From the Office of State Senator Royce West - District 23

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
April 14, 1999

SENATOR WEST ADVOCATES TO MAINTAIN FAMILY TIES

AUSTIN, TEXAS -- Texas Grandparents rearing a child who is eligible for public assistance could get supplemental government aid to help meet expenses if their annual household income is $50,000 or less, under a bill sponsored by State Senator Royce West and approved by the Texas Senate. The aid to eligible grandparents would be in addition to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) grants for dependent children.

"These grandparents have become second-time parents, often while living on fixed incomes," said Senator Royce West, D-Dallas. "I often get calls in my district office from grandparents asking me when will the State of Texas do something to help them with raising their grandchildren. These grandparents are committed to caring for their grandchildren and they are often called upon to step in to preserve the family."

The supplemental TANF assistance would go to grandparents who met the income limit, are at least 45-years-old, and are the primary caretakers of a dependent child living with them who are eligible for financial assistance. The aid would include a one-time cash payment of $1,000 to defray expenses readying a household for placement, purchase of clothing, beds, furniture, and other essential expenses and an annual school subsidy.

Senate Bill 1423 would allow thousands of children to remain in the care of grandparents and offer them an alternative to the foster care system.

"Senate Bill 1423 is a prevention and intervention bill that will preserve family ties," said Senator West.

The bill has been sent to the Texas House of Representatives where it will be referred to the appropriate committee and await consideration. For more information about the bill, please contact Chante' Prox at 512-463-0123.

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