Davis: Legislation would ensure families have access to water

HARRISBURG, Feb. 20 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, has introduced H.B. 2099, which would establish the Low-Income Water and Wastewater Assistance Program. The program would provide critical assistance to working families struggling to pay their water and wastewater bills.

“Water is one of our most fundamental human needs, and it is essential for the health of our citizens,” Davis said. “Low-income residents working hard to provide for their families should not be forced to contend with safety and sanitation problems if their services are discontinued because of unpaid water or wastewater bills.”

The program would operate in a manner similar to the existing Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program that provides assistance to low-income residents for home heating.

Under Davis' proposal, households with an annual income that is below 100 percent of the federal poverty line would qualify for assistance payments ranging from $100 to $500. Households would be limited to one payment per program year. The legislation would also establish the Low-Income Water and Wastewater Assistance Fund, which would supply funding for the program.

Davis, who was sworn in as a member of the General Assembly in early February, noted that the bill marks the first piece of legislation he has introduced as a state representative.

“When I took the oath of office, I vowed that I would do everything in my power to help make life better for all Pennsylvanians,” Davis said. “I believe this legislation, which would help ensure that families have access to a life-sustaining resource, is a step in the right direction.”