Missouri to add $8.5M in heating assistance

Friday, January 16, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri will increase winter heating assistance by $8.5 million.

The additional money will be federal funds from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program that had been slotted to be held in reserve. Gov. Jay Nixon's office announced Friday that it would divert that to winter heating help.

Earlier this week, the state's community action agencies urged lawmakers to add $10 million to the state Utilicare program that supplements the federal aid. The community action agencies, which dole out the money, suggested that $7 million go toward emergency heating aide and $3 million go to pay for weatherization.

Community action agencies report that there is a waiting list for the aid in Kansas City and that three more of Missouri's 19 agencies could be out of funds by February.

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