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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Lisa Demuth (R)

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Legislative update

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Dear Neighbor,

The Legislature currently is not in session, which has meant I have been spending most of my time meeting with local groups and citizens on a wide variety of issues.

Before we get to the latest news and notes from the House, I want to send a shout-out to Paynesville Area High School senior Kaitlyn Gilk for recently earning the Girl Scouts highest honor – the Gold Award – for her efforts to make Automated External Defibrillators more accessible throughout the community. For her Gold Award project, Kaitlyn organized and installed five outdoor AED units that can be accessed 24/7. This is a major accomplishment and huge credit to Kaitlyn for taking on such an important initiative, following in the footsteps of her mom, who has performed similar AED efforts in Richmond and Cold Spring area.

As for official business:

BILLD Fellowship

I was honored to recently be selected as one of 36 lawmakers in the eight-state region to complete a leadership training program that identifies and assists emerging state and provincial leaders in the Midwest. The Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development is one of the premier leadership training programs in the nation. In addition to courses designed to develop leadership skills, the program analyzes a variety of public policy issues, including election security and administration, trade relations and supply chain and the reginal economy. I look forward to applying skills I learned at BILLD as I continue working to best serve the people of District 13A.

Apply for High School Page Program

Applications to the Minnesota House of Representatives High School Page Program are now open for the 2022 session, with a Nov. 23 deadline. A dozen, week-long slots are available from early February until mid-May and stipends are available to defray expenses. 

Page program participants are engaged in a wide variety of activities designed to provide them with an understanding of the legislative process, state government, public policy, public service, politics, and much more. Pages attend meetings with legislators, constitutional officers, members of the judiciary and others. They also assist members and staff during House floor sessions, participate in mock committee hearings and more. 

The House of Representatives page program has been in place 45 years and Minnesota is one of only a select few states in the nation to offer this program, providing young people with such an in-depth look into state government. Program participants are selected through a formal process which includes an application, one faculty letter of recommendation and an essay. 

More information is available here, or by calling (651) 296-7452. Local schools also can provide further assistance. 

Please share this information with any high school juniors you think may be interested. It’s always nice to see local students working at the Capitol, gaining incredible experiences and memories to last a lifetime.

Cold weather rule, energy/water assistance

While truly “cold” weather has not yet arrived this fall, it’s a good time to share information about the Energy Assistance Program, the start of the Cold Weather Rule period and a new Water Assistance Program for 2022.

The Energy Assistance Program helps Minnesota households pay for current and past-due bills for electricity, gas, oil, biofuel and propane, emergency fuel delivery, and repair/replacement of homeowners’ broken heating systems, and could also cover water and sewer bills.

Over 600,000 Minnesota households are now income-eligible for Energy Assistance. During the previous program year (October 2020-September 2021), about 116,000 Minnesota households applied and qualified for Energy Assistance. More information is available at this website.

Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule is now in place, protecting residential utility customers from having electric or natural gas service shut off between Oct. 1 and April 30. Both homeowners and renters are eligible for CWR protection. You and your utility provider/company must agree to a payment plan that is reasonable for your household. For more information or assistance, see the PUC “Shutoff Protection” info online or call (651) 296-0406.

And, finally, water bill assistance is available and households can also qualify for weatherization. By submitting one application through the Energy Assistance Program, households could qualify for payments to cover both water and energy bills, and qualify them for the Minnesota Weatherization Program. If you have questions about the Energy Assistance Program, please contact

Until next time, I hope your fall is going well and, as always, let me know how I can help.



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