Dr. Joaquin Arambula
- District 31
Existing federal law establishes the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) , known in California as CalFresh, under which supplemental nutrition assistance benefits allocated to the state by the federal government are distributed to eligible individuals by each county. Existing law establishes a statewide electronic benefits transfer (EBT) system, administered by the State Department of Social Services, for the purpose of providing financial and food assistance benefits, including CalFresh benefits. Existing law establishes the California Fruit and Vegetable EBT Pilot Project and requires the department, in consultation with the Department of Food and Agriculture and specified stakeholders, to include within the EBT system a supplemental benefits mechanism that allows an authorized retailer to deliver and redeem supplemental benefits. Existing law defines the term "supplemental benefits" for these purposes to mean additional funds delivered to a CalFresh recipient's EBT card upon purchase of California-grown fresh fruits and vegetables using CalFresh benefits. Existing law requires the department, upon the deposit of sufficient moneys into the California Fruit and Vegetable EBT Grant Fund, and upon the appropriation of moneys from the fund by the Legislature for this purpose, to provide a minimum of 3 grants to nonprofit organizations or governmental agencies for pilot projects to implement and test the supplemental benefits mechanism, as specified. This bill would establish the CalFresh Fruit and Vegetable Supplemental Benefits Expansion Program and create the CalFresh Fruit and Vegetable EBT Expansion Fund in the State Treasury. The program would include a process and guidelines for the State Department of Social Services to, upon the deposit of sufficient moneys in the fund, enroll authorized retailers to enable those authorized retailers to provide supplemental benefits to CalFresh recipients who purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. The bill would authorize the department to initially allocate from any appropriation made for the purposes of the program, $40,000,000 for large authorized retailers that are not direct farm-to-consumer authorized retailers to provide supplemental benefits, $20,000,000 for small authorized retailers that are not direct farm-to-consumer authorized retailers to provide supplemental benefits, and $30,000,000 for direct farm-to-consumer authorized retailers to provide supplemental benefits. The bill would also require the department to provide grants to small authorized retailers that are not direct farm-to-consumer authorized retailers to offset the cost of technological upgrades required to offer supplemental benefits and would authorize the department to allocate up to $1,000,000 from any appropriation made for the purposes of the program to provide those grants. The bill would authorize the department, 6 months or later after the enrollment of authorized retailers as a result of the first round of application solicitation, to reallocate those funds. The bill would require supplemental benefits to be provided using the EBT system supplemental benefits mechanism established for purposes of the California Fruit and Vegetable EBT Pilot Project. The bill would also require the department, as part of the program, to contract with one or more vendors to develop at least 2 technology solutions that allow authorized retailers to wirelessly accept EBT CalFresh benefits and offer supplemental benefits, to develop marketing materials that authorized retailers that have been enrolled in the program and community groups can use for outreach efforts to promote supplemental benefits, and to submit specified reports to the Legislature. The bill would require, if the department fails to submit one of the reports, if the report recommends stopping further expansion of supplemental benefits programs, or if supplemental benefits are not distributed pursuant to the California Fruit and Vegetable EBT Pilot Project, all unencumbered state funds in the CalFresh Fruit and Vegetable EBT Expansion Fund to revert to the General Fund. The bill would require the Department of Food and Agriculture to develop a grant program to award funds to nonprofit organizations to recruit, train, and support authorized retailers participating in supplemental benefit programs. The bill would require the State Department of Social Services to seek any necessary federal waivers or approvals to implement these provisions.
In committee: Held under submission.
In committee: Set, first hearing. Referred to suspense file.
From committee: Do pass and re-refer to Com. on APPR. with recommendation: To Consent Calendar. (Ayes 11. Noes 0.) (March 29). Re-referred to Com. on APPR.
From committee chair, with author's amendments: Amend, and re-refer to Com. on AGRI. Read second time and amended.
From committee: Do pass and re-refer to Com. on AGRI. (Ayes 8. Noes 0.) (March 14). Re-referred to Com. on AGRI.
From printer. May be heard in committee March 12.
Read first time. To print.
|Bill Text Versions||Format|
|02/09/23 - Introduced|
|03/22/23 - Amended Assembly|
|03/13/23- Assembly Human Services|
|03/28/23- Assembly Agriculture|
|04/18/23- Assembly Appropriations|
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