Hawaii Lawmakers Need to End Restrictions on Federal Funds for Needy Families

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The Administration of Gov. Linda Lingle and Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona is asking the Hawaii State Legislature to lift a $35 million restriction placed on a federal block grant that provides assistance to needy families and children.

The 2007 supplemental budget request calls for the Legislature to restore the full $98.9 million Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant given each year to the Department of Human Services (DHS) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


In the 2005 Legislative session, the Legislature passed a law that allotted only $63.9 million from the $98.9 million TANF block grant each year, for 2006 and 2007. Prior to that law, the Department of Human Services, since 1997, was receiving the full amount of the TANF federal funds.

The $35 million restricted by the Legislature for fiscal year 2006 will lose its flexibility in September 2006 and increase the state