- In April, 2000, Arizona state legislators passed a Marriage Education bill sponsored
by Rep Mark Anderson which dedicates surplus TANF funds to support marriage
and includes:
-  a $1 million dollar program for marriage education skills courses to be taught
by community-based programs
-  $75,000 for vouchers for low-income couples to take the marriage education courses
-  $75,000 dollars to develop a healthy marriage handbook for marriage license applicants
- $500,000 to be added to an existing abstinence-until-marriage media campaign to target marriage preparation.

To read the bill go to:

  http://www.azleg.state.az.us/legtext/44leg/2r/bills/h451-500.htm#HB2462

The clip below is from the latest summary of the legislation posted
on 3/3/00:   To read the full summary or the full text of the bill go
to web address above.
 

Marriage and Parenting Skills Program

·        Establishes a public school Marriage and Parenting Program fund
administered by the Department of Education (ADE).� ADE will distribute
funds to school districts or charter schools whose plans to implement
or continue a marriage and parenting education program have been approved
by a newly-formed Marriage and Parenting Skills Commission.

·        Creates a Marriage and Parenting Skills Commission consisting of
seven voting members, two non-voting advisory members of the Senate, and
two  non-voting advisory members of the House of Representatives.�
Members are appointed by either the Governor, the President of the Senate
or the Speaker of the House of Representatives.� The Commission reviews
plans submitted by applicant school districts or charter schools for
participation in the marriage and parenting program and selects
schools eligible to receive funding.� It also develops and distributes to
marriage license applicants a free handbook on how to have a healthy marriage,
and works with DES on a study to determine the fiscal costs of divorce in
Arizona and the potential savings of a reduction in the divorce rate.

·        Specifies that a public school district or charter school may
apply to participate or continue in the marriage and parenting education
program for any  fiscal year by submitting a proposal or application by April
15.� The program proposal must contain a plan for implementing or
demonstrating the existence of a marriage and parenting program.

·        Allocates $100,000 from the TANF block grant to DES to provide
vouchers to married or cohabiting parents whose income is below 150 per
cent of  the federal poverty level to attend marriage skills training
courses; $2,900,000 for a media campaign to promote the health and
societal benefits of  marriage; and, $70,000 for a study to determine the fiscal costs
of divorce and how much money can be saved by reducing the divorce rate.

Summary of appropriations

·        Allocates $6,595,000 in FY 2000-2001 from the TANF block grant
to DES as follows:

         ·        $100,000 to provide vouchers to married or cohabiting
parents whose income is below 150 per cent of the federal poverty level
to attend  marriage skills training courses;

         ·        $2,900,000 for a media campaign to promote the health
and societal benefits of marriage;

         ·        $70,000 for a study to determine the fiscal costs of
divorce and how much money can be saved by reducing the divorce rate;

         ·        $75,000 to provide DES with a full-time liaison to
charitable, religious and non-profit groups to explain opportunities, to
provide services pursuant to Title 46 and to facilitate relations with
DES.

         ·        $3,000,000 for emergency domestic violence shelters for
victims and their children and monies shall also go towards educating
victims of domestic violence of the cycle of domestic violence and
how the cycle affects spousal and non-spousal relationships according to
data collected by the department of economic security;

         ·        $200,000 for the Hopi tribal council to establish a
TANF tribal program on the Hopi reservation;

        ·        $250,000 for perinatal substance abuse treatment and
services;

·        Allocates $2,530,000 in FY 2000-2001 from the TANF block grant
to ADE as follows:

         ·        $2,400,000 for the Marriage and Parenting Program fund
established by this bill.� Not more than five per cent of the fund shall
be used for administrative costs.

        ·        $130,000 for the development and printing of the 3How to
Have a Healthy Marriage2 handbook.

·        Allocates $1,000,000 in FY 2000-2001 from the TANF block grant
to DES for the pregnancy prevention pilot program; not more than four per
cent shall be used for administrative costs.

·        Total TANF funds allocated to DES or ADE for FY 2000-2001 are
$10,125,000.

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