Then-State Senator Barack Obama’s Remarks On Welfare Reform

Then-State Senator Barack Obama’s Remarks On Welfare Reform

When the-State Senator Barack Obama wasn’t voting present in the Illinois state legislature, he occasionally spoke about the issues. : : Ali Akbar of Viral Read has obtained a transcript: with the former member of the 13th Illinois Senate District delivering his opinion on welfare reform:

60th Legislative Day May 31, 1997

First of all, what I’d like to do is just commend both Senator: Syverson, as well as the Governor’s Office, for entering into: good-faith negotiations on what is a huge bill that hasn’t: received too much attention. There hasn’t been too much political: heat around this issue. There hasn’t been too much rhetoric: around this issue. Nevertheless, this may be as important a bill: as we pass in this Session. It will affect a huge number of: people. I am not a defender of the status quo with respect to: welfare. Having said that, I probably would not have supported: the federal legislation, because I think it had some problems. But: I’m a strong believer in making lemonade out of lemons, and I: think that Senator Syverson and the Governor’s Office have done a: good job in working with this side of the aisle and the other: Chamber to come up with the framework that potentially ean succeed: in moving people from welfare to work. Now, having said that,: want to emphasize that I continue to have some concerns, and I: think that those concerns are going to have to be dealt with over: the coming months and the coming years as we evaluate how,: exactly, the program is functioning. Concern number one relates: to job training. There are a hundred and sixty thousand people who: are going to be moving off the rolls. And right now, in Illinois,: for entry level workers with relatively few skills, which is the: cohort that we’re going to be talking about here, there are not: enough jobs for the current number of people searching for jobs.

The only way that wedre going to be able to employ them in a way: that allows them a livable wage is if we upgrade their skills and: upgrade their training. And: unfortunately, we do not have yet a: firm commitment in terms of dollars and a sound framework in terms: of programs to make sure that these people are going to be: trained. Now: Senator Lauzen, as well as Senator Garcia, in the: Commerce and Industry Committee, have been working on this. I: applaud them for working on this, but we have to follow up in this: area to determine which programs are working, which programs are: not, making sure that we puk money into the programs that are: working, eliminate the programs that aren’t, so that we can: transition people effectively into high-skill, high-wage jobs.

That’s concern number one. Concern number two, who I know some of: my colleagues are qoing to be addressing in more detail: and I: think is absolutely critical is the issue of legal immigrants.: Everybody in this Chamber, at some point, comes from an immigrant: family. And I don’t like the notion that those people who are: here legally, contributing to our society, paying taxes, are not: subject to the same benefits, the same social safety net that the: rest of us are.

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Matt Vespa

Matt Vespa is a conservative blogger based in Virginia. Besides contributing to Right Wing News, Vespa writes for RedState, PJ Media, Independent Journal Review, and his personal blog Noodle Pundit. He's also the 2013 recipient of American for Prosperity Foundation's Andrew Breitbart Award For Excellence In Online Activism and Investigative Reporting

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