Assemblyman Lavine Supports Bill to Increase Home Energy Assistance Program

November 5, 2008
Glen Cove – Assemblyman Charles D. Lavine joined Energy Committee Chairman Kevin Cahill and other Assemblymembers in Central Islip for a press conference addressing the possible heating crisis that may take place this winter.

With the cost of home heating fuel at a record high the Assembly has taken steps to ensure that New Yorkers have the ability to pay for heating this winter without having to sacrifice other necessities such as food.

Assembly bill A.11590 proposes a plan, already approved, that includes $550 million to enhance the Home Energy Assistance Program. This would increase the size of the regular HEAP grant and raise the income eligibility by 80 percent of median family income from 60 percent. Also, it would include $250 million for energy conservation measures.

Funding for the plan would come from a 2 percent gross receipts tax on large oil companies as well as a measure to recapture windfall profits dating back to 2005 when the sales tax on gasoline was capped at two dollars. The bill also prohibits oil companies from passing along additional costs.

“In a time when there is such economic uncertainty we need to prepare for the worst and this bill outlines a plan that will provide assistance to our residents who may otherwise suffer serious injury or even death if they can not pay to heat their homes,” Assemblyman Lavine said.