House Extends TANF, Social Impact Bonds (CWLA)

Shortly before adopting the Family First Prevention Services Act, HR 5456, they passed a one-year extension of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant.  The TANF law is set to expire under its current one-year extension.  The extension was a part of the larger bill, the Social Impact Partnership to Pay for Success Act, HR 5170.

The bill sponsored by Congressman Todd Young (R-IN) would create a $100 million fund to spread the use of “social impact bond” strategies.  Social impact bonds are generally programs that involve the government and the private sector in strategies to address certain social problems such as homelessness, re-entry into corrections facilities, child abuse prevention, foster care among the nearly two dozen strategies listed in the legislation.  Generally, funds are provided and if the private funder can develop strategies over time to drawn in investment to reach a specific goal (for example reducing re-entry into prison) the private entity/investors could keep the excess funds saved.

The bill, funded at $100 million, is drawn from the TANF contingency fund.  If enacted, grants would be posted in a federal register announcement that would allow state and local entities to apply for the various projects.  Results would be tracked over ten years.

The bill provides a one-year extension of TANF with none of the earlier changes that had considered for TANF.  If enacted, it means the block grant will have gone the entire life of the Obama Administration without being reauthorized.