Implementation and Beyond: The Present and Future of Welfare Reform
This chapter discusses in greater detail the implementation of the new law; that is, how it will actually be administered at the state level. The reduction in caseloads is a story unto itself. Between 1994 and 1996, the number of families on welfare nationwide dropped by about 14 percent, with some states having even larger reductions. Administration shake-ups are relatively common as president moves into his second term, although officials do not usually specify a single policy as the reason for their departure. The administration offered three proposals. The first would reinstate food stamp eligibility for legal aliens; the second would increase food stamp benefits for families with high housing costs; and the third would relax the work requirements under the food stamps provision. Welfare has evolved from a local to a state and then to a federal-state and federal-local function, and now it is devolving back to a state function.