Assemblyman WAYNE P. DEANGELO
District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)
Assemblyman ERIC HOUGHTALING
District 11 (Monmouth)
Assemblyman RAJ MUKHERJI
District 33 (Hudson)
Assemblyman Danielsen, Assemblywomen Pinkin, Murphy, McKnight, Lopez, Downey and Vainieri Huttle
Requires DCA to provide certain information on low-income home energy assistance program, annually update its low-income home energy assistance program handbook, and provide quarterly training sessions on administering program.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning the administration of the low-income home energy assistance benefits program and supplementing chapter 27D of Title 52 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. The Department of Community Affairs shall establish a schedule of days and hours of operation, a toll-free telephone number, and a downloadable application on its Internet website to facilitate the receipt of benefits under the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, established pursuant to 42 U.S.C. s.8621 et seq.
b. The department shall prepare and annually update a handbook containing the governing policies and eligibility requirements for the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The department shall annually distribute copies of the handbook and its updates to each agency designated by the department to obtain, review, and process applications for benefits under that program.
c. The department shall adopt training sessions regarding the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program that cover subjects including, but not limited to, enrollment procedures, eligibility requirements, and fraud detection. The training sessions shall be provided on a quarterly basis and open to any agency that obtains, reviews, and processes applications under that program.
d. (1) Each director, manager, supervisor, and employee of an agency that obtains, reviews, and processes Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program applications, who performs or supervises such program work, shall read the annually updated handbooks distributed by the department pursuant to subsection b. of this section and shall comply with the policies and procedures set forth therein for the applicable year.
(2) Each supervisor of an agency that obtains, reviews, and processes Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program applications, who supervises such program work, shall attend the quarterly training sessions provided by the department pursuant to subsection c. of this section.
e. The department may disqualify an agency from serving as an agency that obtains, reviews, and processes Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program applications for failure to substantially comply with the requirements of subsection d. of this section.
f. The Commissioner of Community Affairs shall promulgate rules and regulations, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), in order to effectuate the provisions of this section.
2. This act shall take
This bill requires the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to establish a schedule of days and hours of operation, a toll-free telephone number, and a downloadable application on its Internet website to facilitate the receipt of federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) benefits. The bill also requires the DCA to prepare and annually update a handbook containing the governing policies and eligibility requirements for LIHEAP, and to provide training sessions about the program on a quarterly basis. Under the bill, all employees of agencies designated by the DCA to obtain, review, and process applications for LIHEAP benefits would be required to read and adhere to the handbooks, and the supervisors of these agencies who oversee LIHEAP work would be required to attend the quarterly training sessions. An agency that fails to substantially comply with these requirements may be disqualified by the DCA from serving as a designated LIHEAP agency.