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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dave Baker (R)

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News from Dave

Friday, February 10, 2017

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Dear Friends,

Some updates from this week in Saint Paul:

Bill Passes House

Yesterday, I passed my rural electric co-op bill on a bipartisan 89-37 vote.  

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Under current law, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has final authority resolving net metering disputes. The proposed law would ensure local governing co-op boards have the final say over rates charged to members and customers. The bill clarifies the regulation of consumer-owned electric co-ops and municipal utilities, preserving consumers’ right to manage themselves.

I believe in the leadership in our communities – like Kandiyohi and Meeker County co-ops – to make these decisions on behalf of other owners, like me, to provide a well-maintained system, reliable service and competitive rates. Just like a school board or city council, these cost-saving decisions can be made by consumer-owned co-ops and utilities who are held accountable by local elections.

The passage of this bill is really a victory for consumers. By putting these decisions at the local level, we’ll hopefully make energy more affordable in rural Minnesota.

Broadband Equity Education Funding

On Monday, I introduced a bill to better fund tech expenses in rural school districts. The goal is to provide increased dollars for broadband internet access for schools in Greater Minnesota. These students deserve the same funding allotment for this service as metro schools.   

Opioid Awareness Day on the Hill

I want to keep mentioning this day because I think it’s important for more Minnesotans to be aware of the dangers of opioids. On Tuesday, February 21, we're holding Opioid Awareness Day on the Hill. Families from across the state will come to St. Paul to meet with legislators and advocate for ways to end opioid addiction. We’re planning a number of events for the day, and I hope you’ll come to St. Paul to support this cause. Please click here for more information.  

Health Care Update

This morning I met with the governor and a small group of lawmakers to discuss ways to transition to a better healthcare system. We’re introducing and discussing reforms, and need to find ways to fix the individual insurance market. Thanks to Governor Dayton for the invite.

Please don't hesitate to contact me either by email at rep.dave.baker@house.mn or by phone at 651-296-6206. I’d love to hear from you!

Enjoy your weekend,

Dave

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