California Food Policy Advocates – 2016 State Legislative Session Reflection


The California Food Policy Advocates states: The 2016 California legislative session recently concluded with action by the Governor on several items of interest to anti-hunger, anti-poverty and public health advocates. This session brought some key victories, including the passage of a statewide minimum wage increase through SB 3 (Leno & Leyva) and the state budget repeal of the CalWORKS Maximum Family Grant rule, which unjustly relegated hundreds of thousands of California’s most vulnerable children in deep poverty.

CFPA’s sponsored policy initiatives met with mixed success this year. We were thrilled that our state budget advocacy led to new state investments to improve access to school breakfast in high-need schools. We secured a new $2 million allocation for after-the-bell breakfast start-up and expansion grants that prioritize schools with at least 60% of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals. 

Additionally, CFPA partnered with other advocates in the Drinking Water Advocacy Coalition to secure $10 million for schools to provide safe drinking water to students. 

Unfortunately, CFPA’s sponsored legislation, AB 2099 (Stone) – Safe Drinking Water for Food Insecure Families, and AB 2054 (Thurmond)- Summer EBT for Children, did not progress to the Governor’s desk. Though the legislature failed to act on these targeted nutrition bills, CFPA will continue efforts to ensure that nutrition programs provide an equitable solution to hunger in our state.

There were a number of other hunger and nutrition-focused bills introduced by the Legislature this year. Out of the twenty-eight nutrition bills on CFPA’s support agenda, eleven bills of interest were signed into law by the Governor. CFPA’s complete 2016 State Legislative Agenda can be viewed here.

We appreciate the work and support of all the diverse stakeholders who supported CFPA’s legislative efforts, and applaud the successes of our partners. We will continue working together to identify policy solutions that improve the health and wellbeing of low-income Californians by increasing their access to nutritious, affordable food. Stay tuned for more!

Read more about 2016 State Legislative and Budget efforts to alleviate hunger and poverty in Californian here.