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State Releases More Heating Aid; Advocates Want Full Amount

Gov. Charlie Baker's administration is increasing the amount of funding available to help low-income residents pay their heating bills.

The announcement comes after several lawmakers and advocates for the poor objected to the administration's initial decision to release only $11 million of the $30 million in heating assistance authorized by the Legislature last month.

The Department of Housing and Community Development said in a Tuesday email that it had agreed to release $19 million, with the remaining $11 million to be saved for use during next year's heating season.

The Union of Minority Neighborhoods and other advocates gathered at the Statehouse on Tuesday to urge the Republican governor to release the full amount immediately. The said the state money was needed to offset cuts in a federal heating assistance program.

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