AUGUSTA —On Tuesday, Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, joined Jason Parent from Aroostook County Action Program and representatives from Maine Community Action Programs, MaineHousing and Maine Energy Marketers Association, for a press conference at the State House celebrating bipartisan efforts to keep working families and older Mainers warm this winter.
“One thing about Mainers is that we look out for our neighbors – it’s just what we do. So when confronted by rising energy costs and inflation, lawmakers worked with the governor to put forward the Winter Emergency Energy Relief Plan to help folks get by in the heart of winter while we worked on long-term solutions. But it’s the Mainers who showed up at the public hearing, wrote letters to the editor and called their elected officials that got this bill across the finish line, and Jason Parent and everyone at Aroostook Community Action Programs who are working quickly to get this relief to those who need it,” said Senate President Troy Jackson of Allagash. “I know we have more work to do to ensure Mainers can afford to stay warm and get by this winter but I also know what is possible when an entire state comes together.”
The event underscored the importance of LD 3, “An Act to Establish the Winter Energy Relief Payment Program to Aid Residents with High Heating Costs” which was approved by the Legislature and signed into law by the governor earlier this year. The measure includes $450 emergency energy relief checks to more than 800,000 eligible Mainers. The state expects to begin mailing those checks later this week.
Other key provisions in the package include additional funding for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), emergency fuel assistance programs and short-term housing support for warming shelters to prevent homelessness.