SB 882 (Wiener) Moves on to Senate Appropriations!

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Thanks to a strong and broad showing of support from stakeholders, SB 882 (Wiener) passed the Senate Human Services Committee today with a unanimous, bi-partisan vote on consent.

SB 882 would make it easier for eligible low-income Californians to sign up and stay connected to CalFresh, particularly older adults and people with disabilities. As the number of new CalFresh applications is surging due to the economic downturn and spiking unemployment, now is the time to make permanent improvements to ease access to CalFresh.

CFPA and the bill co-sponsors, the SF-Marin Food Bank, AARP-CA, and the California Association of Food Banks, would like to thank Senator Wiener for his leadership in authoring SB 882. We are also grateful to all who wrote, called or tweeted their support to the committee. Together, we can ensure that CalFresh works for everyone, regardless of where they live or their individual circumstances.

Now that SB 882 has passed its first legislative hurdle, the bill is up for discussion in the Senate Appropriations Committee. Join us in asking the Senate Appropriations Committee to move the bill on to the Senate Floor!

Call and/or email the following Senators. Prioritize your outreach to Senator Anthony Portantino (D-Glendale, Burbank, Pasadena), the Chair of the Committee on Appropriations. This should take you just a few minutes.

Senator Anthony Portantino, Chair (D-25) (916) 651-4025

Please also spend a few minutes contacting your Senator if they are listed below as members of the committee:

  • Patricia Bates, Vice Chair (R - 36) (916) 651-4036
  • Steven Bradford (D-35) (916) 651-4035
  • Jerry Hill (D-13) (916) 651-4013
  • Brian W. Jones (R-38) (916) 651-4038
  • Connie Leyva (R-38) (916) 651-4020
  • Bob Wieckowski (D-10) (916) 651-4010
  • Sample script:

    Hi, my name is _____ and I live in ______. I'm calling to urge Senator ______ to support SB 882, a bill that will make it easier for people to access CalFresh, our most powerful anti-hunger program. It is urgent that we simplify the CalFresh application process as more and more people are out of work and need help putting food on the table. SB 882 will make permanent improvements to the program, especially for older adults and people with disabilities. Please vote yes on SB 882. Thank you. [Or choose one or more of the following reasons or tell them your own]

    • Californians struggling to make ends meeet during the COVID-19 crisis need quick access to CalFresh, but the process is often overly complicated. We need SB 882 to simplify access to food assistance.
    • Only 19% of eligible adults age 60+ receive CalFresh. SB 882 make it easier for people, especially seniors, to enroll and stay connected to our most powerful anti-hunger program.
    • CalFresh applications are up more than 200% due to spiking unemployment. We need SB 882 to simplify access and keep people connected to food assistance during and after this crisis.

    Sample tweets:

    • Californians struggling to make ends meeet during the COVID-19 crisis need quick access to CalFresh, but the process is often overly complicated. We need SB 882 to simplify access now! @Portantino @SenatorPatBates
    • Only 19% of eligible adults age 60+ receive CalFresh. SB 882 make it easier for people, especially seniors, to enroll and stay connected to our most powerful anti-hunger program. Plz support SB 882! @Portantino @SenatorPatBates
    • CalFresh is a proven positive public health intervention and powerful economic stimulus. SB 882 will help maximize its dual role in California’s immediate and long-term COVID-19 response. Plz support SB 882! @Portantino @SenatorPatBates
    • CalFresh applications are up more than 200% due to spiking unemployment. We need SB 882 to simplify access and keep people connected to food assistance. Let's cut the red tape to put food on their plates! @Portantino @SenatorPatBates

    SB 882 Background

    SB 882 would achieve the following:

    • Require the State to provide counties with simplified CalFresh applications for households solely composed of seniors and people with disabilities and no earned income (also known as ESAP Households)
    • Waive the CalFresh annual interim report requirement for approximately 500,000 ESAP Households
    • Ensure all applicants and participants can complete the application and recertification interview processes by phone, including the required client signature.

    As the COVID-19 crisis continues to make clear, meeting the nutritional needs of low-income households is an urgent and ongoing need. No one should go hungry in the great state of California, and it is our collective responsibility to use all the tools we have to make it easier to access our most powerful anti-hunger tool, CalFresh.

    Stay up to date on SB 882 as it advances through the Legislature, and receive timely calls to action to make your voice heard in support of improved CalFresh access. Sign up to receive our email action alerts at https://cfpa.net/subscribe/

    Questions? Contact Jared Call at 213.482.8200 ext 201, or visit https://cfpa.net/SB882/