Michaud seeking Mainers’ stories about how LIHEAP affects them

Posted Oct. 25, 2011, at 4:02 p.m.
Last modified Oct. 25, 2011, at 6:29 p.m.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud has signed a letter being circulated by his colleagues that asks House leaders to support at least the $4.7 billion fiscal year 2011 funding level for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program as they work on a funding bill for fiscal year 2012.

To help build support for the program, Michaud is asking Mainers to email him or share stories on his Facebook page about how the program affects their lives so that he can share them with congressional leaders.

“This is a program that helps Mainers avoid tough choices, like whether to heat their homes, put food on the table or buy needed medications,” said Michaud, a longtime supporter of LIHEAP. “Unfortunately, the real world impacts of funding decisions sometimes get lost on many in Washington. That’s why I’m inviting Mainers to share with me what the program means to them so that I can bring their stories directly to congressional leaders.”

Currently, the House Appropriations Committee’s Labor, Health and Human Services appropriations draft bill funds LIHEAP at $3.4 billion, which could mean that nearly 2.5 million families nationwide will be denied assistance. The bill in the Senate, which has been passed by the Appropriations Committee, currently contains $3.6 billion in funding for LIHEAP.