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Walker wants heating assistance dollars released earlier

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Wisconsin's low-income heating assistance program could save up to a million dollars, if the state could get part of the program's federal funding earlier. That's what Governor Scott Walker recently told President Obama and the federal human service agency. Walker says an earlier funding allotment would let the state buy up to 15-percent more propane fuel at cheaper prices during the summer.

He says it's one way to prevent a repeat of the propane shortage, and its skyrocketing prices, from last winter. Walker has asked the federal government to provide $8-million of the state's heating funds before the next federal fiscal year begins October 1.

Yesterday a working group from the Midwestern Governors Association met in Madison to discuss ways to ward off the type of propane shortage that affected a quarter-million Wisconsinites last winter. Walker praised this week's announcement that the Federation Co-operative and C-H-S will open a new propane terminal this fall near Hixton in Jackson County. The governor calls it a "great and welcome addition to Wisconsin's propane infrastructure."