Minnesota House Passes Legislation to Unlock Federal Funds for Clean Energy Projects
SAINT PAUL, Minn. – This morning, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed H.F. 1656, or the State Competitiveness Fund Bill. The bill invests state resources to unlock billions of federal dollars available for clean energy projects through the Infrastructure and Jobs Act (IIJA) and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The bill passed on a vote of 83-47 and was authored by Representative Patty Acomb (DFL – Minnetonka), chair of the House Climate and Energy Finance and Policy Committee.
“The State Competitiveness Fund is critical to ensuring that Minnesota is in the best possible position to receive federal energy-related funds and reach our climate goals,” said Rep. Acomb. “This bill will make sure that federal funds are available all across the state, in communities large and small. It aids tribal governments and disadvantaged communities to make sure everyone can benefit in this clean energy transition.”
“This bill makes once-in-a-generation investments in climate action and clean energy,” said Speaker Melissa Hortman. “We have an opportunity to access federal funding to add to our state efforts. This bill will help us take action to create good-paying jobs and strengthen our communities. We want to ensure Minnesota is a strong competitor for these federal funds.”
The fund created by H.F. 1656 will be overseen by the Minnesota Department of Commerce. The department will work with small municipalities, Tribes, rural cooperatives, electric utilities, and schools that are applying for federal funds, supplying matching funds as well as providing grant-writing and technical assistance.
“The State Competitiveness Fund will deliver many benefits,” Commerce Commissioner Grace Arnold said. “It will make Minnesota competitive with other states to bring the billions in fed clean energy dollars here. It will create good-paying jobs. And it will help Minnesota meet our Climate Action Framework goals to deliver clean energy that is affordable, reliable, and safe.”
Chair Acomb held a press conference joined by Senate Climate Chair Nick Frentz (DFL – North Mankato), Department of Commerce Commissioner Grace Arnold, as well as advocates from climate groups, labor unions, and energy providers on March 7, 2023. A recording of that conference can be found here. A companion bill, S.F. 1622 is moving through the Senate.