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S. 604 (rfh) To direct the Secretary of Agriculture to complete a land exchange with Georgia Power Company. [Referred in House] ...
108th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 604 To amend part D of title IV of the Social Security Act to provide grants to promote responsible fatherhood, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES March 12, 2003 Mr. Bayh (for himself, Mr. Domenici, and Mr. Santorum) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To amend part D of title IV of the Social Security Act to provide grants to promote responsible fatherhood, 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 ``Responsible Fatherhood Act of 2003''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. Congress makes the following findings: (1) Nearly 24,000,000 children in the United States, or 34 percent of all such children, live apart from their biological father. (2) Sixty percent of couples who divorce have at least 1 child. (3) The number of children living with only a mother increased from just over 5,000,000 in 1960, to 17,000,000 in 1999, and between 1981 and 1991 the percentage of children living with only 1 parent increased from 19 percent to 25 percent. (4) Forty percent of children who live in households without a father have not seen their father in at least 1 year and 50 percent of such children have never visited their father's home. (5) The most important factor in a child's upbringing is whether the child is brought up in a loving, healthy, supportive environment. (6) Children who live without contact with their biological father are, in comparison to children who have such contact-- (A) 5 times more likely to live in poverty; (B) more likely to bring weapons and drugs into the classroom; (C) twice as likely to commit crime; (D) twice as likely to drop out of school; (E) more likely to commit suicide; (F) more than twice as likely to abuse alcohol or drugs; and (G) more likely to become pregnant as teenagers. (7) Violent criminals are overwhelmingly males who grew up without fathers. (8) Between 20 and 30 percent of families in poverty are headed by women who have suffered domestic violence during the past year and between 40 and 60 percent of women with children receiving welfare were abused sometime during their life. (9) Responsible fatherhood includes active participation in financial support and child care, as well as the formation and maintenance of a positive, healthy, and nonviolent relationship between father and child and a cooperative relationship between parents. (10) States should be encouraged to implement programs that provide support for responsible fatherhood, promote marriage, and increase the incidence of marriage, and should not be restricted from implementing such programs. (11) Fatherhood programs should promote and provide support services for-- (A) loving and healthy relationships between parents and children; and (B) cooperative parenting. (12) There is a social need to reconnect children and fathers. (13) The promotion of responsible fatherhood and encouragement of married 2-parent families should not-- (A) denigrate the standing or parenting efforts of single mothers or other caregivers; (B) lessen the protection of children from abusive parents; or (C) compromise the safety or health of the custodial parent; but should increase the chance that children will have two caring parents to help them grow up healthy and secure. (14) The promotion of responsible fatherhood must always recognize and promote the values of nonviolence. (15) For the future of the United States and the future of our children, Congress, States, and local communities should assist parents to become more actively involved in their children's lives. (16) Child support is an important means by which a parent can take financial responsibility for a child and emotional support is an important means by which a parent can take social responsibility for a child. SEC. 3. RESPONSIBLE FATHERHOOD GRANTS. Part D of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 651 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following: ``SEC. 469C. RESPONSIBLE FATHERHOOD GRANTS. ``(a) Grants to States To Conduct Demonstration Programs.-- ``(1) Authority to award grants.-- ``(A) In general.--The Secretary shall award grants to up to 10 eligible States to conduct demonstration programs to carry out the purposes described in paragraph (2). ``(B) Eligible state.--For purposes of this subsection, an eligible State is a State that submits to the Secretary the following: ``(i) Application.--An application for a grant under this subsection, at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require. ``(ii) State plan.--A State plan that includes the following: ``(I) Project description.--A description of the types of projects the State will fund under the grant, including a good faith estimate of the number and characteristics of clients to be served under such projects and how the State intends to achieve at least 2 of the purposes described in paragraph (2). ``(II) Coordination efforts.--A description of how the State will coordinate and cooperate with State and local entities responsible for carrying out other programs that relate to the purposes intended to be achieved under the demonstration program, including as appropriate, entities responsible for carrying out jobs programs and programs serving children and families. ``(III) Records, reports, and audits.--An agreement to maintain such records, submit such reports, and cooperate with such reviews and audits as the Secretary finds necessary for purposes of oversight of the demonstration program. ``(iii) Certifications.--The following certifications from the chief executive officer of the State: ``(I) A certification that the State will use funds provided under the grant to promote at least 2 of the purposes described in paragraph (2). ``(II) A certification that the State will return any unused funds to the Secretary in accordance with the reconciliation process under paragraph (4). ``(III) A certification that the funds provided under the grant will be used for programs and activities that target low-income participants and that not less than 50 percent of the participants in each program or activity funded under the grant shall be-- ``(aa) parents of a child who is, or within the past 24 months has been, a recipient of assistance or services under a State program funded under this part and is described in section 454(4)(A)(i); or ``(bb) parents, including an expectant parent or a married parent, whose income (after adjustment for court- ordered child support paid or received) does not exceed 150 percent of the poverty line. ``(IV) A certification that programs or activities funded under the grant will be provided with information regarding the prevention of domestic violence and that the State will consult with representatives of State and local domestic violence centers. ``(V) A certification that funds provided to a State under this subsection shall not be used to supplement or supplant other Federal, State, or local funds that are used to support programs or activities that are related to the purposes described in paragraph (2). ``(C) Preferences and factors of consideration.--In awarding grants under this subsection, the Secretary shall take into consideration the following: ``(i) Diversity of entities used to conduct programs and activities.--The Secretary shall, to the extent practicable, achieve a balance among the eligible States awarded grants under this subsection with respect to the size, urban or rural location, and employment of differing or unique methods of the entities that the States intend to use to conduct the programs and activities funded under the grants. ``(ii) Priority for certain states.--The Secretary shall give priority to awarding grants to eligible States that have-- ``(I) demonstrated progress in achieving at least 1 of the purposes described in paragraph (2) through previous State initiatives; or ``(II) demonstrated need with respect to reducing the incidence of out-of-wedlock births or absent fathers in the State. ``(2) Purposes.--The purposes described in this paragraph are the following: ``(A) Promoting responsible fatherhood through marriage promotion.--To promote marriage or sustain marriage through such activities as counseling, mentoring, disseminating information about the benefits of marriage and 2-parent involvement for children, enhancing relationship skills, education regarding how to control aggressive behavior, disseminating information on the causes of domestic violence and child abuse, marriage preparation programs, premarital counseling, marital inventories, skills-based marriage education, financial planning seminars, including improving a family's ability to effectively manage family business affairs by means such as education, counseling, or mentoring on matters related to family finances, including household management, budgeting, banking, and handling of financial transactions and home maintenance, and divorce education and reduction programs, including mediation and counseling. ``(B) Promoting responsible fatherhood through parenting promotion.--To promote responsible parenting through such activities as counseling, mentoring, and mediation, disseminating information about good parenting practices, skills-based parenting education, encouraging child support payments, and other methods. ``(C) Promoting responsible fatherhood through fostering economic stability of fathers.--To foster economic stability by helping fathers improve their economic status by providing such activities as work first services, job search, job training, subsidized employment, job retention, job enhancement, and encouraging education, including career-advancing education, dissemination of employment materials, coordination with existing employment services such as welfare-to-work programs, referrals to local employment training initiatives, and other methods. ``(3) Restriction on use of funds.--No funds provided under this subsection may be used for costs attributable to court proceedings regarding matters of child visitation or custody, or for legislative advocacy. ``(4) Reconciliation process.-- ``(A) 3-year availability of amounts allotted.-- Each eligible State that receives a grant under this subsection for a fiscal year shall return to the Secretary any unused portion of the grant for such fiscal year not later than the last day of the second succeeding fiscal year, together with any earnings on such unused portion. ``(B) Procedure for redistribution.--The Secretary shall establish an appropriate procedure for redistributing to eligible entities that have expended the entire amount of a grant made under this subsection for a fiscal year any amount that is returned to the Secretary by eligible States under subparagraph (A). ``(5) Amount of grants.-- ``(A) In general.--Subject to subparagraph (B), the amount of each grant awarded under this subsection shall be an amount sufficient to implement the State plan submitted under paragraph (1)(B)(ii). ``(B) Minimum amounts.--No eligible State shall-- ``(i) in the case of the District of Columbia or a State other than the Commonwealth
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