Another 6 million dollars could be set aside to help keep Missourians warm next winter. Governor Matt Blunt says he wants the legislature to appropriate 6.3 million dollars to the Utilicare program, which helps low-income families, the elderly and the disabled with heating costs. The appropriation would renew last year’s special supplemental appropriation. Blunt says the 6.1 million appropriated last year was the first year the program had ever received full funding. He says 12-thousand households are benefitting from the program. He points out that the Public Service Commission estimates that the average five month winter cost for residents to heat their homes with natural gas will exceed 8-hundred dollars before taxes. Elligible residents include anyone whose combined household income is less than 125 percent of the current federal poverty level and who qualifies for the federal low-income heating program.
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