Evaluation of the SB 1041 Reforms to CalWORKs Program

General information

The California Budget Act of 2012, through a trailer bill known as Senate Bill (SB) 1041, contained significant reforms to the CalWORKs program. The SB 1041 reforms to CalWORKs aim to engage participants in more-intensive work activities as early as possible, while also providing more flexibility in work activity options and increased incentives for work as participants move toward self-sufficiency.

The California Legislature included a provision in the bill for an independent evaluation to determine if SB 1041 achieves its objectives and if there are any unintended consequences. Evaluation of the SB 1041 Reforms to California’s CalWORKs Program: Background and Study provides background on the SB 1041 policy changes and an overview of the evaluation plan. The authors highlight the factors that motivated the changes to CalWORKs, summarize the key reforms, delineate the questions underlying the SB 1041 evaluation and the evaluation approach, and explain the evaluation timetable, products, and expected utility.

Read the study.

Citation: Karoly, Lynn A., Robert Bozick, Lois M. Davis, Sami Kitmitto, Lori Turk-Bicakci, Johannes M. Bos, Aleksandra Holod and Charles Blankenship. Evaluation of the SB 1041 Reforms to California’s CalWORKs Program: Background and Study Design. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2015. http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR919.html. Also available in print form.