The extreme weather has made a huge impact on our state this year. We’ve faced highly dangerous driving conditions, mass school closings, historic wind chills, and a very serious propane shortage. Safety has to be a top priority during a time like this. Luckily for Minnesotans, we have our determined Governor Mark Dayton rallying support from every and any entity he can.
As heating prices have risen (3 to 4 times their usual levels!) our Governor has expanded the state’s heating assistance program, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), allowing 120,000 more households to qualify for aid this winter. The expansion means 30,000 to 40,000 additional Minnesotans will be eligible for heating assistance this year.
Governor Dayton also established a propane shortage hotline. He declared an emergency executive order, a Peacetime State of Emergency in Minnesota, in direct response to the shortage of propane and other home heating fuels. He waived regulations that are slowing down truckers hauling propane and other necessary fuels to our state. Governor Dayton has also met with propane industry officials to identify how he can protect consumers from price gouging and has petitioned to knock down price barriers.
On top of that, Governor Dayton successfully worked with six other Midwestern Governors to increase supplies by asking President Obama for federal support. Additionally, he asked Texas Governor Rick Perry to extend a waiver easing trucking restrictions in Texas, in order to increase the flow of propane to Minnesota and the rest of the Midwest.
And that’s not all – Governor Dayton announced a plan to incorporate $17 million of state funds for the emergency heating program – which passed in the House the first day of session on Tuesday with unanimous support: 133-0. Just three days later, the now $20 million dollar measure has been officially signed by Governor Dayton.
So, here’s to our Governor, Mark Dayton, for having the foresight and dedication to identify a problem and work creatively and tirelessly to solve it.
For more information about Minnesota’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) click here.