Governor Douglas and CONEG Urge President to Release Contingency LIHEAP Funds ImmediatelyWaterbury (August 5, 2008) – The Coalition of Northeastern Governors (CONEG), chaired by Governor Jim Douglas, today urged the President to release the remaining $120 million in contingency funds for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).The Governors had also voiced their support for Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) efforts to provide an additional $2.73 billion in FY2008 funding for LIHEAP in regular program and contingency funding; and now say the prompt release of the remaining contingency funding is critical to ensuring states-particularly those in the Northeast-can adequately prepare for the fall heating season. “Through initiatives like the new Wood Warms program and weatherization assistance offered through my Fuel and Food Partnership, my administration is actively addressing challenges presented by the upcoming heating season,” said Governor Douglas. “It is clear, however, that the federal government must release LIHEAP contingency funds in a timely manner so that we can continue to meet the needs of lower income families at the start of the fall season.”The CONEG noted the immediate release of these funds was necessary in the Northeast because preparations for the upcoming LIHEAP program year begin in July. Planning for the LIHEAP program is particularly important this year as home energy prices, utility service disconnections, and the number of households in arrears to utilities all continue to rise to alarming levels.Thanks to the financial commitments made by Governor Douglas and the Vermont legislature, last year Vermont provided the most generous LIHEAP benefit in the country, averaging approximately $1169 per household, with approximately 23,000 households served.”The LIHEAP program is critically important for Vermont’s most vulnerable families, and states must have the unwavering support of the federal government if we are going to be able to continue to provide a meaningful LIHEAP benefit to support Vermonters hardest hit by rapidly rising fuel prices,” said Agency of Human Services Secretary Cynthia D. LaWare. “Vermont is fully engaged in a variety of state efforts to ensure all our residents stay warm this winter, but we can’t do it alone.”#####
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A civil engineer who has worked at the Iowa Department of Transportation for 28 years has been chosen as the agency’s interim director, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Friday.Stuart Anderson has begun his new duties and will lead the department until a permanent director is appointed, Reynolds said in a statement.He replaces former Iowa DOT Director Mark Lowe, who was asked by Reynolds to resign last month.Lowe, a lawyer, had been appointed by Reynolds in May 2017. She cited her desire to seek a change in leadership as the only reason for seeking his departure.Anderson joined Iowa DOT in 1992 and has served since 2009 as the director of planning and programming.