BILL NUMBER: AB 2300	CHAPTERED
	BILL TEXT

	CHAPTER  673
	FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE  SEPTEMBER 30, 2008
	APPROVED BY GOVERNOR  SEPTEMBER 30, 2008
	PASSED THE SENATE  AUGUST 18, 2008
	PASSED THE ASSEMBLY  AUGUST 19, 2008
	AMENDED IN SENATE  AUGUST 4, 2008
	AMENDED IN SENATE  JUNE 19, 2008
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  MAY 23, 2008
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  MARCH 24, 2008

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Laird
   (Coauthor: Assembly Member Garcia)

                        FEBRUARY 21, 2008

   An act to amend Section 49561 of, and to add Section 49562 to, the
Education Code, and to amend Section 14100.2 of the Welfare and
Institutions Code, relating to school meals.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 2300, Laird. School lunch and breakfast programs: direct
certification.
   Existing law provides for the Medi-Cal program, which is
administered by the State Department of Health Care Services, under
which eligible low-income individuals receive basic health care
services.
   Existing law, operative upon receipt of federal funds to assist
the state in implementing new direct certification for enrollment in
the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, separately
requires the State Department of Education to create a computerized
data-matching system to directly certify recipients of the Food Stamp
Program, the CalWORKs program, and other programs authorized for
direct certification under federal law, for enrollment in the
National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Medi-Cal
benefits, however, are not included within the criteria for direct
certification specified in federal law.
   This bill would delete provisions regarding the inclusion of
Medi-Cal benefits within the criteria for direct certification
specified in federal law. The bill would permit the State Department
of Education, in consultation with the State Department of Health
Care Services, to the extent permitted under federal law, and upon
the receipt of federal funds for this purpose, to directly certify
children into the school meal program.
   Existing law, subject to certain exceptions, requires all types of
information concerning a person, made or kept by any public officer
or agency in connection with the administration of the Medi-Cal
program, to be confidential.
   This bill would create an exception to this provision by
authorizing the State Department of Health Care Services, in
coordination with the State Department of Education, and upon the
availability of federal funds and to the extent permitted under
federal law, to exercise an option under federal law to exchange the
information necessary to perform direct verification of eligibility
of children for free or reduced price meals. The bill would also
authorize the State Department of Health Care Services, upon the
availability of federal funds and to the extent permitted by federal
law, to exchange the necessary information to perform direct
verification of eligibility of children for, and to perform direct
certification for enrolling children to receive, free or reduced
price meals, as provided. This bill would authorize, to the extent
permitted by state and federal law, the State Department of Health
Care Services and the State Department of Education to review the
data only for the purposes of improving the effectiveness of the data
matches made pursuant to certifying children to receive free or
reduced price meals.



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

  SECTION 1.  The Legislature finds and declares all of the
following:
   (a) Studies have shown that children who receive meals at school
tend to perform better on academic tests, are less likely to be tardy
or absent from school, and are more likely to get key nutrients
needed for good health.
   (b) The Medi-Cal program in California provides health care to
low-income children throughout the state. With considerable state
investment in this program, the Legislature recognizes that it has an
interest in ensuring that these children receive proper nutrition in
order to avoid the costly health consequences of an inadequate diet.

   (c) Most children participating in the Medi-Cal program are
eligible for free or reduced price school meals yet some are not
enrolled. Many more are enrolled, but have had to fill out
substantial paperwork at school to prove that they are in need of a
free or reduced price meal, even though they have already provided
substantial information to demonstrate need to the Medi-Cal program.
This redundant paperwork can be a burden for families and for
schools.
   (d) Chapter 361 of the Statutes of 2005 required the State
Department of Education to create a computerized data-matching system
using databases from the department and from the State Department of
Health Care Services to directly certify participants in the Food
Stamp Program and CalWORKs program for enrollment in the National
School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program. The
Medi-Cal program was not included at that time.
   (e) In California, this computerized matching system is now in
place and successfully has been enrolling children from the Food
Stamp Program and CalWORKs program into the school meal program.
Other states have successfully tested the use of Medicaid data for
verifying eligibility for school meals. California can be the first
state to test the use of Medicaid data for directly enrolling
Medicaid recipient children into school meal programs.
   (f) Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature to seek to
expand direct certification for school meals by establishing a
process to use Medi-Cal data for automatically enrolling needy
children into free and reduced price school meal programs.
  SEC. 2.  Section 49561 of the Education Code is amended to read:
   49561.  (a) The department shall create a computerized
data-matching system using existing databases from the department and
the State Department of Health Care Services to directly certify
recipients of the Food Stamp Program, the California Work Opportunity
and Responsibility to Kids program (the CalWORKs program) (Chapter 2
(commencing with Section 11200) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the
Welfare and Institutions Code), and other programs authorized for
direct certification under federal law, for enrollment in the
National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.
   (b) The department shall design a process using an existing agency
database that will conform with data from the State Department of
Health Care Services to meet the direct certification requirements of
the National School Lunch Act, as amended, pursuant to Chapter 13
(commencing with Section 1751) of Title 42 of the United States Code,
and the federal Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended, pursuant to
Chapter 13A (commencing with Section 1771) of Title 42 of the United
States Code.
   (c) The department shall design a process using computerized data
pursuant to subdivision (a) that will maximize enrollment in school
meal programs and improve program integrity while ensuring that pupil
privacy safeguards remain in place. The State Department of Health
Care Services shall conduct the data match of local school records
and return a list to the department, including only the data fields
submitted by the department and an indicator of program eligibility,
as required by federal law.
   (d) (1) Each state agency identified in subdivision (a) is
responsible for the maintenance and protection of data received by
their respective agency. The state agency that possesses the data
shall follow privacy and confidentiality procedures consistent with
all applicable state and federal law. To the extent permitted by
state and federal law, the department and the State Department of
Health Care Services may review the data only for the purposes of
improving the effectiveness of the data matches made pursuant to this
section and Section 49562.
   (2) Notwithstanding Section 10850 of the Welfare and Institutions
Code, data that identify applicants for, or recipients of, public
social services, may be transferred from existing databases
maintained by the State Department of Health Care Services, in order
to directly certify recipients of the Food Stamp Program, the
CalWORKs program, and other programs authorized for direct
certification under federal law, in compliance with subdivision (a).
The Legislature hereby finds and declares that this paragraph is
declaratory of existing law.
   (e) The department shall determine the availability of and request
or apply for, as appropriate, federal funds to assist the state in
implementing new direct certification requirements mandated by
federal law.
   (f) This section shall become operative upon receipt of federal
funds to assist the state in implementing new direct certification
requirements mandated by federal law.
  SEC. 3.  Section 49562 is added to the Education Code, to read:
   49562.  (a) The department, in consultation with the State
Department of Health Care Services, shall develop and implement a
process to use participation data from the Medi-Cal program
administered pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 14000) of
Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to verify
income as established in the federal Child Nutrition and WIC
Reauthorization Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-265) and, to the extent
permitted under federal law, directly certify children whose families
meet the applicable income criteria into the school meal program.
   (b) In the operation of this process, the department shall limit
the information needed from the State Department of Health Care
Services to identify families whose income falls below the
eligibility cutoff for free or reduced price meals, and the least
amount of information needed to facilitate a match of local school
records. The State Department of Health Care Services shall conduct
the data match of local school records and return a list to the
department, including only the data fields submitted by the
department and an indicator of program eligibility, as required by
federal law.
   (c) The department and the State Department of Health Care
Services shall design this process to maintain pupil privacy and the
privacy of Medi-Cal recipients by establishing privacy and
confidentiality procedures consistent with all applicable state and
federal laws. To the extent permitted by state and federal law, the
department and the State Department of Health Care Services may
review the data only for the purposes of improving the effectiveness
of the data matches made pursuant to this section and Section 49561.
   (d) The department specifically shall ensure that the process
conforms to the federal Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-191) by using strategies
employed by other states in Medicaid verification projects or by
developing a new strategy that ensures conformity.
   (e) The department shall seek all necessary approvals to establish
this process and shall apply for available federal funds to support
the work of this process.
   (f) This section shall become operative upon the receipt of
federal funds to assist the state in implementing the provisions of
this section.
  SEC. 4.  Section 14100.2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is
amended to read:
   14100.2.  (a) Except as provided in subdivision (i), all types of
information, whether written or oral, concerning a person, made or
kept by any public officer or agency in connection with the
administration of any provision of this chapter, Chapter 8
(commencing with Section 14200), or Chapter 8.7 (commencing with
Section 14520) and for which a grant-in-aid is received by this state
from the United States government pursuant to Title XIX of the
Social Security Act shall be confidential, and shall not be open to
examination other than for purposes directly connected with the
administration of the Medi-Cal program. However, in the context of a
petition for the appointment of a conservator for a person with
respect to whom this information is made or kept, and in the context
of a criminal prosecution for a violation of Section 368 of Penal
Code with respect to such a person, all of the following shall apply:

   A public officer or employee of any such agency may answer
truthfully, at any proceeding related to the petition or prosecution,
when asked if he or she is aware of information that he or she
believes is related to the legal mental capacity of that aid
recipient or the need for a conservatorship for that aid recipient.
If the officer or employee states that he or she is aware of this
information, the court may order the officer or employee to testify
about his or her observations and to disclose any relevant agency
records if the court has an other independent reason to believe that
the officer or employee has information that would facilitate the
resolution of the matter.
   (b) Except as provided in this section, and to the extent
permitted by federal law or regulation, all information about
applicants and recipients as provided for in subdivision (a) to be
safeguarded includes, but is not limited to, names and addresses,
medical services provided, social and economic conditions or
circumstances, agency evaluation of personal information, and medical
data, including diagnosis and past history of disease or disability.

   (c) Purposes directly connected with the administration of the
Medi-Cal program, Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 14200), or
Chapter 8.7 (commencing with Section 14520) encompass those
administrative activities and responsibilities in which the
department and its agents are required to engage to insure effective
program operations. These activities include, but are not limited to:
establishing eligibility and methods of reimbursement; determining
the amount of medical assistance; providing services for recipients;
conducting or assisting an investigation, prosecution, or civil or
criminal proceeding related to the administration of the Medi-Cal
program; and conducting or assisting a legislative investigation or
audit related to the administration of the Medi-Cal program.
   (d) Any officer, agent, or employee of the department or of any
public agency shall provide the Joint Legislative Audit Committee and
the State Auditor with any and all the information described in
subdivision (b) within a reasonable period of time as determined by
the committee in consultation with the department, after receipt of a
request from the committee approved by a majority of the members of
the committee. The Joint Legislative Audit Committee and the State
Auditor may use that information only for the purpose of
investigating or auditing the administration of the Medi-Cal program,
Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 14200), or Chapter 8.7
(commencing with Section 14520), and shall not use that information
for commercial or political purposes. In any case where disclosure of
information is authorized by this section, the Joint Legislative
Audit Committee or the State Auditor shall not disclose the identity
of any applicant or recipient, except in the case of a criminal or
civil proceeding conducted in connection with the administration of
the Medi-Cal program.
   (e) The access to information provided in subdivision (d) shall be
permitted only to the extent and under the conditions provided by
federal law and regulations governing the release of such
information.
   (f) The department may make rules and regulations governing the
custody, use, and preservation of all records, papers, files, and
communications pertaining to the administration of the laws relating
to the Medi-Cal program, Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 14200),
or Chapter 8.7 (commencing with Section 14520). The rules and
regulations shall be binding on all departments, officials, and
employees of the state, or of any political subdivision of the state
and may provide for giving information to or exchanging information
with agencies, public, or political subdivisions of the state, and
may provide for giving information to or exchanging information with
agencies, public or private, which are engaged in planning,
providing, or securing such services for or in behalf of recipients
or applicants; and for making case records available for research
purposes, provided that that research will not result in the
disclosure of the identity of applicants for or recipients of those
services.
   (g) Upon request, the department shall release to the negotiator
established pursuant to Article 2.6 (commencing with Section 14081)
all computer tapes and any modifications thereto, including paid
claims, connected with the administration of the Medi-Cal program
which are in the possession or under the control of the department,
including tapes prepared prior to the effective date of this section.

   To ensure compliance with federal law and regulations, the
department shall make the minimum necessary modifications to its
computer tapes prior to releasing the tapes to the negotiator in
order to assure the confidentiality of the identity of all applicants
for, or recipients of, those services. The department shall not make
any modifications to paid claims tapes that affect information
regarding beneficiaries' aid categories or counties of origin.
   (h) Any person who knowingly releases or possesses confidential
information concerning persons who have applied for or who have been
granted any form of Medi-Cal benefits or benefits under Chapter 8
(commencing with Section 14200) or Chapter 8.7 (commencing with
Section 14520) for which state or federal funds are made available in
violation of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.
   (i) (1) To the extent federal funds are made available from the
United States Department of Agriculture, the department may do both
of the following:
   (A) To the extent permitted by federal law, exercise its option
under Section 1396a(a)(7)(B) of Title 42 of the United States Code,
in coordination with the State Department of Education, to exchange
the information necessary to perform direct verification of the
eligibility of children for free or reduced price meals.
   (B) To the extent permitted by federal law, in coordination with
the State Department of Education, exchange the information necessary
to perform direct certification for enrolling children to receive
free or reduced price meals.
   (2) To the extent permitted by state and federal law, the
department and the State Department of Education may review the data
only for the purposes of improving the effectiveness of the data
matches made pursuant to Sections 49561 and 49562 of the Education
Code.