Substitute Senate Bill No. 500
          Substitute Senate Bill No. 500

              PUBLIC ACT NO. 98-169


AN ACT ESTABLISHING A SELF-SUFFICIENCY MEASUREMENT
AND EXPANDING JOB TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES.


    Be it enacted  by  the  Senate  and  House  of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section 1. (NEW)  (a)  For  purposes  of  this
section,  "self-sufficiency measurement"  means  a
calculation of the  income  an  employed adult may
need to meet  his  family's  needs, including, but
not  limited  to,   housing,   food,   day   care,
transportation and medical costs.
    (b) Not later than January 1, 1999, the Office
of Policy and  Management  shall  contract  with a
private  vendor  to   develop  a  self-sufficiency
measurement by October  1,  1999. This measurement
shall take into account geographical variations in
costs and the  age  and  number of children in the
family. The value  of  any state or federal public
assistance  benefit received  by  a  recipient  of
temporary family assistance  shall  be  calculated
into     such     recipient's     self-sufficiency
measurement.
    (c)  Not later  than  October  31,  1999,  the
Office of Policy  and  Management shall distribute
the  self-sufficiency  measurement  to  all  state
agencies that counsel  individuals who are seeking
education,  training  or   employment.   Effective
October  31,  1999,   the  Office  of  Policy  and
Management     may     also     distribute     the
self-sufficiency measurement to  any  other entity
that  requests  such   measurement.   Such   state
agencies   and  other   entities   may   use   the
self-sufficiency measurement to  assist  and guide
individuals who are seeking education, training or
employment  in  establishing   personal  financial
goals and estimating  the  amount  of  income such
individuals may need to support their families.
    (d) The self-sufficiency measurement shall not
be used to:  (1) Analyze the success or failure of
any   program;   (2)    determine   or   establish
eligibility or benefit  levels  for  any  state or
federal public assistance  program, including, but
not limited to, temporary family assistance, child
care   assistance,   medical   assistance,   state
administered general assistance,  food  stamps  or
eligibility  for the  HUSKY  plan;  (3)  determine
whether a person  subject to time-limited benefits
under  the  temporary  family  assistance  program
qualifies for an  extension of benefits under such
program; or (4)  supplement the amount of benefits
awarded  under  the  temporary  family  assistance
program.
    Sec. 2. (NEW)  (a)  In accordance with section
120 of public  act  97-2  of  the  June 18 special
session, the Department  of  Social Services shall
administer the Employment Services Program for the
purpose of providing  services  to  recipients  of
benefits under the  Temporary Assistance for Needy
Families Program pursuant  to  Title  IV-A  of the
Social Security Act.
    (b) To the  extent  permitted under public act
97-2 of the  June  18  special  session, the Labor
Department   shall   be    responsible   for   the
administration   of   employment    services    to
recipients of temporary  family  assistance  under
the Employment Services  Program  administered  by
the  Department of  Social  Services  pursuant  to
section 120 of  public  act  97-2  of  the June 18
special session. The  employment services provided
by the Labor  Department shall include appropriate
basic education and  occupational  skills training
combined  with  subsidized  or  unsubsidized  work
experience and employment,  as  deemed appropriate
by the Labor Department, and any other programs or
services   deemed   appropriate   by   the   Labor
Department, to the  extent  permitted  under state
and federal law,  including,  but  not limited to,
the  following: (1)  Employment,  (2)  work-study,
internship  or apprenticeship  opportunities;  (3)
adult   skills   training,   including   literacy,
mathematics   and   language    proficiency   with
curriculum related to  job  opportunities  and job
search skills; (4)  occupational  skills training;
(5) case management  and  counseling in successful
work skills; and  (6)  access  to state-subsidized
child  care  and   transportation,  where  needed.
Services  may  be  provided  by  existing  service
providers, including, but not limited to, local or
regional   boards   of   education   or   regional
educational  service  centers   that  offer  adult
education  programs, community-technical  colleges
and vocational-technical schools.
    (c)  Not  later  than  January  1,  1999,  and
annually thereafter, the  Labor  Department  shall
submit  a  report   to  the  Governor,  the  joint
standing committees of the General Assembly having
cognizance of matters  relating to appropriations,
human services and  labor and public employees and
the    Connecticut   Training    and    Employment
Commission.   Each   report   shall   contain   an
evaluation  of the  operation  of  the  employment
services  administered  by  the  Labor  Department
pursuant to this  section, including the number of
persons  who receive  employment  services,  their
gender and outcomes.  Each  such report shall also
provide   specific   information   regarding   the
cost-effectiveness of the employment services.
    Sec. 3. (NEW)  (a)  Each person found eligible
for time-limited assistance  under  the  temporary
family  assistance program  after  July  1,  1998,
shall be assessed for the purpose of developing an
employability plan, as follows:
    (1) The Department  of  Social  Services shall
perform an initial  assessment  in  the  following
areas: Education, employment and training history,
basic educational needs  and  other social service
needs, including transportation, child care, child
support, domestic violence,  substance  abuse  and
mental health.
    (2)  Following  completion   of   the  initial
assessment conducted pursuant  to  subdivision (1)
of  this  subsection,  the  Department  of  Social
Services shall refer each such person to the Labor
Department which shall,  in  conjunction  with the
regional workforce development boards, (A) conduct
any further assessment  of  such person, as deemed
necessary by the Labor Department to complete such
person's employability plan,  not  later  than six
months after the  initial assessment, (B) finalize
the employability plan,  (C) identify the services
such person requires  to fulfill his employability
plan, and (D)  refer  such  person for appropriate
employment   services,  including   the   services
identified in subsection  (b) of section 2 of this
act.
    (b) The Department  of  Social  Services shall
assess each person found eligible for time-limited
assistance under the  temporary  family assistance
program on or  before  July  1,  1998,  who is not
currently reporting earnings  to the Department of
Social Services, at  the  time of redetermination.
The Department of  Social  Services  shall conduct
such assessment in accordance with subdivision (1)
of  subsection  (a)   of   this   section,  unless
substantially similar assessment  has already been
completed   for   such   person.   Following   the
completion of such assessment by the Department of
Social Services, the Department of Social Services
shall refer such  person  to  the Labor Department
for   further  assessment   in   accordance   with
subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of this section.
    Sec.   4.   (NEW)    (a)    Within   available
appropriations for the fiscal year ending June 30,
2000, and the  next  two  successive fiscal years,
the  Labor Department,  in  cooperation  with  the
regional  workforce  development   boards,   shall
establish a two-year  pilot program for recipients
of  temporary family  assistance  to:  (1)  Expand
work-study opportunities for  such recipients; (2)
expand child care  programs  for  such recipients;
and (3) establish a competitive grant program that
awards grants to  providers  of  innovative  short
courses,  flexible  class  schedules,  "contextual
learning"  curricula  related   to   job   skills,
innovative distance learning  or  on-site learning
initiatives,  including,  but   not   limited  to,
employers,      community-technical      colleges,
vocational-technical  schools, local  or  regional
boards  of  education   or   regional  educational
service  centers  that   offer   adult   education
programs  and  community   based   education   and
training providers.
    (b) Not later  than  July  1,  1999, the Labor
Commissioner shall submit  a  status report on the
establishment and on  any  operation  of the pilot
program authorized under this section to the joint
standing committees of the General Assembly having
cognizance of matters  relating to appropriations,
human services and labor and public employees.
    Sec. 5. (NEW) Within available appropriations,
the Department of  Social Services, in conjunction
with  the  Labor   Department  and  Department  of
Transportation, shall establish  a  two-year pilot
program designed to assist Connecticut workers and
job seekers who  lack  reliable  transportation in
securing  reliable transportation  to  employment,
educational programs, job training and child care.
    Sec. 6. Not  later  than  July  1,  1999,  the
Commissioner of Social  Services  shall  submit  a
report  containing  an  evaluation  of  the  pilot
program authorized under  section 5 of this act to
the  joint  standing  committees  of  the  General
Assembly having cognizance  of matters relating to
appropriations,  human  services   and  labor  and
public employees.
    Sec. 7. Not  later  than  October 1, 1998, the
Connecticut  Employment  and  Training  Commission
shall submit to  the  joint standing committees of
the General Assembly  having cognizance of matters
relating   to   employment    and   training   and
appropriations a report detailing the commission's
plan  for fully  implementing  the  provisions  of
section 3 of  public  act  97-263,  including  the
performance measures to  be included in the report
card mandated by  section  3  of public act 97-263
and the funding  required  for full implementation
of section 3 of public act 97-263.
    Sec. 8. This  act  shall  take  effect July 1,
1998.

Approved June 4, 1998