The center focuses on health care access, immigrants' access to services, food and nutrition, the state's eligibility and enrollment system, and TANF.
Recent Public Benefits Publications
Texas Moves to Implement New Food Stamp Provisions (11/27/1996)
The federal Welfare Bill (H.R. 3734) contains new limits on food stamp benefits for able-bodied, childless adults between the ages of 18 and 50. Under the new provisions, these individuals will be eligible for only three months of food stamp benefits in a 36 month period unless they work 20 hours per week, participate in a work program for 20 hours per week, or participate in a workfare program.
Critical Food Stamp Decision Are Pending (10/22/1996)
Thousands of adult recipients could lose benefits.
Over the weekend, the President and Democrats in Congress negotiated the removal of several of the harshest provisions included in the Illegal Immigration conference bill approved by the House September 25th. The revised immigration bill has been folded into an Omnibus Continuing Resolution designed to keep the federal government operating as we enter a new federal fiscal year. This spending bill was approved October 1 and will be signed by the President.
This bill cuts access to health and human services for both legal and undocumented immigrants even deeper than Welfare Act.
Since the passage of the federal Welfare Act last month, the governor and state agencies have been assessing the fiscal and policy implications of moving quickly to accept the new block grant funding and the policy changes that come with it. The first step in the process is the development and submittal of a state plan for the new Block Grant for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
Analysis of Federal Welfare Reform (08/22/1996)
Analysis of Federal Welfare Reform.
The President is leaning toward signing the welfare reform legislation, but he is watching the public reaction closely. The time is now for you to make your voice heard.
The president has been unwilling to consider Congressional welfare reform proposals as long as they were linked to Medicaid reforms with which he disagreed. Last week, Congressional leaders decided to de-couple their welfare and Medicaid proposals and work to get a welfare reform bill to the president's desk before the August recess.
The U.S. Senate and House have passed different versions of an insurance bill under the same number,H.R. 3103.The bills do not address the problem of affordability, which is the primary barrier preventing 4.5 million Texans -- over 26% of the population under age 65 -- from getting health coverage. These uninsured Texans do not qualify for Medicaid. The bills would create market reforms designed to ensure that Americans who can afford average-priced health insurance do not lose their coverage or face permanentlimits on coverage when they change jobs.
Federal redesign of Medicaid, welfare, and related social services programs remains a hot topic in Washington. In recent weeks, several Medicaid and welfare bills have been announced and/or filed.
The focus of the Washington Watch series has been analyzing the impacts of federal proposals on Texas. Major changes to welfare, Medicaid and other important social programs have largely been delayed, but spending reductions have occurred and state-level reforms and other initiatives are continuing.
Both houses of Congress have now passed bills that would make major changes in access to public programs by both legal-status and undocumented aliens.
Food and Nutrition Programs and EITC (02/20/1996)
This edition will provide an update on current Congressional action and negotiations affecting food and nutrition programs and the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Still Watching (02/9/1996)
In this Washington Watch we hope to bring you up to date on the general status of the federal budget and recent developments on welfare and Medicaid. Updates on food and nutrition programs, EITC and other issues will follow in the next WW.
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