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House approves Baker’s Utilicare legislation

House approves Baker’s Utilicare legislation

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The House of Representatives today approved legislation sponsored by state Rep. Judy Baker that increases the amount of money available through the Utilicare program for energy assistance to low-income Missourians. Baker, D-Columbia, added the Utilicare provision to an omnibus utilities bill that subsequently won first-round House passage.

“As energy costs continue to rise, senior citizens and other low-income Missourians are finding it increasingly difficult to pay their utility bills,” Baker said. “Utilicare is essential to keeping the power on for thousands of Missouri families. With this legislation, more Missouri families will benefit from this important program.”

Baker’s amendment increases the overall Utilicare funding cap to $10 million a year from the current $5 million, which was last increased in 1979. It also raises the cap on individual assistance to $800 a year per family from $600 annually.

Another House vote on the bill, HB 2279, is required to send it to the Senate for further consideration.