Despite Gov. Paul LePage’s efforts at avoiding cuts to LIHEAP, Barack Obama slashed Maine’s allotment by $32.6 million. This is devastating to our truly needy. According to Dale McCormick, director of MaineHousing, the average beneficiary of LIHEAP has an income of $16,500 and 54 percent of the people are elderly or disabled. McCormick also states  “People will freeze in their homes at this level” and “They will have to choose between fuel and food, fuel and medicine, fuel and rent.”

LePage is taking action to fund the heating needs of our truly needy, which affects 64,000 households.

LePage is willing to make prioritized budgeting decisions, the same ones we make every day with our personal budgets. LePage believes Efficiency Maine can take the hit. “They have lots of funds that are earmarked for projects over the next three or four years  — but the crisis is now, for this winter,” LePage said. He also believes their two-year operating budget of $53 million positions them well.

The problem lies with House Minority Leader Emily Cain. Cain is opposing cuts to Efficiency Maine’s long-term programs, despite the benefits of helping our truly needy stay warm this winter. Cain is also opposed to diverting funds from MPBN toward heating their homes. This alone could help heat 4,600 homes. Who is Cain working for, the special interest groups or Maine citizens?

Please contact your legislator asking them to support LePage and to prevent our truly needy from freezing this winter

Frances Maheux

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