An Act To Reduce Child Poverty by Leveraging Investments in Families for Tomorrow
Sec. 1. 22 MRSA §3104, sub-§17 is enacted to read:
To implement the program, the department shall establish a procedure by which an educational institution or community-based organization may apply for a partnership agreement with the department to provide education, training or support services to food supplement benefit recipients seeking these services. The department shall establish partnership agreements with qualified educational institutions or community-based organizations that demonstrate they can provide education, training and support services that:
The department shall develop a system for tracking program participants' eligibility, enrollment, continued participation and program outcomes. The department may use federal funds received from the federal supplemental nutrition assistance program to carry out its duties under this subsection.
Sec. 2. 22 MRSA §3790-A is enacted to read:
§ 3790-A. Working Families Parents as Scholars Program
Enrollment in the program may not exceed the difference between the enrollment under section 3790 and the enrollment limit established under section 3790, subsection 1.
The program must be supported with funds provided under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant that are available under Title IV-A of the United States Social Security Act or funds transferred from that block grant to the social services block grant authorized under Title XX of the United States Social Security Act or the child care and development block grant authorized under the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 and Section 418 of the United States Social Security Act.
This bill establishes 2 programs intended to strengthen the financial stability of low-income families with children and individuals through increased access to education and training services and the support services needed to participate.
The first program is a food supplement employment and training program that requires partnership agreements to be made between the Department of Health and Human Services and 3rd-party educational institutions or community-based organizations that meet certain standards to provide education, training and support services to eligible adults who are food supplement benefit recipients. This program is supported with federal supplemental nutrition assistance program funds.
The 2nd program is a companion to the current Parents as Scholars Program and is available to persons with minor children who do not qualify for cash assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, who have incomes at or below 185% of the federal poverty level and who are pursuing a postsecondary degree, industry-recognized certificate or similar credential in a field or occupation that has at least an average job outlook as identified by the Department of Labor. This program is funded with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant funds.