A $6-Million appropriation to help the poor pay winter heating bills has passed the General Assembly and has been signed into law by Governor Matt Blunt. The funding of Utilicare, a once dormant program, is the first legislative action of the session. It passed the House unanimously a week ago and passed the Senate unanimously on Thursday before being sent to the Governor. House Speaker Rod Jetton says he’s pleased Republicans and Democrats came together to approve winter heating relief for this year, but says the Legislature must look beyond mere assistance. The State Department of Social Services will use community action agencies to distribute the Utilicare funds. Money will go to those making up to 125-percent of the federal poverty level.
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