PUBLIC BENEFITS: TANF


The center focuses on health care access, immigrants' access to services, food and nutrition, the state's eligibility and enrollment system, and TANF.

Recent TANF Publications

CPPP Comments on the TANF State Plan (12/18/2007)
Senior Policy Analyst Celia Hagert submitted the following comments on the TANF State Plan.

Comments Due Soon on Five Key HHSC Documents (12/12/2007)
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has posted five important documents on its web site for public comment: revision of the applications for public benefits; the TANF state plan; a Medicaid Waiver concept paper; and two draft Requests for Proposals relating to modernization of the eligibility and enrollment system for public benefits. We know this is a busy time of the year for everyone, but we urge you to take the time to submit comments to HHSC on these important issues.

Audit Recommends Improvements to Employment & Training Program for Welfare Recipients (10/25/2007)
Earlier this month, the State Auditor’s Office released an audit of the Texas Workforce Commission’s administration of the “Choices” program, the employment and training arm of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) welfare program. TANF’s goal is to help very poor parents become self-sufficient through job preparation and employment. Since 2003, the number of Choices participants has fallen by two-thirds, increasing by 85% the amount of employment and training funds available to spend on each welfare recipient. Despite this increase in funds, outcomes for families leaving welfare have not improved. Though the audit concluded that TWC adequately administers the Choices program, it identified the need to improve case management, increase oversight of Choices program expenditures, and improve employment outcomes for welfare recipients. This Policy Page analyzes the auditor’s report. It also summarizes recent research on the most promising strategies for using education and training to improve outcomes for families leaving welfare.

TANF Legislative Update (04/24/2007)
We wanted to share with you the latest developments on the various Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) bills making their way through the 80th Legislature. All are scheduled to be heard this week--take action!

Testimony on CSHB 3759 (04/19/2007)
Celia Hagert provided testimony before the House Human Services Committee on CSHB 3759. CSHB 3759 would improve outcomes for families on and leaving welfare by increasing work participation rates, improving Texas' ability to help parents overcome barriers to employment, and improving the integrity and effectiveness of sanction practices.

Oppose SB 1096: Senate Likely to Vote This Week (04/18/2007)
Tomorrow, April 19, the Senate may consider SB 1096, a TANF bill that would hurt vulnerable families. We’re urging Senators to vote no on the bill and we encourage you to call your Senators with that message. SB 1861 is a much better alternative. We have also prepared a comparison of the two bills.

CSHB 3759: Improving Outcomes for Welfare Recipients (04/17/2007)
Texas is facing greater challenges meeting federal requirements in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program as a result of rules enacted by Congress in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2006 (DRA). The committee substitute for House Bill (CSHB) 3759 by Representative Elliott Naishtat would help Texas meet federal requirements while improving the outcomes for families on and leaving welfare. CSHB 3759 would increase work participation rates, improve Texas’ ability to help parents overcome barriers to employment, and improve the integrity and effectiveness of sanction practices. CSHB 3759 will be heard in the House Human Services Committee on Thursday, April 19.

Testimony on the Negative Impact of Full-Family Sanctions on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program in Texas (03/28/2007)
Celia Hagert provided invited testimony about Texas' experience with full family sanctions before Subcommittee #1 on Health & Human Services and the California Assembly Budget Committee.

Testimony on TANF Employment Programs and Participation in Those Programs (03/6/2007)
Celia Hagert testified before the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services on TANF employment programs and participation in those programs by certain parents who are not TANF recipients.

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services Testimony on SB 1 (02/12/2007)
Celia Hagert testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services on SB 1, General Appropriations Act for 2008-09 (HHSC). She specifically addressed HHSC’s integrated eligibility and enrollment system and the use of TANF funds in the 2008-2009 budget.

A New Welfare-to-Work Approach for Texas (02/5/2007)
Recent changes to the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant place new pressures on states to reduce their welfare caseloads and increase the number of families participating in work activities or face financial penalties. At the same time, the new rules make it harder for states to design effective welfare-to-work programs, particularly for those recipients who face the greatest barriers to employment. This policy brief analyzes these challenges in the context of Texas’ welfare program and proposes a set of policy changes designed to help Texas meet the federal requirements while improving outcomes for welfare recipients.

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