Brown's budget would create three separate programs: CalWORKs Basic, with two years of job training for people looking for work; CalWORKs Plus, with more generous payments for people who FIND work; and a Child Maintenance Program, with smaller benefits for parents unable or unwilling to find work. Todd Bland with the California Department of Social Services says there's a goal beyond budget savings:
Bland: "Refocusing the CalWORKs program to help families become self-sufficient more quickly."
But Mike Herald with the Western Center on Law and Poverty says cutting many people's welfare services from four years to two makes no sense when there are so few jobs available.
Herald: "This proposal just seems a little bit tone deaf to me - that they don't seem to understand what's going on in people's lives."
Majority Democrats appear skeptical too.