Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: March 22, 2019
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky, Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov

Governor Northam Vetoes Legislation Designed to Shame TANF Recipients

RICHMOND—Governor Northam today vetoed House Bill 2749, which would require the Department of Social Services to report to the General Assembly the number of reported violations of restrictions on the use of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance. The Governor’s full veto statement is below.

March 22, 2019

Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 2749. This bill would require the Department of Social Services to report to the General Assembly the number of reported violations of restrictions on the use of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance (42 U.S.C. § 601 et seq).

House Bill 2749 is a solution looking for a problem. There is no evidence to suggest TANF violations are an issue. In fact, Department data shows that less than 0.2% of transactions are possibly in this category. Therefore, the only purpose of this bill is to codify a false and discriminatory stereotype about hard-working Virginia families who may temporarily need cash assistance. 

The mission of the Department of Social Services is to help Virginians triumph over poverty, abuse, and neglect, and its time and resources are more effectively directed to support strong and resilient families. Our administration continues to focus on this important mission and welcomes bipartisan cooperation in its pursuit.

Accordingly, I veto this bill.

Sincerely,

 

Ralph S. Northam

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