Alaska will provide an extra $9 million in short-term energy aid to low- and middle-income state residents. Governor Sarah Palin on May 21 signed several appropriations bills, including SB 116, a one-time special appropriation for energy assistance for the current fiscal year.
The funding immediately goes to the Department of Health and Social Services, the LIHEAP grantee. The department administers the federal LIHEAP and the Alaska Heating Assistance Program (AHAP). The Alaska LIHEAP serves households up to 150 of federal poverty guidelines; the AHAP serves those between 151 and 225 percent of FPG. AHAP was created by the legislature in May 2008.
Supporters had stated in newspaper articles that energy needs were especially critical in the state’s rural areas and that some residents were forced to burn oily rags, cardboard and wax-soaked wood chips to heat their homes this winter.
The Governor’s press release also noted that the state’s FY2010 capital and operating budgets include $24.6 million for energy assistance.
Source: Governor’s office