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Home | Newsroom | Miscellaneous | EPIC News – December 2019

EPIC News – December 2019

Fighting Trump Administration Attempts to Cut Food Benefits

The Trump administration continues to threaten the food security of millions of Americans with its attempts to cut SNAP food benefits. Western Center is strongly opposed to the recently finalized SNAP rule change for so-called “ABAWDs,” or able-bodied adults without dependents.

Our anti-hunger advocate, Jessica Bartholow, spoke to the press about the rule’s potential impacts, and our statement in opposition is available here. We are exploring all options to protect our clients from losing access to vital food benefits.

The USDA’s latest proposal would change rules for the Standard Utility Allowance (SUA), which we estimate could impact up to 25% of the SNAP caseload in California. Western Center submitted comments in opposition to the SUA change, which can be read here.

Protecting Tenants Before Rent Cap Kicks In

The passage of AB 1482 was a huge win for California renters – enshrining into state law some of the strongest anti-rent gouging and just cause for eviction protections in the country. But since Governor Newsom signed the bill into law, some landlords are trying to oust tenants to avoid the new protections.

We are working with local legal aid partners to ensure that renters are protected, and we are providing resources for others working to stop unfair and unlawful evictions as well. See our AB 1482 resource page here

Progress for Juvenile Justice

The Western Center commissioned a study by the UC Berkeley Law School’s Policy Advocacy Clinic to examine the implementation of Senate Bill 190, which Western Center sponsored in 2017. The bill was passed into law, and went into effect on January 1, 2018.

The legislation repealed county authority to charge fees in the juvenile legal system, and also ended several fees for young people ages 18-21 in the adult criminal legal system. California counties have stopped collecting hundreds of millions of dollars from vulnerable families after the passage of SB 190, however, some counties continue to charge prohibited fees to families and to collect past fees. Read more here