Administration Calls for $2.5 billion for Emergency Fund, One-Year TANF Extension

Feb 01, 2010

by Elizabeth Lower-Basch

The President's budget proposal calls for an additional $2.5 billion for the TANF Emergency Fund in FY 2011.  The Recovery Act funded this program at $5 billion over FYs 2009 and 2010.  The proposal would also expand the allowable uses of the Emergency Fund to include employment-related services and allow subsidized employment to be claimed for 100 percent reimbursement rather than 80 percent.  Each state could receive no more than 50 percent of its annual block grant from the Emergency Fund and the Contingency Fund during FY 2011.  CLASP has been calling for an extension of the Emergency Fund as part of a jobs bill.

The overall TANF block grant is scheduled to expire on September 30, 2010.  The Administration's budget calls for a one-year extension, rather than a full five-year reauthorization.  This is likely a recognition of Congress' busy calendar over this legislative session.  The extension also would continue funding for the Supplemental Grants and would make $371 million available from the older Contingency Fund (which ran out of money in December 2009) during FY 2011.

In addition, the budget includes a legislative proposal for a $500 million Fatherhood, Marriage and Families Innovation Fund that would make competitive grants to states for program innovations in the areas of comprehensive responsible fatherhood initiatives, and improving child outcomes through services aimed at custodial parents with serious barriers to self-sufficiency.  These grants would replace the current $150 million Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage grants, and would build on the lessons learned from them, with evaluation requirements built in.

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