Shining a Light on CalWORKs

The Legislature is contemplating tough choices to help bring the state’s budget into balance. On the table are deep cuts that would drop more than 230,000 low-income children from CalWORKs, the state’s highly successful welfare-to-work program. Our new chartbook shows that most CalWORKs recipients are children. In addition, CalWORKs funding makes up only about 3 percent of the state budget, substantially less than in the mid-1990s. Budgets are about values and choices. As the Legislature seeks a balanced approach to closing the budget gap, we hope policymakers will adopt budget “solutions” that leave the state’s safety net intact and avoid putting 230,000 of the state’s children at risk of homelessness.

— Scott Graves