- Associated Press - Friday, May 20, 2016

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - A proposal by Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan’s administration to spend $8 million in federal funds on a workforce training program for low-income people is facing a delay by lawmakers.

A legislative committee asked to approve the funds Friday is waiting until next month to vote. Some Republican lawmakers want more information about how effective the program will be in helping people find jobs.

The program, called Gateway to Work, is a key priority for Hassan that she first outlined in her State of the State address. The money will provide skilled job training, transportation and child care for low-income people. The skills training will focus on jobs in health care, advanced manufacturing and information technology.

The next vote is scheduled for June, delaying the proposed July 1 start.

Hassan’s office is calling the delay “unfortunate,” but it says she will work to make sure lawmakers’ questions are answered so the program can begin. Her spokesman, William Hinkle, says the program will give more families a chance to become self-sufficient and work their way into the middle class.

State health officials say they hope to serve about 2,000 people through the program.

The $8 million is available due to a decline in the number of New Hampshire residents on the cash assistance program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

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