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RELEASE: Minnesota House Passes Climate and Energy Budget Conference Committee Report

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Minnesota House Passes Climate and Energy Budget Conference Committee Report

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives approved the conference committee report for H.F. 2310, the 2023 Environment, Natural Resources, Climate, and Energy Budget Bill, on a vote of 72-57.

The climate and energy provisions of the legislation, authored by Representative Patty Acomb (DFL – Minnetonka), invest nearly $250 million in new funding to lower energy costs, create more clean energy jobs, and address and combat climate change. Minnesota is one of the fastest-warming states due to climate change, and this bill puts Minnesota on the path to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

“Minnesotans know we must take action to address and combat climate change, which is what this bill does,” said Rep. Acomb, chair of the Climate and Energy Finance and Policy Committee. “We have an opportunity to make a real difference by partnering with the federal government to lower energy costs, expanding renewable energy, and ensuring all Minnesotans can benefit from our clean energy transition.”

The Climate and Energy portions of H.F. 2310 include almost $40 million in weatherization funding and $65 million in investments in solar and storage technology. Updating aging buildings help reduce energy costs for under-resourced Minnesotans and protects them from extreme weather events. The bill devotes funding to innovative solar and storage programs, including expanding community solar gardens, solar on public buildings, and the popular Solar for Schools program.

“Voters made clear in the 2022 election that they expect their elected leaders to take action on climate. This bill continues Minnesota’s tradition of having nation-leading clean energy policies,” said Speaker Melissa Hortman. “Unchecked climate pollution threatens Minnesota’s future. Now is the time to take bold action and ensure Minnesotans have the healthy climate future they deserve.”

In the last two years, historic federal investments in climate change mitigation have been made. This legislation ensures Minnesota remains a clean energy leader by establishing programs to unlock and leverage federal energy programs and private funding, including creating a “Green Bank” to work with public and private investors to finance cleaner, less expensive, and more reliable sources of energy.

“This climate and energy budget builds on the historic 100% by 2040 clean energy standard we enacted in Minnesota earlier this year,” said House Majority Leader Jamie Long. “The climate crisis is already here, and this budget invests in real solutions from more renewable energy to electric vehicles to building efficiency.”

The bill also ensures all Minnesotans—especially those disproportionately impacted by climate change—can benefit from the clean energy transition. This bill invests in local projects to create good-paying jobs that pay workers the prevailing wage. The legislation includes funds to upgrade electrical panels and increase home solar panels and heat pump access. It takes steps to prepare for electric vehicles by aiding dealerships, consumers, school districts, and more through grant programs and rebates.

"Minnesotans in all corners of the state are being impacted by climate change," said Rep. Larry Kraft, Vice Chair of the House Climate and Energy Committee. "I'm proud of our climate budget bill; not only does it address climate change, but it also will create good jobs while making our air, water, and buildings healthier for all. What we do here matters - for Minnesotans and the leadership we'll provide to other states in the fight against the climate crisis."

A video of the floor debate and final vote are available here.