Sen. David LaFountain: Heating benefits the first act of doing business in Augusta

In the midst of Maine’s winter season, many people across our state are struggling to stay warm as home heating and energy prices rise. I have heard from countless residents of our district about their needs, and I am proud to say that the Legislature has provided assistance in a bipartisan manner.

This was such an important bill for us to pass, and it leaves me hopeful as I begin my term as your state senator. Governor Janet Mills signed into law LD 3, the Emergency Winter Energy Assistance Program. One of the largest provisions in the measure will send relief checks of $450 to more than 800,000 Maine taxpayers. Individuals earning less than $100,000 and couples earning less than $200,000 on their 2021 state tax returns will be eligible for relief.

LD 3 includes critical funding for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) and emergency fuel assistance, both administered by Community Action Agencies such as the Kennebec Valley Community Action Program. To find out if you are eligible for these benefits, contact KVCAP at 207-622-4761. In addition, this package boosts funding for the Emergency Housing Relief Fund to keep Mainers in their homes this winter. Learn more about the full aid package here.

If you have questions about eligibility or anything about this assistance program, please contact us. You can call my legislative office at (207) 287-1515 or email me at [email protected].

No one likes to be cold and some people may resort to unsafe ways to heat their homes such as using an oven, old heaters or fireplaces that haven’t been used in 50 years. As a former Waterville and Winslow fire chief, I know firsthand the dangers of using unsafe methods of heating homes.

I ran for Senate to represent you and to get things done for our community. While I would like to see more targeted help, this bill is not the end; in fact, it’s just the beginning. Addressing the root causes of the problems before us remains one of my top priorities. I will always stand up for the people of the northern Kennebec Valley region, that is what I have done throughout my career in public service.

Earlier this session, the responsibilities of the legislative committee were announced. I am pleased to announce that I have been appointed Chair of the Fisheries and Wildlife Committee. I look forward to the work this committee will do to ensure that people can enjoy our precious land and natural resources for generations to come.

I am also pleased to say that I will be serving on the Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety. With my experience in public safety as a fire chief, airport operations staff, and working with state agencies to search for missing persons and active shooter response, I am honored to serve on this committee.

During this session, members of the public have the opportunity to share their thoughts directly with legislators through our public hearing process. There are three ways to share your opinion: in person at the State House, remotely via Zoom, or through written testimony submitted online. To learn more about how you can get involved in the legislative process, go to

Feel free to contact me if you have a question, concern or idea. My office is here to serve you, the good people of Senate District 16. If you run into problems with government agencies, have questions about legislation, or anything else that may come up.

Dave LaFountain, a Democrat from Winslow, is serving his first term in the Maine Senate.

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