This rule finalizes the proposed provisions of a rule published on March 19, 2004 to amend Food Stamp Program regulations to codify Food Stamp Employment and Training (E&T) program provisions of section 4121 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (the Farm Bill).
- This final rule establishes a reasonable formula for allocating the 100 percent federal grant authorized under the Farm Bill to carry out the E&T program each fiscal year.
- This final rule also codifies the Farm Bill provision that makes available up to $20 million a year in additional unmatched federal E&T funds for state agencies that commit to offer an education/training or workfare opportunity to every applicant and recipient who is an able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD), limited to 3 months of food stamp eligibility in a 36-month period, who would otherwise be terminated.
- This final rule eliminates the current federal cost-sharing cap of $25 per month on the amount state agencies may reimburse E&T participants for work expenses other than dependent care.
- This final rule codifies Farm Bill provisions that expand state flexibility in E&T program spending by repealing the requirements that state agencies earmark 80 percent of their annual 100 percent federal E&T grants to serve ABAWDs; they meet or exceed their fiscal year 1996 state administrative spending levels to access funds made available by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997; and the Secretary be given the authority to establish maximum reimbursement costs of E&T program components.
- Lastly, this final rule rescinds the balance of unobligated funds carried over from fiscal year 2001.