State May Have To Match Federal Weatherization Dollars Next Year

The state's weatherization effort may undergo significant, yet unknown, changes as early as next July.

Last year, Congress said the states must begin contributing financially to the federal Weatherization Assistance Program. Congress believed all 50 states had budget surpluses and could now afford to pick up one-third of the cost.

Based on the proposed 2001 federal budget, Nebraska would have to provide $563,417 to receive $1,690,252 in Department of Energy funds.

The President has asked Congress to repeal the state match requirement. Governor Johanns has also asked the state's Congressional delegation to eliminate the requirement during this year's budget deliberations. ".states are being asked to provide more service and dollars for federal initiatives while at the same time trying to provide sufficient funds for competing state needs. This latest cost share requirement will likely result in a loss of weatherization services to the state's poorest and most vulnerable residents," Governor Johanns wrote in a March letter.

More on these potential changes will be decided when Congress completes its budget for 2001, probably sometime around October.

 Return to the Spring 2000 Newsletter