Working to transform the child welfare system.


HB 2641: Relating to establishing the WorkFirst reform program

HB 2641 intends to create a WorkFirst reform program to allow investment in strategies that move families to self-sufficiency. The legislature finds that the WorkFirst temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) program has been redesigned in response to previous legislation. A state program is needed to invest in these efforts to fully realize these reforms without interference from the federal government.

The bill requires the Department of Social and Health Services to operate a WorkFirst reform program in order to provide assistance to individuals who meet the eligibility requirements of the TANF program. Assistance provided through the WorkFirst reform program must reinforce a recipient’s individual responsibility plan. Other goals include stable and successful employment, supporting activities that matter (not those that count), meaningful engagement of families, family centered case planning and engagement, and parental responsibility in child development. 

HB 2641 also requires the Department of Social and Health Services to partner with the Department of Commerce, the Department of Early Learning, the Employment Security Department, the Office of Financial Management, and the state board for community and technical colleges to carry out the program. Additionally, HB 2641 requires the legislative-executive WorkFirst oversight task force to oversee implementation of the WorkFirst reform program to ensure that the program is achieving its goals.

The bill makes an appropriation of $12 million dollars from the general fund program to the WorkFirst reform for the fiscal year (ending June 30, 2015).