Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB0072
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Full Text of HB0072  101st General Assembly



State of Illinois
2019 and 2020


Introduced 1/9/2019___________, by


305 ILCS 20/6  from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1406

    Amends the Energy Assistance Act. Makes a technical change in a Section concerning eligibility for and participation in the energy assistance program.

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1    AN ACT concerning public aid.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Energy Assistance Act is amended by changing
5Section 6 as follows:
6    (305 ILCS 20/6)  (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1406)
7    Sec. 6. Eligibility, Conditions of Participation, and
8Energy Assistance.
9    (a) Any person who is a resident of the the State of
10Illinois and whose household income is not greater than an
11amount determined annually by the Department, in consultation
12with the Policy Advisory Council, may apply for assistance
13pursuant to this Act in accordance with regulations promulgated
14by the Department. In setting the annual eligibility level, the
15Department shall consider the amount of available funding and
16may not set a limit higher than 150% of the federal nonfarm
17poverty level as established by the federal Office of
18Management and Budget; except that for the period ending June
1930, 2013, the Department may not establish limits higher than
20200% of that poverty level or the maximum level provided for by
21federal guidelines.
22    (b) Applicants who qualify for assistance pursuant to
23subsection (a) of this Section shall, subject to appropriation



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1from the General Assembly and subject to availability of funds
2to the Department, receive energy assistance as provided by
3this Act. The Department, upon receipt of monies authorized
4pursuant to this Act for energy assistance, shall commit funds
5for each qualified applicant in an amount determined by the
6Department. In determining the amounts of assistance to be
7provided to or on behalf of a qualified applicant, the
8Department shall ensure that the highest amounts of assistance
9go to households with the greatest energy costs in relation to
10household income. The Department shall include factors such as
11energy costs, household size, household income, and region of
12the State when determining individual household benefits. In
13setting assistance levels, the Department shall attempt to
14provide assistance to approximately the same number of
15households who participated in the 1991 Residential Energy
16Assistance Partnership Program. Such assistance levels shall
17be adjusted annually on the basis of funding availability and
18energy costs. In promulgating rules for the administration of
19this Section the Department shall assure that a minimum of 1/3
20of funds available for benefits to eligible households with the
21lowest incomes and that elderly households and households with
22persons with disabilities are offered a priority application
24    (c) If the applicant is not a customer of record of an
25energy provider for energy services or an applicant for such
26service, such applicant shall receive a direct energy



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1assistance payment in an amount established by the Department
2for all such applicants under this Act; provided, however, that
3such an applicant must have rental expenses for housing greater
4than 30% of household income.
5    (c-1) This subsection shall apply only in cases where: (1)
6the applicant is not a customer of record of an energy provider
7because energy services are provided by the owner of the unit
8as a portion of the rent; (2) the applicant resides in housing
9subsidized or developed with funds provided under the Rental
10Housing Support Program Act or under a similar locally funded
11rent subsidy program, or is the voucher holder who resides in a
12rental unit within the State of Illinois and whose monthly rent
13is subsidized by the tenant-based Housing Choice Voucher
14Program under Section 8 of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937; and
15(3) the rental expenses for housing are no more than 30% of
16household income. In such cases, the household may apply for an
17energy assistance payment under this Act and the owner of the
18housing unit shall cooperate with the applicant by providing
19documentation of the energy costs for that unit. Any
20compensation paid to the energy provider who supplied energy
21services to the household shall be paid on behalf of the owner
22of the housing unit providing energy services to the household.
23The Department shall report annually to the General Assembly on
24the number of households receiving energy assistance under this
25subsection and the cost of such assistance. The provisions of
26this subsection (c-1), other than this sentence, are



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1inoperative after August 31, 2012.
2    (d) If the applicant is a customer of an energy provider,
3such applicant shall receive energy assistance in an amount
4established by the Department for all such applicants under
5this Act, such amount to be paid by the Department to the
6energy provider supplying winter energy service to such
7applicant. Such applicant shall:
8        (i) make all reasonable efforts to apply to any other
9    appropriate source of public energy assistance; and
10        (ii) sign a waiver permitting the Department to receive
11    income information from any public or private agency
12    providing income or energy assistance and from any
13    employer, whether public or private.
14    (e) Any qualified applicant pursuant to this Section may
15receive or have paid on such applicant's behalf an emergency
16assistance payment to enable such applicant to obtain access to
17winter energy services. Any such payments shall be made in
18accordance with regulations of the Department.
19    (f) The Department may, if sufficient funds are available,
20provide additional benefits to certain qualified applicants:
21        (i) for the reduction of past due amounts owed to
22    energy providers; and
23        (ii) to assist the household in responding to
24    excessively high summer temperatures or energy costs.
25    Households containing elderly members, children, a person
26    with a disability, or a person with a medical need for



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1    conditioned air shall receive priority for receipt of such
2    benefits.
3(Source: P.A. 99-143, eff. 7-27-15.)