Laura Piper


In 1995, Virginia became the first state to submit a comprehensive statewide welfare reform plan to the federal government.The crusade for a more effective Virginia welfare system was led by Governor George Allen.The federal government granted Virginia numerous waivers from federal regulations enabling Virginia to implement the Virginia Independence Plan ("VIP") and the Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare ("VIEW") component.According to the Virginia Department of Health and Human Resource's 1996 annual report, because of VIP and VIEW the number of welfare recipients decreased, employment rates increased and taxpayers saved 24 million dollars. On February 1, 1997, in response to passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (Personal Responsibility Act), Virginia passed the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program (TANF) which is a comprehensive welfare reform program incorporating VIEW and VIP. Upon federal approval, TANF will guide distribution of the federal block grants made possible by the Personal Responsibility Act.