The one-time federal funding for low-income individuals on the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is gone. Republican lawmakers say Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration allocated insufficient funds, but Lamont says he’s allocating everything the federal government has given the state.
“LIHEAP has been and continues to be a 100% federally funded program. Governor Lamont has effectively delivered energy assistance aid and will continue to put money back into working people’s pockets, which he’s doing three times this week through Pandemic Emergency Assistance Funds, Connecticut’s second sales tax-free week of the year, and $250 child tax rebates,” Anthony Anthony, Lamont’s spokesman said. “Let’s not forget about Connecticut’s historic EITC checks being mailed in October, which Governor Lamont innovatively provided by using coronavirus relief funds unlike any governor in the United States. Make no mistake, the Lamont Administration acts swiftly, decisively, and effectively to care for working people.”
Republican leaders Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly and House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora said the governor’s plan anticipates $79 million in federal funds which is a decrease of more than $50 million from last year.
That’s a 40% cut.
Republicans say they called for a special session to deliver more tax relief but were rebuffed by Democrats.
“The anticipated federal funds fall far short of the amount needed to maintain energy assistance our poorest families received last year, let alone cover the impact of skyrocketing home heating oil and energy prices our families face this year,” Kelly and Candelora said. “Our Democratic leaders in Washington have failed to take care of Connecticut residents’ basic needs. Meanwhile, Connecticut Democrats are waiting for dysfunctional Washington to bail us out instead of taking action and adopting solutions within their power to protect Connecticut families.”
There will be a public hearing on the allocation of the funding Monday, Aug. 29.