Legislation Would Help Alaskans Pay High Heating Costs

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A proposal by Fairbanks State Senator Joe Thomas would help Alaskans pay for the high cost of heating their homes. Senate Bill 133 was introduced on the last day of the regular legislative session, positioning it for consideration next year.  It sets up a formula by which Alaskans would receive varying amounts of money depending on the local price of energy and climate where they live.  Senator Thomas says residents of the state’s coldest places who depend on high price heating oil would get more support.

The formula in Thomas’s bill uses a base rebate of $200, then factors in the price of energy and the number of heating degree days, to come up with individual pay outs.  Adults would get a full rebate, while kids would get half.  Senator Thomas stresses that the SB 133 is in only in working form, and that cash payments could be swapped for fuel vouchers. He says the bill will be refined during the interim, for consideration during the 2012 legislative session.

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