Senate Committee Action on LIHEAP a Positive First Step

Michigan Delegation In A Position To Lead, Halt Proposed Reductions

Sep 21, 2011, 12:00 ET from The Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm

DETROIT, Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday approved the Fiscal Year 2012 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill that is more supportive of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) than President Obama's original proposal. President Obama in February proposed reducing the program's funding by 50 percent, which, should Congress enact it into law, would negatively impact Michigan's most vulnerable citizens.

The Senate Appropriations Committee's action today funds LIHEAP at $3.6 billion for FY 2012. In FY 2011, LIHEAP was funded at $4.7 billion. The $3.6 billion level represents a 25 percent reduction in funding. 650,000 low-income Michigan households benefited from this program last year.

"LIHEAP is a program that provides essential assistance for our neighbors, many of whom have lost their jobs during one of the worst economic downturns since the 1930s and remain unemployed or under-employed," said Whitney Skeans and Sharon Theroux, co-chairs of the Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm. "Today's action in the Senate Appropriations Committee is a positive first step in sustaining funding for a program that helps Michigan's most vulnerable. Our delegation is in a leadership position to ensure optimum funding for LIHEAP."

The Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm's membership is made up of a diverse group of organizations, including energy providers, state governmental bodies, nonprofit energy assistance providers, and individual supporters with direct or indirect involvement in low-income household energy issues. To learn more and support the efforts of the Coalition, visit www.coalitiontokeepmichiganwarm.com.

Background:

Senate Appropriations Committee Funds LIHEAP at $3.6 billion for FY 2012

Low Income Home Energy Assistance—The bill includes $3.6 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.  The fiscal year 2011 level was $4.7 billion.  The level in the bill, while a significant cut, is more than $1 billion higher than both the administration's budget request and the comparable fiscal year 2008 funding level. (US Senate Appropriations Committee, "Summary: Fiscal Year 2012 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill," Accessed 9/20/2011)

SOURCE The Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm



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http://www.coalitiontokeepmichiganwarm.com