Substitute Senate Bill No. 299
          Substitute Senate Bill No. 299

               PUBLIC ACT NO. 98-11


AN  ACT ESTABLISHING A FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FOR
LEGAL IMMIGRANTS.


    Be  it  enacted  by  the  Senate  and House of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section  1.  (NEW)  (a)  The  Commissioner  of
Social Services shall establish a food  assistance
program for individuals entering the United States
prior to April 1,  1998,  whose  immigrant  status
meets  the eligibility requirements of the federal
Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended, but who are no
longer  eligible  for  food  stamps  solely due to
their immigrant status under Public  Law  104-193.
Individuals  who  enter  the  United  States after
April 1, 1998, must have resided in the state  for
six  months  prior  to  becoming  eligible for the
state program.  The  commissioner  may  administer
such  program in accordance with the provisions of
the  federal  food  stamp  program,  except  those
pertaining   to  the  determination  of  immigrant
status under Public Law 104-193.
    (b)  The  amount  of  the  initial  assistance
provided to individuals under this  section  shall
be  determined  at  the commissioner's discretion,
based on one of the following methodologies: (1) A
calculated  benefit  amount  for  each case; (2) a
basic benefit amount  for  all  cases;  or  (3)  a
continuation  of  the  benefit  amount  previously
received under the federal Food Stamp Act of 1977,
as  amended,  prior to discontinuance. Individuals
may be eligible for retroactive payments  back  to
April 1, 1998.
    (c)   Not   later  than  April  1,  1999,  the
commissioner  shall  provide  assistance   to   an
individual  under  this section in an amount equal
to the amount the individual would be eligible  to
receive  under the federal Food Stamp Act of 1977,
as amended.
    (d)    The    commissioner   shall   terminate
assistance under this section  to  any  individual
whose   federal  food  stamp  benefits  have  been
restored.
    (e)   The  commissioner  shall  implement  the
policies and procedures necessary to carry out the
provisions of this section while in the process of
adopting   such   policies   and   procedures   in
regulation  form,  provided  notice  of  intent to
adopt  the  regulations  is   published   in   the
Connecticut  Law  Journal within twenty days after
implementation. Such policies and procedures shall
be  valid  until  the  time  final regulations are
effective.
    Sec.  2. The sum of $1,720,000 is appropriated
to the Department  of  Social  Services  from  the
General  Fund, for the fiscal year ending June 30,
1998, for the food assistance program  established
pursuant to section 1 of this act.
    Sec.  3.  This  act shall take effect April 1,
1998.

Approved April 13, 1998