BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    ”



                                                                      



           ------------------------------------------------------------ 
          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                   SB 119|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                         |
          |1020 N Street, Suite 524          |                         |
          |(916) 651-1520         Fax: (916) |                         |
          |327-4478                          |                         |
           ------------------------------------------------------------ 
           
                                         
                                 THIRD READING


          Bill No:  SB 119
          Author:   Lowenthal (D), et al.
          Amended:  3/21/11
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE  :  7-0, 4/12/11
          AYES:  Liu, Emmerson, Berryhill, Hancock, Strickland, 
            Wright, Yee

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  8-0, 5/26/11
          AYES:  Kehoe, Walters, Alquist, Lieu, Pavley, Price, 
            Runner, Steinberg
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Emmerson


           SUBJECT  :    Emergency youth shelter facilities

           SOURCE  :     California Coalition for Youth
                      John Burton Foundation for Children Without 
          Homes


           DIGEST  :    This bill creates a licensing category for 
          emergency youth shelter facilities, provides a definition 
          and a description of them, and directs the Department of 
          Social Services (DSS) to adopt regulations for them by 
          January 1, 2013.

           ANALYSIS  :    

          Existing law:

                                                           CONTINUED





                                                                SB 119
                                                                Page 
          2

          1. Defines various kinds of community care facilities and 
             creates a process to license each of them, including 
             group homes for dependents and wards of the court.

          2. Provides, through the federal Runaway and Homeless Youth 
             Act, funding for respite centers for homeless and 
             runaway youth.

          3. Establishes, through the Homeless Youth Act of 1985 (AB 
             1596 ›Agnos], Chapter 1445, Statues of 1985), services 
             for runaway and homeless youth that include access to an 
             overnight shelter, counseling, screening for basic 
             health needs, linkages to services offered by other 
             organizations, planning for long-term stabilization, and 
             follow up services.  (Welfare and Institutions Code 
             Sections 13700 et seq.)

          This bill:

          1. Creates a category of community care licensing for an 
             "emergency youth shelter facility" and defines it as a 
             group care facility that provides voluntary temporary 
             emergency shelter and case management to minors and to 
             emancipated youth under 18 years of age.

          2. Specifies that an emergency youth shelter facility must, 
             in order to be licensed, offer voluntary short-term 
             shelter care and supervision, on a 24-hour basis, to 
             unaccompanied minors under 18 years of age, including 
             emancipated youth or adults who are in high school at 18 
             years of age and expect to graduate before their 19th 
             birthday, and who are homeless or at risk of being 
             homeless; that it be owned and operated on a 
             not-for-profit organization; and, that the facility have 
             a maximum capacity of 25 residents.
           
          3. Requires DSS to adopt regulations for licensed emergency 
             youth shelter facilities by January 1, 2013.

          4. Requires that these regulations include physical 
             environment standards, standards for staffing and staff 
             training, health and safety requirements, and other 
             standards that may meet but not exceed standards set for 
             child care licensees.







                                                                SB 119
                                                                Page 
          3


          5. Requires DSS, while developing regulations, to consult 
             with interested parties including representatives of 
             provider organizations that serve homeless or runaway 
             youth and youth who have accessed emergency youth 
             shelter services.

          6. Stipulates that regulations adopted for emergency youth 
             shelter facilities shall constitute the only licensing 
             standards applicable to them.

          7. Holds harmless from current licensing standards any 
             emergency youth shelter operating on the effective date 
             of the act; regulations for emergency youth shelters 
             will apply to these facilities once those regulations 
             are promulgated.

          8. Allows a facility operating under a group home license 
             to apply to transfer its existing license to an 
             emergency youth shelter license after those regulations 
             are promulgated.  

           Comments  

          In 2004, the Legislature created a separate community care 
          licensing category for crisis nurseries (SB 855 ›Machado], 
          Chapter 664, Statues of 2004).  Prior to 2005, crisis 
          nurseries were licensed as group homes meeting those 
          requirements for staff-child ratios, education and training 
          of staff, and availability of prescribed supportive 
          services, or they were seeking waivers from group-home 
          requirements that shelter administrators believed where not 
          necessary during the limited time during which an infant 
          was in one of these facilities.  

          Operators of crisis nurseries argued that the cost of 
          complying with group home regulations were excessive and 
          threatened their viability, and they found the waiver 
          process cumbersome and inconsistent. 

          In the years since enactment of the separate licensing 
          category for crisis nurseries, the statute has limited them 
          to voluntary placements only, and they function as a 
          respite for parents or other caregivers rather than as an 







                                                                SB 119
                                                                Page 
          4

          emergency placement available to infants receiving child 
          welfare services from a county.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes   
          Local:  Yes

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee:

                         Fiscal Impact (in thousands)

           Major Provisions      2011-12     2012-13     2013-14     Fund  

          New licensing category        $50       $350      
          $200General

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  5/26/11)

          California Coalition for Youth (co-source)
          John Burton Foundation for Children Without Homes 
          (co-source)
          Covenant Community Services

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  5/26/11)

          Youth Law Center

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The California Coalition for Youth 
          believes that enacting this bill will lead to new services 
          for homeless and runaway youth, once ambiguities about 
          licensing are cleared up.  Covenant Community Services, in 
          Kern County, believes that the bill will ensure that 
          shelter services will meet basic health and safety 
          standards.

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    The Youth Law Center writes:  
          "While we fully support the development of a licensing 
          category for emergency youth shelters, we do not believe 
          that a complete interim exemption is warranted.  SB 119 
          provides that any currently operating licensed or 
          unlicensed facility that meets the definition of emergency 
          youth shelter is exempt from any attempt by Community Care 
          Licensing (CCL) to impose existing licensing standards 
          until new regulations are adopted.  The exemption means 
          that CCL would not be able to impose or collect annual 







                                                                SB 119
                                                                Page 
          5

          licensing fees or fines, inspect or correct problems in 
          shelters or respond to any complaints even if the health or 
          safety of a youth is at stake.  Shelters would not have to 
          complete background checks on prospective employees, comply 
          with basic health and life safety requirements or respect 
          the fundamental personal rights of the youth they house."  
           

          CTW:mw  5/26/11   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

                                ****  END  ****