CWA partners with breastfeeding advocates all over the state to draw attention to the stark health inequities caused by inadequate breastfeeding support policies in many California hospitals. We seek policy reforms through local organizing, administrative and legislative advocacy.Learn More
Support Baby Friendly Hospitals! SB 402 (De Leon) needs your letters of support by May 21! Let the Senate Appropriations Committee know that you support all California hospitals becoming Baby Friendly by 2020. Click here for more information and letter templates. Be a voice for moms and babies!
Sequester Reprieve but Danger Still LurksLaurie True - April 12, 2013
WIC got a reprieve last month from damaging FY 2013 sequestration cuts required by the Budget Control Act. Congress passed the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013 replacing the expiring Continuing Resolution and funding WIC at a higher allocation of $7.056 billion through September 30, 2013. The higher CR appropriation for WIC raised the base upon which a 5% sequestration cut was imposed, with a further small amount subsequently shaved off by OMB to meet statutory caps. The final WIC funding level for the current fiscal year is $6.522 billion.
How could a total of $510 million in cuts be considered a reprieve for WIC? Because, even at this lower level, experts predict the appropriation will support full WIC participation. Contingency and carryover funds, declining caseloads (discussed in a previous blog), and tight fiscal management by state and local programs anticipating the worst, will allow the program to squeak through September.
Next fiscal year is another story entirely. President Obama’s FY 2014 WIC funding proposal of $7.142 billion should be fully adequate, but it’s far from certain to be the final number. The jobs picture is souring a little, and inflation will raise food and business costs. There will be less money left in the carryover/contingency pots to buffer funding cuts. Mandatory sequestration will again be in play, and the dynamics in Congress over how these cuts will be made will be much tougher, with fierce competition over scarce domestic discretionary funding.
In anticipation of the challenges of convincing Congress, particularly House appropriators, to continue supporting full funding for WIC, CWA is kicking off “Phase 3” of our WE NEED WIC organizing campaign designed to engage WIC’s key allies and business partners in communicating their support, by endorsing a simple statement that is posted on our website. By summer’s end, we would like to garner 500 endorsements by state and local groups, companies, and individuals, just in time to share them with Congress!
See you in San Jose!
WIC Sequester: A Slow Train WreckLaurie True - March 01, 2013
Damaging across-the-board cuts will go into effect at midnight today, March 1, forcing WIC and a host of other federal programs to begin the process of curtailing services over the next few months, beginning as early as April.
Advocates hold out some hope that a balanced debt reduction deal preventing WIC cuts could still be made by March 27, the expiration date of the current Continuing Resolution and our next “fiscal cliff.”
What Will Happen to WIC?
Given the unprecedented nature of sequestration, it is not yet clear how WIC cuts will be handled by USDA and state WIC Agencies. The National WIC Association answers some questions about how the sequester could play out, and a recent Center on Budget & Policy analysis underscores how difficult and damaging it will be for WIC families, providers and the public’s health. A series of phone calls hosted by NWA provided further funding and timing details, and urged state and local directors “to refrain from any actions to limit access” or reduce caseloads through March 31, and to contact USDA regional staff before taking any action.
What Can I Do?