California, nation's largest welfare state, makes deep cuts

4:37 PM, Dec 28, 2011   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA (AP) - Advocates of welfare reform in California often cite an eye-popping statistic as they press for cuts and changes to the program in recent years: The state has one-eighth of the nation's population but one-third of all welfare recipients.

Yet steps taken in recent years to cut costs and get more recipients back in the workforce have run head-on into the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression.

Recipients have been left with fewer training programs, shrinking welfare checks and a shorter period during, which they are eligible to receive assistance at a time when employment prospects for even highly qualified job-seekers are dim.

That has led to fear and uncertainty among welfare recipients, many of whom have spent a year or more in job-preparation programs without success.

The Associated Press

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