Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) -- who have long championed the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) -- Thursday announced $17,252,695 in federal home heating assistance to Vermont.
The new funding, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is part of a nationwide release of $3.05 billion in LIHEAP funds to help struggling families heat their homes. The new funds represent about 90 percent of the funding approved for LIHEAP under the Continuing Appropriations Act signed into law early this year. HHS will release the remaining funds for the program following the completion of Fiscal Year 2015 appropriations bills.
In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said: "With Vermonters fast approaching the cold winter months, this funding will help ease the minds of families who are struggling to heat their homes. But it will not be enough, and more needs to be done. We will continue to press for more funding to support LIHEAP and ensure that Vermonters struggling to stay warm this winter have this lifeline."