SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Paul Faraci’s measure to extend utility bill relief so more Illinois households can receive assistance advanced through the Senate.

“If we want to help keep people in their homes, especially those on a fixed income, this is the right thing to do,” said Faraci (D-Champaign). “The extension of this program is an investment in the health and well-being of our community.”

Faraci’s measure would eliminate the scheduled sunset date on a state fund that finances two needs-based assistance programs – the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP). The fund was set to shut down Jan. 1, 2025.

LIHEAP and PIPP offer bill payment assistance to low-income residential utility customers by helping eligible households pay for home energy services. Both assistance programs are administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity.

“Rising utility bills can have a major impact on family budgets, especially during the winter and summer months,” said Faraci. “Now is not the time to make cuts to programs that help deal with the skyrocketing cost of living.”

House Bill 4471 passed the Senate on Wednesday and goes to the governor for final approval.