Updated 11:50 a.m. April 10, 2015
Utilities could use sources of energy other than the sun to meet the state’s solar energy standard, and cities could use tax-increment financing to fund new apartments for workers, under the omnibus job growth and energy affordability bill unveiled Wednesday.
HF843, as proposed to be amended, reflects the dual nature of the House Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Public Utilities Commission on the energy side and 10 agencies on the jobs side.
The bill’s sponsor, Committee Chair Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington), calls it a “fiscally conservative bill … 152 pages of absolute legislative awesomeness” with significant energy reform and investments in workforce development and housing.
Garofalo spoke hours before the committee took up the bill at an unusual press conference, answering questions submitted by email and Twitter over the Meerkat online livestream video service — an apparent first for the House.
What would HF 843 do?
The bill includes energy-related measures that would, among other things:
The bill also includes jobs-related measures that would, among other things:
The omnibus job growth and energy affordability bill cuts $17.73 million from base level General Fund spending and adds $2.86 million in revenue to meet the $3.31 billion budget target — $20.59 million below base. Agencies receiving less money than indicated by the base in the February Budget Forecast are:
Agencies receiving an increase over the base:
Receiving amounts in line with the base are the Workers Compensation Court of Appeals, Iron Range Resources Board, Public Facilities Authority and Destination Medical Center.
Testimony on the bill is set to continue Friday and possibly Saturday. The deadline for amendments is 2 p.m. Friday. If approved, the bill would continue to the House Ways and Means Committee and House Taxes Committee.
What’s in the bill?
The following are some of the high-profile House files included in HF 843:
HF335 (Clark); HF434 (Fabian); HF550 (Baker); HF579 (Franson); HF662 (Mahoney); HF684 (Fabian); HF713 (Loonan); HF750 (Kiel); HF776 (Sanders); HF939 (Baker); HF1023 (Hamilton); HF1290 (Loonan); HF1416 (Smith); HF1693 (Atkins/Loonan); HF1969 (Vogel)