Governor Lamont Leads New England Governors in Urging Congress To Approve Supplemental Aid Package for Home Heating Assistance
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont and the governors of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont today sent the following letter to Congressional leaders thanking them for their longstanding support of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and expressing their support for President Joe Biden’s request for an emergency supplemental aid package that will provide additional federal funding for home heating assistance this winter:
September 26, 2022
Dear Chairwoman DeLauro, Ranking Member Granger, Chairman Leahy, and Vice Chairman Shelby:
As Congress prepares a continuing resolution (CR) for the start of the 2023 fiscal year, we write to thank you for Congress’s commitment to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and to urge you to include emergency supplemental funding of the program on top of the annual appropriation to address increasing home energy bills that likely will be exacerbated this winter as a result of volatile global energy markets. We note that President Biden has requested $500 million in emergency funds and we ask that the committee allocate at least that amount in the forthcoming CR.
The LIHEAP program is vitally important to our states. In New England and across the nation, LIHEAP assistance is targeted to households with the lowest income and highest energy burden. The majority of LIHEAP recipients have incomes far below our respective state eligibility criteria. These low-income households, particularly low-income senior households, spend a disproportionate amount of their income on home energy, often three times more than the median energy burden.
Keeping warm and safe is particularly challenging for low-income households in New England, which has some of the country’s oldest homes and a particularly cold winter climate. More than any other region of the country, New England households are dependent upon expensive delivered fuels. For many low-income households, there are few and limited near-term options and while we are all working diligently on assisting these families with energy efficiency programs for the longer term, the immediate needs this winter are likely to be acute.
New England governors deeply appreciate your longstanding support of LIHEAP, and we recognize the difficult fiscal decisions confronting Congress this year. However, with the dramatic rise in energy prices and the additional increase anticipated this winter, we ask that you supplement the annual appropriation to mitigate the effect on our vulnerable populations.
Thank you for your consideration of our concerns and our request.
Janet T. Mills
Charles D. Baker
Christopher T. Sununu
Daniel J. McKee
Philip B. Scott
cc: The Honorable Nancy Pelosi – Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives