Bill to Improve Foster Promise Award Program passes Legislature
Published 12:34 pm Wednesday, June 7, 2023
BATON ROUGE, LA – Senate Majority Leader Sharon Hewitt’s SB 204, known as the “Foster Promise Award” bill, passed the legislature and has been sent to Governor Edwards’ desk for final signature. 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.
“By investing in our working age adults through the Foster Promise Program, we are laying a strong foundation for building a robust workforce,” stated Hewitt. “I am thrilled to see the MJF program fulfilling its intended purpose, equipping OUR citizens with the necessary skills for thriving in high-wage, high-demand industries such as healthcare, construction, technology, manufacturing, and transportation. Investing in the people of Louisiana is money well spent.”
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