Energy Aid Bills (Finally) Pass Senate – House Still Debating

The House is still debating, but after a long day of last-minute wrangling and debate, which included splitting the bill in two (the first bill passed both houses, the second is being debated in the House right now), the state senate has passed two energy assistance bills. Here, according to a release from the Senate Democrats, are the highlights:

The energy assistance bill includes the following:

  • The bill allocates an additional $14 million to expand Operation Fuel to provide emergency home heating assistance to help more low and moderate income families.
  • $6.5 million to local and regional school districts for school heating assistance. Grants will be calculated on a per pupil basis.
  • $4 million to provide home heating assistance to seniors age 65 and older within certain income limits.
  • $3.5 million to provide heating assistance grants to human service and public health nonprofit organizations.
  • $35 million for an energy contingency account that can be used for home heating assistance.
  • $5 million for homeowners to purchase energy efficient furnaces and boilers.
  • Decreases the minimum delivery amount that retail oil or propane dealers must make from 125 to 100 gallons.
  • Prohibits retails oil or propane dealers from imposing delivery surcharges on more than 100 gallons of oil or any residential delivery that the dealer initiates.

Here are two charts which show some of the highlights: heatinghelp1.pdf
aac-eaandhhr.pdf

I’m watching some of the coverage on CT-N right now, and people do look pretty tired. As an aside, one of the problems they’re discussing is that the House seems to have found a problem in the Senate bill, and the debate is whether to accept the problem or send it back to the Senate–which went home–meaning a delay of a week or more before the Senate can come back to correct it.

This is not a great way to run things.

In any event, it looks like the amendment to fix the problem is headed for failure.

More tomorrow, as I am going to bed.

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