NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

States Cut Some Welfare Programs as Rolls Rise

January 16, 2002

As the recession cuts more jobs and throws more people onto welfare rolls, a number of states are cutting budgets for programs aimed at helping people get and keep jobs -- and redirecting the money saved to cash assistance.

Programs losing funding include those designed to help people make the transition from welfare to work, including helping provide cars and substance abuse treatment. So far, lawmakers are sparing job training programs and child-care subsidies. But if caseloads grow dramatically, states may begin making cuts there.

  • Between last March and September, 33 states experienced an increase in the number of families on cash assistance, according to the Center for Law and Social Policy.
  • Five of those states -- Arizona, Indiana, Mississippi, Nevada and South Carolina -- saw caseloads jump by at least 10 percent.

The pressure on state welfare programs is spreading as layoffs in the travel and services industries hit many former welfare recipients.

Source: Russell Gold, "Rising Welfare Rolls Prompt Aid Cuts," Wall Street Journal, January 16, 2002.


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