Sen. Kelly: Will CT Democrats heed Congressman’s advice on $$ for heating assistance?

October 26, 2023

For Immediate Release

Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly today issued the following statement regarding Congressman Joe Courtney’s public encouragement of Governor Lamont and the state legislature to use additional state funds to support the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program if the needs of Connecticut residents exceed the federal LIHEAP allocation.

“Will the majority heed the congressman’s advice and take action? Staying warm is a basic human necessity, yet Connecticut Democrats have taken a ‘wait-and-see’ approach on whether it will get cold this winter. This impacts our neighbors, our family members and our friends who are living hand-to-mouth and facing difficult choices between heating and eating. Meanwhile, Connecticut Democrats have chosen not to fund heating assistance at a time when the state has record, historic budget surpluses. It’s a callous decision to literally leave people out in the cold.

Demand for heating assistance has skyrocketed.  Operation Fuel is pleading for help and warning it will have to turn people away. Why won’t the majority act immediately to help asset limited, income challenged (ALICE) families from going cold this winter? These are seniors on fixed income, the disabled, and children in need. Republicans will continue to be the voice of vulnerable Connecticut residents until they are heard.

While I thank Congress for putting more money into the program, we must amend benefit levels so those in need can access additional benefits. Otherwise, we will have a repeat of last year in Connecticut when majority Democrats swept the money and effectively denied heating assistance to those in need.”