BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 309
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 17, 2013

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                   AB 309 (Mitchell) - As Amended:  March 19, 2013 

          Policy Committee:                              Human  
          ServicesVote:7 - 0 

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          Yes    Reimbursable:              Yes

           SUMMARY  

          This bill clarifies requirements pertaining to CalFresh  
          applications submitted by homeless children and youth who are  
          not accompanied by a parent or guardian. Specifically, this  
          bill: 

          1)Clarifies that there are no minimum age requirements for  
            CalFresh eligibility except for those imposed by federal law.

          2)Adds CalFresh eligibility criteria and specific information  
            regarding the eligibility of homeless children and youth to  
            annual trainings offered by the county welfare departments to  
            homeless shelter operators.

          3)Requires county welfare agencies, upon receipt of a CalFresh  
            application from an unaccompanied child or youth, to determine  
            the child or youth's eligibility without unnecessary delay,  
            which shall include determining whether the child or youth is  
            eligible to apply as the sole member of the household and  
            screening the application for entitlement to expedited  
            services.

          4)Requires county welfare agencies to provide written notice to  
            an unaccompanied homeless child or youth if his or her  
            CalFresh application is denied.

          5)Adds information about targeting expedited CalFresh services  
            to unaccompanied homeless children and youth to the  
            information the Department of Social Services is already  
            required to develop on targeting services to the greater  
            homeless population, and requires that information to be  








                                                                  AB 309
                                                                  Page  2

            provided to local education agency liaisons for homeless  
            children and youth, as well as homeless shelters, emergency  
            food programs, and other community agencies that provide  
            services to homeless people. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          Costs associated with this legislation should be minor and  
          absorbable within existing resources. 

           COMMENTS  

           1)Purpose  . The intent of this bill is to ensure that  
            unaccompanied homeless youth, who are not under the care of a  
            parent or guardian, are able to access CalFresh benefits.  
            Additionally, this bill clarifies California law so that  
            county implementation is properly aligned with the intentions  
            of federal law.
            According to the author, unaccompanied homeless minors are  
            sometimes denied CalFresh food benefits in counties where  
            interpretation of state law leads to the denial of CalFresh  
            benefits for unaccompanied youth. Unaccompanied youth include  
            young people who have run away, have been forced out, and/or  
            have been abandoned by their parent or guardian. Every year,  
            about 200,000 young people in California run away or are  
            forced out of their homes. Many flee their homes as a result  
            of physical and sexual abuse or neglect, are forced out  
            because they are pregnant, gay or lesbian, or are exiting from  
            the child welfare or juvenile justice system without an  
            identified housing destination. Some of these youth have  
            reported being denied CalFresh food benefits based on their  
            status as an unaccompanied youth.


           Analysis Prepared by  :    Julie Salley-Gray / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081