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CT Democrats Refuse to Hold a Vote on Republican Proposal to Bolster Energy Assistance Slashed by Washington

Posted on August 30, 2022


HARTFORD – Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) and House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora (R-North Branford) released the following statement responding to CT Democratic lawmakers on the State’s Energy & Technology Committee, Human Services Committee, and Appropriations Committee blocking a vote on a proposed amendment to increase funding for energy assistance, prevent a devastating decrease in benefits for CT’s most vulnerable, and expand assistance to middle-class families struggling with record breaking home heating oil costs:

“Democratic lawmakers had the opportunity to help Connecticut’s most vulnerable residents, as well as middle class families struggling to afford home heating oil. They refused to even hold a vote on delivering the help people desperately need. Washington has failed to protect Connecticut’s most vulnerable, and now CT Democrats are once again refusing to ease the painful burdens of President Biden’s historic inflation. Gov. Lamont said he gave people enough tax relief already. CT Democrats have lamented there not being an easy or quick solution; but when Republicans showed exactly that – repeatedly – and offered a better way forward, Democrats would not even hold a vote. This was a slap in the face to the democratic process that sought to suppress debate and silence the voices of the people we represent.”

“Taking a wait and see approach is irresponsible. It puts Connecticut’s vulnerable families at risk. We know this winter is going to be cold. We know home heating oil prices are skyrocketing. We know our entire region is facing worrisome shortages. Waiting for dysfunctional Washington to bail us out fails Connecticut families again and again.”

Sen. Kelly and Rep. Candelora responded directly to Democratic lawmakers’ excuses for not holding a vote on the amendment:

“Let’s be clear, funding this vital need does not require full legislative approval because the amendment utilizes monies from a fund already approved by the full legislature. These monies were put into a slush fund the Governor can use if and when he so chooses for whatever he wants. These funds should be guided by the legislature to best help our state, and that’s exactly what we proposed today. The amendment also follows precedent set in 2008 and 2017. In 2008 a LIHEAP amendment was approved with the acknowledgement that the legislature would add state funding. To argue this is procedurally not acceptable is a dereliction of duty and an excuse to avoid voting on a solution.”

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