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Legislation Updates

Monthly legislation updates tracking state and federal policies relating to food assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), child nutrition, and other incentive programs are provided below. Please note, we’ve included all bills related to food assistance in this section. Some of the bills strengthen federal food programs while others are detrimental and would weaken the food assistance safety net. This legislation update is provided by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut. Legislation update archive is available here.

August 2018

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

NJ S.B. 2889 (New Jersey)
Title: Requires DHS to develop outreach plan to inform certain students about Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Introduced August 27, 2018
Sponsor: Senator Vitale (D)
Summary: This bill would require the Department of Human Services, in consultation with the Secretary of Higher Education, to develop a plan to increase outreach efforts to students enrolled in institutions of higher education or post-secondary education in the State concerning the New Jersey Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (NJ SNAP).

Assistance Programs – General

CA A.B. 3224 (California)
Title: Public social services: county employees
**Adopted August 20, 2018**
Sponsor: Assembly member Thurmond (D)
Summary: This bill requires that any decisions governing eligibility for Medi-Cal, CalWORKs, or CalFresh that, in California, are made by a county pursuant to provisions relating to public social services be made exclusively by a merit or civil service employee of the county.

Child Nutrition

CA A.B. 2360 (California)
Title: Pupil nutrition: best practices for school districts to create food bank partnerships
Amended/Substituted August 17, 2018
Sponsor: Assembly member Rodriguez (D)
Summary: This bill would encourage school districts to partner with local food banks to increase pupil access to fresh produce. This bill would require a school district that partners with a local food bank to select a school coordinator responsible for engaging with the food bank and undergoing food handler training and to adopt a partnership agreement.

CA A.B. 2271 (California)
Title: School food authorities: federal equipment assistance grants: matching state grants
Enrolled August 27, 2018
Sponsor: Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva (D)
Summary: This bill would require, upon appropriation by the Legislature, the State Department of Education to provide a matching state grant of up to $100,000 to a school food authority participating in the federal National School Lunch Program that receives a federal equipment assistance grant from the department.

IL S.B. 2428 (Illinois)
Title: Hunger-free students
**Adopted August 26, 2018**
Sponsors: Senator Stadelman (D), Representative Wallace (D)
Summary: This bill creates the Hunger-Free Students' Bill of Rights that includes these provisions: 1) Schools shall provide a federally reimbursable lunch to a student of that school who requests the lunch, regardless of whether the student has the ability to pay for the lunch or owes money for earlier lunches; 2) Schools shall reach out to the parent or guardian of the student to attempt collection of the owed money and to request that the parent or guardian enroll the student in a free or reduced-price lunch program if a student owes money for 5 or more lunches; and 3) Schools may not publicly identify or stigmatize a student who cannot pay for a lunch or who owes money for lunches.

NJ S.B. 2886 (New Jersey)
Title: Provides anti-stigmatization protections to public school student whose school breakfast or school lunch bill is in arrears and requires school district to communicate about arrearages to parent and not to student
Introduced August 27, 2018
Sponsors: Senators Madden (D), Greenstein (D)
Summary: This bill would provide additional protections for a student whose school meal bill is in arrears. Under the bill, the school district would not be permitted to publicly identify or stigmatize a student who cannot pay for a school breakfast or a school lunch or whose meal bill is in arrears.