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S. 317 (is) To establish grants for drug treatment alternative to prison programs administered by State or local prosecutors. [Introduced in Senate] ...


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108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                 S. 316

   To amend part A of title IV of the Social Security Act to include 
efforts to address barriers to employment as a work activity under the 
temporary assistance to needy families program, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                            February 5, 2003

  Mr. Corzine (for himself and Mr. Kennedy) introduced the following 
  bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
   To amend part A of title IV of the Social Security Act to include 
efforts to address barriers to employment as a work activity under the 
temporary assistance to needy families program, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Chance to Succeed Act of 2003''.

SEC. 2. INCLUSION OF EFFORTS TO ADDRESS BARRIERS TO EMPLOYMENT AS A 
              WORK ACTIVITY UNDER TANF.

    Section 407 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 607) is amended--
            (1) in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of subsection (c), by 
        striking ``or (12)'' each place it appears and inserting 
        ``(12), or (13)'';
            (2) in subsection (d)--
                    (A) in paragraph (11), by striking ``and'' at the 
                end;
                    (B) in paragraph (12), by striking the period and 
                inserting ``; and''; and
                    (C) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(13) subject to subsection (j), 6 months of satisfactory 
        participation (as determined by the State) in services to 
        address barriers that are designed to improve future employment 
        opportunities, including substance abuse treatment, 
        occupational therapy, and physical rehabilitation, mental 
        health, and mental retardation and developmental disabilities 
        services.''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following:
    ``(j) State Option To Extend Period for Participation in Services 
To Address Barriers.--
            ``(1) In general.--With respect to an individual, a State 
        may extend the 6-month period referred to in subsection (d)(13) 
        for an additional period determined by the State so long as the 
        State periodically reassesses the appropriateness of the 
        activities referred to in such subsection for the individual.
            ``(2) Rule of construction.--Nothing in paragraph (1) or 
        subsection (d)(13) shall be construed to limit the amount of 
        time an individual may require, or a State may provide, 
        services to address barriers that are designed to improve 
        future employment opportunities.''.

SEC. 3. CREATION OF A SCREENING, ASSESSMENT, AND SERVICES PROCESS TO 
              ADDRESS BARRIERS TO EMPLOYMENT.

    (a) Assessments.--Section 408(b) of the Social Security Act (42 
U.S.C. 608(b)) is amended--
            (1) by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following:
            ``(1) Assessment provided for each individual who receives 
        assistance.--
                    ``(A) In general.--The State agency responsible for 
                administering the State program funded under this part 
                shall make an initial assessment of each adult 
                individual who receives assistance under the program 
                (and, in the case of a State program that requires an 
                individual who is a caretaker for an individual who 
                receives such assistance to engage in work, an initial 
                assessment of the caretaker individual) to determine 
                whether the individual has any barriers to employment 
                or program compliance.
                    ``(B) 2-part process.--The assessment under 
                subparagraph (A) shall consist of the following 2 
                parts:
                            ``(i) Initial screening.--
                                    ``(I) In general.--An initial 
                                screening which shall evaluate an 
                                individual's employability, educational 
                                capacity, and other related 
                                circumstances, such as the child 
                                support status, housing needs, and 
                                transportation needs of the individual 
                                and the individual's family.
                                    ``(II) Required factors to be 
                                assessed.--A trained caseworker shall 
                                screen the individual for conditions 
                                such as physical or mental impairments, 
                                substance abuse, domestic or sexual 
                                violence, learning disabilities, 
                                limited English proficiency, limited 
                                literacy in a primary language, and 
                                need to care for a child with a 
                                disability or health condition which 
                                may interfere with work or other 
                                program requirements.
                                    ``(III) Optional assessment of 
                                child care needs.--At the option of the 
                                individual, the State shall, before 
                                assigning the individual to a work 
                                activity under the State program funded 
                                under this part, perform an assessment 
                                of the individual's child care needs, 
                                and guarantee safe, appropriate, 
                                affordable quality child care to any 
                                such individual who needs child care.
                                    ``(IV) Optional assessment of job 
                                preparation.--At the option of the 
                                individual, the State shall, before 
                                assigning the individual to a work 
                                activity under the State program funded 
                                under this part, perform an individual 
                                assessment for the preparation that 
is needed for the individual to obtain and maintain a job at a monthly 
wage that is at least 200 percent of the poverty line applicable to the 
family of the individual.
                            ``(ii) Comprehensive assessment.--If an 
                        initial screening under clause (i) suggests the 
                        existence of potential barriers to work or 
                        program compliance, the individual may elect to 
                        participate in a comprehensive assessment 
                        conducted by a qualified professional to 
                        confirm the existence of the barriers, 
                        determine the extent of the barriers, and 
                        develop recommendations about appropriate 
                        services and activities for the individual.
                    ``(C) Family members.--At the discretion of an 
                individual who receives assistance under the State 
                program funded under this part, a member of the 
                individual's family also may be afforded an assessment 
                in accordance with this paragraph.
                    ``(D) Not considered a program requirement.--
                Participation by an individual or by a member of the 
                individual's family in an assessment under this 
                paragraph shall not be considered a program requirement 
                for the individual or the individual's family.
                    ``(E) Inclusion of caseworkers.--Nothing in 
                subparagraph (B)(ii) shall be construed as prohibiting 
                a caseworker from being a qualified professional for 
                purposes of that subparagraph if the caseworker 
                satisfies the requirements for being considered a 
                qualified professional.''; and
            (2) by striking paragraph (4).
    (b) Review and Conciliation Process.--Section 408(a) of the Social 
Security Act (42 U.S.C. 608(a)) is amended by adding at the end the 
following:
            ``(12) Review and conciliation process.--
                    ``(A) In general.--A State to which a grant is made 
                under section 403 shall not impose a sanction against 
                an individual or family under the State program funded 
                under this part on the basis of noncompliance by an 
                individual or family with a program requirement, unless 
                the State satisfies the following requirements:
                            ``(i) Notice.--The State has attempted, at 
                        least twice (using at least 2 different 
                        communication methods, 1 of which shall be in 
                        writing) to notify the individual or family, in 
                        the individual's or family's native language, 
                        of--
                                    ``(I) the impending imposition of 
                                the sanction;
                                    ``(II) the reason for the proposed 
                                sanction;
                                    ``(III) the amount of the sanction;
                                    ``(IV) the length of time during 
                                which the proposed sanction would be in 
                                effect; and
                                    ``(V) the steps required to come 
                                into compliance or to show good cause 
                                for noncompliance.
                            ``(ii) Review.--The State has afforded the 
                        individual or family an opportunity to meet 
                        with personnel outside the agency that 
                        administers the State program funded under this 
                        part who the State has contracted with to make 
                        a determination regarding why the individual or 
                        family did not comply with the program 
                        requirement, that is to be the basis on which 
                        the sanction is to be imposed, and that 
                        includes--
                                    ``(I) consideration of whether 
                                certain barriers to compliance exist 
                                that contributed to the noncompliance 
                                of the individual or family, such as a 
                                physical or mental impairment, 
                                including a mental health or substance 
                                abuse disorder or mental retardation, a 
                                learning disability, domestic or sexual 
                                violence, limited proficiency in 
                                English, limited literacy, or the need 
                                to care for a child with a disability 
                                or health condition;
                                    ``(II) consideration of whether the 
                                individual or family has good cause for 
                                failing to meet program requirements;
                                    ``(III) consideration of whether an 
                                additional assessment would assist in 
                                identifying reasons for noncompliance;
                                    ``(IV) consideration of whether 
                                support services or changes to the 
                                program requirements or activities to 
                                which the individual or family has been 
                                assigned are necessary in order for the 
                                individual or family to comply with 
                                program requirements; and
                                    ``(V) ensuring that the State's 
                                sanction policies have been applied 
                                properly.
                    ``(B) Sanction limitations.--
                            ``(i) Ban on imposition of sanction if 
                        needed screening, assessment, or services were 
                        unavailable.--A State may not impose a sanction 
                        against an individual or family under the State 
                        program funded under this part on the basis of 
                        noncompliance by an individual or family with a 
                        program requirement if the individual whose 
                        conduct is the basis of the sanction is in the 
                        process of being screened or assessed for a 
                        mental health problem, disability, substance 
                        abuse problem, or sexual or domestic violence 
                        situation but the screening or assessment has 
                        not been completed, or if services outlined in 
                        the service plan developed for the individual 
                        or family were not offered, available, and 
accessible to the individual or family at the time of the 
noncompliance.
                            ``(ii) No ban on sanction if individual or 
                        family fails to take advantage of assessment or 
                        services and does not comply with work 
                        requirements.--Nothing in this paragraph shall 
                        be construed as prohibiting a State that has 
                        complied with the requirements of this 
                        paragraph and section 408(b)(1) from imposing a 
                        sanction for noncompliance with work 
                        requirements against an individual or family 
                        who opts to not take full advantage of the 
                        opportunity for assessment or the services and 
                        supports made available to ensure that the 
                        individual or family can comply with program 
                        requirements if such an individual or family is 
                        not complying with the State's work 
                        requirements.
                    ``(C) Sanction follow-up requirements.--
                            ``(i) In general.--If a State imposes a 
                        sanction on an individual or family for failing 
                        to comply with program requirements, the State 
                        shall--
                                    ``(I) provide, at the time the 
                                sanction is imposed and periodically 
                                thereafter for at least 6 months, 
                                notice (in at least 2 different forms) 
                                to the individual or family of the 
                                reason for the sanction and the steps 
                                the individual or family must take to 
                                end the sanction;
                                    ``(II) reinstate the individual's 
                                or family's full benefits if the 
                                individual or family member who failed 
                                to meet the program requirements that 
                                led to the sanction complies with 
                                program requirements for a reasonable 
                                period of time and the individual or 
                                family is otherwise eligible; and
                                    ``(III) if the sanction is time-
                                limited, notify the individual or 
                                family at least 10 days before the 
                                expiration of the sanction of the date 
                                when the individual or family will no 
                                longer be in sanction status and inform 
                                the individual or family how assistance 
                                will be reinstated.
                            ``(ii) Outreach to individuals and families 
                        sanctioned who have not resumed receiving cash 
                        assistance.--If, during the 5-year period that 
                        ended on the date of enactment of the Chance to 
                        Succeed Act of 2003, a State imposed a sanction 
                        against an individual or family that resulted 

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