Amended in Senate June 25, 2013

Amended in Assembly March 19, 2013

California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 309


Introduced by Assembly Member Mitchell

(Coauthors: Assembly Members Ammiano, Chesbro, Eggman, and Ting)

(Coauthor: Senator Beall)

February 12, 2013


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

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 309, as amended, 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 would require county welfare departments, upon receipt of a signed CalFresh application from an unaccompanied child or youth under 18 years of age, to determinebegin delete without delayend delete his or her eligibility for benefits, as specified, and entitlement to expedited services, as specified. If the application is denied, the county welfare department would be required to notify the child or youth in writing of the reason for the denial. 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 and provide notice, as specified, to an unaccompanied child or youth, 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.  

(a) The eligibility of households shall be determined
4to the extent permitted by federal law.

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

8

SEC. 2.  

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

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18904.25.  

(a) Pursuant to the federal Stewart B. McKinney
2Homeless Assistance Act (Public Law 100-77), the department
3shall develop CalFresh information on expedited services targeted
4to the homeless population, including unaccompanied homeless
5children and youths, as those terms are definedbegin insert inend insert Section 11434a
6of Title 42 of the United States Code. This information shall be
7made available to homeless shelters, emergency food programs,
8local educational agency liaisons for homeless children and youths,
9designated pursuant to Section 11432(g)(1)(J)(ii) of Title 42 of
10the United States Code, and other community agencies who provide
11services to homeless people.

12(b) Each county welfare department shall annually offer training
13on CalFresh application procedures to homeless shelter operators.
14That training shall include eligibility criteria and specific
15information regarding the eligibility of unaccompanied homeless
16children and youths. In addition, each county welfare department,
17upon request, shall provide homeless shelters with a supply of that
18portion of the CalFresh application used to request CalFresh
19expedited service.

20(c) Upon receipt of a signed CalFresh application from an
21unaccompanied child or youth under 18 years of age, the county
22welfare departmentbegin delete shall, without unnecessary delay,end deletebegin insert shallend insert
23 determine eligibility for CalFresh benefits, including making a
24determination of whether the child or youth is eligible to apply as
25a household of one or if he or she must apply with members of a
26household with whom he or she is regularly purchasing and
27preparing foods, and screen the application for entitlement to
28expedited service pursuant to Section 18914. If the application of
29the child or youth for CalFresh benefits is denied, the county
30welfare department shall provide the child or youth a written notice
31explaining the reason for the denial.

32

SEC. 3.  

Section 18914 of the Welfare and Institutions Code,
33as amended by Section 89 of Chapter 227 of the Statutes of 2011,
34is repealed.

35

SEC. 4.  

If the Commission on State Mandates determines that
36this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to
37local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made
P4    1pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division
24 of Title 2 of the Government Code.



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