August 31, 2013: "Deep poverty has a direct correlation to criminal activity, and children born into these families, whose household incomes and payments from CalWORKS are not adjusted, leads them into deep poverty." -- Assemblymember Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), quoted on the Sacramento Bee's Capitol Alert yesterday after the bill to end the cap on CalWORKs payments was derailed.
While most bills that went before the Senate Appropriation Committee yesterday sailed through to await votes on the Senate floor, AB 271, legislators blocked Mitchell's bill that would allow women who become pregnant while already enrolled in the CalWORKs program to collect benefits for the new child. As reported by Jeremy B. White in the Bee:
Committee chair Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, cited the cost in holding the bill but still paused from a rapid-fire hearing to voice his "unequivocal" support for the measure and decry the current so-called "family cap" policy....
A hammock or a safety net? Legislators have a convenient holiday weekend to test the difference.
"Part of the whole purpose of welfare as a safety net is to help people get back on their feet and get back to being a productive citizen," said Assemblyman Brian Jones, R-Santee (Santee, in eastern San Diego County, has a median family income of $78,872). "Staying on welfare and getting pregnant turns that safety net into a hammock..."