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.

Legislative Bills

AB 605 - CalFresh Fruit and Vegetable Supplemental Benefits Expansion Program

AB 605


Summary: Would establish the CalFresh Fruit and Vegetable Supplemental Expansion Program and create the CalFresh Fruit and Vegetable EBT Expansion Fund in the State Treasury.

Position: Support

SB 245 - California Food Assistance Program: eligibility and benefits

SB 245


Summary: Last year, Governor Newsom and the Legislature included funding in the the 2022-23 State Budget to end the exclusion of income-eligible immigrants ages 55 and older from accessing California Food Assistance Program/CalFresh food benefits due to their immigration status. This bill would remove the exclusion for individuals ages 0-54 from state funded food benefits because of their immigration status..

Position: Support

AB 311 - California Food Assistance Program: eligibility and benefits

AB 311


Summary: Companion Assembly bill for SB 245.

Position: Support

AB 274 - CalWORKs: CalFresh: eligibility: income exclusions

AB 274


Summary: This bill would exempt any grant, award, scholarship, loan, or fellowship benefit provided for educational purposes from consideration as income for purposes of determining CalWORKs eligibility or grant amounts.

Position: Support

AB 518 - Paid family leave: eligibility: care for designated persons

AB 518

Wicks (D)

Summary: This bill would expand eligibility for benefits under the paid family leave program to include individuals who take time off work to care for a seriously ill individual related by blood or whose association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship. The bill would make conforming changes to the definitions of the terms “family care leave” and “family member.”

Position: Support

SB 616 - Medical Group Financial Transparency Act

SB 616


Summary: Would require employers to allow employees to use seven or more paid sick days without wage loss or retaliation.

Position: Support

AB 524 - Discrimination: family caregiver status

AB 524


Summary: This bill would prohibit employment discrimination on account of family caregiver status, and would recognize the opportunity to seek, obtain, and hold employment without discrimination because of family caregiver status as a civil right.

Position: Support

AB 575 - Paid family leave

AB 575


Summary: Would delete the requirement that a care provider certify that no other family member could provide care at the same time in order to qualify for paid family leave benefits, make PFL available for child bonding when a guardian newly assumes responsibility for a child in loco parentis, and remove the provision of PFL that allows employers to require employees to use 2 weeks of accrued vacation before they can receive PFL benefits.

Position: Support

AB 1110 - Public health: adverse childhood experiences

AB 1110


Summary: Would, subject to an appropriation and until January 1, 2027, require CDPH, in consultation with subject matter experts, to review available literature on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), as defined, and ethnicity-based data disaggregation practices in ACEs screenings, develop guidance for culturally and linguistically competent ACEs screenings through improved data collection methods, and provide guidance to the Legislature by submitting a report that includes legislative or policy recommendations on best practices for data disaggregation.

Position: Support

AB 1123 - California State University: employees: paid parental leave of absence

AB 1123


Summary: Would require the California State University to provide employees with a full semester, with pay, of parental leave following the birth, adoption or fostering a child.

Position: Support

AB 608 - Medi-Cal: comprehensive perinatal services

AB 608


Summary: Would extend Medi-Cal’s Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program (CPSP) benefit to cover the new 12- month postpartum eligibility period; and provide CPSP’s supportive services in the community, not just at medical sites.

Position: Support

AB 4 - Covered California: expansion

AB 4


Summary: “Health4All” bill, would remove the enrollment barrier based on immigration status within Covered California.

Position: Support

AB 228 - Infant formula stockpile

AB 228


Summary: This bill would require CDPH and the Office of Emergency Services, in coordination with other state agencies as appropriate, to, upon appropriation and as necessary, establish an infant formula stockpile.

Position: Watch

AB 1203 - Sales and use taxes: exemptions: breast pumps and related supplies

AB 1203


Summary: This bill, on or after January 1, 2024, and before January 1, 2029, would exempt the gross receipts from the sale in this state of, and the storage, use, or other consumption in this state of, breast pumps, breast pump collection and storage supplies, breast pump kits, and breast pads.

Position: Watch

AB 899 - Food safety: infant formula and baby food

AB 899


Summary: This bill would require a an in-state or out-of-state manufacturer of infant formula or baby food for sale or distribution in this state to test their final infant formula or baby food product, as defined, for toxic heavy metals, including levels of lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic, and to make publicly available on its internet website the name and level of toxic heavy metals present in the final infant formula or baby food product.

Position: Watch


Budget Asks

Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program (CPSP)

Summary: $2.4 million state funds, with an additional $5.1 million federal draw down, (a) extend Medi-Cal’s CPSP benefit from 60 days to the 12-month postpartum eligibility period that took effect in April 1, 2022; and (b) reimburse for the services of Comprehensive Perinatal Health Workers (CPHWs) when provided in a person’s home or elsewhere in the community instead of just at a medical facility.

Position: Support

CalFresh Supplemental Benefits

Summary: $$93.75 million from the General Fund to be spent over two years to expand the availability of CalFresh Fruit and Vegetable Supplemental Benefits. In February 2022, the CA Dept. of Social Services went live with the CalFresh Fruit and Vegetable EBT Pilot Program, whichprovides CalFresh households with up to $60/month in additional food assistance when they buy fresh fruits and vegetables with their EBT cards, easing the burden on families whose CalFresh benefits are reduced due to the end of the pandemic funding and high inflation. The program is integrated into the state’s EBT system and it is now poised to scale at more retail locations and reach many more people quickly. The requested funds would be used to expand the program reach across the state to include more large chain grocery stores, small and independent grocers, and farmer’s markets and farm-direct sites. Funds would also be used to develop technology for easier transactions at farmer’s markets.

Position: Support