WHEREAS, with nearly 1.2 million households eligible for heating assistance, the State of Michigan recognizes the challenges faced by low-income families and individuals in meeting home energy needs; and,
WHEREAS, heat is not a luxury, but a necessity during Michigan’s cold winter months, and no one should ever have to choose between heating their home and feeding their family; and,
WHEREAS, according to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program Clearinghouse, roughly 625,000 Michigan households received home heating assistance in 2013, and of those households, nearly 75% percent lived below the poverty line, one-third were elderly, and one-fifth included families with children under the age of five; and,
WHEREAS, low income families and seniors spend a disproportionately high percentage of their income on home energy bills; and,
WHEREAS, the Michigan Legislature has aptly responded by creating the Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) and the Low Income Energy Assistance Fund (LIEAF) as permanent solutions to supplement disparities in federal energy assistance funding; and,
WHEREAS, during this month, we raise awareness of the sustained and critical need for home heating assistance in Michigan; we encourage citizens throughout the state to help keep all Michiganders warm by showing support for the Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm, its members, and other local organizations and agencies that provide services and assistance to whose without adequate resources;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim February 2014 as Keep Michigan Warm Month.