Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Fletcher Signs HB 283 Into Law

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, January 31, 2006  
Contact Information:  Brett Hall
Jodi Whitaker
Troy Body

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

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today signed into law House Bill 283, which will provide an additional $10 million in state funding for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP. The bill was signed at a ceremony attended by Rep. Darryl Owens (D-Louisville), Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr (R-Lexington), and a number of other members of the Kentucky legislature.

“This bill demonstrates how the General Assembly is wisely crafting public policy that serves the needs of all Kentuckians,” said Governor Fletcher. “I appreciate the work of Senate and House leadership and each member of the General Assembly for taking swift action to address a critical need of all Kentuckians.”

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.

“I am so happy we have found this additional money and will be helping the most vulnerable of our families with heating assistance,” said Sen. Kerr.

“I am impressed by the speed with which the General Assembly has moved to address a critical problem for our most vulnerable citizens,” said Rep. Owens. “We have provided help for a number of people. I’m pleased to be a part of this, and I applaud the House and Senate leadership for working together on this important issue.”

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