Welfare, Financial Aid Cut in New California Budget
Students and welfare recipients will feel in the pinch in the new budget that Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers announced on Thursday after a week of negotiation, according to news reports.
Los Angeles Times writes:
One of the biggest barriers to a deal was disagreement between Brown and legislative Democrats over how to change the state’s welfare system. The agreement creates a 24-month time limit for unemployed recipients of CalWorks grants to find work. Those grant recipients currently have 48 months before they are at risk of losing cash assistance.
Among other cuts reported by the LA Times:
- An 8.7% reduction in subsidies for child care, and a suspension in cost-of-living adjustments for child-care costs until mid-2015.
- A merger of the Healthy Families Program for low-income children into Medi-Cal.
- Reductions in the Cal Grants program for college students, starting in the 2013-2014 school year.
Not everyone loses, though. The newspaper said the budget includes a categorical block grant for charter schools.
Here’s the background, as sketched out by the Associated Press:
Although Democrats passed the main budget bill on a majority vote last week, the governor pressed for deeper cuts to welfare and other social services amid a projected $15.7 billion shortfall. Brown has until Wednesday to sign or veto the main bill.
The Legislature passed a $92 billion budget Friday but several companion bills must still pass before the state’s spending plan can take effect. Many deal with some of the most contentious issues, including aid to the poor. The whole package hinges on voters approving an initiative in November to raise taxes.
In passing the main budget bill, lawmakers met the minimum requirement to keep their paychecks flowing under a voter-approved measure that blocks lawmakers’ pay if a budget is late.