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New Law: Repeal Of ’90s Welfare Rule Takes Effect

As of Jan. 1, California no longer prevents additional welfare payments for families who have more children while receiving state aid, removing a rule that called discriminatory and invasive.

The 1994 rule known as the “maximum family grant” was expressly promoted at the time as a way to discourage people on welfare from having more children.

It included exemptions for mothers who tried sterilization or permanent intrauterine contraception, and they failed–or in cases of rape.

“But only if she reported the rape within 12 months, and if she brought a copy of her very personal, private rape report with the police,” says Jessica Bartholow of the Western Center on Law and Poverty, which sponsored repeal legislation. “And what we’re talking about here is $130 (a month). This barely pays for diapers.”

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