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AB-221 Emergency food assistance.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 01/11/2021 09:00 PM
AB221:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 221


Introduced by Assembly Members Santiago, Chiu, and Robert Rivas
(Principal coauthor: Senator Rubio)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Burke, Carrillo, Cristina Garcia, Gipson, Grayson, Kamlager, Luz Rivas, Stone, and Villapudua)
(Coauthors: Senators Dodd, Durazo, and Wiener)

January 11, 2021


An act to add Chapter 15.5 (commencing with Section 18996.5) to Part 6 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to food assistance programs, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 221, as introduced, Santiago. Emergency food assistance.
Existing law establishes and requires the State Department of Social Services to administer the CalFood Program to provide food and funding to food banks whose primary function is to facilitate the distribution of food to low-income households, as specified.
This bill would require the department to provide a food assistance benefit statewide to low-income California residents, regardless of their immigration status, upon the appropriation of funds by the Legislature for this purpose or a determination by the Governor that specified funds available to the Governor may be used for this purpose. The bill would provide that a person is eligible for this benefit if they are an adult who self-attests to eligibility for at least one of 3 prescribed benefits, including the Federal Emergency Food Assistance Program, and that this benefit is a disaster benefit rather than a public social service. The bill would require the department to commission a study to provide recommendations and solutions to a permanent food assistance program for low-income California residents experiencing food insecurity, to complete that study by January 1, 2023, and to submit a copy of that study to the Legislature.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 15.5 (commencing with Section 18996.5) is added to Part 6 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
CHAPTER  15.5. Emergency Food Assistance For All

18996.5.
 (a) Upon the appropriation of funds by the Legislature for this purpose, or upon a determination by the Governor that funds available to the Governor may be used for this purpose, the State Department of Social Services shall provide a food assistance benefit statewide to low-income California residents, regardless of their immigration status.
(b) A person shall be eligible for the food assistance benefit issued pursuant to this chapter if that person is an adult who self-attests to eligibility for at least one of these three benefits:
(1) Federal Emergency Food Assistance Program (7 C.F.R. Parts 250 and 251).
(2) The Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants Project.
(3) Immigrant legal services, as provided for under Section 13303.
(c) The food assistance benefit issued pursuant to this chapter is a disaster benefit, and is not a public social service administered by the department. Section 10950 shall not apply to this chapter.

18996.6.
 (a) The department shall commission a study to provide recommendations and solutions to a permanent food assistance program for all low-income California residents experiencing food insecurity, regardless of their immigration status. The study shall include, but is not limited to, both of the following:
(1) Identifying communities who have low rates of participation in California food assistance programs.
(2) Identifying communities who have been excluded from relief efforts when a federal, local, or state emergency has been declared due to natural disasters, wildfires, a public health crisis, or other causes of a state of emergency that have impacted the health and safety of Californians.
(b) The department shall complete the study by January 1, 2023, and shall submit a copy of that study to the Legislature.

SEC. 2.

  This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order to facilitate the immediate delivery of food assistance during the COVID-19 public health emergency, it is necessary that this act go into effect immediately.