California Legislation, Regulations & Policy

CWA has a long history of advocating for children and families in California, through sponsoring and supporting legislation, budgetary requests, and simply educating our representatives in Sacramento about WIC and the benefits and support it provides to their constituents. WIC is the state’s largest nutrition and lactation public health workforce, an excellent resource for decision makers as they consider policy that will impact how the needs of local families are met. CWA works to make sure that California’s legislators are knowledgeable about WIC and have good access to WIC’s wealth of knowledge!

Bills that CWA sponsors, supports, or is monitoring are summarized below. Underlined text indicates a link to bill text, sample support letters, or sponsor information. More details in our 2020 Bill List 

Legislative Bills

AB 123 - Paid Family Leave: Weekly Benefit Amount

Assembly Bill 123

Lorena Gonzalez (D)

Summary: This bill would revise the formula for determining benefits available pursuant to the family temporary disability insurance program, for periods of disability commencing after January 1, 2022, by redefining the weekly benefit amount to be equal to 90% of the wages paid to an individual for employment by employers during the quarter of the individual’s disability base period in which these wages were highest, divided by 13, but not exceeding the maximum workers’ compensation temporary disability indemnity weekly benefit amount established by the Department of Industrial Relations.

Position: Support

Status: Awaiting the Governor’s signature! 

AB 995 - Paid Sick Days

Assembly Bill 995

Lorena Gonzalez (D)

Summary: This bill would modify the employer’s alternate sick leave accrual method to require that an employee have no less than 40 hours of accrued sick leave or paid time off by the 200th calendar day of employment or each calendar year, or in each 12-month period. The bill would modify that satisfaction provision to authorize an employer to satisfy accrual requirements by providing not less than 40 hours or 5 days of paid sick leave that is available to the employee to use by the completion of the employee’s 200th calendar day of employment. The bill would also provide that an employer is under no obligation to allow an employee’s total accrual of paid sick leave to exceed 80 hours or 10 days, as specified. The bill would raise the employer’s authorized limitation on the employee’s use of carryover sick leave to 40 hours or 5 days.

Position: Support

Status: Ordered to inactive file at the request of the author.

AB 84 / SB 95 - COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

Assembly Bill 84 / Senate Bill 95

Philip Y. Ting (D) / Nancy Skinner (D)

Summary: This bill would extend the COVID-19 food sector supplemental paid sick leave for food sector workers, and the COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave for covered workers, if those workers are unable to work or telework due to certain reasons related to COVID-19 and meet specified conditions. The bill would expand the definition of a covered worker for COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave to any employees at any public or private entity and to transportation network company drivers, as defined. The bill would provide that these provisions expire on September 30, 2021, or upon the expiration of any federal extension of the federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, as specified.

Position: Support

Status: SB 95 Signed Into Law by the Governor: Chapter 13, Statutes of 2021, Included in Budget

SB-17 Public Health Crisis: Racism

Senate Bill 17

Richard Pan (D)

Summary: This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to require the department, in collaboration with the Health in All Policies Program, the Office of Health Equity, and other relevant departments, agencies, and stakeholders, to address racism as a public health crisis.

Position: Support

Status: Assembly Appropriations – August 26th 

AB 4 / SB 56 - Medi-Cal Eligibility

Assembly Bill 4 / Senate Bill 56

Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D), Robert Bonta (D), David Chiu (D), Mike A. Gipson (D), Lorena Gonzalez (D), Eloise Gómez Reyes (D), Miguel Santiago (D)/ María Elena Durazo (D)

Summary: Effective January 1, 2022, this bill extend eligibility for full scope Medi-Cal benefits to anyone regardless of age, and who is otherwise eligible for those benefits but for their immigration status, pursuant to an eligibility and enrollment plan.

Position: Support

Status: Senate Appropriations Suspense File – August 26th / Assembly Appropriations

AB 32 - Medi-Cal: Telehealth

Assembly Bill 32

Cecilia M. Aguiar-Curry (D)

Summary: Seeks to continue the momentum for telehealth by indefinitely extending emergency provisions enacted during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic for the Medi-Cal program. Also calls for DHHS to convene an advisory group by January 2022 and conduct an analysis of “the benefits of telehealth in Medi-Cal, including an analysis of improved access for patients, changes in health quality outcomes and utilization, and best practices for the right mix of in-person visits and telehealth,” with that report due to the Legislature by June 2025.

Position: Support

Status: Included in Budget Health Trailer Bill 

AB 1046 - Nurse-Family Partnership Program

Assembly Bill 1046

Blanca E. Rubio (D)

Summary: Existing law establishes the Nurse-Family Partnership program, administered and implemented by the State Department of Health Care Services, for purposes of making grants to eligible participating counties for the provision of voluntary registered nurse home visiting services for expectant first-time low-income mothers, their children, and their families. This bill would require the California Health and Human Services Agency to consult with specified stakeholders from diverse geographical regions of the state to identify mechanisms to improve the state and counties’ ability to effectively draw down Medi-Cal funding for evidence-based maternal-infant and early childhood home visiting encounters. The bill would require the agency to consider specified factors in identifying benefit authorities and scope of coverage for activities and services delivered by covered providers in fidelity with model requirements for evidence-based maternal, infant, and early childhood home visiting programs.

Position: Support

Status: Inactive Bill 

SB 108 - Healthy Food Access

Senate Bill 108

Melissa Hurtado (D)

Summary: This bill would declare that it is the established policy of the state that every human being has the right to access sufficient healthy food. The bill would require all relevant state agencies, including the State Department of Social Services, the Department of Food and Agriculture, and the State Department of Public Health, to consider this state policy when revising, adopting, or establishing policies, regulations, and grant criteria when those policies, regulations, and grant criteria are pertinent to the distribution of food and nutrition assistance.

Position: Support

Status: Assembly Appropriations Suspense File – August 26th 

SB 464 - Food4All

Senate Bill 464

Melissa Hurtado (D)

Summary: This bill, commencing January 1, 2023, would instead make a noncitizen applicant eligible for the California Food Assistance Program if the noncitizen satisfies all eligibility criteria for participation in the CalFresh program except any requirements related to immigration status. The bill would, commencing January 1, 2023, eliminate the distinctions based on when the noncitizen applicant entered the country and would eliminate the sponsorship and other listed criteria requirements for eligibility on a noncitizen who entered the country on or after August 22, 1996. To the extent this bill would expand eligibility for the California Food Assistance Program, which is administered by the counties, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

Position: Support

Status: Assembly Appropriations 

SB 107 - CalFresh Access

Senate Bill 107

Scott D. Wiener (D)

Summary: This bill would, to the extent permitted by federal law, give an individual the option to apply, report, and recertify for CalFresh in person, by mail, online, or by telephone, and permit an individual to complete the interview requirement and client signature by telephone. The bill would authorize counties to implement any method of telephonic or electronic signature that is supported by county business practice and technology.

Position: Support

Status: Ordered to inactive file on request of Senator Wiener.

SB 65 - Maternal Care and Services

Senate Bill 65

Nancy Skinner (D)

Summary: This is a very comprehensive bill addressing: training for the healthcare workforce to include midwives and doulas; requirements for establishing and reimbursing doulas are part of Medi-Cal benefits; state monitoring of maternal and infant mortality; Medi-Cal eligibility for pregnant individuals; Medi-Cal eligibility and benefits to address maternal mental health; expansion of eligibility for pregnant individuals in CalWORKs including eligibility, stipends, temporary housing and work requirements.

Position: Support

Status: Included in state budget 


Budget Asks

CWA WIC Contract Exemption

Senate Budget Stakeholder Request Language (page 13)

Summary: WIC local agency directors manage their subvention contract with CDPH/WIC with a number of restrictions that result in 1.) funds being returned to CDPH/WIC and ultimately USDA; 2.) a need for local parent organizations to cover gaps in WIC funding; 3.) missed opportunities to improve services and 4.) a loss of funds for counties and community organizations. Provide an exemption in the Public Contract Code to include WIC.

“The contracts or grants administered by California Department of Public Health WIC Division shall be exempt from the Public Contract Code and shall be exempt from approval by the Department of Finance and state Department of General Services prior to their execution.”

Status: Protection Granted in Health Budget Trailer Bill 

Money for WIC Books

Assembly Budget Language (page 2, 62-63)

Senate Sub Health Hearing (page 65)

Summary: CDPH requests one-time General Fund expenditure authority of $5 million in State Operations in 2021-22 and associated provisional language to allow transfer of funds to Local Assistance, for an early childhood literacy program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) participants. WIC agencies would apply for a grant for the program and collaborate with First 5. Requested and managed by CDPH.

Status: Included in Budget Bill 


Medi-Cal Coverage for Postpartum and Children ages birth to 5 years

Senate Budget Stakeholder Request Language (page 7)

Summary: Under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Medi-Cal is required to provide temporary continuous enrollment to all enrollees, with a few exceptions, throughout the federal COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), which will continue through at least December 2021. States will be required to develop a plan to unwind the federal PHE Medicaid flexibilities and coverage protections, such as the temporary continued coverage requirement when the PHE ends.1 Thus, the unwinding of the temporary continued coverage requirement may begin in January, within budget year 2021-2022. In order to protect essential continuity of care and to ensure a smooth transition from the existing PHE continuous coverage, a broad coalition of maternal, infant, and child health organizations urges the permanent adoption of 12-month postpartum Medi-Cal eligibility and continuous Medi-Cal coverage for children up to age 5 after the end of the COVID-19 PHE.

Diaper Banks

Lorena Gonzalez (D)

Summary: 2 ½ years ago, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez secured State funding for Food Banks in 4 counites to launch Diaper Banks with one added in Orange county the following year. All of that funding expires June 30, 2021. Assemblywoman Gonzalez is championing a Budget Request to support the ongoing operation of the 5 existing Diaper Banks and fund the start of 3 additional Diaper Banks. The expectation is that she is working towards a continual incremental establishment of Diaper Banks within Food Banks, leveraging the existing infrastructure and distribution network of Food Banks. There is an outside partner also working on this beside the Food Banks. Some WIC agencies distribute diapers at WIC clinics with other partners. And Supply Bank has in the past requested state funding for diapers.