Fridays with Fatima Volume 10

Counting Down

The countdown continues…we are 24 days shy of the end of our 2018 legislative session!

Committees in the House and Senate continue to hear omnibus bills with some bills moving on to floor votes. In fact, the House voted on an Omnibus Education finance bill yesterday, which passed with a 94-29 vote, and will wait to be conferenced with its companion bill in Senate, before heading to the Governor’s desk.  Similarly, we can expect omnibus bills with Homes for All provisions included to start making their way to the House and Senate floors once they have been heard in the House Ways and Means Committee or Senate Finance Committee.

Governor Dayton sent a letter on Monday laying out his parameters for a successful end to the 2018 session, including more openness and transparency, and more time for public review of bills. In addition, he re-emphasized his desire to see policy provisions separated from budget bills.

Bits and Pieces of the Homes for All bills that are ALIVE

Minnesota Housing Finance Agency Request

Last week the Jobs Omnibus bill was passed and referred to the House Ways and Means committee.  The following provisions are currently in the bill:

  • Homework Starts with Home – $1M one-time appropriation in fiscal year 2019
  • MICAH’s Lead Paint Abatement bill –  $380K one-time appropriation in fiscal year 2019
  • Manufactured Housing Infrastructure Grant – $500K one-time appropriation in fiscal year 2019
The House Ways and Means committee will be hearing and voting on the Jobs Omnibus bill today and combining it with other omnibus bills before sending it for a vote on the House floor.
The Senate Finance Omnibus bill was heard on the Senate floor yesterday and passed.  The five Tax Exempt Bond Agreements are included in the bill!  The bill will be conferenced with a House version in the coming weeks.
What’s the Word on Bonding?

Well, that is actually a great question. Historically, bonding bills begin to take shape toward the final days of legislative session, and this year it is moving in the same direction. A lot of engagement has been taking place with the chair of Capital Investment committee Senator Senjem, who is also our chief author in the Senate, and we are confident that housing will be included in the bonding bill. In fact, Habitat Humanity held their Day on the Hill on Thursday and Senator Senjem ensured us that if there is a bonding bill, housing will be included in the package. Click here for the Homes for All bonding one-pager.

Habitat Day on the Hill with Senator Senjem

Renter’s Credit

We are making good progress in our efforts to protect Minnesota renters from cuts to the Renters’ Credit as a result of changes in federal tax law.

  • The House omnibus tax bill includes language that maintains the current value of the Renters’ Credit for Minnesota seniors, people with disabilities, and families with dependents. Our partners including the Minnesota Budget Project were among several organizations who testified in support of protecting this important property tax refund.
  • The Senate omnibus tax bill is expected to be released on Tuesday, May 1.
Fines and Fees

The Fines and Fees provision, worked on largely by Minnesota Asset Building Coalition, has been moving successfully!  As we head into conference committee, we can expect to see the provision the language included, putting it in a very good position to be included in the supplemental budget bill that gets sent to the Governor.

Thank you, and more next week!