Sen. Rarick Presented MMUA Public Service Award

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Sen. Rarick Presented MMUA Public Service Award

January 26, 2022

The Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA) annually presents just one or two individuals with its Public Service Award.  Recently that honor was bestowed upon Minnesota Senator Jason Rarick (R-Pine City).

Sen. Rarick was instrumental in the passage of the Energy Conservation and Optimization ACT (ECO) of 2021, MMUA’s top legislative initiative and major focus for much of the 2019, 2020 and 2021 legislative sessions. Enacted May 26, 2021, ECO modernized the state’s Conservation Improvement Program law, allowing utilities to better address a host of issues including the deployment of new and emerging electric technologies.

Sen. Rarick championed this legislative effort from its beginning. He understood the value of modernizing the statute and kept discussions going, often providing shuttle diplomacy between advocates and opponents.  He carefully crafted amendments that addressed concerns but did so in a manner that did not negatively impact the bill.

Sen. Rarick persistently worked to win over those who had expressed concerns or lacked understanding of the legislation. He then helped negotiate a workable compromise with the House, gaining a 58–9 vote on final passage of the bill.

In addition to ECO, Sen. Rarick defended municipal and cooperative electric utilities against other problematic bills. 

While MMUA announced the award late last summer, government relations staff Bill Black and Kent Sulem were pleased to present the award plaque in person Jan. 26.

The MMUA Public Service award is presented to a local, state or federal elected or appointed official, who has demonstrated a commitment to the values and principles supported by MMUA and its member utilities.

MMUA, established in 1931, represents the interests of the state’s 124 municipal electric and 33 municipal natural gas utilities.

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