1997 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Harden, Jordan (24th)
Senate Resolution 21
A RESOLUTION STRONGLY ENCOURAGING THE GOVERNOR, THE STATE PERSONNEL BOARD AND ALL OTHER STATE AGENCIES TO TAKE ALL NECESSARY ACTIONS TO TRAIN AND EMPLOY WELFARE RECIPIENTS IN STATE JOBS TO THE FULLEST EXTENT POSSIBLE.
WHEREAS, national welfare reform became a reality on August 22, 1996, when President Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 that Congress had passed earlier that year; and
WHEREAS, during the current legislative session, the Mississippi Legislature enacted a bill to implement the federal welfare reform law in this state and the Governor signed the bill on March 12, 1997; and
WHEREAS, the federal welfare reform law replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which provides block grants to states to provide time-limited cash assistance to needy families; and
WHEREAS, one of the main purposes of the federal welfare law is to require able-bodied TANF recipients to participate in work activities for a certain number of hours per week after they have received TANF benefits for 24 months, and each state must meet minimum work participation rates for the state's TANF caseload or the state will be sanctioned; and
WHEREAS, many jobs will have to be made available for TANF recipients in order for the recipients and the state to meet the work requirements of the federal law, and while the private sector is expected to provide a majority of those jobs, the public sector also will need to make a number of jobs available if there are to be enough jobs for TANF recipients and the states to meet the work requirements; and
WHEREAS, on March 8, 1997, President Clinton announced that the federal government, which is America's largest employer, will do its part and set an example in hiring welfare recipients, and issued a directive to the heads of all federal agencies and departments telling them "to use all available hiring authorities...to hire people off the welfare rolls into available jobs in government"; and
WHEREAS, Mississippi's just-enacted welfare reform law requires the Department of Human Services to enter an agreement with the State Personnel Board and other state agencies that will allow TANF recipients who qualify for vacant jobs within state agencies to be placed in state jobs; and
WHEREAS, the State of Mississippi should lead the way in hiring TANF recipients and be an example to the private sector, and should not expect the private sector to provide jobs for TANF recipients if the state itself does not do so:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we strongly encourage the Governor, the State Personnel Board and all other state agencies and departments to take all necessary actions to train and employ TANF recipients in state jobs to the fullest extent possible.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the Governor and to the State Personnel Board, which shall provide copies of this resolution to the head of each state agency and department.