Research / Workforce
Policy Analysis | January 2020
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:
- “Provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives”
- “End the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage”
- “Prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and establish annual numerical goals for preventing and reducing the incidence of these pregnancies”
- “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
Policy Analysis | September 2019
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution, would guarantee equal rights to all Americans regardless of sex. The amendment was written by Alice Paul of New Jersey and Crystal Eastman of Massachusetts and introduced at the Woman’s Rights Convention in 1923, two years after ratification of the 19th amendment, providing women the right to vote. The ERA passed the U.S. House of Representatives on October 12, 1971, and the U.S. Senate on March 22, 1972.
Article V of the U.S. Constitution states that “the Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof.” With 50 states in the Union, the Constitution is amended when 38 states ratify an amendment.
The text of the ERA reads:
“Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.”
Other | January 2019
As the 2019 legislative cycle begins, 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 research and identify current and emerging policy issues and trends. This report was prepared by SLC policy analysts Anne Roberts Brody, Cody Allen and Roger Moore as a snapshot of issues and trends that are anticipated to emerge during the 2019 legislative term.
This report previews current and emerging trends that have been identified under the purview of the SLC’s six standing committees, which are relevant to policymakers across the South. The Agriculture and Rural Development preview discusses industrial hemp cultivation and the struggles of rural hospitals, while the Economic Development, Transportation and Cultural Affairs preview considers occupational licensing regulations and the funding of transportation and state infrastructure. In Education policy, teacher pay legislation and school counseling are trends to watch for the 2019 legislative term, while the management of coal combustion residuals — commonly referred to as coal ash — is an important emerging issue in the Energy and Environment arena. The Fiscal Affairs and Government Operations preview compares online sales tax legislation in the wake of the South Dakota v. Wayfair decision, and the Human Services and Public Safety preview examines balance billing policy at both the state and federal level.
SLC Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee
The SLC Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee examines issues related to infrastructure, economic progress and cultural strengths in the Southern region. Discussions and reports of the committee have focused on Southern state actions to bring manufacturing operations of national and foreign companies to the region, as well as the importance of ports, roads and railways for the movement of manufactured goods. The committee has a long history of studying the impact of the Panama Canal expansion and international trade with Mexico, Canada and China on Southern state economies.
More SLC Research on the Workforce
Policy Analysis | August 2018
SLC Issue Brief | January 2018
SLC Regional Resource | June 2017
Policy Analysis | October 2016
Policy Analysis | June 2016
Policy Analysis | June 2015
SLC Regional Resource | February 2015
SLC Issue Alert | April 2014
SLC Regional Resource | July 2013
Policy Analysis | June 2013
Policy Analysis | March 2013
Policy Analysis | March 2012
Policy Analysis | July 2011
Policy Analysis | June 2011
Policy Analysis | November 2010
Presentation | February 2010
SLC Special Series Report | July 2002