WSR 09-06-084

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed March 3, 2009, 2:34 p.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: The department plans to amend WAC 388-410-0025, 388-412-0015, 388-444-0030, 388-478-0060 and related rules to reflect federal requirements for the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) related to eligibility and benefit level for the Basic Food and WASHCAP programs and implement provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510, 74.08.090, 74.08A.120, and 74.08A.903.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The department intends to amend rules related to countable income, excluded income, and allowable income deductions for the purpose of determining eligibility and benefit level for the Washington state combined application program (WASHCAP), the Washington Basic Food program (Basic Food), and other assistance programs.

The amendments will implement requirements under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and will be consistent with the requirements of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, regulations under Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and administrative notices published by the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service related to the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) or food stamp program.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: Congress authorized the SNAP under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008. Prior to October 1, 2008, SNAP was known as the food stamp program. On February 17, 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was signed into law. This law makes changes to SNAP eligibility and benefit level for households in Washington receiving benefits under the Basic Food and WASHCAP programs.

The United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) publishes federal regulations for SNAP in the federal register. Rules published in the federal register are incorporated into the United States Code of Federal Regulations. FNS also issues administrative notices and interim guidance to inform states of new program requirements that are not yet in the United States Code of Federal Regulations.

The state legislature authorizes the department to administer the food stamp program and food assistance program for legal immigrants under RCW 74.04.500, 74.04.510, and 74.04.510.

Process for Developing New Rule: DSHS welcomes the public to take part in developing the rules. Anyone interested should contact the staff person identified below. At a later date, DSHS will file a proposal with the office of the code reviser with a notice of proposed rule making. A copy of the proposal will be sent to everyone on the mailing list and to anyone who requests a copy.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting John Camp, Lead Policy Analyst, Division of Employment and Assistance Programs, P.O. Box 45470, Olympia, WA 98504-5470, phone (360) 725-4616, fax (360) 725-4905, e-mail campjx@dshs.wa.gov.

March 3, 2009

Stephanie E. Schiller

Rules Coordinator

Washington State Code Reviser's Office