A proposal to quickly revive a dormant fund to help the poor pay their heating bills is on the fast track at the State Capitol. The Senate Appropriations Committee has unanimously endorsed the Blunt Administration proposal to inject $6-Million into Utilicare, a fund to help the poor pay their heating bills. That fund has languished in the past few years. The quick action by the Committee clears the way for the proposal to be taken up by the full Senate on Thursday. The House, last week, took the unusual step of picking up the legislation and approving it in the same day. This legislation is moving quicker than most, because of the press of time. If the $6-Million is to do any good this winter, the appropriation must be approved soon by the General Assembly. The need for energy assistance is considered acute this year, because all Missouri utilities reported double-digit increase in natural gas costs with some nearly doubling the price of natural gas they pass on to their customers.
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