Sanders Welcomes Vermont Commitment to Home Heating Assistance

BURLINGTON, Vt., Dec. 27 - U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today welcomed an announcement by Gov. Peter Shumlin and Vermont legislative leaders that the state would add $6.1 million to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Sanders also pledged to continue to fight for Washington to pay its fair share for the home heating aid program.

"I very much appreciate the action by the governor and legislative leaders.  They understand the importance of making sure that no one in Vermont goes cold this winter," Sanders said. "At a time when heating oil costs are rising and we're in the midst of a major recession, I will continue the fight in Washington for the federal government to hold up its end of the bargain. We must at least restore funding at last year's level for this critically-important program."

Vermont is expected to receive $19.6 million from the federal heating assistance program this winter, down from $26 million last year.

Sens. Sanders and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) along with Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) are cosponsors of legislation to restore a 25 percent cut in federal funding for this winter compared to last year. Sanders and Leahy have called on Senate leadership to bring up the measure as soon as Congress reconvenes in January.