CSAC Bulletin Article

Health and Human Services 06/15/2012


AB 1691 (Lowenthal, B.) – Support
As Introduced on February 15, 2012

AB 1691, by Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal, would allow non-English speaking CalWORKs recipients, which include refugees and other legal immigrants, to participate in English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction for eight months. Time spent in ESL instruction would count as a core activity and counties would have the option of extending ESL participation for up to 12 months on a case-by-case basis. 

CSAC supports AB 1691, which was passed by the Senate Human Services Committee on June 12. It now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee. 

AB 1970 (Skinner) – Support
As Amended on June 4, 2012

AB 1970, by Assembly Member Nancy Skinner, would streamline the eligibility structure across the CalWORKs, CalFresh, and Medi-Cal programs.

This measure, titled the Social Services Modernization and Efficiency Act of 2012, would conform eligibility requirements for the above programs to existing federal law, allow recipients to choose electronic forms for certain types of communication, interviews, and notices, and simplifies the interview process for people in immediate need of benefits. The measure will also codify the practice of recertifying CalFresh households at the end of their Traditional CalFresh Period to prevent lapses in nutritional benefits. 
Counties also support the provision requiring the state to make state plans for changes in service to the federal government electronically available. 
Taken all together, these small modernization changes will streamline human service programs for recipients and counties, and serve to illustrate the efficiencies to be gained from the careful use of technology. 
CSAC supports AB 1970, which was passed by the Senate Human Services Committee on June 12. It now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee. 

AB 1998 (Achadjian) – Support
As Amended on May 25, 2012

AB 1998, by Assembly Member Katcho Achadjian, would help bridge the “digital divide” by allowing counties to donate surplus computer property directly to recipients of public assistance to aid in employment and assistance efforts.

CSAC supports AB 1998, which was passed by the Assembly on May 30. It now goes to the Senate Rules Committee for assignment to a Senate Policy Committee. 

AB 2352 (Hernández) – Support
As Introduced on February 24, 2012

AB 2352, by Assembly Member Roger Hernández, would allow CalWORKs applicants and recipients to own reliable cars by deleting the requirement that counties assess the value of a motor vehicle when determining or redetermining CalWORKs eligibility. 

AB 2352 is similar to last year’s AB 1182, which was vetoed by the Governor. Counties believe that this change will promote work participation and self-sufficiency among low-income California families and eventually help CalWORKs recipients move off of public aid. It is for these reasons that we support Assembly Member Hernández’s measure again this year. 
CSAC supports AB 2352, which was passed by the Senate Human Services Committee on June 12. It now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Child Welfare Services/Foster Care

AB 1707 (Ammiano) – Support
As Amended on March 13, 2012

AB 1707, by Assembly Member Tom Ammiano, would amend the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI) statute to automatically remove the name of a person who is listed as a perpetrator of child abuse after 10 years if the incident occurred when the perpetrator was under 18 years old at the time of the incident. The perpetrator’s name would only be removed if no subsequent reportable incidents have occurred. AB 1707 would also modify CACI notice requirements to require the Department of Justice to report any listings involving a minor under the jurisdiction of a juvenile court to the minor’s attorney. 

CSAC supports AB 1707, which was passed by the Senate Public Safety Committee on June 12. It goes next to the Senate Appropriations Committee. 


AB 43 (Monning) – Support
As Amended on May 27, 2011

AB 43, by Assembly Member William Monning, would require the state Department of Health Care Services to begin planning for the transition of individuals into Medi-Cal as required in 2014 by the federal Affordable Care Act. 

AB was recently taken off of the Inactive File and continues to move through the policy committee process. 

Specifically, AB 43 requires state planning to transition adults from county-run Low Income Health Plans (LIHP), established under California’s Bridge to Reform Section 1115 Medicaid Demonstration waiver approved in 2010, into Medi-Cal. The Department would be required to submit the plan to the federal government.

Counties are supportive of developing a plan to transition the LIHP enrollees into Medi-Cal. CSAC has been working with Assembly Member Monning’s staff to develop language that broadens the transition plan. This language ensures that individuals served in counties that may ultimately choose not to develop an LIHP, as well as individuals who might not be eligible for a county’s LIHP, for example, due to income slightly above the set limits, be included in transition planning. We understand this language will be amended into the bill and appreciate the author’s willingness to work with us.

Counties also support the bill’s ambitious timeline, i.e. erecting an eligibility process for transitioning LIHP participants to Medi-Cal by July 1, 2013, but recognize the technical realities associated with achieving it may be challenging. Counties will be critical partners in providing Medi-Cal eligibility determinations and enrolling individuals in the Medi-Cal program. It will be important for counties to have a role in this process, along with other key stakeholders. 

Counties look forward to working with the Legislature to achieve the goal of developing a realistic and robust transition plan for expanding Medi-Cal under the Affordable Care Act in 2014. CSAC, along with the Urban Counties Caucus, County Welfare Directors Association, and County Health Executives Association of California support AB 43. The Senate Health Committee passed AB 43 on June 13. It goes next to the Senate Appropriations Committee. 

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