such purposes. Authorizes appropriations.

Directs the Secretary to contract with a nationally recognized, nonprofit fatherhood promotion organization to: (1) develop, promote, and distribute to interested States, local governments, public agencies, and private entities a media campaign that encourages the appropriate involvement of parents in the life of any child; and (2) develop a national clearinghouse to assist States and communities in efforts to promote and support marriage and responsible fatherhood by collecting, evaluating, and making available to other States information regarding such media campaigns. Authorizes appropriations.

Establishes a program of block grants to States for media campaigns for FY 2004 through 2008. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 119) Authorizes the Secretary to award grants to: (1) entities for capitalizing and developing the role of sustainable social services that are critical to the success of moving TANF recipients into work; and (2) States, counties, localities, Indian tribes, and nonprofit entities to promote improving access to dependable, affordable automobiles by low-income families with children. Authorizes appropriations.

Title II: Abstinence Education - (Sec. 201) Revises, reauthorizes, and extends the program for abstience education under SSA title V (Maternal and Child Services Block Grant) through FY 2008, allowing funds that the Secretary determines will not be required to carry out an abstinence program of a particular State to be reallocated among the States with abstinence education programs.

Title III: Child Support - (Sec. 301) Amends SSA title IV part A to modify the rule requiring assignment to the State of child support rights as a condition of receiving TANF to provide that assignment covers only child support that accrues during the period that the family receives TANF (thereby eliminating coverage under assignment of any support that accrued before the family began receiving TANF).

Amends SSA title IV part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity) to revise the rules for the distribution of collected child support. Provides that a State shall not be required to pay to the Federal Government its share of child support collections passed through to TANF families by the State, if the State disregards in determining the amount and type assistance to the family up to $400 per month in the case of a family with one child, or $600 per month in the case of two or more children.

Provides that with respect to former TANF families, current child support payments must be paid to the family. Allows States with "section 1115 demonstration waivers" (on or before October 1, 1997) that are related to child support pass-through provisions to continue to pass through payments to families without regard to the waiver's expiration date. Requires the State part D plan to include election as to which rules to apply in distributing child support arrearages collected on behalf of families formerly receiving assistance. Gives States the option to discontinue certain older support assignments.

(Sec. 302) Repeals the requirement that the State first receive a request from a parent or from that State agency under the State TANF plan before conducting mandatory review and (if appropriate) adjustment of child support orders in TANF cases every three years, if it has been assigned child support payments under TANF. (Thus requires the State to conduct a review and adjustment every three years, regardless of whether a review is requested.)

(Sec. 303) Directs the Secretary to report to specified congressional committees on the procedures that the States use generally to locate custodial parents for whom child support has been collected but not yet distributed.

(Sec. 304) Amends SSA title IV part D to provide that, if a State agency responsible for the administration of an unemployment compensation program under Federal or State law transmits to the Secretary for administration purposes an individual's name and social security number, the Secretary shall disclose to the State agency information on the individual and the individual's employer that is maintained in the National Directory of New Hires.

Requires the Secretary to make such a disclosure only to the extent that it would not interfere with the effective operation of the program. Requires a State agency to which information is provided to have in effect data security and control policies adequate to ensure the security of information obtained and to ensure that access to it is restricted to authorized persons. Establishes a penalty for misuse of information. Requires a State agency to reimburse the Secretary for the costs incurred by the Secretary in furnishing the information requested.

(Sec. 305) Reduces from $5,000 to $2,500 the amount of child support arrearage triggering passport denial, revocation, or limitation with respect to noncustodial parents.

(Sec. 306) Allows the Federal income tax refund offset program to be used to collect child support arrearages on behalf of a child who is not a minor.

(Sec. 307) Prohibits the garnishment of any veteran's disability compensation in order to collect alimony, unless that disability compensation is being paid because retirement benefits are being waived.

(Sec. 308) Expands the Federal administrative offset program to allow certain social security benefits to be offset to collect past due child support being enforced by the State on behalf of families receiving child support enforcement services under SSA title IV part D.

(Sec. 309) Revises funding for technical assistance and for the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS). Authorizes the Secretary to use: (1) one percent of the Federal share of child support collected the preceding year, or the amount appropriated for FY 2002, whichever is greater, to provide for specified technical assistance and other activities; and (2) two percent of the Federal share of child support collected the preceding year, or the amount appropriated for FY 2002, whichever is greater, to operate FPLS to the extent that system costs are not recovered by user fees.

(Sec. 311) Authorizes the Secretary via the FPLS to: (1) seize assets, held by multistate financial institutions, of individuals who owe past-due support, and transfer them to the appropriate State agencies for distribution; and (2) compare information concerning individuals owing past-due support with information maintained by insurers (or their agents) concerning insurance claims, settlements, awards, and payments, and furnish any information resulting from a match to the appropriate State agencies.

(Sec. 313) Includes Indian tribes and tribal organizations as authorized persons for purposes of tribal access to FPLS.

(Sec. 314) Requires the Secretary of Education to reimburse the Secretary for any costs incurred by the Secretary in providing requested new hires information.

(Sec. 316) Amends the Longshore and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act to ensure that longshore or harbor workers benefits provided by the Federal Government or by private insurers are subject to garnishment for purposes of paying child support obligations.

(Sec. 317) Amends SSA title IV part D, with respect to high-volume, automated administrative enforcement in interstate cases, to declare that if the State provides assistance to another State with respect to a case, the assisting State may establish a corresponding case based on the other State's request for assistance.

(Sec. 318) Authorizes the Secretary, through FPLS, to: (1) intercept gambling winnings of an individual owing past-due support which is being enforced by a State agency; and (2) transmit such winnings to the State agency for distribution. Prohibits a gambling establishment from paying individuals gambling winnings until it has furnished the Secretary certain information so that a data match can be performed to see if the individual owes past-due child support. Requires the gambling establishment, if such a match occurs, to withhold specific winnings and transfer them to the Secretary for transfer to the appropriate State agency. Establishes sanctions against gambling establishments for non-compliance. Requires Indian tribes and tribal organizations to comply with such requirements in order to receive direct child support enforcement funding.

(Sec. 319) Requires each State's Uniform Interstate Family Support Act to include any amendments officially adopted as of August 2001 by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.

Amends Federal law to provide that the court of a State that has made a child support order has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify its order if it is the controlling order, and: (1) the State is the child's State or the residence of any individual contestant; or (2) if the State is not the residence of the child or an individual contestant, the contestants consent in a record or in open court that the court may continue to exercise jurisdiction to modify its order. Revises the current rules regarding the enforcement of modified orders.

(Sec. 320) Amends SSA title IV part D with respect to grants to States for access and visitation programs to extend such program to Indian tribes and tribal organizations that have received direct child support enforcement payments from the Federal government for at least one year. Increases minimum allotment to the States for FY 2004 though 2007. Includes a specified set-aside for Indian tribes and tribal organizations for FY 2004 through 2007.

(Sec. 321) Changes the timing of the corrective action year for States that are found to be in noncompliance with child support enforcement program hearings to the fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the Secretary makes a finding of noncompliance and recommends a corrective action plan.

Title IV: Child Welfare - (Sec. 401) Amends SSA title XI with respect to demonstration projects which the Secretary finds are likely to promote the objectives of part B (Child-Welfare Services) or E (Foster Care and Adoption Assistance) of SSA title IV. Extends through FY 2008 the Secretary's authority to permit States to conduct such demonstration projects.

(Sec. 402) Removes from Puerto Rico's overall funding ceiling foster care payments made to Puerto Rico for FY 2005 or any later year that exceed the total amount of foster payments made to the Commonwealth for FY 2002. Limits the amount that can be disregarded to $6.25 million for each of FY 2005 through 2008.

Title V: Supplemental Security Income - (Sec. 501) Amends SSA title XVI (Supplemental Security Income) (SSI) to require the Commissioner of Social Security to review State agency blindness and disability determinations for SSI. Calls for a review of at least 20 percent of determinations made in FY 2004, 40 percent in FY 2005, and 50 percent in FY 2006 or thereafter.

Title VI: Transitional Medical Assistance - (Sec. 601) Amends SSA title XIX (Medicaid) to continue the transitional medical assistance (TMA) program until September 30, 2008. Permits States to extend TMA for up to 24 months, allowing continuous eligibility for 12 months by making reporting requirements optional. Eases access by permitting States to waive the requirements for previous receipt of Medicaid (for three of the previous six months). Makes requirements concerning the extension of eligibility for medical assistance optional for States that extend coverage to children and parents through 185 percent of the Federal poverty level. Requires notice for all families whose aid under SSA title IV part A or E has terminated but whose eligibility for Medicaid continues. Extends use of outstationed workers to accept applications for TMA.

(Sec. 602) Amends title SSA XXI (State Children's Health Insurance Program) (SCHIP) to prohibit the spending of SCHIP funds on childless couples.

Title VII: Effective Date - Sets forth the effective date of this Act.