H. R. 5220

To amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to transition the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to the supplemental nutrition assistance program, and for other purposes.

Read the original on govinfo.gov

117 HR 5220 IH: Puerto Rico Nutrition Assistance Fairness Act of 2021

U.S. House of Representatives

2021-09-10

text/xml

EN

Pursuant to Title 17 Section 105 of the United States Code, this file is not subject to copyright protection and is in the public domain.

I

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 5220

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 10, 2021

Miss González-Colón

(for herself,

Mr. McGovern

,

Mrs. Hayes

, and

Mr. Soto

) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the

Committee on Agriculture

A BILL

To amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to transition the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to the supplemental nutrition assistance program, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the

Puerto Rico Nutrition Assistance Fairness Act of 2021

.

2.

Amendment

Section 19 of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (

7 U.S.C. 2028

) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(f)

Advisory board on transition of the commonwealth of Puerto Rico to the supplemental nutrition assistance program

(1)

Establishment of advisory board

Not later than 60 days after the effective date of this section, the Secretary shall establish an advisory board to formulate a recommended State plan that includes a plan to transition the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico from receipt of block grant payments under subsection (a)(2) to participate as a State in the supplemental nutrition assistance program.

(2)

Membership of advisory board

The advisory board shall be composed of not more than 15 members of whom—

(A)

not fewer than 6 members shall be appointed from among employees of the Food and Nutrition Service at the Department of Agriculture; and

(B)

not fewer than 6 members shall be appointed from the Puerto Rico Department of the Family, including the Administrator of the Administration for the Socioeconomic Development of the Family.

(3)

Technical assistance

The advisory board shall advise the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and provide technical assistance related to the formulation of a recommended State plan described in paragraph (4) that includes a plan for transition to the supplemental nutrition assistance program by the Commonwealth, including the following:

(A)

The State options under such program that are most suitable for the Commonwealth to elect to best respond to the nutrition need present in the Commonwealth.

(B)

Policy changes the Commonwealth will be required to make to implement such program.

(C)

Changes in current eligibility requirements (including income limits) in effect under the other provisions of this section that would be required under such program.

(D)

Technical requirements and expenses required to implement such program.

(E)

Administrative costs related to program operations.

(4)

State plan

The advisory board shall prepare and submit to the Governor of Puerto Rico, not later than 1 year after the effective date of this subsection, a recommended State plan that includes a plan to transition the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico from receipt of block grant payments under subsection (a)(2) to participation as a State in the supplemental nutrition assistance program. The advisory board shall notify the Secretary of this action.

(5)

Submission of the State plan by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

The Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico may submit the recommended State plan described under paragraph (3) of this Act to the Secretary within 60 days of its completion as a request to participate in the supplemental nutrition program.

(6)

Determination by Secretary

The Secretary may approve the recommended State plan described under paragraph (3) and submitted by the Governor of Puerto Rico under paragraph (5) of this Act, if such plan satisfies the requirements for a supplemental nutrition assistance State plan, according to section 11(e). If the Secretary does not approve such plan, the Secretary shall provide a statement that specifies each of such requirements that is not satisfied by the plan.

(7)

Comment period

The Secretary shall provide a 30-day comment period to receive comments from the public on the recommended State plan.

(8)

Submission of State plan to the Congress

If the Secretary approves the plan submitted by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico under paragraph (6), and after the conclusion of the comment period described in paragraph (7), then the Secretary shall submit to Congress a certification that Puerto Rico qualifies to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program as if Puerto Rico were a State under section 3.

(9)

Termination of the advisory board

The advisory board shall terminate not later than 2 years after Puerto Rico is treated as if it were a State as defined in section 3.

.

3.

Participation of Puerto Rico in the supplemental nutrition assistance program

(a)

Definitions

Following certification of Puerto Rico as qualified to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program by the Secretary, section 3 of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (

7 U.S.C. 2012

) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (r) by inserting the

Commonwealth of Puerto Rico,

after

Guam,

; and

(2)

in subsection (u)(3) by inserting the

Commonwealth of Puerto Rico,

after

Guam,

.

(b)

Eligible households

Section 5 of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (

7 U.S.C. 2014

) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (b) in the first sentence, by inserting

the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico,

after

Guam,

;

(2)

in subsection (c)(1) by striking

and Guam

and inserting

Guam, and Puerto Rico,

and

(3)

in subsection (e)—

(A)

in paragraph (1)(A) by inserting

Puerto Rico,

after

Hawaii,

each place it appears; and

(B)

in paragraph (6)(B) by inserting

Puerto Rico,

after

Guam,

.

(c)

Consolidated block grant for Puerto Rico

Upon approval of Puerto Rico operating the supplemental nutrition assistance program, the Secretary may have 5 years to continue the latest approved plan submitted under the consolidated block grant in accordance with Section 19 (3)(b)(1)(A) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2028(3)(b)(1)(A)).

(d)

Report

The Secretary shall submit an annual report to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of representatives and the Committee on Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry on the operation of the plan described in subsection (c), including their justification and impact on beneficiaries in Puerto Rico, until the 5 years expire.

(e)

Amendments to the food and nutrition act of 2008

Following certification under section 19(a) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (

7 U.S.C. 2028(a)

) will be amended to no longer include Puerto Rico as a Government entity, as defined in subsection (a).