Lawmakers to revisit home heating assistance in 2012


Lawmakers at the state Capitol say they are ready to begin talks next year on a long-term solution to the state's broken home-heating-assistance fund. The Legislature approved a short-term fix to keep low-income families' homes heated through this winter.

Democratic state Representative Jeff Irwin says a long-term solution needs to consider the profile of most low-income homes.

"A lot of our families, a lot of our neediest families that we're providing this assistance to live in very old housing with very poor insulation, very poor windows, a very poor seal," he says. "And so there are very inexpensive things we can do that will tighten those homes up and save a lot of money."

Irwin says the state should make sure low-income families can afford to winterize and insulate their homes. Republican state lawmakers say they want to make sure gas and electric companies do not bear too much of the burden to keep the home-heating assistance fund afloat.