Authorizes the New York state energy research and development authority to develop, implement, administer and operate a temporary middle income home energy assistance program.
BILL NUMBER:S1614 REVISED 4/2/13
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public authorities law, in relation to authorizing the New York state energy research and development authority to develop a temporary middle income home energy assistance program and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof
PURPOSE: To establish a program which will provide home heating fuel assistance to middle-income families who would otherwise not qualify under the State/Federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one of the legislation establishes, within the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA), and with the assistance of the Department of Taxation and Finance, the Temporary Middle Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
Section two enacts the legislation immediately and sunsets the program on April 1, 2014.
EXISTING LAW: This is a new program. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, after which this program is modeled, is established in Social Services Law § 97. LIHEAP is administered by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, is federally-funded, and has income eligibility criteria.
JUSTIFICATION: Although natural gas prices have stabilized, the cost of heating oil, wood pellets and propane has not remained stable. With the onset of colder weather, it is anticipated home heating costs may approach or exceed the record costs seen in the winter of 2010-2011. When coupled with the continuing slow recovery of New York's employment, stagnation of wages and erosion of middle-class savings during the "Great Recession," it is a clear that there may be widespread inability of New Yorkers to pay their heating bills. At the same time, funding for low-income heating assistance is falling. Over the last two years, heating assistance funding has been cut to $3.5 billion from $5.1 billion in 2010. Finally, the number of households receiving assistance fell by 1.1 million over the period. Averting a catastrophe is imperative. And by providing a State-funded Middle Income Home Energy Assistance program we are delivering immediate help on an emergency basis to middle-income families.
The program will be funded through proceeds from carbon permits auctioned as part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12: S.1064A - Referred to Energy & Telecommunications 2009-2010:S.2457 - Referred to Energy & Telecommunications 2008-2009: S.8757A - Referred to Rules
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: This bill is estimated to cost $1 million in State revenue.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be deemed repealed April 1, 2014.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1614 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Energy and Telecommuni- cations AN ACT to amend the public authorities law, in relation to authorizing the New York state energy research and development authority to devel- op a temporary middle income home energy assistance program and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 1854 of the public authorities law is amended by adding a new subdivision 9 to read as follows: 9. TEMPORARY MIDDLE INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM. (A) THE AUTHORITY IS AUTHORIZED, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION AND FINANCE, TO DEVELOP, IMPLEMENT, ADMINISTER AND OPERATE A PLAN, AND HOLD AND SECURE FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR SUCH PLAN, TO MAKE AVAILABLE ONE-TIME SUPPLEMENTING GRANTS FOR THE PURPOSE OF ASSISTING ELIGIBLE HOUSEHOLDS TO OBTAIN HOME HEATING FUEL. (B) FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION, THE TERM "HOME HEATING FUEL" SHALL MEAN FUEL OIL, COAL, WOOD, PROPANE, NATURAL GAS, ELECTRICITY, STEAM, KEROSENE AND ANY OTHER FUEL WHEN USED FOR RESIDENTIAL HEATING PURPOSES. (C) THE AUTHORITY IS REQUIRED, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PLAN ESTABLISHED IN PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION, TO PARTICIPATE IN THE TEMPORARY MIDDLE INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AND TO ASSIST ELIGIBLE HOUSEHOLDS TO OBTAIN MIDDLE INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE. (D) PERSONS WHO QUALIFY FOR MIDDLE INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE IN ACCORDANCE WITH STANDARDS PROMULGATED BY THE AUTHORITY, SHALL BE CERTI- FIED AS ELIGIBLE FOR AND ENTITLED TO RECEIVE SUCH HOME ENERGY ASSIST- ANCE. NO PERSON, HOWEVER, SHALL BE CERTIFIED AS ELIGIBLE FOR AND ENTI-EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02401-01-3 S. 1614 2
TLED TO RECEIVE SUCH HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE IF NO STATE FUNDS ARE AVAILABLE FOR SUCH PURPOSE. (E) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY INCONSISTENT PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY, THE AMOUNT OF ANY HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS OR ALLOWANCES PROVIDED TO AN ELIGIBLE HOUSEHOLD UNDER SUCH PLAN SHALL NOT BE CONSIDERED INCOME OR RESOURCES OF SUCH HOUSEHOLDS, OR OF ANY MEMBER THEREOF, FOR ANY PURPOSE UNDER ANY STATE LAW. (F) EXPENDITURES MADE BY THE AUTHORITY PURSUANT TO THE STATE MIDDLE INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM, INCLUDING THE COSTS OF ADMINIS- TRATION, SHALL BE SUBJECT TO ONE HUNDRED PERCENT REIMBURSEMENT BY THE STATE, IF AND FOR AS LONG AS STATE FUNDS ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE FULL AMOUNT OF SUCH EXPENDITURES. (G) ADMINISTRATIVE FUNDS TO IMPLEMENT THE PROGRAM DESCRIBED IN THIS SUBDIVISION AT THE STATE AND LOCAL LEVELS SHALL BE SET AT TEN PERCENT OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT ALLOCATED. ADMINISTRATIVE MONIES SHALL BE DERIVED FROM FUNDS IDENTIFIED BY THE DIVISION OF THE BUDGET. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be deemed repealed April 1, 2014.