The statewide energy assistance program will run out of money at the end of the month if legislators fail to restore the nearly $2 million in funding that was cut, the head of the program says.
“If we don’t get something soon then we won’t have money. It’s sad,” said Patricia Wrice, executive director of the non-profit Operation Fuel.
Operation Fuel is operating on a much smaller budget this year — $1.75 million versus the $6 million it used last year to help 13,000 households with their energy costs. For the current fiscal year ending June 30, the non-profit received $750,000 from the state and depleted their $1 million in money privately raised.
Wrice said low-income families and the elderly could soon begin seeing their utilities shut off if the legislature does not restore funding in a deficit mitigation package.
“If they can’t restore the $2 million then we are asking, ‘please just restore half of that,’” she said.
Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.