BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 2448


                                                                    Page  1


          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS


          AB  
          2448 (Burke)


          As Amended  August 8, 2016


          Majority vote


           -------------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |ASSEMBLY:  | 76-0 |(April 25,     |SENATE: |38-0  |(August 15,      |
          |           |      |2016)          |        |      |2016)            |
          |           |      |               |        |      |                 |
          |           |      |               |        |      |                 |
           -------------------------------------------------------------------- 


          Original Committee Reference:  HUM. S.




          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 by:  
          including 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; stipulating 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"; permitting 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 equivalent; and exempting a CalWORKs recipient who is  
          determined to not have yet received his or her high school  








                                                                    AB 2448


                                                                    Page  2


          diploma or its equivalent from having to participate in an  
          assessment prior to, or as a condition of, participation in a  
          high school equivalency program.


          The Senate amendments:


           1) Stipulate that, in order to be exempt from the 24-month  
             clock due to participation in a high school equivalency  
             program, a recipient must have already been participating in  
             a high school equivalency program for at least six months but  
             not yet obtained a certificate of high school equivalency.
           2) Limit exemption from the 24-month clock due to participation  
             in a high school equivalency program to no more than six  
             cumulative months which may be extended for up to an  
             additional six cumulative months based on a likelihood that  
             the recipient will obtain his or her certification of high  
             school equivalency during that time period.
          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  
            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)








                                                                    AB 2448


                                                                    Page  3




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


          COMMENTS:  


          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  








                                                                    AB 2448


                                                                    Page  4


          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  
          employment.  


          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  








                                                                    AB 2448


                                                                    Page  5


          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  
          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  
          self-sufficiency."


          Related Legislation:


          AB 1994 (Lopez) of the current legislative session, creates the  
          CalED program to provide a one-time $500 supplement to eligible  








                                                                    AB 2448


                                                                    Page  6


          CalWORKs participants upon successful completion of a high  
          school equivalency examination.  The bill has been referred to  
          the Assembly Appropriations Committee's suspense file. 


          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 has been  
          referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee's suspense  
          file.




          Analysis Prepared by:                     Daphne Hunt / HUM. S.  
          / (916) 319-2089                                   FN: 0003900 :