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

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Date Published: 03/29/2021 09:00 PM
AB396:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 29, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 396


Introduced by Assembly Member Gabriel

February 03, 2021


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


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 396, as amended, 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 specified an employment and training programs. program for low-income households that is operated by a state or local government, as specified.

Existing state law provides that, for the purposes of determining eligibility, certain postsecondary educational programs, as determined by the State Department of Social Services, are considered employment training programs, thereby qualifying a student participating in one of those programs for an exemption, unless prohibited by federal law.

This bill would require a program that meets the eligibility standards established by the department for CalFresh local educational programs that increase employability at a campus of the California State University, the California Community College, vocational school, or graduate school, and would request each campus of the University of California, to submit an application for certification to the department on or before June 1, 2022. To the extent that this provision would impose new duties on community college districts to submit an application for certification to the department, it would constitute a state-mandated local program.

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 employment and training program 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 employment and training program. 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 employment and training program 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 employment and training program 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 employment and training program 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 employment and training program. The bill would require the department, on or before September 1, 2023, and annually thereafter, to report to the appropriate committees of the Legislature the number of state-approved campus-based employment and training programs, the number of pending applications, and the number of applications denied, as specified.
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 employment and training program 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 employment and training program, 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 employment and training program, 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. The application shall state whether the program is available at only one campus or at multiple campuses.
(2) A campus-based program at a campus of the University of California that meets the eligibility requirements to be a state-approved employment and training program, 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. The application shall state whether the program is available at only one campus or at multiple campuses.
(c) (1) A campus-based program that meets the eligibility requirements to be a state-approved employment and training program after September 1, 2022, at a campus of the California Community College or the California State University shall submit a certification application to the department on or before six months following the formation of the program.
(2) A campus-based program that meets the eligibility requirements to be a state-approved employment and training program 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.
(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 employment and training program, as established in the department’s guidance letter issued pursuant to subdivision (a). Upon the department’s approval of a campus-based program at one campus, the department shall automatically approve an equivalent program operated at another campus of the same institution.
(e) On or before September 1, 2023, and annually thereafter, the department shall report to the appropriate committees of the Legislature all of the following information:
(1) The number of state-approved campus-based employment and training programs approved pursuant to subdivision (d), disaggregated by name and campus.
(2) The number of pending applications, disaggregated by name and campus.
(3) The number of applications denied, disaggregated by name and campus, and the reason for the denials.

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.
SECTION 1.Section 18901.12 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, immediately following Section 18901.11, to read:
18901.12.

A program that meets the eligibility standards established by the State Department of Social Services for CalFresh local educational programs that increase employability at a campus of the California State University, the California Community College, vocational school, or graduate school shall, and each campus of the University of California is requested to, submit a certification application to the department on or before June 1, 2022.

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.