We’re pleased to see Dani McClain’s article in the Nation about SB 899 (Mitchell), a bill that one of our Women’s Policy Institute teams is working on. Currently, families who have been receiving CalWORKs aid for at least ten months are not allowed to receive an increase in their cash assistance when they have an additional child. This outdated law, called the Maximum Family Grant (MFG) rule, is based on the belief that low-income mothers are having children just to increase their aid. This is simply not the case. SB 899 would repeal this punitive ban, and help keep families from falling deeper into poverty.
Why Is California Penalizing Poor Women for Wanting to be Parents?, by Dani McClain
California is generally thought of as getting reproductive health policy right. In January, the state added abortion providers at a time when clinics elsewhere are fighting restrictions that would have them shut down. But when it comes to poor women’s ability to choose whether and when to grow their families, California has some catching up to do. Since 2002, eight of twenty-four states with a maximum family grant, also knows as a family cap, have repealed the laws that created them, citing concerns that they’re not effective. California—with its progressive image and all three branches controlled by Democrats—is a holdout. Read the rest of the article: