Historic Budget, Yet Most Food Priorities Unfunded
Yesterday the Legislature passed the 2019-20 Budget Act in a compromise with Governor Newsom. While the 2019-20 Budget made many important investments - and at $214.8 billion is the largest in state history - most food access and anti-hunger priorities were left behind.
We are celebrating the large investments in healthcare, education, safe drinking water, EITC, and ending deep poverty in the CalWORKS program. We are also grateful that the budget reinstated funding for Breakfast After the Bell grants for high-poverty schools with a one-time boost of $500,000. link
However, we are deeply disappointed that the Legislature passed over funding critical investments in nutrition, food access, and hunger prevention. While the official budget bill deadline of June 15 will be met, budget trailer bills with policy implementation language can still be voted on throughout the rest of the legislative session. One trailer bill that CFPA advanced in partnership with the Alliance to Transform CalFresh will ensure that the implementation of a single automated state welfare system seeks to minimize the burden of enrollment for low-income people in order to improve access to CalFresh, Medi-Cal, and CalWORKS.
Budget items that require a 2/3 vote, which include taxes and fees, are also still in the queue to be considered. We will be monitoring these as the Legislative session progresses. Stay tuned!