Bill Text: NJ S2129 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Directs certain unclaimed electric and gas utility deposits in Unclaimed Utility Deposits Trust Fund and societal charge revenues to be paid to Statewide nonprofit energy assistance organizations designated by BPU.**

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Democrat 43-16-1)

Status: (Enrolled) 2019-05-16 - Received in the Assembly on Concurrence with Gov. Recommend. [S2129 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S2129-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 2129

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MARCH 5, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  NILSA CRUZ-PEREZ

District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Authorizes electric and gas public utility assistance grants funded from societal benefits charge revenue for qualified households.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning societal benefits charge revenues and providing for certain energy assistance grants.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    a.  Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary of section 12 of P.L.1999, c.23 (C.48:3-60) or any law, rule, regulation, or order adopted pursuant thereto, in the fiscal year commencing July 1, 2018, the Board of Public Utilities shall, from available balances accumulated in accounts of the board from funds collected through the societal benefits charge imposed pursuant to that section, allocate $25,000,000 to fund the issuance of grants to help pay the electric and gas public utility bills of households seeking temporary assistance from a Statewide nonprofit energy assistance organization with:

     (1)   a network of no less than 200 partner organizations throughout all 21 counties in this State, providing secure, online, or in-person grant application access;

     (2)   a board of directors comprised of not less than five electric or gas public utility representatives; and

     (3)   an on-site customer service call center providing access to assistance offered in a minimum of 150 languages, as designated by the board.

      b.   Within one year after the board has completed the disbursement of grant monies to a Statewide nonprofit energy assistance organization as required under this section, the Statewide nonprofit energy assistance organization shall issue a report to the board which shall provide:

     (1) the number of applicants applying for household electric and gas public utility assistance grants;

     (2)   the number of households receiving electric and gas public utility assistance grants;

     (3)   the average amount of assistance provided;

     (4)   the average gross income of households receiving assistance;

     (5)   the methods and procedures used for the verification of income or hardship; and

     (6)   any other information as required by the board.

      c.    The board shall thereupon submit the report to the Governor and, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), to the Legislature.

 

      2.   This act shall take effect on July 1, 2018 and shall expire on the 30th day following submission to the Governor and the Legislature of the report required to be issued pursuant to section 1 of this act.

STATEMENT

 

     This bill provides that beginning with the State fiscal year starting on July 1, 2018, the Board of Public Utilities (board) is to dedicate $25 million from available balances collected through the societal benefits charge, to provide grants to help pay the electric and gas public utility (utility) bills of households seeking temporary assistance from a Statewide nonprofit energy assistance organization with a network of no less than 200 partner organizations throughout all 21 counties in this State, providing secure, online or in-person grant application access, with a board of directors comprised of not less than five utility representatives, with an on-site customer service call center providing access to assistance offered in a minimum of 150 languages, as designated by the board.

     Within one year after the board completes the disbursement of grant monies to the Statewide nonprofit energy assistance organization, the organization is to issue a report to the board providing the number of applicants applying for household utility assistance grants, the number of households receiving utility assistance grants, the average amount of assistance provided, the average gross income of households receiving assistance, the methods and procedures used for the verification of income or hardship, and any other information the board requires.

     The provisions of this bill are to expire upon the 30th day after the submission of the report to the Governor and the Legislature.

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