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house Bill H.R. 5170

Should State and Local Governments Show Their Social Programs Get Results Before Getting Grants?

Argument in favor

State and local governments are best equipped to deal with problems like youth unemployment and low graduation rates in their communities, and what federal funds they get should only go to programs that get results.

Francis's Opinion
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06/20/2016
We don't need Federal decisions at state and local level for education.
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Jason 's Opinion
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06/21/2016
In order to make money for social programs more efficient, and to keep government spending at a minimum there should be proof that the program will work as intended. There should also be a high level of accountability if abuse of government funding is found.
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resistor's Opinion
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06/21/2016
Consumers must prove themselves creditworthy to qualify for loans, and students must show a pattern of good grades to earn scholarships. Government at any level should hold itself to the same standards to which its citizens are subject.
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Argument opposed

Congress needs to provide more funding for projects like these from the outset rather than asking state and local governments to carry the load initially with private sector help and only rewarding them if they meet their goals.

Hagerstown's Opinion
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06/21/2016
local governments should first be given the means to achieve these goals and then if not achieved their funding be decreased
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Rebecca's Opinion
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06/21/2016
This seems like a way to strip communities of vital funding under the pretense of evidence-based practices. Many programs provide services and resources that are not easily quantified, and the governmental infrastructure and red tape needed to make these assessments happen would only reduce efficiency, not increase it. Finally, whoever decides what assessment indicators are valid holds the keys to program continuation, potentially setting in place an undemocratic system.
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Kay's Opinion
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06/22/2016
It would be unrealistic to expect a brand-new company to show a profit before they can start selling their product, so why would any other economic venture be different? If we treated companies like this, they'd go bankrupt before they even began. Companies have investors and other people who put a bit of trust in the company managers to do their job correctly. If a social program goes X number of months or years showing no results, funding can and should be pulled or the program should go under review.
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What is House Bill H.R. 5170?

This bill would seek to expand partnership grants to state and local governments aimed at supporting a social goal like improving high school graduation rates. The Dept. of the Treasury would be required to publish a request for proposal from state and local governments in the Federal Register that clearly defines the outcomes and how they’d provide a social benefit.

Examples of the outcomes these social impact partnerships would look to improve may include:

  • Reducing unemployment among people between ages 16 and 24;

  • Boosting high school graduation rates;

  • Helping people receiving unemployment benefits find jobs;

  • Reducing teen and unplanned pregnancies;

  • Mitigating and reducing the incidences of child abuse and neglect.

The Treasury would decide whether to enter into an agreement for the social impact partnership within six months of receiving an application. It would also reserve funds that could provide for up to 50 percent of the cost of a feasibility study undertaken by a state or local government for a proposed partnership before their application is filed. $100 million in funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families’ (TANF) contingency account would be reserved for this purpose.

Before the governments can receive payments related to a successful outcome of the partnership, an independent evaluation of the state or local governments would be undertaken to determine if the project met its stated goal.

This legislation would also establish two entities related to social impact partnerships:

  • The Federal Interagency Council on Social Impact Partnerships to coordinate the efforts of social impact partnership projects as well as establish a public website for project information;

  • A Commission on Social Impact Partnerships to assist Treasury and the Federal Interagency Council in reviewing funding applications.

Impact

People who may be covered by a state or local social impact partnership; state and local governments; and the Dept. of the Treasury.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 5170

The CBO estimates that implementing this bill would reduce spending, on net, by $10 million over the 2017-2026 period.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Todd Young (R-IN) introduced this bill to ensure that federal funding for social programs goes toward achieving the desired outcomes at the community level:

“Too often Washington focuses on inputs instead of outcomes. We spend too much time talking about how much or how little to spend on social safety net programs, and not enough time talking about whether or not we’re improving lives… It’s time we shift the focus to achieving desired outcomes, evaluating our social programs more carefully, and only paying for what works.”

Lead cosponsor Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) concurred, adding that:

“This bipartisan legislation offers a new solution that improves government services, helps those in need and reduces taxpayer costs. [It] also increases cooperation from federal, state, and local governments and means that we’ll be more likely to use data-driven and evidence-based policies.”

This legislation was passed by the House Ways and Means Committee on a voice vote, and has the support of 26 cosponsors — including 15 Republicans and 11 Democrats.


Of Note: The social impact partnerships created by this bill would be modeled after social impact bonds which involve a commitment by governments to fund programs aimed at improving social outcomes that ultimately lead to public sector savings. Often the savings is realized through a reduced reliance on public benefits programs and increased tax revenue as people who’d been out of work get jobs and earn income. In some cases, philanthropies or other private sector entities contribute funds to help the partnership achieve its goal.



Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user US Department of Education)

AKA

Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act

Official Title

To encourage and support partnerships between the public and private sectors to improve our Nation's social programs, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Finance
  • The house Passed June 21st, 2016
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Worker and Family Support
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedMay 6th, 2016

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    We don't need Federal decisions at state and local level for education.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    local governments should first be given the means to achieve these goals and then if not achieved their funding be decreased
    Like (28)
    Follow
    Share
    This seems like a way to strip communities of vital funding under the pretense of evidence-based practices. Many programs provide services and resources that are not easily quantified, and the governmental infrastructure and red tape needed to make these assessments happen would only reduce efficiency, not increase it. Finally, whoever decides what assessment indicators are valid holds the keys to program continuation, potentially setting in place an undemocratic system.
    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
    It would be unrealistic to expect a brand-new company to show a profit before they can start selling their product, so why would any other economic venture be different? If we treated companies like this, they'd go bankrupt before they even began. Companies have investors and other people who put a bit of trust in the company managers to do their job correctly. If a social program goes X number of months or years showing no results, funding can and should be pulled or the program should go under review.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    In every program devised to help a segment of our society that needs help, there are those who truly can't live without it and those who work the system fraudulently. Without the means to root out the latter, we tend to make blanket judgements. State budgets for social programs here in Texas are stretched to the max, so cutting any program will only hurt those who truly need it. My solution is to fund more means to stop the fraud so that those who need help can get it.
    Like (5)
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    This is a local issue. Every state should be able to test and do what they feel is right, which in turn allows the free market to praise those systems that improve and punishes those who do not.
    Like (4)
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    Grants are for exceptional students, not social experiments. States give grants for parks, highway projects. How does a Mental Hospital for Vets sound?
    Like (3)
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    I don't mind paying taxes for infrastructure and helping my neighbors but it's important to spend wisely as well.
    Like (2)
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    In order to make money for social programs more efficient, and to keep government spending at a minimum there should be proof that the program will work as intended. There should also be a high level of accountability if abuse of government funding is found.
    Like (2)
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    Consumers must prove themselves creditworthy to qualify for loans, and students must show a pattern of good grades to earn scholarships. Government at any level should hold itself to the same standards to which its citizens are subject.
    Like (2)
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    Start small and work your way up. I know work has become a dirty word in this society but it is time to put it back on the list of virtues.
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    It makes more sense to provide funding for something that will positively and successfully impact the community.
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    Feel the Bern ! Perhaps the graduation rates would increase if these Knotheads were taught about the many blessings bestowed upon this nation in lieu of being indoctrinated by radicals like Bill Ayers and Fake-a-hontis Warren to hate this country.
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    Sure way to lift people create job help the environment, what's so hard for all of us doing the right thing.
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    Because programs often need the funding to get off the ground in the first place.
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    This is competition and it's how the best organizations and solutions will rise to the top and the useless ones die out quickly.
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    Programs are all about results, continuing to fund programs that do not achieve is a waste of money. But I think a big part of any program should be a nice substantial salary for the folks carrying out the program but hold them accountable for results.
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    Absolutely
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    They ought to show intended outcomes and how they'll assess program effectiveness, but this is akin to asking a fetus to prove it's going to become a grown adult prior to it being born and, you know, growing up. Holding a grant recipient accountable is a must but if a program needs grant money to get itself started, it needs it. It doesn't sound realistic to necessarily show results before a program has started. Again, you need to show intentions and a plan of action, and follow up afterwards.
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    Organizations need to earn the trust of the public before we allow them use of our money.
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