Ask Your Legislator to Support Transportation Electrification in Minnesota
June 6, 2022 | Carolyn Berninger | Policy
Minnesota’s regular legislative session adjourned in the early morning hours of May 23. Policy makers spent the session’s final weeks trying to work out the differences between House and Senate bills. Yet they were largely unable to reconcile those differences in time to pass legislation before the midnight constitutional deadline for adjournment.
While a few bills were passed before the end of session, much was left unresolved, including important electric vehicle (EV)-related policy provisions. The following provisions from the House Transportation omnibus bill, which would spur EV adoption in Minnesota and that have support from Drive Electric Minnesota members, were left on the table:
Matching funds to secure federal investments in EV charging infrastructure: The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program is an unprecedented opportunity to invest in Minnesota’s EV charging network, which is critical to reducing range anxiety and accelerating EV adoption. To ensure the maximum benefit from the program—$68 million—Minnesota must ensure it can provide the required 20 percent matching funds. Otherwise, Minnesotans risk losing out on millions of dollars of federal funding if that match cannot be obtained from private sources.
State investments in transit bus electrification: Zero-emission electric transit buses reduce emissions, improve air quality, and create jobs. Air quality benefits will be particularly pronounced in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by air pollution, including those with the highest percentage of Black, Indigenous, and people of color, low-income and uninsured residents, and people living with disabilities
Fortunately, the end of the regular session doesn’t have to be the end of the road for these electrification policies. With support from House and Senate leaders, Governor Walz can call Minnesota’s legislators back to work and ask them to continue their negotiations. Otherwise, Minnesotans could miss out on the opportunity to leverage a historic budget surplus and the significant federal investment available to the state.
Speak up and let your representatives know these transportation investments cannot be left on the table this year! Follow these steps to ask policy makers to resolve transportation electrification priorities through a special legislative session:
- Find out who represents you on the Minnesota Legislature’s website, and click “Contact” to access their contact information.
- Write your Minnesota Senator and House representative a note letting them know you would like them to reconvene for a special session to discuss funding for EVs and EV infrastructure. [See the sample email below for ideas. Be sure to personalize it and include your unique perspective.]
- Include your address in your email, so your legislator knows you are their constituent—legislators prioritize communications from those living in their district!
- You can also send a similar request to Governor Tim Walz through this form—ask him to call Minnesota’s legislators back to work!
Dear Representative/Senator (Last Name),
As your constituent, I am writing to urge you to support a special session to reach agreement on important policy priorities related to transportation electrification. Minnesota has a historic opportunity to leverage incoming federal funds and a state budget surplus to invest in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.
In particular, I urge your support for the following policy provisions included in the House transportation omnibus bill (House File 1683) that would help advance electric vehicle adoption:
State funding for electric vehicle infrastructure through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program. This is an unprecedented opportunity to invest in Minnesota’s electric vehicle charging network, and state matching funds will ensure Minnesotans receive the maximum benefit from the program.
State funding for transit bus electrification, which will benefit communities throughout the state by reducing emissions, improving air quality, and creating jobs.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Thank you for taking action to advance vehicle electrification in Minnesota! EVs are an important component of Minnesota’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, increase energy independence, and reduce transportation costs.
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