Congresswoman Barbara Lee Applauds State Budget Anti-Poverty Efforts
Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) issued the following statement regarding the 2014-2015 Revised California State Budget:
“I applaud Governor Brown for making California’s most vulnerable citizens a priority,” said Congresswoman Lee. “As families across state and nation continue to struggle; it is important to maintain and strengthen the all-important social safety net.”
California revised budget signed today includes $10.5 million to replace the LIHEAP "Heat and Eat" cuts made to the SNAP program by Congress earlier this year as well as a repeal of the lifetime ban on people with prior drug felony convictions from accessing SNAP and TANF, effective April 1, 2015.
“I will continue to push my bill, Food Assistance to Improve Reintegration Act of 2013, (HR 197) which would repeal the federal lifetime ban on SNAP eligibility for former drug offenders,” added Congresswoman Lee. “One mistake should not exempt someone from the critical social safety net programs when they need assistance the most and are attempting to rebuild their lives.”
Without this action more than 300,000 families across California would face the loss of $62 in vital nutrition benefits every month. “Hungry Californians cannot afford more SNAP cuts; Congress cannot continue to balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable,” stated Congresswoman Lee.
In May 2014, Congresswoman Lee co-led a letter with Congressman Xavier Becerra, ] along with 28 members of the California delegation, to Governor Brown urging inclusion of supplemental, yet indispensable, funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in the Revised Budget for Fiscal Year 2014-2015.
Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, as well as the Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), where she serves as the Co-Chair of the CPC Peace and Security Task Force.