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State Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) announced that Senate Bill 546 (SB 546), which provides “LifeLine” phones to foster youth, recently passed out of the Senate Human Services Committee with unanimous support. 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 Senate Human Services Committee agreed that now is not the time for the State to take phones away from foster youth,” said Wilk. “Cell phone ownership is oftentimes a lifeline for foster youth during normal times, and the events of last year underscored how important it is to continue the availability of these resources.”

The California LifeLine Program provides discounted home phones and cell phone services for eligible individuals. It is necessary for the iFoster program to continue, as foster youth need the services that it provides.