February 2012: Keep Michigan Warm MonthWHEREAS, heat is not a luxury, but a necessity during Michigan's cold winter months, and no one should ever have to choose between heating their home and feeding their family; and,
WHEREAS, according to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program Clearinghouse, Michigan had approximately 615,000 households eligible for home heating assistance in 2010, and of those households, nearly 75 percent lived below the poverty line, one-third were elderly and one-fifth included families with children under the age of five; and,
WHEREAS, the number of households facing unaffordable burdens for energy is staggering, with thousands of Michigan households paying more than half of their annual income for home energy bills; while the Michigan Legislature has created the one-time Vulnerable Household Warmth Fund, it is important to remember a permanent solution for funding has yet to be developed; and,
WHEREAS, during this month, we raise awareness of the growing and critical need for home heating assistance in Michigan; we encourage citizens throughout the state to help keep all Michiganders warm by showing support for the various organizations and agencies that provide services and assistance to those without adequate heating;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim February 2012 as Keep Michigan Warm Month.