A fuel delivery truck advertises its price for a gallon of heating oil, Oct. 5, 2022, in Livermore Falls. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty

The Maine Legislature is ready to take another crack at approving a $474 million heating assistance package, following a public hearing that was demanded by Senate Republicans.

Lawmakers planned to take votes Wednesday before decamping to the Augusta Civic Center for the inauguration of Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, who was elected to a second term.

The Maine House last month approved the heating aid package to ensure people stay warm in the face of inflation, but Senate Republicans insisted on a hearing to maintain transparency.

That led to the assembly of a temporary appropriations committee, which unanimously approved the proposal two weeks ago.

If the measure is approved Wednesday, then the state could then begin mailing out the first of the relief checks before the end of the month.

The bill calls for nearly $400 million to be used to provide $450 payments to an estimated 880,000 residents. It would provide an additional $40 million to bolster the federal heating assistance program that’s administered through community action partnerships.

It also would include $10 million for emergency fuel assistance and $21 million to bolster an emergency relief housing fund to help people experiencing homelessness.