WSR 05-08-090

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed April 1, 2005, 3:41 p.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: The Division of Employment and Assistance Programs plans to adopt rules in order to implement a transitional food assistance (TFA) program for families leaving the temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) or state family assistance (SFA). This may include the creation of a new chapter in Title 388 WAC, creation of new rules, and amending related rules within Title 388 WAC.

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, and 74.08A.010.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: With passage of the Public Law 107-171, states are provided the option of providing a transitional benefit alternative to the standard food stamp program for families leaving the TANF program for reason other than sanction status. This program allows these families to have food benefits in a fixed amount for five months after leaving the TANF program regardless of the client's circumstances.

With passage of SB 6411 in the 2004 legislative session, RCW 74.08A.010 directs the department to implement the transitional food stamp option to provide five months of transitional benefits to families leaving TANF while not in sanction status.

Rules created or amended based on this preproposal are necessary for the department to establish policy necessary to implement this program.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) adopts federal regulations for the food stamp program under Title 7 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 271-274. Additionally, FNS provides federal policy requirements and guidance on state options through administrative notices and letters to state agency directors.

The department implements these federal program requirements and exercises state options for food assistance programs by adopting rules under Washington Administrative Code consistent with federal regulations and requirements established under the Revised Code of Washington.

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 proposed rules 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, Policy Analyst, Division of Employment and Assistance Programs, P.O. Box 45470, Olympia, WA 98504-5470, phone (360) 725-4616, fax (360) 413-3493, e-mail campjx@dshs.wa.gov.

March 31, 2005

Andy Fernando, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

Washington State Code Reviser's Office