CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire's U.S. senators want more money to go toward the Low Income Home Heating Assistance Program for Fiscal Year 2015.

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte say the administration's budget proposal requests $2.8 billion for the program. That's a $600 million decrease from Fiscal Year 2014.

The senators have joined a bipartisan group of senators urging that the amount be $4.7 billion.

They say according to the National Energy Assistance Director's Association, not only has the number of households served decreased, but those receiving assistance have seen their average LIHEAP grant reduced by about $100, from $520 to around $400.

"This means the average LIHEAP grant now covers just a fraction of average home energy costs, leaving many low-income families and seniors with fewer resources available to meet other basic needs," Shaheen and Ayotte's letter to Senate appropriations committee members said.

The senators noted that persistently cold temperatures and high energy costs across much of the country has resulted in a home heating crisis for many families.


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