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According to a letter from the Nebraska Auditor’s Office, DHHS was awarded $41,180,965 in Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) funds through the American Rescue Plan Act.
Sen. Tom Brandt, who sponsored a bill in the legislature to change the State’s LIHEAP program, told KETV it’s an amount additional to and similar in size to what Nebraska gets for an entire year.
“Ten percent of that, under the new law, was to go toward the weatherization program,” Brandt said.
“Disappointed,” Brandt said when he found out about the auditor’s report. “Not surprised, but disappointed that our state agencies can’t get this funding that was intended to help people in weatherization.”
“When you have a state agency that just uses its power to move the monies where it wants to move the monies to, that’s not what should’ve happened here folks,” Brandt said.
While Brandt re-emphasized his disappointment, he said he’s not sure if any more can be done at the state level to ensure funds are properly spent.
“The intent of the new LIHEAP bill is very clear,” he said. “Ninety percent is to be used for LIHEAP, 10% for weatherization. I don’t know how you can get more clear than that.”
Streaming video provided by Nebraska Public Media