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SB-374 CalWORKs: postsecondary education.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/01/2019 09:00 PM
SB374:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 01, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 374


Introduced by Senator Glazer
(Coauthor: Senator Stone)(Coauthors: Senators Portantino, Stone, and Wiener)
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Lackey)(Coauthors: Assembly Members Lackey, Rodriguez, and Mark Stone)

February 20, 2019


An act to amend Section 704.080 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and to amend Sections 11320.1, 11320.3, 11323.4, 11325.21, 11325.22, 11327.4, 11331.7, 11342, and 11454.5 of, to add Section 11322.84 to, to repeal Section 11325.23 of, and to repeal and add Section 11323.2 of, amend Section 11320.1 of, and to add Sections 11323.21 and 11322.84 to, the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to CalWORKs.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 374, as amended, Glazer. CalWORKs: postsecondary education.
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 imposes limits on the amount of income and personal and real property an individual or family may possess in order to be eligible for CalWORKs aid.
Existing law requires a recipient of CalWORKs to participate in welfare-to-work activities as a condition of eligibility. Existing law authorizes a student who, at the time they are required to participate in the program, is enrolled in any undergraduate degree or certificate program that leads to employment to continue in that program if they are making satisfactory progress in that program, the county determines that continuing in the program is likely to lead to self-supporting employment for that recipient, and the welfare-to-work plan reflects that determination. A person may meet their welfare-to-work requirements by taking part in a self-initiated education or training program; however, if a recipient does not complete a specified number of hours of classroom, laboratory, or internship activities, the county human services agency is required to have the recipient participate in concurrent work activities, as specified.
Existing law limits the time period in which a participant may engage in certain educational activities, in satisfaction of welfare-to-work requirements, to 24 cumulative months during a participant’s lifetime. Existing law provides for an extension of that 24-month period under certain circumstances. Existing law requires that necessary supportive services, including child care and transportation costs, be available to every welfare-to-work participant in order to participate in the program activity to which they are assigned.
This bill would repeal the provisions described above relating to recipients who are students and requiring that necessary supportive services be available to every participant. The bill would instead require that a CalWORKs eligible individual participating in an educational activity full time and making satisfactory progress, as specified, receive a standard allowance of $500. $500, which may be provided, in whole or in part, in the form of a book voucher. The bill would authorize a participant to opt out of the standard allowance at any time, to make a reimbursement claim for the actual costs of books and supplies, and to submit this claim to the county. The bill would require that an applicant or recipient who is enrolled full time in a specified educational plan or program and making satisfactory progress be deemed to be meeting all welfare-to-work requirements, including the hourly participation requirements requirements, and be entitled to the allowance or reimbursement and other necessary supportive services. The bill would provide that a recipient who is enrolled in a publicly funded postsecondary educational institution and making satisfactory progress that would meaningfully increase the likelihood of their employment is entitled to an extension of the 24-month cumulative participation period, as specified. The bill would define “full time” and “making satisfactory progress” for purposes of these provisions and would require that these allowances be adjusted annually for inflation. By imposing a higher level of service of county employees, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The bill would also make conforming changes.

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.
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: YES  

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


SECTION 1.Section 704.080 of the Code of Civil Procedure is amended to read:
704.080.

(a)For the purposes of this section:

(1)“Deposit account” means a deposit account in which payments of public benefits or social security benefits are directly deposited by the government or its agent.

(2)“Social security benefits” means payments authorized by the Social Security Administration for regular retirement and survivors’ benefits, supplemental security income benefits, coal miners’ health benefits, and disability insurance benefits. “Public benefits” means aid payments authorized pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 11450 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, payments for allowances, reimbursements, and supportive services as described in Section 11323.2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and general assistance payments made pursuant to Section 17000.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(b)A deposit account is exempt without making a claim in the following amount:

(1)One thousand two hundred twenty-five dollars ($1,225) when one depositor is the designated payee of the directly deposited public benefits payments.

(2)Two thousand four hundred twenty-five dollars ($2,425) when one depositor is the designated payee of directly deposited social security payments.

(3)One thousand eight hundred twenty-five dollars ($1,825) when two or more depositors are the designated payees of the directly deposited public benefits payments, unless those depositors are joint payees of directly deposited payments that represent a benefit to only one of the depositors, in which case the exemption under paragraph (1) applies.

(4)Three thousand six hundred fifty dollars ($3,650) when two or more depositors are the designated payees of directly deposited social security payments, unless those depositors are joint payees of directly deposited payments that represent a benefit to only one of the depositors, in which case the exemption under paragraph (2) applies.

(c)The amount of a deposit account that exceeds the exemption provided in subdivision (b) is exempt to the extent that it consists of payments of public benefits or social security benefits.

(d)Notwithstanding Article 5 (commencing with Section 701.010) of Chapter 3, when a deposit account is levied upon or otherwise sought to be subjected to the enforcement of a money judgment, the financial institution that holds the deposit account shall either place the amount that exceeds the exemption provided in subdivision (b) in a suspense account or otherwise prohibit withdrawal of that amount pending notification of the failure of the judgment creditor to file the affidavit required by this section or the judicial determination of the exempt status of the amount. Within 10 business days after the levy, the financial institution shall provide the levying officer with a written notice stating (1) that the deposit account is one in which payments of public benefits or social security benefits are directly deposited by the government or its agent and (2) the balance of the deposit account that exceeds the exemption provided by subdivision (b). Promptly upon receipt of the notice, the levying officer shall serve the notice on the judgment creditor. Service shall be made personally or by mail.

(e)Notwithstanding the procedure prescribed in Article 2 (commencing with Section 703.510), whether there is an amount exempt under subdivision (c) shall be determined as follows:

(1)Within five days after the levying officer serves the notice on the judgment creditor under subdivision (d), a judgment creditor who desires to claim that the amount is not exempt shall file with the court an affidavit alleging that the amount is not exempt and file a copy with the levying officer. The affidavit shall be in the form of the notice of opposition provided by Section 703.560, and a hearing shall be set and held, and notice given, as provided by Sections 703.570 and 703.580. For the purpose of this subdivision, the “notice of opposition to the claim of exemption” in Sections 703.570 and 703.580 means the affidavit under this subdivision.

(2)If the judgment creditor does not file the affidavit with the levying officer and give notice of hearing pursuant to Section 703.570 within the time provided in paragraph (1), the levying officer shall release the deposit account and shall notify the financial institution.

(3)The affidavit constitutes the pleading of the judgment creditor, subject to the power of the court to permit amendments in the interest of justice. The affidavit is deemed controverted and no counteraffidavit is required.

(4)At a hearing under this subdivision, the judgment debtor has the burden of proving that the excess amount is exempt.

(5)At the conclusion of the hearing, the court by order shall determine whether the amount of the deposit account is exempt pursuant to subdivision (c) in whole or in part and shall make an appropriate order for its prompt disposition. No findings are required in a proceeding under this subdivision.

(6)Upon determining the exemption claim for the deposit account under subdivision (c), the court shall immediately transmit a certified copy of the order of the court to the financial institution and to the levying officer. If the order determines that all or part of the excess is exempt under subdivision (c), with respect to the amount of the excess which is exempt, the financial institution shall transfer the exempt excess from the suspense account or otherwise release any restrictions on its withdrawal by the judgment debtor. The transfer or release shall be effected within three business days of the receipt of the certified copy of the court order by the financial institution.

(f)If the judgment debtor claims that a portion of the amount is exempt other than pursuant to subdivision (c), the claim of exemption shall be made pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 703.510). If the judgment debtor also opposes the judgment creditor’s affidavit regarding an amount exempt pursuant to subdivision (c), both exemptions shall be determined at the same hearing, provided the judgment debtor has complied with Article 2 (commencing with Section 703.510).

SEC. 2.SECTION 1.

 Section 11320.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

11320.1.
 Subsequent to the commencement of the receipt of aid under this chapter, the sequence of employment-related activities required of recipients under this article, unless exempted under Section 11320.3, shall be as follows:
(a) Orientation and appraisal.Recipients shall, and applicants may, at the option of a county and with the consent of the applicant, receive orientation to the welfare-to-work program provided under this article and receive appraisal pursuant to Section 11325.2. During orientation, the county shall provide information orally and in writing regarding the provisions of Section 11322.84.
(b) (1) After orientation and appraisal, recipients shall participate in job search and job club pursuant to Section 11325.22, family stabilization pursuant to Section 11325.24, or substance abuse, mental health, or domestic violence services, unless the county determines that the recipient should first go to assessment pursuant to subdivision (c).
(2) A recipient who has not received their high school diploma or its equivalent shall be offered a welfare-to-work plan pursuant to Section 11325.21 to participate in a high school education program or high school equivalency program, as described in Section 11325.3. If the recipient declines to participate in the educational activities described in this paragraph, and to instead participate in job club or job search activities as described in Section 11325.22, or other activities, if eligible, such as mental health or substance abuse services, as described in paragraph (1), the recipient shall make that election, in writing, on the welfare-to-work plan.
(c) Assessment.If employment is not found during the period provided for pursuant to subdivision (b), or at any time the county determines that participation in job search for the period specified in subdivision (a) of Section 11325.22 is not likely to lead to employment or that, based on information gathered during the appraisal, further information is needed to make an effective determination regarding the recipient’s next welfare-to-work activity, the recipient shall be referred to assessment, as provided for in Section 11325.4. Following assessment, the county and the recipient shall develop a welfare-to-work plan, as specified in Section 11325.21. The plan shall specify the activities provided for in Section 11322.6 to which the recipient shall be assigned, and the allowances, reimbursements, and supportive services, as provided for pursuant to Section 11323.2, with which the recipient will be provided.
(d) Work activities.A recipient who has signed a welfare-to-work plan pursuant to Section 11325.21 shall participate in work activities, as described in this article.

SEC. 3.Section 11320.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:
11320.3.

(a)(1)Except as provided in subdivision (b) or if otherwise exempt, every individual, as a condition of eligibility for aid under this chapter, shall participate in welfare-to-work activities under this article.

(2)Individuals eligible under Section 11331.5 shall be required to participate in the Cal-Learn Program under Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 11331) during the time that article is operative, in lieu of the welfare-to-work requirements, and subdivision (b) shall not apply to that individual.

(b)The following individuals shall not be required to participate for so long as the condition continues to exist:

(1)An individual under 16 years of age.

(2)(A)A child attending an elementary, secondary, vocational, or technical school on a full-time basis.

(B)A person who is 16 or 17 years of age, or a person described in subdivision (d) who loses this exemption, shall not requalify for the exemption by attending school as a required activity under this article.

(C)Notwithstanding subparagraph (B), a person who is 16 or 17 years of age who has obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent and is enrolled or is planning to enroll in a postsecondary education, vocational, or technical school training program shall also not be required to participate for so long as the condition continues to exist.

(D)For purposes of subparagraph (C), a person shall be deemed to be planning to enroll in a postsecondary education, vocational, or technical school training program if the person, or the person’s parent, acting on their behalf, submits a written statement expressing the person’s intent to enroll in such a program for the following term. The exemption from participation shall not continue beyond the beginning of the term, unless verification of enrollment is provided or obtained by the county.

(3)An individual who meets either of the following conditions:

(A)The individual is disabled as determined by a doctor’s verification that the disability is expected to last at least 30 days and that it significantly impairs the recipient’s ability to be regularly employed or participate in welfare-to-work activities, provided that the individual is actively seeking appropriate medical treatment.

(B)The individual is of advanced age.

(4)A nonparent caretaker relative who has primary responsibility for providing care for a child and is either caring for a child who is a dependent or ward of the court or caring for a child in a case in which a county determines the child is at risk of placement in foster care, and the county determines that the caretaking responsibilities are beyond those considered normal day-to-day parenting responsibilities such that they impair the caretaker relative’s ability to be regularly employed or to participate in welfare-to-work activities.

(5)An individual whose presence in the home is required because of illness or incapacity of another member of the household and whose caretaking responsibilities impair the recipient’s ability to be regularly employed or to participate in welfare-to-work activities.

(6)A parent or other relative who meets the criteria in subparagraph (A) or (B).

(A)(i)The parent or other relative has primary responsibility for personally providing care to a child six months of age or under, except that, on a case-by-case basis, and based on criteria developed by the county, this period may be reduced to the first 12 weeks after the birth or adoption of the child, or increased to the first 12 months after the birth or adoption of the child. An individual may be exempt only once under this clause.

(ii)An individual who received an exemption pursuant to clause (i) shall be exempt for a period of 12 weeks, upon the birth or adoption of any subsequent children, except that this period may be extended on a case-by-case basis to six months, based on criteria developed by the county.

(iii)In making the determination to extend the period of exception under clause (i) or (ii), the following may be considered:

(I)The availability of child care.

(II)Local labor market conditions.

(III)Other factors determined by the county.

(iv)Effective January 1, 2013, the parent or other relative has primary responsibility for personally providing care to one child from birth to 23 months, inclusive. The exemption provided for under this clause shall be available in addition to any other exemption provided for under this subparagraph. An individual may be exempt only once under this clause.

(B)In a family eligible for aid under this chapter due to the unemployment of the principal wage earner, the exemption criteria contained in subparagraph (A) shall be applied to only one parent.

(7)A parent or other relative who has primary responsibility for personally providing care to one child who is from 12 to 23 months of age, inclusive, or two or more children who are under six years of age.

(8)A person who is pregnant and for whom it has been medically verified that the pregnancy impairs the person’s ability to be regularly employed or participate in welfare-to-work activities or the county has determined that, at that time, participation will not readily lead to employment or that a training activity is not appropriate. If a pregnant person is unable to secure this medical verification, but is otherwise eligible for an exemption from welfare-to-work requirements under this section, including good cause for temporary illness related to the pregnancy, the person shall be exempt from participation.

(c)Any individual not required to participate may choose to participate voluntarily under this article, and end that participation at any time without loss of eligibility for aid under this chapter, if their status has not changed in a way that would require participation.

(d)(1)Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a custodial parent who is under 20 years of age and who has not earned a high school diploma or its equivalent, and who is not exempt or whose only basis for exemption is paragraph (1), (2), (5), (6), (7), or (8) of subdivision (b), shall be required to participate solely for the purpose of earning a high school diploma or its equivalent. During the time that Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 11331) is operative, this subdivision shall only apply to a custodial parent who is 19 years of age.

(2)Section 11325.25 shall apply to a custodial parent who is 18 or 19 years of age and who is required to participate under this article.

(e)Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of subdivision (d), the county may determine that participation in education activities for the purpose of earning a high school diploma or equivalent is inappropriate for an 18 or 19 year old custodial parent only if that parent is reassigned pursuant to an evaluation under Section 11325.25. During the time that Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 11331) is operative, this subdivision shall only apply to a custodial parent who is 19 years of age.

(f)A recipient shall be excused from participation for good cause when the county has determined there is a condition or other circumstance that temporarily prevents or significantly impairs the recipient’s ability to be regularly employed or to participate in welfare-to-work activities. The county welfare department shall review the good cause determination for its continuing appropriateness in accordance with the projected length of the condition, or circumstance, but not less than every three months. The recipient shall cooperate with the county welfare department and provide information, including written documentation, as required to complete the review. Conditions that may be considered good cause include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1)Lack of necessary supportive services.

(2)In accordance with Article 7.5 (commencing with Section 11495), the applicant or recipient is a victim of domestic violence, but only if participation under this article is detrimental to or unfairly penalizes that individual or their family.

(3)Licensed or license-exempt child care for a child 10 years of age or younger is not reasonably available during the individual’s hours of training or employment including commuting time, or arrangements for child care have broken down or have been interrupted, or child care is needed for a child who is not included in the assistance unit. For purposes of this paragraph, “reasonable availability” means child care that is commonly available in the recipient’s community to a person who is not receiving aid and that is in conformity with the requirements of Public Law 104-193. The choices of child care shall meet either licensing requirements or the requirements of Section 11324. This good cause criterion shall include the unavailability of suitable special needs child care for children with identified special needs, including, but not limited to, disabilities or chronic illnesses.

(g)(1)Paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) shall be implemented notwithstanding Sections 11322.4, 11322.7, 11325.6, and 11327, and shall become inoperative on January 1, 2013.

(2)The State Department of Social Services, in consultation with the County Welfare Directors Association of California, and advocates, shall develop a process to assist clients with reengagement in welfare-to-work activities, pursuant to subdivision (h). Reengagement activities may include notifying clients of the expiration of exemptions, reassessments, and identifying necessary supportive services.

(h)(1) A recipient who was not required to participate in welfare-to-work activities on December 31, 2012, because, in accordance with paragraph (7) of subdivision (b), the recipient is a parent or other relative who has primary responsibility for personally providing care to one child who is from 12 to 23 months of age, inclusive, or two or more children who are under six years of age shall not be required to participate until the county welfare department reengages the recipient in welfare-to-work activities.

(2)For purposes of this subdivision, reengagement in welfare-to-work activities shall include the development of a welfare-to-work plan in accordance with Section 11325.21 and the provision of allowances, reimbursements, and necessary supportive services pursuant to Section 11323.2.

(3)County welfare departments shall reengage all recipients described in paragraph (1) by January 1, 2015, unless the recipient is otherwise eligible for an exemption under subdivision (b).

(4)A recipient reengaged in accordance with this subdivision who has received assistance under this chapter, or from any state pursuant to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (Part A (commencing with Section 401) of Title IV of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 601 et seq.)), may continue in a welfare-to-work plan that meets the requirements of Section 11322.6 for a cumulative period of 24 months commencing the first day of the first month after the recipient is reengaged, unless or until the recipient exceeds the 48-month time limitation described in Section 11454.

(5)All months of assistance described in paragraph (4) prior to the reengagement of the recipient shall not be applied to the 24-month limitation described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 11322.85.

SEC. 4.SEC. 2.

 Section 11322.84 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

11322.84.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, a person described in paragraph (1) or (2) shall be deemed to meet all the requirements of this article, including the hourly participation requirements described in subdivision (a) of Section 11322.8 11322.8, and shall be entitled to the allowance or reimbursement and other necessary supportive services described in Sections 11323.2 and 11323.4. 11323.21 and 11323.4:
(1) An applicant or recipient who is enrolled in a publicly funded postsecondary educational institution full time and who is not meeting the hourly participation rates required by Section 11322.8.
(2) A recipient who is attending a publicly funded postsecondary educational institution part time and who is meeting the hourly participation rates required by Section 11322.8. In calculating whether a recipient is meeting the hourly participation requirement, the number of hours recommended for study by the publicly funded postsecondary educational institution for a student enrolled in the number of units that the recipient is enrolled in shall be counted as hours participating in a welfare-to-work activity.
(b) A recipient described in paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (a) shall be subject to Section 11322.85, except that a recipient who is enrolled in a publicly funded postsecondary educational institution and making satisfactory progress that would meaningfully increase the likelihood of the recipient’s employment shall be entitled to an extension of the 24-month cumulative participation period pursuant to Section 11322.87.
(c) A recipient shall provide verification that they are making satisfactory progress at the beginning of each term if that information is available from the publicly funded postsecondary educational institution the recipient attends.
(d) For purposes of this section, earning a high school diploma or its equivalent, or attending a publicly funded postsecondary educational institution and making satisfactory progress shall be deemed to meaningfully increase the likelihood of employment.
(e) For purposes of this section, the definitions of “full time,” “part time,” and “making satisfactory progress” shall be determined according to the rules and regulations of the publicly funded postsecondary educational institution that the individual attends.

SEC. 5.Section 11323.2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is repealed.
SEC. 6.Section 11323.2 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
11323.2.

SEC. 3.

 Section 11323.21 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

11323.21.
 (a) A CalWORKs eligible individual participating in an educational activity full time and making satisfactory progress shall receive a standard allowance of five hundred dollars ($500).
(b) (1) An allowance paid pursuant to this subdivision section shall be paid no later than 15 days before the start of the semester to ensure that the participant has the funds necessary to purchase books and supplies supplies, or to pay other costs, required by the educational institution.
(2) A county may pay all or some of the allowance described in subdivision (a) in the form of a book voucher to a store or stores that carry the required books or supplies. If a county issues a book voucher pursuant to this paragraph, the county shall issue the voucher no later than 15 days before the start of the semester to ensure that the participant has the required books and supplies on the first day of school.
(c) A participant is entitled to opt out of the standard allowance at any time, to make a reimbursement claim for the actual costs of books and supplies, and to submit this claim to the county by mail, in person, or, if the county already has the technological capacity to do so, via the county’s internet website. The county shall issue any payment within 10 days of the request for payment.
(d) The standard allowance of this section shall be adjusted annually for inflation pursuant to the California Consumer Price Index.
(e) A participant participating in a postsecondary educational activity full time and making satisfactory progress shall have a right to receive necessary child care without an official transcript for a semester or the quarter, if the participant certifies that the official transcript is not readily available. The official transcript for a semester or quarter shall be provided to the county within 30 days after the transcript becomes available.
(f) For purposes of this section, the definitions of “full time,” “part time,” and “making satisfactory progress” shall be determined according to the rules and regulations of the postsecondary institution that the participant attends.

SEC. 7.Section 11323.4 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:
11323.4.

(a)Payments for allowances, reimbursements, and supportive services, as described in Section 11323.2, shall be advanced to the participant, whenever necessary, and when desired by the participant, so that the participant need not use their funds to pay for these services. Payments for child care services shall be made in accordance with Article 15.5 (commencing with Section 8350) of Chapter 2 of Part 6 of the Education Code.

(b)The county welfare department shall take all reasonable steps necessary to promptly correct any overpayment or underpayment of supportive services payments to a recipient or a service provider, including, but not limited to, all cases involving fraud and abuse, consistent with procedures developed by the department.

(c)Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, any participant in on-the-job training who becomes ineligible for aid under this chapter due to earned income or hours worked, shall remain a participant in the program under this article for the duration of the on-the-job training assignment and shall be eligible for supportive services for the duration of the on-the-job training, provided this duration does not exceed the time limits otherwise applicable to the recipient.

(d)Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, any participant in on-the-job training, grant-based on-the-job training, supported work, or transitional employment who remains eligible for aid pursuant to this chapter, shall be eligible for transportation and ancillary expenses.

(e)(1)Participants shall be encouraged to apply for financial aid, including educational grants, scholarships, and awards.

(2)To the extent permitted by federal law, the county shall coordinate with financial aid offices to establish procedures whereby the educational expenses of participants are met through available financial aid and the supportive services described in Section 11323.2. These procedures shall not result in duplication of payments, and shall require determinations to be made on an individual basis to ensure that using financial aid will not prevent the person’s participation in their welfare-to-work plan.

(f)Notwithstanding Section 10850, for purposes of child care supportive services, county welfare departments shall share information necessary for the administration of the child care programs and the CalWORKs program.

SEC. 8.Section 11325.21 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:
11325.21.

(a)Any individual who is required to participate in welfare-to-work activities pursuant to this article shall enter into a written welfare-to-work plan with the county welfare department after assessment as required by subdivision (c) of Section 11320.1, but no more than 90 days after the date that a recipient’s eligibility for aid is determined or the date the recipient is required to participate in welfare-to-work activities pursuant to Section 11320.3. The recipient and the county may enter into a welfare-to-work plan as late as 90 days after the completion of the job search activity, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 11320.1, if the job search activity is initiated within 30 days after the recipient’s eligibility for aid is determined. The plan shall include the activities and services that will move the individual into employment.

(b)The county shall allow the participant three working days after completion of the plan or subsequent amendments to the plan in which to evaluate and request changes to the terms of the plan.

(c)The plan shall be written in clear and understandable language, and have a simple and easy-to-read format.

(d)The plan shall contain at least all of the following general information:

(1)A general description of the program provided for in this article, including available program components and supportive services.

(2)A general description of the rights, duties, and responsibilities of program participants, including a list of the exemptions from the required participation under this article, the consequences of a refusal to participate in program components, and criteria for successful completion of the program.

(3)A description of the grace period required in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 11325.22.

(e)The plan shall specify, and shall be amended to reflect changes in, the participant’s welfare-to-work activity, a description of services to be provided in accordance with Sections 11322.6, 11322.8, and 11322.85, as needed, and specific requirements for successful completion of assigned activities including required hours of participation.

The plan shall also include a general description of allowances, reimbursements, and supportive services pursuant to Section 11323.2 that are to be provided as necessary for the participant to complete assigned program activities.

(f)Any assignment to a program component shall be reflected in the plan or an amendment to the plan. The participant shall maintain satisfactory progress toward employment through the methods set forth in the plan, and the county shall provide the allowances, reimbursements, and services pursuant to Section 11323.2.

(g)This section shall not apply to individuals subject to Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 11331) during the time that article is operative.

SEC. 9.Section 11325.22 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:
11325.22.

(a)(1)Following the appraisal required by Section 11325.2, all participants except those described in paragraph (4) or those who are participating in other activities or assessment pursuant to Section 11320.1, shall be assigned to participate for a period of up to four consecutive weeks in job search activities. These activities may include the use of job clubs to identify the participant’s qualifications. The county shall consider the skills and interests of the participants in developing a job search strategy. The period of job search activities may be shortened if the participant and the county agree that further activities would not be beneficial. Job search activities may be shortened for a recipient if the county determines that the recipient will not benefit because the recipient may suffer from an emotional or mental disability that will limit or preclude the recipient’s participation under this article.

(2)This section does not require participation in job search activities, the schedule for which interferes with unsubsidized employment.

(3)Job search activities may be required in excess of the limits specified in paragraph (1) on the basis of a review by the county of the recipient’s performance during job search to determine whether extending the job search period would result in unsubsidized employment.

(4)A person subject to Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 11331) or subdivision (d) of Section 11320.3 shall not be required, but may be permitted, to participate in job search activities as the person’s first program assignment following appraisal upon earning a high school diploma or its equivalent, if the person has not already taken the option to complete these activities as the first program assignment following appraisal.

(b)(1)Upon the completion of job search activities, or a determination that those activities are not required, the participant shall be assigned to one or more of the activities described in Section 11322.6 as needed to attain employment.

(2)(A)The assignment to one or more of the program activities as required in paragraph (1) shall be based on the welfare-to-work plan developed pursuant to an assessment as described in Section 11325.4. The plan shall be based, at a minimum, on consideration of the individual’s existing education level, employment experience and relevant employment skills, available program resources, and local labor market opportunities.

(B)An assessment pursuant to Section 11325.4 shall be performed upon completion of job search activities or at such time as it is determined that job search will not be beneficial.

(3)A participant who lacks basic literacy or mathematics skills, a high school diploma or general educational development certificate, or English language skills, shall be assigned to participate in adult basic education as described in subdivision (k) of Section 11322.6, as appropriate and necessary for removal of the individual’s barriers to employment.

(4)Participation in activities assigned pursuant to this section may be sequential or concurrent. The county may require concurrent participation in the assigned activities if it is appropriate to the participant’s abilities, consistent with the participant’s welfare-to-work plan, and the activities can be concurrently scheduled.

(5)The participant has 30 days from the beginning of the initial training or education assignment in which to request a change or reassignment to another component. The county shall grant the participant’s request for reassignment if another assignment is available that is consistent with the participant’s welfare-to-work plan and the county determines the other assignment will readily lead to employment. This grace period shall be available only once to each participant.

(c)Any assignment or change in assignment to a program activity pursuant to this section shall be included in the welfare-to-work plan, or an amendment to the plan, as required in Section 11325.21.

(d)A participant who has not obtained unsubsidized employment upon completion of the activities in a welfare-to-work plan developed pursuant to the job search activities required by subdivision (a) and an assessment required by subdivision (b) shall be referred to reappraisal as described in Section 11326.

(e)The criteria for successful completion of an assigned education or training activity shall include regular attendance, satisfactory progress, and completion of the assignment. A person who fails or refuses to comply with program requirements for participation in the activities assigned pursuant to this section shall be subject to Sections 11327.4 and 11327.5.

(f)Except as provided in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a), this section shall not apply to individuals subject to Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 11331) during the time that article is operative.

SEC. 10.Section 11325.23 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is repealed.
SEC. 11.Section 11327.4 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:
11327.4.

(a)(1)Whenever an individual has failed or refused to comply with program requirements without good cause in a program component to which the individual is assigned and refuses to agree to or fails, without good cause, to comply with a compliance plan agreed to between the county and the participant, the individual shall be subject to sanctions specified in Section 11327.5.

(2)For the purposes of this article, the phrase “failed or refused to comply with program requirements” shall be limited to: failing or refusing to sign a welfare-to-work plan, participate or provide required proof of satisfactory progress in any assigned program activity, pursuant to this article, or accept employment; terminating employment; or reducing earnings.

(b)(1)Upon determination that an individual has failed or refused to comply with program requirements, the county shall issue a notice of action effective no earlier than 30 calendar days from the date of issuance informing the individual that a sanction will be imposed if the individual fails to either attend an appointment scheduled by the county to be held within 20 calendar days of the notice, or contact the county by phone, within 20 calendar days of the notice, and fails to do either of the following:

(A)Provide information to the county that they had good cause for the refusal or failure that has led the county to make a finding of good cause for nonparticipation.

(B)Agree to a compliance plan to correct the failure or refusal to comply.

(2)The county shall schedule a time during which each individual who has failed or refused to comply with program requirements has an opportunity to demonstrate that they had good cause for that refusal or failure. The county shall schedule an appointment within 20 calendar days of the notice of action. The individual shall be allowed to reschedule the cause determination appointment once within the 20-calendar-day period.

(3)The written notice of action sent by the county shall do all of the following:

(A)Inform the individual of the specific act or acts that have caused the individual to be out of compliance with participation requirements.

(B)Inform the individual of their right to assert good cause for their refusal or failure.

(C)Inform the individual of the date and time of the scheduled appointment.

(D)Provide a general definition of good cause and examples of reasons that constitute good cause for not participating in the program.

(E)Inform the individual of the right to contact the county welfare department by telephone to establish good cause over the telephone in lieu of attending the appointment scheduled by the county.

(F)Inform the individual of the right to reschedule the appointment once within the 20-calendar-day period.

(G)Inform the individual that if good cause is not found, a compliance plan will be developed and the individual will be expected to agree to the plan or face a sanction.

(H)Inform the individual of the name, telephone number, and address of state and local legal aid and welfare rights organizations that may assist the individual with the good cause and compliance plan process.

(I)Describe the transportation and child care services that a person is entitled to, as needed in order to attend the appointment.

(c)If the individual fails to attend the appointment, the county shall attempt to contact the individual by telephone at the time of or after the appointment in order to establish a finding of good cause or no good cause, and, if a finding of no good cause is made, develop a compliance plan to correct the instance of nonparticipation.

(d)If the individual fails to attend the meeting and the county is not able to contact the individual in accordance with subdivision (c), and the individual fails to contact the county within the 20-calendar-day period, a sanction shall be imposed in accordance with Section 11327.5.

(e)If the individual attends the appointment or contacts the county by phone within the 20-calendar-day period and is either found by the county to have had good cause for their refusal or failure, or agrees to a compliance plan to correct the failure or refusal, the county shall rescind the notice of action issued pursuant to subdivision (b). If the individual agrees to a compliance plan at the appointment, the individual shall be provided a copy of the plan. If the individual agrees to a compliance plan over the telephone, a copy of the plan shall be mailed to the client.

(f)If the individual is found by the county to have had good cause for their refusal or failure, an instance of noncompliance shall not be considered to have occurred.

(g)If the individual is found by the county not to have had good cause, but agrees to a compliance plan and then fulfills the terms of the compliance plan, an instance of noncompliance shall not be considered to have occurred.

(h)If the individual enters into a written compliance plan, but does not fulfill the terms of the plan, and the county determines, based on available information, that the individual did not have good cause for failure to meet the terms of the plan, the county shall send a notice of action to impose a sanction. The procedures specified in subdivision (b) shall not be applicable to a sanction imposed under this subdivision.

SEC. 12.Section 11331.7 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:
11331.7.

Counties shall arrange for the provision of education and supportive services that teenage parents need to successfully participate in the Cal-Learn Program. The county shall identify the need of each individual for, and the method of providing, the following services:

(a)Allowances, reimbursements, and supportive services, including child care and transportation, as specified in Section 11323.2. Supportive services shall be limited to those that are necessary to enable the teenage parent to attend school regularly.

(b)Intensive case management services, as described in Section 11332.5.

(c)Any other services necessary for the teen parent to successfully participate in the Cal-Learn Program, that may include, but not be limited to, mental health services and substance abuse treatment.

SEC. 13.Section 11342 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:
11342.

(a)(1)A CalWORKs recipient who applies for an education incentive award pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 11341 shall submit evidence of completion of the high school educational program to the county.

(2)Upon verification of completion of the high school educational program described in paragraph (1), the county shall pay the recipient the award described in subdivision (a) of Section 11341 in the month following receipt of the record of completion, if submitted by the 11th day of the month, or in the second month following receipt of the record of completion if submitted later than the 11th day of the month.

(b)(1)A CalWORKs recipient who applies for an education stipend described in subdivision (b) of Section 11341 shall submit evidence of enrollment to the county. A recipient is not eligible unless both of the following criteria are satisfied:

(A)The recipient is enrolled in an education or training program that is included in the recipient’s welfare-to-work plan approved by the county.

(B)The recipient is enrolled in an education or training program described in subdivision (b) of Section 11341 while receiving CalWORKs assistance.

(2)Within 10 business days of verifying that a recipient is enrolled in an education or training program as described in paragraph (1), the county shall certify that the recipient is eligible for the education stipend and shall issue the stipend payment to the recipient.

SEC. 14.Section 11454.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:
11454.5.

(a)Any month in which the following conditions exist shall not be counted as a month of receipt of aid for the purposes of subdivision (a) of, and paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of, Section 11454:

(1)The recipient is exempt from participation under Article 3.2 (commencing with Section 11320) due to disability, or advanced age in accordance with paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 11320.3, or due to caretaking responsibilities that impair the recipient’s ability to be regularly employed, in accordance with paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 11320.3.

(2)The recipient is eligible for, participating in, or exempt from, the Cal-Learn Program provided for pursuant to Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 11331), for any period during which the Cal-Learn Program is operative, is participating in another teen parent program approved by the department, or, on or after January 1, 2012, is a nonminor dependent under the supervision of the county welfare or probation department who is placed in an approved relative’s home and is eligible for aid under this section because the recipient satisfies the conditions described in Section 11403.

(3)The cost of the cash aid provided to the recipient for the month is fully reimbursed by child support, whether collected in that month or any subsequent month.

(4)The family is a former recipient of cash aid under this chapter and currently receives only child care, case management, or allowances, reimbursements, and supportive services pursuant to Section 11323.2 or Article 15.5 (commencing with Section 8350) of Chapter 2 of Part 6 of the Education Code.

(5)To the extent provided by federal law, the recipient lived in Indian country, as defined by federal law, or an Alaskan native village in which at least 50 percent of the adults living in the Indian country or in the village are not employed.

(6)The recipient was exempt from participation under paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 11320.3 and has not been reengaged in accordance with subdivision (h) of Section 11320.3.

(7)The recipient is exempt from participating in welfare-to-work activities because the recipient has primary responsibility for personally providing care to a child 24 months of age or younger, pursuant to clause (iv) of subparagraph (A) of paragraph (6) of subdivision (b) of Section 11320.3.

(b)In cases where a lump-sum diversion payment is provided in lieu of cash aid under Section 11266.5, the month in which the payment is made or the months calculated pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 11266.5 shall count against the limits specified in Section 11454.

SEC. 15.SEC. 4.

 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.

SEC. 16.SEC. 5.

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