The House Committee on Education and the Workforce marked up the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act (H.R. 803; introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)). The legislation would consolidate major workforce development programs, include most major programs authorized under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), into a Workforce Innovation Fund that would provide funds to state and local workforce investment boards for employment and training programs. Additionally, the bill would consolidate the Projects with Industry and State Supported Employment Services Programs into the existing Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) State Grants program. States would have the option of consolidating additional programs into the Workforce Innovation Fund; however, states could not consolidate Vocational Rehabilitation programs authorized under the Rehabilitation Act. The bill is similar to legislation introduced by Rep. Foxx in the 112th Congress. The bill was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce in addition to the Committees on the Judiciary, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, Energy and Commerce, and Transportation and Infrastructure. The Arc opposes this legislation.
The Committee on Education and the Workforce marked up the bill on March 6. The 23 Republicans on the Committee voted to approve the bill; however, the Democrats on the Committee walked out mid-debate in protest of what they viewed as a partisan process. Visit the Committee web site for more information and archived video.