Page:The Green Bag (1889–1914), Volume 25.pdf/418

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Widows'

Pension

Laws

(From the Survey) 'JpHE American [Association for Labor Legis lation has made the following analysis of the widows' pension laws of the country, which is up-to-date except for this year's amendment to the California act: —. Since 1908, when the movement began, to date, June 16, 1913, mothers' pension laws have been passed in the United States in seventeen states (California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mis souri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, and Washington) and in two cities (Milwaukee and St. Louis). Only the state laws are here con sidered. The law applies to any parent who, because of poverty, is unable properly to support a de pendent or neglected child, but who is other wise a proper guardian for it, in California, Colorado, Illinois and Nebraska. In Massachu setts, Michigan and Utah this provision is nar rowed to apply to mothers only. In New Je.'sey only widows are included. In the remain ing states not only widows but other classes of dependent mothers may receive allow ances. Thus, in addition to widows, deserted wives are included in the benefits of the act in Michigan, Ohio (if deserted for three years), Pennsylvania, and Washington (if deserted for one year); mothers whose husbands are prisoners are in cluded in Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota (unless the wife receives sufficient of the prisoner's wages to support her children), and in Washington; mothers whose husbands are confined in state insane asylums are included in Iowa, Minne sota, Missouri, Oregon and Washington; mothers whose husbands are incapacitated for labor are included in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington; in Michigan alone, divorced and unmarried mothers are in cluded, while in California and Colorado, if

neither parent is found fit, a guardian may be appointed to receive the stipend. The maximum age of a child for whom a pension is payable is fourteen years in Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri and South Dakota; fifteen in Idaho, Utah and Washington; sixteen in Nebraska (if the child pleads guilty of, or is convicted of, a crime), New Jersey and Oregon; seventeen in Illinois (if a male child) and in Michigan; and 18 in Illinois (if a female child) and Nebraska (if the child is merely dependent and neglected). Legal working age is the limit set in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and in California and Colorado no limit is set. The maximum amount of allowance for one child is $2 a week in Iowa and $3 a week in Michigan. It is $6.25 a month in California (for widows); $9 iri New Jersey; $10 in Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon and Utah; $11 in California (for abandoned children); $12 in Pennsylvania; and $15 in Ohio, South Dakota and Washington. In Colorado, Illinois, Massa chusetts and Nebraska no maximum is estab lished. The amount for additional children varies from $5 to $12 per month. In California, Ohio, and South Dakota the order is good only for six months unless renewed. The law is administered by the juvenile court alone in California, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, and Washington; by the juvenile court or some other county court, in Colorado and Oregon; and by the juvenile court or the county com missioners in Utah. Various other courts ad minister the law in Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey and South Dakota; the city or town overseers of the poor, in Massa chusetts; and in Pennsylvania an unpaid board of five to seven women residents of the county appointed by the Governor. In every state except Massachusetts the funds come out of the county treasury; in Massachusetts they are provided by the city or town. In California, Massachusetts and Penn sylvania grants in part payments are made to the local authorities by the state.