Research / Health & Human Services


Policy Analysis | January 2020

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Roger Moore

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a federal assistance program administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Established in 1996 as a replacement for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), TANF is designed to provide struggling families with financial assistance, childcare support and job preparation to achieve self-sufficiency. Under TANF, states receive block grants from the federal government to operate their own programs to meet the following objectives:

  1. “Provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives”
  2. “End the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage”
  3. “Prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and establish annual numerical goals for preventing and reducing the incidence of these pregnancies”
  4. “Encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families”1

The amount of the TANF block grant is based on states’ expenditures for AFDC during the fiscal year (FY) 1992-1995 period, when the number of public assistance recipients was relatively high.2 The total annual TANF block grant amounts to nearly $17 billion, with SLC states receiving grants from a high of $538,595,947 in Texas, to a low of $62,839,408 in Arkansas during FY 2018.3

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Other | December 2019

Issues to Watch - 2020

Anne Roberts Brody, Cody Allen and Roger Moore

As the 2020 legislative cycle approaches, legislators across the South are preparing and pre-filing legislation to address emerging and relevant policy issues in their states. With its regional focus, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) is uniquely positioned to identify and research current and emerging policy issues and trends. This report was prepared by Anne Roberts Brody, policy and program manager, and Roger Moore and Cody Allen, policy analysts, and provides a sampling of issues and trends that are anticipated to emerge during the 2020 legislative term. State actions referenced in this report may represent appropriate policy options for Southern lawmakers to consider and, as such, may include bills or policies originating outside the SLC region.

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Policy Analysis | November 2019

Federal Analysis: Rural Health Agenda

Nick Bowman

Rural hospitals have struggled to remain solvent in recent years. Since January 2010, 81 rural hospitals have closed in the SLC region. State and federal policy makers are working to mitigate this trend and promote the work of rural hospitals.* At the federal level, the recently introduced Rural Health Agenda offers potential assistance for rural hospitals and residents.

On July 31, 2019, U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (TN) introduced the Rural Health Agenda in the Senate to support the provision of rural healthcare. The agenda includes the Rural America Health Corps Act, Telehealth Across State Lines Act of 2019 and Rural Health Innovation Act of 2019. The three bills were each read twice and referred to the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

On October 29, 2019, U.S. Representative Phil Roe (TN) introduced companion bills for the Rural America Health Corps Act and Telehealth Across State Lines Act of 2019 in the House of Representatives. Both bills were referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee; the latter was also referred to the Ways and Means Committee. That same day, U.S. Representative David Kustoff (TN) introduced a companion bill for the Rural Health Innovation Act of 2019, which was referred to the Energy and Commerce Committee.

The information provided is a summary of the three bills comprising the Rural Health Agenda. As the bills are in committee, they are subject to change. All information is current as of November 19, 2019.

Rural America Health Corps Act

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2019-2020
Chair

Senator
Katrina Shealy

South Carolina

2019-2020
Vice Chair
Representative Fredrick Love, Arkansas

Representative
Fredrick J. Love

Arkansas

Immediate
Past Chair

(former) Senator
Doug Overbey

Tennessee

Committee
Liaison
Roger Moore

Roger Moore
Policy Analyst


Ensuring the public’s general welfare and protection are among states’ most pressing concerns, with both areas constituting considerable shares of state budgets. The SLC Human Services & Public Safety Committee has a broad agenda, which takes into account the challenges states face in the areas of human services and corrections, as well as policies and programs that address them. The committee frequently undertakes assessments of pressing health issues including the national opioid crisis, organ donations and long-term care, as well as various corrections issues such as aging inmate populations, female offenders and mental health parity in prisons.

More SLC Research into Health & Human Services


SLC Regional Resource | November 2019

Rural Hospitals: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Policy Analysis | April 2019

School Counselor Legislation in the South

SLC Regional Resource | April 2019

Surprise Medical Billing in the South: A Balancing Act

Policy Analysis | April 2019

Federal Legislation on Rural Hospitals

Policy Analysis | January 2019

Medical Marijuana Laws in Southern States

Other | January 2019

Issues to Watch - 2019

SLC Issue Brief | October 2018

The Growth of Synthetic Opioids in the South

Policy Analysis | September 2018

Poverty Statistics for Southern States

Policy Analysis | August 2018

Suicide Rates in the South

SLC Regional Resource | May 2018

Opioids and Organ Donations: A Tale of Two Crises

SLC Special Series Report | December 2017

Long-Term Care in the South (Part II)

Comparative Data Reports | July 2017

Adult Correctional Systems, Education and Medicaid

Policy Analysis | April 2017

Cross-State Health Insurance Policies

SLC Special Series Report | January 2017

Long-Term Care in the South (Part 1)

SLC Regional Resource | May 2016

Spread of Zika: Impact on Southern States

Policy Analysis | May 2016

Recent numbers on Zika Infections

SLC Regional Resource | March 2016

Heroin Epidemic in SLC Member States: Finding Solutions

SLC Regional Resource | April 2015

Vapor Rising: E-Cigarettes in the SLC States

Policy Analysis | January 2015

Departments of Elder Abuse and/or Aging

Webinar | October 2014

Food Safety Modernization Act

Policy Analysis | August 2014

Southern States' Medicaid Spending

SLC Regional Resource | March 2014

A Special Condition: Medical Marijuana in SLC States

Policy Analysis | October 2013

Southern States' Medicaid HMO Plans

Comparative Data Reports | July 2012

Medicaid, Revenue and Transportation

Policy Analysis | June 2012

Grandparental Visitation Rights

Policy Analysis | March 2012

Organization of Public Health Services

Policy Analysis | September 2011

Prospective Changes in Long-Term Care Policies

Policy Analysis | May 2011

A Prescription Drug Epidemic

Policy Analysis | November 2010

Economic Impact of the Great Recession

SLC Regional Resource | July 2010

Meth: Resurgence in the South

Policy Analysis | March 2010

Southern States' Health Insurance Rates

SLC Regional Resource | January 2010

Autism and Schools

Policy Analysis | January 2010

Drug Recycling Programs

Policy Analysis | October 2009

Southern States' SCHIP Programs

SLC Issue Alert | January 2009

An HIV Epidemic?

Policy Analysis | March 2008

Prescription Drug Reuse and Recycling

Comparative Data Reports | November 2007

Adult Correctional Systems, Education, Medicaid and Revenue

SLC Regional Resource | April 2001

Methamphetamine Production and Abuse in Southern States

Comparative Data Reports | November 2000

Adult Correctional Systems and Medicaid