Lawmakers Call On Mass. Gov. Baker To Release Approved Funding For Heating Assistance

Apr 12, 2019

Massachusetts state lawmakers say the governor is not releasing as much money for heating assistance as the legislature approved.

After the Trump administration cut $11 million in federal funding from a program designed to help Massachusetts low-income households pay for heat, state lawmakers approved $30 million for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Governor Charlie Baker released about a third of that funding last week.

State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier and others in the House, including Speaker Robert DeLeo and budget committee chairman Aaron Michlewitz, say the full funding is critical for the state's most vulnerable families.

“We're calling for the governor to spend the full $30 million this year,” Farley-Bouvier said. “And by doing that, 8,500 Berkshire households will be served with fuel assistance.” 

The bill approved by lawmakers says any money not spent will be available until the next fiscal year.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, Baker intends to release the rest of the $30 million next year as needed.