Synopsis As Introduced Amends the Energy Assistance Act. Provides that the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity may not set the annual eligibility level for energy assistance higher than 60% of the State median income as established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Requires the Department to ensure that households with children under the age of 6 years old are offered a priority application period. Provides that the Supplemental Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund is not subject to sweeps, administrative charge-backs, or any other fiscal or budgetary maneuver that would in any way transfer any amounts from the Supplemental Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund into any other fund of the State. Contains provisions concerning certain unspent funds being utilized for weatherization expenses; allowances to Local Administrative Agencies for administrative expenses; incremental changes to the monthly energy assistance charges billed to utility customers; Department reports on monies collected and allocated to utilities for implementation of their Percentage of Income Payment Plans; and other matters. Provides that all energy assistance programs under the Act shall be available to eligible residents regardless of immigration status.
Senate Floor Amendment No. 1 Changes the date upon which each public utility, electric cooperative, and municipal utility shall begin assessing a monthly Energy Assistance Charge on customer accounts from January 1, 2021 to January 1, 2022. Restores a provision providing that the Percentage of Income Payment Plan is created as a mandatory bill payment assistance program for low-income residential customers of utilities serving more than 100,000 retail customers.
House Committee Amendment No. 1 Removes language that provides that the Supplemental Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund is not subject to sweeps, administrative charge-backs, or any other fiscal or budgetary maneuver that would in any way transfer any amounts from the Fund into another fund of the State.