Over half of state legislators receive “A” grades; More ambitious policy proposals face challenges
Sacramento, CA – The California Food and Farming Network (CFFN) released the 2020 scorecard, revealing policy votes of California’s 120 elected state legislators, with a majority of legislators earning top marks.
The scorecard is the first to score legislators and Governor Gavin Newsom on a wide range of food and farming issues since the governor took office.
The report represents the diversity of food & farming issues facing the state: from hunger and nutrition to farmer livelihood and food chain worker protections. The 2019 Food & Farm Scorecard tracks 22 bills and 14 budget funding requests.
Of the bills tracked, a whopping 49 Assemblymembers and 21 Senators earned 100 percent scores. And a majority of members of both parties scored passing grades.
“There is a growing appetite for equitable food and farming policy amongst policymakers,” said Beth Smoker, Policy Director at the California Food and Farming Network. “And yet we still have more work to do to ensure these issues land on and move across the Governor’s desk.”
The report also evaluated the Governor Gavin Newsom’s performance. He was in alignment 75 percent of the time, vetoing only one bill that reached his desk.
CFFN acknowledged two legislators for their leadership over the past year: Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry and Assemblymember Monique Limón. Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry continued to lead on school food (AB 958), broadband for rural communities, and the needs of historically underserved farmers.
“I am proud to be honored by the California Food & Farming Network for my support of California’s family farms, and for promoting the most diverse and sustainable agricultural industry in the world. I was raised on a family farm that I still manage with my three brothers. There is little we can do that is more important for Californians than providing healthy food from local farmers, produced with respect for our natural resources and environment,” said Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry.
Assemblymember Limón was honored for her work to ensure access to food at preschools (AB 842) and provide tools for farmers to adapt to climate change (AB 409).
“I am honored to be recognized by the California Food and Farming Network as one of their Food and Farm Champions. As climate conditions change, it is important for legislators to be innovative by partnering with farmers to advance agricultural resiliency. In 2019 I introduced AB 409, which allowed for a conversation about the needed tools and education between farmers and research agencies to support California Ag. I look forward to continuing this important conversation and helping California farmers gain the tools and resources needed to help California Ag adapt to our changing climate conditions,” said Assemblymember Limón.
The 7th annual report builds on prior years work of Roots of Change and the California Food Policy Council to both track and score key policy priorities. In addition to tracking votes and the Governor’s actions on key bills, the scorecard contains an analysis of key items in the budget.
A reception for the scorecard release will be held on Wednesday evening at Mulvaney’s Building & Loan in Sacramento. Details are available here: https://tinyurl.com/FoodFarmScorecard2019
Photo credit: Phil Kampel