Sen. Seminara: “This process is broken. Our most vulnerable residents are suffering.”

August 29, 2023

For Immediate Release

Sen. Seminara: “This process is broken. Our most vulnerable residents are suffering.”

Sen. Lisa Seminara, the Ranking Senator on the legislature’s Human Services Committee, is expressing concerns about why the state is providing less assistance to low-income families struggling to heat their homes this winter as federal funding is drying up.  The state is cutting funding to the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program by 31% this winter – while demand for the program is projected to grow by 10%.

“Clearly this low-income heating assistance process is broken, and our most vulnerable residents are suffering as a result,” said Sen. Seminara during a joint public hearing of the Appropriations, Energy & Technology, and Human Services Committees. “There are so many people, on both sides of the aisle, whose questions are not being answered. We are coming up on a potentially very cold winter.  What happens in February when these funds are gone?  What is the plan?  Lives hang in the balance, so why are being reactive rather than proactive? We knew federal funding was decreasing, and we should have been better prepared.  We must make systemic changes in the near future to help our seniors on fixed incomes, our disabled community and residents in need both here in the Farmington Valley and across Connecticut.”

Sen. Seminara said she will be seeking meetings with state social services officials and key stakeholders in order to further assess the issue.

“In the 8th Senate District, a large number of people need this assistance and that number is going higher and higher,” Sen. Seminara said.  “As policymakers, we can’t sit idle.  We need both a short-term and a long-term plan to help those who need help the most.  We need answers, and it is my priority to get those answers.”