2001 Session

Budget Bill - HB1600 (Introduced)

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Department of Social Services

Item 390

Item 390

1. It shall be the policy of the Commonwealth to expend federal block grant funds allocated to it under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program established pursuant to Public Law 104-193, as amended, in a fiscally prudent manner so as to reasonably conserve unexpended allocations of such federal funds for use in offsetting future TANF program costs.

2. It is hereby acknowledged that as of June 30, 1999 2000, there existed with the federal government an unexpended balance of $68,666,014 $79,178,755 in federal TANF block grant funds which are available to the Commonwealth of Virginia to reimburse expenditures incurred in accordance with the adopted State plan for the TANF program. Based on projected FY 2000 2001 spending levels, appropriations in this act, and the provisions of subsections 2 a, and 2 b, and 2 f, below, the Commonwealth’s accumulated balance for authorized federal TANF block grant funds is estimated at $72,272,877 $30,381,065 on June 30, 2000 2001; $39,918,622 on June 30, 2001; and $20,574,410 $0 on June 30, 2002.

a. Pending final federal action on Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) reductions for federal fiscal year 2000, and in recognition of the potential for using TANF and Title IV-E funds to support programs now funded from SSBG, the Department of Social Services (DSS), in cooperation with the Department of Planning and Budget (DPB) and the Virginia League of Social Services Executives, Inc., shall develop a comprehensive SSBG/TANF spending strategy. This plan shall be submitted no later than July 14, 2000, to the Chairs of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees and to the Governor through the Secretary of Health and Human Resources. An update shall be submitted within 60 days after the completion of any federal budget action that affects the availability of SSBG or TANF funds.

b. This plan shall allocate federal funds from the Federal TANF Grant to the following services in the specified amounts: Offset for Federal Social Services Block Grant Cuts ($13,000,000 per year); TANF 10% Cost of Living Increase (estimated at $8,700,000 the first year and $7,900,000 the second year); Grants for the Hard-to-Serve ($7,500,000 per year); Continuum of Housing Services ($5,500,000 per year); Pre- and Post-TANF Services ($5,000,000 per year); Fatherhood, Mentoring, "Right Choices for Youth" ($1,100,000 per year); Local Staff for Foster Care and Adoptions ($1,000,000 per year); Domestic Violence Services ($1,000,000 per year); Community Action Agencies ($750,000 per year); Centers for Employment Training ($750,000 per year); CHIP Comprehensive Health Investment Project ($700,000 per year); Healthy Families Program ($600,000 per year); "Opportunity Knocks" Youth Jobs ($500,000 per year); Personal Computers and Net Access Pilot Project ($300,000 the first year); Food Banks ($250,000 per year); Economic Improvement Program ($200,000 per year); St. Paul's College Pilot Project ($100,000 per year); Child Advocacy Centers ($100,000 per year); Targeted Jobs Grants ($50,000 per year).

c. Upon approval of the plan by the Governor, the Commissioner of Social Services is hereby empowered to authorize the development and implementation of TANF and TANF-related programs for the purposes of providing work subsidies, services or other nonassistance benefits described in 45 C.F.R. § 260.31(b) and (c) to needy families. The purposes of these programs shall be to enable children to be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives; to end the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage; to prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies; and/or to encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.

d. In addition, the Commissioner is empowered to authorize grants, contracts, and interdepartmental Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) for intensive employment and employment support services for hard-to-serve TANF recipients.

e. DSS shall report annually to the Governor, the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, the Chairs of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees, and DPB regarding planned and actual spending; program results; clients served; the location, size, implementation status, and nature of projects funded under the approved plan; results of all formal evaluations; and recommendations for continuation, expansion, and redesign of the projects. Such report shall be combined with the report required by § 63.1-133.54, Code of Virginia.

f. TANF funds shall be used for the following activities in the specified amounts: Domestic violence programs ($250,000 each year); United Community Ministries employment programs ($50,000 each year); support of local volunteerism respite care ($50,000 the second year); Hampton Healthy Start program ($150,000 each year); Healthy Families child abuse prevention programs ($1.0 million the first year and $2.5 million the second year); Comprehensive Services Act Trust Fund ($1.1 million the second year); Virginia Fatherhood Campaign ($200,000 each year); Child Health Investment Project (CHIP) of Virginia ($1,342,544 each year); and pregnancy prevention programs ($700,000 each year). TANF and other available funds shall be used, as necessary, to hold these activities harmless for any potential loss of federal or private matching funds that may result from changing fund source for these programs. The Department shall facilitate the execution of any necessary contracts in advance of funding need so as to maintain appropriate and timely flow of funding to grantee organizations.

3. With the executive budget each year, the Department of Planning and Budget shall provide an update to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees on the total level of reserves necessary to cover likely caseload increases in the event of a future economic downturn. The Department shall collaborate with the Department of Social Services in developing its recommendations.