LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

From: Caitlin Jung, Legislative Counsel | Capitol Advisors Group

With only one week to go in the 2021 legislative session, legislators have been working to move bills through their final stages. Legislation must be passed by both houses in its final form and sent to Governor Newsom by September 10, 2021. Those bills must then be approved by the Governor by October 10, 2021 in order to become law next year. CSNA has been closely watching several bills of interest to CSNA members and below you will find a selection of bills CSNA is currently tracking. There was also news from CDE, which can be found below.

COVID-19 Information

CDE’s guidance on “School and Child and Adult Day Care Meals,” which can be found here, continues to be regularly updated as additional resources and information become available. This webpage now also includes links to recordings of the previous School Nutrition Town Halls through July 2021. CDE will also be holding another school nutrition town hall on Tuesday, September 28 at 2 pm, to continue the discussion, policy guidance, and sharing of best practices for operating School Nutrition Programs (SNP) as local educational agencies navigate multiple nationwide waivers and persevere with planning quality services for the summer and upcoming school year. The town hall is free to attend and those interested can register in advance for the webinar at:

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_VhG3UfueSpq1Iv3ShE3nIg.



Bills of Interest AB 778 (Garcia) Institutional purchasers: purchase of California-grown agricultural products. This bill would require all California state-owned or state-run institutions, including public universities and colleges and school districts, that purchase agricultural products to only purchase an agricultural product grown in California unless the agricultural product is not in season in California and not available from an in-state source, is not grown in the state, or is sold as a canned, dried, or frozen product. This bill would also require all California state-owned or state-run institutions, all segments of public postsecondary education, and all LEAs that solicit bids for the purchase of an agricultural food product to purchase agricultural food products grown, packed, or processed domestically, unless the bid or price of the nondomestic agricultural food product is more than 25% lower than the bid or price of the domestic agricultural food product. AB 778 is now a two-year bill, i.e. it is no longer moving this year but may be revisited by the author next year. AB 1009 (Bloom) Farm to School Food Hub Program. This bill would establish the Farm to School Food Hub Program, to be administered by the Office of Farm to Fork within the Department of Food and Agriculture. This bill would require the program to incentivize the creation and permanency of not-for-profit aggregation and distribution enterprises, known as farm to school hubs. The bill would require, for the first phase of the program, that the office request proposals to create farm to school hubs by June 30, 2022, and award and distribute grants of $150,000 to selected proposals by December 15, 2022, as specified. AB 1009 was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 26, 2021 and will next be heard by the full Senate. ACR 38 (Rubio, Blanca) School Breakfast Week. This measure would proclaim March 8, 2021, to March 12, 2021, inclusive, as School Breakfast Week and would recognize the importance of school nutrition programs and school nutrition staff in addressing the needs of the state’s pupils. Chapter 18, Statutes of 2021. AJR 8 (Rivas, Luz) School meals: federal National School Lunch Program. This resolution would urge the federal government to provide school lunches free of charge to all elementary, middle school, and high school students in the United States. SB 364 (Skinner) Pupil meals: End Child Hunger Act of 2021. This bill would, among other things, require LEAs to provide a lunch and, if they participate in a reimbursable breakfast program, a breakfast free-of-charge to any student that requests one, regardless of their ability to pay or not. The bill would also establish a noncompetitive grant program to provide LEAs with funding to purchase CA-Grown products as well as establish the Better Out of School Time (BOOST) Nutrition EBT Program to provide EBT benefits to eligible students during school breaks, or a campus closure caused by state of emergency declared by the Governor, that lasts 5 or more schooldays. SB 364 was held in the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 20, 2021. The bill failed to pass out of the fiscal committee by the legislative deadline, so it is no longer currently moving.



Latest News from CDE

  • New Resource: Offering Meat/Meat Alternates in the SBP

  • Webinar: Tuesday @ 2 School Nutrition Town Hall on September 28

Caitlin Jung Legislative Counsel | Capitol Advisors Group


RESOURCES

SSCAL - 07/15/2021 Workshop Presentation

SSCAL Legislative Update - July 2021


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