Welfare's Once-Popular Cap on Kids Loses Favor in States

Governing: The welfare family cap may be an idea whose time has passed. Over the last quarter-century, about half the states have put this sort of limit on welfare benefits, which means women who have a certain number of children receive no additional dollars when they give birth to another one. But at least eight states have repealed the policy since 2002, including three in the past three years.

The 1996 federal welfare law allowed states to impose the cap on families. By that time, California and New Jersey were already doing it. Increasing the size of a mother’s welfare check for a new birth, it was thought, only encouraged women to have more children.

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