WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced that Maine will receive more than $35 million in federal funding from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The program assists qualifying families with their home heating and energy costs during the winter.
"This funding is welcome news for Mainers as we head into the winter months," said Michaud. "But our need in Maine still remains great, and we must continue pushing for additional funding and options that ensure we can get this critical assistance to every single person who needs it. One way to expand accessibility for Mainers is to revert back to the old LIHEAP formula, which gave funding preferences to cold-weather states, like Maine. I'll continue my bipartisan efforts to push for such a change."
Earlier this year, Michaud joined with Republican Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) in introducing the Low Income Heating Improvement Act. The bipartisan bill would distribute LIHEAP funds using the "old" formula, which reflects the original intent of the program by providing more funding to cold-weather states. Michaud and Rep. Pingree also sent a letter to the Appropriations Committee requesting that the LIHEAP program be fully funded at $5.1 billion.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the funding released today represents 90 percent of the estimated full year funding available to states, tribes and territories under the current Continuing Resolution (CR). The release of the funds today gives states certainty to plan for their upcoming heating season while still allowing Congress flexibility to set the final Fiscal Year 2015 funding level once the CR expires in December.