The Colorado House agreed Tuesday to extend an initiative that helps heat the homes of more than 58,000 low-income Colorado families. Lawmakers approved House Bill 1116, sponsored by Reps. Millie Hamner, D-Dillon, and Tony Exum Sr., D-Colorado Springs, appropriating $13 million a year in severance tax revenue through 2023 to help subsidize heating bills and in some cases upgraded insulation for those of modest means.
The funding is channeled through several programs, the most prominent being the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, or LEAP, and amounts to an average annual benefit of $342 per household, according to a news release from the House Democratic press office.
“This is an important measure for Coloradans who otherwise would have to choose between heat and rent, or heat and food,” Hamner said in the press statement. Added Exum, “This program is literally a life-saver for thousands of Coloradans, including many people in my district.”