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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mary Franson (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Mary Franson

Friday, October 1, 2021

Dear Friends,

This Saturday, the Hemker Park & Zoo is hosting a program for families to learn more about their animals. Join them for this fun event at the Douglas County Courthouse lawn. Learn more here.

My Visit to North Dakota

On Tuesday I had the opportunity to travel to North Dakota and tour the BNI Coal Mine in Center and the Milton R. Young Power Plant. I also had the opportunity to speak on a legislative panel. My colleagues and I shared with North Dakota attendees what it’s like in Minnesota to have mandated energy goals and visions.

The main goal of our visit was to learn about Project Tundra. It’s an initiative to build the world’s largest carbon capture facility. The goal is to capture carbon and store it underground where the geology makeup of the ND can seal the CO2 in storage zones. Did you know that 40% of electricity is generated in North Dakota and exported to over a million homes in Minnesota?

Coal is a reliable and affordable energy source. It plays an important part in our electrical grid, especially as we see rising energy costs.

Franson in ND

Price of Natural Gas is on the Rise

The price of natural gas is going through the roof as demand is rising amidst lower supply. As a result, many Minnesotans will face higher electric bills as we enter the cooler months.

I strongly encourage everyone to be proactive with their energy bills to make sure no one struggles with paying utilities this winter. Those who do not rely on average cost billing for their natural gas bill should contact their provider. Using average cost billing will average your utility prices for the year to avoid large bills.

The Energy Assistance Program (EAP) helps pay for home heating and water costs, as well as furnace repairs for qualifying households. EAP is a federally funded program through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide grants for renters or homeowners with income at or below 60% of the state median income. Learn if you qualify and apply here.

I also want to remind you about Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule. This protects residential customers who are having difficulty paying their gas bill from having gas service disconnected from October 1 through April 30. To avoid disconnection or to have service reconnected, you must either pay your bill in full or call CenterPointEnergy to start a payment plan. More information can be found here.

Dems in Disarray 

Democrats in Washington, DC are trying to pass a $1 trillion infrastructure bill. While Americans need the $110 billion to fund roads, bridges, and major projects, what is this “Human Infrastructure” the Dems keep talking about? There are talks of a separate $3.5 TRILLION proposal which would include paid family and medical leave, subsidized child care, an extension of an expanding child tax credit, universal Pre-K, and affordable housing according to the Wall Street Journal. Oh, and don’t forget the broadening of Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing, as well as a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030.

The Progressives are all on board for this human infrastructure bill, but moderate Democrats like Sens. Manchin and Sinema are pushing back. Washington, D.C. cannot be handed a blank check to spend $3.5 trillion! We need our representatives to exhibit fiscal responsibility, especially as inflation continues to rise. If Americans are forced to tighten their belts to make ends meet, so too should Congress. Make sure to contact your representatives and tell them to vote ‘no’ on the infrastructure bill.

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