Report Title:

Bridge to Hope

Description:

Appropriates funds to the Bridge to Hope Program. Expands eligibility to include participants in the Temporary Assistance to Other Needy Families program. (SB859 SD2)

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

859

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2003

S.D. 2

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to bridge to hope.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. The federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 replaced an entitlement program with transitional aid called Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. Concurrent with programmatic changes was the use of block grant funding with state discretion to implement within federal guidelines. Under a variety of waiver programs, the State has developed an educational policy that allows Temporary Assistance to Needy Families recipients to pursue education and training beyond high school as part of an employment plan 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, 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 Temporary Assistance to Needy Families recipients attending a post-secondary school called Bridge to Hope, created by Act 276, Session Laws of Hawaii 2000.

Bridge to Hope funds are used to expand existing student employment opportunities at all nine University of Hawaii campuses. The reach of Bridge to Hope is limited only by funding. In fiscal year 2001, the Bridge to Hope program 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 Temporary Assistance to Needy Families recipients pursued post-secondary education, but Bridge to Hope was only able to employ one hundred because of limited funding.

The legislature believes that federal funding may be available to provide services to a portion of the current Temporary Assistance to Needy Families participants, thus allowing an expansion of Bridge to Hope to include Temporary Assistance to Other Needy Families recipients, while maintaining revenue neutrality. Only state general funds may be used for Temporary Assistance to Other Needy Families services, including the planned expansion of Bridge to Hope to include those recipients.

The purpose of this Act is to appropriate funds to the Bridge to Hope program to support Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and Temporary Assistance to Other Needy Families recipients pursuing post-secondary education to achieve economic self-sufficiency.

SECTION 2. Section 346-68, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]346-68[]] Bridge to hope program; transitional benefits. (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.

(c) Internships, externships, practicums, or any other work training required by the course of study shall count toward the recipient's work requirement.

(d) The department shall adopt rules in accordance with chapter 91 to carry out the purpose of this section."

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $        or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2003-2004 and the sum of $        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, 2003.