Vt. Gov., lawmakers seek more heating assistance


MONTPELIER, Vt. -- Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin and key lawmakers say they want the state to add $8.8 million to the Low Income Home Heating Assistance Program to help low-income residents stay warm this winter.

In addition, Shumlin says his administration is changing the way benefits will be paid to clients and fuel suppliers. In the past clients had to wait a month or two for heating help. Now it will be paid faster.

The state says more than 28,000 low-income Vermont families rely on fuel assistance to help pay a portion of their winter heating bills. Heating oil is expected to be up 13 cents a gallon over last year.

Shumlin is planning to meet with the Legislature's Emergency Board next week to ask for approval for the additional funds.