Reagan, Moynihan Say Bill Offers Way Off Welfare With PM-Welfare to Work Bjt
WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Reagan and the chief architect of the nation’s new welfare reform law are expressing hope it will transform many dependent on a government check into productive members of the work force.
″This bill ... will lead to lasting emancipation from welfare dependency,″ Reagan said Thursday as he put his signature on the most ambitious revision of the welfare system since it was created during the Depression.
Under the bill, formally known as the Family Support Act, states are required for the first time to offer people on welfare a broad variety of education, training and work programs.
The measure contains mandatory work provisions for some recipients and provides child care assistance to help them keep their jobs.
At the Rose Garden signing ceremony, the president said the bill embodies a demand from the citizens who pay the bills: ″that you will do your share in taking responsibility for your life and for the lives of the children you bring into this world.″
Also present was the chief architect of the bill, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y.
″I’ve been waiting 20 years for this day,″ said the exultant senator following the ceremony. He said he hoped its features would take hold fully by the end of the century.
Under the complex legislation, various programs have differing starting dates.
″If by the end of the century we haven’t changed this system, it will be a big disappointment. It has taken a generation to get here; it takes at least a half a generation to get out of it,″ Moynihan said.
The legislation contains the most sweeping revision of the nation’s principal welfare program - Aid to Families with Dependent Children - since it was created in 1935. Currently, the federal-state welfare program serves 3.7 million families.