The Missouri legislature has put the maximum allowable amount into the Utilicare program, which helps Missouri’s disabled, elderly, and low-income citizens pay their winter heating and summer cooling bills. Senate Appropriations chairman Chuck Gross says the $6.3-million will be funneled through the Department of Social Services to Regional Community Action Agencies that they pass it along to local agencies.

The program helps about 12,000 people.  Gross says the continuing cold weather means there will be immediate demand for the money.

Governor Blunt says he will sign the bill, HR 15 , as soon as he gets it from the legislature so the funds can be released by the state  immediately.