History of Legislative Action Related to the Family Opportunity Leadership Forum

Workin Families LogoThis timeline reflects legislative action in states that have attended the NCSL Family Opportunity Forum from 2003-2016.

Visit our state action map to view all legislative action by state.   


 | 2003-2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016Additional Resources |

Year Legislative Action
  • Alabama creates an apprenticeship tax credit for employers who hire an apprentice
  • Connecticut provides family medical leave for military employees
  • Iowa appropriates $195,678 for continuation of a grant to a nonprofit to provide tax preparation assistance and expand usage of the EITC
  • Kentucky legislature passes bill (vetoed by the Governor) that would have established the Work Ready Scholarship Program in higher education
  • Maryland creates a task force to study the adult high school concept and requires a report
  • Maryland requires the Apprenticeship and Training Council to submit annual report about programs and participants and to publish reports on its website
  • Maryland creates the Apprenticeship Career Training in Our Neighborhoods Program to replace the Construction Apprenticeship Training program to work with employers to assure a well-qualified construction workforce
  • Maryland prohibits an institution of higher education from referring a delinquent student loan account to a collection agency. Provides for exceptions and requires an evaluation of Office of Student Financial Assistance
  • Maryland establishes the Small Business Retirement Savings Program and Trust for private sector employees
  • Maryland adds one representative from a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance and education to state residents to the Financial Education and Capability Commission
  • Maryland establishes an internship program for foster care youth to provide training and experience in executive branch agencies
  • Maryland establishes a task force to investigate the challenges and opportunities for minorities in business
  • Maryland authorizes St. Mary’s County to provide a property tax credit to new or expanding businesses for up to 10 years
  • Oregon requires a report on promising programs, practices or services to improve student achievement for students in poverty
  • Oregon requires community colleges to provide support services to students receiving Oregon Promise grants
  • Oregon increases the number of weeks that apprentices may attend required training and receive annual unemployment insurance benefits from 5 weeks to 10 weeks
  • Tennessee expands the authority of the court to order grandparent visitation rights 



  • Indiana requires colleges and universities to provide detailed information to students about student loans including estimated monthly repayment amounts
  • Indiana creates a study committee to consider accommodations to student schedules to allow more career focused education
  • Iowa includes funding for tax preparation and EITC outreach in their state budget
  • Maryland appropriates 4.3 million dollars to their EARN workforce development program in their 2016 budget
  • Maryland authorizes the higher education commission to enter into agreements with the state that increase accessibility of online higher education opportunities
  • Maryland creates a task force to study implementation of the ABLE Act which allows tax exempt 529 savings accounts for disability related expenses including medical costs, housing, education, and transportation
  • Maryland establishes a no-interest loan fund for small businesses owners that are veterans, military reservists, and National Guard personnel
  • Maryland passes legislation that requires public charter schools to give greater weight in admissions lotteries to students receiving free and/or reduced lunch, students with disabilities, and students experiencing homelessness
  • Maryland passes legislation that repeals sunset provision and allows for savings promotion raffles at all depository institutions
  • Maryland exempts veterans, their spouses, and their children, from paying out of state tuition at public colleges
  • Maryland establishes an apprenticeship pilot program for high school students that offers on-site employment training and classroom instruction that leads to licensure and/or certification in skilled occupations
  • Montana passes legislation that enables employment protections for deployed National Guard members
  • Montana implements the ABLE program which allows for 529 tax-exempt savings accounts for disability related expenses such as education, housing, transportation, and medical costs
  • Montana passes legislation to allow veterans, their children and spouses to pay resident tuition at state colleges
  • New Hampshire passes legislation to establish a Children’s Savings Account program
  • Oregon passes legislation directing public universities, community colleges, and higher education commission to investigate low and/or fixed-cost funding structures for bachelor degree programs in the state
  • Rhode Island extends a sunset on low income childcare benefits to working families if childcare is required to participate in work, training, or other job related responsibilities
  • Rhode Island increases the state EITC from 10 to 12.5 percent of the federal credit and makes these credits refundable
  • Washington partially restores cuts made during the recession for TANF, emergency food services, and early childhood education, funds all-day kindergarten, and decreases college tuition


  • Iowa appropriates $195,678 for tax preparation and EITC outreach
  • Iowa appropriated $10,000 to study the efficacy of using software programs to assist low-income persons to file taxes as compared to in-person assistance. Measure vetoed by governor
  • Iowa extends the Child Care Assistance (CCA) eligibility based on an aggregate of hours worked or spent in training and educational classes
  • Maryland appropriates $4.5 million to EARN program to continue providing competitive grants for job training
  • Maryland  creates the Summer Career Academy Pilot Program
  • Maryland designates April as Financial Education Month and adds the Secretary of Higher Education on the Financial Education and Capability Commission
  • Nebraska established performance-based budgeting pilot project for the Department of Health and Human Services
  • Nebraska appropriates $10 million to Job Training Fund aimed to assist workers to get high demand, high wage jobs
  • Washington appropriates $234,000 for fiscal year 2014 for asset building coalitions


  • Alabama recognizes the SaveNow WinLater program, which encourages low-income people to save their tax refunds
  • Alabama appropriates $250,000 to Impact Alabama to continue the SaveFirst and Focus First programs
  • Alabama appropriates $100,000 to fund the Starting Strong Pre-K Initiative
  • Colorado allows high school students to take at least one on-line course a year
  • Connecticut authorizes financial institutions to reward savings
  • Iowa appropriates $100,000 to fund individual development account programs
  • Iowa increases the state EITC from 7 to 14 percent
  • Iowa appropriates $195,678 for tax preparation and EITC outreach
  • Kentucky encourages the state board of education to require teaching of financial literacy in every school
  • Maryland offers U.S. Savings Bonds as another savings option for state tax refund recipients
  • Maryland establishes and appropriates $4.5 million for EARN program to provide competitive grants for job training
  • Oregon creates a taskforce to evaluate delivery of human services and streamlining
  • Rhode Island establishes the Council of Economic Advisors to collect and publish data that will inform policy
  • Rhode Island expands eligibility for child care assistance to people who are working with incomes at or below 225 percent of the federal poverty level
  • Tennessee establishes an alternative high school/GED diploma
  • Washington appropriates $234,000 for asset building coalitions


  • Iowa appropriates $195,678 for tax preparation and EITC outreach
  • Maryland legislators, state officials and community leaders hold a press conference to market the split refund option
  • Maryland modifies savings promotions legislation to allow banks to offer the product
  • Maryland appropriates $950,000  to the Small Business Development Center Network Fund
  • Nebraska launches Save to Win (prize-linked savings) initiative.  Ten credit unions are participating, more than 1,300 accounts have been opened, and more than $1 million has been saved as of July 2012.  
  • Washington appropriates $234,000 for asset building coalitions


  • Connecticut will replicate Washington’s model to measure cost effectiveness of public programs with support from the Pew Center on the States

  • Iowa raises the state EITC from 7% to 10% of the federal credit. Measure vetoed by governor

  • Iowa appropriates $195,678 for tax preparation and EITC outreach

  • Maine—Bank on Working Group publishes “Save and Protect Your Money With a Bank or Credit Union” brochure

  • Maryland legislators meet with state officials to market the split refund option

  • Maryland Senator Katherine Klausmeier is appointed by Governor to State Workforce Board

  • Nebraska authorizes financial institutions to reward savings

  • Washington authorizes financial institutions to reward savings

  • Washington appropriates $394,000 for asset building coalitions

  • Washington legislators convene a forum on children in the recession

  • Washington legislation revises manufacturing program to increase competitiveness


  • Hawaii appropriates $670,000 for financial education, IDAs and EITC outreach

  • Iowa appropriates $200,000 for tax preparation and EITC outreach

  • Maine establishes the Bank on Maine Working Group

  • Maine authorizes financial institutions to reward savings

  • Maryland authorizes financial institutions to reward savings

  • Maryland urges their Congressional delegation to change the federal law to allow major banks to offer prize-linked savings products

  • Maryland offers the split refund option to state tax refund recipients for the first time

  • Rhode Island authorizes financial institutions to reward savings

  • Washington provides online application for public benefits, education and training

  • Washington appropriates $438,000 for asset building coalitions


  • Hawaii appropriates funds for financial education, EITC outreach and IDAs
  • Iowa appropriates $250,000 for IDAs for flood victims
  • Iowa authorizes funds for the study of asset-building strategies,  expansion of EITC outreach, and microenterprise development
  • Indiana creates poverty commission
  • Maryland expands financial literacy commission and begins implementing a pilot financial literacy program
  • Maryland exempts college savings and retirement plans from asset limits; allows split deposit of income tax refunds in savings accounts
  • New Mexico appropriates $250,000 for IDAs and makes high school financial literacy classes count toward graduation
  • Rhode Island exempts EITC payments from asset limits and extends Legislative Commission on Family Income and Asset Building
  • Utah allows IDAs for purchasing assistive technologies for the disabled
  • Washington Working Families Caucus increases to 33 legislators
  • Washington increases funding for asset building coalitions


  • Indiana raises state EITC from 6% to 9% of the federal credit

  • Iowa appropriates $475,000 for microenterprise and $150,000 for IDAs

  • Iowa makes financial literacy part of K-12 curriculum 

  • Maryland raises the refundable portion of its EITC from 20% to 25% 

  • Maryland creates financial literacy task force and passes foreclosure protections

  • New Mexico appropriates $500,000 for IDAs

  • Utah doubles IDA funding to $100,000

  • Washington enacts tax credit at 5% of federal EITC 


  • Iowa forms Successful Families Caucus and gains support from the Northwest Area Foundation

  • Iowa makes its EITC refundable and expands it from 6.5% to 7% of the federal credit

  • Iowa increases funding for EITC outreach to $250,000

  • Kansas expands its refundable EITC from 15% to 17% of the federal credit

  • Montana reallocates workforce training funds to high-poverty areas

  • New Mexico establishes a refundable EITC at 8% of the federal credit

  • Rhode Island forms Joint Legislative Commission on Family Income and Asset Building


  • Iowa EITC outreach increases $200,000

  • Mississippi introduces predatory lending and financial education legislation 

  • Pennsylvania Family Savings Accounts increase $500,000 

  • Pennsylvania Fresh Food Initiative increases by $10 million 

  • Utah allocates $3.4 million in CCDBG funds for child care slots 

  •  Washington authorizes $618,000 for asset building 

  • Washington authorizes $1 million for IDAs


  • Iowa commits $100,000 in support of EITC (1500 taxpayers served, $2 million increase in return)

  • Kansas passes IDA legislation

  • Pennsylvania appropriates funds for family savings accounts, employment assistance, Fresh Food Initiative, and consumer protection against predatory lending

  • Washington—Pierce County launches asset -building coalition

  • Washington passes IDA legislation

2003 - 2004

  • Pennsylvania establishes a Task Force on Working Families

  • Pennsylvania governor's budget reflects Task Force recommendations

  • Utah's EITC yields $82 million

Additional Resources