U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer recently announced that the Department of Health and Human Services has released $69 million in federal emergency heating funds to New York.

New York State

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer recently announced that the Department of Health and Human Services has released $69 million in federal emergency heating funds to New York.

The funds which come through the Low Income Heating Assistance Program, LIHEAP, help New Yorkers heat their homes during the long winter. The funding is only a partial allocation and New York could receive much more once Congresses passes a fiscal year 2011 budget.

Because Congress has not yet passed an FY11 budget federal agencies can release funds to the states based on what is anticipated to come out of the final budget. For instance, the House of Representatives has planned to fund the LIHEAP program at $5.1 billion this coming fiscal year whereas the Senate bill contains approximately $2.7 billion in funds. Therefore, HHS takes the lowest allocated amount, in this case the Senate’s $2.7 billion.

While the announced funding provides much needed relief to New Yorkers who will struggle to heat their homes this winter, Schumer pledged to fight to include full funding for LIHEAP in this year’s coming budget which will significantly aid New York’s families.