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Emergency heating bill could get to Dayton sooner

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A sudden vote has put a bill containing $20 million in emergency heating assistance one step from Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton's desk.

The Senate voted 65-0 on Thursday to send a revised measure back to the House. The vote was sped up from planned Monday action after Republicans sought to move it along quicker.

The bill replenishes a fast-eroding account for the low income heating assistance program, which has been stressed by a bone-chilling winter and high propane costs.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce estimates that for each $1 million the program can serve 4,000 households.

House members have voted unanimously for the extra aid. The Senate version caps administrative costs at 5 percent. It will be up to the House to accept it or appoint a conference committee.

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