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Pennsylvania Low-Income Water and Wastewater Assistance Act

Pennsylvania Low-Income Water and Wastewater Assistance Act

 

All,

 

We wanted to let you know that Representative Marc Gergely (D-Allegheny) is circulating the co-sponsorship memo below for legislation to establish the Pennsylvania Low-Income Water and Wastewater Assistance Act.  This is meant to be a companion bill to Senator Brewster’s Senate Bill 1080:

 

  • Senate Bill 1080 (Brewster-D) is an Act establishing the PA Low-Income Water & Wastewater Assistance Program to provide assistance to low-income households that are at risk of having water supply discontinued due to unpaid water or wastewater bills.

 

  • This Act will provide assistance to low-income households that are at risk of having water supply discontinued due to unpaid water or wastewater bills.
  • To be eligible to receive assistance, a household must have an annual income at or below 100% of the Federal poverty guidelines.
  • Implementation of the program will be the duty of the State Treasury and the Department of Human Services, or DHS.
  • The Fund will be created in the State Treasury and DHS will send an assistance payment or a supplemental assistance payment directly to the supplier of water or the owner or operator of a community sewage system that is owed payment.
  • DHS may designate county assistance offices or nonprofit agencies to carry out the purpose of this Act.
  • DHS will provide the General Assembly an annual report and the Auditor General will conduct a performance audit of the program within five years.

 

SB 1080 was referred to the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee on December 17, 2015.

 

We will monitor for the introduction of Representative Gergely’s companion bill and let you know when it gets introduced.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions.

 

Thanks,

Erik

 

MEMORANDUM

Posted: February 10, 2016 04:15 PM
From: Representative Marc Gergely
To: All House members
Subject: Pennsylvania Low-Income Water and Wastewater Assistance Act
 

 

I will soon be introducing legislation as a companion to efforts in the Senate to establish the Pennsylvania Low-Income Water and Wastewater Assistance Act.

Water and sewer rates in the Commonwealth have more than doubled in the past ten years. Due to a combination of crumbling infrastructure, environmental regulations, and little government funding, water and sewer authorities increase their consumer prices to cover maintenance and improvements. These price increases hurt everyone but the impact is especially severe on those that fall below the poverty line and are on a fixed income.

This new program would operate similarly to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to provide help with water bills to families in need.  Like LIHEAP, the program would be income based and require the submittal of an application to the Department of Human Services.  While individual grant payments would provide a minimum of $100 and a maximum of $500, the legislation would allow DHS to develop and structure payments concurrently with annual LIHEAP rules.

The fund would be created in the State Treasury and DHS would be responsible for sending assistance payments or supplemental assistance payments directly to the supplier of water or the owner or operator of a community sewage system.

Within six months of this program, DHS would provide the General Assembly with an annual report detailing all expenditures and providing recommendations. Furthermore, within five years, the Auditor General would conduct an audit addressing the adequacy of performance.

I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

  • PA-AWWA Recognizes Our Gold Sponsors

    Partnership for Safe Water

    PaWARN

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