State of New Jersey
Executive Order #59

Governor Christine Todd Whitman

WHEREAS, welfare reform is a priority of the Whitman Administration and for State government in general; and

WHEREAS, the "Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act of 1996" was signed into federal law on August 22, 1996; and

WHEREAS, the principal goal of New Jersey's welfare reform initiative, entitled "Work First New Jersey," is to change the welfare system from an income maintenance program that fosters dependency among its participants into a temporary assistance system that emphasizes the development of workforce readiness, fosters personal responsibility and encourages recipients to obtain full-time unsubsidized employment; and

WHEREAS, the scope of reform necessary to meet the far-reaching objectives of "Work First New Jersey" extends beyond the authority of the Department of Human Services and the services that it can provide; and

WHEREAS, welfare reform in New Jersey shall include reforms in the areas of economic development, job training and development, banking, education, housing, transportation, technology and health services; and

WHEREAS, there is an immediate need for a comprehensive, coordinated plan and implementation involving various Departments of State government to address the broad array of challenges associated with successful welfare reform; and

WHEREAS, the Departments of Human Services, Banking and Insurance, Commerce and Economic Development, Community Affairs, Education, Health and Senior Services, Labor and Transportation are charged with the responsibility of implementing welfare reform in the State of New Jersey;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

1. Within 30 days of the issuance of this Order, the Governor's Office shall convene a "Work First New Jersey" Interdepartmental Coordinating Committee ("Committee") that shall comprise the respective Commissioners of the Departments, or their designees, and members of the Governor's staff as the Governor determines. The chairperson of the Committee shall be the Director of the Governor's Office of Policy and Planning, or her designee.

2. The Committee shall develop and implement policies and programs within each Department that augment and support comprehensive welfare reform in New Jersey and implement the "Work First New Jersey" initiative.

3. The Committee shall receive administrative staff support as needed from the participating Departments.

4. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal
this 22nd day of October in the
Year of Our Lord, One Thousand
Nine Hundred and Ninety-Six and
of the Independence of the United
States, the Two Hundred and Twenty-First.

/s/ Christine Todd Whitman


/s/ Michael P. Torpey
Chief Counsel to the Governor