Sen. Kelly Delivers Petitions Calling for Special Session to Bolster Home Heating Assistance Slashed by Washington

September 19, 2022

Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) and House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora (R-North Branford) today submitted petitions 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.


The petitions were signed by CT Republican lawmakers. Lawmakers can petition for a special session by gaining 50 percent plus 1 of members in both the House of Representative and the Senate.


Republican lawmakers in Connecticut have been fighting to restore assistance 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.


“Washington’s dysfunction has failed CT seniors and our most vulnerable residents. Inflation is creating new hardships for middle class families unlike anything we’ve seen before. Good government works to solve these problems, not wait for people to feel the cold creeping into their homes before taking action,” said Sen. Kelly and Rep. Candelora.


CT Republican lawmakers 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. Thus far, CT Democrats have rejected our calls for relief and action. Every Democratic lawmaker on the state’s three committees overseeing this assistance program voted in lockstep against restoring the funding cut by Washington. Although they refused to act on the Legislative Committee level, we can still get this over the finish line if lawmakers join together to call a special session to put money back in the pockets of our overtaxed and overburdened working- and middle-class families. We urge our colleagues to join us in signing these petitions so that we can take action before a crisis hits,” said Kelly and Candelora.


What happens if lawmakers do nothing?

  • The heating assistance program will face a 40% cut
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?

  • CT Republicans have a plan to restore home heating assistance to all qualifying families and seniors.
  • 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. Are you a family of four earning $150,000 or less? Then this plan means relief for you too.


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.