The governor of Minnesota made a surprise announcement that could line the pockets of thousands of people.
As inflation surges to record levels, Governor Tim Walz has a plan to send direct stimulus payments.
Democrats in the state have also suggested a gas tax holiday.
The future of both is unknown, as Republicans in the state have called the gas tax holiday a gimmick.
FOX9 reported the governor thinks direct payments would be more helpful than a gas tax holiday, but if one passed, he would still support it.
Governor Walz told reporters: “I think this money in the hands of folks before summer would make a good difference.”
Who would qualify for energy relief checks?
The proposal calls for payments of $500 to adults who make less than $164,400 a year.
Married couples making less than $273,470 would get $1,000.
The proposal would cost the state an estimated $2billion.
What is the gas tax holiday?
In Minnesota, there is a 28-cent per gallon gas tax, which lawmakers would like to get rid of during the summer 2022.
Under a gas tax holiday, relief would come slower than with direct payments.
A driver would have to buy several gallons of gas before saving $500, which is what an adult earning less than $164,000 would get in a direct check.
How high are gas prices?
As of March 18, the average gallon of gas in Minnesota was $3.92.
This is slightly lower than the national average of $4.27, according to AAA.
Prices are expected to keep climbing, in part because of the ban on Russian oil imports after their invasion of Ukraine.
US oil was $109 a barrel as of March 11. The previous week it reached as high as $125 a barrel.
Are other energy relief checks coming?
Six democratic senators have banded together to provide energy relief checks to Americans.
The group introduced the bill on March 10.
Representative Ro Khanna of California and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island introduced the bill.
For more on gas prices, The Sun explains where gas prices have hit $5 per gallon.
Also, check out five ways to cut costs and save up to $750.
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