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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Athena Hollins (DFL)

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Rep. Hollins applauds passage of Environment, Natural Resources, Climate, and Energy Budget Bill

Thursday, May 18, 2023

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 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. 

Representative Athena Hollins (DFL – Saint Paul), voted for the legislation and serves on the Climate and Energy Committee. 

“We are taking major steps to electrify transportation, the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Minnesota. Including over $30 million to make electric vehicles and electric school buses more affordable,” said Rep. Hollins. “My Electrical Panel Upgrade Grants program will greatly improve Minnesotan’s transition to cleaner electric appliances and electric vehicles. We are appropriating $65 million from the RDA to upgrade residential electrical panels in single-family and multifamily homes. Minnesotans and their families can save money on their energy bills and other expenses when they have access to viable resources. This can be a major benefit, especially for families with tight budgets. I am proud to support other provisions such as the Green Bank and intervenor compensation. We passed a historic intervenor compensation bill that helps ensure that there is better participation in the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, by allowing qualifying Minnesota nonprofits, tribal governments, and residents to receive compensation for their participation in PUC proceedings.”  

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. 

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. 

Video of the House Floor debate can be found here.???