WASHINGTON — The Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee approved a bill Wednesday that would spur states to find private sector jobs for long-term welfare recipients.
Committee Chairman Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) called the bipartisan effort "a worthwhile first step toward comprehensive welfare reform."
The measure would give bonuses to states that train and find jobs for people who have been on welfare for at least two years. The incentives would be financed with savings realized by moving such people off the welfare rolls. No bonuses would be paid until the savings are achieved.
In the average state, Kennedy said, the bonus would amount to about $3,700 per person employed over a three-year period.
The Jobs for Employable Individuals Act, an amendment to the Job Training Partnership Act, encourages states to provide education, training, child care, transportation and job-placement services.