August 22nd marks the 20th anniversary of the federal Temporary Assistance to Need Families (TANF) block grant, often referred to as “welfare reform.” The California TANF program, known as California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), provides modest cash assistance to families with children while helping parents overcome barriers to work and find jobs. After two decades, many are questioning the efficacy of the block grant program in helping families meet basic needs. #TANFat20 provides an opportunity to reflect on CalWORKs by examining the status of the program in California as well as highlighting future opportunities to better support families with very low incomes.
The first issue of the Journal of Case Study Research was recently devoted to housing affordability in California, and I was pleased to have the opportunity to contribute an invited article to the journal. This article discusses a proposal to add a housing subsidy to the federal Earned Income Tax Credit. The article discusses why the EITC housing supplement is ultimately inadequate […]
Although discussions around tax policy can often seem dry and wonky, our tax policy choices have a profound impact on our quality of life. Taxes generate resources that allow us to strengthen our communities and economy. And tax expenditures — spending through the tax code — reduce the resources available for other priorities. Recognizing the […]
Although the number of adults incarcerated by the state has recently declined, the 2016-17 state budget signed by Governor Brown last month once again fails to reduce the level of General Fund support for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). (Most state funding for public services and systems comes from tax revenues deposited […]
Approved by the voters in 2014, Proposition 47 reclassified several nonviolent drug and property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, with the result that state prison is generally no longer a sentencing option for these offenses. The measure also created a process for individuals who were previously convicted of these offenses to apply for resentencing. By […]