Kelly, Candelora Respond to Insufficient Home Energy Assistance Changes

October 3, 2022

CT Republicans Continue to Push for Session to Help More Families


HARTFORD – Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly and House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora responded to a press conference held today regarding Washington’s approval of an insufficient increase to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).


“Connecticut Democrats are celebrating their failure to take care of seniors, disabled individuals, and poor children,” said Kelly and Candelora. “Instead of a 40% cut to the program, this is now a 26% cut. A cut is still a cut. And this cut is even more painful when people have fewer resources to afford heat this winter as demand and costs grows. This minimal increase announced today does not put a stop to benefit reductions for the most vulnerable. At the same time home heating oil prices are higher and recession is here. People are hurting and the problem remains unsolved. If this is all Washington is willing to do for our residents, then it’s time for Connecticut to step up and take care of our seniors and families. If dysfunctional Washington won’t deliver relief, then Connecticut must. Why do we need to wait for seniors and disabled individuals and children to be freezing before we act?”


Congress’s newly approved program changes only increase LIHEAP funds by $21 million for the state of Connecticut. To just restore benefit levels to last year’s assistance amount, Connecticut needed at least an additional $55 million.


Senate and House Republican legislators in Connecticut proposed increasing LIHEAP funds by $112.3 million to accommodate increased demand and expand benefits to more working and middle class families expected to struggle to heat their homes this winter.


Kelly and Candelora added, “Connecticut has billions of dollars in the bank and millions in unused funding sitting in a slush fund. Meanwhile Democrats in power are shortchanging front line workers, letting seniors and children go cold, and begrudgingly only maybe willing to extend the gas tax holiday after the election. We must act now. Let’s go into a special legislative session now and get it right for the people of Connecticut. We are ready and willing. We can adopt a narrow call to session to ensure our action is focused. There is a way. The question is, do our Democratic lawmakers have the will?”