Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04) sent a response to Gov. Nathan Deal today regarding a letter from the governor encouraging Congressman Johnson's support for H.R. 803 -- Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act -- a proposal that attempts to update the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) by block granting workforce investment programs:
"I cannot support H.R. 803 because it does not adequately address the specialized employment and training needs of those at-risk in our community, including young people, veterans, older workers, the disabled and other special-needs groups. As structured, it appears the bill will pit special-needs groups against those facing far less barriers to employment. It would also gut a 40-year bipartisan effort to target services in a nuanced and sophisticated way. Groups with special needs deserve more targeted services. I appreciate you sharing your perspective on H.R. 803, but must respectfully disagree. I do want to continue to dialogue with you. Only by sharing our opinions and perspectives will we be able to reach common ground for the good of all Georgians."
The SKILLS Act passed the House 213-188 today, largely along party lines. It now goes to the Senate, where it faces a more difficult path to become law.