Adult Education WORKS Act Introduced in the Senate
On December 7, 2022, Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Todd Young (R-IN) introduced the bipartisan Adult Education WORKS Act, S.5202.
- Read the press release
- Read the text of the bill
The purpose of the bill is to make amendments to the text of the existing WIOA legislation. The introduction of the bill in the 117th (current) Congress gives us a platform for ongoing work on getting WIOA reauthorized in the 118th Congress, which starts in January.
- Senators Reed and Young will re-introduce the bill in the 118th Congress. The timing of this is not set yet, because Senator Reed’s office hopes to get some House members to re-introduce the House version (H.R.7309, which passed the House in May) at about the same time.
- The re-introduced bill(s) will be referred to the appropriate committees (HELP in the Senate, Education and Labor in the House). If the committees (that is, the chair and ranking member of each) decide to take up WIOA reauthorization, the re-introduced bill(s) will be referred to the appropriate subcommittees for consideration. In the Senate, this means that the provisions in the Adult Education WORKS Act will be considered for inclusion (or not) in the full text of WIOA Title I and Title II.
- The subcommittee(s) will decide whether to report the bill(s) out to full committee in each chamber. If they do, the full WIOA legislation will go through the usual markup and voting process.
- If each chamber passes its version of the WIOA legislation, a joint committee will work on reconciling them. Once the final version has passed both houses, it will go to the President. The provisions in the Adult Ed WORKS Act are fairly well aligned with the revised language in H.R.7309, which should facilitate the reconciliation process. One notable exception is the IELCE changes that the Migration Policy Institute has identified in H.R.7309, which do not appear in the Senate version.
So for the next few weeks advocacy efforts need to focus on the following:
- Senate side: Encourage Senators to cosponsor the Adult Ed WORKS Act when it is re-introduced; encourage Senators (especially those on the HELP Committee) to take up WIOA reauthorization in the new Congress.
- House side: Encourage Representatives to support re-introduction of the House version (H.R.7309) and follow through with WIOA reauthorization in the new Congress.