ST. PAUL, MN—The Job Growth and Energy Affordability Committee will hold a hearing in Willmar, MN on Monday, February 9th at the MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar. The committee will hear testimony and take action on a bill chief authored by Assistant Majority Leader Rep. Dave Baker, who represents Willmar, located in District 17B. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 9:30AM.
Baker's bill, which will be formally introduced on Thursday, is aimed at increasing propane supplies and making energy more affordable in Greater Minnesota. The bill will provide incentives to companies who extend natural gas lines in rural areas, tax relief to families who expand their propane storage, and have the government purchase propane assistance in bulk during the summer, instead of during the winter when prices tend to be highest.
"As we saw last winter, a propane shortage can have a dramatic effect on the pocketbooks of families in Greater Minnesota," Baker said. "This bill will help drive down the cost of propane and help prevent future shortages by letting families plan ahead so they can save money on propane during the cold winter months. I'm looking forward to welcoming the Job Growth and Energy Affordability Committee to Willmar, and for members of the committee to hear from our friends and neighbors how propane prices impact budgets for families, farmers, and businesses."
Baker, who serves as the vice chair of the Job Growth and Energy Affordability Committee, said he invited the committee to Willmar because he wanted legislators from all parts of the state to fully realize the impact that unpredictable propane prices have, and the importance of making propane supplies more stable during the winter.
Willmar Mayor Marv Calvin will give opening remarks, and the committee will hear testimony from area farmers, business owners, and other residents. Students from Willmar High School will serve as honorary pages for the full committee hearing.
"Representative Baker has already shown tremendous leadership in fighting for the priorities of Greater Minnesota," added Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, the chair of the Job Growth and Energy Affordability Committee. "It will be great to meet with Willmar residents and hear firsthand how the changes proposed in Rep. Baker's bill will improve their lives and their family budgets."
Area media are invited to cover the committee hearing.