BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                    AB 2448

                                                                    Page  1


          2448 (Burke)

          As Amended  April 6, 2016

          Majority vote

          |Committee       |Votes|Ayes                  |Noes                |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |Human Services  |6-0  |Bonilla, Calderon,    |                    |
          |                |     |Lopez, Maienschein,   |                    |
          |                |     |Mark Stone, Thurmond  |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |

          SUMMARY:  Changes certain California Work Opportunity and  
          Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) requirements regarding  
          permissible welfare-to-work activities in order to facilitate a  
          recipient's completion of a high school equivalency program.   
          Specifically, this bill:  

          1)Includes participation in a high school equivalency program  
            among the list of permissible welfare-to-work activities a  
            CalWORKs participant is required to engage in after  
            orientation and appraisal, as specified.


                                                                    AB 2448

                                                                    Page  2

          2)Stipulates that any month in which a CalWORKs recipient  
            participates in a high school equivalency program, as  
            specified, shall be prohibited from counting against that  
            recipient's "24-month clock," the cumulative time limit during  
            which a broader set of activities are permitted to count as  
            welfare-to-work activities, and after which a more restricted  
            list of welfare-to-work activities is permissible.  Further,  
            in accordance with this change, removes participation in a  
            secondary school or high school equivalency program from the  
            list of required activities a CalWORKs recipient must  
            participate in after exhausting the 24-month clock.

          3)Permits, but does not require, a CalWORKs recipient to  
            participate in a high school equivalency program, as  
            specified, if it is determined during the appraisal that he or  
            she has not yet received his or her high school diploma or its  

          4)Exempts a CalWORKs recipient who is determined to not have yet  
            received his or her high school diploma or its equivalent from  
            having to participate in an assessment prior to, or as a  
            condition of, participation in a high school equivalency  

          5)Makes technical amendments.

          EXISTING LAW: 

          1)Establishes under federal law the Temporary Assistance for  
            Needy Families (TANF) program to provide aid and  
            welfare-to-work services to eligible families and, in  
            California, provides that TANF funds for welfare-to-work  
            services are administered through the CalWORKs program.  (42  


                                                                    AB 2448

                                                                    Page  3

            United State Code Section 601 et seq., Welfare and  
            Institutions Code Section (WIC) 11200 et seq.) 

          2)Establishes income, asset and real property limits used to  
            determine eligibility for the program, including net income  
            below the Maximum Aid Payment (MAP), based on family size and  
            county of residence, which is around 40% of the Federal  
            Poverty Level.  (WIC 11150 to 11160, 11450 et seq.)

          3)Establishes a 48-month lifetime limit of CalWORKs benefits for  
            eligible adults, including 24 months during which a recipient  
            must meet federal work requirements in order to retain  
            eligibility.  (WIC 11454, 11322.85)

          4)Requires all individuals over 16 years of age, unless they are  
            otherwise exempt, to participate in specified welfare-to-work  
            activities as a condition of eligibility for CalWORKs.  (WIC  
            11320.3, 11322.6)

          5)Stipulates the sequence of employment-related activities a  
            CalWORKs participant must engage in subsequent to the receipt  
            of aid.  (WIC 11320.3)

          6)Establishes the number of weekly hours of welfare-to-work  
            participation necessary to remain eligible for aid, including  
            requirements for an unemployed parent in a two-parent  
            assistance unit, as specified.  (WIC 11322.8)

          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown.  This bill is keyed non-fiscal by the  
          Legislative Counsel.



                                                                    AB 2448

                                                                    Page  4

          CalWORKs:  The CalWORKs program provides monthly income  
          assistance and employment-related services aimed at moving  
          children out of poverty and helping families meet basic needs.   
          Federal funding for CalWORKs comes from the TANF block grant.   
          The average 2016-17 monthly cash grant for a family of three on  
          CalWORKs (one parent and two children) is $497.35, and the  
          maximum monthly grant amount for a family of three, if the  
          family has no other income and lives in a high-cost county, is  
          $704.  According to recent data from the California Department  
          of Social Services, around 497,000 families rely on CalWORKs,  
          including over one million children.  Nearly 60% of cases  
          include children under 6 years old.

          Maximum grant amounts in high-cost counties of $704 per month  
          for a family of three, with no other income, means $23.46 per  
          day, per family, or $7.82 per family member, per day to meet  
          basic needs, including rent, clothing, utility bills, food, and  
          anything else a family needs to ensure children can be cared for  
          at home and safely remain with their families.  This grant  
          amount puts the annual household income at $8,448 per year, or  
          42% of poverty.  Federal Poverty Guidelines for 2016 show that  
          100% of poverty for a family of three is $20,160 per year.  

          Welfare-to-Work requirements:  Welfare-to-work activities within  
          the CalWORKs program include public or private sector subsidized  
          or unsubsidized employment; on-the-job training; community  
          service; secondary school, adult basic education and vocational  
          education and training when the education is needed for the  
          recipient to become employed; specific mental health, substance  
          abuse, or domestic violence services if they are necessary to  
          obtain or retain employment; and a number of other activities  
          necessary to assist a recipient in obtaining unsubsidized  


                                                                    AB 2448

                                                                    Page  5

          Unless they are exempt, single parent adults must participate  
          for at least 30 hours per week in welfare-to-work activities,  
          whereas the minimum participation requirement for two-parent  
          families is 35 hours per week.  After receiving aid for up to a  
          maximum of 24 months, adults without an exemption must meet  
          federal work requirements, with more restrictive employment  
          settings and allowable employment activities.  If a CalWORKs  
          recipient who is not exempt from participation does not meet his  
          or her welfare-to-work requirements, the recipient is sanctioned  
          for noncompliance, and that recipient's portion of the family's  
          grant subtracted from the amount provided to the family to meet  
          basic needs.

          CalWORKs time limits:  Passage of the Personal Responsibility  
          and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), which  
          was the final piece of federal welfare reform legislation,  
          marked the end of the previous Aid to Families with Dependent  
          Children (AFDC) program and the beginning of the block-granted  
          TANF program, under which CalWORKs was established in California  
          state law.  Among the numerous programmatic changes included  
          within the TANF program was a requirement that eligible parents  
          work or participate in work training or other activities that  
          lead to employment.  The TANF program provides a great deal of  
          flexibility in how states implement their respective programs,  
          including the ability for states to establish more truncated  
          time limits than the 60-month lifetime limit on aid for adult  
          recipients authorized within it.  As of 2011, California has  
          limited aid to adult CalWORKs recipients to a lifetime limit of  
          48 months.

          Need for this bill:  In Federal Fiscal Year 2013, it was  
          reported that only 52.3% of heads-of-household in single-parent  
          CalWORKs families had completed high school or the equivalent,  
          and only 56.1% of heads-of-household in two-parent families had.  
           The impact of having a high school diploma or its equivalent on  
          employment and income is well-documented.  For example, the  
          United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, in 2015  


                                                                    AB 2448

                                                                    Page  6

          for adults ages 25 and over, those without a high school diploma  
          or equivalent saw median weekly earnings of $493, compared to  
          their counterparts with a high school diploma whose median  
          weekly earnings were $678.  Amongst the same population, the  
          unemployment rate for those without a high school diploma was  
          8.0%, compared to 5.4% for those with a high school diploma.

          According to the author, "The ultimate goal of the CalWORKs  
          program is to provide support to recipients who need assistance  
          making the transition to work and this bill makes sure high  
          school equivalency is obtained without the 24-month time limit  
          being reached first.  This effectively ensures they have enough  
          time to get the education and training needed before entering  
          the workforce full time, increasing their odds of avoiding  
          chronic unemployment and other obstacles in the way of  

          Related Legislation:

          AB 1994 (Lopez) of the current legislative session, creates the  
          CalED program to provide a one-time $500 supplement to eligible  
          CalWORKs participants upon successful completion of a high  
          school equivalency examination.  The bill was heard in Assembly  
          Human Services on March 29, 2016. 

          AB 2058 (Mayes) of the current legislative session, creates the  
          CalWORKs Educational Opportunity and Attainment Program and  
          awards grant increases to CalWORKs recipients upon completion of  
          educational milestones, as specified.  The bill will be heard in  
          Assembly Human Services on April 12, 2016.

          Analysis Prepared by:                     Daphne Hunt / HUM. S.  


                                                                    AB 2448

                                                                    Page  7

          / (916) 319-2089                            FN: 0002683