A bill that aims to simplify eligibility for California's food stamp program passed the state Senate yesterday (WED), its final legislative hurdle before heading to the Governor’s desk. SB 672, the Anti-Hunger Act, was introduced by Democratic state Senator Mark Leno.
It would simplify the food stamp program in the state, which has the lowest rate of participation in the U.S. Democratic Assembly member Mark Stone, who presented the bill on the Assembly floor Tuesday, says only half of eligible Californians participate in the CalFresh program because the complex paperwork deters them.
“Families who are struggling to put food on the table should not be forced to navigate a difficult bureaucratic process,” Stone said, “in order to receive this temporary assistance.”
But Republican Assembly member Shannon Grove says the bill invites fraud. “Somebody could just walk in and say I have 10 kids and there's no validation of that program and receive the free resources from that program,” Grove said.
Why do so few eligible Californians participate in the state’s food stamp program? Will this bill help?
Mark Stone, Democratic Assembly member representing California’s 29th Assembly District, which includes Santa Cruz and surrounding areas
Shannon Grove, Republican Assembly member representing California’s 34th District, near Bakersfield