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AB-1173 CalWORKs: fraud prevention and reduction.(2011-2012)



Current Version: 01/04/12 - Amended Assembly         Compare Versions information image


AB1173:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  January 04, 2012

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2011–2012 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1173


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Huber

February 18, 2011


An act to add and repeal Article 10 (commencing with Section 11550) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to public social services.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1173, as amended, Huber. Preventing welfare fraud: county pilot program. CalWORKs: fraud prevention and reduction.
Existing law establishes various social service programs that provide cash assistance and other benefits to qualified low-income families and individuals. Existing law establishes criminal penalties, including the imposition of specified fines, for violation of certain provisions relating to, among other offenses, willfully and knowingly making a false statement or failing to disclose a material fact in order to obtain designated public social services.
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 law authorizes counties to implement state-funded early fraud detection and prevention programs as a component of administering the CalWORKs program, under specified circumstances.
This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to establish a pilot program until January 1, 2018, that would reimburse a county for the operation of a county program that prevents or reduces welfare fraud, provided that the county demonstrates the program produces a savings to the state that exceeds the cost of the operation of the program by an unspecified percentage. The bill would require these programs to satisfy the criteria for early fraud prevention and detection programs authorized under the above existing law. The bill would require the State Department of Social Services to administer the program, and to conduct a statewide evaluation of the effectiveness of the program, as specified. Implementation of the bill would be contingent on an appropriation in the annual Budget Act.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Article 10 (commencing with Section 11550) is added to Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
Article  10. County Reimbursement for CalWORKs Fraud Prevention and Reduction

11550.
 It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this article to establish a pilot program to provide grants to reimburse counties for operating programs to reduce or prevent CalWORKs fraud, provided that the county demonstrates that its program produces a savings to the state that exceeds the costs of the program, as required under this article.

11551.
 (a) The State Department of Social Services shall administer this article and award grants pursuant to the application process provided for in this section.
(b) Grants shall be awarded to existing and new county-based fraud reduction or prevention programs that satisfy the requirements of this article.
(c) In order to qualify for a grant under this article, the county-based program shall satisfy the requirements of subdivision (d) of Section 11055.5.
(d) In order to qualify for a grant under this article, a county shall submit an application, on a form provided by the department, that includes, at a minimum, the following information for the fiscal year for which reimbursement is sought:
(1) A description of the program and its operation.
(2) The amount expended by the county to operate the program.
(3) The amount of savings realized as a result of the program.
(4) Any records, documentation, or other information necessary for the department to substantiate the amounts identified in paragraphs (2) and (3).
(e) The department shall only award a grant to reimburse an applicant county if the amount identified by the county in paragraph (3) of subdivision (d) constitutes a savings of at least __ percent.

11552.
 (a) The department shall conduct a statewide independent evaluation of the grant program, assessing the program’s effectiveness in reducing and preventing CalWORKs fraud. Notwithstanding Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, the department shall report the findings from its evaluation to the Legislature, within six months after the completion of each grant cycle. The evaluation shall be performed only when for this purpose funds are appropriated in the annual Budget Act.
(b) A report to be submitted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

11553.
 The department’s costs for administration of the grant program established pursuant to this article shall not exceed 5 percent of the total appropriation for the program. The Legislature shall be notified of the administrative costs of the program.

11554.
 This article shall be implemented only to the extent that funds are appropriated in the annual Budget Act for purposes of this article.

11555.
 This article shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2018, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends that date.

SECTION 1.

It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to establish a pilot program that would reimburse a county for the operation of a county program that prevents or reduces welfare fraud, provided that the county demonstrates the program produces a savings to the state that exceeds the cost of the operation of the program.