CSAC Bulletin Article

Governor Signs Bills to Support Expansion of 2-1-1 Services and Modernize CalWORKs Application

October 6, 2016

The deadline for the Governor to sign or veto bills was September 30. A large number of HHS-related bills were signed into law or vetoed, and a couple bills CSAC supported that the Governor signed are described below:

The Governor signed SB 1212 by Senator Ben Hueso, which authorizes the California Public Utilities Commission to spend up to $1,500,000 from the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund to facilitate the expansion of 2-1-1 services into counties that do not currently have 2-1-1 services. SB 1212 recognizes the importance of providing simplified access to real-time information on health and human services emergency care, crisis intervention, and disaster preparedness, response and recovery. Currently 38 of California’s 58 counties offer 2-1-1 services, and CSAC and our members are grateful to the Governor for signing this important measure to support the expansion of these critical services statewide.     

The Governor also signed SB 947 by Senator Richard Pan, which would work to modernize the CalWORKs application and ensure a more efficient process for families in need of CalWORKs benefits. Existing law provides both the CalFresh and Medi-Cal programs with the option of performing interviews by phone. SB 947 simply allows counties to extend this option to the CalWORKs program by allowing county human services agency or state hospital staff to conduct the required personal eligibility interview via telephone or electronically. CSAC would like to thank to Governor for signing this important measure that recognizes that streamlining the eligibility interview process for CalWORKs may be a crucial step for struggling families to help them access the program. 

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