California Gov. Jerry Brown, alarmed by the state’s $16 billion budget deficit, is supporting a proposal to make a major shift in the state’s welfare program. The cuts, which would amount to only $880 million of the debt of $16 billion, would not solve the problem.
The governor is proposing a major overhaul of the state’s welfare-to-work program with the strategy of slashing people’s benefits to motivate them to get jobs faster. The move, if approved by the state legislature as part of the 2012-13 budget package, would save $880 million -- but beyond the savings, analysts say it might mollify those who believe the state isn’t serious about its budget woes.
Scott Graves, a senior policy analyst with the California Budget Project, says the proposal would entail a 27 percent cut in child maintenance payments and a truncated period for adult payments that would drop the payments from four years to two years.
These austerity measures are part of Brown’s effort to cut spending across the board; the CHP just tentatively agreed to take a 5% pay cut, as did LAUSD. As California falls apart, and austerity measures are taken, how long before its residents go to the streets as they did in Greece?