AUGUSTA, Maine — The U.S. Department of Health and Human services announced Thursday that Maine will receive nearly $10 million more in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program funding.
That brings Maine’s total LIHEAP amount for this season to $39,981,695 — still well short of the $56.5 million the state received for the program in 2010-2011.
U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud and U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins have been working throughout the fall and winter to get low-income Mainers more money to heat their homes this winter.
“Maine’s low-income senior citizens and families are already struggling with high energy costs,” Collins said in a press release. “No one should ever be forced to choose between heating their homes and other vital necessities such as food and medication.”
The lawmakers released statements Thursday saying they were pleased with the extra assistance but that Mainers need more.
“This funding is needed, but it’s not enough,” Michaud said. “President Obama needs to request full funding from the start so that Congress is less likely to move forward with another deep cut to this critical program.”
Snowe, Collins and Michaud each vowed to push to restore LIHEAP funding to last year’s levels.