Murphy just ended the penalty against families on welfare if mothers have more children

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Gov. Phil Murphy repealed a nearly 30-year-old law Tuesday that has prevented thousands of families on welfare from receiving a larger stipend if the mother gives birth while receiving cash assistance.

New Jersey pioneered the family cap law — so named because the sponsors intended to discourage women on public assistance from having additional children. President Bill Clinton included the concept in the landmark welfare reform legislation he enacted in 1996, which allowed other states to adopt a similar law.

But as studies have shown the law had little impact on pregnancy and abortion rates, states have gradually repealed the law, seeing it as a punishment against children by depriving them money for basic essentials. Massachusetts repealed the law last year. It is still in effect in 13 other states, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Family advocates in New Jersey say 20,000…

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