Ceci Maher

State Senator

Ceci Maher

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working Together For Our Communities

February 14, 2024
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February 14, 2024                                                    Joe O’Leary 508-479-4969


Today, State Senator Ceci Maher (D-Wilton) voted with her colleagues in the Senate to approve $17 million to supplement dwindling federal funding for heating assistance for Connecticut residents through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Operation Fuel. There are over 70,000 households currently enrolled in these programs, and as of the end of January 2024, over 15,400 fuel delivery households have exhausted their LIHEAP benefits. The vote passed unanimously with a 35-0 tally.

“As the former CEO of the nonprofit Person-to-Person, I know the challenges that come with providing financial and heating aid to those who need it, even in areas perceived to not need that help like Fairfield County,” said Sen. Maher. “It’s essential today for us to authorize this funding to support the 15,000 households that will benefit from it. These support funds play a vital role in the lives of countless individuals, especially the children who can’t learn or thrive if they’re too cold to even do their homework.”

The $17 million will be allocated from federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. $13.5 million will go to the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP), which is administered by the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) and distributes federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds. An additional $3.5 million will go to the non-profit Operation Fuel for home fuel delivery.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps keep families warm through initiatives that assist families with energy costs. LIHEAP provides federally funded assistance to reduce the costs associated with home energy bills, energy crises, weatherization, and minor energy-related home repairs. Operation Fuel is a Hartford-based nonprofit that provides year-round emergency energy assistance to low- to moderate-income households across Connecticut in collaboration with a statewide network of local fuel banks.

While LIHEAP is traditionally fully funded by the federal government, funds were increased significantly during fiscal years 2021 and 2022 in response to the pandemic. Republicans in Congress have since rolled back funding despite increased demand.

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