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SB-33 Electronic benefits transfer system.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 01/06/2020 02:00 PM
SB33:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  January 06, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 33


Introduced by Senator Skinner

December 03, 2018


An act relating to solid waste. An act to add Section 10072.4 to the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to public social services.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 33, as amended, Skinner. Solid waste: reduction and recycling. Electronic benefits transfer system.
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 federal law requires the Secretary of Agriculture to approve retail food stores to accept CalFresh benefits through online transactions if the secretary implements this program after a required demonstration project.
Existing law provides for the establishment of a statewide electronic benefits transfer (EBT) system, administered by the State Department of Social Services, for the purpose of providing financial and food assistance benefits. Existing law authorizes a county to deliver CalFresh benefits through the use of the EBT system.
This bill would require the department to convene a workgroup of interested stakeholders no later than February 1, 2021, to make recommendations to the department on how to prepare the EBT system to accommodate online purchases and to provide the workgroup technical assistance and assign staff to assist the workgroup in carrying out its responsibilities. The bill would authorize individual members of the workgroup, and any other stakeholder, to make additional recommendations on any item considered by the workgroup. The bill would require the department to review and analyze all recommendations and, by December 1, 2021, report to the Legislature regarding the recommendations. The bill would authorize the workgroup to continue meeting from January 1, 2022, to January 1, 2023, to develop recommendations on additional topics and assist the department, the Legislature, or both, on any topic relating to the EBT system.

The California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989, administered by the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, generally regulates the disposal, management, and recycling of solid waste.

This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would address the collapse of foreign recycling markets by reducing solid waste generation, encouraging transition to compostable or recyclable materials, and fostering domestic recycling markets.

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

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 10072.4 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

10072.4.
 (a) (1) The State Department of Social Services shall convene a workgroup of interested stakeholders to make recommendations to the department on how to prepare the electronic benefit transfer (EBT) system to accommodate online purchases if the ability to make online purchases using the EBT system is made available in California.
(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1), “interested stakeholders” includes individuals who utilize the EBT system, CalFresh advocates, the County Welfare Directors Association of California, county social workers or their representatives, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union representatives, United For Respect or other retail worker representatives, food industry representatives, grocery industry representatives, retailer industry representatives, restaurant industry representatives, farmers or farmers’ markets representatives, a representative of the Employment Development Department, advocates for persons of advanced age, persons with disabilities and disability rights advocates, and any other organization or individual identified by the department.
(b) (1) The department shall convene the stakeholder workgroup no later than February 1, 2021.  The stakeholder workgroup shall meet a minimum of six times, and may convene and meet in subcommittees, as necessary.
(2) The department shall assign staff, as needed, to assist the stakeholder workgroup in carrying out its responsibilities.
(3) The department shall provide technical assistance to the stakeholder workgroup to evaluate the feasibility of its recommendations, so that the stakeholder workgroup will have the benefit of the department’s analysis when discussing and reviewing proposed recommendations.
(c) The stakeholder workgroup shall make recommendations to the department regarding the use of the EBT system to make online purchases. In developing recommendations, the stakeholder workgroup shall consider the structure of, and potential changes to, the EBT system.  The stakeholder workgroup may take into consideration all the following factors, or any other factors deemed relevant, to ensure the appropriateness of their recommendations:
(1) The precarious health of low-income consumers and need for food prepared and sold from a source where food safety is certain.
(2) The very low income of CalFresh and cash aid recipients and the harm of high fees.
(3) The role that online purchasing can have in reducing barriers to healthy food for people who live in food deserts or people who live in communities without a grocery store.
(4) The impact that online EBT purchases might have on the current grocery, retail, and restaurant industry revenue and jobs.
(5) The limits in federal law and regulations that would prevent the state’s establishment of EBT policies on the topic.
(d) In addition to recommendations provided during stakeholder workgroup meetings, individual members of the stakeholder workgroup and any other interested stakeholders may provide to the department any additional written recommendations on the items considered in the stakeholder workgroup meetings.
(e) The department shall review and analyze all recommendations from the stakeholder workgroup, individual workgroup members, and any other interested stakeholders.
(f) (1) The department shall report the complete recommendations of the stakeholder workgroup, individual workgroup members, and any other interested stakeholders to the Legislature by December 1, 2021. The department may also include in the report the department’s analysis of the feasibility of implementing the proposed recommendations.
(2) A report submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(g) (1) The stakeholder workgroup may continue to meet on and after January 1, 2022, and until January 1, 2023.  During this period, the stakeholder workgroup shall meet at least quarterly, and as agreed to by the department and the members of the stakeholder workgroup.
(2) During this period, the stakeholder workgroup may develop recommendations regarding any improvements to the EBT system that are needed to enable online purchases and any consumer protections needed when the EBT system is available to make online purchases. Upon the completion of those recommendations, and until January 1, 2023, the stakeholder workgroup may assist the department, the Legislature, or both, on any topic relating to the EBT system.

SECTION 1.

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a)Since the enactment of the California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989 (Division 30 (commencing with Section 40000) of the Public Resources Code), local governments and private industries have worked together to create an extensive material collection and recycling infrastructure and have implemented effective programs to achieve a statewide solid waste diversion rate above 50 percent.

(b)Although the state now leads the nation in solid waste reduction and recycling, the state continues to dispose of more than 35 million tons of solid waste each year, which is more than the national average when measured on a per capita basis. Meanwhile, global solid waste generation is increasing faster than any other environmental pollutant. Additional efforts must be undertaken to divert more solid waste from disposal in order to conserve scarce natural resources, and to prevent waste generation.

(c)Historically, China has been the largest recyclable scrap importer in the world. Since 1992, it is estimated China has imported around 45 percent of the cumulative global plastic waste. In 2017, California exported 8.1 million tons of recyclable materials to China.

(d)In 2017 and 2018, China issued its National Sword and Blue Sky policies, which placed heavy restrictions on the contamination levels of recyclable materials that would be accepted by China’s recycling market. In July 2018, China declared its intent to ban all recyclable material imports by 2020.

(e)In response to China’s National Sword and Blue Sky policies, California has seen a 100,000-ton drop in exports of mixed plastics previously exported to China, and a 725,000-ton drop in paper previously exported to China. New foreign markets for this recyclable material are scarce and the material is being stockpiled or sent to landfills in California.

(f)California has a goal of recycling, composting, or reducing 75 percent of the state’s solid waste by 2020. This solid waste diversion goal is threatened by the collapse of foreign recycling markets. California must reduce, recycle, or compost about 24 million tons of material currently going to landfills annually in order to meet its 2020 goal.

(g)Local governments and the state have relied heavily on solid waste diversion and recycling to meet their solid waste reduction goals. Due to the lack of adequate recycling markets, this reliance on diversion and recycling may no longer be viable. Local governments and the state can employ new strategies, including source reduction, to meet their solid waste reduction goals.

SEC. 2.

It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would address the collapse of foreign recycling markets by reducing solid waste generation, encouraging transition to compostable or recyclable materials, and fostering domestic recycling markets.