Norm Needleman


Norm Needleman



September 27, 2022

Senators Needleman, Osten Supportive As Congressman Courtney, Federal Leaders Fight To Bolster Funding For Heating Aid

Noting the importance of the financial support for their constituents, State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex) and State Senator Cathy Osten (D-Norwich) today supported efforts by Congressional Democrats, including U.S. Congressman Joe Courtney, to bolster the funding put in place for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program in budgetary legislation currently under consideration by federal leaders.

In the act under consideration, which would temporarily fund the federal government through the end of the year, leaders have bolstered LIHEAP funding by $1 billion, higher than the $500 million proposed by the White House. LIHEAP funding aids the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program which provides direct assistance to homeowners to reduce heating and home energy use.

“In recent weeks, as legislators have considered LIHEAP funding in Connecticut – incredibly important and valuable for thousands of homeowners amid expected high heating costs this upcoming winter – we expressed the importance of waiting until we had all the facts,” said Sen. Needleman. “This program can be amended, and if this federal legislation passes, will be amended, to provide a significant increase in support for Connecticut residents and families in need. I’m grateful to Congressman Courtney and our federal representatives for recognizing this need and taking action to support so many in our state and beyond.”

“I’ve been in contact with Congressman Courtney, and I know governors in New England have been in contact with their Congressional delegation members, to increase LIHEAP funding this fall. This is a very successful federal program that’s been very valuable to the people of Connecticut and New England over the past few years, and we need this influx of significant federal aid to continue,” Sen. Osten said.

Earlier this month, Congressman Courtney led a group of Connecticut and New England Congressional Delegations in writing appropriators seeking additional LIHEAP funding, in addition to other advocacy and outreach to understand the seriousness of the issue and ensure proper funding for these programs in question. Since then, the current bill under consideration has seen significant additional LIHEAP funding added to current allocations.

In late August, state legislators approved a plan to accept LIHEAP funding provided by the federal government. At the time, the expected allocation declined significantly, by about $60 million, due to decreases in federal support for the program. At the same time, the program has seen a 5% increase in use. Legislators were hopeful that federal support for LIHEAP would grow. Should the federal increased allocation be approved, it will provide millions of additional dollars for Connecticut.