EXECUTIVE ORDER S-09-10


WHEREAS CalWORKS, which is California’s version of the federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program, provides cash aid and services to needy families with children; and
 
WHEREAS the purpose of CalWORKS is to help those families meet basic needs, including housing, food, and clothing, until they become self sufficient; and
 
WHEREAS I have proposed and the Legislature has adopted a variety of CalWORKS reforms to encourage self sufficiency, including face-to-face visits for recipients not meeting work-participation requirements, increased sanctions such as grant reductions up to 50 percent for those who do not comply with work participation rules, and stricter rules related to time limits on aid; and
 
WHEREAS these efforts are an important part of my Administration’s commitment to focus assistance on the State’s neediest residents, and to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse in all public benefit programs, such as by requiring background checks and fingerprinting for all IHSS providers, requiring unannounced home visits for IHSS providers, and mobilizing county IHSS task forces to combat fraud and abuse; and 
 
WHEREAS news reports have recently revealed that some CalWORKS recipients have utilized Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) located in gambling establishments to access their state-provided cash benefits; and
 
WHEREAS these benefits are provided to pay for the basic subsistence needs of the recipient’s family, and should not be used for gambling; and
 
WHEREAS my administration is committed to ensuring that scarce taxpayer resources are used appropriately and efficiently; and
 
WHEREAS to help protect these resources from misuse, the State Department of Social Services (DSS) has established a number of programs and procedures, including a toll-free hotline, to detect, prevent, and refer for prosecution suspected instances of CalWORKS fraud and abuse. 
 
NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of California, by virtue of the power vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of California, do hereby order effective immediately:
  1. DSS shall immediately take all necessary steps to ensure that CalWORKS recipients may not access state-provided cash benefits from ATMs in gambling establishments.
  2. DSS shall take all necessary steps to ensure that CalWORKS recipients must acknowledge that the intent of the cash grant is to meet the basic subsistence needs of the recipient’s family.
  3. DSS shall provide an action plan, within seven days of this order, proposing other methods to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse in the disbursement of CalWORKS benefits.
 
FURTHERMORE, IT IS REQUESTED that members of the public report suspected misuse of CalWORKS funds, using the toll-free hotline available at 800-344-8477.
 
This Order does not and is not intended to create any rights or benefits, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, against the State of California, its agencies, departments, entities, officers, employees or any other person.
 
I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this Order shall be filed with the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given to this Order.