Comparing SB 1096 to SB 1861: Two Different Welfare-to-Work Approaches for Texas
Celia Cole /(512) 320-0222 x110
April 9, 2007
Comparing SB 1096 to SB 1861: Two Different Welfare-to-Work Approaches for Texas >>
Background on Current TANF Rules in Texas >>
Texas is facing greater challenges in meeting federal requirements in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program as a result of new rules enacted by Congress in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2006 (DRA). Under the new federal rules, states are required to engage more TANF recipients in approved work activities or face financial penalties to their TANF block grants. SB 1096, by Senator Kyle Janek, is an attempt to help Texas meet these requirements, but it does so at the expense of the most vulnerable families. In contrast, SB 1861, by Senator Zaffirini, would increase work participation rates, protect vulnerable families, and improve the outcomes for families on and leaving welfare. This Policy Page analyzes the impact SB 1096 would have on TANF recipients and explains why SB 1861 is the better alternative to help Texas meet the federal requirements.