Press Releases

Recent Press Releases

Jan 19 2012

SENATOR COLLINS ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF AN ADDITIONAL $9.9 MILLION IN LIHEAP FUNDS TO HELP LOW-INCOME, ELDERLY FAMILIES

With this additional funding, Maine will have received a total of $39.9 million in LIHEAP funds for FY12

U.S. Senator Susan Collins today announced that Maine will receive an additional $9.9 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) fund. The funding will come from the remaining resources of the Fiscal Year 2012 budget. Earlier this year, Maine received $29.9 million through the same program to help low-income households with their heating and other home energy costs.

"I was disappointed that the President proposed to cut LIHEAP funding by nearly half last year and I have worked to try and restore this critical funding,” said Senator Collins. “We were successful in rejecting the President’s proposal, but the FY 2012 funding still represents a substantial cut for some of our neediest families, which I will continue working to restore. “Maine’s low-income senior citizens and families are already struggling with high energy costs and no one should ever be forced to choose between heating their homes and other vital necessities such as food and medications."

In addition, Senator Collins has joined with her colleagues in a letter to the President and in cosponsoring legislation to restore Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 funding for LIHEAP to no less than $4.7 billion, which was the level approved for FY 2011.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 63,500 Maine families received assistance from the LIHEAP program in FY 2011. LIHEAP is a federal grant program that provides states with annual funding to operate home energy assistance programs for low-income households. In addition to helping to pay energy bills for low-income families and the elderly, LIHEAP helps to fund energy crisis intervention programs, low-cost residential weatherization, and other energy-related home repairs.
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