On June 28, the Senate passed the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill out of the Appropriations Committee. This bill sets funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) at $3.69 billion dollars. LIHEAP is a federal block grant program that provides money to low-income individuals or families to help them meet their energy needs. The program receives an annual appropriation from Congress through the Labor and Health and Human Services (Labor-HHS) Appropriations bill. The funding level approved by the Committee represents a $50 million increase over 2018 amounts.
APGA is pleased with the increase in funding and signed on to a letter sent to congressional appropriations committees asking them to maintain or increase the amount of LIHEAP funding for fiscal year 2019. APGA continues to push for full funding at the authorized $5.1 billion level as LIHEAP assistance continues to play a critical role in helping low-income families meet their energy needs. Without LIHEAP funding assistance, many low-income families face the difficult choice between paying their energy bills versus paying for other necessities, such as healthcare, food and childcare.
The next step will be passage of the bill on the floor of the full Senate and then a conference committee will need to be formed to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the Labor-HHS appropriations bills.
For questions on this article, please contact Todd Brady of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-2742 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org