During a visit to a Missouri Department of Transportation maintenance facility in Lee's Summit today, Gov. Jay Nixon thanked MoDOT and the Missouri State Highway Patrol for their work to keep motorists safe and discussed new measures to help Missourians struggling to pay their home heating bills as a result of rising propane prices.
"As temperatures have hit historic lows during this harsh winter, the cost of propane has soared, dealing many Missourians a dangerous -- and even life-threatening -- one-two punch," Gov. Nixon said. "No hard-working Missouri family should have to choose between putting food on the table and staying warm. With low temperatures and dangerous wind chills in the forecast for this week, these additional measures will help low-income Missourians stay warm and safe through this unusually cold winter."
The Governor announced an additional $14.9 million in federal funds through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. In addition, Gov. Nixon's administration has doubled the amount each household can receive for propane assistance from $264-$450 per year to $528-$900 per year.
The retail price of propane for residential use in Missouri has nearly doubled in recent weeks, from about $2 a gallon in December to nearly $4 a gallon in January. Approximately 245,000 Missouri households, or 10 percent, rely on propane to heat their homes.
"The sudden and dramatic increase in propane prices has left thousands of Missourians struggling to pay their home heating bills," said state Sen. Mike Parson (R-Bolivar). "I appreciate the Governor for taking these additional measures that will help needy families in my district and across the state keep the heat on and stay safe through the winter."
The Governor also received a briefing from officials from the National Weather Service on the statewide forecast. Another, less severe, winter storm is predicted to affect Missouri starting tomorrow.
"Over the past several days MoDOT crews and Patrol troopers worked in an efficient and coordinated manner to clear roads and keep motorists safe," Gov. Nixon said. "With more winter weather on the way, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the hard-working Missourians of MoDOT and the Highway Patrol for the outstanding work they've already done this winter and get an update on their preparations for what is still ahead.