Governor Schwarzeneger’s proposed 2007 budget includes an increase in food safety funding, up from $1.7 million last year to $2.1 million this year.

It also includes a shift in responsibility from the Department of Health Services to a newly formed Department of Public Health, according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

The additional money would help fund future investigations of food-related illnesses, like last year’s E. coli outbreak. A particular strain of the bacteria spread nationally, killing three people. More than 200 got sick, and several dozen had lasting kidney damage. A federal investigation traced the source to a spinach farm in San Benito County.

State Assemblywoman Anna Caballero remarked on the Governor’s budget proposal, "I think it’s a good beginning, but I also believe we need to fully fund research that can find the source of contamination."