In California's tough economic times, even small savings can go a long way for a low-income family. Assemblymembers Jim Beall and Felipe Fuentes are working hard to make sure that CalWORKs families have the opportunity to set aside savings that can help them cushion financial emergencies and become financially self-sufficient.
On Tuesday, the California Senate Human Services Committee passed Assembly Bill 1058 (Beall & Fuentes). The California Workforce Mobility Initiative (AB 1058) repeals the $4,650 vehicle asset limit for recipients and applicants and eliminates the $2,000 cash asset limit for recipients. Also, it allows applicants to have $2,000 in savings adjusted to the California Necessities Index.
If enacted, AB 1058 would help CalWORKs families build the savings necessary to become financially self-sufficient through work. It will also save the state $3 million dollars in administrative staff time, according to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. This money is otherwise spent conducting quarterly tests to verify that the families are indeed asset poor. States that have eliminated the asset test report a savings and no fraud cases.
The goal of the CalWORKs program is to provide temporary assistance as families transition from government support to work. CalWORKs recipients can achieve this goal by owning a reliable car that helps them get to work, and savings that helps them move ahead.
The California Legislature and many community organizations have recognized the significance of asset building and are working hard to ensure that CalWORKs families who aspire to build their own financial safety-net are encouraged and not penalized.