HOUSE BILL NO. 483
AS AMENDED BY
HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1 & 2
AN ACT TO AMEND PART I, TITLE 31 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF MULTI-PURPOSE SERVICE PROGRAMS FOR DISPLACED HOMEMAKERS AND MAKING APPROPRIATION THEREFOR.
WHEREAS, the General Assembly hereby finds and declares that there is an ever-increasing number of persons in this State who, having fulfilled the role as homemaker, find themselves "displaced" in their middle years through divorce, death of spouse, or other loss of family income. As a consequence, displaced homemakers are very often without any source of income; they are subject to the highest unemployment rate of any sector of the work force; they face continuing discrimination in employment because they are older and have no recent paid work experience; they are ineligible for unemployment insurance because they have been engaged in unpaid labor in the home; they are ineligible for Social Security because they are too young and, for many, they will never qualify for Social Security because they have been divorced from the family wage earner; they have often lost their rights as beneficiaries under employers' pension and health plans through divorce or death of spouse, despite many years of contribution to the family well-being; and they are most often ineligible for welfare in the State of Delaware, and are generally unacceptable to private health insurance plans because of their age; and
WHEREAS, the General Assembly further finds and declares that homemakers are an unrecognized pant of the work force who make an invaluable contribution to the welfare of society as a whole.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend Part I, Title 31 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new chapter, designated as Chapter 13, which new Chapter shall read as follows:
"CHAPTER13. DISPLACED HOMEMAKERS
As used in this Chapter:
(a) 'Displaced homemaker' shall mean an individual who has worked in the home for a substantial number of years providing unpaid household services for family members; who is not gainfully employed; who has had, or would have, difficulty finding employment; and who has depended on the income of a
family member and has lost that source of income or has depended on government assistance as the parent of dependent children, but who is no longer eligible for such assistance.
(b) 'Department' shall mean the Department of Labor.
(c) 'Secretary' shall mean the Secretary of the Department of Labor.
(d) 'Coordinator' shall mean the Coordinator of the Displaced Homemakers Program.
§1302. Assistance to Displaced Homemakers
The Secretary shall appoint a Coordinator who shall, in consultation with the Secretary, establish, in conjunction with other governmental agencies and private employers, job-counseling, job-placement programs; provide information on money management and relevant government programs such as Social Security, Veterans Administration benefits, public assistance, and medical
assistance. The Coordinator, in consultation with the Secretary, shall promulgate rules and regulations regarding the eligibility of persons for participation in programs under this Chapter; establish contracts as necessary with non-profit agencies and/or organizations, and with the private sector to conduct service programs; and carry out such other duties as the Secretary deems necessary. The Secretary shall employ such additional staff as required to carry out the provisions of this Chapter, within the limits of the funds appropriated therefor.
§1303. Duties of the Coordinator
The Coordinator shall coordinate contact with, and referrals to, programs applicable to displaced homemakers which shall include:
(a) Job counseling by professionals and peers specifically designed for a person entering the job market after a number of years as a homemaker;
(b) Job training and placement services, including:
(1) training programs for available jobs in the public and private sectors taking into account the skills and job experiences of a homemaker, and developed by working with public and private employers;
(2) assistance in locating available employment for displaced homemakers, some of whom could be employed in existing job training and placement programs;
(3) utilization of the services of the State Office of Personnel, which shall cooperate with the Department in locating employment opportunities;
(c) Financial management services providing information and assistance with respect to insurance, including but not limited to life, health, home and automobile insurance, and taxes, estate and probate problems, mortgages, loans and other related financial matters;
(d) Education and health services which would be of interest and benefit to displaced homemakers;
(e) Research for the creation of new jobs making maximum use of skills developed from homemaking experience. Such jobs may include but shall not be limited to lay advocacy, home health technician, aging programs specialist, craft exchange coordinator, money management specialist, food production specialist, and surviving spouse counselor.
§1304. State-Federal Programs
The Department shall, through coordination with the appropriate State and Federal agencies, determine the feasibility of, and appropriate procedures for, allowing displaced homemakers to participate in:
(1) programs established under the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C., 801 et seq.);
(2) work incentive programs established under Section 432 (b) (1) of the Social Security Act;
(3) related Federal and State employment, education, and health assistance programs."
Section 2. The sum of thirty thousand nine hundred dollars ($30,900.00) is hereby appropriated to the Department of Labor for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act.
Section 3. This Act is a supplementary appropriation and the money hereby appropriated shall be paid out of the Genera/ Fund of the State of Delaware. Any money appropriated herein and remaining unexpended or unencumbered on June 30, 1978 shall revert to the General Fund of the State of Delaware.
Approved February 10, 1978.