Posted on September 6, 2022
(HARTFORD) — Last week, Representative Lezlye Zupkus (R-89) 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.
CT Republicans responded with this call after CT Democratic lawmakers on the State’s Energy & Technology Committee, Human Services Committee, and Appropriations Committee blocked a vote last 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.
“There is no reason to make it harder for families to heat their homes,” commented Rep. Zupkus. “With a greater expectation of applicants for LIHEAP this fall, especially following a summer of record inflation and high costs everywhere, it’s critical to reconsider additional funding for this necessary program.”
During this 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 an additional financial burden for low-income families this winter, who normally apply each season.
“Concerns of financial security as well as physical safety this winter have echoed in our own district,” added Rep. Zupkus. “I worry that without sufficient funding, families will seek costly alternative heating methods and be unaware of the mechanical dangers sediment in an empty oil tank can have on home heating systems.”
“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 are present throughout our state, there is no better time to address home heating funding as the vital necessity it is.”
For more information on this and other state issues, please visit RepZupkus.com where you can also contact the representative with questions and concerns, as well as visit her Facebook page.