Saturday, December 4, 1999

State of Hawaii

Hawaii gets share
of welfare ‘bonus’

States that excel in moving
welfare clients into jobs will
share $200 million

Associated Press


WASHINGTON -- President Clinton today awarded $200 million in bonus money to 27 states, including Hawaii, that cut their welfare rolls and where former welfare recipients were most likely to find jobs, keep them and increase their pay.

Clinton said welfare rolls have been cut by more than half since peaking in 1994. Fewer than 6.9 million people got aid in June.

But the bonus contest, created by the 1996 welfare overhaul law, rewards states that move the most welfare recipients into jobs, whether or not they left the rolls. States were also rewarded when clients kept jobs for at least three months and increased their wages.

"Most of the people who get jobs are keeping them. They're getting raises and paying taxes, and teaching their children to honor the dignity of work," Clinton said in his radio address.

The money is given to the top 10 states in each of four categories, based on data from 1998. Twelve states qualified in more than one category.

Hawaii qualified in one: It was 10th in the Job Entry category, which is based on the number of welfare recipients who got jobs.

Hawaii and the nine other states in the category will share $50 million. The amount each state will get is based on the size of the states' federal welfare appropriation, not on its ranking. The exact amount Hawaii will receive has not been announced.

The winners in each category:

Bullet Indiana was No. 1 in placing the most people into jobs.
Bullet Minnesota had the most people keep jobs and increase earnings, dubbed "job success."
Bullet Washington had the most improvement in job placement.
Bullet Florida saw the most improvement in job success.

Other states winning a piece of the bonus are Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

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