CalFresh Benefits Increase; Garment Worker Protections

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Legislature Nears End of Session

California's legislative session is coming to an end, and nothing focuses the mind like a deadline.  Committee hearings will end this week, and from Monday until the end of session on Sept. 10, there will be two weeks of straight floor debate on hundreds of bills.

In the Assembly Appropriations Committee yesterday, SB 245, the bill that would have increased taxpayer-funded abortions by removing insurance co-pays, became a two-year bill. This means that it will not become law this session and the author will have to continue to work with the opposition on amendments and legislators to get the bill passed next year. SB 245 will not be able to be moved until the start of the new session in January 2022. The CCC will continue to advocate against this bill then, but are thankful for your efforts that have clearly made a difference.

Other major bills the Conference is tracking include the easing of restrictions for physician-assisted suicide (SB 380). The bill was amended in the Assembly Appropriations Committee yesterday, adding back in the sunset it was trying to eliminate. Look for more details in the action alert that will be sent next week.

Next up, the recall election on Sept. 14 and the Governor's signing period, in which he has 30 days to sign or veto bills passed at the end of session.  Nearly all of California politics over the last few months have been intertwined with the dynamics of the recall.

It is going to be an action-packed September for California politics, which will have ripple effects across the nation. Stay tuned and watch for more action alerts over the next few weeks.

 

SB 62 Provides Protections for Garment Workers

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<p>Description automatically generated with medium confidenceWorking its way through the Capitol right now is SB 62 (Durazo – D, Los Angeles), the Garment Worker Protection Act, which would provide wage protections for exploited garment workers who, it is well-documented, are notoriously underpaid and lose out on wages altogether because of employer violations.

According to the UCLA Labor Center for Research and Education, 30 percent of all LA garment workers sampled were paid less than the minimum wage. Almost 80 percent were not paid the legal overtime rate. In addition, an estimated 654,914 workers in LA County suffer at least one pay-based violation in any given week.

The California Catholic Conference supports SB 62 to help expand and strengthen enforcement of wage theft liability in the garment manufacturing industry and ensure that retailers cannot use layers of contracting to avoid responsibility under the law by eliminating the piece rate while still allowing for bonus and incentive payments.

SB 62 is expected to pass out of its current committee soon and head to the Assembly floor. Please be on the lookout for an alert on this bill to show your support for fair labor practices.

 

USDA Increases Food Assistance Benefits for Californians

Last week, the USDA announced an update to the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), which will trigger an increase in federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and CalFresh benefits for Californians.

The TFP is a formula that calculates benefit allocations and has not been updated since 1970. More than 75 percent of recipients run out of their benefits in the first half of the month. 

Modernizing the TFP will help 4.4 million Californians who rely on CalFresh to make ends meet, raising benefits by approximately 21 percent. The new calculations will take effect on Oct. 1.

The USCCB praised the USDA's move, calling it, "The resulting increase in SNAP benefit amounts will be a meaningful improvement in the lives of millions of people," and that "[s]upport for SNAP and other vital nutrition programs is one way we can collectively respond to the Lord's command to feed the hungry."

The release of the updated TFP fulfills the congressional directive of the 2018 bipartisan Farm Bill, which also requires that the USDA re-evaluate the TFP every five years.

 

Archbishop Gomez Declares Jubilee Year for 250th Anniversary of Mission San Gabriel

Archbishop José H. Gomez has declared a Jubilee Year in honor of the 250th anniversary of Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, the first church of Christian faith in what is now Los Angeles. 

The Jubilee Year will begin on Sept. 11, 2021, with an Opening Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and will continue until Sept. 10, 2022, when a Closing Mass will be held at Mission San Gabriel Arcángel.

All are invited to an outdoor prayer service with Archbishop José H. Gomez, civic leaders, and representatives of the land's first people at Mission San Gabriel on Wednesday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.

The "Forward in Mission" Jubilee Year will run from Sept. 11, 2021, through Sept. 10, 2022.  For more information, visit forwardinmission.com

 

 

Support Fire Disaster Relief

With the Dixie, Caldor, and Monument Fires burning a combined 1,000,000+ acres so far, thousands of homes, businesses, livelihoods lost, and countless still evacuated, our help is desperately needed. The Caldor Fire is currently the nation's top fire priority, with 2,800 fire personnel fighting the blaze and likely 5,000 needed to contain it.

Please continue to pray for all of those affected, the fire personnel working around the clock. Click here to find the best ways to support the efforts to rebuild the damaged communities in the Caldor Fire area, and here for the Dixie Fire.

 

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE PEOPLE OF AFGHANISTAN & HAITI

 

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