The Lead

Bill providing subsidies to families with older foster children is headed to the Senate floor

By: - June 4, 2019 12:03 pm

State Rep. Karen Boback, R-Wyoming, testifies before the Senate Health & Human Services Committee on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 (Capital-Star photo).

A state House measure that would provide subsidies to families with foster children who have aged out of the youth system swiftly cleared a critical Senate committee hurdle on Tuesday. And its sponsor says she’s hoping for an “expedited” vote by the Republican-controlled chamber.

With no discussion, the Senate Health & Human Services Committee unanimously approved the legislation sponsored by Rep. Karen Boback, R-Wyoming, permanently reinstating subsidies for families with foster children aged 18 to 21.

According to a memo from Boback’s office, the subsidies are provided through the state’s Subsidized Permanent Legal Custodianship Program, “which allows family members who are granted permanent legal custodianship for qualified children under Kinship Care to receive a subsidy.”

The subsidy program was a casualty of a 7-0 state Supreme Court decision last year striking down a 2012 state law that eliminated Pennsylvania’s General Assistance program, which means it had to be reinstated under new legislation, Boback said Tuesday.

The House unanimously passed Boback’s bill on April 30. The legislation has the backing of the Wolf administration, Boback said Tuesday.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.