TANF bill passes despite Syverson's opposition
Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) stood in opposition of a bill that allows individuals participating in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to receive benefits even when they are noncompliant. Sen. Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) sponsored House Bill 3129 in the Senate.
The TANF program provides grants to families for financial assistance for services such as child care and job preparation. Syverson asked Hunter to verify that the bill removes compliance requirements.
"What it states is that if an individual is no longer compliant with guidelines, they’re still going to to be able to get their TANF check even if they’re in noncompliance?" Syverson asked.
Hunter said not without good cause.
"I thought it states in here that that money is continued to be maintained even if not in compliance," Syverson said. " A child would still get 75 percent of the grant and the adult would receive 25 percent even if non-compliant. In a time where we have rules and trying to keep the budget tight, the idea of continuing to make payments to someone who is not compliant, I have concerns with. I rise in opposition to this because of what it does."
The bill passed the Senate with 34 Yes votes and 15 No votes.
The bill removes a provision requiring the Department of Human Services (DHS) to increase TANF grant amounts by 15 percent and provides that TANF grant amounts shall be apportioned with 75 percent for the child or children of the assistance unit and 25 percent to adults in the assistance unit. It also removes a provision that permits the discontinuance of all or a part of a TANF recipient's grant amount as a penalty for noncompliance with TANF education, training and employment programs.
It also requires DHS to impose a 30-percent reduction of the portion of the grant amount designated for the adult member or members of an assistance unit when a member is found to be in noncompliance with program requirements without good cause, but that no sanction will reduce the portion of the grant designated for any child.