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America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

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A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

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Rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town, prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands and a Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival.

New Program to Help PA Households Pay Water Bills

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Wednesday, January 5, 2022   

As the Omicron variant surges in Pennsylvania and affects people's health and economic security, a new assistance program aims to help residents of the Commonwealth pay their water bills.

This week, Pennsylvania launched the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program, a federally funded service to help households struggling to pay their water bills on time. The state received $43.2 million through the American Rescue Plan for the program.

Meg Snead, acting secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, said access to clean drinking water and wastewater services is key to helping families live healthy lives.

"This program is for those who have past due water bills, had their service terminated or received a notice that their service will be terminated in the next 60 days," she said. "Grants are issued directly to water-service providers, and families must meet income requirements."

More information is available online at dhs.pa.gov/waterhelp. People can also visit a DHS county assistance office for support in person. Households can receive one grant of up to $2,500 for their water bills, and one grant of the same amount for wastewater services.

Gladys Brown Dutrieuille, who chairs the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, said consumers also should be having direct conversations with their utility providers to determine what assistance they might be eligible for to ensure essential services stay on.

"We know that there are households across the state facing the uncertainty and the stress of worrying about their utility bills," she said, "including some who've never had to experience these problems before."

Residents also may be eligible for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, to help pay gas and electric bills.


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