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Legislative findings.

(1) The legislature finds and declares that weatherization of the residences of low-income households will help conserve energy resources in this state and can reduce the need to obtain energy from more costly conventional energy resources. The legislature also finds that while many efforts have been made by the federal government and by the state, including its cities, counties, and utilities, to increase both the habitability and the energy efficiency of residential structures within the state, stronger coordination of these efforts will result in even greater energy efficiencies, increased cost savings to the state's residents in the form of lower utility bills, improvements in health and safety, lower greenhouse gas emissions and associated climate impacts, as well as increased employment for the state's workforce. The legislature further finds that there is emerging scientific evidence linking residents' health outcomes such as asthma, lead poisoning, and unintentional injuries to substandard housing.
(2) Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature that state funds be dedicated to weatherization and energy efficiency activities as well as the moderate to significant repair and rehabilitation of residential structures that are required as a necessary antecedent to those activities. It is also the intent of the legislature that the department prioritize weatherization, energy efficiency activities, and structural repair of residential structures to facilitate the expeditious allocation of funds from federal energy efficiency programs including, but not limited to, the weatherization assistance program, the weatherization plus health initiative, the energy efficiency and conservation block grant program, residential energy efficiency components of the state energy program, and the retrofit ramp-up program for energy efficiency projects. The legislature further intends to allocate future distributions of energy-related federal jobs stimulus funding to strengthen these programs, and to coordinate energy retrofit and rehabilitation improvements as authorized by chapter 287, Laws of 2010 to increase the number of structures qualifying for assistance under these multiple state and federal energy efficiency programs.
(3) The program implementing the policy of this chapter is necessary to support the poor and infirm and also to benefit the health, safety, and general welfare of all citizens of the state.
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