On the Docket: Proposed Elimination of Child Care Assistance and CalWORKs

It may still be cool outside, but the budget season is definitely heating up now that the May Revision is out. In the Legislature, that means that various budget subcommittees will begin going line by line through the Governor’s May Revision proposals.  If you’re not in Sacramento, these hearings can be found on The California Channel or followed through the Assembly and Senate websites.

On Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. in room 4202 of the State Capitol, Assembly Budget Subcommittee 1 on Health and Human Services will take up the major human services proposals in the Governor’s May Revision, including proposals to eliminate CalWORKs, the state’s welfare-to-work program, and all state funding for child care assistance. Portions of the hearing will be conducted jointly with Assembly Budget Subcommittee 2 on Education Finance, and public comments will be taken. For more information on the Governor’s proposals, see our summary of the May Revision as well as the summary released by the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Earlier that day, at 10:00 a.m. in Room 126, the Assembly Human Services Committee will hold an oversight hearing called “Out of Our Mouths: Stories of Hunger in California.” For background, see our recent report outlining how California can increase participation in the Food Stamp Program.

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., House leaders hope to vote Thursday on a bill that would extend Unemployment Insurance and COBRA provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as well as the FMAP enhancement (the higher federal matching rate for health care services) and the TANF Emergency Fund (for more information, see our recent op-ed in the Fresno Bee.) Although it’s easy to get overly focused on what’s happening in Sacramento, without this additional federal help, our state budget situation could be much worse. For more information, see the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ recent paper outlining why these measures are needed to stimulate the economy.

— Lisa Gardiner

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