RI Sen. Reed lead push for heating oil funding
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island U.S. Sen. Jack Reed and Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins are again leading efforts to increase funding for a federal program that helps lower-income families and seniors cover their home heating costs.
The senators urged President Barack Obama to restore funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to no less than $4.7 billion for fiscal year 2015.
The senators said in the letter sent Friday that funding for the program has declined more than 30 percent in recent years despite soaring energy costs. They say the number of households eligible for assistance continues to exceed available funding.
The lawmakers, who include Rhode Island U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, say the program provides critical support to most vulnerable residents. They say funding for and access to affordable home energy is a matter of health and safety.