Report Title:

Bridge to Hope; Appropriation


Appropriates funds to the Bridge to Hope Program. Expands eligibility to include Temporary Assistance to Other Needy Families. (SB2222 HD1)


S.B. NO.



S.D. 1


H.D. 1




relating to bridge to hope.



SECTION 1. The federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 replaced an entitlement program with transitional aid called the temporary assistance to needy families (TANF). Concurrent with programmatic changes, block grant funding was provided with state discretion to implement within federal guidelines. Under a variety of waiver programs, the State has developed an educational policy and employment plan that allows TANF recipients to pursue education and training beyond high school, and is designed to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Through waiver programs, the State also supports low-income, two-parent families under a state-funded mirror program, temporary assistance to other needy families (TAONF), offering training, education, and employment support.

The University of Hawaii and department of human services have collaborated to create and implement a successful transitional program for TANF recipients attending a post-secondary school. This program, called bridge to hope (BTH), was created by Act 276, Session Laws of Hawaii 2000.

BTH funds are used to expand existing student employment opportunities at all ten University of Hawaii campuses. The reach of BTH is limited only by funding. In fiscal year 2001, BTH employed sixty-six students, and forty-four were on the wait list. In fiscal year 2002, one hundred students were employed, and fifty-four were on the wait list. In fiscal year 2002, four hundred sixty-three TANF recipients pursued post-secondary education, but BTH was only able to employ one hundred because of limited funding. In the current 2003 fiscal year, the budget constraints continued and BTH could only employ one hundred and six TANF recipients.

The legislature believes that federal funding may be available to provide services to a portion of the current TANF participants, thus allowing an expansion of BTH to TAONF recipients, while maintaining revenue neutrality. Only state general funds may be used for TAONF services, including the planned expansion of BTH to include TAONF recipients.

The purpose of this Act is to appropriate funds to BTH to support TANF and TAONF recipients pursuing post-secondary education to achieve economic self-sufficiency.

SECTION 2. Section 346-68, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsections (a) and (b) to read as follows:

"(a) There is created within the department a post-secondary education benefits program, to be known as the bridge to hope program, for heads of households in the temporary assistance to needy families program[.] and temporary assistance to other needy families program.

(b) To receive assistance under this program, the [single parent] recipient shall:

(1) Be enrolled as a student each term;

(2) Maintain passing grades or better throughout the course of study; and

(3) Meet work activity requirements as defined by the department."

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $1 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2004-2005 for the bridge to hope program, including one position for outreach; provided that if federal funds are made available to fund any portion of bridge to hope temporary assistance to needy families program participant costs, then the sum appropriated by this section shall be reduced by the amount of federal funds received, and the state funds that were replaced by federal funds shall lapse to the general fund; and provided further that only state general funds shall be used to provide services to temporary assistance to other needy families recipients.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the University of Hawaii for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2004.