HB 4058 Emergency distribution of air conditioners

Died in Committee
Declared an Emergency
Status (overview) of bill: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2022R1/Measures/Overview/HB4058

Directs Oregon Health Authority to create program to acquire and distribute air conditioners and air purifiers on emergency basis to individuals eligible for medical assistance. Appropriates moneys to authority to implement program.

Personal Choice and Responsibility
This is a feel-good bill with a big price tag for taxpayers. We all care about the 100 people that died during the heat wave. But as it turns out, it wasn’t the lack of resources, but the lack of communicating with them to know they needed help. This program will not improve the communication, so this program would not have saved any of those that died.

Fiscal Responsibility
Allocates $5 million to Oregon Health Authority for emergency air conditioner for most at risk in heat events. Another $10 million is allocated to Oregon Department of Energy for efficient heat pump incentives. Establishes Heat Pump Deployment Fund. Establishes Heat Pump Deployment Program within State Department of Energy to provide grants to entities to provide financial assistance to cover purchase and installation of heat pumps and related upgrades. Adds improvements to reduce heat and electrical upgrades to types of repair and rehabilitation covered by program grants.

Limited Government
Increases socialism and add a new program to government. This taxpayer funded program will be used to install heat pumps to replace the use of bulk fuels. Customers have the right to install any heating or cooling system of their choice, but this program limits choice if they need the assistance. The cooling goals of this legislation can be accomplished without the heat pump deployment program. Directs Public Utility Commission to explore measures to address differentiated rates or energy assistance for ratepayers with higher utility bills during periods of extreme temperatures or poor air quality.

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