LOS ANGELES (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown wants to shift the safety net protecting California’s neediest residents.

Pressured by a $16 billion budget deficit, the governor is proposing a major overhaul of the state’s welfare-to-work program with the strategy of slashing people’s benefits to motivate them to get jobs faster.

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The move, if approved by the state Legislature as part of the 2012-13 budget package, would save $880 million, but beyond the savings, analysts say it represents a shift in the philosophy of how the Golden State helps its neediest residents.

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Scott Graves, senior policy analyst with the California Budget Project, says the plan, which includes a 27 percent in payments for child maintenance and rolling back the cutoff from four years to two years for adults, would be a significant change to participants.

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