Proposal would shift heating help to warm-weather states

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Proposal would shift heating help to warm-weather states

Advertiser-Tribune – For more than 30 years, the bipartisan Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has helped many Ohio seniors and families – especially those with the lowest incomes who pay a high proportion of their income on home energy – keep warm in the winter.

Yet, under a new proposal in the House of Representatives, warm-weather states may receive additional funds at the expense of cold weather states such as Ohio. Seniors facing rising home energy costs during Ohio’s cold winters shouldn’t be forced to choose between heating their homes and buying groceries.

A bill in the House would slash vital energy resources for low-income and elderly Ohioans to send a large share of energy assistance resources to warm-weather states such as Florida and Arizona. By setting aside a bipartisan formula for disbursing assistance that’s been used for 30 years, the House proposal would result in colder-weather states receiving less help – to the tune of $15 million in Ohio alone.

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