Senate Majority Leader Advances Bill to Improve Foster Promise Award Program
Published 10:58 am Friday, May 5, 2023
BATON ROUGE, LA – Senate Majority Leader Sharon Hewitt introduced SB204 to the Senate Education Committee. Hewitt’s bill would eliminate barriers to Louisiana residents applying for the M.J. Foster Promise Award program. The MJ Foster Promise Program was set up in 2021 to increase Louisiana’s 58.5% workforce participation rate, which is 40th in the nation.
The program has experienced a few startup issues that have resulted in only $1.2M being awarded last year from a $10.5M appropriation. SB204 seeks to address those issues by making it easier for students to certify that they meet the income eligibility criteria. In addition, Foster Promise funding will be sent directly to the educational institutions, where a financial counselor can work directly with the students to package their federal and state aid.
“Investing in our working age adults through the Foster Promise Program is one of the best ways to build our workforce,” Hewitt said. “I am excited about getting the MJF program working as it was intended and giving OUR citizens the skills needed for the high-wage, high demand jobs in healthcare, construction, technology, manufacturing, and transportation. Investing in the people of Louisiana is a no-brainer.”