BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 743 (Eggman) - CalWORKs:  eligibility:  work activities
          
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |                                                                 |
          |                                                                 |
          |                                                                 |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |--------------------------------+--------------------------------|
          |                                |                                |
          |Version: August 17, 2015        |Policy Vote: HUMAN S. 3 - 0     |
          |                                |                                |
          |--------------------------------+--------------------------------|
          |                                |                                |
          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: Yes                    |
          |                                |                                |
          |--------------------------------+--------------------------------|
          |                                |                                |
          |Hearing Date: August 17, 2015   |Consultant: Jolie Onodera       |
          |                                |                                |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 


          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File.




          Bill  
          Summary:  AB 743 would make the following changes to the  
          California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids  
          (CalWORKs) program: 
           Exempts from consideration as income or property for purposes  
            of determining CalWORKs eligibility, any education, training,  
            vocation, or rehabilitation benefits, and related allowances,  
            provided through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, to  
            active duty personnel, veterans, or dependents or spouses of  
            those who died in the line of duty or have a service-connected  
            disability.  
           Adds study time to classroom, laboratory, and internship  
            activities that are required to be counted toward  
            participation requirements for self-initiated programs (SIPs).
           Specifies that a degree, certificate, or vocational program  
            offered by a private college shall not be approved unless the  
            program is either approved or exempted by the appropriate  
            state regulatory agency and the program is in compliance with  







          AB 743 (Eggman)                                        Page 1 of  
          ?
          
          
            all other laws. 


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  
           Potentially significant ongoing costs in the hundreds of  
            thousands of dollars (General Fund) annually for CalWORKs  
            caseload increases and associated grant payments and services  
            due to the expanded exemption of veterans' benefits from  
            consideration as income for CalWORKs eligibility purposes. 
           Potential ongoing increase in CalWORKs grant payments (General  
            Fund) to the extent adding study time as an allowable activity  
            to meet work requirements results in fewer sanctions for  
            noncompliance being imposed.


          Background:  Existing law establishes the CalWORKs program, under which  
          each county provides cash assistance and other social services  
          using federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)  
          block grant funds, state, and county funds. The Department of  
          Social Services (DSS) provides oversight of the CalWORKs program  
          at the state-level.
          Under existing law, if an applicant or recipient of CalWORKs  
          benefits receives one or more educational loans or grants, for  
          purposes of determining availability of income, that person's  
          educational expenses are not applied to any educational loans or  
          grants that, under federal or state law, are totally exempt from  
          consideration as income for purposes of determining CalWORKs  
          eligibility. 


          The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides for an education benefit program  
          for individuals who served on active duty after September 10,  
          2001. Benefits include tuition and fee payment paid to the  
          educational institution, a monthly housing allowance, as well as  
          a stipend for books and supplies. Although existing law  
          currently exempts the educational benefits received through the  
          Post-9/11 GI Bill from the calculation of income for purposes of  
          determining CalWORKs eligibility, existing statute is silent  
          with respect to how housing allowances are considered, and  
          whether educational benefits received by survivors or  
          transferred to family members are similarly exempt from income  
          eligibility consideration. 









          AB 743 (Eggman)                                        Page 2 of  
          ?
          
          

          A self-initiated program (SIP) is an education/training program  
          in which the participant was enrolled prior to the  
          orientation/appraisal appointment. Existing state regulations  
          provide that a SIP is approved based on meeting all of the  
          following criteria: 
                 The individual is enrolled as of the date he or she is  
               appraised, or the date he or she would have been appraised  
               if he or she had not failed, without good cause, to appear  
               for the appraisal appointment;
                 The individual is making satisfactory progress in that  
               program; 
                 The program will lead to self-supporting employment;  
               and,
                 The individual's welfare-to-work plan reflects this  
               determination. 

          Under existing state regulations, unless a SIP participant  
          receives academic credit for study time, study time may not be  
          included in a SIP participant's welfare-to-work plan. If  
          participation in a SIP, as determined by the number of hours  
          required for classroom, laboratory, or internship activities  
          does not meet the per week hourly participation requirements,  
          the county must require concurrent participation in specified  
          welfare-to-work activities to reach the hourly participation  
          requirement. This bill would revise existing law by providing  
          that study time for classroom, laboratory and internship  
          activities are required to be counted toward work participation  
          requirements for SIP participants.




          Proposed Law:  
           This bill would enact the CalWORKs Self-Sufficiency through  
          Education and GI Bill Exemption Act of 2015, as follows:

           Exempts from consideration as income or property when  
            determining eligibility for the CalWORKs program any  
            education, training, vocation or rehabilitation benefits, as  
            defined, provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs  
            for active duty personnel, veterans, or dependents or spouses  
            of those who died in the line of duty or have a  
            service-connected disability. 








          AB 743 (Eggman)                                        Page 3 of  
          ?
          
          
           Adds study time to classroom, laboratory, and internship  
            activities that are required to be counted toward  
            participation requirements for the SIP program. 
           Specifies that a degree, certificate, or vocational program  
            offered by a private college shall not be approved unless the  
            program is either approved or exempted by the appropriate  
            state regulatory agency and the program is in compliance with  
            all other laws. 


                                      -- END --