Synopsis As Introduced Creates the Water and Sewer Financial Assistance Act. Provides that the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is authorized to institute the water and sewer assistance program. Provides that any person who is a resident of the State of Illinois and whose household income is not greater than an amount determined annually by the Department may apply for assistance. Provides that in determining the amounts of assistance to be provided to or on behalf of a qualified applicant, the Department shall ensure that the highest amounts of assistance go to households with the greatest need for financial assistance in relation to household income by considering specified factors. Provides that each water or sewer provider shall assess each of its customer accounts a monthly Water and Sewer Assistance Charge to be deposited into the Water and Sewer Low-Income Assistance Fund. Amends the State Finance Act. Creates the Water and Sewer Low-Income Assistance Fund. Amends the Public Utilities Act. Provides that specified water or sewer utilities shall be allowed to offer a financial assistance program designed for bill payment assistance for low-income customers in accordance with the Water and Sewer Financial Assistance Act. Provides that the costs of a financial assistance program offered by a water or sewer utility shall be reimbursed from the Water and Sewer Low-Income Assistance Fund. Effective immediately.
House Floor Amendment No. 1 Provides that, in its use of federal funds under the Act, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity may not cause a disproportionate share of those federal funds to benefit customers of water or sewer providers that do not assess the Water and Sewer Assistance Charge.
Senate Committee Amendment No. 1 Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Reinserts the provisions of the introduced bill with the following changes: In provisions creating the Water and Sewer Financial Assistance Act, provides that in setting the annual eligibility level to receive financial assistance under the Act, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity may not set a limit higher than the eligibility limit for assistance under the Energy Assistance Act (rather than 150% of the poverty guidelines updated periodically in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). Provides that the process to allow a water or sewer provider to discontinue imposing assessments shall include review by the Illinois Commerce Commission of any water or sewer provider subject to the Public Utilities Act. Removes provisions concerning program eligibility for residents of rental properties. In provisions amending the Public Utilities Act, provides that the Commission shall render its decision within 90 days (rather than 60 days) after receiving a petition from a water or sewer utility to offer a financial assistance program. Removes language requiring the Commission to annually review and reconcile any amounts collected through tariffs to recover the costs of the financial assistance program. Makes corresponding changes.