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1    AN ACT concerning public aid.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Illinois Public Aid Code is amended by
5changing Section 12-4.4 as follows:
6    (305 ILCS 5/12-4.4)  (from Ch. 23, par. 12-4.4)
7    Sec. 12-4.4. Administration of federally-aided programs.
8Direct County Departments of Public Aid in the administration
9of the federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
10(SNAP) Program food stamp program, programs to aid refugees and
11Articles III, IV, and V of this Code.
12    The Illinois Department of Human Services shall operate a
13SNAP Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) program Food Stamp
14Employment and Training (FSE&T) program in compliance with
15federal law. The SNAP E&T FSE&T program may only be mandatory
16in counties where the Department can show that there are
17sufficient program slots for at least the majority of the
18county's current non-exempt work registrants as described in
19Section 11-20 of this Code. Nothing in this Section shall
20prevent the Department from operating a fully voluntary SNAP
21E&T program. The SNAP E&T program will have an Earnfare
22component. The Earnfare component shall be available in
23selected geographic areas based on criteria established by the



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1Illinois Department of Human Services by rule. Participants in
2Earnfare will, to the extent resources allow, earn their
3assistance. Participation in the Earnfare program is
4voluntary, except when ordered by a court of competent
5jurisdiction. Eligibility for Earnfare may be limited to only 6
6months out of any 12 consecutive month period. Clients are not
7entitled to be placed in an Earnfare slot. Earnfare slots shall
8be made available only as resources permit. Earnfare shall be
9available to persons receiving SNAP benefits food stamps who
10meet eligibility criteria established by the Illinois
11Department of Human Services by rule. The Illinois Department
12may, by rule, extend the Earnfare Program to clients who do not
13receive SNAP benefits food stamps. Receipt of SNAP benefits
14food stamps is not an eligibility requirement of Earnfare when
15a court of competent jurisdiction orders an individual to
16participate in the Earnfare Program. To the extent resources
17permit, the Earnfare program will allow participants to engage
18in work-related activities to earn monthly financial
19assistance payments and to improve participants' employability
20in order for them to succeed in obtaining employment. The
21Illinois Department of Human Services may enter into contracts
22with other public agencies including State agencies, with local
23governmental units, and with not-for-profit community based
24organizations to carry out the elements of the Program that the
25Department of Human Services deems appropriate.
26    The Earnfare Program shall contain the following elements:



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1        (1) To the extent resources allow and slots exist, the
2    Illinois Department of Human Services shall refer
3    recipients of SNAP benefits food stamp assistance who meet
4    eligibility criteria, as established by rule. Receipt of
5    SNAP benefits food stamps is not an eligibility requirement
6    of Earnfare when a court of competent jurisdiction orders
7    an individual to participate in the Earnfare Program.
8        (2) Persons participating in Earnfare shall engage in
9    employment assigned activities equal to the amount of the
10    SNAP food stamp benefits divided by the State or federal
11    minimum wage, whichever is higher, and subsequently shall
12    earn minimum wage assistance for each additional hour of
13    performance in Earnfare activity. Earnfare participants
14    shall be offered the opportunity to earn up to $154. The
15    Department of Human Services may establish a higher amount
16    by rule provided resources permit. If a court of competent
17    jurisdiction orders an individual to participate in the
18    Earnfare program, hours engaged in employment assigned
19    activities shall first be applied for a $50 payment made to
20    the custodial parent as a support obligation. If the
21    individual receives SNAP benefits food stamps, the
22    individual shall engage in employment assigned activities
23    equal to the amount of the SNAP food stamp benefits divided
24    by the State or federal minimum wage, whichever is higher,
25    and subsequently shall earn State or federal minimum wage
26    assistance, whichever is higher, for each additional hour



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1    of performance in Earnfare activity.
2        (3) To the extent appropriate slots are available, the
3    Illinois Department of Human Services shall assign
4    Earnfare participants to Earnfare activities based on an
5    assessment of the person's age, literacy, education,
6    educational achievement, job training, work experience,
7    and recent institutionalization, whenever these factors
8    are known to the Department of Human Services or to the
9    contractor and are relevant to the individual's success in
10    carrying out the assigned activities and in ultimately
11    obtaining employment.
12        (4) The Department of Human Services shall consider the
13    participant's preferences and personal employment goals in
14    making assignments to the extent administratively possible
15    and to the extent that resources allow.
16        (5) The Department of Human Services may enter into
17    cooperative agreements with local governmental units
18    (which may, in turn, enter into agreements with
19    not-for-profit community based organizations): with other
20    public, including State, agencies; directly with
21    not-for-profit community based organizations, and with
22    private employers to create Earnfare activities for
23    program participants.
24        (6) To the extent resources permit, the Department of
25    Human Services shall provide the Earnfare participants
26    with the costs of transportation in looking for work and in



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1    getting to and from the assigned Earnfare job site and
2    initial expenses of employment.
3        (7) All income and asset limitations of the Federal
4    SNAP Food Stamp Program will govern continued Earnfare
5    participation, except that court ordered participants
6    shall participate for 6 months unless the court orders
7    otherwise.
8        (8) Earnfare participants shall not displace or
9    substitute for regular, full time or part time employees,
10    regardless of whether or not the employee is currently
11    working, on a leave of absence or in a position or similar
12    position where a layoff has taken place or the employer has
13    terminated the employment of any regular employee or
14    otherwise reduced its workforce with the effect of filling
15    the vacancy so created with a participant subsidized under
16    this program, or is or has been involved in a labor dispute
17    between a labor organization and the sponsor.
18        (9) Persons who fail to cooperate with the SNAP E&T
19    FSE&T program in counties where available program slots
20    exist for at least the majority of that county's current
21    work registrants shall become ineligible for SNAP benefits
22    food stamp assistance according to SNAP Food Stamp
23    regulations, and for Earnfare participation. Failure to
24    participate in Earnfare for all of the hours assigned is
25    not a failure to cooperate unless so established by the
26    employer pursuant to Department of Human Services rules. If



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1    a person who is ordered by a court of competent
2    jurisdiction to participate in the Earnfare Program fails
3    to cooperate with the Program, the person shall be referred
4    to the court for failure to comply with the court order.
5(Source: P.A. 94-533, eff. 8-10-05.)
6    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
7becoming law.