The National Women’s Law Center has produced a concise report of vital programs for women and children that cost less in a year than the government shutdown has cost taxpayers in the last 2 weeks.
Last Tuesday, the News and Observer reported that North Carolina had declared a lack of funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which would have cut off 50,000 women and children from nutrition assistance. On Thursday, North Carolina reversed this decision. However, it has been suggested that if the shutdown continues into November, WIC may be in danger again.
Yesterday, WRAL reported that North Carolina is the only state to shut down another federally funded program, Work First (known as TANF in other locations). Over 20,700 people were assisted last month, including 13,761 children and 6,948 parents of dependent children. Although Congress has promised reimbursement once the government shutdown is over and North Carolina has the funding available in reserve, NC refuses to keep this program open. Earlier in October, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said she would halt TANF benefits in her state but quickly reversed her decision after public outcry.
This leaves North Carolina in a unenviable position of only state planning to close both WIC and Work First assistance if the shutdown doesn’t end by November 1. I think it’s time for a new state motto – North Carolina: First in Benefits Elimination.
Post by SCSJ Communications Intern Madeline Anderson, 10/15/2013