House Releases it’s Bonding Bill
The House Capital Investment Committee released a $825M bonding plan this week, and scheduled a hearing to recieve comments and take amendments today, Friday, May 4th on HF4404. Homes for All had two representatives give brief comments on the bill. Although the committee did not include the full amount from our agenda, $140M, we view the amount included as a good starting point and expect the bill to move toward a higher dollar amount.
The bill includes $50M for Housing Infrastructure Bonds and $6.7M for General Obligation.
It is speculated that the Senate will release their bill sometime next week. We expect the overall bill amount to be higher, and therefore affordable housing to receive more money.
Speakers from the bonding hearing – L to R: Justyn Harwick – CommonBond Communities – Upper Post Veterans Community resident, Rep. Alice Hausman, and Lisa Wilcox-Earnhardt – EVP, Housing and Services CommonBond Communities
A note from our executive director, Senta Leff:
As a reminder, the Governor, House and Senate each release their own bonding proposals. Through a process of negotiation, we arrive at one bill that is passed into legislation. Before session started, the Governor proposed $115 million in bonds for housing. Earlier this week, the House released its bonding proposal which includes $56.7 million for housing. Still no word from the Senate on their bonding proposal.
The good news is that housing is in the top four basic infrastructure investments proposed by the House. It’s also great to see that the bonding negotiations have finally begun. The bad news is that the House’s proposal comes nowhere close to meeting the real needs facing Minnesotans across the state. It will take all of us to ensure that every lawmaker in Minnesota understands that where we live impacts EVERYTHING.
Last week the Senate heard and passed the Senate Omnibus Finance bill and was waiting for the House to hear and vote on its finance bill. The House has done similarly and spent more than ten hours debating and voting on a House (four-part) Omnibus Finance bill. The bill is comprised of the omnibus agriculture, environment and natural resources, job growth and energy affordability, and state government finance bills, and includes the following provisions from the Homes for All agenda.
- 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
- Five Tax Exempt Bond Agreements
In regards to budget bills, five members from the House and five members from the Senate will be assigned to a conference committee whose job it will be to reconcile differences in the House and Senate Omnibus bills. They will be commissioned to dole out one bill that can be voted on in both chambers and after, sent to the Governor’s desk for potential signature.
Fines and Fees
Great things are happening with the Fines and Fees bill! The Driver’s License Suspension Reform Bill was amended onto the Senate Omnibus Budget Bill on the Senate Floor on April 26th, with unanimous bipartisan support. The bill language is now included in both the House and Senate Omnibus Bills as they head to conference committee!
Rally with Homes for All
The House bonding bill released last week falls short of meeting the affordable housing needed to strengthen communities and provide a foundation for Minnesotans to thrive. As part of the National Housing Week of Action, sponsored by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Homes for All will host a rally and open mic in the capitol rotunda for residents to share their stories and make our case for urgent investments across the housing continuum, from homelessness prevention to rental housing to homeownership. Click here for the FB event and more information.
Thank you for your advocacy!