BILL NUMBER: AB 1560 INTRODUCED
INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Fuentes
JANUARY 30, 2012
An act to amend Section 18901.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating
to public social services.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST
AB 1560, as introduced, Fuentes. CalFresh: categorical eligibility.
Existing law provides for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
(SNAP), under which each county distributes nutrition assistance benefits
provided by the federal government to eligible households, and the CalWORKs
program, under which each county provides cash assistance and other benefits to
qualified low-income families and individuals. In California, federal nutrition
assistance benefits are administered through CalFresh.
Existing law also provides for the Medi-Cal program, which is administered by
the State Department of Health Care Services, pursuant to which medical
benefits are provided to public assistance recipients and other low-income
Under existing law, the State Department of Social Services is required to
develop a program of categorical eligibility under CalFresh for needy
households who meet all other SNAP eligibility requirements, in accordance with
This bill would require the State Department of Social Services, to the extent
permitted by federal law, to waive the CalFresh gross income test for any
individual who is categorically eligible for CalFresh and who is a member of a
household that receives, or is eligible to receive, medical assistance under
the Medi-Cal program.
Because counties administer CalFresh, this bill would increase county duties by
potentially expanding the eligible population, and would thereby 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 these statutory provisions.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Poor nutrition threatens the health of 3.7 million low-income adults and
over two million children who face food insecurity in California.
(b) Nutrition is a critical component of health. Adequate nutrition supports
proper growth and development among children, and reduces the risk of chronic
disease, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes.
(c) According to the United States Department of Agriculture, California has
the lowest nutrition assistance participation rate in the country. Eligible
low-income households that do not participate in CalFresh miss out on monthly
nutrition assistance, and their children may not be certified for free school
(d) The program of categorical eligibility provided for in this act will
improve health, remove administrative barriers, and increase the amount of
federal nutrition benefits coming to California.
SEC. 2. Section 18901.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to
The department shall establish a program of
categorical eligibility for CalFresh in accordance with Section 5(a) of the
federal Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. Sec. 2014(a)), and
implementing regulations, to improve nutrition and promote the retention and
development of assets and resources for needy households who meet all other
federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program eligibility requirements.
Categorical eligibility for CalFresh shall also apply to any individual who is
a member of a household that will be receiving or is eligible to receive cash
assistance under Part 5 (commencing with Section 17000), or eligible to receive
food assistance under Chapter 10.1 (commencing with Section 18930).
(b) The director shall implement the program established pursuant to this
section only with the appropriate federal authorization and if implementation
would not result in the loss of federal financial participation.
(c) 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) and Section 10554, until emergency regulations
are filed with the Secretary of State, the State Department of Social Services
may implement the changes made by subdivision (a) through all-county letters or
similar instructions from the director. The department shall adopt emergency
regulations as necessary to implement those amendments on or before January 1,
2010. The program established pursuant to this section shall be established on
or before July 1, 2009, and shall be fully implemented as to new applicants for
CalFresh on or before January 1, 2010.
(d) The department shall adopt regulations to implement this section. The
adoption, amendment, repeal, or readoption of a regulation authorized by this
section is deemed to address an emergency, for purposes of Sections 11346.1 and
11349.6 of the Government Code, and the department is hereby exempted for this
purpose from the requirements of subdivision (b) of Section 11346.1 of the
Government Code. The emergency regulations shall be exempt from review by the
Office of Administrative Law. The department shall adopt final regulations
implementing the program authorized by this section on or before July 1, 2010.
SEC. 3. 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.