BILL NUMBER: AB 3056 CHAPTERED BILL TEXT CHAPTER 507 FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE SEPTEMBER 28, 2008 APPROVED BY GOVERNOR SEPTEMBER 28, 2008 PASSED THE SENATE AUGUST 13, 2008 PASSED THE ASSEMBLY AUGUST 15, 2008 AMENDED IN SENATE JUNE 25, 2008 INTRODUCED BY Committee on Insurance (Coto (Chair), Berg, Charles Calderon, Carter, De Leon, Lieber, and Parra) FEBRUARY 28, 2008 An act to amend Sections 1266, 1269, 1273, and 1274.10 of the Unemployment Insurance Code, relating to unemployment compensation benefits. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST AB 3056, Committee on Insurance. Unemployment compensation: eligibility: retraining benefits. Existing law provides, until January 1, 2010, for retraining benefits for individuals receiving unemployment compensation benefits, who meet certain eligibility criteria, including those federally funded benefits available to individuals pursuant to the federal Trade Act of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. Sec. 2101 et seq.). This bill would instead provide that retraining benefits would include federally funded benefits available to individuals pursuant to the federal Trade Act of 1974, as amended by the federal Trade Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-210), would change the January 1, 2010, sunset date, thereby extending the operation of the retraining benefits provisions until January 1, 2015, and would make technical changes to those provisions. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. Section 1266 of the Unemployment Insurance Code is amended to read: 1266. Experience has shown that the ability of a large number of the population of California to compete for jobs in the labor market is impaired by advancement in technological improvements, the widespread effects of automation and relocation in our economy, and foreign competition as set forth in petitions certified under the federal Trade Act of 1974, as amended (Title 19, United States Code, Sections 2101 et seq.). The Legislature finds that many individuals in California are lacking in skills which would make them competitive in the labor market. They are in need of training or retraining in skills required in demand occupations. It is the policy of this state to assist these individuals by providing unemployment compensation benefits, extended duration benefits, and other federally funded unemployment compensation benefits, including those available under the federal Trade Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-618), as amended by the federal Trade Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-210), during a period of retraining to qualify them for new jobs in demand occupations and thus avoid long-term unemployment. SEC. 2. Section 1269 of the Unemployment Insurance Code is amended to read: 1269. A determination of potential eligibility for benefits under this article shall be issued to an unemployed individual if the director finds that any of the following apply: (a) The training is authorized by the federal Workforce Investment Act or by the Employment Training Panel established pursuant to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 10200) of Part 1 of Division 3. (b) The training is authorized by the federal Trade Act of 1974, (19 U.S.C. Sec. 2101 et seq.), as amended by the federal Trade Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-210), pursuant to a certified petition. (c) The individual is a participant in the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program pursuant to Article 3.2 (commencing with Section 11320) or Article 3.3 (commencing with Section 11330) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and has entered into a contract with the county welfare department to participate in an education or training program. (d) That all of the following apply: (1) The individual has been unemployed for four or more continuous weeks, or the individual is unemployed and unlikely to return to his or her most recent workplace because work opportunities in the individual's job classification are impaired by a plant closure or a substantial reduction in employment at the individual's most recent workplace, by advancement in technological improvements, by the effects of automation and relocation in the economy, or because of a mental or physical disability which prohibits the individual from utilizing existing occupational skills. (2) One of the substantial causes of the individual's unemployment is a lack of sufficient current demand in the individual's labor market area for the occupational skills for which the individual is fitted by training and experience or current physical or mental capacity and that the lack of employment opportunities is expected to continue for an extended period of time, or, if the individual's occupation is one for which there is a seasonal variation in demand in the labor market and the individual has no other skill for which there is current demand. (3) The training or retraining course of instruction relates to an occupation or skill for which there are, or are expected to be in the immediate future, reasonable employment opportunities in the labor market area in this state in which the individual intends to seek work and there is not a substantial surplus of workers with requisite skills in the occupation in that area. (4) If the individual is a journey level union member, the training or retraining course of instruction is specific job-related training necessary due to changes in technology, or necessary to retain employment or to become more competitive in obtaining employment. (5) The training or retraining course of instruction is one approved by the director and can be completed within one year. (6) The training or retraining course is a full-time course prescribed for the primary purpose of training the applicant in skills that will allow him or her to obtain immediate employment in a demand occupation and is not primarily intended to meet the requirements of any degree from a college, community college, or university. (7) The individual can be reasonably expected to complete the training or retraining successfully. (8) The beginning date of training is more than three years after the beginning date of training last approved for the individual under this subdivision. SEC. 3. Section 1273 of the Unemployment Insurance Code is amended to read: 1273. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, no payment of benefits during a period of training or retraining as described in this article shall be made to any individual for any week or part of any week with respect to which he or she receives training or retraining benefits, allowances, or stipends pursuant to the provisions of any state or federal law providing for the payment of such benefits, but excluding costs of training paid pursuant to the federal Trade Act of 1974 ( 19 U.S.C. Sec. 2101 et seq.), as amended by the federal Trade Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-210). (b) "Training or retraining benefits, allowances, or stipends," as used in this section, means discretionary use, cash in-hand payments available to the individual to be used as he or she sees fit. Direct and indirect compensation for training costs, such as tuition, books, and supplies, is excluded as a condition of approval. SEC. 4. Section 1274.10 of the Unemployment Insurance Code is amended to read: 1274.10. This article shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2015, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, which is chaptered before that date, deletes or extends the date.