“This bill represents a real step forward,” Isakson said on the Senate floor. “Hopefully it will be on the floor this fall, and we can move forward with job opportunities.”

Murray said that it has been 15 years since WIA passed, and that it’s been up for reauthorization for a decade.

“I’m very optimistic that by improving and reauthorizing WIA, we can get back on track,” Murray said. “This reauthorization bill brings WIA into the 21st century.”

Murray said that even the outdated law generated $12 billion of revenue for previously unemployed workers over six months after just $2 billion worth of investment from the federal government.

Isakson said the bipartisan bill worked out a deal to allow more business leaders to hold seats on state workforce investment boards that decide how to best spend the worker training grants.

Murray said their bill would also establish a single unified workforce plan in each state, rather than the complicated municipal system, and it will require data collection of which programs are effective and which are not.

The senators said their bill was needed to help the economic recovery through job growth and worker training.