WCLP Newsletter

Advocates: Register or login

Legislative Blog     Facebook button    LinkedIn button    Twitter button
   

Register  
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
 
Resources * WCLP Content
Search All Articles
  
View Other Content
rss
Human Service Bills: Some Signed - Some Vetoed
10/02/2014
Notes on the Legislature

Western Center summarizes Governor Jerry Brown's actions taken on Human Services and Access to Jobs ... Read More..


Several Western Center Sponsored Bills Signed Before Deadline
10/02/2014
Notes on the Legislature

The Governor took action on several Western Center sponsored bills hours before the midnight deadlin... Read More..


Statement: Governor's Signature on AB 1522
09/10/2014
Notes on the Legislature

Today, Governor Jerry Brown will sign Assembly Bill 1522, authored by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzale... Read More..


Page:   of 34 


Please subscribe to our RRS feed by clicking the  button below to receive on-going updates to any new postings.

Article List
Governor’s May Revise - CalWORKs, CFAP and CAPI Eliminated, $4.3 Billion in Federal Funds Forfeited, SSI Cut to Minimum
05/26/2009

Governor Schwarzenegger has updated his May Revise budget in light of his decision not to pursue $5.5 billion in borrowing and the state’s worsening cash position. He has chosen to make draconian cuts to state services by eliminating the state’s welfare program, CalWORKs, along with Healthy Families, CalGrants for students, and mental health services for adults.

(pdf version as attachment)


The Governor’s proposals are on top of the significant cuts to CalWORKs and SSI that were enacted in the February 2009 budget. These cuts reach even deeper, and in the case of food and cash assistance for legal immigrants, the Governor proposes out right elimination. These proposals if adopted would reduce the standard of living for nearly 2 million California households who rely on public assistance for survival.

Specifics of the Governor’s Proposals
CalWORKs
The Governor proposes complete elimination of CalWORKs. This means $3.7 billion in federal TANF block grant funds will not come to California and 1.2 million persons, including 900,000 children, will have no cash assistance. The state will save $1.7 billion in state costs but plans on spending about $500 million on other programs.
 
The Governor had proposed eligibility limitations that the Legislature rejected in 2007, 2008 and most recently in February 2009. The Governor’s proposals eliminates cash aid for one out of every four children on CalWORKs. These proposals would significantly reduce caseload, mostly by eliminating families not meeting work participation requirements. 
  • “Modified” Safety Net actually cuts 98,000 children off all cash aid if their parents fail to meet federal work requirements.[1] Research shows the parents in these families have the most barriers to work.[2]
  • 60 month time limit on child only cases where adult is not eligible due to immigration status. Cuts 82,000 children off all cash aid..[3]
  • Self–Sufficiency Reviews every 6 months if adult is not meeting work requirements. Failure by parent to attend review results in children being cut from aid. Cuts 25,000 children off all cash aid.[4]
  • Six Percent Grant Cut – Will reduce the maximum grant on October 1 from $693 for a family of three down to $651 a month beginning October 1, 2009. About 18,000 children lose all cash aid.[5]
  • Community College CalWORKs programs were severely reduced in 2009-10. EOPS was cut from $110 million to $55 million, CARE was cut from $16 million to $9 million and Special Services for CalWORKs Recipients was cut from $43 to $23 million. These programs are key to families moving out of poverty and helping parents meet federal work participation requirements.
SSI
  • Reduce state contribution to MOE minimum, cutting $500 million over a full year from 1.25 million blind aged and disabled persons. It reduces grants for singles to $830 a month by cutting $20 a month and reduces grants for couples to $1,407 a month. This is the third cut to SSI grants this year.[6]
  • Eliminates the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (state funded SSI for legal immigrants) that was created by Governor Wilson after the federal government eliminated assistance for legal immigrants in their first 5 years in the country. CAPI provides assistance for about 10,500 mostly elderly Asian women, many of whom immigrated here after the conflicts in Southeast Asia. The cut eliminates $114 million from the economy.[7]
Food Assistance
  • Eliminates the California Food Assistance Program (state funded Food Stamps for legal immigrants) that was created by Governor Wilson after the 1996 Congress eliminated Food Stamps for legal immigrants. About 11,000 households participate at a cost of $33 million to the state.[8]
Impact On Stimulus Funding
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is intended, in part, to help states maintain their spending for safety net programs during the recession.[9] One of the most significant provisions of ARRA was $2.5 billion in funding for a new TANF Emergency Fund for states which had an increase in TANF program expenditures due to increased caseloads. The TANF Emergency Fund reimburses states eighty cents on every extra dollar of expenditures. Put another way, the federal government is paying 80 percent of the cost of increased TANF caseloads through September 2010.
 
The eligibility limits proposed by the Administration for the Safety Net, Child Only and Self Sufficiency Reviews result in 223,000 children losing all cash aid and the CalWORKs caseload dropping by approximately 100,000 cases. A caseload cut of that magnitude would eliminate all of the caseload increase that the state has seen since July 2007 and California would not meet the threshold requirement of increased caseload for accessing TANF Emergency Funds.
 
The state already forfeited TANF Emergency Funds when the Legislature and Governor reduced the CalWORKs grants by four percent starting in July, 2009. That cut resulted in a loss of $146 million in cash grants to CalWORKs families. Of this amount the state would have been eligible for an 80 percent reimbursement, approximately $117 million. This means that the actual gain for the state budget was just $29 million, not $146 million. CalWORKs families, and the California economy, feel the full effect of the cut however. If either of the Governor’s proposal are approved the state will forfeit $600 million in federal stimulus funds according the Legislative Analyst Office.
 
Cutting TANF Spending = Bad Economics
Spending on human service programs is one of the most effective ways to stimulate the economy. CalWORKs family incomes are in the bottom 25 percent among all earners and spend virtually all their resources each month on essentials such as food, rent and utilities. A recent study by Beacon Economics of the economic impact of human service spending in California shows that each $1 million spent on CalWORKs results in $1.34 million in economic output and $25,000 in state sales tax revenue.[10] Beacon estimated that due to the TANF Emergency Funds four to one reimbursement rate, the state will get $7.35 million in economic output for every $1 million in CalWORKs expenditures. Thus the four percent CalWORKs grant cut directly results in a significant loss of employment and state tax revenue at a time when both are badly needed.
 
Conclusion
The Administration’s CalWORKs, SSI, CAPI and CFAP proposals are not just bad for families, they are bad for the state. The Legislature and Governor should again reject the Governor’s CalWORKs eligibility changes and reject all grant cuts and program eliminations. In a time of economic hardship these programs are more crucial than ever.
 
By: Michael Herald, Legislative Advocate, mherald@wclp.org


[1] CA Department of Social Services, Estimates Methodology, November, 2008, pg. 45 http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/cdssweb/entres/localassistanceest/2009/EstimateMethodologies.pdf
[2] Barriers to Work: CalWORKs Parents Timed-out or Sanctioned in Five Counties” by Richard Spiegelman and Associates, 2008 for the Child and Family Policy Institute of California, http://www.cfpic.org/pdfs/CalWORKsChildOnlyStudyReport2.pdf
[3] CA Department of Social Services, Estimates Methodology, November, 2008, pg. 49 http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/cdssweb/entres/localassistanceest/2009/EstimateMethodologies.pdf
[4] CA Department of Social Services, Estimates Methodology, November, 2008, pg. 55 http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/cdssweb/entres/localassistanceest/2009/EstimateMethodologies.pdf
[5] CA Department of Social Services, Estimates Methodology, November, 2008, pg. 52 http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/cdssweb/entres/localassistanceest/2009/EstimateMethodologies.pdf
[6] CA Department of Social Services, Estimates Methodology, November, 2008, pg. 229 http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/cdssweb/entres/localassistanceest/2009/EstimateMethodologies.pdf
[7] CA Department of Social Services, Estimates Methodology, November, 2008, pg. 245 http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/cdssweb/entres/localassistanceest/2009/EstimateMethodologies.pdf
[8] See Department of Social Services, Public Assistance Facts and Figures, February, 2009 http://www.cdss.ca.gov/research/res/pdf/Paff/2009/PAFFFeb09.pdf
[9] See HR 1, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
[10] See Child and Family Policy Institute of California, Spending on County Human Services Programs in California: An Evaluation of Economic Impacts http:/www.cfpic.org/downloads/CFPIC_Beacon_report09.pdf

Print
File GAS MR Prop2 Download

Headquarters - 3701 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 208, Los Angeles, CA 90010

(213) 487-7211

© 2014 Western Center on Law & Poverty, Inc.  WCLP, WESTERN CENTER ON LAW & POVERTY, and WESTERN CENTER ON LAW & POVERTY & Design are registered trademarks owned by Western Center on Law & Poverty, Inc.  All rights reserved.  WCLP®

Terms Of Use  |  Privacy Statement
Western Center  |  Get Involved!  |  Resources
Copyright (c) 2014 Western Center on Law and Poverty