Sen. Formica Joins Effort to Bolster Home Heating Assistance Slashed by Washington

September 20, 2022

Sen. Formica Submits Signed Petition Calling for a Special Session to Support the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Senator Paul Formica outside the State Capitol signs the petition calling for a special session of the State legislature to bolster home heating assistance and restore relief provided by LIHEAP.

HARTFORD – Senate Republican Leader Pro Tempore Paul Formica (R-East Lyme) joined fellow Republican lawmakers in submitting a signed petition to the Secretary of the State’s Office calling for a special session to restore home heating oil assistance slashed by Washington to seniors and low income families, as well as expand relief to middle class families.


Sen. Formica is advocating to restore relief to seniors and families who face significant cuts to home heating relief through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) as a result of Washington cutting state assistance.


Lawmakers can petition for a special session by gaining 50 percent plus 1 of members in both the House of Representative and the Senate.


“Inflation is creating historic new hardships for working- and middle-class families. The role and responsibility of government and our state lawmakers is to work to solve these problems. A crisis is looming if the state does not act to restore home heating assistance for seniors and vulnerable residents and provide relief to middle class families,” said Sen. Formica.


Sen. Formica and CT Republican lawmakers have repeatedly sought to increase assistance, calling for a special session in June, offering a committee level amendment to restore funding, and now petitioning for a special session.


“Connecticut has the funds to provide relief to not only restore funding slashed by Washington for seniors and the most vulnerable, but also to expand relief to middle-class families facing historic challenges. Republicans do not have enough members in the state legislature to petition for a special session alone, so I am calling on my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to work together to deliver relief to our overtaxed and struggling families. Washington has failed them, but Connecticut has the power to help. There is a better way, and a special session will enable our state and our lawmakers to deliver the relief people so desperately need right now.”


What happens if lawmakers do nothing?

  1. The heating assistance program will face a 40% cut
  2. The poorest families in CT will see their home heating oil assistance reduced by nearly $3,000 compared to the aid they received last year – at a time when home heating oil prices are skyrocketing.
  3. A senior with just $2270/month in total income will have their benefit cut from $3075 to only $730 in fuel authorizations. That is not even a tank of oil at the current prices.
  4. In utility-heated households the lowest income households will get $415 less toward their utility heat bill this season.


What happens if we go into special session?

  1. CT Republicans have a plan to restore home heating assistance to all qualifying families and seniors.
  2. The Republican proposal also will establish a new $330 benefit for every working- and middle-class family earning between 61%-120% of state median income (on average a family of four earning $150,000 or less).


The Republican plan will supplement the $79.2 million in expected federal LIHEAP funds to increase total home energy assistance to $191.5 million. The Republican plan utilizes $112.3 million from the Invest Connecticut account, a fund set aside by the Fiscal Year 2023 budget adjustment with readily available federal ARPA funds yet to be assigned to any programming.



***If you are in need of winter energy assistance, you can apply for help online, by phone, by email, by mail, or in person at your local Community Action Agency (CAA). Click to learn how to apply.***