BILL NUMBER: AB 3029	AMENDED
	BILL TEXT

	AMENDED IN SENATE  AUGUST 7, 2006
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  MAY 26, 2006
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  APRIL 27, 2006

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Laird
   (Coauthors: Assembly Members Jones and Koretz)

                        FEBRUARY 24, 2006

   An act to add  Sections 18927 and 18928  
Section 18927  to, to repeal Sections 11265.2 and 11265.3 of,
and to repeal and add Section 11265.1 of, the Welfare and
Institutions Code, relating to public social services.



	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 3029, as amended, Laird  Public social services: CalWORKs and
the Food Stamp Program: redetermination and recertification.
   Existing law requires each county to provide cash assistance and
other social services to needy families through the California Work
Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program using
federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, state,
and county funds. Under existing law, the county is required to
annually redetermine eligibility for CalWORKs benefits. Existing law
additionally requires the county to implement a recipient monthly
reporting system, consistent with federal law until the Director of
Social Services makes a specified declaration, at which time the
county would be required to redetermine recipient eligibility and
grant amounts on a quarterly basis, using prospective budgeting, and
to prospectively determine the grant amount that a recipient is
entitled to receive for each month of the quarterly reporting period.
Under existing law, a CalWORKs recipient is required to report to
the county, orally or in writing, specified changes that could affect
the amount of aid to which the recipient is entitled.  Existing law
requires the quarterly redetermination report form to be signed by
the recipient under penalty of perjury.
   This bill would repeal the quarterly redetermination requirements
and instead would impose similar requirements for a semiannual
redetermination, operative January 1, 2009. This bill would require
the redetermination report form to be signed under penalty of
perjury, thus creating a new crime and imposing a state-mandated
local program.
   The bill would also repeal the requirements for prospective
determination of a recipient's grant amount, and the requirement that
the recipient report the specified changes to the county  ,
 operative January 1, 2009.  
   This bill would further require the State Department of Social
Services to examine current federal semiannual reporting laws and
regulations, and to make recommendations to the Legislature no later
than July 1, 2007, relating to reducing CalWORKs benefit costs and
reducing state and county administrative burdens. 
   Existing law continuously appropriates moneys from the General
Fund to defray a portion of county costs under the CalWORKs program.

   This bill would instead provide that the continuous appropriation
would not be made for purposes of implementing the bill.
   Existing law provides for the Food Stamp Program, under which food
stamps are allocated by each county in accordance with federal
requirements. Under existing law, the Food Stamp Program is
administered at the state level by the State Department of Social
Services. Existing law requires a county welfare department, if
appropriate, to exempt a household from complying with federal
face-to-face interview requirements for purposes of determining
eligibility at initial application and recertification, to the extent
permitted by federal law.
   This bill would require the State Department of Social Services to
seek a federal waiver or waivers of the federally required
face-to-face interview requirement for annual recertifications, as
specified.  The bill would also require the department to
develop a food stamp simplification demonstration project, based on
applicant income and other specified criteria, and to seek necessary
federal approvals for the demonstration project.  
   This bill would provide that no savings determined by the State
Department of Social Services as a result of the bill shall be
assumed until actual savings are realized based on data developed in
consultation with the California Welfare Directors Association. 

  The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local
agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
reimbursement.
   This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this
act for a specified reason.
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: yes.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:


  SECTION 1.  Section 11265.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code,
as amended by Section 1 of Chapter 826 of the Statutes of 1999, is
repealed.
  SEC. 2.  Section 11265.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, as
added by Section 30 of Chapter 1022 of the Statutes of 2002, is
repealed.
  SEC. 3.  Section 11265.1 is added to the Welfare and Institutions
Code, to read:
   11265.1.  (a) In addition to the requirement for an annual
redetermination of eligibility, counties shall redetermine recipient
eligibility and grant amounts on a semiannual basis using prospective
budgeting. Counties shall use the information reported on a
recipient's semiannual report form to prospectively determine
eligibility and grant amount for the following semiannual reporting
period.
   (b) A semiannual reporting period shall be six consecutive
calendar months. The recipient shall submit one semiannual report
form for each reporting period. Counties shall provide a semiannual
report form to recipients at the end of the fourth month of the
semiannual reporting period, and recipients shall return the
completed semiannual report form with required verification to the
county by the 11th day of the fifth month of the semiannual reporting
period.
   (c) Counties may establish staggered semiannual reporting cycles
based on factors established or approved by the department,
including, but not limited to, application date or case number.
   (d) The semiannual report form shall be signed under penalty of
perjury, and shall include only the information necessary to
determine CalWORKs and food stamp eligibility and calculate the
CalWORKs grant amount and food stamp allotment, as specified by the
department. The form shall be as comprehensible as possible for
recipients and shall require recipients to provide the following:
   (1) Information about income received during the fourth month of
the semiannual reporting period.
   (2) Information about income that the recipient anticipates
receiving during the following semiannual reporting period.
   (3) Any other changes to facts required to be reported, together
with any changes to those facts that the recipient anticipates will
occur. The recipient shall provide verification as specified by the
department with the semiannual report form.
   (e) A semiannual report form shall be considered complete if the
following requirements, as specified by the department, are met:
   (1) The form is signed no earlier than the first day of the fifth
month of the semiannual reporting period by the persons specified by
the department.
   (2) All questions and items pertaining to CalWORKs and food stamp
eligibility and grant amount are answered.
   (3) Verification required by the department is provided.
   (f) If a recipient fails to submit a complete semiannual report
form, as defined in subdivision (e), by the 11th day of the fifth
month of the semiannual reporting period, the county shall provide
the recipient with a notice that the county will terminate benefits
at the end of the month. Prior to terminating benefits, the county
shall attempt to make personal contact to remind the recipient that a
completed report is due, or, if contact is not made, shall send a
reminder notice to the recipient no later than five days prior to the
end of the month. Any discontinuance notice shall be rescinded if a
complete report is received by the first working day of the first
month of the following semiannual reporting period.
   (g) The county may determine, at any time prior to the last day of
the calendar month following discontinuance for nonsubmission of a
semiannual report form, that a recipient had good cause for failing
to submit a complete semiannual report form, as defined in
subdivision (e), by the first working day of the month following
discontinuance.  If the county finds a recipient had good cause, as
defined by the department, it shall rescind the discontinuance
notice. Good cause exists only when the recipient cannot reasonably
be expected to fulfill his or her reporting responsibilities due to
factors outside of the recipient's control.
   (h) Rules and procedures governing reporting for food stamps and
CalWORKs shall be consistent with federal food stamp rules and
procedures as to the following matters:
   (1) Mandatory reporting within the semiannual period.  A
CalWORKs recipient is required to report only when the recipient's
income exceeds the program income eligibility limits for CalWORKs or
the Food Stamp Program, or both. A recipient of food stamps who is
not also receiving CalWORKs is required to report only when the
household's income exceeds 130 percent of the federal poverty level.
No other mandatory reporting is required within the semiannual period
unless expressly required by federal law or rule.   A
recipient of food stamps who is not also receiving CalWORKs is
required to report only when the household's income exceeds 130
percent of the federal poverty level. For CalWORKs recipients, the
existing income reporting threshold shall continue at a level
determined by the department. Within the semiannual period, CalWORKs
recipients shall be required to report only when the recipient's
income exceeds this level or the Food Stamp Program level, or both.
No other mandatory reporting is required within the semiannual period
unless expressly required by federal law or rule. 
   (2) Voluntary reporting within the semiannual period. An
administrator shall not act on information resulting in the reduction
of benefits within the reporting period unless required by federal
law or rule. An administrator shall act on information resulting in
the increase of benefits only when verification is obtained, as
required by the federal food stamp laws and rules. Information shall
be considered verified upon receipt to the extent permitted by
federal law.
   (3) The definition and reporting of anticipated income.
   (4) Notice and information to families and households of the duty
to report, and the consequences for failure to report.  
   (i) The department shall examine current federal semiannual
reporting laws and regulations, and shall, by July 1, 2007, make
recommendations to the Legislature on adjustments and options to
pursue to reduce CalWORKs benefit costs and further reduce state and
county administrative burdens. 
  SEC. 4.  Section 11265.2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is
repealed.
  SEC. 5.  Section 11265.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is
repealed.
  SEC. 6.  Section 18927 is added to the Welfare and Institutions
Code, to read:
   18927.  The department shall seek federal waivers of the federal
Food Stamp Program face-to-face interview requirement at a required
annual recertification when these waivers are available for the
entire state or for substate areas  , while retaining the
authority to require a face-to-face interview when necessary to
protect program integrity  .  
  SEC. 7.    Section 18928 is added to the Welfare
and Institutions Code, to read:
   18928.  (a) The department shall develop a food stamp
simplification demonstration project and seek necessary federal
approvals for the demonstration project. The demonstration project
shall be designed to reduce the amount of information to be provided
by applicants and processed by administrators. The demonstration
project shall be designed to identify income as the primary
determinant of eligibility and benefit levels, and shall seek to
reduce other required application elements, to the extent permitted
by federal law.
   (b) The department shall evaluate the demonstration project to
assess the impact of simplification on program participation,
administrative costs, recipient benefits, and on other measures
required by the federal government. 
   SEC. 7.    No savings determined by the State
Department of Social Services as a result of this act shall be
assumed until actual savings are realized based on data developed in
consultation with the California Welfare Directors Association. 

  SEC. 8.  No appropriation for purposes of Section 15200 of the
Welfare and Institutions Code shall be made for purposes of
implementing this act.
  SEC. 9.   Sections 1 to 5, inclusive, of this act shall become
operative on January 1, 2009.
  SEC. 10.  No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the
Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the
meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
Constitution.