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AB-396 CalFresh: educational programs.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 10/05/2021 09:00 PM
AB396:v94#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 396
CHAPTER 461

An act to add Section 18901.12 to the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to CalFresh.

[ Approved by Governor  October 04, 2021. Filed with Secretary of State  October 04, 2021. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 396, Gabriel. CalFresh: educational programs.
Existing federal law provides for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known in California as CalFresh, formerly the Food Stamp Program, under which supplemental nutrition assistance benefits allocated to the state by the federal government are distributed to eligible individuals by each county. Under existing state law, households are eligible to receive CalFresh benefits to the extent permitted by federal law. Existing federal law provides that students who are enrolled in college or other institutions of higher education at least half-time are not eligible for SNAP benefits unless they meet one of several specified exemptions, including participating in an employment and training program for low-income households that is operated by a state or local government, as specified.
This bill would require the State Department of Social Services, on or before May 31, 2022, to issue a guidance letter to counties, the Chancellor’s Office of the California Community Colleges, the Chancellor’s office of the California State University, and the Office of the President of the University of California that clarifies the state and federal eligibility requirements for a campus-based program to be a state-approved local educational programs that increase employability that qualifies for the CalFresh student eligibility exemption described above and that clarifies the application and approval process for a campus-based program to be approved by the department as a state-approved local educational program that increases employability. The bill would require a campus-based program at a campus of the California Community Colleges or at a campus of the California State University that meets the eligibility requirements to be a state-approved local educational program that increases employability to submit a certification application for the program to the department on or before September 1, 2022, and would require a campus-based program at one of those institutions that meets the eligibility requirements to be a state-approved local educational program that increases employability after September 1, 2022, to submit a certification application to the department on or before 6 months following the formation of the program. The bill would request a campus-based program at a campus of the University of California that meets the eligibility requirements to be a state-approved local educational program that increases employability to also submit a certification application for the program by those dates.
This bill would require the department, upon receipt of a certification application from a campus-based program, to approve the campus-based program if it meets the eligibility requirements to be a state-approved local educational program that increases employability. The bill would require the department, on or before September 1, 2023, and annually thereafter, until 2030, to report to specified committees of the Legislature the number of state-approved campus-based local educational programs that increase employability, the number of pending applications, and the number of applications denied, as specified. The bill would also require the department to post that report on its internet website and would authorize the department to implement these provisions through all-county letters or similar instruction.
To the extent the bill would impose new duties on community college districts to submit a certification application to the department, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
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.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 18901.12 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, immediately following Section 18901.11, to read:

18901.12.
 (a) On or before May 31, 2022, the department shall issue a guidance letter to counties, the Chancellor’s Office of the California Community Colleges, the Chancellor’s office of the California State University, and the Office of the President of the University of California that does all of the following:
(1) Clarifies the state and federal eligibility requirements for a campus-based program to be a state-approved local educational program that increases employability that qualifies for the student exemption for CalFresh eligibility, as described in Section 273.5(b)(11)(iv) of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and is consistent with Section 273.7(e)(1) of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(2) Clarifies the application and approval process for a campus-based program to be approved by the department as a state-approved local educational program that increases employability, as described in paragraph (1), including, but not limited to, clarifying the supporting documents required for program approval.
(b) (1) A campus-based program at a campus of the California Community Colleges or at a campus of the California State University that meets the eligibility requirements to be a state-approved local educational program that increases employability, as established by the department’s guidance letter issued pursuant to subdivision (a), shall submit a certification application for the program to the department on or before September 1, 2022. If the campus-based program is available at more than one campus, the application shall list each campus at which the program is available. An individual campus administration, the Chancellor’s Office of the California Community Colleges, or the Chancellor’s office of the California State University, as applicable, may submit the certification application on behalf of the campus-based program.
(2) A campus-based program at a campus of the University of California that meets the eligibility requirements to be a state-approved local educational program that increases employability, as established by the department’s guidance letter issued pursuant to subdivision (a), is requested to submit a certification application for the program to the department on or before September 1, 2022. If the campus-based program is available at more than one campus, the application shall list each campus at which the program is available. An individual campus administration or the Office of the President of the University of California may submit the certification application on behalf of the campus-based program.
(c) (1) A campus-based program that meets the eligibility requirements to be a state-approved local educational program that increases employability after September 1, 2022, at a campus of the California Community Colleges or the California State University shall submit a certification application to the department on or before six months following the formation of the program. If the campus-based program is available at more than one campus, the application shall list each campus at which the program is available. An individual campus administration, the Chancellor’s Office of the California Community Colleges, or the Chancellor’s office of the California State University, as applicable, may submit the certification application on behalf of the campus-based program.
(2) A campus-based program that meets the eligibility requirements to be a state-approved local educational program that increases employability after September 1, 2022, at a campus of the University of California is requested to submit a certification application to the department on or before six months following the formation of the program. If the campus-based program is available at more than one campus, the application shall list each campus at which the program is available. An individual campus administration or the Office of the President of the University of California may submit the certification application on behalf of the campus-based program.
(d) Upon receipt of a certification application from a campus-based program pursuant to subdivision (b) or (c), the department shall approve the campus-based program if it meets the eligibility requirements to be a state-approved local educational program that increases employability, as established in the department’s guidance letter issued pursuant to subdivision (a).
(e) (1) On or before September 1, 2023, and annually thereafter, until 2030, the department shall report to the Assembly Committee on Higher Education, the Assembly Committee on Human Services, the Senate Committee on Education, and the Senate Committee on Human Services all of the following information:
(A) The number of state-approved campus-based local educational programs that increase employability that are approved pursuant to subdivision (d), disaggregated by name and campus.
(B) The number of pending applications, disaggregated by name and campus.
(C) The number of applications denied, disaggregated by name and campus, and the reason for the denials.
(2) The department shall also post the report described in paragraph (1) on its internet website.
(f) 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 department may implement and administer this section through all-county letters or similar instruction that shall have the same force and effect as regulations.

SEC. 2.

 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.