Senator Evan J. Vickers proposes the following substitute bill:




Chief Sponsor: Robert M. Spendlove

Senate Sponsor: Evan J. Vickers

6     Cosponsors:
7     Carl R. Albrecht
8     Walt Brooks
Adam Gardiner
Sandra Hollins
Kelly B. Miles
Angela Romero
Christine F. Watkins
Mike Winder

11     General Description:
12          This bill modifies provisions of the Utah Workforce Services Code.
13     Highlighted Provisions:
14          This bill:
15          ▸     provides that an additional purpose of the cash assistance available under the Family
16     Employment Program is to prevent families with children from becoming homeless;
17     and
18          ▸     provides additional duties of the Utah Intergenerational Welfare Reform
19     Commission related to reducing and preventing homelessness for children.
20     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
21          None
22     Other Special Clauses:
23          None

24     Utah Code Sections Affected:
25     AMENDS:
26          35A-3-301, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2015, Chapter 221
27          35A-9-303, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2013, Chapter 59

29     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
30          Section 1. Section 35A-3-301 is amended to read:
31          35A-3-301. Purpose -- Legislative findings.
32          (1) The Legislature finds that:
33          (a) employment improves the quality of life for parents, children, and individuals by
34     increasing family income, developing job skills, and improving self-esteem; and
35          (b) the purpose of the cash assistance provided under this part is to assist a parent
36     recipient to obtain employment that is sufficient to sustain a family, to ensure the dignity of
37     those receiving assistance, [and] to prevent families with children from becoming homeless,
38     and to strengthen families.
39          (2) The Legislature recognizes that even with assistance, some recipients may be
40     unable to attain complete self-sufficiency.
41          Section 2. Section 35A-9-303 is amended to read:
42          35A-9-303. Purpose and duties of commission.
43          (1) The commission's purpose is to:
44          (a) collaborate in sharing and analyzing data and information regarding
45     intergenerational poverty in the state with a primary focus on data and information regarding
46     children who are at risk of continuing the cycle of poverty and welfare dependency unless
47     outside intervention is made;
48          (b) examine and analyze shared data and information regarding intergenerational
49     poverty, including the data provided by the intergenerational poverty report described in
50     Section 35A-9-201, to identify and develop effective and efficient plans, programs, and
51     recommendations to help at-risk children in the state escape the cycle of poverty and welfare
52     dependency[;], which may include avoiding homelessness among children at risk of remaining
53     in poverty;
54          (c) implement data-driven policies and programs addressing poverty, public assistance,

55     education, and other areas as needed to measurably reduce the incidence of children in the state
56     who remain in the cycle of poverty and welfare dependency as they become adults;
57          (d) establish and facilitate improved cooperation between state agencies down to the
58     case worker level in rescuing children from intergenerational poverty and welfare dependency;
59     and
60          (e) encourage participation and input from the Intergenerational Poverty Advisory
61     Committee established in Section 35A-9-304 and other community resources, including
62     academic experts, advocacy groups, nonprofit corporations, local governments, and religious
63     institutions in exploring strategies and solutions to help children in the state who are victims of
64     intergenerational poverty escape the cycle of poverty and welfare dependency.
65          (2) The commission shall:
66          (a) fulfill the commission's purposes as listed in Subsection (1);
67          (b) study, evaluate, and report on the status and effectiveness of policies, procedures,
68     and programs that provide services to children in the state affected by intergenerational poverty
69     and welfare dependency;
70          (c) study and evaluate the policies, procedures, and programs implemented by other
71     states and nongovernmental entities that address the needs of children affected by
72     intergenerational poverty and welfare dependency;
73          (d) (i) identify policies, procedures, and programs, including any lack of interagency
74     data sharing, lack of policy coordination, or current federal requirements, that are impeding
75     efforts to help children in the state affected by intergenerational poverty escape the poverty
76     cycle and welfare dependency; and
77          (ii) implement and recommend changes to those policies and procedures;
78          (e) create an ongoing five- and ten-year plan, which is updated annually, containing:
79          (i) measurable goals and benchmarks, including future action needed to attain those
80     goals and benchmarks, for:
81          (A) decreasing the incidence of intergenerational poverty among the state's children,
82     including reducing the incidence of homelessness among children affected by intergenerational
83     poverty; and
84          (B) increasing the number of the state's children who escape the poverty cycle and
85     welfare dependency;

86          (ii) implement policy, procedure, and program changes to address the needs of children
87     affected by intergenerational poverty and help those children escape the poverty cycle and
88     welfare dependency, including, as available over time, data to track the effectiveness of each
89     change; and
90          (iii) recommend policy, procedure, and program changes to address the needs of
91     children affected by intergeneration poverty and to help those children escape the poverty cycle
92     and welfare dependency, including the steps that will be required to make the recommended
93     changes and whether further action is required by the Legislature or the federal government;
94          (f) ensure that each change and recommended change to a policy, procedure, or
95     program, which is made by the commission, is supported by verifiable data;
96          (g) protect the privacy of individuals living in poverty by using and distributing the
97     data it collects or examines in compliance with:
98          (i) federal requirements; and
99          (ii) the provisions of Title 63G, Chapter 2, Government Records Access and
100     Management Act; and
101          (h) provide a forum for public comment and participation in efforts to help children in
102     the state escape the cycle of poverty and welfare dependency.
103          (3) To accomplish its duties, the commission may:
104          (a) request and receive from any state or local governmental agency or institution,
105     information relating to poverty in the state, including:
106          (i) reports;
107          (ii) audits;
108          (iii) data;
109          (iv) projections; and
110          (v) statistics; and
111          (b) appoint special committees, in addition to the advisory committee described in
112     Section 35A-9-304, to advise and assist the commission.
113          (4) (a) Members of a special committee described in Subsection (3)(b):
114          (i) shall be appointed by the commission;
115          (ii) may be:
116          (A) members of the commission; or

117          (B) individuals from the private or public sector; and
118          (iii) notwithstanding Section 35A-9-305, may not receive reimbursement or pay for
119     work done in relation to the special committee.
120          (b) A special committee described in Subsection (3)(b) shall report to the commission
121     on the progress of the special committee.