California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 309


Introduced by Assembly Member Mitchell

February 12, 2013


An act to amend Sections 18901 and 18904.25 of, and to amend and repeal Section 18914 of, the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to public social services.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 309, as introduced, Mitchell. CalFresh: homeless youth.

Existing federal law provides for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known in California as CalFresh, formerly the Food Stamp Program, under which supplemental nutrition assistance benefits allocated to the state by the federal government are distributed to eligible individuals by each county. Under existing law, households are eligible to receive CalFresh benefits to the extent permitted by federal law. Further, existing law requires county welfare departments to develop information, and make that information available to homeless shelters, emergency food programs, and other community agencies that provide services to homeless people, on expedited services targeted to the homeless and to provide training to homeless shelter operators on CalFresh application procedures.

This bill would clarify that eligibility for CalFresh benefits, including expedited services, is not dependent on the age of an applicant and that county welfare departments must accept applications from unaccompanied homeless children and youths. This bill would also require that county welfare departments make information about CalFresh expedited services targeted to the homeless population available to local educational agency liaisons, as defined, and include information regarding CalFresh eligibility for unaccompanied homeless children and youths in the training provided to homeless shelter operators.

By expanding the number of people a county welfare department must make information available to, and requiring county welfare departments to augment the training they provide to homeless shelter operators, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

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, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

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SECTION 1.  

Section 18901 of the Welfare and Institutions
2Code
is amended to read:

3

18901.  

begin insert(a)end insertbegin insertend insert The eligibility of households shall be determined
4to the extent permitted by federal law.

begin insert

5(b) In determining eligibility for CalFresh, no minimum age
6requirement shall be imposed other than those that exist under
7federal law.

end insert
8

SEC. 2.  

Section 18904.25 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
9 is amended to read:

10

18904.25.  

(a) Pursuant to the federal Stewart B. McKinney
11Homeless Assistance Act (Public Law 100-77), the department
12shall develop CalFresh information on expedited services targeted
13to the homelessbegin delete population. Theseend deletebegin insert population, including
14unaccompanied homeless children and youths, as those terms are
15defined Section 1434a of Title 42 of the United States Code. This
16informationend insert
shall be made available to homeless shelters,
17emergency food programs,begin insert local educational agency liaisons for
18homeless children and youths, designated pursuant to Section
1911432(g)(1)(J)(ii) of Title 42 of the United States Code,end insert
and other
20community agencies who provide services to homeless people.

P3    1(b) Each county welfare department shall annually offer training
2on CalFresh application procedures to homeless shelter operators.
3begin insert That training shall include eligibility criteria and specific
4information regarding the eligibility of unaccompanied homeless
5children and youths.end insert
In addition, each county welfare department,
6upon request, shall provide homeless shelters with a supply of that
7portion of the CalFresh application used to request CalFresh
8expedited service.

begin insert

9(c) Each county welfare department shall accept CalFresh
10applications from unaccompanied homeless children and youths
11under 18 years of age and shall determine eligibility for benefits
12under CalFresh, including whether those children and youth
13constitute their own household or a part of the household in which
14they are temporarily staying, on an individualized basis.

end insert
15

SEC. 3.  

Section 18914 of the Welfare and Institutions Code,
16as amended by Section 1 of Chapter 468 of the Statutes of 2012,
17is amended to read:

18

18914.  

(a) In accordance with, and to the extent provided by,
19federal law, the county human services agency shall provide
20CalFresh benefits on an expedited basis as provided in subdivision
21(b) to householdsbegin insert, including households consisting of an
22unaccompanied homeless child or youth,end insert
determined to be in
23immediate need of food assistance.

24(b) Pursuant to the federal requirements of Section 273.2(i)(2)
25of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations, the county human
26services agency shall screen all CalFresh applications for
27entitlement to expedited service. Applicants who meet the federal
28criteria for expedited service as defined in Section 273.2(i)(1) of
29Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations shall receive either a
30manual authorization to participate or automated card or the
31immediate issuance of CalFresh benefits no later than the third
32day following the date the application was filed. To the maximum
33extent permitted by federal law, the amount of income to be
34received from any source shall be deemed to be uncertain and
35exempt from consideration in the determination of entitlement for
36expedited service. For purposes of this subdivision, a weekend
37shall be considered one calendar day.

38(c) The State Department of Social Services shall develop and
39implement for expedited issuance a uniform procedure for verifying
40information required of an applicant.

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SEC. 4.  

Section 18914 of the Welfare and Institutions Code,
2as amended by Section 89 of Chapter 227 of the Statutes of 2011,
3is repealed.

begin delete
4

18914.  

To the extent provided by federal law, the county
5welfare department shall provide CalFresh benefits on an expedited
6basis to households determined to be in immediate need of food
7assistance.

8This section shall become operative July 1, 1991.

end delete
9

SEC. 5.  

If the Commission on State Mandates determines that
10this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to
11local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made
12pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division
134 of Title 2 of the Government Code.



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