Summary: S.1309 — 96th Congress (1979-1980)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Conference report filed in Senate (05/14/1980)

(Conference report filed in Senate, S. Rept. 96-704)

Food Stamp Act Amendments of 1980 - =Title I: Reduction in Food Stamp Error and Fraud and Revision of Deductions= - Amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to extend coverage under the food stamp program to shelters that prepare and serve meals for battered women and/or children.

Excludes from household income for the purpose of determining eligibility for the food stamp program payments or allowances made under any Federal, State, or local laws for the purpose of providing energy assistance.

States that the Consumer Price Index referred to in the computation of household income is the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers.

Permits a dependent care deduction from household income up to a maximum of $90 per month under specified conditions. Expands medical deductions for the elderly. Includes medical deductions for the blind and disabled in specified areas.

Directs participating State agencies to elect and utilize, in calculating income for most households applying for food stamps, either of the following two methods: (1) taking into account the income reasonably anticipated in the certification period and the income received during the 30 days preceding application, so as to ascertain the income actually available to the household for the certification period; or (2) using income received in a previous month as the basis in accordance with standards prescribed by the Secretary of Agriculture (retrospective accounting).

Excludes from household assets automobiles necessary for transportation of a disabled household member.

Grants State agencies the opportunity to proceed against alleged fraudulent activity by specified means.

Prescribes general standards for State periodic household income reporting requirements.

Prohibits a household from qualifying for the food stamp program as a result of a member of such household going out on strike.

Provides that the income and financial resources of an alien ineligible to participate in the food stamp program shall be considered in determining the eligibility of the household of which such alien is a member. Requires the person certifying such household to immediately report to the Immigration and Naturalization Service that a member of such household is present in the United States in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Requires each State agency to determine the eligibility of applicant households by verifying includable income by specified means. Permits such agency to verify, prior to certification, the size of any applicant household and factors of eligibility for households falling within error-prone household profiles.

Directs each State agency to require the use of photo identification for the receipt of coupons in specified project areas.

Makes cost-sharing funds of 75 percent available to the State agencies for the establishment and operation of an automatic data processing and information retrieval system to provide efficient and effective administration of the food stamp program.

Sets forth the methods the Secretary of Agriculture may use to determine when a State agency has failed without good cause to comply with: (1) the provisions of this Act; or (2) the Secretary's standards for the efficient and effective administration of such program. Permits the Secretary to withhold from such State such funds as he deems appropriate. Grants such State an opportunity for administrative and judicial review of such decision.

Requires a financial audit review of project areas within a State when the ratio of such State's average food stamp participation in a quarter to the State's total population exceeds 60 percent. Limits such mandatory auditing to one audit with any remaining audits to be at the option of the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Agriculture.

Requires the forfeiture of anything of value furnished or intended to be furnished in exchange for coupons or authorization cards in any manner not authorized by this Act.

Authorizes the Secretary to assume specified percentages of the administrative costs of State agencies whose rates of error and/or error reduction are at specified levels.

Directs the Secretary to institute an error liability program under which each State agency shall pay to the Secretary the amount by which the dollar equivalent of the agency's payment error rate exceeds the dollar value equivalent of the national standard payment error rate, or an amount determined by a specified formula, whichever is higher.

Requires the Secretary to change the method of calculating each State agency's payment error rate if, after study, the Secretary determines that it is feasible to include in such calculation invalid decisions denying eligibility to households which are in fact eligible. Declares a sudden and unanticipated workload increases or confusion attributable to significant changes in Federal regulations to be a good cause for failure to meet the Secretary's standards.

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to permit the Commissioner of Social Security to disclose to employees of the Department of Agriculture and State food stamp agencies specified return information as necessary to determine an individual's eligibility for benefits or the amounts of benefits under the food stamp program.

Reduces from 30 to ten days the period in any month during which an able-bodied applicant is unemployed after which such applicant is required to accept employment from a political subdivision or a prime sponsor under CETA to retain eligibility under the food stamp program.

Requires the continuation of cash-out pilot projects through October 1, 1981 under specified conditions. Requires reports describing the results of workfare projects through fiscal year 1981. Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to pay 30 percent of the administrative costs of such projects.

Directs the Congressional Budget Office, in consultation with the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, and Labor, to review the Consumer Price Index and other cost-of-living indices to determine which is the most accurate indexation base for the food stamp program. Requires the Office to make a report to the appropriate committees of Congress by February 1, 1981.

Prohibits the use of any authorized funds to impede or interfere with any provision of this Act.

Requires cost-of-living adjustments in the program to be made annually rather than semi-annually.

Eliminates the up-dating of the income poverty guidelines.

Reduces the amount of resources a household may hold and still retain eligibility to participate in the food stamp program.

Limits full-time student participation in the program to those students who are otherwise eligible and who either work 20 hours per week or are exempt from the work requirement.

=Title II: Food Stamp Funding= - Increases the appropriations ceiling for the food stamp program for fiscal years 1980 and 1981.