Martha Marx

STATE SENATOR

Martha Marx

DEPUTY MAJORITY LEADER

LISTENING TO YOU

February 14, 2024
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                             CONTACT
February 14, 2024                                                      Joe O’Leary 508-479-4969

SENATOR MARX VOTES TO APPROVE $17M TO EXTEND HEATING ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

Today, State Senator Martha Marx (D-New London) 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.

“With more than 15,000 households in Connecticut able to make use of this support, our action today will make sure families remain warm in times of need in our state,” said Sen. Marx. “This week’s snowstorm proved that winter isn’t over, and nighttime lows in the 20s are a reminder that this aid is needed. I’m glad today that we took action to support our state until the weather warms up.”

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.