REFORMS ACROSS THE NATION
BOSTON — * Nationwide, 13.5 million children and adults receive monthly grants from Aid to Families with Dependent Children. States foot just under half of the $28 billion tab.
Amid concerns that the program is fostering dependency over the long term, several states have recently pursued welfare restructuring experiments. A partial list follows:
* A New Jersey law denies additional benefits to mothers who have a second child while on welfare. Benefits would also be eliminated or reduced for recipients who refuse to participate in education or training programs when their youngest children are older than two years. Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maine, and South Carolina are considering similar penalties.
* California voters will consider an initiative in November that would cut welfare benefits 10 percent, and cut an additional 15 percent for those families with an "able-bodied adult" which have been on the rolls for six months.
* Wisconsin plans to eliminate increases in benefits for additional children born to women on welfare. Wisconsin will also limit grants for families new to the state to prevent the benefit from acting like a magnet to outsiders.
* Massachusetts is considering a proposal to put the burden of supporting families on absent fathers through Revenue Department enforcement of child-support orders. The proposed changes also include limiting benefits to 18 months, letting recipients keep more of what they earn, and expanding education and training.
* Oregonians are still wrangling over Ballot Measure 7, an initiative approved by voters in 1990 that was not supported by Gov. Barbara Roberts (D). The measure would eliminate welfare, food stamps, and unemployment benefits in several test counties, and require welfare recipients to work at minimum-wage jobs.