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SB-730 Pupil nutrition: National School Lunch Act: Buy American provision: compliance.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/17/2017 09:00 PM
SB730:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 730


Introduced by Senator Pan
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Mullin)

February 17, 2017


An act to add Section 49563 to the Education Code, relating to pupil nutrition.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 730, as introduced, Pan. Pupil nutrition: National School Lunch Act: Buy American provision: compliance.
Existing federal law, the National School Lunch Act, establishes a federal subsidy program to provide free and reduced-price meals to eligible children in schools. As a condition of participation, federal law requires the State Department of Education and participating local educational agencies to comply with a provision, known as the Buy American provision, that requires school food authorities, as defined, to purchase, to the maximum extent possible, domestic commodities or products. Existing federal regulations establish procedures for administrative review and compliance with specific program requirements, including the Buy American provision. Under existing state law, the State Department of Education and local educational agencies administer the National School Lunch Act programs.
This bill would require the department to take certain actions to monitor and enforce the Buy American provision that are authorized by and conform to federal law. The bill would also require the department to take actions in addition to what is prescribed under federal law by requiring the department to establish a process for school food authorities to request an exception to the Buy American provision and, after the process is established, would require a school food authority, if it serves a foreign commodity, to provide notice to the public and to the parents or guardians of pupils relating to the procurement and service of foreign commodities. To the extent this bill would impose additional duties on local educational agencies, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would state that its provisions are operative only to the extent authorized under federal law.
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.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) The federal Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act of 1998 enacted a provision, known as the Buy American provision, to the federal National School Lunch Act that requires school food authorities to purchase, to the maximum extent practicable, domestic commodities or products.
(2) School food authorities are required to comply with the Buy American provision as a procurement standard when commercial food products are purchased for school meal programs.
(3) Given the importance of the Buy American provision, there are very limited exceptions to the requirement, to be used as a last resort. The allowable exceptions are (A) the product is not produced or manufactured in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities of a satisfactory quality, or (B) competitive bids reveal the cost of a domestic product is significantly higher than the nondomestic product.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to ensure compliance with and enforcement of the Buy American provision for procuring commodities and products for schools participating in programs under the federal National School Lunch Act and the federal Child Nutrition Act of 1966.

SEC. 2.

 Section 49563 is added to the Education Code, to read:

49563.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Buy American provision” means the provision requiring a school food authority to purchase, to the maximum extent practicable, domestic commodities or products, as specified in subdivision (n) of Section 1760 of Title 42 of the United States Code.
(2) “Domestic” means an agricultural commodity that is produced in the United States and a food product that is processed in the United States using substantial agricultural commodities that are produced in the United States.
(3) “Substantial” means over 51 percent of the final processed product consists of agricultural commodities grown domestically.
(4) “School food authority” has the same meaning as defined in Section 210.2 of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(b) In order to monitor compliance and to enforce the Buy American provision, the department shall do all of the following:
(1) Distribute to school food authorities the most recent Buy American requirement guidance information from the United States Department of Food and Agriculture on an annual basis.
(2) Determine if school food authority solicitation and contract documents contain the language for contractors to supply products in compliance with the Buy American provision.
(3) Review a variety of food product labels in storage facilities to ensure compliance with the Buy American provision.
(4) Review a sample of supplier invoices and receipts to ensure the country of origin is the United States or its territories.
(5) Request documentation justifying any exceptions identified in paragraph (4).
(6) Issue a finding and require corrective action if nondomestic products are identified and there is no documentation justifying an exception.
(7) Require school food authorities to include the Buy American provision in solicitations, contracts, and product specifications.
(8) Establish best practices for school food authorities to comply with the Buy American provision.
(9) Establish a process for school food authorities to request an exception to the Buy American requirement before purchasing nondomestic products.
(10) Once an exception process is established pursuant to paragraph (9), if a school food authority uses an exception, require the school food authority to do both of the following:
(A) Notify the public by posting on the school food authority’s Internet Web site the fact that the school food authority is serving a foreign commodity or product pursuant to an exception to the Buy American provision.
(B) Electronically mail a notice to the parents or guardians of pupils enrolled in the free or reduced-price meals program that states that the school food authority is serving a foreign commodity pursuant to an exception to the Buy American requirement and identifies the exception being used.
(c) The provisions of this section shall be operative only if authorized by federal law.

SEC. 3.

 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.