By The Business Journal of Milwaukee

The federal government on Monday released $66,162,437 in funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to Wisconsin, according to the office of U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl. The funding is part of more than $1.7 billion released nationwide through the program.

As the government currently is operating under a short-term funding resolution that expires Nov. 18, the federal government was unable to release more LIHEAP money, an announcement said. In addition, the final funding amount for LIHEAP is not yet known. The Senate Appropriations Committee, of which Kohl is a senior member, passed a funding bill that included more than $3.6 billion for LIHEAP for fiscal year 2012.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Administration Division of Energy, during fiscal year 2011 LIHEAP funding assisted more than 230,000 Wisconsin households with their energy bills. The average income of these households was about $15,000 â¿¿ and more than half of these households was home to a child under 5 years old or a senior 60 or older.

⿿In this tough economy, when people are struggling to make ends meet, it is essential that we continue to provide this funding that will help keep our neighbors warm,⿝ Kohl said.

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