Maine Revised Statutes

§4992-A. Fuel Assistance Reserve Fund

1. Fuel Assistance Reserve Fund.  If funds are appropriated pursuant to this section, the authority shall use the funds to establish and capitalize the Fuel Assistance Reserve Fund. The authority shall keep the Fuel Assistance Reserve Fund, referred to in this section as the "fund," separate from all other funds managed by the authority and use the fund only under the conditions set forth in this section. The authority shall use the Fuel Assistance Reserve Fund to ensure that fuel assistance benefits for the State's eligible elderly and low-income residents are available prior to the beginning of the heating season.
[ 1991, c. 858, §1 (NEW) .]
2. Timely distribution of benefits.  The authority shall make available to local program operators and municipal administrators of the fuel assistance program, at the beginning of each state fiscal year, funds sufficient to cover anticipated fuel assistance payments and program administrative costs for at least the months of July, August and September.
[ 2001, c. 439, Pt. GG, §1 (AMD) .]
3. Conditional use of the fund.  The authority's use of the fund is subject to the following conditions and limitations.
A. If the authority reasonably anticipates that federal fuel assistance block grant funds are not available for distribution to the local program operators and municipal administrators by July 1st of each year, the authority shall withdraw and distribute sufficient money from the fund as is necessary for the purposes set forth in this section. The authority may withdraw funds prior to October 1st, provided that those funds are used only for costs incurred on or after July 1st.
Money may not be withdrawn from the fund if sufficient block grant funds are available by July 1st to pay reasonably anticipated fuel assistance program and administrative costs for the months of July, August and September. [2001, c. 439, Pt. GG, §1 (AMD).]
B. Money withdrawn from the fund must be sufficient to cover anticipated fuel assistance payments and fuel assistance program administrative costs for all local program operators and municipal administrators for the months of July, August and September. [2001, c. 439, Pt. GG, §1 (AMD).]
C. The fund may not be used if the authority reasonably anticipates that no federal fuel assistance money will be received. [1991, c. 858, §1 (NEW).]
D. The authority must receive prior written approval from the Federal Government that confirms that state funds withdrawn during a period from July 1st to September 30th may be reimbursed with federal fuel assistance funds received for the federal program year beginning in October of that same year. [2001, c. 439, Pt. GG, §1 (NEW).]
[ 2001, c. 439, Pt. GG, §1 (AMD) .]
4. Recapitalization.  If money is withdrawn from the fund for the purposes of this section, the authority shall ensure that the fund is fully recapitalized before the end of the fiscal year in which the funds were appropriated. Recapitalization does not apply in any state fiscal year in which a working capital advance is provided.
[ 2001, c. 439, Pt. GG, §1 (AMD) .]
5. Working capital advance.  The State Controller may advance up to $10,000,000 from the General Fund unappropriated surplus beginning July 1, 2002 to the Fuel Assistance Reserve Fund during any state fiscal year, if requested in writing by the Director of the Maine State Housing Authority, to be used to provide cash necessary to ensure that fuel assistance benefits for the State's eligible elderly and low-income applicant households will be available prior to the beginning of the heating season. These funds must be allotted by financial order upon recommendation of the State Budget Officer and approval of the Governor. Subject to the availability of federal fuel assistance block grant funds, these funds must be returned to the General Fund before the close of the state fiscal year in which the advance was made. The State Controller shall report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over appropriations and financial affairs within 30 days of making any working capital advance for this purpose.
[ 2001, c. 439, Pt. GG, §1 (NEW) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1991, c. 858, §1 (NEW). 2001, c. 439, §GG1 (AMD).