Sen. Hwang Supports Energy Assistance for CT Families, Calls for Full Funding of the LIHEAP Program

February 15, 2024

February 14, 2024

Media Contact:
Joe Canino
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Sen. Hwang Supports Energy Assistance for CT Families, Calls for Full Funding of the LIHEAP Program

Hartford, CT – Today, Senator Tony Hwang joined fellow Senate Republicans in passing $17 million in home heating assistance, with $13.5 million going to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and $3.5 million going to Operation Fuel. Senator Hwang also joined his Republican colleagues in again calling for full funding of the state’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

This program was created to aid low-income residents by providing assistance to reduce the costs of home energy bills during the cold winter months. LIHEAP is mostly funded by federal dollars, which were slashed by 32% in 2022 by the federal government.

The legislature acted in 2022 to try and bridge the gap, but the funding was insufficient, failing to cover the program’s increased demand. Last August, Senate Republican members called upon their fellow lawmakers to pass immediate state assistance, as the benefit for the program was projected to drop $970 from $2,320 to $1,350 due to a lack of available funds. Connecticut Democrats opposed calls to increase funding at the time, stating that they didn’t feel it was the appropriate time to address the situation. No new appropriations to the fund were made until today.

“Senate Republicans have been calling for the last five months to fully fund the LIHEAP program. The passage of this home heating assistance completely validates our concerns last year for those in need in our communities. While I am pleased that we were able to approve more funding today, our work is not finished. We must continue to work to fully fund this essential program. No Connecticut household should ever go cold,” remarked Senator Tony Hwang, “At this point in time, 58,000 households have exhausted their benefit under the state’s home heating assistance programs. The funding passed today is a step in the right direction, but it is not enough to make them whole. The legislature needs to act to fully fund this program for our most vulnerable residents.”