Posted on September 1, 2022
(HARTFORD) — Today, Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) joined House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora (R-86) and Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) in calling for a special session to consider additional funding for the significantly insufficient Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) allocation plan.
The official press conference was held this morning responding to CT Democratic lawmakers on the State’s Energy & Technology Committee, Human Services Committee, and Appropriations Committee blocking a vote this week on a proposed amendment to increase funding for energy assistance, primarily for low-income families. Currently, the Governor’s proposed allocation plan anticipates $79 million in federal funds, which is a 40% decrease from last year of more than $50 million.
“I’ve served on the Energy & Technology Committee for almost a decade, and this has been the most disappointing example of legislative ignorance I have seen from some lawmakers,” commented Rep. Ackert this morning. “We have a responsibility to use our federal funds to assist Connecticut families in any way we can, especially as we combat soaring inflation, which is why this special session is more than necessary.”
During the August 29, 2022, Joint Hearing, the aforementioned committees heard testimony from a variety of concerned CT residents and business owners who fear cutting funding from LIHEAP will create a financial burden for the most in-need families this winter.
“It is not our job to simply hope and pray that those who are less fortunate, especially our seniors, are not couped in warming centers throughout the community,” Rep. Ackert added. “We are lawmakers. Our job is to listen to the concerns of our voters and serve them with clear goals to assist their needs.”
“That is why I have signed the petition calling for a special session to enact legislation, redirecting American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to continue funding LIHEAP at the necessary levels, preventing each low-income family from losing an average of $3,000. Now more than ever, as financial insecurity concerns echo throughout our state, there is no better time than the present to address home heating funding as the vital necessity it is.”
For more information on this and other state issues, please visit RepAckert.com where you can also contact Rep. Ackert with questions and concerns, as well as visit his Facebook page.