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Lawmakers Look To Add Repeal Of Welfare Limit To Budget

Democratic lawmakers in California say they’ll once again push to end a two-decade old law they say discriminates against the poor.

Legislative Democrats were particularly unhappy that the governor’s budget doesn’t repeal the maximum family grant, a 1997 rule which prevents families who have another child while on welfare from receiving higher payments.

"The maximum family grant is something we feel has really driven many families into deeper poverty and it’s so unfair and unjust," says Assembly Budget Chair Shirley Weber. "We’d hoped to see it in the budget. It doesn’t mean it won’t end up in the budget."

But ending the policy would cost state taxpayers more than $200 million a year.

Republicans say other anti-poverty programs could use the money more effectively, while Democrats have prioritized other social programs in past years.

"We had hoped it would be part of a proposal this year, but we’re prepared to have a conversation about that," says Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins.