Texas lawmakers are poised to pass legislation that would bar the state from using funds from a $6 billion federal job-training fund to help Texans in the job market.
In a statement to The Associated Press, a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Tony Tinderholt (R-Houston) said, “The Texas Legislature must act to stop this money from being used to further the failed policies of the Republican-controlled Legislature.”
The statement said the bill would prohibit any use of the federal Job Training Partnership funds by the Texas Department of State Health Services, which oversees the program.
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“This is a big, huge deal, and it has the potential to put millions of Texans out of work,” Tinderholst said in a statement.
“Texas should not be using federal dollars to help people in Texas find jobs.”
The Senate is scheduled to begin debate on the legislation at 10 a.m.
Tuesday in Austin.
A Senate version of the legislation has been sent to the House, but a House version of it was never sent to Gov.
Greg Abbott’s office.
Tinderholt said the Texas Legislature is considering legislation to protect the job-creation efforts of the Job Training Partnerships, which began in 2002.
The state has used the Job Partnerships for more than $3.4 billion in federal grants, and the state uses $1.8 billion of the money each year.
The Job Training Programs, created by President Bill Clinton, were meant to fill the gaping hole left by the economic crisis that hit the United States in 2008.
The programs have helped to fill more than 5 million jobs and have created more than 2 million permanent jobs since their inception.
But the programs are struggling financially, and last year it reported that the federal government spent about $6.8 million to help the state hire and train more than 1.5 million new workers.
The job-hunting program is overseen by the U.S. Department of Labor.
The department says it spends $100 million annually to support the programs, but it does not track how much of that money is being used for job training.
The state has been one of the few states that have made use of federal funds to help job seekers find work.
The federal Job Corps grants were used to train more people and pay for training in computer science, math, nursing and other skills.