Energy bill funding seen for low-income Oklahomans

Thursday, October 27th 2005, 6:03 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A state senator says a state agency should use part of its $26-million budget carry-over to help low-income Oklahomans deal with home heating bills.

Johnnie Crutchfield, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said the money could be used to augment the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. the program is administered by the Department of Human Services. Home heating bills are expected to increase by 35 percent this season.

Crutchfield, an Ardmore Democrat, says if it's a particularly cold season, many Oklahomans could have to choose between keeping warm and buying groceries.

Last year about $8-million in federal funds were distributed to 90,000 Oklahoma households to help pay heating bills.