Lawmakers, public health advocates urge Gov. Baker to fund more fuel assistance programs

Boston Statehouse

Lawmakers and public health advocates gathered at the statehouse to urge the Governor to fund more fuel assistance programs. 

At an event outside the State House Wednesday, community leaders asked Governor Baker to include $30 million in his budget proposal for low-income fuel assistance. 

The Massachusetts Association for Community Action or MASSCAP said the problem has gotten so bad that it’s become a matter of life or death for some residents. 

“We’re very concerned that families will turn to unsafe means to heat their homes if they run out of oil,” said MASSCAP President Birgitta Damon.

Public health advocates say this money would prevent the improper use of space heaters. It would also stop people from running their ovens in an attempt to heat their homes. 

At Wednesday’s event, legislators listened as families shared stories of their children having to go to school cold because they didn’t have money to heat their homes.  

Lawmakers from across the state came out to show their support for the additional fuel assistance funding. 

Many of them made it a point to say public health shouldn’t be a partisan issue. 

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