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La County Supervisor Motion to Support Ab828 and Other Reforms 2012

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County of Los Angeles

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICE
Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration
500 West Temple Street. Room 713, Los Angeles, California 90012
(213) 974-1101
http://ceo.lacounty.gov

WILLIAM T FUJIOKA
Chief Executive Officer

August 13, 2012

Board of Supervisors
GLORIA MOLINA
First District
MARK RIDLEY-THOMAS
. Second District
ZEV YAROSLAVSKY
Third District

To:

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Chairman
Supervisor Gloria Molina
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
Supervisor Don Knabe
Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich

From:

--Z -"

DON KNABE
Fourth District
MICHAEL D. ANTONOVICH
Fifth District

William T Fujioka
/'I
-P r
Chief Executive Officer ~ v ~ ~
/I

MOTION BY SUPERVISOR RIDLEY-THOMAS TO: 1) SUPPORT LEGISLATION TO
ELIMINATE PROHIBITIONS ON ACCESS TO SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUALS
CONVICTED OF FELONY OFFENSES THAT HAVE SUCCESSFULLY SERVED
COURT-ORDERED SENTENCES; 2) SUPPORT EFFORTS TO IDENTIFY LAWS
THAT CREATE UNNECESSARY BARRIERS FOR THIS POPULATION; AND
3) SEND A LETTER TO THE COUNTY'S DELEGATION TO SUPPORT AB 828,
(SUPPLEMENTAL AGENDA ITEM 52-B, MEETING OF AUGUST 14, 2012)
Item No. 52-B on the August 14, 2012 Supplemental Agenda is a motion by
Supervisor Ridley-Thomas to direct the following:
1. Direct the County's legislative advocates in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento to
support legislation that eliminates lifetime prohibitions on access to job training,
human services and voting rights for those who have been convicted of felony
offenses and have successfully served court-ordered sentences, and are making
a sincere effort to re-integrate into the community. This office recommends that
this item be continued 3 weeks;
2. Direct the County's Federal and State legislative advocates to support efforts to
identify the laws, regulations, and policies that may create unnecessary barriers
to employing people with criminal records. This office recommends that this
item be continued 3 weeks; and
3. Send a letter to the County's State legislative delegation, recommending support
for measures such as AB 828, the Nutrition Assistance for Families in Recovery
Act. Support for AB 828 is consistent with existing Board-approved policy.
The County took a support position on this measure on August 10, 2012 .
. :To Enrich Lives Through Effective And Caring Service"
Please Conserve Paper - This Document and Copies are Two-Sided
Intra-County Correspondence Sent Electronically Only

Each Supervisor
August 13, 2012
Page 2

The existing Board-approved State and Federal Legislative Agendas ·do not contain
specific policies related to recommendations in the motion which call for: 1) support of
legislation that eliminates lifetime prohibitions on access to job training and voting rights
for those convicted of felony offenses who have successfully served court-ordered
sentences; and 2) support efforts to identify laws, regulations, and policies that may
create unnecessary barriers to employing people with criminal records.
Therefore, this office recommends that items one and two of the motion be
continued for three weeks to allow sufficient time to research these issues and
work with affected Departments to complete a comprehensive analysis for the
Board's consideration.

AB 828 (Swanson)
County-supported AB 828 (Swanson), as amended on June 13, 2012, would allow an
individual convicted of any drug-related felony to be eligible to receive Federal CalFresh
benefits if certain conditions are met, such as the completion of a governmentrecognized drug treatment program, subsequent to the most recent drug-related
conviction. Specifically, this bill would amend State law to opt out of the current Federal
ban which prohibits individuals convicted of drug felonies from receiving these benefits.
Under AB 828, no individual convicted of a drug felony (including distribution and sales
crimes) would be automatically deemed ineligible for Cal Fresh benefits without
condition.
Support for AB 828 is consistent with Board policy to support a statewide safety net for
families in which a member may be disqualified from receiving Temporary Assistance
for Needy Families (TAN F) benefits due to drug-related convictions, if that family
member has successfully completed a qualified drug rehabilitation program and
remains drug free. On August 10, 2012, the County took a support position on this
measure. Attached is a memorandum with the complete analysis of AS 828.
We will continue to keep you advised.
WTF:RA
MR:OR:ma

Attachment
c:

Executive Office, Board of Supervisors
County Counsel

Agenda Memos 20121suppl age 52-6_081412

Attachment

County of Los Angeles

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICE
Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration
500 West Temple Street, Room 713. Los Angeles. Califomia 90012
(213) 974-1101
http://ceoJacounty.gov

WILLIAM T FUJIOKA

Board. of SupervisOrs
GLORIA MOLINA
Rrsl District

Chief Executive Officer

MARK RIDLEY-THOMAS
Second District
.

ZEV YAROSLAVSKY
Third District

August 10,2012

DON KNABE
Fourth District
MICHAEL D. ANTONOVICH
Fifth District

To:

From:

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Chairman
Supervisor Gloria Molina
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
Supervisor Don Knabe

;~;~~;;~:erAnIO~

REQUEST BY SUPERVISOR KNABE FOR THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICE TO
EXAMINE AS 828 (SWANSON) AND REPORT BACK TO THE BOARD (RELATED
TO PUBLIC COMMENT, MEETING OF JULY 31, 2012)
This memorandum responds to a request by Supervisor Knabe during · the public
comment portion of the July 31, 2012 Board meeting for the Chief Executive Office to
examine AB 828 (Swanson), which relates to the eligibility of Cal Fresh benefits and
individuals convicted of drug-related felonies, and to report back to the Board.
Analysis of AB 828
AS 828 (Swanson), as amended on June 13,2012, would allow ~n. individual convicted
of any drug-related felony to be eligible to receive Federal CalFr~sh benefits if certain
conditions described below are met. Specifically, this bill would amend State law to opt
out of the current Federal ban which prohibits individuals convicted of.drug felonies from
receiving these benefits. Under AB 828; no individual corwicted of ·a drug felony
(including distribution and sales crimes) would be automatically deemed ineligible for
CalFresh benefits without condition. .
This measure would reqljire, as a condition of eligibility to receive CalFresh benefits, an
applicant convicted of a felony drug offense to provide proof of one of the following:
•

Completion. of a government-recognized drug treatment program, subsequent to
the most recent drug-(elated conviction;
.'~ . "To .E nrich Uves Through Effective And Caring

Service'"

Please C6nseIVe Paper-: ThIs Document and Copies are Two:.sided
Infra-:-CountyCorresponCtenee Sent Electronically Only .·

.-

Each Supervisor
August 10,2012
Page 2

•

Participation in a government-recognized drug treatment program, subsequent to
the most recent drug-related conviction;

•

Enrollment in a government-recognized drug treatment program, subsequent to
the most recent drug-related conviction;

•

Placement on a waiting list for a government-recognized drug treatment program,
subsequent to the most recent drug-relateq conviction; or

•

Other evidence that all illegal use, possession, or distribution of controlled
substances has ceased, as established by regulations of the California
Department of Social Services.

Federal law prohibits individuals who have been convicted of drug felonies from
receiving benefits under the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
(SNAP), formerly the Food Stamp Program and known as CalFresh in California, but
allows a State to opt out partially, or entirely, from the provisions of the automatic aid
disqualification of a convicted felon.
Existing State law opts out of the Federal prohibition against SNAP eligibility, in part, for
persons convicted of a drug felony unrelated to distribution or sales (primarily
possession and use convictions) who can prove completion, enrollment in, or placement
on a waiting list for a government-recognized drug treatment program, or provide other
evidence that illegal use of controlled substances has ceased. Current State law retains
the Federal prohibition against eligibility for CalFresh benefits for persons convicted of a
felony involving trafficking.
According to the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS), AS 828 would simplify
the process for this population to receive CalFresh benefits. DPSS indicates that
additional administration costs could be negligible if AB .828 is enacted. The
Department . expects no additional Net County Cost for Cal Fresh administration,
because Cal Fresh benefits are 100 percent Federally funded, and the California Food .
Assistance Program, which is part of the Cal Fresh Program, is 100 percent State
funded.
.
The Department of Public Social Services and this office support AS 828. Therefore,
consistent with Board policy to support a statewide safety net for families in which a
member may be disqualified from receiving TANF benefits due to drug-related
convictions, if that family member has successfully completed a qualified drug
rehabilitation program and remains drug free, unless otherwise instructed by the
Board, the Sacramento advocates will support AB 828.

Board Memos 2012JAB 828_073112 Mtg

,.

Each Supervisor
August10,2012
Page 3
AB 828 is sponsored by the Western Center on Law and Poverty and the Women's
Policy Institute, and is supported by the County Welfare Directors Association of
. California, California Association of Food Banks, California Public Defenders
Association, Alameda County Board of Supervisors, City and County of San Francisco,
among others. The measure is opposed by the California District Attorneys Association
and the California Narcotic Officers' Association.
AB 828 is identical to.AB 1756 (Swanson) of 2010 and similar to AB 1198 (Swanson) of
2009, which were held on ·the Senate Appropriations Committee's Suspense File,
among other previous measures.
AB 828 is currently on the Senate Appropriations Committee's Suspense File which will
be considered on August 16, 2012.
We will continue to keep you advised.
WTF:RA
MR:OR:ma

c:

Executive Office, Board of Supervisors
County Counsel

.....
Board Memos.20121AB 828_01:3112 Mtg

 

 

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