For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522
On Tuesday, the House took up the energy omnibus bill. This proposal requires a 40% renewable energy standard by 2030 for investor-owned utility companies – such as Xcel Energy, Minnesota Power, and Alliant – including a 4% solar mandate. Setting arbitrary renewable energy standards will make energy more costly and less reliable. Furthermore, it simply ignores the inefficient and expensive nature of the energy sources being mandated. Solar is one of the least reliable and most costly forms of energy. This bill is so bad that House Democrats had to create special exemptions for northeastern part of the state so legislators from that area could support it. I wish the entire state had gotten a carve-out! Unfortunately, House Democrats found enough votes to pass this monstrosity.
With 10 days left of session, the House has yet to pass any finalized budget bills from House-Senate conference committees. Apparently one-party control of state government is pretty hard! Perhaps Democrats shouldn’t be focusing on divisive social issues like gun control and gay marriage. Now, rumors of a special session are beginning to surface around the Capitol.
On a more serious note, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the vote on marriage that occurred on Thursday. To be honest, it was one of the most difficult days I have been through in the last 15 years. Over the last several weeks, friends and people I’ve known for years contacted to urge me to support same-sex marriage. During that same time, residents and voters of our district have contacted me to reassure me that one of the reasons they voted for me six months ago was that they knew I would represent their views in St. Paul on this issue. I believe my vote for traditional marriage was correct for our district and for me. I will continue to pray that my vote to represent our district was the right thing. I will also pray for a wide berth of compassion and understanding for my friends and for the people disappointed in me on this issue. Now, it’s time to get back to the business of governing and working on a budget for the next biennium. There is much work to do and time is running out.
The deadline for adjournment at the legislature is May 20. I expect things will get busier as we vote on conference committee bills. You can still reach me at email@example.com. To contact me by phone, call (651) 296-4237. Mail can be sent to Rep. Nick Zerwas, 303 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, Minnesota 55155.
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