Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Fletcher Applauds Passage of House Bill 283 by Senate

Press Release Date:  Friday, January 27, 2006  
Contact Information:  Brett Hall
Jodi Whitaker
Troy Body

Michael Goins

Bill will provide $10 million in state funds for heating assistance program

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today applauded the Senate for passage of House Bill 283, which will provide an additional $10 million in state funding for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP.

“I especially want to thank Senator Alice Forgy Kerr for not only adding to the original proposal, but for presenting a way to fund it without raiding the rainy day fund,” Governor Fletcher said. “Passage of this bill is proof that helping our fellow citizens is not a political issue, but a public policy issue.”

House Bill 283, sponsored by Representative Darryl Owens (D-Louisville), originally set aside $5 million from the Budget Reserve Trust Fund, also known as the “rainy day” fund.  Senator Kerr’s (R-Lexington) amendment adds an additional $5 million and takes the entire $10 million from the Natural Gas Severance Tax Receipts, rather than raid the rainy day fund and potentially jeopardize our bond rating.

Governor Fletcher announced yesterday that an additional $2.5 million in Federal Funds had been secured for the LIHEAP and Weatherization program.  That plus the additional $10 million will go to agencies that assist low-income households in paying their energy bill and better insulate their homes against the cold of winter.

Passage of HB 283 and the additional Federal funds bring the state’s total LIHEAP appropriation for the current budget to over $36 million.