Welfare money unspent totals $3 billion: more cuts proposed FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Tue, 16 Mar 1999 17:35:04 -0800 (PST)


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"House Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich, R-Ohio, has said he will
propose cutting welfare money because caseloads have dropped so fast -- an
idea states have vigorously protested." -- from article below

http://www.sjmercury.com/breaking/docs/078865.htm
FWD San Jose [CA] Mercury News - Tuesday, March 16, 1999

STATES HAVE $3 BILLION IN UNSPENT WELFARE MONEY

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The states have amassed approximately $3 billion in
unspent federal welfare money, but say they need to save the money in case
of an economic downturn and to provide special services to people who need
it most.

Under the overhaul approved in 1996, the federal government gives the
states a set amount each year to take care of its poor rather than pay for
each person who needs public assistance -- no matter the cost -- as it did
for 61 years.

The House Ways and Means Committee said Monday in a statement that states
have a total of $6.2 billion in unspent welfare money, but that counts
funds states have already obligated for specific payments. Counting only
unobligated money, the total is just over $3 billion.

``The next phase of welfare reform is the key to permanently lifting more
families from poverty and giving them opportunities for brighter futures,''
Rep. Nancy L. Johnson, R-Conn., chairwoman of the committee's welfare
panel, said in a statement.

Johnson released a report by the Congressional Research Service detailing
the unspent money.

Republicans argue that states have enough money without new spending
proposed by President Clinton. In his budget, Clinton seeks billions of
dollars to provide more child care and to offer job training for those
hardest to remove from the welfare rolls, which have been cut by nearly a
third since 1996.

``We'd like to understand the president's reasoning, especially in light of
the fact that they'll get another $16.5 billion next year,'' said Ways and
Means spokesman Trent Duffy.

House Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich, R-Ohio, has said he will
propose cutting welfare money because caseloads have dropped so fast -- an
idea states have vigorously protested.

State welfare balances vary widely. New York has the most unspent money --
$689 million, and Pennsylvania is No. 2 with $245 million. But many states
have nothing left over, including Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois,
Maine, Oregon, Virginia and Wyoming.

The amount that each state has yet to spend of federal welfare money it
received for fiscal years 1997 and 1998, combined, in millions. The House
Ways and Means Committee says states have a total of $6.2 billion in
unspent welfare money, but that counts money that states have already
obligated for specific payments. Counting only unobligated money, the total
is just over $3 billion:

                                State
                                Ala.
                                          37.4  
                                Alaska
                                           0    
                                Ariz.
                                          47.9  
                                Ark.
                                           0    
                                Calif.
                                           0    
                                Colo.
                                          81.2  
                                Conn.
                                           0    
                                Del.
                                           0    
                                D.C.
                                          35.1  
                                Fla.
                                         252.9  
                                Ga.
                                          51.7  
                                Hawaii
                                           6.9  
                                Idaho
                                          31.1  
                                Ill.
                                           0    
                                Ind.
                                           0    
                                Iowa
                                          28.9  
                                Kan.
                                          21.6  
                                Ky.
                                          44.9  
                                La.
                                         129.8  
                                Maine
                                           0    
                                Md.
                                         146.9  
                                Mass.
                                           0    
                                Mich.
                                          89.3  
                                Minn.
                                         136.9  
                                Miss.
                                           0    
                                Mo.
                                           0    
                                Mont.
                                           0    
                                Neb.
                                          36.7  
                                Nev.
                                           6.8  
                                N.H.
                                           6    
                                N.J.
                                         223.1  
                                N.M.
                                          55.2  
                                N.Y.
                                         689.1  
                                N.C.
                                          93.1  
                                N.D.
                                           2.3  
                                Ohio
                                           0    
                                Okla.
                                         110.2  
                                Ore.
                                           0    
                                Pa.
                                         245    
                                R.I.
                                          15.7  
                                S.C.
                                          34.7  
                                S.D.
                                           8    
                                Tenn.
                                          77    
                                Texas
                                           0    
                                Utah
                                          13.6  
                                Vt.
                                          11.1  
                                Va.
                                           0    
                                Wash.
                                         141.5  
                                W.Va.
                                          80.7  
                                Wis.
                                          49    
                                Wyo.
                                           0    
                                U.S.
                                       3,041.3

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