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AB-415 CalFresh: employment social enterprises.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/18/2017 04:00 AM
AB415:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 17, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 21, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 415


Introduced by Assembly Members Chiu and Reyes

February 09, 2017


An act to add Sections 11322.63, 11323.26, and Section 18926.7 to the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to public social services. CalFresh.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 415, as amended, Chiu. CalWORKs: CalFresh: employment social enterprises.

Existing law establishes the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program, under which each county provides cash assistance and other benefits to qualified low-income families using federal, state, and county funds. Existing law requires a recipient of CalWORKs to participate in welfare-to-work activities, which may include private or public subsidized employment, as a condition of eligibility. Existing law authorizes a county to provide welfare-to-work services to former participants who became ineligible for CalWORKs benefits because they became employed through subsidized employment services.

This bill would authorize a county to partner with an employment social enterprise to offer subsidized employment opportunities. The bill would also authorize a county to provide welfare-to-work services to former participants who became ineligible for CalWORKs benefits because they became employed by an employment social enterprise.

Existing federal law provides for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known in California as CalFresh, under which food assistance benefits are distributed to eligible individuals by the counties. Existing law authorizes counties to participate in the CalFresh Employment and Training Program (CalFresh E&T), established by federal law, and requires participating counties to screen CalFresh work registrants to determine whether they will participate in, or be deferred from, the CalFresh E&T program.
This bill would authorize the State Department of Social Services to contract directly with employment social enterprises enterprises, as defined, or a designated intermediary to provide CalFresh E&T program services and would require the department, department to seek any county consultation necessary to implement the contract. The bill would require the department, if it does not contract directly with employment social enterprises, enterprises or a designated intermediary, to issue guidance instructing counties that elect to participate in CalFresh E&T program services of any special considerations for partnering with employment social enterprises in the development of their county CalFresh E&T programs. The bill would also make legislative findings and declarations relating to California’s employment social enterprises.

Existing law continuously appropriates moneys from the General Fund to defray a portion of county costs under the CalWORKs program.

This bill would instead provide that the continuous appropriation would not be made for purposes of implementing the bill.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a)The California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program provides time-limited support for low-income parents to remove barriers to work, participate in employment and training, secure employment, and support job retention.

(b)

(a) California’s employment social enterprises employ people in transitional jobs and prepare people, many of them parents, facing multiple barriers, such as low skill and education attainment, criminal records, homelessness, substance abuse, and mental illness, to secure and retain long-term employment.

(c)

(b) California’s employment social enterprises are funded with a mix of public and private dollars and expect to employ over 20,000 people in the next five years.

(d)For low-income parents who have exceeded eligible months in CalWORKs or for adults without children, the CalFresh Employment and Training program offers another tool to support barrier reduction and training for employment that is supported by significant federal funding.

(e)

(c) Through their experience in combining short- or long-term wage-paying employment that combines real work, training and skill development, and supportive services for participants who are overcoming significant barriers to employment, California’s employment social enterprises could leverage CalFresh Employment and Training program funding to expand services to even more Californians.
SEC. 2.Section 11322.63 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
11322.63.

A county may partner with an employment social enterprise, as defined in Section 11323.26, to offer subsidized employment opportunities to CalWORKs applicants and recipients as described in Section 11322.64.

SEC. 3.Section 11323.26 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, immediately following Section 11323.25, to read:
11323.26.

(a)A county may continue to provide welfare-to-work services to former participants who became ineligible for CalWORKs benefits because they became employed by an employment social enterprise. The county may provide these services for up to the first 12 months of employment, to the extent they are not available from other sources and are needed for the individual to retain the employment.

(b)For the purposes of this section, “employment social enterprise” means a California-based social purpose corporation, a benefit corporation, or a nonprofit corporation that earns 51 percent or more of its enterprise revenue from production or assembly of goods or the provision of services and that demonstrates evidence of its mission to provide employment with on-the-job and life skills training to a direct labor force, not including supervisors, administrators, and trainers, that is comprised of 80 percent or more participants who face multiple barriers to employment, including, but not limited to, being formerly incarcerated, being homeless, or being a youth disconnected from school and work.

SEC. 4.SEC. 2.

 Section 18926.7 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

18926.7.
 (a) The department may contract directly with employment social enterprises, as defined in Section 11323.26, enterprises or a designated intermediary to provide CalFresh E&T program services. If
(b) The department shall seek any county consultation necessary to implement subdivision (a).
(c) If the department does not contract directly with employment social enterprises, enterprises or a designated intermediary, it shall issue guidance instructing counties that elect to participate in CalFresh E&T program services of any special considerations for partnering with employment social enterprises in the development of their county CalFresh E&T programs.
(d) (1) For purposes of this section, “employment social enterprise” means a social purpose corporation, a benefit corporation, or a nonprofit corporation that earns 51 percent or more of its enterprise revenue from production or assembly of goods or the provision of services and that demonstrates evidence of its mission to provide employment with on-the-job and life skills training to a direct labor force, not including supervisors, administrators, and trainers, that is comprised of 80 percent or more participants who face multiple barriers to employment.
(2) For purposes of this section, “participant who faces multiple barriers to employment” means an individual who meets at least two of the following:
(A) An individual with employment barriers, as defined in subdivision (j) of Section 14005 of the Unemployment Insurance Code.
(B) An individual who is or has been homeless, as defined by the United States Department of Health and Human Services as of January 1, 2016.
(C) An individual who is an out-of-school youth, as defined in Section 3164(a)(1)(B) of Title 29 of the United States Code.

SEC. 5.

No appropriation pursuant to Section 15200 of the Welfare and Institutions Code shall be made for purposes of implementing this act.