As you may remember, Senator Holly Mitchell is calling for California to raise the cash grant for families on CalWORKs, our state welfare-to-work program. To alleviate the deep poverty of nearly 1 in 12 families, she is asking that we make the cash grant - the money for rent, utilities, supplies - 50% of the Federal Poverty Level family income. SB 982 would raise the cash from $741 to $1,046 for a family of three. That's still a hardship, but it would go a long way toward helping make ends meet in pricey California rental and cost of living communities.
We just learned the state has $9 billion more than the Governor's projection. Yes, anti tax people say it means we're "overtaxed", but what it means in fact is that we are doing well.
Why should the poor, whose cash grants we cut to balance the budget in lean times, not do well, too? If not now, when?
The state Senate has approved this as part of the May Revision, and now we need the Assembly to do the same.
The Budget Committee members are:
Philip Ting - Chair (D-San Francisco)
Jay Obernolte - Vice Chair (R-Big Bear Lake)
Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach)
Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno)
Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica)
Anna Caballero (D-Salinas)
Rocky Chavez (R-Oceanside)
David Chiu (D-San Francisco)
Steven Choi (R-Irvine)
Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove)
Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach)
Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Sr. (D-Los Angeles)
Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale)
Monique Limon (D-Santa Barbara)
Devon Mathis (R-Visalia)
Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento)
Jose Medina (D-Riverside)
Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore)
Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco)
Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance)
Patrick O'Donnell (D-Long Beach)
Jim Patterson (R-Fresno)
Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park)
Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley)
Randy Voepel (R-Santee)
Shirley Weber (D-San Diego)
Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa-Humboldt)
To write them as a constituent or to your non-Budget Committee Assembly Member who will ultimately take a floor vote, please go to:
You will find the local as well as Capitol connections by which to contact them. Phone, write a FAX, or email to them now.
To send email or FAX letters to the Budget Committee staff to pass on, please FAX Chief Consultant Nicole Vazquez at 916-319-2199 or email her at Nicole.Vazquez@asm.ca.gov
Our message is simple: Raise the California cash grant to help pull our families from dire poverty. Protect our state's children from the dire harm of unmet needs. Share the state's bounty with those in want and assure a better future for the children we cherish.
We have the money. We need to make restitution to those, the poorest of the poor, whose income was sacrificed in the lean years. Now we need to take care of our children and families in need. There is no better investment in our future.