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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 11, 1996


Helps Families Affected by Severe Winter Weather

The President has directed the Department of Health and Human Services to release $180 million in emergency Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds for States, territories, and Indian tribes to help families affected by unusually cold winter weather.

"Millions of Americans across the country, including senior citizens and children, endured cold and prolonged winter weather and still suffer from its effects," the President said. "These emergency funds will help ensure that families can pay their heating bills and prevent utility shut-offs that could endanger lives."

The LIHEAP helps eligible families pay for fuel and weatherization to insulate homes. States determine eligibility and benefit levels. Also as part of LIHEAP, the Congress sets aside emergency funds to help States meet urgent home heating or cooling needs. The President determines when an emergency warrants the release of these funds.

The Congress appropriated $1 billion for LIHEAP for the current fiscal year -- fiscal 1996 -- compared to $1.3 billion a year earlier. It also appropriated $300 million in 1996 emergency funds.

This year, States experienced record low temperatures, record heavy snowfalls, and prolonged periods of severe weather. With the Congress unable to pass a full-year, 1996 appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which runs LIHEAP, the Administration released LIHEAP funds in smaller portions, hampering States' ability to help families for the full winter season.

"The Clinton Administration continues to provide the critical resources to States to protect families and senior citizens and aid their recovery from a brutal winter," said HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala.

Of the more than 5.6 million households that received benefits in 1994, 1.6 million were home to senior citizens, 1.1 million were home to a person with disabilities, and 2.8 million were home to children under 18. Seventy percent of the households had incomes below $8,000 a year.

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The following amounts are being made available:


  Alabama                       1,537,958
  Alaska                          661,929
  Arizona                         689,895
  Arkansas                      1,179,659
  California                    8,237,430
  Colorado                      2,891,774
  Connecticut                   3,772,422
  Delaware                        500,716
  District of Columbia            585,863
  Florida                       2,445,044
  Georgia                       1,934,103
  Hawaii                          194,775
  Idaho                         1,109,343
  Illinois                     10,441,412
  Indiana                       4,727,578
  Iowa                          3,350,498
  Kansas                        1,536,679
  Kentucky                      2,460,216
  Louisiana                     1,580,344
  Maine                         2,354,602
  Maryland                      2,888,496
  Massachusetts                 7,544,291
  Michigan                      9,874,730
  Minnesota                     7,141,904
  Mississippi                   1,323,227
  Missouri                      4,170,708
  Montana                       1,127,948
  Nebraska                      1,656,950
  Nevada                          351,152
  New Hampshire                 1,428,321
  New Jersey                    6,987,859
  New Mexico                      865,875
  New York                     22,827,256
  North Carolina                3,348,080
  North Dakota                  1,249,390
  Ohio                          9,236,990
  Oklahoma                      1,311,516
  Oregon                        2,220,689
  Pennsylvania                 12,286,500
  Rhode Island                  1,237,437
  South Carolina                1,227,827
  South Dakota                    959,742
  Tennessee                     2,492,146
  Texas                         4,069,676
  Utah                          1,316,470
  Vermont                       1,070,578
  Virginia                      3,518,511
  Washington                    3,542,613
  West Virginia                 1,628,111
  Wisconsin                     6,428,739
  Wyoming                         538,034
  Total                       180,000,000
      Note: Additional amounts are made available to
              Indian tribes and territories.