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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Feingold pushes for low-income energy assistance

Senator Russ Feingold is calling on Senate appropriators to fully fund the Low-Income Housing and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for fiscal year 2009.

Feingold is requesting $5.1 billion for LIHEAP. The administration's budget request would only provide $2 billion, forcing states to either lower benefit amounts or assist fewer people.
LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps low income families, disabled individuals, and senior citizens living on fixed incomes.

The funding would help those in need cope with high energy bills by improving energy efficiency in their homes or providing them with emergency grants during waves of extremely cold or hot weather.

"While LIHEAP continues to go under-funded, many low-income people in Wisconsin are paying the price," Feingold was quoted as saying in a news release.

"LIHEAP funding not only helps families cope with higher energy prices, it also improves children's health and well-being by helping to ensure that their homes are properly heated and cooled.

"We must provide energy assistance for families in need so no parents have to make the difficult decision between heating their home and feeding their family." __ __ Wisconsin will receive nearly $18 million of emergency contingency funding from LIHEAP, in addition to $69.7 million in regular funding this year.

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