Key Assembly & Senate Committees Advance TANF Reforms
The Assembly Budget Committee and the Senate Budget Committee today both cleared two crucial pieces of legislation that would serve to reverse a 30-year trend of dwindling cash assistance for New Jersey’s poorest children.
The committees OK’ed:
- A-31/S-3315 (http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2016/Bills/S3500/3315_I1.PDF), which increases cash assistance for New Jersey’s poor families through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The bill increases assistance – which has been stagnant for 30 years – by 30 percent over three years and then ties future increases to rising costs of living so families don’t fall further behind again.
- A-33/S-3316 (http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2016/Bills/S3500/3316_I1.PDF), which repeals the punitive “family cap” policy that denies TANF cash assistance to babies of mothers already on TANF.
As a landmark 2016 report by NJPP (and an update this year) showed, New Jersey’s lack of support for TANF assistance is one of the main causes of deep child poverty in the state. We thank lawmakers for taking up these vital pieces of legislation for the second year in a row; last year both proposals were passed by the legislature but were vetoed by Gov. Christie.
“New Jersey can’t thrive while so many of our children and families live in such deep poverty,” said NJPP Director of Health Policy Raymond Castro. “It’s way beyond time for the state to finally reverse 30 years of neglect, and increase the incredibly modest cash support it gives to the poorest families and kids.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JUNE 19, 2017