Bill To Improve Access To Food Assistance Passes Assembly
Assembly Member Jim Beall, Jr.'s (D- San Jose) Bill (AB) 433 passed the Assembly Floor by a vote of 47-32 and is now headed for the Senate. AB 433 adopts the Food Stamp categorical eligibility option for California, identifying the population of low-income families through the Medi-Cal program and authorizing them to get a simple service funded by TANF.
In 2005, a UCLA study found that 38% of California's families with children lack access to enough food for a healthy life. Currently, California is last in the nation in food stamp access. Federal law gives the state a valuable option to improve the ability of our food programs to reach those in need.
"It's shameful that California is last in the nation in access to food assistance. AB 433 will help reduce hunger in our state. Far too often, bureaucratic barriers deny vital nutrition assistance to families and children who need it," decried Beall. "It's time we make our human services programs simpler and more efficient so we better meet the needs of people who depend on them."
The bill would generate $200 million in added federal food stamp income and an additional $5 million in sales tax revenue when families can spend their cash on taxable items instead of food.