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Connecticut lawmakers will return after Thanksgiving for a special session

The Connecticut state Capitol building in Hartford
Jessica Hill
Associated Press
The Connecticut state Capitol building in Hartford

Connecticut lawmakers will return to the state Capitol after Thanksgiving for a special session — their agenda will include taking action to help low income residents afford the high cost of energy this winter.

Two years ago, Connecticut spent $134 million on the state’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program — LIHEAP. It’s only funded $102 million this year.

That is why legislative leaders will take action to close the gap during their special session next week, said House Speaker Matt Ritter.

“We are going to appropriate $32 million to get that program back up to historic levels," Ritter said. "To help people with heating assistance and oil and stuff like that."

“We put a placeholder in to let people know you will have additional help" he added. "The question would be whether it would be federal or state dollars."

The hope is that Congress would also help by increasing federal dollars to the program during its lame duck session.

Lawmakers will also use the special session to take action on increasing funding for hero pay — that's the one-time payment to eligible frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They expect to extend the state’s 25 cent per gallon gas tax holiday, which was scheduled to expire next month. It would be phased back in increments of 5 cents a month for the next five months beginning on December 1.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.