Assemblymember Gloria’s Disaster Assistance Bill to Protect Vulnerable Californians Sent to Governor
Gloria Bill to Safeguard Low-Income, Elderly, and Disabled During and After States of Emergency Clears Legislature
SACRAMENTO, CA – Legislation authored by California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) that would protect some of California’s most vulnerable residents both during and after a natural disaster received its final legislative approval today and was sent to Governor Brown. AB 607, known as the Community Resiliency and Disaster Preparedness Act of 2017, takes steps to ensure individuals and families who are recipients of public assistance can continue to receive their benefits during declared states of emergencies.
“Look no further than current events to see why we must have mechanisms in place to safeguard our low-income, elderly, and disabled Californians from additional hunger and hardship in states of emergency,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria. “When natural disasters occur, these families are put in an even more vulnerable position. We must ensure there is an appropriate response from government and that communities have access to essential resources like food and shelter.”
AB 607 reduces bureaucratic red tape and rectifies a situation in current state law that could cause recipients of CalWORKs or CalFresh to lose their benefits as a result of being displaced from their home county due to a natural disaster. AB 607 also calls for a strong disaster response from government-administered programs to ensure California is prepared for disaster declarations at the county, state, and federal levels.
Additionally, AB 607:
- Authorizes additional state funding for the planning and implementation of disaster assistance services for CALWORKs and CalFresh recipients should the Governor or President declare a disaster;
- Directs the California Department of Social Services to create a Disaster Planning Advisory Committee to advise on the planning and implementation of disaster-related aide;
- Requires county Health and Human Services Departments to collaborate with disaster response organizations to adopt planning strategies to identify and inform CALWORKs recipients of temporary housing options and benefits during times of natural disasters; and,
- Requires state and county agencies to support remote application and issuance of disaster assistance benefits.
The full text of AB 607 can be found here.
AB 607 is co-sponsored by the Western Center on Law and Poverty, the California Association of Food Banks, and the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank. AB 607 has earned the support of the Alameda County Community Food Bank, California Food Policy Advocates, the California Partnership, Feeding San Diego, Hunger Action Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, and the United Way of California, among others.