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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 9, 2002

Governor Announces Illinois to Receive Summer Cooling Funds

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that the State of Illinois is receiving $8.1 million in federal emergency contingency funding to help low-income residents meet their summer cooling needs. The funds will be distributed through the John W. Maitland Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

" I want to thank President George Bush for releasing this federal allocation to the states in order to help low-income households pay off their summer cooling bills," said Ryan. " My office has been working with members of the Illinois delegation to free up this funding because of the very warm summer we’ve had across the state, and I’m grateful these efforts have paid off." Governor Ryan made this issue the subject of last week’s Ryan Radio Report.

LIHEAP is a federal grant program that helps low-income households meet the costs of home energy and is operated throughout the state by a network of local agencies that work with utilities, determine eligibility and provide benefits to households. LIHEAP is administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA).

Unfortunately the past 2 winters have not been easy and there hasn’t been any funding left from the winter programs to help defray the costs of cooling homes in the summer," said DCCA Director Pam McDonough. " That is why the Governor’s lobbying efforts this summer, and in previous years, have been so important in getting additional federal funds made available to those who need it the most."

Starting Monday, August 12, 2002, elderly households, those with children under the age of two, or those containing a member with a disability or a medical condition requiring air conditioning who wish to apply for summer cooling funds should contact the local agency in the county where they live. Additional assistance is available by calling the toll-free LIHEAP information line at 1-800-252-8643.



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