Poor people in Minnesota may run out of money to pay for heat in a winter that has seen skyrocketing propane costs and a record number of subzero days. So the first act of the Minnesota Legislature as it reconvened this year was to add $20 million to the emergency low income assistance heat fund that could be exhausted soon.
During the debate on the spending measure, Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) decided it was appropriate to question the author of the emergency relief bill about climate change.
“Tell us how this bill fits into really, kind of, into the whole discussion about global warming and our experiencing global cooling and I’m curious how these really fit together?” said Drazkowski
The author of the effort to replenish the heating assistance fund, Rep. Joe Radinovich (DFL-Crosby), shrugged his shoulders and replied:
“I appreciate your comments and the comments of all of the legislators who got up to speak to this bill today. Certainly that’s not a question I anticipated being asked (laughter from other legislators). I’m willing to admit as much. You know I can’t speak to that right now. I think that what is important is the here and now, which is that there are Minnesotans across the state who are facing a very difficult situation — whether it is cooling or warming or heating or not — they wrestle with their own finances and putting heat in their homes. That’s probably a discussion for another time. I appreciate the question, Rep. Drazkowski.”
“Rep. Radinovich, thank you for the animated response. I do support your bill. Thank you for bringing and I look forward to more discussion about what we’re now seeing here as global cooling in Minnesota.