Governor Newsom Signs 2021-22 Budget
July 13, 2021
Late last night, Governor Newsom signed AB 129, the 2021 Budget Act. This landmark legislation includes a range of investments that will make sweeping steps towards fighting hunger in our state. We thank Governor Newsom and the Legislature for prioritizing low-income Californians and using the State’s unprecedented surplus to fuel a more equitable economic and pandemic recovery, and build toward a hunger-free future for all Californians.
We are elated and thankful that the Governor heard our call, and included all of our primary requests in the State Budget. The simple fact is that the hunger crisis is far from over: right now, 2,690,000 adults and 806,000 children report experiencing the most critical form of hunger, This is nearly 11% of Californians, nearly triple the pre-pandemic rate. Food banks and the millions of Californians we serve need continued support.
In addition to providing ongoing support to our state’s food banks, the Budget makes historic investments in school meals for all, supplemental security income (SSI), and other programs that address causes of hunger.
We offer our sincere thanks to Governor Newsom, Budget Chairs Senator Skinner and Assemblymember Ting, Speaker Rendon, Pro Tem Atkins, the Budget Subcommittee Chairs, and our legislative champions who have been true leaders on these critical issues.
“Budgets are statements of values, and this budget makes transformational investments in the programs that make ending hunger plausible. We appreciate all that Governor Newsom and Legislature continues to do to support hungry Californians through the hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Food banks know first hand that hunger persists long after economic recovery begins, and thankfully this budget makes long-term investments that take steps toward a hunger-free future for California.”Andrew Cheyne, director of government affairs
Here is a partial summary of anti-hunger investments in the 2021 Budget Act:
A full summary of the budget agreement is available here, and many of these investments will be passed and implemented through subsequent trailer bill legislation.
Despite the combined impact of these proposals, we were disappointed not to see AB 221 (Santiago) included. This would provide food benefits to immigrant Californians excluded from CalFresh. This is still greatly needed given the ongoing, chilling effect of public charge. We applaud Asm. Santiago’s leadership and the bipartisan support for the bill, and ask that this be enacted.
We call on President Biden, Vice President Harris, Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, and the Congressional delegation to follow California’s lead and adopt healthy school meals for all and enact EBT during school breaks and disasters to prevent children from going hungry,
Access to food is a fundamental right, and while there’s still much work to do to achieve this for all Californians, this budget is a significant step toward that reality.