LEGISLATIVE FISCAL ESTIMATE

[First Reprint]

SENATE, No. 1713

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

220th LEGISLATURE

 

DATED: MAY 24, 2022

 

 

SUMMARY

 

Synopsis:

Requires standard certification period of 12 and 24 months, under certain circumstances, within SNAP.

Type of Impact:

State expenditure and revenue decrease.† County expenditure decrease.

Agencies Affected:

Division of Family Development in the Department of Human Services; County welfare agencies.

 

 

Office of Legislative Services Estimate

Fiscal Impact

One-Time

 

State Expenditure Decrease

Indeterminate

 

County Expenditure Decrease

Indeterminate

 

State Revenue Decrease

Indeterminate

 

 

 

 

         The Office of Legislative Services (OLS) concludes the State and county governments will experience an indeterminate decrease in expenditures under the bill, to the extent that the billís provisions result in the Division of Family Development (DFD) in the Department of Human Services (DHS) and county welfare agencies (CWAs) conducting less frequent certifications for certain SNAP enrollees, thereby reducing administrative costs.† As the federal government shares all administrative expenses of the program with the State, the bill may also result in a decrease in federal SNAP revenue.

 

         While lengthening certification periods has been demonstrated to increase SNAP participation rates, any increase in SNAP benefits under the bill due to increased caseload numbers would not have any fiscal impact on the State, as SNAP benefits are paid directly from federal funds.†

 

 

BILL DESCRIPTION

 

††††† This bill requires the Commissioner of Human Services to establish a standard certification period of not less than 12 months within SNAP.† The bill provides an exception for adult-only households in which all members are elderly or disabled.† Under this scenario, the department is to establish a certification period of not less than 24 months, provided that such households are to have contact with a State SNAP administering agency at least once every 12 months.† These certification periods are not to apply to initial certification periods or expedited benefit issuance.

 

 

FISCAL ANALYSIS

 

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

 

††††† None received.

 

OFFICE OF LEGISLATIVE SERVICES

 

††††† The CWAs in New Jersey, under the supervision of the DFD, administer SNAP. Therefore, the OLS concludes the State and county governments will experience an indeterminate decrease in expenditures under the bill, to the extent that the billís provisions result in the DFD and CWAs conducting less frequent certifications for certain SNAP enrollees, thereby reducing administrative costs.† As the federal government shares all administrative expenses of the program with the State, the bill may also result in a decrease in federal SNAP revenue.

††††† Currently, pursuant to New Jersey Administrative Code, CWAs are required to certify each eligible household for a definite period of time that cannot exceed 12 month, except for households in which all adult members are elderly or disabled, which are to be certified for up to 24 months with at least one CWA contact every 12 months.† As such, New Jersey CWAs issue four, six, 12, and 24-month certification periods. The certification period is the period for which households are eligible to receive SNAP benefits.† Households may receive benefits beyond the certification period; however, the SNAP recipient must first submit certain documentation to a State administering agency to demonstrate eligibility.

††††† As this bill would lengthen the certification period for certain non-elderly, non-disabled households, CWAs and the department will be required to process fewer applications for certification.† This estimate assumes that the resulting cost savings under the bill will likely be minimal and derived from materials and services, such as paper, postage, and technology support, rather than reductions to staff.† The OLS cannot determine the number of non-elderly, non-disabled SNAP beneficiaries who currently are certified at a more frequent interval than 12-months, but notes that in February 2022, of all 888,892 SNAP enrollees, 499,488, or 56 percent, were non-elderly and non-disabled. ††

††††† While lengthening certification periods has been demonstrated to increase SNAP participation rates, any increase in SNAP benefits under the bill due to increased caseload numbers would not have any fiscal impact on the State, as SNAP benefits are paid directly from federal funds. ††

 

Section:

Human Services

Analyst:

Sarah Schmidt

Senior Research Analyst

Approved:

Thomas Koenig

Legislative Budget and Finance Officer

 

This legislative fiscal estimate has been produced by the Office of Legislative Services due to the failure of the Executive Branch to respond to our request for a fiscal note.

 

This fiscal estimate has been prepared pursuant to P.L.1980, c.67 (C.52:13B-6 et seq.).