New Federal Dollars for New York: The TANF Emergency Contingency Fund in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

February 28, 2011. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) established the Emergency Contingency Fund within the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program for states to provide more support to needy families. The new fund would supplement a prior existing contingency fund (called the regular Contingency Fund), which in New York’s case was soon to be exhausted.

An ongoing series of briefs from the Fiscal Policy Institute, collected here together with related testimony, looks into the rules governing the new Emergency Contingency Fund (ECF), reviews New York’s experience with the regular Contingency Fund, and explores the situations under which New York may qualify for ECF funds.

Issue Briefs – 2010

September 17, 2010.  Extension of the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund is Essential to Bringing More Jobs and Needed Financial Support to New York State. The very tight budget situations that state and local governments continue to face may force them to reduce or eliminate services for needy families. An extension of the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund will help New York and the other states to continue their safety net programs without ravaging other parts of their budgets.

May 19, 2010.  Extending the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund Would Bring More Dollars and Jobs to New York. To help needy families during the Great Recession, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009, created a $5 billion Emergency Contingency Fund (ECF) within the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) federal block grant program. The TANF ECF has brought $935 million in new federal dollars to New York over the last year. With the nation continuing to experience high unemployment rates, an extension of the ECF past its current September 30, 2010, expiration date is essential.

Issue Briefs and Supporting Information – 2009

June 11, 2009.  Part I and Part II – The Basics and New York’s Experience to Date Using the Regular Contingency Fund, together with data tables.

August 11, 2009.  Part III – How New York Could Use the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund, with a data table, timeline, and sources

Testimony – 2010-2011

February 16, 2011.  Testimony at the Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the 2011-2012 Executive Budget Proposal – Human Services. Submitted by Carolyn Boldiston, FPI’s Senior Fiscal Policy Analyst. Includes: a review of New York State’s recent public assistance caseload history, a review of New York’s historical utilization of the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, a review of the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of February 2009 on TANF funding and spending in New York State, and recommendations for the 2011-2012 state fiscal year.

April 2, 2010.  Testimony at the Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the 2010-2011 Executive Budget Proposal – Human Services. Presented by Carolyn Boldiston, FPI’s Senior Fiscal Policy Analyst. Includes: a review of New York’s historical utilization of the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, an analysis of the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of February 2009 on TANF funding and spending in New York State, a brief review of child care subsidies in New York State, and recommendations for the 2010-2011 state fiscal year. (This is a revised version of testimony originally delivered on February 10, 2010.)