If you think it’s hot, just imagine what it’s like for those who can’t cover the high cost of utility bills and must suffer this unrelenting heat. With the temperature seemingly stuck at well over 100 and August only beginning, Texans are right to wonder about that extra buck or so that many of us pay atop our utility bills, supposedly to assist destitute seniors and the poor in paying their energy bills.

Answer: State legislators last spring reallocated it in what The Dallas Morning News aptly describes as a “tax-and-switch.”

Some might be happy lawmakers didn’t have to raise taxes for the next two years. But one way they managed this was by raiding funds that trusting constituents believe are dedicated for specific purposes. And that buck fee added to your utility bill each month is supposed to help folks with low or fixed incomes get at least some relief on sky-high utility bills. That would seem to be essential during the worst heat wave our state has seen in years. We might even call it a matter of life and death.

Read the full article at http://www.oaoa.com/opinion/bills-70528-utility-atop.html