On the first day of the 2014 legislative session, the House voted 133-0 to approve $20 million in additional funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which was scheduled to run out of funding on March 1st, 2014. The program has been under strain this winter due to unusually cold conditions and a propane shortage that caused a dramatic price spike.
“I’m pleased to have joined my colleagues in unanimously approving additional funding to give peace of mind to Minnesota families feeling the effect of this unusually cold winter,” Rep. Ron Kresha, R-Little Falls, said. “This program is a much-needed short-term fix to get us through this winter, but a long-term solution is needed. We must find a way to prevent a future propane crisis that causes uncertainty and financial strain for Minnesota families, and I hope both parties can come together to develop those solutions.”
The propane shortage was caused by a combination of an unusually wet grain harvest season, severe winter weather and temperatures, and a pipeline change that reduced the volume of propane shipments.