FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14, 2018
Media Contact: Daniela Ogden (510) 350-9919
California Association of Food Banks and Western Center on Law and Poverty Release Joint Statement on Senate Farm Bill
Yesterday, the California Association of Food Banks (CAFB) and the Western Center on Law Poverty (WCLP) released a joint statement on the Senate Farm Bill (S. 3042). While both CAFB and WCLP congratulate Senate Agriculture Committee leadership for securing a bi-partisan Farm Bill, the bill does make changes that would not advance our vision of a hunger-free California. It proposes the elimination of state bonuses for improved participation and payment accuracy, and codifies regulations for the Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents Time Limit and related work requirements.
The elimination of the state bonuses would eliminate investments in technology and program integrity, and threaten the forward progress in program administration that our state and states across the country are making.
The ABAWD time limit has long-been opposed by anti-hunger advocates in the state and we have recently been joined by Secretaries of three California Agencies in calling for the rule be repealed altogether. The proposed amendments in S. 3042 are not, on their face, problematic, but codifying the rule takes SNAP policy in the opposite direction than what we had proposed and so we cannot support it.
The Senate bill stands in sharp contrast to the House Farm Bill (H.R. 2), which contains over $19 billion in deep cuts to SNAP benefits and eligibility, including several harmful amendments that would worsen hunger and hardship even more than when the bill was introduced. We hope that Congress will work to craft a bi-partisan Farm Bill that ensures that the more than 4 million Californians that depend on SNAP can afford to put food on the table and live healthy, productive lives.
Next Steps on the Senate and House Farm Bills:
The Senate Agriculture Committee held a markup on Wednesday, June 13 and the bill passed out of committee on a bi-partisan vote 20 – 1. The Senate bill is expected to head to the floor for a vote sometime before the July 4th recess.
On the House side, the House Farm Bill (H.R. 2) failed to pass on May 18th by a vote of 198-213, but the House is planning to reconsider and pass the bill following immigration votes before the July 4th recess.
We urge all food banks and the broader community invested in a hunger-free California to contact your Member of Congress and ask them to protect & strengthen SNAP by voting no on H.R. 2.