Kenyatta to unveil bill to modernize TANF at news conference Friday

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 26 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., will hold a news conference unveiling a bill he will soon introduce that would modernize the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program by increasing the monthly benefit amount to bring families up to 50% of the federal poverty level and out of deep poverty.

The news conference will take place at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 27 in Kenyatta’s North Philadelphia district at Germantown and Lehigh Avenues, 19133. Activists from Philadelphia Community Legal Services will join Kenyatta in his calls for passage of the legislation.

Kenyatta’s bill would require that TANF benefits undergo an annual cost-of-living increase to keep pace with inflation and would ensure benefits continue to be effective at providing financial stability to more than 68,500 Pennsylvania families and children receiving cash assistance -- something he said would be a serious life-improving measure for families and their children’s futures.

Kenyatta pointed to a report released this week by the Meet The Need Campaign that found that in 1990, Pennsylvania’s benefit of $403 covered 43% of the federal poverty level, but in 2020 the same benefit covered a mere 22%. Furthermore, when accounting for inflation in this period, the TANF benefit has decreased in spending power by more than 50%.

State Sen. Katie Muth has also introduced companion legislation to Kenyatta’s bill in the state Senate.

Media is invited to attend.