The following comes from a Jan. 17 story in the Tidings, archdiocese paper for Los Angeles.

Incremental increases to poverty reduction programs in Governor Jerry Brown’s $155 billion proposed budget for 2014-15 don’t begin to meet the cuts sustained during the state’s recent Great Recession, said the top official at the bishops’ California Catholic Conference.

Although an improving state economy is reflected in the proposed budget’s projected surplus of $5.6 billion, Brown’s plan focuses on fiscal restraint — taking steps to pay down debt and provide for a rainy day fund — with the bulk of the proposed general fund’s 8 percent increase this year going to schools.

“We’re supportive of the governor’s notion of fiscal responsibility and he did recognize the need to restore some cuts, although not at the level of full restoration of cuts to programs like TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families),” said Edward “Ned” Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference.

CCC officials will work with the governor and the state legislature during the next few months to address social issues in a manner that will allow all Californians to live in dignity and freedom, something that Pope Francis has repeatedly set as a minimum economic standard for any fiscal policy, notes Dolejsi.

“Our interest is in having a quality policy conversation about what is a necessary level of funding and how best to spend those funds to assist folks out of poverty,” said Dolejsi. He added that the CCC would like to see more funding of local community agencies, such as Catholic Charities, which help people in their efforts to escape poverty….

To read the entire story, click here.