News Releases

Murray Lays Out Standards and Principles for Welfare Reauthorization

May 23 2002

Calls TANF reauthorization "opportunity to improve quality of life for low-income families"

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today was joined by fellow Democratic senators to discuss her vision for upcoming welfare reform legislation. Murray and her colleagues released a letter to Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, to establish principles for real welfare reform that will move parents into the workforce, and families off of welfare and out of poverty.

"How we decide to reform welfare in the Senate will have very real consequences for the people of Washington state," Senator Murray said. "With the second highest unemployment rate in the country, our families are struggling. Now more than ever, we need a social safety net that will be a springboard to a better life."

The current TANF reauthorization provides an opportunity to significantly improve the stability and quality of life for low-income working families. In their letter to Chairman Baucus, Senator Murray and her colleagues laid out their requirements for a strong welfare reform bill.

Among Murray's top priorities are:

  • Improving the quality and accessibility of childcare with better wages for childcare workers and more off-hours care;
  • Increasing access to education and training - to prepare people for good jobs in fields like health care and technology;
  • Strengthening protections for victims of domestic violence;
  • And restoring benefits to legal immigrants.
"As Congress works to reform welfare laws in this country, I will continue to remind my colleagues of the burdens already faced by families in Washington state and across the country," Murray said. "We should not add to that burden with extra mandates that only make self-sufficiency harder to achieve."