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AB-941 Farmworker assistance: resource centers.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/17/2021 09:00 PM
AB941:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 941


Introduced by Assembly Members Bennett and Robert Rivas
(Principal coauthor: Senator Limón)
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Medina)
(Coauthor: Senator Dodd)

February 17, 2021


An act to add Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 12710) to Part 2 of Division 3 of Title 2 of, the Government Code, relating to farmworkers.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 941, as introduced, Bennett. Farmworker assistance: resource centers.
Existing law establishes the Department of Community Services and Development within the California Health and Human Services Agency to supplement and coordinate public and private sector efforts to assist low-income participants, including homeless individuals and families, migrants, and the elderly poor, to secure and retain meaningful employment, attain an adequate education, make better use of available income, and obtain and maintain adequate housing and a suitable living environment.
Existing law, the California Community Services Block Grant Program, requires the department to administer the federal Community Services Block Grant funds to provide financial assistance for activities designed to have a measurable and potentially major impact on causes of poverty in a community or areas of a community where poverty is a particularly acute problem.
Existing law authorizes this funding to assist programs that, among other things, meet the needs of migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families, such as daycare for children and elderly persons, education, health services, improved housing and sanitation, legal advice and representation, and consumer training and counseling, and assistance in processing applications for legalization and citizenship.
This bill, upon appropriation by the Legislature, would require the department to establish a grant program for counties to establish farmworker resource centers that provide farmworkers and their families information and access to services related to, among other things, education, housing, payroll and wage rights, and health and human services. The bill would make a county’s eligibility for funding under the grant program contingent upon the county working with community based organizations to develop the center, providing 25% of the center’s funding under the program, and requiring the center tp provide services in specified languages.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 12710) is added to Part 2 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read:
CHAPTER  8. Farmworker Resource Center Grant Program

12710.
 In enacting this chapter, the Legislature finds and declares:
(a) Agriculture is both a major industry and employer in California.
(b) Farmworkers are an essential component of a successful and sustainable agricultural industry.
(c) There are approximately 420,000 farmworkers in California.
(d) It is important for California to address the challenges faced by farmworkers and the agricultural industry.
(e) California has long been an agricultural model for modern agriculture, adapting to meet 21st Century challenges and needs with broadly shared benefits for consumers, agricultural employers, and workers.

12711.
 For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Center” means a farmworker resources center.
(b) “Department” means the Department of Community Services and Development.
(c) “Program” means the grant program established and administered by the department pursuant to this chapter.

12712.
 (a) Upon appropriation by the Legislature, the department shall establish and administer a grant program for eligible counties to establish and fund farmworker resources centers that provide information and access to services described in subdivision (b) to farmworkers and their families.
(b) Services provided at a center may include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) Assistance with public agencies.
(2) Providing resources and answering questions regarding programs related to education, housing, utilities, payroll and wage rights, and health and human services.
(c) A center may provide services to farmworkers at a brick and mortar location in the county or through a mobile center to conduct outreach where farmworkers live and work.

12713.
 To be eligible for funding under the program a county shall do all of the following:
(a) Work with community based organizations in order to develop the center.
(b) Provide 25 percent of the center’s program funding under this chapter.
(c) Require the center to provide services in at least English and Spanish. If at least ____ percent of the farmworker population of the county speak an additional language, the department may require the county to require the center to provide services in that language.