House DFL Wants to Use $190 Million of Budget Surplus for Climate Change Initiatives


House DFLers announced a package of one-time appropriations last week totaling more than $190 million for “solutions that address the climate crisis.”

Members of the House Climate Action Caucus, chaired by Rep. Patty Acomb (DFL-Minnetonka), unveiled the proposals during a Monday press conference.

“Minnesotans have been telling legislators about the urgent need to address climate change,” said Acomb. “The new investments we are proposing today would enable Minnesotans to participate directly in solutions like energy efficiency, solar, electric vehicles, and conservation.”

The proposed appropriations – each carried in individual bills – include $85.5 million for energy efficiency projects, $26 million for solar projects, $55 million for electric transportation projects, $15 million for local government projects, and $10 million for generic “environment” projects.


“This package of proposals we’re announcing today will help Minnesotans make their homes more energy efficient, purchase an electric vehicle – they will make jobs installing solar panels on public schools and manufacturing electric school buses for public transit. This proposal will be a win-win for both the environment and our communities,” Acomb continued. “Climate change is an urgent issue and we have the opportunity to start working on it today.”

Acomb said the $191.5 million would come out of Minnesota’s projected $1.3 billion budget surplus.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for one-time costs and the urgency, the need is there,” she said. “Since it’s just a portion of the surplus dollars, I think that’s a perfect place for it.”

She said DFL House leadership is “supportive” of the proposals, but is waiting for the February budget forecast to be released before getting on board with any recommendations.

A press release from the Climate Action Caucus said the proposed appropriations have the support of youth climate activists and organized labor leaders.

“The decisions made by elected officials today have major consequences for my generation and future generations,” said Anna Grace Hottinger, a high school student and member of the 100% Campaign. “Me and my peers are confused and scared about what our future will look like. I’m here to thank state lawmakers who are listening to us and working hard to put our ideas into action.”

House Democrats have also proposed using $500 million of the budget surplus for an investment in early childhood education, The Minnesota Sun reported. Senate Republicans, however, would like to return the surplus to taxpayers in the form of tax cuts and reforms.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “DFL Climate Change Press Conference” by MNHouseInfo.







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11 Thoughts to “House DFL Wants to Use $190 Million of Budget Surplus for Climate Change Initiatives”

  1. […] to use $690 million of the surplus for climate change initiatives and early childhood education, The Minnesota Sun reported. On Thursday, House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) said there is only a surplus “in […]

  2. Do what is Tight Not what is Trendy

    How about Fix Thd Toads and Fight Crime oh and here is a tip Cut Taxes to keep taxpayers here.

  3. G gale

    Exactly what climate are you planning on changing? Please don’t say snow,rain, hot, cold. Please don’t tell me that you plan on changing Mother Nature, and please don’t tell me you can change the seasons. Instead, why not resign your failed positions and leave the running of the country to people who actually do the right things.

  4. King of Ramtucky

    There is NO “climate change” that can be stopped (or started) by man. Give us our f*&%king money back.

  5. MJN

    It’s not for you to decide what to with surplus , if your dumb ass wants to donate that’s fine, YOU don’t speak for me, count me out . How about lowering tax rates so this doesn’t happen EVERY YEAR

    1. Mr. Anderson

      Give it back you thieves!

  6. Pissed Minnesotan

    Unacceptable! No way, democrats have NO REAL SOLUTIONS in the works. This is based on ideas, and apparently directed by kids who are scared. Consult God, who made the earth and will end it when he wants. This proposed funds ONLY benefit the friends of democrats. Try investing in cleaning up the garbage lining the streets, taking care of our veterans, and taking care of those that pay the taxes to get the surplus. DO NOT speak for me by saying “minnesotans have been asking for this”, the majority of Minnesotans don’t approve, I’ll tell you that.

  7. Keith Martin

    Absolutely not! How about giving back some of our paychecks instead!? Gods knows not one democrat deserves one cent of it.

    1. Jack b quick

      When they move into a tiny house with their family and drive Flintstone vehicles we can talk. Having multiple suv’s and 5000 square ft houses makes it counter productive.

  8. Dennis Gavranovich

    This is completely unacceptable. I vehemently disagree with this proposal. Give us our money back!

  9. Norma Ameling

    No I don’t want it used for climate change
    Climate change has been going on since the beginning of earth and will continue until the end of
    We do need to clean up
    After ourselves however.