Increased funding for heating expenses goes to governor
The Minnesota Senate Thursday passed an increase in funding to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The bill, which passed Wednesday in the House, was headed to the governor’s desk for his signature.
In the Senate, Sen. Carrie Ruud, R-Breezy Point, supported a motion to suspend the rules and take up the emergency relief bill.
“People in greater Minnesota are suffering and the low-income heating assistance money is likely to run out at any minute,” Ruud said in a statement. “There is no reason to wait until Monday — we need to get this money in the pipeline immediately.”
The House bill was authored by Rep. Joe Radinovich, DFL-Crosby.
“The House acted on the bill on day one and I’m pleased the Senate followed suit to pass the bill quickly,” Radinovich said in a written statement. “The alternative is this critical program running out of money and Minnesotans left in the cold.”
Also supporting the bill was Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa.
“I think it was another win for rural Minnesota as well as all of Minnesota,” Gazelka said in a statement. “We pushed hard to make sure the bill was passed today. I know a lot of folks are getting hit hard in northern Minnesota by the cold and high costs of propane. This was one thing we could do to give them relief.
The bill allocates $20 million of state money for LIHEAP, a federal program providing assistance to low-income families with high energy costs during the winter.