Bill Text

Bill Information

PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

SB-360 Public social services: prosecution for overpayment or overissuance of benefits.(2017-2018)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 03/22/2017 04:00 AM
SB360:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  March 21, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 360


Introduced by Senator Skinner

February 14, 2017


An act to amend Section 10980 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to public social services.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 360, as amended, Skinner. Public social services: prosecution for overpayment or overissuance of benefits.

Existing law establishes various social services programs that provide cash assistance and medical, food, and other benefits to qualified low-income families and individuals, including the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), Medi-Cal, and CalFresh programs.

Existing federal law provides for allocation of federal funds through the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant program to eligible states. Existing law provides for the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program, under which, through a combination of state and county funds and federal funds received through the TANF program, each county provides cash assistance and other benefits to qualified low-income families. Existing federal law provides for the 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 law establishes criminal penalties for violation of certain provisions relating to, among other offenses, willfully and knowingly, with the intent to deceive, by means of a false statement or representation, or by failing to disclose a material fact, or by impersonation or other fraudulent device, obtaining or retaining aid through designated public social services.
This bill would prohibit a person from being subject to criminal prosecution, as specified, for an overpayment or overissuance of benefits, obtained under the above-described designated public social services, CalWORKs program or the CalFresh program, for any month in which the county was in receipt of any information indicating the any potential for an overpayment or an overissuance before the county provided the overpayment or the overissuance. and has not provided notice of the overpayment or the overissuance to the person. The bill would also make technical, nonsubstantive changes to the above provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 10980 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

10980.
 (a) Any person who, willfully and knowingly, with the intent to deceive, makes a false statement or representation or knowingly fails to disclose a material fact in order to obtain aid under the provisions of this division or who, knowing he or she is not entitled thereto, attempts to obtain aid or to continue to receive aid to which he or she is not entitled, or to receive a larger amount than that to which he or she is legally entitled, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the a county jail for a period of not more than six months, by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by both imprisonment and fine.
(b) Any person who knowingly makes more than one application for aid under the provisions of this division with the intent of establishing multiple entitlements for any person for the same period or who makes an application for that aid for a fictitious or nonexistent person or by claiming a false identity for any person is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for a period of 16 months, two years, or three years, by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine; or by imprisonment in the a county jail for a period of not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both imprisonment and fine.
(c) Whenever any person has, willfully and knowingly, with the intent to deceive, by means of false statement or representation, or by failing to disclose a material fact, or by impersonation or other fraudulent device, obtained or retained aid under the provisions of this division for himself or herself or for a child not in fact entitled thereto, the person obtaining this aid shall be punished as follows:
(1) If the total amount of the aid obtained or retained is nine hundred fifty dollars ($950) or less, by imprisonment in the a county jail for a period of not more than six months, by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by both imprisonment and fine.
(2) If the total amount of the aid obtained or retained is more than nine hundred fifty dollars ($950), by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for a period of 16 months, two years, or three years, by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine; or by imprisonment in the a county jail for a period of not more than one year, by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both imprisonment and fine.
(d) Any person who knowingly uses, transfers, acquires, or possesses blank authorizations to participate in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in any manner not authorized by Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 18900) of Part 6 with the intent to defraud is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for a period of 16 months, two years, or three years, by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
(e) Any person who counterfeits or alters or knowingly uses, transfers, acquires, or possesses counterfeited or altered authorizations to participate in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or to receive CalFresh benefits or electronically transferred benefits in any manner not authorized by the former federal Food Stamp Act of 1964 (Public Law 88-525 and all amendments thereto) or the federal Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. Sec. 2011 et seq.) or the federal regulations pursuant to the act is guilty of forgery.
(f) Any person who fraudulently appropriates CalFresh benefits, electronically transferred benefits, or authorizations to participate in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program with which he or she has been entrusted pursuant to his or her duties as a public employee is guilty of embezzlement of public funds.
(g) Any person who knowingly uses, transfers, sells, purchases, or possesses CalFresh benefits, electronically transferred benefits, or authorizations to participate in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in any manner not authorized by Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 18900), 18900) of Part 6, or by the former federal Food Stamp Act of 1977 (Public Law 95-113 and all amendments thereto) or the federal Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. Sec. 2011 et seq.) (1) is guilty of a misdemeanor if the face value of the food stamp benefits or the authorizations to participate is nine hundred fifty dollars ($950) or less, and shall be punished by imprisonment in the a county jail for a period of not more than six months, by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by both imprisonment and fine, or (2) is guilty of a felony if the face value of the CalFresh benefits or the authorizations to participate exceeds nine hundred fifty dollars ($950), and shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for a period of 16 months, two years, or three years, by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine, or by imprisonment in the a county jail for a period of not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both imprisonment and fine.
(h) (1) If the violation of subdivision (f) or (g) is committed by means of an electronic transfer of benefits, in addition and consecutive to the penalties for the violation, or attempted violation, of those subdivisions, the court shall impose the following punishment:
(A) If the electronic transfer of benefits exceeds fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), an additional term pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code of one year.
(B) If the electronic transfer of benefits exceeds one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000), an additional term pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code of two years.
(C) If the electronic transfer of benefits exceeds one million dollars ($1,000,000), an additional term pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code of three years.
(D) If the electronic transfer of benefits exceeds two million five hundred thousand dollars ($2,500,000), an additional term pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code of four years.
(2) In any accusatory pleading involving multiple charges of violations of subdivision (f) or (g), or both, committed by means of an electronic transfer of benefits, the additional terms provided in paragraph (1) may be imposed if the aggregate losses to the victims from all violations exceed the amounts specified in this paragraph and arise from a common scheme or plan.
(i) A person who is punished by an additional term of imprisonment under another provision of law for a violation of subdivision (f) or (g) shall not receive an additional term of imprisonment under subdivision (h).
(j) A person shall not be subject to criminal prosecution, under this section or under any other law, for an overpayment or overissuance of benefits, obtained under the provisions of this division, the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program (Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) of Part 3) or the CalFresh program (Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 18900) of Part 6), for any month in which the county was in receipt of any information indicating the any potential for an overpayment or an overissuance before the county provided the overpayment or the overissuance. and has not provided notice of the overpayment or the overissuance to the person.