ASSEMBLY, No. 6044

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED NOVEMBER 15, 2021

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  BETTYLOU DECROCE

District 26 (Essex, Morris and Passaic)

Assemblyman  JOHN DIMAIO

District 23 (Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren)

Assemblyman  DANIEL R. BENSON

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Freezes sewerage and water rates for residential customers 65 years of age or over.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning sewerage and water rate freezes for certain senior citizens and amending P.L.1994, c.78 and R.S.48:19-18.

 

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

 

     1.    Section 1 of P.L.1994, c.78 (C.40:14A-8.2) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    Any county or municipal sewerage authority may establish within its district rates or schedules which provide for a reduction, deferment, without accruing interest during the period of the deferment, or total abatement of the rents, rates, fees, or other charges pertaining to a primary residence owned, in full or in part, by a person who is enlisted in any branch of the United States Armed Forces. The reduction, deferment, without interest, or total abatement shall be effective during the period of time in which that person is deployed for active service in time of war. Any county or municipal sewerage authority [may] shall establish within its district rates or schedules which provide for a [reduction or] stabilization or total abatement of the periodic rents, rates, fees, or other charges for the use or services of the sewerage system which are charged to or collected from any person residing in the district of the age of 65 or more years [,or] . Any county or municipal sewerage authority may establish within its district rates or schedules which provide for a reduction or total abatement of the periodic rents, rates, fees, or other charges for the use or services of the sewerage system which are charged to or collected from any person residing in the district less than 65 years of age and permanently and totally disabled according to the provisions of the federal Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. s.301 et seq., or disabled under any federal law administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs if the disability is rated as 60 percent or higher, and the person either is annually eligible to receive assistance under the "Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled" (PAAD) program, P.L.1975, c.194 (C.30:4D-20 et seq.) or has a total income not in excess of $10,000 per year exclusive of benefits under any one of the following:

     a.     The federal Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. s.301 et seq. and all amendments and supplements thereto;

     b.    Any other program of the federal government or pursuant to any other federal law which provides benefits in whole or in part in lieu of benefits referred to in, or for persons excluded from coverage under subsection a. of this section including, but not limited to, the federal "Railroad Retirement Act of 1974," 45 U.S.C. s.231 et seq., and federal pension, disability and retirement programs; or

     c.     Pension, disability or retirement programs of any state or its political subdivisions, or agencies thereof, for persons not covered under subsection a. of this section except that, the total amount of benefits to be allowed exclusion by any owner under subsection b. or c. of this section shall not be in excess of the maximum amount of benefits payable to, and allowable for exclusion by, an owner in similar circumstances under subsection a. of this section.

(cf: P.L.2016, c.102, s.2)

 

     2.    R.S.48:19-18 is amended to read as follows:

     48:19-18. Each water company organized under the laws of this State may sell and dispose of the water issuing from its reservoirs, aqueducts or pipes for such rates and pursuant to such terms and conditions as are in accordance with its approved tariffs on file with the Board of Public Utilities, provided, however, as follows:

     a.     No tariff shall be approved that provides for or allows the imposition of any standby fees or charges for any fire protection system to a residential customer served by a water service line of two inches or less in diameter.

     b.    No tariff shall be approved that provides for or allows the imposition of any fees in excess of the cost of water actually used for any sprinkler system required to be installed in any residential health care facility pursuant to the "Health Care Facilities Planning Act," P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-1 et seq.) and regulations promulgated thereunder or in any rooming or boarding house pursuant to the "Rooming and Boarding House Act of 1979," P.L.1979, c.496 (C.55:13B-1 et al.) and regulations promulgated thereunder. Nothing herein shall preclude any water company from charging for the actual cost of water main connection.

     c.     Nothing in this section shall preclude a water company from requiring separate dedicated service lines for fire protection. The water company may require that fire service lines be metered. Nothing in this section shall alter the liability for maintenance and repair of service lines which exists on the effective date of P.L.2003, c.278.

     d.    A water company organized under the laws of this State shall stabilize any rate for water service charged to any residential customer in the water company’s service territory who is 65 years of age or over.

(cf: P.L.2003, c.278, s.8)

 

     3.    This act shall take effect immediately.

STATEMENT

 

     This bill amends existing law to provide for the stabilization of rates for sewage or water service provided to any residential customer who is 65 years of age or over.