Arizona Marriage and Parenting Skills Program Legislation


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State of Arizona
House of Representatives
Forty-fourth Legislature
Second Regular Session
2000
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HOUSE BILL 2462
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Summary of Provisions on Marriage and Parenting Skills Program

Establishes a public school Marriage and Parenting Program fund administered by the Department of Education (ADE). ADE will distribute funds to school districts or charter schools whose plans to implement or continue a marriage and parenting education program have been approved by a newly-formed Marriage and Parenting Skills Commission.

Creates a Marriage and Parenting Skills Commission consisting of seven voting members, two non-voting advisory members of the Senate, and two non-voting advisory members of the House of Representatives. Members are appointed by either the Governor, the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The Commission reviews plans submitted by applicant school districts or charter schools for participation in the marriage and parenting program and selects schools eligible to receive funding. It also develops and distributes to marriage license applicants a free handbook on how to have a healthy marriage, and works with DES on a study to determine the fiscal costs of divorce in Arizona and the potential savings of a reduction in the divorce rate.

Specifies that a public school district or charter school may apply to participate or continue in the marriage and parenting education program for any fiscal year by submitting a proposal or application by April 15. The program proposal must contain a plan for implementing or demonstrating the existence of a marriage and parenting program.

Allocates $100,000 from the TANF block grant to DES to provide vouchers to married or cohabiting parents whose income is below 150 per cent of the federal poverty level to attend marriage skills training courses; $2,900,000 for a media campaign to promote the health and societal benefits of marriage; and, $70,000 for a study to determine the fiscal costs of divorce and how much money can be saved by reducing the divorce rate.

Summary of appropriations

Allocates $6,595,000 in FY 2000-2001 from the TANF block grant to DES as follows:
$100,000 to provide vouchers to married or cohabiting parents whose income is below 150 per cent of the federal poverty level to attend marriage skills training courses;
$2,900,000 for a media campaign to promote the health and societal benefits of marriage;
$70,000 for a study to determine the fiscal costs of divorce and how much money can be saved by reducing the divorce rate;
$75,000 to provide DES with a full-time liaison to charitable, religious and non-profit groups to explain opportunities, to provide services pursuant to Title 46 and to facilitate relations with DES.
. . .
Allocates $2,530,000 in FY 2000-2001 from the TANF block grant to ADE as follows:
$2,400,000 for the Marriage and Parenting Program fund established by this bill. Not more than five per cent of the fund shall be used for administrative costs.
$130,000 for the development and printing of the "How to Have a Healthy Marriage" handbook.

TEXT:

AN ACT
AMENDING TITLE 15, CHAPTER 1, ARTICLE 1, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES, BY ADDING SECTIONS 15-720 AND 15-720.01; AMENDING TITLE 36, CHAPTER 1, ARTICLE 1, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES, BY ADDING SECTION 36-112; AMENDING SECTIONS 46-134, 46-142, 46-241.04 AND 46- 291, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES; AMENDING SECTION 46-292, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED BY LAWS 1998, CHAPTER 118, SECTION 2; REPEALING SECTION 46-292, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED BY LAWS 1998, CHAPTER 113, SECTION 56; AMENDING TITLE 46, CHAPTER 2, ARTICLE 5, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES, BY ADDING SECTION 46-300.04; MAKING AN APPROPRIATION; RELATING TO WELFARE.
(TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:
Section. 1. Title 15, chapter 1, article 1, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding sections 15-720 and 15-720.01, to read:
15-720. Marriage and parenting skills commission; membership; duties; staff; compensation; definition
A. The marriage and parenting skills commission is established consisting of the following members who serve at the pleasure of the appointing person:
1. Two members of the senate who are from different political parties and who are appointed by the president of the senate. These members serve as advisory members. The president of the senate shall select one member to cochair the commission.
2. Two members of the house of representatives who are from different political parties and who are appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives. These members serve as advisory members. The speaker of the house of representatives shall select one member to cochair the commission.
3. The governor or the governor's designee.
4. The superintendent of public instruction or the superintendent's designee.
5. one member of the news media who is appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.
6. an expert in the field of marriage and family education and counseling who is licensed to practice medicine or psychology in this state, who SPECIALIZES in marriage counseling and who is appointed by the president of the senate.
7. A public school administrator who is appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.
8. An attorney who is licensed to practice law in this state, who specializes in family law related education and who is appointed by the president of the senate.
9. a parent who has been married at least twenty years and who is appointed by the governor.
b. The marriage and parenting skills commission shall:
1. review plans submitted by the applicant school districts for participation in the marriage and parenting program and shall select schools that are eligible to receive funding pursuant to section 15-720.01.
2. review renewal applications from participating schools.
3. develop and distribute free of charge to marriage license applicants a handbook on how to have a healthy marriage that includes information about the importance of communication, shared parental responsibility for children, child support responsibilities, alimony, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, court process for divorce, community resources for parents who are divorced or separated, community resources for children of parents who are divorced or separated and marriage education courses that are available in each county.
4. evaluate the program and report annually by november 1 to the governor, the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives and the joint legislative audit committee.
5. work with the department of economic security on a study that determines the fiscal costs of divorce in this state and how much money can be saved by reducing the divorce rate.
6. ESTABLISH QUALIFYING CRITERIA FOR MARRIED OR COHABITATING PARENTS WHO APPLY TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC SECURITY FOR A VOUCHER TO ATTEND A MARRIAGE SKILLS TRAINING COURSE.
C. THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SHALL PROVIDE Staff and support services to the commission.
d. For purposes of this section, "advisory member" means a member who advises the commission but who is not eligible to vote and is not a member for the purposes of determining a quorum.
15-720.01. Public school marriage and parenting program; fund; program termination
A. A public school district or charter school may apply to participate or may complete an application to continue in the marriage and parenting program as provided in this section for any fiscal year by submitting by April 15 a program proposal or an application to continue the program to the marriage and parenting skills commission established by section 15-720. New applicants are restricted to unencumbered monies that have been appropriated in previous fiscal years or monies appropriated to expand the program.
b. a program proposal shall contain:
1. A plan for implementing a marriage and parenting education program or a plan that demonstrates the existence of a marriage and parenting education program.
2. A plan to adopt a marriage and parenting curriculum that emphasizes relationship skills, including communication and negotiation skills that are necessary to resolve common relationship problems.
3. A description of any model curricula that the school, charter school or school district plans to use to provide marriage and parenting education. Any model curricula used by a school, charter school or school district pursuant to this section shall not discuss or encourage unlawful behavior.
4. A plan to INCORPORATE discussions of family law and domestic violence issues into the curriculum and marriage license options, including covenant marriage options.
C. a public school marriage and parenting program fund is established consisting of legislative appropriations. the department of education shall administer the fund and not more than five per cent shall be used for administrative costs. The department of education shall distribute monies to the school districts and charter schools whose plans have been approved by the marriage and parenting skills commission. monies in the fund are exempt from the provisions of section 35-190 relating to the lapsing of appropriations and are continuously appropriated.
D. school districts and charter schools shall spend Monies received under the program to implement approved plans.
E. THE PROGRAM ESTABLISHED BY THIS SECTION ENDS ON JULY 1, 2010 PURSUANT TO SECTION 41-3102.

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