- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island is receiving $24.6 million in federal heating assistance for low-income residents.

The announcement came Wednesday from U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, who said the money is a $3.9 million increase over last year’s initial allocation for the program.

Reed, a Democrat, said he and Republican colleague Sen. Susan Collins of Maine led a bipartisan effort to increase funding for the LIHEAP program by $169 million overall. The New England senators also urged the Obama Administration to release the funds as soon as possible.

Reed said about 34,000 Rhode Islanders depend on the program to help with winter heating. He said states should get about 90 percent of their full year allocation under a recently passed continuing resolution for the 2015 federal fiscal year, allowing states to plan while Congress finishes the appropriations process.

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