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

    State Rep. Karen Boback, R-Wyoming, testifies before the Senate Health & Human Services Committee on Tuesday, 6/4/19 (Capital-Star photo by John L. Micek)

    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.

    An award-winning political journalist with more than 25 years' experience in the news business, John L. Micek is The Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. Before joining The Capital-Star, Micek spent six years as Opinion Editor at PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., where he helped shape and lead a multiple-award-winning Opinion section for one of Pennsylvania's most-visited news websites. Prior to that, he spent 13 years covering Pennsylvania government and politics for The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa. His career has also included stints covering Congress, Chicago City Hall and more municipal meetings than he could ever count, Micek contributes regular analysis and commentary to a host of broadcast outlets, including CTV-News in Canada and talkRadio in London, U.K., as well as "Face the State" on CBS-21 in Harrisburg, Pa.; "Pennsylvania Newsmakers" on WGAL-8 in Lancaster, Pa., and the Pennsylvania Cable Network. His weekly column on American politics is syndicated nationwide to more than 800 newspapers by Cagle Syndicate.

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