A bill that originated in the Senate and has already moved through committee and passed on the floor is now set to be transmitted over to the House for discussion.

SB 2759, which was authored by Senator Joey Fillingane, would increase the monthly amount that Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) beneficiaries from $110 for the first person to $200 monthly. The amounts for the second and third person would remain the same at $36 and $24.

TANF is the monthly cash assistance program for poor families with children under the age of 18. These benefits are intended to help children and needy caretaker relatives who do not have enough income to meet everyday needs.

The bill reads: 

The amount of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits which may be granted for any dependent child and a needy caretaker relative shall be determined by the county department with due regard to the resources and necessary expenditures of the family and the conditions existing in each case, and in accordance with the rules and regulations made by the Department of Human Services which shall not be less than the Standard of Need in effect for 1988, and shall be sufficient when added to all other income (except that any income specified in the federal Social Security Act, as amended, may be disregarded) and support available to the child to provide such child with a reasonable subsistence compatible with decency and health. The first family member in the dependent child’s budget may receive an amount not to exceed * * * Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) per month; the second family member in the dependent child’s budget may receive an amount not to exceed Thirty-six Dollars ($36.00) per month; and each additional family member in the dependent child’s budget an amount not to exceed Twenty-four Dollars ($24.00) per month. 

The bill was passed in the Public Health and Welfare Committee before making it to the floor. After a lengthy debate the bill did pass by a vote of 40 to 9, with three Senators absent.