February 13, 2013: Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), at left in photo by Paul Kitagaki Jr., finds the "family cap" on welfare benefits offensive -- saying that it caters to the opinion that women on welfare get pregnant to hike their monthly benefits.
"...this is a child poverty issue," said Mitchell, who introducted Assembly Bill 271 last week (as reported yesterday in the Sacramento bee by Jim Sanders).
AB 271 is intended to repeal twenty-year codes that render California women who get pregnant while on welfare ineligible for additional monies ("family cap").
...Jessica Bartholow, at left, of the Western Center on Law and Poverty, said that current law "is a means of controlling the reproductive decision-making of very poor individuals in our state."
Opponents counter that taxpayers are willing to help poor families, but not without limits for parents who choose to have more babies when they can't afford those they have now.
"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.
"Staying on welfare and getting pregnant turns that safety net into a hammock - and I wouldn't support that," Jones said.
California's current policy was implemented in 1997...under Republican Gov. Pete Wilson...
At stake in AB 271 is an increase in welfare benefits ranging from about $100 to $125 per month for each baby affected. The specific amount of the increase would depend upon family size.