Provides for home cooling needs assistance through the low-income home energy assistance program developed by the office of temporary and disability assistance.
Ayes (3): Squadron, Duane, Krueger
Nays (2): McDonald, Marcellino
BILL NUMBER: S2276
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the social services law, in relation to providing for home cooling needs assistance for low income households
PURPOSE : Provides for home cooling needs assistance through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS : Section 1. Section 97 of the social services law is amended by adding a new subdivision 6.
The office of temporary and disability assistance is authorized to develop a plan, in accordance with state plan and federal regulations, which would establish a program to help eligible low-income households meet their home cooling needs.
It authorizes the department to act for the state in negotiations with the federal government relative to the plan, and make arrangements to submit, implement, administer and operate the plan.
It authorizes the department to secure for the state the benefits available under the act.
It allows for the purchase of air conditioners and/or monetary assistance with energy cooling bills.
Section two is the enacting clause.
EXISTING LAW : Currently, the HEAP program, as administered by the state's Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the Office for the Aging, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal and local Departments of Social Services, grants money to qualifying low-income households for help with heating bills.
JUSTIFICATION : Summer heat waves can be deadly to older people and people with disabilities who do not have access to air conditioning.
Energy bills have gone up by as much as 40% recently, and are anticipated to continue climbing. The price of energy spikes during the summer months when more electricity is used than at any other time. Summer cooling, especially in urban areas, will become even more expensive over time, when energy shortages are expected. These higher bills, coupled with the sluggish economy, can be lethal for many low-income people.
This bill will allow qualifying low-income families, people with disabilities and older people to access grant money to buy air conditioners and/or pay for electric bills in the summer.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : 2006: S.1354, 2008: S.2474
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : The LIHEAP program is a federally-funded program, currently funded to New York State as the HEAP program (Home Energy Assistance Program) at $220 million. This bill will expand the program to include summer cooling needs, and direct the State to negotiate with the federal government for additional funding.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None.
EFFECTIVE DATE : The act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2276 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 17, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sens. PARKER, DIAZ, DILAN, HASSELL-THOMPSON, KRUEGER, MONTGOMERY, ONORATO, SAMPSON, SAVINO, SCHNEIDERMAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Social Services AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to providing for home cooling needs assistance for low income households THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 97 of the social services law is amended by adding a new subdivision 6 to read as follows: 6. THE OFFICE OF TEMPORARY AND DISABILITY ASSISTANCE IS AUTHORIZED TO DEVELOP A PLAN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE STATE PLAN AND FEDERAL REGU- LATIONS, TO ESTABLISH A PROGRAM TO HELP ELIGIBLE LOW INCOME HOUSEHOLDS MEET THEIR HOME COOLING NEEDS, AND TO AMEND AND TO TAKE WHATEVER OTHER ACTION MAY BE NECESSARY WITH RESPECT TO SUCH PLAN, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ACTING FOR THE STATE IN ANY NEGOTIATIONS RELATIVE TO THE SUBMISSION OF SUCH PLAN, AND MAKING SUCH ARRANGEMENTS AND TAKING SUCH ACTION, NOT INCONSISTENT WITH LAW, AS MAY BE REQUIRED TO SUBMIT, IMPLE- MENT, ADMINISTER AND OPERATE SUCH PLAN, AND TO SECURE FOR THE STATE THE BENEFITS AVAILABLE UNDER SUCH ACT. SUCH COOLING NEEDS SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, PURCHASES OF AIR CONDITIONERS AND/OR ASSISTANCE WITH ENERGY COOLING BILLS. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00207-01-9