BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 672
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   August 21, 2013

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                     SB 672 (Leno) - As Amended:  August 5, 2013 

          Policy Committee:                             Human  
          ServicesVote:5 - 2

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:              

           SUMMARY  

          This bill requires the Department of Social Services (DSS) to  
          issue guidance to counties to simplify the verification of  
          dependent care expense deductions for purposes of determining a  
          household's eligibility for, or amount of, CalFresh benefits.  
          That guidance must establish a process whereby dependent care  
          expenses can be considered verified upon receipt of a  
          self-certified statement of monthly dependent care expenses.

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          1)Costs associated with this legislation should be minor and  
            absorbable within existing resources. Self-certification of  
            dependent care expenses is already allowable under current  
            law. 

          2)To the extent this bill increases the number of applicants and  
            recipients who utilize the dependent care deductions,  
            increases in federal CalFresh (Federal SNAP funds) benefits  
            (and a related, but much smaller increase in CFAP (GF)  
            benefits) could be received. Additional administrative costs  
            for newly eligible cases would be offset in part by an  
            increase in sales tax revenue.

           COMMENTS  

           1)Purpose  . Existing federal law and guidance already provide  
            states with flexibility in how they verify certain factors  
            that influence a household's SNAP program eligibility or  
            benefit levels.  Within this flexibility, states are allowed  
            to simplify their verification processes by permitting  








                                                                  SB 672
                                                                  Page  2

            self-certification of certain income deduction information  
            from applicants or recipients, such as out-of-pocket dependent  
            care costs.  However, the author and supporters of this bill  
            assert that because the DSS Manual of Policies and Procedures  
            allows each county to choose to mandate verification of  
            dependent care expenses, there is inconsistency throughout the  
            state in how the verification requirements are applied.  By  
            standardizing a simplified verification process in state law,  
            the author hopes to prevent counties from implementing  
            requirements that are more stringent than federal  
            requirements.

           2)Background  . Under existing law, CalFresh households are  
            eligible to deduct the full amount of eligible dependent care  
            costs incurred, resulting in higher benefits for program  
            recipients and newly eligible cases. According to the Center  
            on Budget and Policy Priorities report, The Food Stamp  
            Dependent Care Deduction: Help for Families with Child Care  
            Costs (2010), the percentage of single-adult working  
            households with young children claiming the dependent care  
            deduction in 2008 was only 37% nationally (the figure for  
            California was 10%, but based on a sample of fewer than 40  
            households). 


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