The Academic Senate Perspective On The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 HR 3734, The Welfare Reform Act

General Concerns
Executive Committee

The Welfare Reform Act will have a serious impact on communities throughout the state of California. The bill eliminates the open-ended federal entitlement program of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and creates a block grant for states to provide time-limited cash assistance for needy families. Through these block grants, the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) will consolidate programs such as AFDC, Emergency Assistance (EA), and Job Opportunity and Basic Skills (JOBS). The moneys for these programs are fixed and no additional revenues will be available if case loads increase. Flexibility in the administration of this program is necessary as the state will make decisions on the allocation of funds for various welfare components such as support services, education and training, cash benefits, and state and county overhead.