WSR 08-03-095

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed January 17, 2008, 10:44 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: The department will amend rules in TITLE 388 WAC to implement required changes in the federal food stamp program administered in the state of Washington under the Washington Basic Food program (Basic Food) and Washington combined application program (WASHCAP).

Rules under this filing will amend rules impacting eligibility and benefit level for WASHCAP and Basic Food by adopting mandatory food stamp provisions of the 2007 farm bill.

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, 74.04.515, 74.08.090, 74.08A.903.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The nutrition title of the 2007 farm bill, also known as the "Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007" (HR 2419) and the "Food and Energy Security Act of 2007" (HR 2419 Engrossed Amendment as Agreed to by the Senate), reauthorizes the food stamp program and amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 related to eligibility, benefit levels, and state operations of the food stamp program.

The department administers food assistance in Washington under the Washington Basic Food program and Washington combined application project. The department must modify current rules related [to] eligibility and benefits for food assistance program to meet the new requirements of the 2007 farm bill.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The United States Congress is reauthorizing the food stamp program under the nutrition title of the 2007 farm bill.

The United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) publishes federal regulations for the food stamp program in the Federal Register. Rules published in the federal register are incorporated into the U.S. 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 U.S. Code of Federal Regulations.

DSHS incorporates regulations from the federal agencies and exercises state options by adopting administrative rules for the food assistance program administered WASHCAP and Washington Basic Food program.

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, Policy Analyst, Division of Employment and Assistance Programs, P.O. Box 45470, Olympia, WA 98504-5470, phone (360) 725-4616, fax (360) 493-3493, e-mail campjx@dshs.wa.gov.

January 17, 2008

Stephanie E. Schiller

Rules Coordinator

Washington State Code Reviser's Office