Missouri’s poor, struggling to pay high heating bills this winter, get some state money to help. The state’s energy assistance program, previously known as Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program and now called Utilicare, had $13.4-Million appropriated into it last year and is expecting another $6.1-Million in supplemental budget funding. Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder says it’s the largest committment to the program ever made because the need is there. With 103,000 applicants so far, and thousands more expected before the end of March, Kinder admits it could be tight. But he believes there’s enough money in the program to make it. Kinder expects lawmakers drawing up next year’s budget will need to put in at least as much as this year’s program is spending.
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