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Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) announces that Senate Bill 546 (SB 546) received the Senate’s stamp of approval as it heads to the California Assembly. This bill extends the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) “iFoster Pilot Program,” which currently provides California’s foster youth with smartphones and free voice, text, and data.
“The data on foster youth is disheartening,” said Wilk. “Foster youth are half as likely to graduate high school, and only four percent graduate from college. Having access to a phone helps foster youth navigate the system, which can be the difference between success and failure.”
SB 546 provides foster youth between the ages of 13 and 26 with continued access to the benefits of the CPUC’s iFoster Pilot Program, such as smartphones and cell services. With the program set to expire in mere months, this bill is vital to protecting the lifeline so many of our foster youth rely on to stay connected, find work and/or attend school. SB 546 previously passed out of the Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Communications, the Senate Committee on Human Services, and the Senate Appropriations Committee. On Tuesday, it was unanimously supported on the Senate floor.
SB 546 will next be referred to the Assembly Rules Committee, where it will be assigned to a policy committee for hearing.