March 27, 2012
Join the Oregon TANF Alliance
TANF in the News
May 21 The Washington Examiner Extra revenue put safety net on life support
May 21 Oregonian Restoring a safety net that offers actual support
May 18 Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon Faith leaders issue moral challenge to legislature
May 18 Catholic Sentinel Religious leaders seek to hold line on social spending
May 12 OregonLive Oregon needs to make the right choice
May 10 OPB News Lawmakers grapple with cuts to social assistance
May 8 Oregonian Mend the tattered safety net
May 4 OregonLive A Moral Challenge
May 2 OPB Think Out Loud: Families Facing Cuts
May 2 KLCC Radio Advocates hope to prevent TANF cuts
May 1 OregonLive: Cuts to needy families: Governor Kitzhaber, fix the plumbing
Apr 28 OPB Radio: 2011 Session Coverage
Apr 13 OregonLive - Streetroots: Cutting assistance will put families on the street
Apr 6 OregonLive: Big crowd asks lawmakers to spare assistance programs
Apr 6 Statesman Journal: Legislative hearing brings a plea to save family assistance
Apr 5 Oregon Center for Public Policy releases report: Oregon can do better than harm poor kids
Apr 2 Statesman Journal: Proposal would make bad situation worse
What's at stake
TANF helps extremely low-income families with children maintain stability during a financial crisis and connect to epmployment. Over 90% of families have zero income. For most of them, TANF is their only support and often the last resort before homelessness.
Advocates worked hard during the 2012 Legislative session to prevent further cuts to TANF and to restore some of the previous reductions. We had mixed success. Read the 2012 TANF Legislative Wrap-up report to learn more.
TANF legislative agenda for 2012:
Do no further harm - no more cuts to TANF.
Oregon families are already struggling with existing reductions. We cannot afford to make the situation worse.
Restore critical services. See below.
1. Invest in the JOBS program
The JOBS program was reduced from $115 million to $60 million. Only one out of four families are getting help with childcare and tranportation to new find jobs. Investments in JOBS will connect families to employment and help lift their children out of poverty.
UPDATE: The legislature released $9 million for the JOBS program during the 2012 session. This will help more families get the assistance they need to find employment and address barriers; however, many will families will continue to receive no assistance.
2. Protect Employment-Related Day Care (ERDC)
ERDC helps families earning less than 185% FPL maintain employment by providing susidized childcare. We need to honor our committment to working families and businesses by dedicated more funds to this program.
UPDATE: The Legislature funded ERDC to serve 8,500 families, although approsimately 3,000 are on the waiting list.
3. Fund Post-TANF beyond June 30, 2012
A monthly stipend of $50 helps 2,200 TANF families stay employed and off of TANF. This support helps cover gas and other job-related expenses.
UPDATE: The legislature ended funding for the Post-TANF program effective April 30, 2012, two months earlier than projected.
4. Families with a disabled caretaker need support
Families struggling with a disability have lost a portion of their monthly grant that helps them make ends meet while applying for federal SSI/SSDI benefits (State Family Pre-SSI program). These families need help covering their basic needs, and the state will recover the majority of its costs once federal benefits are awarded.
UPDATE: The Legislature did not restore funds to this program.