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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dave Baker (R)

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You're Invited: Jobs & Energy Committee coming to Willmar

Friday, January 30, 2015
Dear Friends,
Some updates from the Capitol:
Rural Propane Relief Act
The Job Growth and Energy Affordability Committee is coming to Willmar two Mondays from now, February 9th, to hear the first bill I'm working on here in Saint Paul.
Propane prices impacted thousands of families and businesses last winter, and this bill will help make sure we don't face similar spikes in prices in the future.
The bill would:
-Provide tax relief to families who expand their propane storage
-Have the government purchase propane in bulk during the summer when prices are at their lowest
-Incentivize companies to extend natural gas lines in rural areas.
I want to invite everyone in the community to attend the committee hearing on the 9th. It will take place at MinnWest Technology Campus and begin at 9:30AM. You can RSVP (not required), invite your friends, and get full details on Facebook here.
Disaster Relief
The House unanimously passed a disaster-relief bill earlier this week that will aid to communities impacted by severe flooding last summer. Kandiyohi County was not included in the disaster declaration, but many of our neighboring counties in Western and Southern Minnesota will get assistance to help with cleanup costs thanks to this bill. This was another result of good bipartisan work; the bill passed the House and Senate unanimously.
DHS Cuts Could Impact Willmar
On Wednesday, Governor Dayton met with House and Senate Republicans to tell us more about his budget, and gave us the chance to ask questions.
I asked the Governor about his proposed cuts that include the closing of a DHS child psychiatric facility and a reduction in the number of beds for an addiction treatment center, both located in Willmar. I want to make sure our region has sufficient mental health services, and that DHS is serving our most-vulnerable residents and that we have access to mental health programs. I met with County Sheriff officers today to talk about their mental health efforts, and look forward to more meetings to come on the DHS proposals and mental health issues in our community.
The Governor has promised to discuss this further and I will continue working with him, the DHS Commissioner, Senator Koenen, and other local officials to determine the past path forward. Look for more details on that soon.
This weekend
-I will be taking the Polar Plunge in support of Special Olympics Minnesota on Green Lake in Spicer. Joining me will be my colleagues Reps. Tim Miller, Jeff Howe, Sarah Anderson, Drew Christensen as well as Senator Koenen.
-Glacial Ridge Winery is hosting a free concert series starting tonight at 5PM.
-Find more community events at, and a full WinterFest schedule at
Stay in Touch
-Call me at 651-296-6206 or email me at with comments, questions, and anything else that's on your mind.
-Like my Facebook page I try to post photos and other updates throughout the week about events in Saint Paul.
-Follow me on Twitter
Have a great weekend,