|S.F. No. 657 - Appropriations of Federal Stimulus Funds for|
|Author:||Senator Ellen R. Anderson|
|Prepared by:||Carlon Doyle Fontaine, Senate Counsel (651/296-4395)|
|Date:||May 5, 2009|
Section 1 is the appropriations summary for the direct appropriations made in this bill.
Section 2 [Appropriations of Federal Stimulus Money for Energy] provides information on the application and layout of the bill.
Section 3 [Commissioner of Commerce]
Subdivision 1 appropriates a total of $196,753,000 to the commissioner of commerce as follows by federal grant program:
Subdivision 2 [Weatherization Assistance Program]
Paragraph (a) appropriates $131,937,000 for continuation of the low-income weatherization assistance program by the Office of Energy Security.
Paragraph (b) specifies weatherization strategies that may receive stimulus money. Requires existing providers to be fully utilized before additional providers are added. Requires development of programs, including shelters, for rental units in order to streamline low-income rental unit participation. Makes serving the largest number of new weatherization clients a priority.
Paragraph (c) requires that a variety of strategies be used for the weatherization program.
Paragraph (d) directs the commissioner to seek authority from the U.S. Department of Energy to use money for weatherization services for abandoned and foreclosed homes and residential properties acquired and rehabilitated through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.
Subdivision 3 [State Energy Program]
Paragraph (a) appropriates $15,000,000 for a residential energy program to be used to fund an energy-efficient loan product using the lender network of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency. Caps the amount of stimulus funding a project may receive at 25 percent.
Paragraph (b) appropriates $1,500,000 for a residential efficiency program for the city of Duluth.
Paragraph (c) appropriates $10,000,000 for a school district and local government renewable energy grant program.
Paragraph (d) appropriates $100,000 for a grant to the city of Kennedy for the energy conversion of a former school building to utilize geothermal, wind, and solar energy and house the Go Green Business Center.
Paragraph (e) appropriates $250,000 for grants to qualifying renewable electric generation facilities.
Paragraph (f) appropriates $7,000,000 for grants to local government units and the St. Paul Port Authority, for use in developing and implementing a program to provide for the design, financing, and installation of energy efficiency improvements in commercial and industrial facilities in partnership with a utility that provides natural gas or electric services to customers within the utility's service area.
Paragraph (g) appropriates $1,000,000 for a grant to Clean Energy Resource Teams to develop and conduct a statewide door-to-door campaign to identify two percent of homeowners to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
Paragraph (h) appropriates $7,000,000 for grants to increase the installation of solar energy projects in Minnesota. Of this amount, at least $3,000,000 must be used for solar projects in the proposed light rail central corridor and nearby low-income neighborhoods. Provides that contracts, grants, loans, or other assistance awarded for solar photovoltaic installation projects require payment of state prevailing wages and installation by licensed electrical contractors.
Paragraph (i) appropriates $13,000,000 for local government and school district building renovations, and state government buildings.
Paragraph (j) appropriates $822,000 for grants for projects that will evaluate energy-saving equipment, apply research, and develop energy-efficiency testing that will help Minnesota reach its renewable energy and energy savings goals.
Subdivision 4 [Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Programs]
Paragraph (a) appropriates $6,386,000 for a competitive grant program for local units of government not otherwise eligible for energy efficiency and conservation block grant funds.
Paragraph (b) appropriates $4,258,000 for a school district and local government renewable energy grant program.
Subdivision 5 [Administrative costs, public information, and contracting requirements] provides that the Office of Energy Security may use no more than five percent of the federal grants authorized under ARRA for the cost of developing and administering programs established in the act. Provides specific direction regarding administrative costs, public information, and contracting requirements.
Section 4 [216C.147] [School district and local government renewable energy grant program] directs the commissioner of commerce to develop, implement, and administer the School District and Local Government Renewable Energy Grant Program. Specifies the criteria that the commissioner must consider when determining whether to approve a grant proposal. Provides for a Minnesota product preference for contracts paid with grant funds, with certain limitations.
Section 5 [Local government and school district building renovations] directs the commissioner of commerce to coordinate the use of stimulus funding with the Public Building Enhanced Energy-Efficiency Program. Prioritizes projects that may receive funding. Specifies how Energy-Efficiency Conservation Block Grants and state energy program funding may be used. Caps the amount of stimulus funding a project may receive at 25 percent. Directs the commissioner of commerce to coordinate with the commissioner of education to prioritize school district projects as specified.
Section 6 [State government buildings] directs the commissioner of commerce, in consultation with the commissioner of administration to develop a plan and procedures to select, fund, and implement projects that use stimulus funding. Prioritizes projects that may receive funding. Specifies how Energy-Efficiency Conservation Block Grants and state energy program funding may be used. Caps the amount of stimulus funding a project may receive at 25 percent. Provides allowable uses for funds and requires a progress report.
Section 7 [Appliance replacement] allows the commissioner of commerce to use federal stimulus money to supplement and enhance rebates provided to residential utility customers through the Conservation Investment Program.
Section 8 [Training and workforce development]
Subdivision 1 (Home Energy Auditors and Technicians) requires the director of the Office of Energy Security to oversee training of energy auditors as necessary for projects that use stimulus funding. Training must include insulation, air sealing, and mechanical work.
Subdivision 2 (Energy Manager and Building Operator Training) requires the director to coordinate and monitor training and certification of energy managers, building operators, and other energy professionals as necessary for energy projects that use stimulus money.
Subdivision 3 (Training Activity Guidelines) requires the director to recruit individuals to train to work on energy projects that use stimulus money. Prioritizes recruitment of unemployed and underemployed individuals in the construction trades and targeted communities. Provides that training may include an on-the-job component where the trainee goes to job sites with trained crews. Specifies that paid and volunteer youth must be used to conduct the weatherization outreach program. Requires that training money are made available for those unable to afford training.
Section 9 [Office of Energy Security; local government assistance] requires the director of the Office of Energy Security to assist local units of government that receive federal stimulus money, particularly smaller cities, as specified.
Section 10 [Competitive energy grants; state and local government authorization] authorizes state agencies and local units of government to apply for and expend competitive funds made available through Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants. Allows government units to act individually or in cooperation with other public or private entities.
Section 11 [Conservation improvement plans; federal stimulus plan] requires the commissioner of commerce to consider the impact of the federal stimulus money in the administration of the Conservation Improvement Program and to amend plans accordingly.
Section 12 [Accountability and transparency reporting] directs the Office of Energy Security to compile information and report to the legislature four quarterly reports on the progress of the programs funded beginning in September 2009. The reports must contain, for each project funded, information on: the number of projects funded and their location; data from weatherization projects; the number of jobs retained and created; energy savings; fund balances by stimulus fund; non-stimulus funds leveraged; training courses provided and the number of trainees; and compliance with prevailing wage, veterans, and disadvantages enterprise requirements.
Section 13 [Competitive energy activities] directs the Office of Energy Security to coordinate state and local government efforts to obtain competitive grants for energy-related purposes authorized by ARRA, including grants for grid modernization and related technologies.
Section 14 [Effective date] provides that sections 1 to 13 are effective the day following final enactment.
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