The 2024-2025 CalWORKs Budget Cuts

SFY 24-25 CalWORKs Budget

SFY 24-25 Funds Available for CalWORKs$10.3 billion
SFY 24-25 CalWORKs Funds for Payments to Families and Children$4.3 billion
SFY 24-25 CalWORKs  Funds for Non-CalWORKs Programs$3.2 billion

The 2024-2025 State Budget released by the Governor did not cut any program except for CalWORKs.  Most of the “budget savings” were in the form of “delays” and a raiding the safety net fund. But CalWORKs got the axe – defunding (1) the CalWORKs Family Stabilization Program that is designed that only families who are stabilized are forced to participate in the CalWORKs employment program and (2) the only CalWORKs jobs program in the form of “subsidized employment”.

When a family that is no stabilized is required to participate in the WtW program and fails to participate- they are sanctioned by having their benefits, which are already below 50% of the federal poverty level, to be reduced by $200 or more each month – that is toxic poverty for California’s over 24,000 needy children being sanctioned for more than 1 year.

How many children received Family Stabilization Services? In 2023-2024 the FS-14 reveal that more than 10,000 children will receive Family Stabilization Services. The Newsom budget proposes to stop the Family Stabilization Services for over 10,000 children in 2024-2025.

Based on the first quarter of 2023 FS-14 report for  CalWORKs family stabilization program utilization it is estimated that during 2024-2025 over 1000 will not received domestic violence assistance, 13,000 will not receive mental health services, a whopping 30,000 families will not be able to overcome the multitude of barriers that they need to overcome to have the family stabilized before being asked to engage in a WtW activity, and over 12,000 homeless families will be unhoused which is equal to “state child abuse” in our view.

This is an unconscionable cut and should be rejected by the Legislature. As shown on TABLE # 1, less than 40% of the total CalWORKs available dollars get to the CalWORKs families living in deep poverty. An unconscionable $3.2 billion of the CalWORKs available dollars are taken out of the mouths of CalWORKs children living in deep poverty and used to build the state budget on the backs of CalWORKs babies and families. It is shameless and unhumane.