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AB-283 CalWORKs: immunizations: truancy.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 01/28/2019 09:00 PM
AB283:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 283


Introduced by Assembly Member Chu

January 28, 2019


An act to repeal Sections 11253.5 and 11265.8 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to CalWORKs.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 283, as introduced, Chu. CalWORKs: immunizations: truancy.
Existing law requires each county to provide cash assistance and other social services to needy families through the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program using federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant program, state, and county funds.
Under existing law, all applicants for or recipients of CalWORKs are required to ensure and provide documentation that each child in the assistance unit who is not required to be enrolled in school has received all age-appropriate immunizations, except as specified. If the documentation is not provided within the required time period, existing law prohibits the needs of all parents or caretaker relatives in the assistance unit from being considered in determining the grant to the assistance unit until the required documentation is provided.
Existing law also requires children in a CalWORKs assistance unit for whom school attendance is compulsory, except as specified, to attend school. Under existing law, the needs of a child in the assistance unit who is 16 years of age or older are not considered in computing the specified grant of the family for any month in which the county is informed by a school district or a county school attendance review board that the child did not attend school, unless at least one of certain conditions is present.
This bill would repeal those provisions relating to mandatory immunization and school attendance. The bill would require the department to implement its provisions through an all-county letter or similar instruction, which the bill would require to be issued by July 1, 2020.
Existing law continuously appropriates moneys from the General Fund to defray a portion of county costs under the CalWORKs program.
This bill would provide that the continuous appropriation would not be made for the 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 the following:
(a) Researchers who study public health habits of families living in deep poverty have found that when the children of those families do not benefit from public health interventions, it is most often because their parents or caretakers are disconnected from the healthcare system and lack the resources necessary for their child’s participation.
(b) Research also shows that increasing access to services and resources increases the power of public health and educational interventions to alleviate poverty and help pave a path out of poverty for poor children.
(c) There is no evidence that denying cash assistance for basic needs to parents whose children have not benefited form public health or educational services increases receipt of those services, it simply makes families poorer and less able to ensure the safety, health, and educational growth of their children.
(d) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to improve public health and the health and educational outcomes of young children living in homes that receive assistance through the CalWORKs program.

SEC. 2.

 Section 11253.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is repealed.
11253.5.

(a)All children in an assistance unit for whom school attendance is compulsory, except individuals who are eligible for the Cal-Learn Program under Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 11331), for any period during which that article is operative, and children subject to a county school attendance project under Article 2 (commencing with Section 18236) of Chapter 3.3 of Part 6, shall be required to attend school pursuant to subdivision (f).

(b)Applicants for and recipients of aid under this chapter shall be informed of the attendance requirement in subdivision (a) and it shall be included in the recipients’ welfare-to-work plan under Section 11325.21.

(c)A recipient shall cooperate in providing the county with documentation routinely available from the school or school district of regular attendance of all children described in subdivision (a) in the assistance unit when the county determines it is appropriate, unless there is good cause for the inability to secure that documentation.

(d)If it is determined by the county that any child in the assistance unit is not attending school as required by subdivision (a), the family may be informed of how to enroll the child in a continuation school within the county and may be screened to determine eligibility for family stabilization services pursuant to Section 11325.24 and in accordance with county policy and procedures. If applicable, the county shall document that the family was given this information and was screened for those services. The needs of a child in the assistance unit who is 16 years of age or older shall not be considered in computing the grant of the family under Section 11450 for any month in which the county is informed by a school district or a county school attendance review board that the child did not attend school pursuant to subdivision (f), unless at least one of the following conditions is present:

(1)The county is provided with evidence that the child’s attendance records are not available.

(2)The county is provided with evidence that the child has been attending school.

(3)Good cause for school nonparticipation exists at any time during the month. A circumstance that shall constitute good cause includes, but is not limited to, the applicant or recipient is in a domestic violence situation that results in school nonparticipation or the failure to cooperate.

(4)Any member of the household is eligible to participate in family stabilization pursuant to Section 11325.24.

(5)The county is provided with evidence that the child, parent, or caregiver is complying with requirements imposed by a school attendance review board, the county probation department, or the district attorney pursuant to Section 48263 or 48263.5 of the Education Code.

(6)A member of the household is cooperating with a plan developed by a county child welfare agency.

(e)A child whose needs have not been considered in computing the grant of the family pursuant to this section shall remain eligible for services that may lead to attendance in school.

(f)For the purposes of this section, a child shall be presumed to be attending school unless he or she has been deemed a chronic truant pursuant to Section 48263.6 of the Education Code.

(g)This section shall become operative on July 1, 2018.

SEC. 3.

 Section 11265.8 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is repealed.
11265.8.

(a)All applicants for aid under this chapter, within 30 days of the determination of eligibility for Medi-Cal benefits under Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 14000), and 45 days for applicants already eligible for benefits under Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 14000), and all recipients of aid under this chapter within 45 days of a full or financial redetermination of eligibility for aid under this chapter, shall provide documentation that all children in the assistance unit not required to be enrolled in school have received all age appropriate immunizations, unless it has been medically determined that an immunization for a child is not appropriate or the applicant or recipient has filed with the county welfare department an affidavit that the immunizations are contrary to the applicant’s or recipient’s beliefs. If the county determines that good cause exists for not providing the required documentation due to lack of reasonable access to immunization services, the period shall be extended by an additional 30 days. A circumstance that shall constitute good cause includes, but is not limited to, the applicant or recipient does not have reasonable access to immunization services due to a situation of domestic violence. If the documentation is not provided within the required time period, the needs of all parents or caretaker relatives in the assistance unit shall not be considered in determining the grant to the assistance unit under Section 11450 until the required documentation is provided. The department shall track and maintain information concerning the number of sanctions imposed under this section.

(b)At the time of application and at the next redetermination of eligibility for aid under this chapter, all applicants and recipients shall be given notice advising them of their obligation to secure the immunizations required in subdivision (a). The notice shall also contain all of the following:

(1)The Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule, United States, and the Recommended Immunization Schedule for Children Not Immunized on Schedule in the First Year of Life, as appropriate, approved by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

(2)A description of how to obtain the immunizations through a fee-for-service provider that accepts Medi-Cal, a Medi-Cal managed care plan, a county public health clinic, or any other source that may be available in the county as appropriate.

(3)A statement that the applicant or recipient may file an affidavit claiming that the immunizations are contrary to the applicant’s or recipient’s beliefs.

(c)This section shall become operative on July 1, 2018.

SEC. 4.

 Notwithstanding the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), the State Department of Social Services shall implement this act through an all-county letter or similar instruction. The all-county letter or similar instruction shall be issued by July 1, 2020.

SEC. 5.

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