U.S. House votes to speed up propane deliveries to remote areas
March 5, 2014 — 5:05am
The U.S. House passed legislation Tuesday that would allow truck drivers to drive for longer hours in order to deliver propane and other home heating fuels to areas where it's in short supply.
Co-sponsored by three Minnesota congressmen, Democrats Tim Walz and Rick Nolan and Republican John Kline, the Home Heating Emergency Assistance Through Transportation Act passed Tuesday on a voice vote.
The nation's brutal winter has kindled several propane-related bills on Capitol Hill.
“With this being the coldest winter we’ve seen in decades, we need to be sure folks have an affordable supply of propane to heat their homes for as long as necessary,” Walz said in a statement.
Federal law grants emergency exemptions for truck drivers that need to drive longer hours, but supporters of the legislation passed Tuesday note that the waivers only last 30 days and the current one expires in the middle of the month.
The bill would create an exemption through the end of May.
The Senate has yet to schedule a vote on the legislation.
Interest groups spent less slightly money lobbying state government in 2015 than in the previous year, according to a report released Wednesday by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.
More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the Clinton Foundation. It's an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president.
The Senate DFL is paring back its ambitious proposal for paid family and medical leave. Sen. Katie Sieben, the legislation's sponsor, is presenting amendments to the Senate panel overseeing jobs which would strike a requirement that employers offer paid medical leave to workers who develop a serious health condition.
A bipartisan group – including four Minnesota Democrats – is pressing leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to explore potential solutions to the propane shortage plaguing the Upper Midwest.