ST. PAUL, MINN. – By some estimates as soon as early March the state of Minnesota could run out of money for its Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The program helps low-income households all across the state with their heating bills – and has been put into overdrive this winter due to the propane shortage and skyrocketing prices.
Sen. Tom Saxhaug (DFL-Grand Rapids) has been closely following the propane shortage situation and chief authored a bill that will fund LIHEAP until the warmer spring months arrive. This bill will appropriate an additional $20 million to the LIHEAP program, the bill is expected to pass the Senate on Monday and be signed into law shortly thereafter.
“I don’t want any Minnesotans to worry about their heating this winter. There is help available, and we need to make sure that the LIHEAP program remains funded until this propane shortage is resolved,” said Sen. Saxhaug.
The propane shortage began early this year and has disproportionally affected Northern and rural Minnesotans and is putting a significant strain on the LIHEAP program. While the state’s Commerce Commissioner increased the amount of payments and the number of people who qualify for assistance in late January, action is needed again by the Minnesota Legislature.
Information about applying for the LIHEAP program is available online at: http://mn.gov/commerce/energy/consumers/Heating-Assistance/ or by calling 1-800-657-3710. Other forms of assistance may be available through county social service programs, community-based organizations, and nonprofit agencies. See the Stay Warm Minnesota webpage for a list of resources.
If you have questions about this legislation or any other legislation this session you can email Sen. Saxhaug at Tomsax@senate.mn or by calling his office at (651) 296-4136.