Bill Text: CA SB726 | 2017-2018 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: CalWORKs: benefits overpayment.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2018-04-16 - From committee with author's amendments. Read second time and amended. Re-referred to Com. on HUM. S. [SB726 Detail]

Download: California-2017-SB726-Amended.html

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 16, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  January 03, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  March 23, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 726


Introduced by Senator Wiener

February 17, 2017


An act to add Section 41.5 to the Revenue and Taxation Code, relating to taxation. amend Section 11004 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to CalWORKs.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 726, as amended, Wiener. Taxation: sales and use tax: exemption: information. CalWORKs: benefits overpayment.
Existing federal law provides for allocation of federal funds through the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant program to eligible states. Existing law provides for the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program, under which, through a combination of state and county funds and federal funds received through the TANF program, each county provides cash assistance and other benefits to qualified low-income families.
Existing law authorizes current and future grants payable to an assistance unit to be reduced due to prior overpayments. Existing law prohibits a county from attempting to recover payments when the outstanding overpayments are less than $35, if the individual is no longer receiving aid under the CalWORKs program.
This bill would instead set the limit of the outstanding overpayments at $125, or the threshold established by a county if it is higher. The bill would authorize a county to establish a threshold higher than $125 if a higher threshold is more cost effective, but would prohibit it from establishing a lower threshold. The bill would authorize a county to expunge an overpayment if the county determines that the overpayment has been caused by a major systemic error, negligence, or a county error. The bill would make conforming changes to related provisions.
Existing law requires, when an overpayment has been made to an assistance unit that is no longer receiving public social services, that the recovery be made by an appropriate action under state law against the income or resources of the individual responsible for the overpayment or against the family.
This bill would repeal that provision.
Existing law requires, as a condition of eligibility of aid paid under the CalWORKs program, each applicant or recipient to assign to the county any rights to support from any other person the applicant or recipient may have on his or her own behalf, or on behalf of any other family member for whom the applicant or recipient is applying for or receiving aid.
This bill would prohibit overpayment recovery from being sought or obtained for amounts that have been reimbursed through child support collection for the CalWORKs program.
Existing law prohibits the commencement of a civil or criminal action against a person based on alleged unlawful application for or receipt of public social services if the case record of the person has been destroyed after the required retention period.
This bill would also prohibit the commencement of the action if the case record has not been made available to that person, or if any consumer credit report used in the case has not been made available or has been destroyed, as specified.
This bill would also provide that an individual who is, or was, a child in an assistance unit is not responsible for an overpayment pursuant to the above-described provisions.
This bill would authorize the State Department of Social Services to implement these provisions through an all-county letter or similar instruction from the Director of Social Services, until final regulations are adopted, and would require the department to adopt final regulations on or before October 1, 2020.
By increasing the duties of county agencies, this 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.
Existing law continuously appropriates moneys from the General Fund to defray a portion of county costs under the CalWORKs program.
This bill would instead provide that the continuous appropriation would not be made for purposes of implementing the bill.

The Sales and Use Tax Law imposes a tax on retailers measured by the gross receipts from the sale of tangible personal property sold at retail in this state, or on the storage, use, or other consumption in this state, of tangible personal property purchased from a retailer for storage, use, or other consumption in this state and provides for exemptions from those taxes.

This bill would require any bill, introduced on or after January 1, 2019, that would authorize an exemption from the taxes imposed by the Sales and Use Tax Law to contain, among other provisions, specified goals, purposes, and objectives that the exemption will achieve, and detailed performance indicators, including data collection requirements, to measure whether the exemption is meeting those goals, purposes, and objectives.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NOYES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 11004 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

11004.
 The provisions of this code relative to public social services for which state grants-in-aid are made to the counties shall be administered fairly to the end that all persons who are eligible and apply for such public social services shall receive the assistance to which they are entitled promptly, with due consideration for the needs of applicants and the safeguarding of public funds.
(a) Any applicant for, or recipient or payee of, such public social services shall be informed as to the provisions of eligibility and his or her responsibility for reporting facts material to a correct determination of eligibility and grant.
(b) Any applicant for, or recipient or payee of, such public social services shall be responsible for reporting accurately and completely within his or her competence those facts required of him or her pursuant to subdivision (a) and to report promptly any changes in those facts.
(c) Current and future grants payable to an assistance unit may be reduced because of prior overpayments. In cases where the overpayment was caused by agency error, grant payments shall be reduced by 5 percent of the maximum aid payment of the assistance unit. Grant payments to be adjusted because of prior overpayments because of any other reason shall be reduced by 10 percent of the maximum aid payments for the assistance unit. A recipient may have an overpayment adjustment in excess of the amounts allowable under this section if the recipient requests it.
(d) No determination of ineligibility shall be made retrospectively so as to result in an assessment of an overpayment in circumstances where when there is a failure on the part of an applicant or recipient to perform an act constituting a condition of eligibility, if the failure is caused by an error made by a state agency or a county welfare department, and if the amount of the grant received by the applicant or recipient would not have been different had the act been performed.
(e) Prior to effectuating any reduction of current grants to recover past overpayments, the recipient shall be advised of the proposed reduction and of his or her entitlement to a hearing on the propriety of the reduction.
(f) If the department determines after a hearing that an overpayment has occurred, the county providing the public social services shall seek to recover from a recipient in accordance with subdivision (c) the full amount of the overpayment to the assistance unit, including any amount paid while the hearing process was pending. Such adjustment shall be permitted concurrently with any suit for restitution, and recovery of overpayment by adjustment shall reduce by the amount of such recovery the extent of liability for restitution.
(g) (1) If the individual responsible for an overpayment is no longer receiving aid under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) 11200), recovery of overpayments received under that chapter shall not be attempted where when the outstanding overpayments are less than thirty-five dollars ($35).Where one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125) or the threshold established in paragraph (2), whichever is higher. When the overpayment amounts owed are thirty-five dollars ($35) or more, equal to or more than the applicable threshold established in this paragraph and the overpayment is not expunged pursuant to paragraph (3), reasonable cost-effective efforts at collection shall be implemented. Reasonable efforts shall include notification of the amount of the overpayment and that repayment is required. The department shall define reasonable cost-effective collection methods. In cases involving fraud, every effort shall be made to collect the overpayments regardless of the amount.
(2) A county may establish a threshold higher than one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125) if a higher threshold is more cost effective, but the county shall not set a lower threshold than that amount.
(3) Notwithstanding subdivision (c), a county may expunge an overpayment if the county determines that the overpayment has been caused by a major systemic error, negligence, or a county error.
(h) If the individual responsible for the overpayment to the assistance unit is no longer eligible for public social services or if he or she becomes a member of another assistance unit, recoupment of overpayments shall be made against the responsible individual or his or her present assistance unit, or both.

(i)Where an overpayment has been made to an assistance unit which is no longer receiving public social services, recovery shall be made by appropriate action under state law against the income or resources of the individual responsible for the overpayment or against the family.

(i) An overpayment recovery shall not be sought or obtained for amounts that have been reimbursed through child support collection for the CalWORKs program pursuant to Section 11477.
(j) No A civil or criminal action may shall not be commenced against any person based on alleged unlawful application for or receipt of public social services, where if the case record of such person has record, or any consumer credit report used in the case, of that person has not been made available to that person or has been destroyed after the expiration of the four-year retention period pursuant to Section 10851.
(k) When an underpayment or denial of public social service occurs and as a result the applicant or recipient does not receive the amount to which he or she is entitled, the county shall provide public social services equal to the full amount of the underpayment unless prohibited by federal law. In cases that have both an underpayment and an overpayment, the underpayment shall be offset against the overpayment prior to correcting any remaining underpayment.
Any corrective payments made pursuant to this subdivision shall be disregarded in determining the income of the family and shall be disregarded in determining the resources of the family in the month the corrective payment is made and in the following month.
(l) This subdivision shall be applicable only to applicants, recipients and payees under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) of Part 3 of Division 9. Any suits to recover overpayments described in subdivision (f) shall be brought on behalf of the county by the county counsel unless the board of supervisors delegates such that duty to the district attorney by ordinance or resolution.
(m) An individual who is, or was, a child in an assistance unit shall not be responsible for an overpayment pursuant to this section.

SEC. 2.

 Notwithstanding the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), the State Department of Social Services may implement this act through an all-county letter or similar instruction from the Director of Social Services, until final regulations are adopted. The department shall adopt final regulations implementing this act on or before October 1, 2020.

SEC. 3.

 No appropriation pursuant to Section 15200 of the Welfare and Institutions Code shall be made for purposes of this act.

SEC. 4.

 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 41.5 is added to the Revenue and Taxation Code, immediately following Section 41, to read:
41.5.

Notwithstanding any other law, any bill introduced on or after January 1, 2019, that would authorize an exemption from the taxes imposed by Part 1 (commencing with Section 6001) of Division 2 shall contain all of the following:

(a)Specific goals, purposes, and objectives that the exemption will achieve.

(b)Detailed performance indicators for the Legislature to use when measuring whether the exemption meets the goals, purposes, and objectives stated in the bill.

(c)Data collection requirements to enable the Legislature to determine whether the exemption is meeting, failing to meet, or exceeding those specific goals, purposes, and objectives. The requirements shall include the specific data and baseline measurements to be collected and remitted in each year the exemption is in effect, in order for the Legislature to measure the change in performance indicators, and the specific taxpayers, state agencies, or other entities required to collect and remit data.

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