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AB-1883 Human services: child care and development services: food assistance benefits.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/03/2018 04:00 AM
AB1883:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 02, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 08, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1883


Introduced by Assembly Member Weber
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia)

January 17, 2018


An act to amend Sections 8220.1 and 8222 of, and to add Section 8209.5 to, the Education Code, and to add Chapter 10.2 (commencing with Section 18936) to Part 6 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to human services.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1883, as amended, Weber. Human services: child care and development services: food assistance benefits.
(1) The Child Care and Development Services Act, administered by the State Department of Education, provides that children from infancy to 13 years of age are eligible for federal and state subsidized child development services if their families meet at least one requirement in each of certain areas.
This bill would require, for purposes of determining eligibility for services under the act, that the income of a person who is on state or federal active duty, active duty for special work, or Active Guard and Reserve duty in the military not include the amount of the basic allowance for housing provided to that person, pursuant to specified federal law, if the allowance is equal to the lowest rate of the allowance for the military housing area in which the person resides.
The act requires the department to contract with local contracting agencies for alternative payment programs for services provided throughout the state, and authorizes alternative payment programs for services provided in licensed centers and family day care homes and for other types of programs that conform to applicable law. The act requires an alternative payment program, with certain exceptions, to have no less than 36 months to expend funds allocated to that program in any fiscal year, and requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop a process that provides alternative payment programs no less than 36 months to expend funds allocated to that program in any fiscal year.
This bill would require an alternative payment program, with those same exceptions, to have no less than 12 months, instead of 36 months, to expend funds allocated to that program in any fiscal year, and would require the Superintendent to develop a process that provides alternative payment programs no less than 12 months, instead of 36 months, to expend funds allocated to that program in any fiscal year. The bill would require the department to contract with alternative payment programs, instead of local contracting agencies, for services provided throughout the state.
The act requires an alternative payment program to reimburse a licensed provider for the child care of a subsidized child based on the rate charged to nonsubsidized families or the rate established by the provider for prospective nonsubsidized families, as specified. The act requires a licensed child care provider to submit to the alternative payment program and the local resource and referral agency a copy of the provider’s rate sheet listing the rates charged and other specified policies and statements. The act authorizes a licensed child care provider to alter rate levels for subsidized children once per year and requires a licensed child care provider to provide the alternative payment program and local resource and referral agency with an updated rate sheet, and other specified policies and statements, to reflect the altered rate levels.
This bill would delete the provision authorizing a licensed child care provider to alter rate levels for subsidized children once per year and the related requirement to provide an updated rate sheet, and other specified policies and statements, to the alternative payment program and local resource and referral agency.
The act requires an alternative payment program to verify provider rates no less frequently than once a year, as provided, and requires the department to develop regulations for addressing discrepancies in provider rate levels identified through this verification process.
This bill would delete those requirements.
(2) Existing federal law provides for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known in California as CalFresh, under which supplemental nutrition assistance benefits allocated to the state by the federal government are distributed to eligible individuals by each county. Existing federal law establishes eligibility requirements, including specified income eligibility standards, for receipt of CalFresh benefits.
This bill would require the State Department of Social Services, on or before September 1, 2019, to establish the Military Families Food Assistance Program to provide food assistance benefits to a household that includes a person who is on state or federal active duty, active duty for special work, or Active Guard and Reserve duty in the military and who receives a specified basic allowance for housing that, when counted as income, makes the household ineligible for the maximum CalFresh benefits. benefits provided for that household size. The bill would require the benefits provided under the Military Families Food Assistance Program to be equivalent to the benefits that the household would be provided under the CalFresh program if the basic allowance for housing was not counted as income under the CalFresh program, and would require the laws, regulations, and guidance governing SNAP and the CalFresh program to also govern the Military Families Food Assistance Program. To the extent the bill would expand the duties of counties to administer this Military Families Food Assistance Program, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 8209.5 is added to the Education Code, to read:

8209.5.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares that requiring the basic allowance for housing received by active military families to be counted towards a family’s income when determining eligibility for child care services is contrary to the income eligibility requirements of other low-income subsidy supports, such as federal Head Start programs and the California Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.
(b) For purposes of determining eligibility for services pursuant to this chapter, the income of a person who is on state or federal active duty, active duty for special work, or Active Guard and Reserve duty in the military shall not include the amount of the basic allowance for housing pursuant to Section 403 of Title 37 of the United States Code provided to that person if the allowance is equal to the lowest rate of the allowance for the military housing area in which the person resides.
(c) This section does not affect priority for federal and state subsidized child development services pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 8263.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8220.1 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8220.1.
 (a) (1) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(A) There is currently an unmet need for over 1.5 million affordable child care slots for children from birth to 12 years of age.
(B) Fewer than 33,000 voucher-based child care slots are funded to support the parental choice and working needs of income eligible working families.
(C) Parents need accessible child care in settings that meet the full-time needs of working families, which often includes child care in the evenings and on weekends.
(D) Many active military families must secure child care in settings off the military base.
(2) It is therefore the intent of the Legislature that working families and active military families achieve and maintain their personal, social, economic, and emotional stability through an opportunity to attain financial stability through employment and parental development while maximizing the growth and development of their children, and through enhancing their parenting skills through participation in child care and development programs.
(b) The department shall contract with alternative payment programs so that services will be provided throughout the state. The department shall expand existing alternative payment programs and fund new alternative payment programs to the extent that funds are provided by the Legislature.
(c) Funding for the new programs pursuant to this section shall be allocated to programs that meet all of the following requirements:
(1) Applicants shall conform to the requirements of this article.
(2) Applicants shall demonstrate that an alternative payment child development program is an appropriate method of delivering child care services within the county or service area at the level requested in the application by doing either of the following:
(A) Demonstrating the availability of sufficient licensed or exempt child care providers.
(B) Providing a plan for the development of sufficient licensed child care providers working in cooperation with the local resource and referral agency.
(3) Applicants shall demonstrate the administrative viability of the alternative payment agency and its capacity to meet performance requirements.
(4) Existing alternative payment child development programs receiving funds for expansion into a new service area shall be funded at a documented rate appropriate to that community and may contract separately as appropriate.
(d) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (3), an alternative payment program shall have no less than 12 36 months to expend funds allocated to that program in any fiscal year.
(2) The Superintendent shall develop a process that provides alternative payment programs no less than 12 36 months to expend funds allocated to that program in any fiscal year.
(3) Paragraphs (1) and (2) do not apply to contracts relating to the administration of child care services described in Sections 8353 and 8354.

SEC. 3.

 Section 8222 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8222.
 (a) Payments made by alternative payment programs shall not exceed the applicable market rate ceiling. Alternative payment programs may expend more than the standard reimbursement rate for a particular child. However, the aggregate payments for services purchased by the agency during the contract year shall not exceed the assigned reimbursable amount as established by the contract for the year. An agency shall not make payments in excess of the rate charged to full-cost families. This section does not preclude alternative payment programs from using the average daily enrollment adjustment factor for children with exceptional needs as provided in Section 8265.5.
(b) Alternative payment programs shall reimburse licensed child care providers in accordance with a biennial market rate survey pursuant to Section 8447, at a rate not to exceed the ceilings established pursuant to Section 8357.
(c) An alternative payment program shall reimburse a licensed provider for child care of a subsidized child based on the rate charged by the provider to nonsubsidized families, if any, for the same services, or the rates established by the provider for prospective nonsubsidized families. A licensed child care provider shall submit to the alternative payment program a copy of the provider’s rate sheet listing the rates charged, and the provider’s discount or scholarship policies, if any, along with a statement signed by the provider confirming that the rates charged for a subsidized child are equal to or less than the rates charged for a nonsubsidized child.
(d) An alternative payment program shall maintain a copy of the rate sheet and the confirmation statement.
(e) A licensed child care provider shall submit to the local resource and referral agency a copy of the provider’s rate sheet listing rates charged, and the provider’s discount or scholarship policies, if any, and shall self-certify that the information is correct.
(f) A licensed child care provider shall post in a prominent location adjacent to the provider’s license at the child care facility the provider’s rates and discounts or scholarship policies, if any.

SEC. 4.

 Chapter 10.2 (commencing with Section 18936) is added to Part 6 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
CHAPTER  10.2. Military Families Food Assistance Program

18936.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) A 2016 survey of more than 8,000 active military members conducted by Blue Star Families found that 7 percent of active military members experienced food insecurity that year. Food insecurity among military families is triggered by a number of circumstances, including unexpected financial emergencies, underemployment among spouses, and the costs incurred by frequent changes in stations.
(b) The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known as CalFresh in California, is the nation’s most important defense against hunger, but it is largely out of reach for low-income military families.
(c) SNAP rules require California’s CalFresh program to count the value of housing allowances, known as basic allowance for housing (BAH), as income when determining the eligibility of military families in the program.
(d) The United States Internal Revenue Service does not consider BAH as taxable income, nor is BAH counted as income for a variety of other public social services programs, including the California Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.

18936.1.
 (a) On or before September 1, 2019, the State Department of Social Services shall establish the Military Families Food Assistance Program to provide assistance for the households described in subdivision (b).
(b) A household that includes a person who is on state or federal active duty, active duty for special work, or Active Guard and Reserve duty in the military and who receives a basic allowance for housing pursuant to Section 403 of Title 37 of the United States Code that, when counted as income pursuant to Section 273.9(c)(1)(vii) of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or any other federal law, regulation, or guidance, makes the household ineligible for the maximum CalFresh benefits provided for that household size pursuant to Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 18900) shall be eligible for benefits under this chapter.
(c) The benefits provided under this chapter shall be equivalent to the benefits that the household would be provided under the CalFresh program if the basic allowance for housing was not counted as income under the CalFresh program.
(d) A household described in subdivision (b) that applies for CalFresh benefits shall have its eligibility determined for benefits provided under this chapter without the need for a new application.
(e) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the laws, regulations, and guidance governing the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the CalFresh program shall also govern the program provided for under this chapter.

18936.2.
 This chapter shall be implemented only during a period in which Section 273.9(c)(1)(vii) of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or any other federal law, regulation, or guidance, requires a basic allowance for housing, as described in Section 403 of Title 37 of the United States Code, to be counted as income for purposes of determining eligibility for the CalFresh program.

SEC. 5.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.