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Kohl, Feingold, Obey Announce $1.79 Million Low Income Energy Assistance Grant for Wisconsin

Location: Washington, DC


Grant will help low income families pay home heating bills

U.S. Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold and Congressman David Obey announced today that the State of Wisconsin has been awarded $1,795,633 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help low income individuals and families meet energy costs. The funding comes from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which assists low income working families, disabled individuals, and senior citizens living on fixed incomes with high energy costs that are sometimes unaffordable. Today's funding comes from emergency funds made available in the fiscal year 2005 budget. Kohl, Feingold, and Obey have been vocal supporters of the LIHEAP program, and have worked to secure funding in the past for Wisconsin families.

"Families should never have to be faced with the possibility of losing heat during the cold months. Unfortunately, my office frequently hears compelling stories from individuals and families struggling to pay their bills and fearing utility disconnection. The LIHEAP program helps these families make ends meet, which is why I'm so pleased Wisconsin will receive this welcome infusion of funding," Kohl said.

"Rising energy prices have left many low-income families in Wisconsin struggling to meet increasing home energy costs," Feingold said. "With the release of the emergency home heating funds, money is going to go where it is needed most - families, senior citizens, and other individuals who rely on this funding to stay safe and warm during the cold Wisconsin winter."

"There are few programs I have worked on in Congress about which I am more proud to have led the fight than LIHEAP. LIHEAP helps over four and a half million households every year — households made up of the working poor, those making the difficult transition from welfare to work, the disabled, elderly and families with young children," said Obey. "Without energy assistance, like these funds going to Wisconsin today, many beneficiaries of the program would have to choose between heating and eating or going without other vital necessities. I was proud when we created LIHEAP and I'm glad it is still helping folks today."

Earlier this week, Kohl and Feingold urged the Senate Budget Committee to provide $3 billion for LIHEAP in the fiscal year 2006 budget to meet the increase in households eligible for LIHEAP assistance.

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