CSAC Bulletin Article

Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Safety Net Programs

February 15, 2018

The Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee held an informational hearing on human services safety net programs in California this week. The hearing focused on three programs – Supplemental Security Income/State Supplemental Payment, the California Work Opportunities and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), and CalFresh. In addition, the hearing featured presentations that provided a broad overview of poverty in California and the factors that contribute to the high poverty rates.

Speakers included public policy experts, researchers, and program recipients. Questions from Committee Members focused on the interaction between these programs, the ability of these programs to help get individuals out of poverty, and whether certain existing policies were established at the state or federal level. The agenda for the hearing and a report from the Legislative Analyst’s Office are available with additional details.

This hearing provided key background information that will help as the Committee conducts hearings throughout the 2018-19 state budget process and considers specific budget proposals. It is likely that the Committee will consider targeted state investments aimed at reducing poverty. Some of the specific policy considerations briefly mentioned at this hearing included increasing grant levels, increasing lifetime limits on participation, and providing access to CalFresh for former foster youth.

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