Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday signed an executive order to increase the income limits for heating assistance eligibility in Minnesota, helping an estimated 120,000 more households cope with high propane costs driven by low supply.
The executive action extends eligibility for heating assistance from 50 percent of the state median income to 60 percent. A household of 4 earning less than $52,370 per year will now be eligible for heating assistance.
PROPANE HOTLINE NUMBERS
Twin Cities metro: 651-297-1304
Greater Minnesota: 1-800-657-3504
LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT
Dayton and 6 other Midwestern governors sent a letter to President Obama on Tuesday asking for the federal government's help to increase propane supplies by "every means of transport."
Dear President Obama:
As governors of Midwestern states impacted by the recent extreme cold temperatures, we request your immediate assistance to address the current propane supply shortage and subsequent price increases. The significantly lower-than-average temperatures that continue to hit our region are resulting in greater demand for already strained propane supplies.
As Midwestern governors, we have been working in our individual states and throughout the region to manage this fuel shortage by declaring states of emergency, loosening regulatory restrictions, and providing financial assistance to those in need.
We are thankful for the recent efforts by our federal partners to assist states, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' expedited release of Fiscal Year 2014 Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds and also the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) previous hours of service waiver.
We would encourage your entire Administration, including the U.S. Department of Energy, the USDOT, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and any other relevant Federal agencies to take every possible action to help increase propane supplies through every means of transport. We encourage you to explore regulatory waivers aimed at increasing the supply of propane in our states, including an extension of the hours of service waiver and temporarily waiving weight limits on the interstate highway system. Such actions would continue to help fill critical gaps between supply and demand. We would also encourage the SBA to ease loan requirements that can help entities within our communities respond to and recover from this propane shortage.
We will continue to monitor the propane situation and utilize the tools available to us to relieve the supply shortages and to ensure families can heat their homes, livestock producers can warm their animals, and businesses can fuel their operations. Finally, state leaders would be interested in joining federal leaders to explore mid-term and long-term actions that can help improve propane supply stability in future years.
Thank you for your time, consideration and further assistance.
Mark Dayton (Minnesota)
Terry Branstad (Iowa)
Mike Pence (Indiana)
Sam Brownback (Kansas)
Rick Snyder (Michigan)
John Kasich (Ohio)
Scott Walker (Wisconsin)