CWDA Letters on Key Issues in 2021-22 Budget Discussions

Budget Priority

The County Welfare Directors Association respectfully urges your support for funding included in the Joint Legislative State Budget Plans for implementation of two important CalFresh policy changes. 
Simplifications to Improve Program Access 
The 2020-21 budget enacted several new requirements for county administration of the CalFresh program to improve access to the program and included $28 million General Fund (GF) to support the associated automation and workload needed for implementation beginning in the current year. Largely because of the pandemic, however, official instructions were not issued until very late in the fiscal year and implementation of the changes has been delayed. To accommodate the delay in the implementation timing, funding originally provided in the current year is being shifted to the budget year. However, in recalculating the amount of funding needed in each fiscal year, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) made a determination that counties did not need a portion of the additional funding that had already been provided for one of the new mandated provisions. The CDSS decided that the new requirement that each county dedicate at least one staff position to liaise with local Medi-Cal assisters from community-based organizations (CBOs) to increase dual enrollment between Medi-Cal and CalFresh was a function that counties should already be able to absorb into their current administrative budgets. This is not the case, which is why counties requested and the current year budget contained funding for this new requirement.