DANIEL IS COMMITTED TO STRENGTHENING UTILITY ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
1,517,702 of Georgia’s 10,154,747 population is living in poverty. Electric, gas and telephone utilities regulated by the Public Service Commission serve millions of customers in Georgia, but far too often, an overwhelming number of our neighbors, specifically senior citizens on fixed incomes and hard-working families just can’t afford gas, electricity or basic phone service without the help of payment assistance programs. Daniel will work with and advocate for electric, gas, and telephone utility companies to offer stronger payment plans to their customers who qualify. Additionally, he will work with civic groups, charitable organizations, and churches in local communities that provide payment assistance, to educate and inform their staff as well as the families they serve.
NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON AND FEEDING THEIR FAMILY
Daniel understands the complexities some families face when pursuing safe and reliable energy —a simple connection charge can determine a family’s access to energy; that is why he supports reductions to the cost of hook-up. As he travels throughout Georgia, he hears stories of countless low-income families who cannot afford to repair or renovate their homes to make them more energy efficient; that is why he wants to increase weatherization assistance throughout Georgia’s rural and underserved communities. And while Senior Citizen Discounts and Utility Assistance programs have been helpful, families depending on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Food Stamps, and or Medicaid, to name a few, still struggle to keep their lights on. Working Georgians should never have to choose between keeping their lights on or feeding their families; and Senior Citizens on fixed incomes should never have to choose between paying for medication or their utility bill.
DANIEL WILL FIGHT FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES RIGHT TO SAFE AFFORDABLE ENERGY
Federally-funded programs like the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps low-income households with their home energy bills are under attack by the Trump Administration. While this assistance can reduce the risk of health and safety problems such as illness, fire, or disconnection. President Trump’s fiscal year 2020 (FY20) budget proposal requested $87.1 billion for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, representing an 11.9% decrease from the 2019 estimated level of funding and potentially impacting the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The 2020 budget proposal lacks detail, but the 2019 budget proposal indicated that LIHEAP would be completely eliminated in 2020 and all subsequent years (On February 10, the Trump Administration released a FY2021 budget proposal that once again called for the elimination of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program). Daniel will not only be the voice of reason for ratepayers in Georgia, he will work just as hard against policies and practices that undermine anyone’s ability to have access to safe and reliable energy.