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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 2003

Additional LIHEAP Funding Released to Assist Illinois Residents

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that the State of Illinois is receiving $7 million in funds from the federal government, which will allow the state to help more families pay their heating bills this winter. The increased funding means approximately 20,000 additional households in the state will be eligible for assistance through the John W. Maitland Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

“My office has been working with Governor-elect Rod Blagojevich, community leaders like Reverend Jesse Jackson and utility companies in providing resources to help low income residents pay their heating bills,” said Governor Ryan, who last week sent a letter to President Bush requesting additional LIHEAP funds. “I’d like to thank the President and his staff for responding to our concerns and allowing us to meet the needs of thousands of additional Illinois households in keeping warm this winter.”

LIHEAP is a federal grant program that helps low-income households meet the costs of home energy and is administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA).

“The Governor’s lobbying efforts, as they have in previous years, have been invaluable in getting additional federal funds made available for LIHEAP during both the winter and summer months,” said Acting DCCA Director Joseph Hannon.

LIHEAP is operated throughout the state by a network of local agencies that work with utilities, determine eligibility and provide benefits to households. Anyone wishing to apply 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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