Brown Announces that Ohio Will Receive More Than $165 Million in Home Heating Assistance Funds for 2012

Brown Fought Back Against a House Proposal that Would Have Reprogrammed LIHEAP Funds to Warmer Weather States

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that Ohio is set to receive more than $165 million in home heating assistance funds during Fiscal Year 2012—more than $8 million more than it would have received under a House plan that made allocation changes that would have resulted in Ohio and other colder-weather states, like Michigan and Wisconsin, receiving a smaller fraction of the funds than they typically receive.

“Winters in Ohio are bitterly cold—and during these most frigid months, we must ensure that our seniors are able to keep the heat turned on,” Brown said. “No Ohioan should have to choose between filling a prescription, putting dinner on the table, or keeping warm—and that’s where LIHEAP helps fill the gap. Last year, hundreds of thousands of Ohioans relied on home heating assistance funds to keep the thermostat turned on, and the budget agreement for 2012 ensures that Ohio receives a fair share of the available LIHEAP funding.”

Under a plan circulating in the U.S. House of Representatives recently, Ohio could have received as little at $157.4 million in LIHEAP funding, but thanks to efforts from Brown and others to ensure that cold-weather states are treated fairly, Ohio will now receive more than $165 million in LIHEAP resources.

According to the HHS, the mission of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is to assist low income households, particularly those with the lowest incomes that pay a high proportion of household income for home energy, primarily in meeting their immediate home energy needs. In November, Brown released a county-by-county report on the more than 426,400 Ohio households that received home heating assistance through LIHEAP in 2010.

In October, Brown led 33 senators in a bipartisan letter to the Obama Administration urging the speedy deployment of LIHEAP resources. A copy of that letter can be seen here.

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