Federal guidelines mandating that food assistance recipients find a job or lose their benefits kicked in last month for residents of 21 states, leaving as many as one million at risk of food insecurity—a result that owes no small debt to the welfare reform efforts of former President Bill Clinton’s administration and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) in the ’90s.
The rule, passed in 1994, refused further benefits when families already receiving assistance had more children. After more than 20 years, the California legislature has the chance to repeal the law.
California lawmakers are once again looking to repeal a provision of the state’s welfare program that denies additional assistance to women whose family size increases while they are receiving benefits.
From Catholic hospitals to juries in Indiana, more and more pregnant people are finding themselves pitted against their pregnancies.
Montana lawmakers held a committee hearing on a bill that would require some low-income residents to be drug tested to qualify for welfare assistance.
A Kansas program designed to test welfare applicants for drug use—supported by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, who is known for boasting over enrollment cuts to the state’s program for low-income families—has resulted in only 20 drug tests in the four months since it began.
Along with the enactment of welfare reform 17 years ago this August came tougher practices in debt enforcement—which, in many cases, lands the poor behind bars, leads to suspensions in drivers’ licenses, and other practices that make finding work much harder.
Indiana and Kansas show the battle over abortion rights and access is growing in intensity in some parts of the country.
Welfare reform family caps punish the poor for having children. Repealing such laws sometimes creates common ground for pro-choice and “pro-life” groups.
In an economy rife with low-wage jobs and long-term unemployment for women, the need for reproductive freedom is even more critical. Yet, Ohio’s budget achieves exactly the opposite, as if to mock the state’s women.