Summary: S.2489 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.2489. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (04/20/1990)

Mickey Leland Memorial Domestic Hunger Relief Act - Title I: Reducing Childhood Hunger - Subtitle A: Eliminating the Excess Shelter Deduction Cap - Amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to revise and increase the excess shelter expense deduction for FY 1991 and 1992.

Subtitle B: Adequacy of Food Stamp Benefits - Requires the Secretary of Agriculture to adjust the basic benefit level upwards by specified increments at the beginning of each fiscal year from FY 1991 through 1995 until it reaches 105 percent of the cost of the thrifty food plan.

Subtitle C: Protecting Households in Special Circumstances - Directs the Secretary to provide for emergency allotments to eligible households to replace food lost in a disaster.

Excludes from the computation of household income any State allowance (provided at least annually) for obtaining school clothes for children in school or child care.

Provides for allotment increases to cover State or local sales taxes for participants in demonstration projects.

Authorizes a State, on or after April 1, 1992, and with the Secretary's approval, to implement an electronic food stamp benefit transfer system.

Redefines "food" with regard to the homeless for purposes of such Act.

Permits State agencies to develop standard estimates of the shelter and related expenses which homeless households may reasonably be expected to incur in order to certify such households based on reported expenses not exceeding such an estimate.

Title II: Promoting Self-Sufficiency - Excludes the first $50 a month received as child support from consideration as income in determining the food stamp allotments of households also receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) benefits.

Increases from $4,500 to $5,500 from January 1 through September 30, 1991, with annual cost-of-living adjustments to follow, the limit on the fair market value of vehicles that food stamp recipients may own.

Directs the Secretary to conduct a sufficient number of demonstration projects to evaluate the effects of excluding from such vehicle calculation the value of: (1) any licensed vehicle used for certain income-producing, transportation, or shelter purposes; and (2) one licensed vehicle used for job-related or job-seeking purposes (including commuting), for pursuing education or training, or for securing food or food stamp benefits.

Allows States to use their own agency-designed forms instead of forms approved by the Secretary.

Allows four States to give priority in the provision of services to voluntary participants (including both exempt and nonexempt), so long as performance standards are maintained.

Authorizes an employment and training program to contain programs designed to increase the self-sufficiency of recipients through self-employment. Excludes from the computation of household financial resources any nonliquid resources necessary to allow the household to carry out an approved plan for self-sufficiency.

Increases the dependent care deduction for purposes of eligibility and benefit levels.

Increases the limit for reimbursements to recipients for costs incurred in employment and training activities.

Revises: (1) low-income student eligibility provisions; and (2) educational expense exclusions.

Excludes from income computation housing assistance payments made to a third party on behalf of a household member residing in transitional housing for the homeless.

Title III: Simplifying Program Administration - Requires parents and minor children who live together to apply for food stamps as a single household.

Requires the Secretary to issue rules under which State agencies must develop standards for identifying (for exclusion as inaccessible resources) those kinds of resources the household is unlikely to sell for any significant return because its interest is so slight or the cost of selling would be so great.

Provides that a food stamp office need not consider any resources that the AFDC or supplemental security income benefit programs have already determined to be exempt.

Directs State agencies to require only one adult representative of a household to sign all declarations required in the application process on behalf of the household.

Makes recipients of State or local general assistance programs categorically eligible for food stamps.

Changes from mandatory to discretionary aggregate allotments for households applying for benefits after the 15th day of the month.

Title IV: Hunger in Rural America - Requires State agencies to designate rural project areas where low-income persons face substantial difficulties in getting transportation. Requires issuance of coupons by mail in such areas, except where households experience mail losses exceeding certain levels.

Title V: Promoting Access for the Elderly and Disabled - Declares that State agencies, with respect to the excess medical deduction for the elderly and the disabled, shall not require further verification of a change in medical expenses if the change has been anticipated for the verification period.

Requires annual adjustments to the value of the minimum food stamp benefit.

Permits State agencies to establish a procedure allowing households whose regular food stamp benefits do not exceed $20 per month to receive up to $60 worth for intervals of up to three months.

Requires that any applicant for or recipient of supplemental security income benefits be informed of the availability of food stamp benefits.

Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to: (1) make grants in FY 1991 through 1993 for demonstration projects to improve food stamp participation among homeless persons and families, low-income working families with children, and elderly and disabled persons; and (2) conduct pilot projects in FY 1994 and 1995 to test new food stamp procedures aimed at increasing rural participation.

Title VI: Program Administration by State Agencies - Prohibits the application of disallowances for erroneous issuances or similar actions to any State for a fiscal year before FY 1991.

Title VII: Program Integrity - Prohibits a wholesale-retail food concern from redeeming food stamps as a retail store unless: (1) it does a substantial level of retail food business; or (2) the Secretary determines that failure to so authorize the store would cause hardship to food stamp households.

Requires applicant wholesale or retail food stores or concerns to provide the social security numbers of their owners, officers, and on-site managers.

Increases fines for food stamp trafficking.

Disqualifies a food store or concern permanently for selling guns, explosives, or controlled substances for food stamps, except that a fine may be imposed in lieu of disqualification under specified circumstances.

Authorizes fines for: (1) food stores or concerns that accept loose coupons; and (2) unauthorized third-party food stamp acceptance.

Reduces the election period during which a household required to repay a food stamp overissuance must decide whether to make such repayment through cash refund or allotment reduction.

Title VIII: Reauthorization of Programs - Amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to make food stamp program authorization of appropriations permanent. Repeals allotment reduction and limitation on value provisions.

Authorizes fund allocations through FY 1995 for food stamp job training.

Extends through FY 1995 food stamp pilot program authority.

Reauthorizes through FY 1995: (1) the nutrition assistance program for Puerto Rico; (2) the temporary emergency food assistance program under the Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Act of 1983; (3) the soup kitchen and food bank programs under the Hunger Prevention Act of 1988; (4) the commodity distribution and supplemental food programs under the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973; (5) the distribution of surplus commodities to special nutrition projects under the Agriculture and Food Act of 1981; and (6) the nutrition education program under the Food Security Act of 1985.

Title IX: Miscellaneous - Amends the Commodity Distribution Reform Act and WIC Amendments of 1987 to: (1) make the food bank demonstration project permanent; and (2) authorize State option contracts (with reimbursement by a State distribution agency) for commodity distribution programs.

Directs the Secretary to study and report to the appropriate congressional committees on the feasibility of providing food stamp allotments to elderly and disabled residents of board and care homes.

Increases the amount and variety of food available under the Indian reservation food distribution program.

Authorizes nutrition education grants.

Amends the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 with regard to the special supplemental food program for women, infants, and children (WIC) to: (1) establish a specified FY 1991 authorization of appropriations; and (2) make WIC authorizations permanent.

Title X: Indian Nutrition Gardening Program - Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to establish an Indian (including Native Alaskan) gardening grant program to establish gardening operations on Indian reservations. Directs the Extension Service to provide training and technical assistance. Authorizes FY 1991 through 1994 appropriations.

Title XI: Effective Dates - Sets forth effective dates for provisions of this Act.