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Food-stamp bill awaits Gov. Brown’s action

By Josh Richman
Monday, September 12th, 2011 at 2:26 pm in Assembly, Jerry Brown, Nancy Skinner.

Amid the avalanche of bills now awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature or veto is one born here in Oakland that would streamline state food assistance applications to increase the number of kids and families receiving aid.

AB 402 by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, would let families seeking free and reduced-price school lunches also apply for the CalFresh food stamps program at the same time, on one application.

CalFresh is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is available to people with maximum gross income of 130 percent of the federal poverty level ($28,665 for a family of four) and a net income of 100 percent of federal poverty guidelines, and who have lived in the country for five years; are receiving disability-related benefits; or are children under 18.

The bill was conceived in part at the Alameda County Community Food Bank. The food bank says the adjustments to the application and added processing time would carry minimal costs but could bring enormous benefits to California, which currently ranks second-to-last in food stamp use.

“Although 3.4 million children are now eligible for school meal programs, a large number of these children and their families are not participating in CalFresh,” Skinner was quoted as saying in one of the legislative analyses of the bill. “California loses nearly $5 billion in federal food benefits and $1.7 billion in generated economic activity due to low CalFresh participation rates.”

The food bank estimates Alameda County alone could see an extra $107 million per year in federal funding if the bill becomes law.

The bill’s legislative analyses showed no opponents on record. The Assembly passed AB 402 in June on a 51-24 vote; the state Senate passed it Aug. 22 on a 24-10 vote; and the Assembly concurred with the Senate’s amendments Aug. 25 on a 52-25 vote, sending it to the governor’s desk.

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  • Publius

    Josh, Food Stamp bills and Dense tissue bills are nice to talk about and report on, but I believe that it would be worth your time to look at 3 bills that were rushed through the legislature before the deadline, and now are waiting for the Governors signature. The bills are AB436, SB790 and SB922.

    These three bills are desperate attempts by organized labor to subvert the will of the people and secure their strangle hold on tax payer dollars.These bills are perfect examples of the power that unions have over our elected officials. If passed all public works in Ca. will be subject to project labor agreements and will drive up the cost of public works at least 15%. Sadly my Reps Susan Bonilla and Mark DeSaulnier voted in favor of this legislation, they totally caved to union pressure.

    SB 922 as amended 9/2. Will nullify local measures approved by the voters that ban project labor agreements. This bill will reverse the will of the people and will mandate project labor agreements.

    SB 436 as amended 8/30. Requires local governments to pay a fee for “labor compliance program fees” if the projects are not covered by a PLA.

    SB 790 as amended 8/30. See Part 5, Section 11 of the bill on pages 27-28. Legalizes union extortion and sets up a slush fund that can be used by union big wigs for political contributions.

  • Felipe Aguirre

    support ab 402 maywood,California

  • Elwood

    If you’re waiting for Josh to report on dimmiecrat perfidy, get ready for a really long wait.

  • Publius

    Re:#3

    My bad….. I thought Mr. Richman was a journalist.

  • Josh Richman

    Oh, keep your pants on and quit yer whinin’. The state’s legislative websites appear to be down at the moment; when they’re back up, I’ll take a look at those bills.

  • Publius

    Thanks Josh.

  • Josh Richman

    Well, Publius, I think you read a little more into these bills than is actually there. You said:

    These three bills are desperate attempts by organized labor to subvert the will of the people and secure their strangle hold on tax payer dollars. These bills are perfect examples of the power that unions have over our elected officials. If passed all public works in Ca. will be subject to project labor agreements and will drive up the cost of public works at least 15%. Sadly my Reps Susan Bonilla and Mark DeSaulnier voted in favor of this legislation, they totally caved to union pressure.

    SB 922 as amended 9/2. Will nullify local measures approved by the voters that ban project labor agreements. This bill will reverse the will of the people and will mandate project labor agreements.
    Per one of the legislative analyses, “(C)omprehensive local bans on PLAs deny local officials the discretion to use PLAs even when those officials conclude that an agreement would benefit taxpayers. SB 922 doesn’t require a local government to enter into a PLA. SB 922 doesn’t prevent a local government from rejecting a PLA. It simply ensures that local officials will have the option to use a PLA for a particular project if they want to.”

    SB 436 as amended 8/30. Requires local governments to pay a fee for “labor compliance program fees” if the projects are not covered by a PLA.
    Labor compliance programs – to monitor and enforce compliance with state prevailing wage requirements on behalf of government entities – have existed since 1989; in 2009, the Legislature (on overwhelming, bipartisan votes of 71-6 and 33-4) replaced the LCP requirement in various statutes with a requirement to pay a fee for compliance monitoring and enforcement by the Department of Industrial Relations on the same types of projects covered by those older statutes. SB 436 just cleans up that 2009 language to address legal questions on use of bond funds to cover these fees, so that the already existing law can be enforced.

    SB 790 as amended 8/30. See Part 5, Section 11 of the bill on pages 27-28. Legalizes union extortion and sets up a slush fund that can be used by union big wigs for political contributions.
    SB 790 deals with community choice aggregation, strengthening already existing laws that let local governments establish their own power utilities. The section you cited would add to the Public Utilities Code: “Nothing in this division prohibits payments pursuant to an agreement authorized by the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. Sec. 151 et seq.), or payments permitted by the federal Labor Management Cooperation Act of 1978 (29 U.S.C. Secs. 173, 175a, and 186). Nothing in this division restricts any use permitted by federal law of money paid pursuant to these acts.”
    29 U.S.C. Sec. 151 et seq deals with national labor relations, and the right of employees to organize; Sec. 173 deals with settling labor disputes through conciliation and mediation services; Sec. 175a deals with creating and operating joint labor-management committees; and Sec. 186 bars companies from bribing unions or union members. So if you see the right to organize as “legalizing union extortion,” then I guess you’re dead on the mark.

  • Elwood

    What Publius said:

    “These three bills are desperate attempts by organized labor to subvert the will of the people and secure their strangle hold on tax payer dollars. These bills are perfect examples of the power that unions have over our elected officials.”

  • Publius

    Josh you are dead wrong in your analyses and conclusion. Apparently you do not know enough about the tactics that Big Labor uses to get special privelages.

    SB922- Gives the local politicians the right to subvert the will of the people. It might be news to you, but big labor pulls the strings of many elected officials. There was a reason why these anti-PLA measures went to the people; the politicians would not stand up to the unions. I challange you to find one instance where a PLA benefits tax payers. PLA = 15% added cost, that is a proven fact.

    SB 436- Exempts PLA (union) jobs from paying the labor compliance fee. That’s fair? This will bolster the argument that PLA’s save money because they don’t have to pay the fee (through an exemption). It will give people like yourself and the union schlep politicians something to fall back on when they subvert the will of the people and institute one of these discriminatory agreements.

    SB 190- This one actually takes a little bit of work to figure out. News flash Josh, the Unions and pols alike do not publicize their corrupt activities. They hide it. They use fancy words like PLA, or Stabilization agreements. The fancy word you missed in this gem is Labor Management Committees. To explain this process of corruption would take too long and would fall on deaf ears. If you are so inclined go to this website. http://thetruthaboutplas.com/2010/11/19/union-fund-gets-90000-through-project-labor-agreement-with-northern-california-utility-and-then-gives-50000-to-campaign-against-chula-vista-ballot-measure/

    Nice collective bargaining blast. Typical retort from someone mis-informed and unwilling to see the truth. Food Stamp bills are easier to cover.

  • Josh Richman

    Publius: We get it. You’re anti-union; that’s fine, it’s your right. Just don’t expect everyone to report the news through your lens. The right to organize is part of the law; deal with it. You talk a lot about “the will of the people,” but the people elected the local officials and state lawmakers you’re talking about; you talk about rule of law, but you seem to be against enforcing these laws already on the books. Apprently you want me not only to report on these things, but to editorialize on them according to your viewpoint. Sorry, ain’t gonna happen.

  • Elwood

    Publius, Josh will never editorialize according to your viewpoint.

    He will, however, editorialize according to his viewpoint as does practically all media.

    Remember, his employer buys electrons by the megawatt.

  • John W

    I assume most folks here read the editorial in today’s San Ramon Valley Times, strongly urging a veto of these bills. I think we can reasonably conclude that Josh is not on the editorial board.

  • Publius

    Re:10

    The right to organize has nothing to with discriminating against non-union employees. I am not anti union, I am pro open and fair competition. I said nothing about the right to organize, once again you used that mantra. Your argument is weak. Your knowledge on the subject is limited, and your view is biased.

    I am one of the non-union contractors that is being discriminated against. The left is so big on rights, but don’t I have the right to perform government work without having to join a union. I have a right to be non-union, just as those who wish, have the right to organize. Your right to organize does not grant you the power to restrict my rights and does not give you unchecked access to the General Fund. Your ideology has clouded your reason on this issue.Next time just say that you support organized labor at all cost, it would have saved us both some time.

    Thank you for the debate.

  • Josh Richman

    That’s it exactly, Publius – I wasn’t debating. You came to this with a point of view you were advocating – as is your right – and I just wrote down what some bills would do. You feel you’re being discriminated against; I don’t have a horse in this race.

  • Publius

    http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_18885522

    The Contra Costa times editorial board is anti-union and and anti-collective bargaining! Now you got a story Josh.

  • Josh Richman

    As John W. so aptly observed at #12, I have nothing to do with the editorial board, which is the appropriate body in my organization for expressing opinions.