Governor Christie Announces Assistance for Seniors & Disabled with Summer Energy Bills

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Governor Christie Announces Assistance for Seniors & Disabled with Summer Energy Bills

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Title: Governor Christie Announces Assistance for Seniors & Disabled with Summer Energy Bills
Author: Christie, Chris; Office of the Governor
Description: Uploaded on Aug 1, 2011 Senior Cooling Relief Announcement, 08-01-2011 (Transcript Below) "You know, the fact that our seniors are under challenge here in New Jersey is without question. The economy is difficult for everybody and particularly a state like New Jersey, where it is already expensive to live. We're trying to do as much as we can to make sure that seniors first and foremost can stay in New Jersey. Can stay in the place where they raised their families, stay in the place where they can continue to see their children and their grandchildren, to continue to be a vital part of the community as so many seniors are throughout our state. Not just being with their families, but continuing to contribute to the fabric of the New Jersey community. But to do that, we have to work hard to make it more affordable for them to live here and to stay in the homes that they raised their children in, in the homes that they want to spend the rest of their years. And so today I'm pleased to announce along with the Commissioner of the DCA, Commissioner Griffa, that LIHEAP, the LIHEAP program, will give seniors the most in need, and the disabled, the relief they need by helping them cope with their utility bills this summer. Now if any of you saw the news this morning, this was the hottest July on record in Washington, DC, the hottest July on record in Philadelphia and one of the hottest Julys on record in the state of New Jersey, in our history, and I know that all of you know that, and so air conditioning was running a lot more in the month of July than it had been last summer or maybe even the summer before. And understanding this, the Commissioner and I worked on trying to find money in the LIHEAP program that's usually used for heating assistance to be able to provide assistance to seniors in need to help them with those utility bills this summer, to help defer the costs, and to help put a little extra money in your pockets so that you can live in safety and in comfort in your homes as we go through this really, really hot summer. So low-income residents will get some help with their cooling bills, $100 dollars supplemental benefit will be going out to 132,000 low-income seniors and the disabled who qualify for the heating and cooling assistance through LIHEAP. And by the way, LIHEAP is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, so we have an acronym in government for everything. But that's what that stands for. It's administered by Commissioner Griffa through the Department of Community Affairs, and it's just one piece of what we've tried to do through this most recent budget to make sure that seniors continue to be protected. We've also provided direct property tax relief to seniors by doubling homestead benefits, which you'll see on your property tax bills, and increasing the senior freeze program by over $90 million dollars. By fully funding the pharmaceutical assistance to the agent and Disabled Program, the PAAD program, with senior gold, without any increases in your copays and without any changes to your eligibility. Expanding the home and community based services that we provide to seniors by nearly $50 million dollars in this budget, and increasing outreach to provide access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the SNAP program and food stamps to those seniors who qualify for those programs, to make sure that they know they qualify and have access to them so that seniors who are in a low-income situation have access to good, nutritious meals to make sure that they're taking care of themselves during these really difficult summer months because what you eat is very important as well in terms of how you're going to remain healthy, in terms of being cool. Another 47,000 households have also received these type of cooling assistance programs through the LIHEAP program in addition to the folks we talked about before, and so we need to focus on this. We need to find the resources in the budget to do it, and there's really only way to do that. Governing's about choosing. And you know, we don't have an endless supply of money in government the same way you don't have an endless supply of money in your household. And so when that happens, when we're trying to make sure that we don't raise taxes, which we have not done now for the second year in a row at the state level and remember in the eight years before I got here we raised taxes and fees on the state level 115 times. Now we've got two years without any increases in that at all. But to do that, we've got to make choices. And these are the choices I'm making, to continue to fund senior programs like the ones we just talked about..."
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10929/37142
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99SEKG111N0
Date: 8/1/2011


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