A plan was released by Governor Janet Mills regarding the heating assistance that will be provided to Mainers this winter season, as reported by WGME. An estimated 880,000 eligible Mainers will receive $450 checks under the plan.
Gov. Mills noted that Maine residents are suffering from inflation and rising energy prices. So, she is putting money back into their pockets by proposing a plan that will help the Mainers with their energy cost and ensure the winter season’s comfort of the most vulnerable citizens.
To make it an emergency measure, Mills is requesting the state legislature to pass the plan with the 2/3 majority required. The Mills government expects to hand out $450 Winter Energy Payments starting in mid-January 2023 if the plan is approved.
The Emergency Winter Energy Relief Plan includes the Winter Energy Relief Payment: $450 to 880,000 Maine people, $900 for average Maine family, Federal adjusted gross income of $100K for singles, $150K for heads of household, and $200K for couples filing jointly; Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Supplement: $40 million to supplement; Emergency Fuel: $10 million to Maine Community Action Partnerships and Short-Term Housing Support: $21 million.
This proposal reinstates the protocol for the Department of Environmental Protection to renounce sulfur content restrictions for fuels when essential for preserving the welfare, security, and well-being of the public.
This plan’s estimated expense is $474 million, which would be financed by $283 million of the Revenue Forecasting Committee’s projected income, $157 million of General Funds accessible due to the extended Federal aid made available throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and $34 million of the 130th Legislature’s fund balance.
The Department of Health and Human Services will be issuing $500 one-time payments next week to approximately 13,000 households with 65 or older Mainers who are poor to help these individuals with their home heating expenses.