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AB-1320 Workforce development: Lifelong Learning Accounts Initiative Program.(2009-2010)

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AB1320:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  July 02, 2009
Amended  IN  Assembly  June 01, 2009

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2009–2010 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1320


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Fong
(Coauthor(s): Assembly Member Fuentes)

February 27, 2009


An act to add Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 14550) to Division 7 of the Unemployment Insurance Code, relating to workforce development.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1320, as amended, Fong. Workforce development: lifelong learning pilot program. Lifelong Learning Accounts Initiative Program.
The federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998 provides for workforce investment activities, including activities in which states may participate. Existing law, the California Workforce Investment Act, establishes the California Workforce Investment Board, as prescribed, and requires the board to assist the Governor in performing specified duties relating to the development, implementation, and promotion of various workforce development activities, job training, and employment investment, including work incentive programs, as specified. Existing law authorizes the Employment Development Department to administer the state unemployment insurance and the disability compensation programs.
This bill would, beginning January 1, 2012, create the Lifelong Learning Accounts Pilot Initiative Program, for the purpose of providing grants to employers and employees to be used to establish individual lifelong learning accounts, as defined, for the deposit of funds to be used by those employees and employers for purposes related to lifelong education and training. The bill would require the board department to establish a grant program and implement and administer the program, as specified. The bill would require the board department to prepare and submit a report to specified legislative fiscal and policy committees, evaluating the effectiveness of the program, as prescribed. The bill would provide that its provisions shall only be implemented if the Director of Finance makes a written determination that there are sufficient funds from sources other than the General Fund available for that purpose.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 14550) is added to Division 7 of the Unemployment Insurance Code, to read:
CHAPTER  6. Lifelong Learning Accounts Pilot Initiative Program

14550.
 The Lifelong Learning Accounts Pilot Initiative Program is hereby created in the department for the purpose of providing grants to employers and employees to be used to establish individual lifelong learning accounts for the deposit of funds to be used by those employers and employees for purposes related to lifelong education and training.

14550.1.
 For purposes of this chapter, the following terms have the following meanings:

(a)“Board” means the California Workforce Investment Board.

(a) “Department” means the California Employment Development Department.
(b) “Employee” means a California resident who works at least 20 hours or more a week, on average, for an employer in this state.
(c) “Employer” means a person, partnership, corporation, limited partnership, or limited liability company that retains at least one eligible employee for six months.
(d) “Grant funds” means any award, donation, or gift from an individual, foundation, business, or any assistance provided to this state by the federal government.
(e) “Lifelong Learning Account” means an account held by a trustee, custodian, fiduciary, or other person approved by the department to be used for the deposit of funds to pay for qualified expenses such as fees, tuition, or other materials relating to job career training and education.
(f) “Match” means moneys that will be supplied in an amount equal up to the total contributed by the employee and employer.
(g) “Qualified expense” means “qualified higher education expenses” as defined in Section 529(e) of the Internal Revenue Code.

14550.2.
 (a) The board department shall establish a grant program to provide grants to employees and employers to encourage those employees and employers to save for lifelong education and training. Under this program, an employee shall be eligible to receive a grant fund match of up to 50 percent of the first five hundred dollars ($500) that the employee contributes into his or her Lifelong Learning Account for a maximum amount not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250). An employee may also be eligible for a match of up to 50 percent of the first five hundred dollars ($500) contributed, on the employee’s behalf, by his or her employer, for a maximum not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250). The maximum total amount of the grant fund match that could be received by an individual employee, during a single tax year, is five hundred dollars ($500). Matching funds will be available based upon the determination by the department that there are sufficient funds to cover program costs.
(b) The board department may contract with an individual, nonprofit organization, or other business to administer and implement the grant program.
(c) Any employer or employee who enters into an agreement with the board department under this program may designate the account established, pursuant to the agreement, as a Lifelong Learning Account. The board department shall ensure that the grant program complies with the applicable requirements of Article 19 (commencing with Section 69980) of Chapter 2 of Division 5 of Part 42 of the Education Code.
(d) The board department shall make education and career advising and other support services available to employees under the program, and shall provide technical assistance to employers to implement the grant program. The board department may use grant funds to offset the costs of support services, technical assistance, and program administration. The department may limit the number of available accounts based upon the amount of grant funds received.
(e) There shall be established in the State Treasury, a Lifelong Learning Program Fund to receive contributions from individuals, foundations, nonprofit organization businesses, and the federal government to be used for the program.
(f) The board department shall prepare and submit a report to the Assembly Committee on Budget and the Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, and the appropriate legislative policy committees evaluating the effectiveness of this chapter. The report shall be submitted to those committees at least 20 days prior to the date that the Legislature convenes the second year of the 2011–12 Regular Session.
(g) The board department shall, after consultation with the Treasurer and the Scholarshare Investment Board, adopt rules and regulations that are necessary or appropriate to ensure the proper implementation and administration of the program.

14550.3.
 This chapter shall become operative on January 1, 2012.

14550.4.
 The Lifelong Learning Accounts Pilot Initiative Program shall only be implemented if the Director of Finance makes a written determination that there are sufficient funds available from sources other than the General Fund for that purpose.